Onyx Kane’s Birth Story pt. II

For Part I click here.

If you have ever had a baby, then you are familiar with the pressure in your butt and pelvis that happens right before you are about to push. It can be extremely intense, and some women often mistake it for needing to have a bowel movement. I can remember right before getting on the bed telling the nurse I needed to go to the bathroom (this is my body’s way of emptying out and making extra room for baby to move down and out. If you couldn’t care less about the real raw truths of birthing a baby, skip over the next few parts).

I can’t remember at what time I started pushing, but looking back at the time stamps on my photos it was somewhere just after four in the morning. These moments are always a blur for me because I try my hardest to cope with the pain while also listening to my body for when to push. Onyx was already pretty dang low in the birth canal at this point, so it was just a matter of getting him out. I feel like getting him to that point was the hardest I’ve had to work, comparing all of my births. I pushed for a total of fifteen or so minutes until he was born, but it felt so much longer. So what felt like all of eternity getting his head out, I was doing my best to work with my contractions to push him out. In that time, what is every birthing woman’s worst fear, happened to me. Yep, I pooped while pushing my baby out! This may have been my third baby, but it was a first for me and I truly wasn’t even phased. When it happened, I looked at my husband and said “I told you guys I had to go to the bathroom, but no one believed me”- ha! The nurses didn’t even care, they just cleaned it up and moved on! So, if you take anything from this post, it’s to not even worry about pooping while pushing. It’ll most likely happen, and you are the only one who will truly care about it.

Anyways, he eventually started to crown but I could literally feel his head stuck. I felt like I was pushing his head out for the majority of the time. Once his head was completely out, the rest of him was delivered with ease. Onyx Kane was born at four twenty-eight in the morning on August 25, 2022. He was a quiet little guy and barely made a peep! He wanted to immediately nurse which was a first for me! He latched right away, and we spent the next several minutes delivering the placenta and admiring everything had happened.

Shortly after he was born, and my placenta was delivered, I noticed I began to cramp. This is typically common, especially in breastfeeding mamas. Your uterus continues to contract to help prevent hemorrhaging and to get back to normal size. This is when things took a turn. The cramps began to intensify and were all across my abdomen down into my pelvis. When I say they were worse than labor contractions I mean it. We all thought they were just after birth cramps, so I begged for Motrin or Tylenol. The pain never let up and I begged my husband to take Onyx because I couldn’t safely hold him I was in so much pain. The nurses suggested my bladder might be full and helped me to the bathroom. As soon as a I reached the bathroom I started to bleed out. I’ll spare you the exact details, but I have never seen so much blood at once and it wasn’t stopping. One of the nurses even shouted out “that’s a lot of blood”. I began to feel light headed so I was helped back to the bed. The crazy thing was I felt perfectly fine afterwards. It was like night and day; my pain was completely gone.

The next ten to twenty minutes everything changed. The cramps returned but even worse this time. I was already administered Pitocin to help with the bleeding, but it clearly wasn’t working. I remember being in so much pain and screaming for it to stop. I felt the urge to stand up and push, but it was just blood coming out non-stop. At this point in time I laid back in bed and the doctor ordered Cytotec (helps contract the uterus more) and an ultrasound. The Cytotec wasn’t working and the pain was too unbearable to perform the ultrasound, so I was then given pain meds. All I remember was being so out of it. I couldn’t open my eyes but was still uncomfortable and aware of the chaos that was around me. Then I felt like I was going in and out of consciousness, screaming for the pain to stop in between. As my blood pressure dropped and my pulse rose, it was evident I was hemorrhaging.

In a matter of minutes, I was being wheeled away for an emergency D&C to stop the bleeding. It was like my first son’s birth all over again.

I remember feeling super sick after waking up from the anesthesia. I was also very out of it, saying the most ridiculous things of course. Shortly after, I was wheeled back to the room where I began to fully wake up. Being pain free and able to hold my baby again was the most amazing feeling ever. At the same time I felt awful because of all the meds that had been pumping through my body.

Fast forward to the first twenty four hours postpartum; I was a wreck. I couldn’t get out of bed, I felt so weak, and extremely tired. Knowing everything that I just went through, everyone assumed it was to be expected. I eventually had the courage to get out of bed and go to the bathroom. Two of the sweetest nurses came in to help me and I remember crying hysterically because I felt so weak and vulnerable. Simply getting out of bed made me dizzy and see stars. How could I go home and take care of my baby with two toddlers?

Later that day I learned I lost over 2500 mL of blood, which explained all of the symptoms I was experiencing. I also came into labor and delivery with my hemoglobin levels at a 13, after my surgery they were at a 9, and then after twenty four hours they were even lower at a 7. The doctor suggested an iron infusion to help my body make more blood. I was also eating iron rich foods and consuming a lot of vitamin c to help my body better absorb the iron.

I was still feeling pretty crappy and wasn’t able to get out of bed on my own and walk around. I remember feeling so exhausted. It was until the Saturday after I gave birth that I felt like I was making zero progress in my own recovery. That afternoon the doctor checked my hemoglobin levels one more time and discovered they were even lower.

A blood transfusion was needed.

Even though I knew this was needed, it freaked me out. I asked a lot of questions and the nurse was so great about it all. It took a while to get everything started and figured out but once it was going it took about five hours from start to finish. My hemoglobin levels immediately started showing improvements and were up to a 9. We were finally going home late Saturday night.

The days and weeks after Onyx’s birth were rough on my end. The side effects of severe blood loss coupled with a blood transfusion were nothing like I expected. I would say it took about a good two months until I started to feel like myself again, or as normal as one could after just giving birth.

It was a wild ride and to be honest, I would do it all over again for another sweet baby. I love pregnancy and even more so, I love giving birth. I also never want to shed light on any trauma or make this is into a “horror” story for birth. This birth was my favorite out of three and easiest in some ways. It was also the most relaxing labor I had. I never want my experience to scare or upset new and expecting mamas either. Every birth is different and beautiful.

Onyx Kane’s Birth Story pt. I

I have been keeping the birth story of our third son tucked away in my heart and mind as I savor every last detail. It seems that with each additional child I want to hold off on sharing their story on how they enter the world. Birth is such a vulnerable and sacred event it’s no wonder why these stories hold so much power.

If you have been following me since the birth of our first son, Jasper, then you know I didn’t get the birth experience I wanted. You may also know, after witnessing my second son’s birth story, all of my babies like to take their sweet time coming Earth side.

This third pregnancy was very different from my first two and I totally thought he was going to come way before his due date. Low and behold, he was right on time!

The Birth Story of Onyx Kane

I’ll start his birth story at 34 weeks gestation. This is when my Braxton Hicks contractions started to get more frequent and more intense. With each passing week I questioned if it was “going to be the day”. But as each week passed I somehow remained pregnant. I had been nursing my second son two to three times a day still so a lot of these contractions I was feeling were brought on by that. That was another reason I thought he was coming early. However, my son weaned himself three weeks before I went into labor!

Fast forward to 38 weeks pregnant I was carrying baby boy even lower than I had been my whole pregnancy. At this point I could feel his head low in my pelvis. Knowing he could make his appearance literally any day, my mom decided it was best to come down and stay with us until he made his arrival. The next two weeks I spent time preparing for postpartum and keeping myself busy.

The week of my due date, I had my 40-week appointment, it was a Monday. I had seen a new doctor and she immediately wanted to schedule me for an ultrasound that Thursday as well as a date for induction the following Monday. I politely declined and told her I wouldn’t be attending the ultrasound. I was down this road before and I knew they would try to induce me that day if I went and received an ultrasound. That evening I ended up slicing my hand open on a glass jar and needed to go to the emergency room. I remember being so nervous they were going to induce me right then and there. Long story short, I made it home still pregnant!

My last bump photo- the night I went into labor!

That next day, Tuesday, I felt pretty much the same way I had been feeling the end of this pregnancy. Tuesday night I remember tossing and turning a lot due to some cramping but that wasn’t anything new. I woke up Wednesday morning to what felt like really intense round ligament pain. It never really went away but tapered off as the day went on. My mom and I decided to take Jasper shopping at the outlets that day. I remember not feeling 100% but didn’t want to say anything and jinx myself- ha! It was extremely hot out and we did a lot of walking. We went to lunch and grabbed burgers. Throughout the day I had some very light cramping, but again didn’t over think it. We got home late afternoon and around six o’clock I started to really notice the cramping. The cramps came every thirty minutes. I told myself “if I feel another cramp I will start timing them”. Low and behold I felt another cramp around six thirty. From this point on the contractions were very mild and coming every thirty minutes. We put the boys to bed, ate dinner, and settled in for the evening.

My mom hadn’t seen the new Top Gun movie yet so we all started watching that. Just before eight thirty I noticed the contractions were growing closer together, about every ten minutes now, but still very mild. After about three contractions I decided to lay on my left side to see if anything changed. At this point I still didn’t say anything to my mom or husband because I was not convinced it was the real thing. While I was lying there I had another contraction and felt a popping/dropping sensation. I stood up, walked about three feet, and my water broke! I instantly started crying because I was so happy I was able to go into spontaneously labor, and ON the night of my due date!

Things were kind of a blur from then on out. I cleaned myself up, Mark showered and packed his hospital bag, and gathered all of our belongings for the hospital. The contractions were pretty mild and still only about seven to ten minutes apart, so we finished the movie. Once the movie was over we figured we would head to the hospital. At this point I felt pretty good and contractions were very manageable, but I had a slight fear since my water broke and it was my third baby he was going to come fast. I could have probably stayed home for another hour or two, but I didn’t want to have a baby on the side of the road or being crowning as we got there.

It was perfect timing once we got there. My contractions picked up slow and steady, but also pretty quickly. I had time to settle into our room and set up my diffuser and LED candles. Setting the environment to how I wanted was key and something I really wanted so I was glad the timing worked out. We were also in triage because all of the rooms were occupied- yes, I gave birth in here! Contractions picked up around one to two in the morning. I had my labor playlist playing and was sitting on the birthing ball the majority of the time. This is where I felt the most comfortable.

Somewhere between three and four in the morning I got onto the bed. Baby was low and getting ready to make his arrival. The time between getting on the bed and pushing is definitely a blur.

My contractions were very painful at this point and I was SO hot. I was trying to remain calm and not tense my body. I had Mark hold my fan on me which helped a lot and I also held onto a comb for pain support.

To be continued…

Packing My Hospital Bag For Baby Devine Number THREE!

If there is one thing I love to read, and even more so, to watch, are “What’s In My Hospital Bag” posts and videos. I love seeing the different things other mamas use during labor, delivery, and postpartum.

These types of posts can be helpful, especially for first time moms, as it can be overwhelming to know what to pack.

This is my third time packing a hospital bag and I feel like I have perfected it in my own way that’s useful and practical! Feel free to read A Peek Inside My Hospital Bag! which is what I packed for my first baby and What’s Inside My Hospital Bag: Packing for Baby Devine Number Two for my second baby.

There are similarities in each post and what I pack but over the years, and since becoming a doula, I have taken away and even added some things I have found helpful.

As you read my post you will find I pack a lot of what the hospital already provides (pads, diapers, wipes, etc). This is strictly for my own benefit and my personal preference. As someone who lives a low tox life, I prefer to use alternatives to what the hospital has provided. This post is not to make you feel like you need these items, rather to show you what I am bringing for me and my baby. Also, I prefer to have an unmedicated birth therefore I also pack tools to help cope with my pain and make me feel the most comfortable.

What’s Inside My Hospital Bag For Baby Devine Number THREE!

For mama

Hospital gown. I am choosing to bring and wear my own hospital gown this time around. There is nothing wrong with the one the hospital provides, I personally just find it uncomfortable and it never fits comfortably.

Robe. From previous births, I usually quite hot after I give birth, but I also know how cold hospitals can be. I wanted something more causal than a robe but more cozy than a basic cardigan. I feel like this option is the perfect material and isn’t going to over heat me. Robes are also great for skin to skin and quick access to the breasts for breastfeeding.

Pajamas. Something comfortable and cozy to sleep in that’s different than what I’ll be wearing during the day.

Lounge wear/an outfit to wear home. I bought two. One is short sleeves and shorts and the other is long sleeves and pants. I’ll most likely wear one in the hospital and the other to go home in.

Nursing bras. I am bringing two nursing bras. These ones from Amazon are ribbed, come in a bunch of colors, and are super soft! My favorite ones yet!

Cloud slides. I know these slides are super popular right now and I can see why! They feel like you are walking on clouds! I grabbed a dupe from Amazon. I love these because they will fit my swollen postpartum feet and I can wear them in the shower.

My birth plan. Some women love to have a birth plan, others do not. As a doula I find it great to have one so you, your support person, and birth team are all on the same page! Have multiple copies just in case.

Pillow and blanket. This is something that is obviously not needed but makes the hospital stay way more comfortable. I’m bringing a pillow for both my husband and I as well as our own blankets.

My toiletry bag and make-up bag, disposable breast pads, make-up wipes, hairbrush, snacks, water bottle.

Comfort tools and items

Essential oils. I am bringing some to diffuse as well as some to use for my postpartum healing and recovery. I will plan to make a separate post for all things essential oils and pregnancy/birth/postpartum.

Diffuser. To use with my essential oils.

Battery operated candles. This helps set the mood of the environment.

Robozo, hot/cold pack, comb, massage ball.

Honey sticks and ginger and peppermint candies.

Afterease. This is something you add to water to help with the cramps postpartum, especially during breastfeeding!

Nipple butter. Those first few days of breastfeeding can be hard, so I am packing this just in case!

For baby

Swaddle with matching hat. This is mainly for that cute birth announcement photo- but I do love a good traditional swaddle!

Two kimono shirts. Baby is usually just in a diaper and swaddle, or some type of onesie. I love these shirts because they keep them warm but make diaper changes easy.

Going home outfit. I am bringing two sizes, newborn and 0-3 months. I am also bringing one in long sleeves and one in short sleeves.

Pacifiers. This time around I am bringing three different types of pacifiers. With my first, we got lucky and he took the first one we offered him. My second son, however, did not like any of the pacifiers we tried.

Vitamin d drops, vitamin k drops, and probiotics. I like to supplement with vitamin d and probiotics for my baby. There are so many benefits to both including supporting their immune systems and guts! I prefer the vitamin k drops over the shot.

All purpose ointment. This specific ointment we used for both our first and second son. I always bring it just in case. It’s also great in replace of Vaseline if you choose to circumcise your son.

Nail clippers. If you know you know… bring nail clippers!

Baby book. I am only bringing this for his foot and hand prints! I dropped the ball with my second and the only foot prints I have of his are on his birth certificate.. mom fail!

Essential oils. Just like for me, I use essential oils on our babies! These vary from tummy support, sleep support, and others to replace traditional hospital products, etc. I will make a post on this too!

Hatch sound machine. This is my first time bringing a sound machine! With Jasper we didn’t ever need one until he got older. With Slate, we ended up using our phones while in the hospital. So this time we are coming prepared!

My Brestfriend nursing pillow. This is my first time using this specific pillow. In the past I’ve used a regular boppy. The boppy does the trick but I know how badly my posture suffers from nursing, this option is more supportive!

Some things the hospital provides but I will be bringing my own…

Postpartum pads

Peri bottle

Perineal spray

Diapers and wipes

This may seem like A LOT. Most moms will tell you that there isn’t much you need, and while that is true, every mama is different. Whether you don’t mind using what the hospital provides or you’re like me and prefer to bring everything yourself- I hope this post was helpful!

What is one non-negotiable you had for your hospital bag? Or if you’re a first time mom— what are you packing??

Guessing the Gender of Baby Devine Number THREE!

It’s time to guess Baby Devine’s gender again! This post is a little late as we have already known the gender for about eight weeks now, but I thought it would still be fun to do it. I did it for both Jasper and Slate’s pregnancies, so it only felt right!

Can You Guess Baby Devine Number Three’s Gender?

Heart beat is above 140bpm it is a girl, anything below is a boy.

Each and every time I’ve heard the heartbeat it has been above 140bpm (around 150-160bpm)! It has only been in the 140’s a few times (girl)

If your skin is glowing and your hair looks it’s straight out of Pantene commercial you’re having a boy, if your hair and skin has been anything but glowing, you’re having a girl.

My hair hasn’t changed all that much, but my skin is awful (girl)

If you’re carrying low, it’s a boy, if you’re carrying high it’s a girl.

This one I never believe. I have a long torso, so I naturally carry low and I carried low with both Jasper and Slate. This pregnancy I feel like the baby is very low!! (boy)

Craving sweets, it’s girl, craving salty it’s a boy.

There haven’t been any specific cravings, more aversions and only wanting certain foods. However, they are things I would normally eat not pregnant. I love sweets though; fruits, ice cream, etc.. so? (girl)

If you’re carrying most of your weight out front you’re having a boy, if you’re carrying your weight all around, you’re probably having a girl.

This is another that I don’t think is an accurate guess because it just depends on your body type. I carry all in front though (boy)

Cold feet mean a boy is on the way, warm feet or no change expect a girl.

My feet are HOT! However it is summer now.. (girl)

If you have severe morning sickness you are having a girl. They say girls give their mom’s trouble right from the start.

I was soooooo sick this tiem around! (girl)

If your spouse has gained weight, it’s a girl.

I don’t believe he’s gained any weight! (boy)

If you get severe headaches you’re having a boy, no real headaches it’s a girl.

No headaches! (girl)

If you naturally fall asleep on your left side, it’s a boy.

I can only fall asleep on my left side! (boy)

That’s all for now! I’m sure I can find plenty more wives’ tales, but I think ya’ll can make a valid guess!

The verdict based off of these old wife’s tales: GIRL!!!

These old wives tales were spot on for both Jasper and Slate. Do you think the predictions are true again?! I’ll be posting our gender reveal to Instagram soon!

Halfway Through my THIRD Pregnancy: A 20 Week Update

We made it! By “we” I really mean me, because I am the one that is pregnant, but we made it to the halfway mark in my THIRD pregnancy! These first twenty weeks have been a whirlwind and I am spilling all of the details today in this blog post.

Where do I begin? If you haven’t read my blog post breaking down my first trimester, you need to read that first because it’ll help you understand a lot of what’s to come in this post. You already know right as I was getting out of my dreaded first trimester our whole house got hit hard with the stomach flu. It was rough, and I wanted to throw in the towel. I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive this pregnancy. However, here I am 21 weeks pregnant as I type this, alive and well… for the most part.

Once we were all healthy and feeling better (around 15 or 16 weeks) I made it a point to stick to my workout and meal plan I was following to the best of my ability. If any of you can remember back to my postpartum experience with Slate, I started Nancy Anderson’s Ab Rehab to help heal my pelvic floor and any diastasis recti I developed. Well, I loved her program so much I decided for this pregnancy I needed to subscribe to her Move Your Bump program and I am so glad I did! This program has more workouts than you could ever need, breathing exercises to help keep your pelvic floor and abdomen strong and functioning, and an easy to follow meal plan. I know this sounds like a sponsored post, but I can promise you it’s not. Her programs are THAT good. Working out is so important during pregnancy, especially when it comes to labor and delivery. Also, pelvic floor health is even more important. I had an unmedicated birth with Slate and hope to do it again with this baby, so I want to be more prepared as I didn’t work out much while pregnant with Slate.

Aside from making sure I am moving my body and eating as well as my body allows (still sick some days), I am doing pretty good. I do have days where the nausea comes back but it’s usually only for a brief period of time, which is nothing considering what I went through for twelve weeks. I developed some varicose veins that can be a little tricky if I don’t take care of myself, but overall, they don’t both me too much. I also had them with Slate, but it was very minimal.

Another intense pregnancy symptom that is fairly new is acid reflux and heartburn. Again, this was something I experienced with both Jasper and Slate, but it wasn’t until the tail end of my pregnancy and was tolerable. This pregnancy, like everything else is totally different. I started noticing some mild reflux around 16 weeks of my pregnancy. By the time I hit 20 weeks pregnant it was full force here to stay. This past week has been the worst and I am experimenting with holistic ways to manage it as I am trying not to resort to tums or other over the counter medications. I definitely plan to do a whole post on this because there is so much that goes into it. Right now, I am avoiding trigger foods to the best of my ability, taking ginger honey ACV shots when I feel it coming on, and I placed an order for some supplements to try from Young Living. I also plan to try papaya and/or papaya enzymes.

Now, what everyone has been waiting for. The number one question I get asked is if we know the sex of this baby yet. In short, yes, we now know the sex of our third baby. If you followed my stories on Instagram, then you would know my ultrasound tech couldn’t confirm the sex at my anatomy scan. I was a little upset at first because that is the one ultrasound you wait for and is the most exciting. However, I had to laugh it off because I’ve been through so much during this pregnancy it didn’t surprise me that this would happen. Being the impatient person that I am, I scheduled an ultrasound at a private clinic. There we were able to find out the sex. I don’t want to say much because I don’t want to give it away, but we are taking our time with sharing the news. I will do another guessing the baby’s sex based off of old wives tales post again (those are so fun) before we announce. For now, you can check out Jasper’s and Slate’s.

Some days I cannot believe I am already half way to meeting our third baby, other days I never thought I would make it. I am just so happy and really trying to soak up every moment of this pregnancy. Keeping myself physically and emotionally healthy during this time is so important to me.

If you made it this far, I want to thank you. Thank you for following along on yet another crazy wild pregnancy journey.

My First Trimester… the THIRD time around

I want to start this post off by saying a lot of how I felt was based off comparing this pregnancy to my first two pregnancies. I know every woman and every pregnancy is different. This blog post is dedicated to all things first trimester in my third pregnancy- the good, the bad, and the ugly!

If you haven’t read my initial blog post where I announced our third pregnancy, go back and read it here. In that post I mentioned how we waited a little longer after Slate to start trying for this baby, than we did when Jasper was little and we got pregnant with Slate. Very similar to my first two (technically three including my miscarriage) pregnancies, I knew I was pregnant almost immediately. Since the day we conceived I experienced cramping, bloating, and general discomfort. It’s funny because I tested pretty early on in this pregnancy and some tests came up very faint with a positive while others were a bold face negative. I didn’t believe any of them until I got the confirmation on the digital test. This was around three or four weeks pregnant- right before christmas!

By week 5 I could already feel my appetite dwindling and myself feeling “full” all of the time. By week 6 I was down for the count! Little did I know I also contracted C0V!d sometime during this week. It was awful because at first I thought it was all first trimester symptoms and I was miserable just thinking about how worse it was only going to get. Then when my husband tested positive and I lost my taste and smell we just knew. By week eight or nine my symptoms turned into strictly first trimester symptoms. However, they were just as rough. While I am typing this I am literally wincing thinking back to those two/three months, I am traumatized. I had little to no appetite and a lot of food aversions. I couldn’t cook for myself or my children without becoming severely nauseated. We ended up eating out a lot because I couldn’t stand the smell of food cooking. Around nine weeks pregnant I was getting used to the everyday nausea, then I got food poisoning. That was rough but I was on the mend within twenty-four hours.

From the weeks ten through fifteen I figured out a system where I was still very much sick but I was able to function on a very basic level. I was taking b6 and unisom to help with the nausea and slowly started to feel good around week fifteen. When I was starting to get back into my normal routine of eating and cooking and working out, our whole house got hit with the stomach bug. It was the worst. Let me tell you that virus spread like wildfire and was nasty. I had it the worse, I think from being pregnant. I would take C0V!d over this. It wasn’t until week seventeen I started to fully com around and feel like myself.

Thinking back to the months of January and February are honestly a blur. While a lot of those horrible moments are so vivid in my memories, it is also all I can remember because everyday was ground hogs day. I would wake up sick, lay around, and do anything I could to not get sick. Here I am though, almost half-way through my pregnancy, and remembering why moms have more than one child- because we forget how horrible those first several weeks are.

Anyways, that is pretty much how the beginning of my new year went and I am so happy to see better days. I can’t even tell you what cravings I had or specific symptoms (other than nausea) because that’s literally all I could focus on. It consumed me most days. There was, and still is, a lot of anxiety from this first trimester. I am doing whatever I can now to make sure I enjoy the good days but know there still may be some not so good ones too. It is wild to look back on because my first two pregnancies I was barely even sick so this definitely as a huge shock.

If you are trying to conceive or newly pregnant make sure to read my First Trimester Survival Guide to for tips and tricks to help you get through those first few months.

Next blog post I will be doing our “guess the sex of the baby” based off of old wive tales. For now you can read Jasper’s and Slate’s.

Surprise… Baby Devine Number THREE!

It’s been a hot minute since I published a blog post, but today I have some very exciting news that I want to share! Those of you who follow along on Instagram already know, but we are expecting Baby Devine Number THREE!

I have been dying to share this news because it’s honestly been rough these last several weeks. Again, if you’re on Instagram, then you know. I will be doing a whole separate blog post discussing my first trimester (because oh my goodness it was totally different than my first two- you can about them here, I’M PREGNANT!!! and here, I’m Pregnant…AGAIN!), but this post is to address basic pregnancy questions and to chat/catch up with ya’ll!

Our third baby is due in August. His/her estimated due date is August 25th to be exact, so I am anxious to see if baby will come on the earlier or on the later side! As I am typing this I am currently sixteen weeks pregnant. Yes, this baby was planned just like all of the others. We actually waited a little while longer to get pregnant this time around. After I had Jasper we started trying when he was about eleven months old, for this baby we waited until Slate was about fourteen months old. Slate and our third baby will be about twenty-three months apart, whereas Jasper and Slate are twenty months apart to the day!

We do not know the gender yet and we probably won’t know until sometime in April. In April, I will be twenty weeks pregnant which is when I’ll receive an anatomy scan and confirm the sex of our baby! I know the trendy “thing” to do now is get the early prenatal testing done (Non-invasive Prenatal Testing) that also provides the sex, but Mark nor I feel it’s necessary to pay out of pocket (our insurance doesn’t cover it) when we can wait and get the ultrasound. The NIPT is a blood draw the detects for genetic abnormalities as well as sex. We do not have a history of genetic abnormalities so that is also why we feel it is unnecessary. Plus, it’s so fun waiting that first half of your pregnancy!

Something I have been getting asked a lot is are we hoping for a girl. Before I answer that I just have to say I assume people ask this question because we already have two boys. We have always wanted four kids and if that means we are “trying for a girl” then take it how you want it. However, I will say, yes, we of course would LOVE a little girl! Jasper is asking for a baby sister and I think it would be adorable for her to have two big brothers to grow up with. Again, if we get a third boy we will obviously be just as excited. Right now, I am trying my hardest not to convince myself it is one over the other and cause an upset on purpose.

If you have been around for my first two pregnancies, you know I post a weekly bump update every week on my Instagram feed and blog posts throughout my pregnancy. Nothing will change with this one- I love having all of the photos and posts to look back on and see exactly how I was feeling in that moment. I also cannot wait to have you all on this journey with me again!

That’s all for now but stay tuned for a first trimester blog post!

Building A Strong Immune System for All Year Long

There has never been a better time to take care of yourself than now, especially your immune system. A few years back I shared a blog post with tips and tricks our family uses to stay above the wellness line. Since then we have changed up our daily routine a bit and it has done wonders.

I am not writing this blog post to start a debate on keeping yourself, or others, healthy or the current state of the world. My intentions behind this are pure in wanting to share my own experience and knowledge. I am in no way telling you what to do. Always check with your provider before taking or doing anything that may affect your health.

In this post I am covering what my family uses on a daily basis to keep ourselves as healthy as possible. I will also share what we do when we do get sick or start to feel a little under the weather. These things are all kid-friendly and can be used within the whole family!

Building A Strong Immune System for All Year Long

Whole foods. There’s no denying the importance of incorporating as many whole foods into your diet as possible. There are so many benefits to loading up on fruits and veggies including vitamin C which is important for keeping your immune system properly functioning. Consuming whole foods not only provides nature’s vitamins and minerals, but it can help you manage weight, reduce inflammation, provide a natural source of energy and so much more. Eating whole foods is the base of our wellness regimen and is what makes all the other supplements helpful.

Ningxia Red. If you have been around here long enough, you know my love for Ningxia Red runs deep. I am a huge Young Living fan through and through and will always promote this drink supplement. It is full of antioxidants which we need to fight off free radicals that can make us sick. Not to mention the blend of immune supporting essential oils added in for an extra boost. I drink about two ounces every morning and both of my boys get around one ounce daily as well.

Elderberry. For the longest time I bought my elderberry at the store in gummy form or in a dropper. While it does still work consuming it that way, there is nothing better than purchasing locally sourced elderberry if you can. I get ours at our farmer’s market down the street and it’s so good. It consists of locally grown and harvested elderberries, water, local honey, and lemon. I take one full tablespoon a day (I love mixing it with my Ningxia) and I give the boys one teaspoon each day.

Probiotics. I am sure you have heard the term “your stomach is your second brain”. It’s true, if something is off in your gut chances are it is affecting you everywhere else, including your immune system. Finding a good probiotic alone can be very beneficial. I recently started taking the brand Rae and love it. The boy’s use the brand Smarty Pants currently (they are gummies so it’s easy for them to want to take them)!

Immune blend roller. Young Living has an essential oil blend called “Thieves” which is packed with immune boosting oils like lemon. Thieves is also Young Living’s household cleaning line and I think it speaks for itself! You can purchase a roller that’s premade or make your own. We choose to make our own. I love using Thieves with Lemon topped off with a carrier oil. I use the same for the boys but switch up the ratios. We roll this on our spines and bottoms of our feet every single day.

While we do these things every day, on top of washing hands, resting, etc., we do still get sick from time to time- We are humans! With that said, we like to “amp up” our routine when we start to feel sick.

Ways we increase our immune support when we do get sick include…

Eat more whole foods like soups and broths

Increasing our Ningxia red intake

Double up our elderberry intake

Diffuse Thieves all day every day

Increase the use of the immune supporting roller

Use the brand Earthley’s “Feel Better Fast” drops

Spoonfuls of local honey (only use on children one year+)

Lots and lots of fluids

Rest (duh!)

I would love to hear what you and your family do to keep yourselves healthy! Comment below or share with me on Instagram!

Slate’s First Year

Our second son, Slate, first year came and went and I definitely didn’t get to do a lot of blogging about it like I did with Jasper, but nonetheless, I am writing now! If you can remember back to almost two years ago, I blogged for every month of Jasper’s first year. With Slate, it wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, because lord knows just how much I do have to say, but rather I didn’t have the mental or emotional energy. Fast forward to present day, I am trying to get back to my roots and blog more often!

As most of you know, Slate turned a year old on September 30th. We threw a small, intimate birthday party for him which you can read all about here. This blog post I want to dedicate to those first twelve months of his life.

I have been really enjoying photo diary style blogs so instead of going on and on about each month, I gathered some of the highlights of Slate’s first year. I thought this would be a fun idea to see how much he has grown and to look back on a few years from now.

For Slate’s birth story click here.

THE BIG ONE: Slate’s 1st Birthday Party

Our sweet little boy is officially one year old! It has easily been one of the longest, yet shortest, years of our lives and we cannot believe we are parents of two toddlers now!

If you have been following along for a little while now, you know birthday’s are my favorite thing. I believe everyone deserves to be celebrated big on their special day. And there’s no exceptions for my babies! With that said, I take a lot of time to plan a simple, yet fun and beautiful, birthday party for the ones I love.

This post will cover all of the details from Slate’s first birthday, where I purchased the decorations, and the foods that were served.

After celebrating two birthdays with Jasper I have feel like I have learned a lot when it comes to planning a birthday party, at least what works for our family!

I know a lot of parents like to go all out for their children’s first birthdays but I have found it much easier (and stress free) when things are kept simple. For Slate’s birthday I knew I wanted it small, intimate, and easy going and that is exactly what I planned!

For decorations I decided on a neutral color palette. I did a small balloon garland and two bunches of matching balloons. I also purchased individual foil letter balloons to spell out “THE BIG ONE”.
The florals are made of different types pampas grass from a small shop on Etsy. I placed them in thrifted vases from GoodWill.
I put together these goodie bags using items I purchased off of Amazon.
The board of milestone photos I made by using a template purchased off Etsy. I printed the photos and then taped them onto a canvas board.
I decided to serve snack food instead of a full meal- this makes it less stressful and is super easy to clean up and store any leftovers! Pictured here is Pirate’s Booty and potato chips in disposable plastic bowls.
The highchair garland was from another Etsy shop and I am obsessed with it!
This was Slate’s smash cake. I like to make my babe’s smash cakes myself mainly because the ingredients are much better and I am not over paying for a cake they’ll barely even touch. Cake topper found on Etsy.
This was the “main” dish, if you will. I threw together a charcuterie board full of fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses.
The cupcakes I did however not make myself. We got these gluten free dairy free cupcakes from a local bakery down the street from our house.


Balloon garland: OhhHowCharming

Balloon bunches: OhhHowCharming

Foil balloons: Party Products Online

Florals: PampasGrassSeason

Milestones Photos: UnmeasuredEvent

Highchair garland: CitrusFindings

Cake topper: DearHeartSigns

Table runner: ShopUkranianArt

Slate’s “one” t-shirt: Gladfolk

Cupcakes: Dolce Bakery

To get the details on Jasper’s first birthday click here.