Thursday, July 30, 2015

Life Lately...


This week… whew… great hanging with our new little bundle of joy and our spunky toddler… rough on some other fronts.  It is hard to go through tough times and it is almost just as hard to see people we love go through tough times.  I was reminded of this song this week… maybe it will be encouraging for you too :)


People are all over the map when it comes to after they have babies… for me?  
I love…
1. Having visitors.  Some people do not like this, but I guess it is the people person in me… I want people around admiring this new squishy newborn… and just to talk too :)
Pic included just because it is cute… I mean really… 2 year old reading to the 2 week old… killing me with cuteness :)
2.  People bringing meals.  Seriously, besides trying to figure out whose tupperware goes back to whom… it is the best ever.  We have not had to cook or grocery shop since Jameson has arrived!  
And we have had dessert with almost every meal… thank you friends for making sure I don't lose the baby weight too quickly ;)


On the note of having baby J… as your readers know I went WAY past my due date and was getting pretty discouraged.  It all kind of seems silly now that I have a healthy little one here, 
So thankful for  this little who already weighed 11 lbs 6 ounces and was 23 inches long at his 2 week check up...
but really those last two weeks were rough.  I wrote a little post sharing how to get through it… the going past your due date :)


Had the opportunity to share over at Waltzing in Beauty about what I wish I knew before I got married!  Hint:  it has to do with the first year… you should check it out :)


I talk about our kiddos a lot and don't brag enough on my husband.  He is truly amazing and has been awesome (as usual) as we have made this transition.  From being a birth coach, to being an expert swaddler, to dressing baby dolls, to bringing me gatorade… I can't express enough how much my Andrew means to me :)
He may kill me for posting this one… but this is real life ;)

How has your week been??? :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Guest Post: Part of the What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married Series

I have said it before and I will say it again, one of the most wonderful things about blogging is the unique community you get to build with people!  

Just recently Christina over at Waltzing in Beauty asked some fellow bloggers to share what they wish they knew before they got married.  My post is over on her blog today… take a minute and check it out! :)


Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 Things You Can Do When you Go Past Your Due Date...

So many friends on Instagram and Facebook have posted those pictures… the ones with the caption: "Today was my due date… but little________ has already been with us for a week!  So Thankful!"
And I am thankful for them too… but this has not been our experience.  Both BD and baby J were "late."  And there is just something frustrating about passing that due date  you have had in your mind for so long!

So for those friends that end up pregnant for more than 40 weeks… some encouragement :)


First and foremost try to remind yourself that a due date is just an estimate...

The doctor does not know exactly when your little one was conceived and even if they do have it right every baby and mom is different!  Try thinking of a birth range (of like 38-42 weeks) instead of focusing on one day.  Even try saying things like… "The baby is due in July" instead of giving an exact due date when people ask.  


Keep planning and doing things…

People thought I was crazy when I went to the beach at 38 weeks.  Then that I was still out and about at 40 weeks. Then that I was still making plans past 41 weeks.  My theory?  No use sitting at home twiddling your thumbs!  Plus getting out and moving around could get things going!


Have fun with labor inducing activities…

Go on walks with your hubby.  Eat a whole pineapple if you like it.  Try some raspberry leaf tea.  Get a massage, take evening primrose, or eat eggplant.  But don't stress about these things… do them and have fun with them!  Maybe they will help induce labor, maybe not… you may never know!


Take comments with a grain of salt…

"You haven't had your baby yet?"
"Are you ever just going to be induced?"
"You aren't even low yet…"
etc etc etc
Take peoples comments as if they are saying them with the best intentions.  I really try to do this in life in general.  They may not realize the comment they are saying is not encouraging or that it is the 100th time you have heard it that day.


Know that it is okay to be a little emotional…

Pregnancy is an emotional time to begin with, it is okay to be disappointed that you are not holding your baby yet.  Trust God and His timing, lean on your husband and close family and friends.  
And know… babies do come out ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Friday Favorites...

WOW have we been blessed over the past couple of weeks.  The Lord has really taught me a lot and I am thankful!!!! :)


My little newborn
birth story {here}
Jameson Luke- July 15th, 2015- 6:40 AM- 10lbs 8 oz- 22 in


My amazing husband…


My hilarious toddler…


My family…


My friends...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jameson Luke… Birth Story

We are so so SO thankful Jameson finally decided to make his arrival… 11 days past his due date!  
Jameson Luke- born July 15,2015 6:40 am- 10 lbs 8 oz 22 inches long
The funny thing is this whole pregnancy we have wondered the ways that J and BD would be alike and different.  Temperament, appearance, even pregnancy symptoms and I kept reminding myself Jameson's birth will be different too.  If you read BD's birth story from two years ago you know that it went naturally, and mostly to plan.  I was calm and the environment was almost serene. I don't know what it was this time… I still went naturally but it was not so calm and serene! I think Jameson just wanted to make sure he was different from his sister. So with out further ado.... Birth story from my perspective and Andrew's perspective.

And just FYI… my perspective well be birth details and includes words like dilation.  Andrew's perspective is more about the emotion of the experience.  You can pick and choose which one you are most comfortable reading ;)

My perspective...

From about 38 weeks on we were really hoping Jameson would make his arrival. We started doing all the natural induction methods we could think of since we thought he was already over 9 pounds. His due date, July 4th, came and went and I was not too worried... BD had been late. But by the time we got 4-5 days pat his due date I got really discouraged! Why hadn't he come? And I knew that 42 weeks lingered around the corner… that's when I would have to be induced. Certainly not the end of the world, but it would make the natural delivery we were hoping for much harder. 
On the evening of Sunday the 12th, I started to feel contractions about 10 minutes apart … then they just stopped :(.  On Monday the 13th, they swept my membranes... had not experienced that before and it was every bit as unpleasant as it sounds.  Still no labor.  Tuesday the 14th, I tried every naturally inducing method known to man… seriously.  I may or may not have been to Chick fil a three times for dress like a cow day… maybe we can really attribute my labor to that :).  I was just trying to keep the kitchen clean but I did eat *mostly* healthy… considering it was CFA and all.
After dinner at Chick fil a Andrew, BD and I went on one last stroll though Target.  I was feeling some irregular contractions, but that was pretty normal at this point.  When we got home we put BD to bed and I started feeling contractions that were more regular.  Around 9-10 Andrew and I sat down to play a game and I timed contractions.  They were about 5-6 minutes apart already but pretty manageable.  We decided this was it and got Andrew's parents to come get BD, called our doula, and texted my family at about 11.
We labored at home for a while.  I spent some time in the bath, on the birthing ball and such.  Contractions got more intense and closer together, but I was still handling them well.  We did not want to head to the hospital too early since I was trying to go naturally, but I also did not want to go too late and have to deal with transition in the car.  We headed out at about 2:00 am when my contractions were about 3 minutes apart.  
Of course we got in the car and got to the hospital and they slowed down a bit.  When I got checked at the hospital I was 6 cm dilated and almost totally effaced, and if I remember correct he was about at a -1   position… things were looking good!  The only thing was I was not feeling well… I think maybe the three meals of Chick fil a may have had a role in that.  I am thinking that they may have had the same effect on my labor as taking castor oil would have if you catch my drift.
We kept going with labor and to handle the contractions I figured I would sit on the birthing ball in the shower and have Andrew spray my back.  We did that last time and it really helped.  Well… something was wrong with the ledge that kept the water from leaving the shower, and we *may* have been blocking the drain with the birthing ball.  Long story short, we had the bathroom door closed and before we knew it our whole room was flooded with about an inch of water (luckily none of our stuff was on the floor)!  In the midst of labor we moved to the room next door.  We labored some more… and before long the new room was filling with water from the wall of the previous room… I think we were making this birth memorable for everyone at the hospital that night.  The nurses threw some towels agains the wall and we moved yet again to the next room… it is kind of hysterical in hindsight.
In the midst of all that I think I really started going through transition… they checked me not too long after we were in our third room and I was a little more  than 8 cm dilated and my bag of water bulging. The doctor was already at the hospital for another delivery so we decided to see if we could get this baby here by breaking my water.  They did that and of course things got even more intense.  This is probably where I got a little more vocal about the pain, was having a really hard time handling the pain, and was nauseous… but onward we went.
I started to feel the urge to push, so they checked me again- 9 1/2 cm, so I laid down on my side to get rid of the cervical lip and before long I was at 10 cm.  It was about 5:20 am and time to push.  Now pushing is supposed to be a relief, but just like last time I really struggled through it.  I just wanted so badly to be one of those people who pushed three times and had a baby… but not a chance with such a big baby.  I pushed in every position we could… was sick… at this point I am not even going to lie I was thinking, "Could they get me one pain meds real quick and cut this baby out, because I am not going to make it."  But I knew I had already made it this far, I could do it.  After a while of pushing with one of the pushes they said stop stop stop… we need to wait for the doctor.  That's when I knew we were finally close.
When the doctor came I feel like the scene was much more of that out of a movie than the serene focused birth I had with BD… I just felt like I could not handle the pain any more.  There was defiantly some yelling and choice words… which I never had last time.  Actually at one point during the pushing I felt my body almost pass out, but I think my adrenaline kicked in because I knew I could not let that happen!  At that point I screamed, "You have to do something, get him out!"  My doctor being amazing, just as my nurses had the whole time, used a little maneuver to pop his chin out and with two more pushes he was on my chest and it was almost complete relief immediately!  He cried a lot more than Bailey Drew and nursed almost immediately.  They did a little stitching, which was not bad considering the 10 lb 8 oz baby.  
It was amazing and we are beyond thankful for this little one.
The only thing that no one told me about second babies is that in recovery, the contractions that get the uterus back to normal are more painful… and boy were they!
We are so thankful for this little boy!!!

Andrew's Perspective

            One of the toughest things about pregnancy is those last few weeks.  You watch your wife go through a myriad of emotions: from joy and hope to fear and distress.  This is especially true when you have big babies and when your wife is hoping to have a natural birth with these enormous babies!
            After we hit the 40 week mark, I could see how each day that passed weighed more and more on Stasia’s mind.  She is always an incredible woman and kept a smile up most of the time, but I knew it was a shadow always growing within her.  Still, she kept going out, hanging out with people, and acting like it was any other day, except she had a huge baby hanging on for dear life inside her…

            Passing the timing of Bailey Drew’s birth was another tough time for us.  Again, as a father the last few weeks are tough because you wait for nine months for this child and to actually be able to help in some (in my mind) meaningful way.  While I am excited for this, I can’t help but wonder how things will go for my wife.  “Will the labor be longer than last time?  Will she be able to be rested?  How long until she hits transition?  How long will that last?  How long will she push?”  The questions start multiplying and becoming more and more real.   This could happen any day.

            Finally, on Tuesday night, July 14th, Stasia started feeling more consistent contractions.  We had gone out to Target to walk around (because it’s just too stinking hot to walk anywhere outside in July) and were trying not to get our hopes up or make a big deal out of it on our way home.  However, I was already getting my game face on.  We got home, put Bailey Drew to bed, and Stasia told me that the contraction were coming more consistently.  At that time, we started timing the contractions while still distracting ourselves.  We played a game and had a movie on in the background. 

            At this point, things started moving fast.  Looking back, it felt like time just took off.  Before I knew it, we were contacting our doula and our family, it was midnight, and Stasia was already starting to have to really focus during the contractions.  This was moving so much faster than our previous birth experience. 

            Our doula arrived and Stasia just went to work.  Y’all, I just can’t express how impressed I am with this woman.  She was pushing through each contraction as they quickly moved from five minutes apart to four to three.  We got around three minutes apart and the contractions got much more intense.  It was time to head to the hospital.

            We got to the hospital around 2ish, checked in, and started meeting with our nurses and getting Stasia settled while she was still have contractions every three minutes.  Long story short (which you can read about in Stasia’s version), we flooded one room completely, moved to a second room, which had water from the first room seeping in, and finally arrived at the room where we would deliver our son.

            After that, things really sped up.  Stasia was already having very intense contractions and was getting really close to being ready to start pushing.  They broke her water and things got moving even more.  I’m doing everything I can to help her any way that I can without saying something stupid or having any nurse do anything that Stasia wouldn’t want to happen in her birth plan.  My head is spinning!  At the same time, I am having to watch my strong, beautiful wife writhe in agony and struggle under each contraction. 

            Then it’s time to push.

            At this point, I have a very weird mixture of emotions going on.  On the one hand, I know that it is almost time.  My son is about to make his entrance and I am going to be able to meet him for the first time.  I have been waiting for nine months for this moment and it is finally here!!

            On the other hand, I know that this is probably going to be a very trying time for Stasia physically and emotionally.  I’m not as green as I was last time around and I know that she is about to face one of the toughest things she will ever do.  Also, at this point it is nearly 6 in the morning and neither of us has slept at all, so I know she is tired in every way a human could be tired.  At this point all I’m trying to do is make her as comfortable (yeah…..) as I can while just praying over her constantly and encouraging her. 

Again, the mixed emotions rise up.  I’m so proud of her as she focuses on every push.  I’m also so excited that with each push we are closer to seeing, holding, and knowing our son for the first time!  However, I also can watch my wife struggle mightily and grow weaker and in more and more pain. 

Birth is such a wonderful, terrible, beautiful thing.
Finally, after almost eight and a half hours, Jameson Luke Skelton takes his first breath and our son is born!  My son is here!  The nurses clean him up, place him on his mother, and our family of three is officially a foursome! God is so good!

After the chaos subsides and our room quiets down, I fall into a chair in the room and just watch my son with his incredible mother as she takes care of him, looks him over, and loves him the way only she can and I marvel at why God would give me such an amazing woman. My life is incredible and I can’t wait see how God is going to use Jameson to draw our family even more towards His heart!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jameson Luke is Here!!!!

He is here... Introducing Jameson Luke... All 10 lbs 8 oz- 22 inches long... Born naturally!  Praise the Lord!!! Everyone doing well! More details to come later!!! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

41 Weeks...

41 Weeks… now this is the post I seriously thought I would never write!

For real y'all… I wrote this post this past week about thoughts on passing your due date.  But I feel like I have learned even more since then.  It is hard to past your due date… but if you are having your second child and pass the day that they came… that's when I got real discouraged.  I am *mostly* past it now.  Just waiting :)

How Far Along? 41 Weeks!  Everyday since about Wednesday I have thought… surely this will be the day.  But nope… here we are…
People keep asking the plan..
since we are trying to go naturally, we are trying to wait as long as possible before being induced.  If we have not gone into labor naturally we will be induced this coming Friday. 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Total around 50 lbs… but the past two doctors appointments I have not gained any.  We will call that a win  :)

Baby Related Purchases: Nothing really… think we have almost everything we need.  Except for a baby.

Maternity Clothes:  I am seriously on outfit repeat at this point.  A rotation of about four different things.  I am ready for my normal clothes again.

Sleep? Still surprisingly good (with the exception of last night).  Only interrupted by flipping sides and bathroom breaks… and the occasion and that BD wakes up and wants her mama.

Movement: Still having movement, but like I have said the last few weeks… I think he has run out of room for the huge movements.  And I also mentioned how I never felt hiccups this pregnancy.  I felt them everyday this past week!  I am thinking they were happening for a while, I just was to busy to realize it!

What I miss: I want to wear different clothes bad!  And just to be able to move normally.

Cravings: Fruit.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No… still indigestion and heartburn! 

Gender: It's a boy!!!

Labor Signs: Some irregular contractions, I think.  And skip the next part if things about birth make you queazy or it is just TMI.  I never got checked with BD until I was in labor, but we kind of felt like we wanted to yesterday since I was basically 41 weeks.  I was about 3 cm dilated and very effaced (can't remember exactly how much).  So at least there's that.  I mean, I could still sit like this until next Friday, but let's hope not!

Symptoms: Huge belly, heart burn/indigestion, some awesome veins popping out of my legs (these *mostly* went away last time after I had BD so I am hoping for the same this time)… let's just be honest- compression tights/leggings are just unrealistic when it is 105 heat index out, really tired at night,  just ready over all :)

Best moments this week: 
We have tried to stay super busy….
*Celebrated 4th of July
*Mall walked and Target walked (multiple times, because it is too hot to walk outside)
*Went to the lake
*Went out to eat (and even ate eggplant parm… that's suppose to bring on labor too, but no luck!)

Looking forward to:
*Baby J making his arrival!!!!  At this point we know he will come in the next week it is just how exactly he makes his arrival.  If you have moment to say a prayer that he will come naturally and I won't have to be induce… we would appreciate that!:)

Size of Baby: They don't even have a fruit/vegtable for this week.

For the little:

Our Jameson… 

I am not even going to lie!  This week has been hard, probably the hardest.  We have so been looking forward to holding you and thought for sure this would be the week.  But God has different plans!

I wonder now more than ever about your personality.  I am feeling like you may only want to do something when you are good and ready :).  I also wonder how big you will be at this point… just don't come out walking, I like the newborn stage ;)

This morning as I pray over you-Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Please come soon!  We really want to meet you!

Week by Week…
22 Weeks…
24 Weeks
26 Weeks...

27 weeks…
29 Weeks…

30 Weeks…

31-32 Weeks