The beginning….

Just me and my thoughts….barely getting through this journey.

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Hi there, just me and my thoughts here… as my husband and I embark on a choatic journey of adoptions, IVF, and and all the ups and downs in between; not to mention just life in general.

When I asked my husband (he’s a witty one, sometimes) what I should title my blog, he mentioned to me, “Unraveling the Yarn.”  I said, “Hm…not sure about that one, but I like the concept.  What else could go with it, and what does even mean lol”  He replied, “Like the expression that a woman’s brain is a big ball of yarn, so you are writing things out as a way to unravel the mess of thoughts in your head.”  – See, that’s why I married him.  He gets me.

So, that’s what I’m doing, I’m unraveling my thoughts, my fears, my anxiety, my happiness and there’s alot more going on up there, but I’ll try to focus on these things.  Because adoption can be a scary thing.  IVF can be an even scarier thing.  You may read that and think to yourself, why the hell would anyone put themselves through both of those processes at one time.  I guess I can start this whole blog off by answering that.

Here it goes, bear with me, it’s definitely been a ride.  Like so many families, we’ve had 2 miscarriages, a pretty common thing in this world.  It can be tough, whether you are expecting it or not.  On top of the miscarriages, we also had 2 ectopic pregnancies.  Those were a little more rough on me, physically.  In 2011, kiddo #1 & #2 were welcomed into this world with completely open hearts.  We were so very ready for them.  Of course, at first, we didn’t KNOW there were 2 of them, but we knew we were trying, we were successful after a short few months (I say few, but it was really 7 months but in the ‘Trying-To-Get-Pregnant’ World, it only classifies as a few).  We were excited, ecstatic really and we told a few people here and there but tried to keep it quiet.  Like any new parents, we were overwhelmingly excited to start this journey and be the awesome, weird parents we knew we were meant to be.  Except, a pain started to occur, my test results weren’t showing up as they should, and we found out we had miscarried, and a few weeks later, we had an ectopic pregnancy.  Unusual but oh so very capable of happening.  That. is. tough.  My doctor had wanted me to take a shot (summing this up and not going into all the medical terms and meds, but it was a shot) to let the ectopic pregnancy pass.  It didn’t work.  2 weeks later, I was being rushed to the hospital because I was in serious pain and I was tired of waiting.  I was exhausted from WAITING to know and for it to be finished.  Maybe that sounds cold, but anyone who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy knows what I’m talking about.  Anyways, rushed into ER, had 3 incisions in my stomach, my tube had ruptured while they were trying to remove the little girl from my tube and my tube was removed.  1-2 months later, I was recovering physically, not quite ready to recover mentally yet, but that’s another post for another day.

Kiddo #3 came in July 2015.  We had tried, alot, I was on clomid for months and again, we were ecstatic.  We told basically everyone because we had a huge family outing that we would be with friends and family constantly and we didn’t want to hide it.  A month after telling everyone, we had miscarriage #2.  We were traveling to Mexico later that month and we decided I didn’t want to pass the empty sac while in Mexico and potentially have problems, so we had it removed.  So if you’re keeping count:  2 miscarriages, 1 ectopic.

Kiddo #4, and probably the most painful (physically), was the last one.  He was a little fighter, I tell you.  It hurts me to this day to say this outloud, because I know the situation medically is not possible or not ideal, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t painful or haunt you just a bit.  October of this year (2016), I got up and went to yoga at 4:30 am like I always do.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, I was even running a few minutes behind like I always do.  I sat in my car and instantly was having this annoying pain in my side.  I brushed it off like I was having digestion issues or that my food from the night before wasn’t settling.  Either way, I knew I’d get to yoga, I’d go to work and it’d go away.  I drove for 6 miles debating whether this pain was too painful to get through my yoga or not.  It sounds dumb now, that yoga was that important to me, but that was my way to start my day.  I went back and forth for 6 miles, and finally decided I had the flu or was coming down with the flu and needed to go back to bed and call in sick.  I get home, I yell to my hubs that I think I was getting sick..probably food poisoning or the flu.  I mean it’s October and weather in Arkansas is stupid, so who knows what you can come down with then.  I layed on the couch, on my side, curled up in a ball, because that was the only way that I felt the least amount of pain.  Again, I know it sounds stupid now…but I am a bit of a tough cookie and I have done alot of stupid things over the years, acquired alot of stitches, have scars for days and pain is not a big thing to me.  I mean, it sucked and I even started to cry at one point but I brushed it off that I was tired.

So from 4:30 am to 8:00 am I struggled with pain, little did I know I was struggling with my life (whoa…that’s huge once I see it in writing).  I’m not being dramatic either…I’ll get into the details in a few.  I text my sister and told her I was sick and that I might go into the ER b/c I think I had food poisoning or something was wrong.  I asked her advice and we didn’t really decide on a conclusion.  Finally, I look at my husband and said, “What should I do?”  He looks back at me and says, “What does your gut tell you?  You always say, you regret it when you go against your gut.”  BOOM.  Again, why I married him, he gets me.

I didn’t hesitate to get up, well I did.  I couldn’t get up without his help and pain shooting throughout my body.  I struggled to get on my shoes and a jacket to wear and I definitely didn’t give two hells what I looked like b/c we were headed to the ER stat.  Traffic by the way in NWA is the worst, seriously the worst.  Finally, 30 minutes later, we arrive at ER, waited in the ER waiting room for well over an hour as I slump over a chair in tears, just asking for someone to take me back.  We get taken back, and wait again in the hospital room for over an hour, get a Dr. to see us and finally get prescribed some pain meds.  45 minutes later, no pain meds and I truly think I’m going to die.  While a random guy was in our room (I mean, he wasn’t random, he was restocking towels in the room), I say, “GET ME SOMEONE NOW.  I DON’T CARE WHO..BUT I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE.”  This was my final plea, seriously I didn’t know what was going on but I was in more pain than I can explain and I knew that I wasn’t going to make it if someone didn’t get something to me.  I literally had debated having him take me home because I knew I had tylenol, aleve, or maybe some old muscle relaxers at home to hopefully alleviate some pain.  THANKFULLY, the restocker guy was like, hey I’ll get your nurse so he can get that for you.  THANK YOU JESUS that he was listening.  Pain meds given and within about 3 minutes I was feeling better, still an incredible amount, but bearable at least.

Somewhere in between my madness of begging to send me a doctor and yelling at my husband to get someone in my hospital room and help me with meds, we were told we were pregnant.  That happened in one sentence, the following sentence I knew what she was going to say before she even started it.  I think I may have even interrupted her and said, “Ectopic?”  She said, “But it’s an ectopic pregnancy…and it has a heartbeat, which is unusual.”  WTF.  Alright, I’m not a big cusser, but please for the love, do not tell a woman that is in pain, that is gripping for her life, that she is pregnant, that it’s an ectopic pregnancy BUT it has a heartbeat.  Again, WTF.  That comment to this day haunts me significantly.  I am a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, but I am not a supporter of abortion.  Please don’t hate me for that comment, I do not hate you for your beliefs.  So what was going to be done next was something I truly feared and that simple comment of “It has a heartbeat,” hurt more than anything to me…. still does, because I knew there were no other options.  That little boy was going to be taken from me and I couldn’t say no or I wasn’t going to make it.

So……. as I’m getting over that comment still…let’s finish this story.  TURNS OUT, my tube ruptured.  It ruptured hours before, probably about the same time I started experiencing that pain about 4:45 am.  For 7 hours I was bleeding internally.  7 damn hours (see I said I wasn’t that much of a cusser, but it does happen and sorry about that…the pain brings it out).  7 hours, I was bleeding into my abdomen and if I would’ve pulled up my shirt I would’ve noticed all the bruising that had taken over my left ribcage.  Over a liter of blood was lost in my abodmen.  You would think I would have maybe figured out that the pain was more serious than some stupid undigested food.  But whatever, we don’t always make the best decisions… or should I say I don’t always make the best decisions, and trying to be a brave person and push through the pain was stupid of me; I know this now.

Anyways, since the tube ruptured, there was no hope in saving it, not even a little portion of it.  So that’s 2, the 2 tubes you are given by our sweet, gracious Lord were taken away so quickly, and the dream of having children naturally was removed from my window of opportunities, surprising your husband with a disgustingly peed on stick was removed from my hands, doing a “gender reveal” which I hate anyways, but doing one was no longer an option, and finally getting to experience an ultrasound with my husband holding my hand, listening to a heartbeat wasn’t going to happen without doing IVF (something I was not, am still not 100% sold on).  So ya…..it was painful.  It still is painful.  I know several people in my life, that don’t get my struggles and that is completely fine because I don’t understand everyone in my life’s struggles.  BUT, this was a tough one for me.  Not only did I have a brush of death…the one thing I know God has put me on this earth to be is a mom, and slowly, and torturously that opportunity was being stripped from my hands, no matter how hard I was holding onto it.

Obviously, I know the wonderful option of IVF & adoption are incredible, INCREDIBLE opportunities that we so luckily have the privilege of.  So please don’t take my description as IVF or adoption are lesser ways to become a mom.  IT ABSOLUTELY IS NOT.  I actually consider both options to be much more difficult emotionally, physically, mentally and socially to get through.  THAT TAKES A STRONG, INCREDIBLE, BRAVE MOM.  I have so much respect for women that go through anything of the sorts and I fully plan to go through both processes as well, hence this blog.  I just want to make sure you’re not perceiving my description and story incorrectly.  That may be an unnecessary explanation, but it is important I say it.

So……….this is the beginning.  Something that may seem like an ending (I was one of those people at one point in time), is simply the beginning to this journey.

Hope you’ll join me and come back.   I promise it will not all be tears and pain….

 

 

8 Months

Ah bubs..I start to tear up thinking you’re already 8 months old! ❤️ You have been growing so fast and blowing through “milestones” I can barely keep up!

The last couple of months you knew how to crawl but it was a slow/army crawl but overnight you’ve become a speed crawler, like we could enter you into the Olympics if it was an event!

You’re pulling up on everything, up-down-up-down and you want to walk with us everywhere. You have mastered walking in your walker, you just need to figure out how not to run into everything! We may actually master walking on our own this month, we shall see!

We went from 4 to 6 teeth this month!

We took our first family photos and you did it without crying one time. We were prepared for a meltdown because trust us, most kiddos have one before or during a photo session, but I think you’ve embraced this child of photographers life and went with it for us!

We added one more flight back from New Mexico in your 8th month, making it a total of 14 flights, 9 states and 1 country which is pretty cool you traveling fool!

You’re currently “too cool to smile” but you can’t hide it very well.

Buddy you are sleeping through the night (woohoo!). Thanks to a few mom friends, we got through a little tough phase, and now you are sleeping through the night, from 7:30-5 am, but once 5 am hits you’re awake and back to your wild man lifestyle. We’re still working on this nap life but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. You do good, as long as someone is napping with you, which I’ll just soak that in as long as I can.

You’re a bit of a daredevil, loving to “fall” and letting us catch you, pulling yourself up on questionable things, and balancing yourself on dad’s hand!

You have gone to your first wedding (Uncle Will & Aunt Whit’s) and you’ve had your first sleepover at the house with Liam!

Dancing is your jam and doing the “monster face” has become a daily thing (my favorite).

We are still working on a few signs like “milk” & “more” but we haven’t quite figured those out yet!

Bub – we love you more than you possibly could imagine. You have made this parenting thing a breeze (so tough, but you’ve made it so enjoyable that we forget the tough moments). We can’t wait to see what the future holds and where we adventure to next! Keep on growing little man! ❤️

7 Months

Well, sweet little man you are growing up way too fast!! You keep us on our toes and before long you’ll be running around the house and we won’t be able to keep up!

A few changes you’ve gone through:

  • You’ve grown so much – height and weight, like are you really only 7 months old or are you really not 1 and we just skipped some months?
  • You are saying mama and dada – not always when we ask you to but you are definitely saying them.
  • Starting to wave!
  • Demanding food (but in a super cute way by smiling and slapping your hand on the table) -I am sure I’ll regret teaching you this one day but for now it’s ridiculously adorable.
  • Crawling more, you have been army crawling for awhile now but finally pushing up on your arms more. Who knew someone could army crawl that fast!
  • We have gone from 2 teeth to 4!
  • Just recently you’ve allowed us to actually put you down for naps, instead of holding you through each one – this is still bittersweet for me. I’ll hold you any day bub.
  • Recognizing your friends!
  • Interacting with new people (especially littles), before you would just look at little ones and continue on your own business but now you engage & play!
  • Pulling yourself up and trying to stand (with a little assistance)

Things you still love:

  • You still are very much in love with your Johnny Jumper and want to “Jump Around” House of Pain style every day.
  • Loving bath time and splashing so much it looks like I took a bath by the end of it.
  • Food, especially chicken, it is your current favorite!
  • Pulling on your mom’s hair & your Dad’s beard
  • Puppy cuddles!

Things you’re over:

  • The Nose Frida – you would much rather suffer through the congestion.
  • Diaper & clothe changes – haha, you just don’t understand why you need these things and we have to burn about 300 calories per diaper change.
  • Sleeping at night, we still haven’t mastered this one but teething hasn’t helped you a ton. We will get it though!

You have spent your first bro night with your dad and you both survived, I on the other hand barely survived because it was my first night away from you! You also have spent the entire day away from us and with your nanny (coolest nanny ever) and you didn’t even bat an eye! We took 2 plane rides without dad – you were the best baby I could ask for too! Taken a boat ride with Grandma & Grandpa Neighbors and enjoyed the pool at Grandma & Grandpa Vinsons! We’ve traveled to another state, New Mexico and taken your 10th flight to get there! ❤️

So many more adventures are in store for us and I wouldn’t want to spend these new adventures with anyone else!

6 Months

Here we are baby boy, you’re 6 months old! This month we had the opportunity to dedicate you at Fellowship Fayetteville and our heart is overflowing with a church family that will pray over you throughout your life! You are one blessed baby boy to have so many people caring and praying for you!

There are so many things you’ve accomplished within the last month that I can’t even keep up with you some days. You can wiggle and half crawl/half army crawl across the living room to your favorite pups, a puzzle or just a water bottle because those seem to be the most interesting things at the moment!

Other things you love:

  • Your nanny 😍
  • Anything you can put in your mouth
  • Jumping to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” or really any song for that matter
  • Cell phones or anything that glows
  • Music – without words, including the Office theme song 😂
  • Being outside
  • Bubbles – who knew bubbles would be that funny
  • Pulling mama’s hair out
  • Talking or screaming
  • Playing zombie – Because that’s how we play in our household

Accomplishments:

  • Late night partying (aka getting up after mom and dad put you to bed)
  • Fitting your whole fist in your mouth
  • Almost crawling – give it 2 more weeks and you’ll be grooving everywhere.
  • Sitting up
  • Grabbing things, well, everything in sight
  • Sweet potatoes & avocados
  • Being the cutest little boy at 4 am
  • Playing with friends our age

What we think you may be someday based on all your skills at the moment:

  • Rock Climber – you will literally try to climb anything.
  • Rapper – You do babble pretty quickly & love music
  • Professional Puppy Player – you get it from your mama
  • Motivational Speaker or something that allows you to talk to people – pretty sure you will have a voice, where a microphone is not needed
  • Escape Artist – Just change his diaper once and you’ll understand

Things we plan to work on for next month:

  • Trying new foods besides sweet potatoes & avocados!
  • Sleeping. Sleeping is going to be a high priority in what we work on this month.
  • Pulling ourselves up
  • Learning to play on the big piano!
  • Fitting not just the fist, but also adding the foot to the mouth 😂
  • Swimming
  • Saying mama – maybe wishful thinking but I hope your first words are mama or puppy and I would be thrilled!

Days with you are filled with so much joy and happiness than you can imagine. We may be running on caffiene and a few minutes of sleep here or there, but you are beyond worth it. We can’t believe it’s been 6 months since you’ve come into this world and we were finally able to hold you. Love you little man, more than you can imagine!

If you’re following our journey and would love to pray for Baby Z, we would love prayers for good sleep for all of us and most importantly his health as he continues to grow, venturing to different vaccines and lastly just safety for this daredevil lifestyle he lives. ❤️

Infertility from Dad’s Point of View

Chasnie has been asking me forever to write a blog post to add to this amazing project of hers and everytime she asks, I just tell her I plan to but I’m not sure what to write. In reality, I still have no idea what to write because at the end of the day, I don’t feel like I had to do much. Losing an unborn child is tough, losing multiple children is very tough, but it’s so much harder for the mom to go through. I didn’t know what it felt like to be carrying a child and for all of a sudden to just feel emptyness. I didn’t have to undergo multiple surgeries and have parts of my body removed. I didn’t have to deal with the pain of a ruptured tube and internal bleeding. All I did was be present, sit in the waiting room, pray for her safety, and simply keep family and friends up to date on the progress.

When it came to the actual process of IVF, here are just a handful of things I didn’t have to go through:

  • I didn’t have to take medication after medication or injection after injection.
  • I didn’t have to alter my lifestyle in an effort to increase the odds of getting pregnant.
  • I didn’t have to deal with mood swings, hot flashes and a changing body.
  • I didn’t have to undergo the actual act of childbirth!!
  • I didn’t need to, and 5+ months later, still do not have to deal with nursing, pumping, and planning my day around making sure Zayden can eat.

When he cries because he is hungry, it’s always her job to come to the rescue. All I can do is change diapers, get Chasnie what she needs, and try and make her difficult and tiresome job a little less strenuous. Even on my best of days I don’t even do the best job at this. Trust me, when Zayden gets hangry at 2am, it’s extremely easy to roll over and let her handle everything, but making myself wake up with her so I can change a dirty diaper and get her a glass of water while she gets ready to feed him, is the least I can do. And some nights even that is too difficult, so I can’t even imagine having to stay up for at least another hour. Of course, I have offered to stay up with him during a sleepless night, so she can (maybe) snag a couple of extra minutes to herself. But if I am being honest, Zayden at 4am is the most adorable thing you will ever see, so even then I’m getting the better end of the deal! I know in the long run our tasks will change and we’ll be able to share tasks more evenly. But at this point, I feel like my “job” as a dad is the easy end of the deal.

If you’re a guy getting ready to go through the IVF process, get ready to feel a little helpless and worthless. If you’re a dad that has been through the process, let’s take a moment to remember how much we didn’t have to endure in order to receive one of the greatest gifts of all time! As the days go by and life moves on, it’s easy to forget the struggle and sleepless nights. Even a mere 5 months after having Z, it’s easy to forget what it took to get where we are. And now I can’t imagine life any other way than having him here, with us.

And while I’m thinking about it: Chasnie, you are a rockstar. You have made sacrifices I will never comprehend, and for you they don’t even register as a sacrifice. You have always done whatever it is Zayden needs, without hesitation. You are a mother that all others should strive to be. God made you to be an amazing mom and that’s exactly what you have become. I will forever be grateful for what you have endured and your perseverance. I’m so proud to call you my wife and mother of my child. You are and always will be appreciated and loved!

-Jason, the spouse of the strongest woman ever

For more about our infertility journey or Chasnie’s Project take a few minutes for her video!

5 Months

It’s here already…5 months! In the past month, we have traveled to Oregon and Washington making that 8 states, and 2 countries off your list of things to see before you turn 2. 😊 And not only did you travel but you traveled like a rockstar, well actually you traveled in the middle seat laying on your mama, in the back of the plane by the toilets but you traveled so so well.

Zayden, everyone we meet thinks you’re almost one because you’re such a big boy. Praise be to God you’re one healthy and growing baby boy. Before too long I’m not sure I’ll be able to call you a baby.. 😬 #momtears. We are blown away by how quickly you have grown little man. You have 2 bottom teeth fully in, 1 top tooth has almost cut through and 1 more bottom that will make it’s appearance any day now. You can put your feet in your mouth which you believe is a huge accomplishment, so much so that’s all you really want to do, all day, every day. You still haven’t figured out that naps are more for us than they are for you and apparently, sleeping in is overrated to you. You are so proud when you stand up and roll over like a champ, but you haven’t mastered the sitting up by yourself just yet. I bet you’ll have it down within 2 weeks, max. And you no longer are sleeping in our room but in your crib 😭. I have to admit I slept the first night on the floor by your crib, but you took that night like it was nothing so now I am back in our room but checking that monitor every 15 minutes it seems like. It has sparked back up my sleep talking, but it too shall pass ha.

Things you love are: Your ppuppies especially Della! Your daddy because he apparently is the funniest person alive! You two love to play zombie (super child appropriate Jason) and practice driving (also child appropriate, ahem…). Your mama, you are always staring at me and making me feel like the prettiest mama on the planet. ❤️ Dad’s beard and mom’s hair, I guess or at least you sure love to pull handfuls of it. And our silly, weird dance moves and songs that make you laugh almost every time, the other times we are pretty sure we just embarrass you to tears.

We unfortunately lost one of your friends this month. One we never actually met but we prayed together before bedtime for your friend to be strong! He was so strong throughout his 47 day fight. Experiences like this makes my heart hurt and hold you that much tighter little man. It’s a reminder that we are not in control and that God’s plan for you may not be the plan we have for you. We must trust Him through whatever battle that comes your way. It may just suck, but be patient, pray and listen to Him. He will be there through it all. ❤️ Never forget that.

4 months

It has been a month of oohs and ahhs with Baby Z since my last post. A month full of new skills and personality characteristics that develop more every day. His newest “skill” is yelling! Ha. He’s not crying or upset even, he just yells to make noise. I can see how some may think it’s annoying but it’s actually pretty comical! He’s found his voice and he is using it!

We had our first plane ride and traveled to Mexico! I came overly prepared with toys and bottles and blankets and boppy and the list goes on and it was successful! We didn’t lose our crap on the plane, we were able to nurse without too many glances and we escaped the trip with only one stranger picking him up without asking. 🙄 I don’t even have time to explain my frustration with this, but don’t be one of those strangers please. Ever. To anyone. We enjoyed the sun, pool, and ocean.

At home we loveeeee baths. They are our favorite. Z tracks and interacts with the dogs now. He even pulls on Charlie’s hair which he thankfully does not mind. We love to play and discover new things, read and smile! ❤️ Z has mastered rolling over (only when we aren’t looking of course) and he is army crawling all over the place. He’s a mover & a shaker and I won’t be able to keep up with him for long!

We are exhausted. I rarely sleep (thanks sleep regression). I take less showers because really is it necessary to shower every day? Ha! And when he is yelling outside of your shower, you can’t seem to wash the shampoo out of your hair fast enough! I only eat when he doesn’t need my attention, and I am usually running around the house instead of walking. I feel like a milk machine or a human pacifier most days (not the most flattering). My neck and shoulders hurt all the time. And that never seems to go away. BUT…

BUT…you are so worth it. I don’t complain because Z is nothing to complain about. These are just adjustments.  Just little adjustments are absolutely nothing compared to this sweet little man I get to hold every day, love every day and kiss too much. Besides being given an eternal life with Jesus, he is our biggest blessing…and what else could one need if you have this?

My heart hurts for the time spent waiting to hold this little man and it aches for those who are still in that waiting period. If you’re reading this and you are one of those sweet mamas, I’m praying for you to have and hold your little ones soon. Although you may not understand why God gives you this brutal waiting period…be patient. It will be worth it. You will see the purpose of the waiting period. And again, it will be worth it.

Mexico family pic

3 Months

The past 3 months have been filled with tears (happy ones) and a few sad ones.  Especially when you just need an extra minutes of sleep or when little man is growing just way too fast and I can’t handle it. It’s been filled with laughter, baby coos & kisses, late nights and countless diaper changes. And it has been one of the biggest blessings God has given us.  I truly could not imagine life any other way.  I figured since so mu wech has happened in the past 3 months, I would share some of the things I’ve learned through this whirlwind we call newborn life!

  • You can never have enough diapers.
  • Speaking of diapers, no matter how many diaper changes your husband does, everyday you will hear “Whoa dude!” or “Stop peeing on me.”
  • I never fully understood the definition of hangry until you are holding a hangry baby.
  • When you do have a hangry baby, it is not possible to move fast enough.
  • Bath time is my favorite time.
  • I can never give enough kisses.
  • Not all babies like the camera, surprising when you’re born to two photographers.
  • After you have a baby, you all of a sudden learn how to eat with one hand, sometimes only a couple of fingers…it’s like a superhero talent God blesses you with the day your child is born.
  • No matter how tired you are, a sweet smile and baby coo will wake you right up!
  • Baby cuddles are the sweetest thing I have ever experienced.
  • Little ones can mean mug hard core.  Straight up thug mean mugging…
  • Breastfeeding (at first) is one of the most painful things to do.
  • Speaking of that body… Ha… It will never be the same, nor do you care as much, because there simply are more important things in life.
  • Naps are my jam.
  • Going to bed before 8:00 pm is also my jam. No shame.
  • I don’t understand the concept of putting pants on babies. It. Isn’t. Worth. It.
  • You must plan your day around feedings and pumping.
  • You also must take your pump basically everywhere or you might die.. or at least it feels like you might die.
  • Bed time is so much easier when you have a routine.
  • RSV, flu, and SIDS never leaves your mind.
  • Dogs love babies almost as much as you do.
  • Nothing humbles you more than having a kiddo….I wasn’t prepared for that one.
  • I also wasn’t prepared for this one: Your heart never felt so much love.  Granted, I have loved all our little ones in heaven so so much and to finally hold one and take care of him every day makes my heart want to burst, every single day.  I don’t even remember what life was like without him and I am ok with that, because this is bliss!

Lastly, God has blessed us and He continues to remind me every single day. So thankful for the things we continue to learn every day with Zayden! ❤️

Thankful

I have shared several times on this blog, “I am thankful.” There are so many things I am thankful for and there is no better time to share than Thanksgiving.   

1. I am thankful for a mighty Lord to bless us with all the opportunities given to us, especially the latest blessing, Zayden Gray Vinson.

2. Baby sneezes, because they are the most precious thing a newborn can do. Seriously, it makes me oh and aw every little sneeze.

3. I am thankful for fertility drugs and procedures.  As crazy as the drugs make you with mood swings, hot flashes and other random side effects, I am thankful for the outcome they can bring.

4. Our doctor’s/nurses and the wisdom given to them to help get us through the past 6+ years.

5. Our support system.  We have been overwhelmed with family, friends, coworkers, church family, wedding clients, and complete strangers that have gone over and beyond to support us.

6. A fairly “easy” pregnancy and labor.  Despite all odds, some struggles through it and a major backache, we made it through that pregnancy and labor like a breeze.

7. All the babies we lost over the years. ❤️

8. Etsy, because we’ll sometimes you just need that custom dinosaur height chart and you just don’t have time (or creativity) to do it myself.

9. A husband who is not only supportive and helps any chance he can get, but he has also become a master at changing dirty diapers.

10. A profession that can be flexible and the best clients a photographer could ask for.

11. Loving dogs that easily transitioned to having a newborn brother and only overwhelming him with kisses every other day. 

12. Eye contact with our baby boy. Gosh, when he looks at me with his eyes wide, my heart just melts and melts.

13. Meal trains and freezer meals.  If we didn’t have either of these during the first few weeks postpartum, we would be eating cereal for every single meal.

14. Parents that live (probably) a little too close. 😊 But always willing for a friendly stop by and to love on sweet baby Z and it’s just an added plus they will bring food or beer each visit.

15. A home that truly feels like our home.

16. Bouncy balls, because let’s face it..sometimes Zayden wouldn’t have fallen asleep, unless we had that giant thing to bounce him to sleep.

17. Baby baths. I have never seen a baby more relaxed than when Z is sprawled out in a warm bath! 

18. The ability to breastfeed and pump. This was one of my biggest fears, that my body wouldn’t produce what it needed to, but so far I’ve been blessed with the ability to do so.

19. Night lights to guide clutzy me throughout a dark house, with Baby Z.

20. Restless nights, because it means there is a reason to be restless and that reason is the best thing ever.

21. Zayden falling asleep on my chest. I may be one of those weird mom’s that encourages this forever because right now it is my favorite thing to do, cuddle and let him fall asleep on my chest. 

22. Bassinets right by the bed, so I can check on him any time throughout the night I need (or should I say want to).

23. Time for the body to heal.  The body is a crazy, intricate creation and to imagine you have the ability to create a little human is pretty incredible. But this body also needs time to heal and I am thankfuln to have that time  to do this.

24. Blogs, to get out all these thoughts in my head but to also have a space to tell our story and help others on their journey.

25. I am thankful for infertility struggles.  I used to take pregnancy for granted. It seems like everyone can get pregnant pretty easily, right?  Well, I was wrong and now I don’t take such a precious gift for granted.

Baby arrival and all

If you’ve been following my blog or social media, you already know our sweet little one has arrived safe and sound.  It wasn’t necessarily an easy task, but in my typical wild imagination, I envisioned something a bit different.  Thankfully, the good Lord blessed us with a labor I would not hesitate to do again with the end result we received.

We went in to be induced 10/31 at 11 pm.  Of course, Jason and I imagined an ER filled with ghosts and ghouls but we were the only patients there.  We quickly got into our room and we’re welcomed by the best nurse I could have ever asked for.  I was checked and still dilated to 1.5-2 which  is where I had been for over a week.  Clearly, Zayden enjoyed how cozy my tummy was.  After I was checked, I was put on some medication to begin the process around midnight.  Our nurse then told us to rest, because we would need it and left the room.  Already I was surprised by how easy and relaxed everything was.  You can’t check into a hotel this quickly, let alone a hospital.  The hallways we’re quiet and I appeared to be one of the first laboring patients of the day because we got the biggest, best hospital room of them all (no joke).

Of course, Jason takes our nurses advice and passes out within seconds, and I anxiously squirm and flip flop all over my uncomfortable hospital bed as I slowly feel contractions come on.  Going into this labor, I fully knew I’d likely have an epidural but I wanted to see how it goes before I jumped into it right away.  Around 4 am, our nurse came back and checked me again and I had progressed to a 3.  It wasn’t much improvement but we were both happy with this. She then started me on Pitocin and asked if I needed an epidural yet.  As I cringed during contractions, I said I was ok at the moment and wanted to wait a little longer (dumb idea Chasnie…I was not proving anything to myself or anyone else).  My only reasoning behind it is, we had gone through so much to get to this point, I wanted to truly experience it.  And that I did.  Ten minutes after the Pitocin started, my water partially broke.  She came to check me again and it broke the rest of the way and now I was at a 4.  Quickly I was progressing and about an hour later I had Jason call the nurse in and get an epidural asap.  At this point, the anesthesialogist was not there yet but he was on call so it was going to be about 20 minutes before we could begin it (this is where I say I was being dumb…why didn’t I ask for it earlier).  The pain was pretty intense and not what I imagined it would be.  Last September I had bled 1 liter into my abdomen after an ectopic pregnancy had ruptured my fallopian tube. That was the most pain I’ve ever been in my life and these contractions were about twice that feeling.  The only relief was, I would have small breaks to catch my breath before the next one came.

Finally, the epidural arrived.  And that was a whole different experience for me.  It wasn’t the needle that freaked me out or even hurt, but you have to hunch over so the doctor can stick you in-between your vertebraes.  This sounds like it isn’t a big deal, but hunching over while 9 months pregnant and being stuck multiple times, all whole your ridiculous contractions are taking over your body is alot to take on at once.  Side note, one of the sticks hit a nerve and my leg had a reflex and kicked my super awesome nurse. I felt terrible…I think I maybe shed a tear because I felt so bad.  Luckily, third time is a charm and we were able to get the epidural in and started.  

My contraction pain decreased SIGNIFICANTLY, that was a huge blessing.  My wonderful nurse was off shift and we got a new nurse and two student nurses. I mean if I’m going to experience this labor thing, why not be with two student nurses. Ha.  In all seriousness, the two student nurses were fantastic, fanned me when I got hot, held my legs when I couldn’t and coached me through it all.  The new nurse checked me around 8 am and I had progressed to a 7 (pitocin definitely was doing the trick).  An hour later she came back and all she said was, “Ok it’s time.” “Um…time for what?” Jason and I both said at the same time.  Apparently, it was time to have this baby.  See in my head, I had pictured a grueling 30 hour labor.  I had planned for the worst and everything happened to be going rather smoothly. I absolutely couldn’t complain at the moment.  By this time I wasn’t able to feel my legs, like at all but I could still feel contractions. At one point, I upped my epidural to help with the pain and then I really couldn’t feel my legs or anything else for that matter. 

So now was the time.  I wasn’t ready for it. I actually leaned over to Jason and said I wasn’t ready and I needed more time, but he was there and he knew we could get through it.  The rest was a bit of a blur.  The nurses and room was quiet.  I didn’t remember to play music like I had wanted to.  There was tons of pushing going on. The room grew incredibly hot and Jason grabbed a cold rag for my head and one nurse startes fanning me.  After an hour of pushing, we finally we’re past the “hard part” as they put it. I was pretty skeptical, thinking pushing him out has to be harder than this, right?  Thankfully, it was kind of a breeze.  I don’t know if I had it in my head it would be so much worse that I had prepped my mind and body for it or if it really was just easier but within what felt like minutes my doctor came in and out came Baby Zayden. 

The room was still quiet for a few seconds and I found myself  holding by breath, just waiting  what seemed  like an eternity but  then Baby Z engulfed the room with his wailing cries.  A huge sigh of relief came out of my mouth and finally I could relax and embrace him and embrace the first moments of our sweet little family. So many loving tears and emotions overcame me and J as we got to see and hold him. Thank you Lord for a healthy, beautiful, attentive baby boy!

One blessing I didn’t expect was after delivering the placenta, my doctor was amazed by something different with it.  I mean…placenta looks pretty disgusting to me but she kept saying how interesting it was.  Turns out that second embryo we implanted and didn’t take, had a little pocket attached to Zayden’s placenta. In a way, our second little baby was there all along.  I bet he/she was looking after Zayden this entire time and just developed a little pocket of extra goodness to make Zayden even more perfect. What a miracle all of this was and continues to be. I am thankful for every single moment.

Overwhelmed

As I sit in our living room in the wee hours of the night, feeding every 2 hours, a bit sleep deprived, still sore from labor, the house a mess, the dogs lacking attention, and we are just over here “winging it” as we figure out this parenting thing..I feel overwhelmed.  

Not overwhelmed with frustration or exhaustion, or the task at hand, but overwhelmed with joy, love and gratefulness! ❤️ He is so perfect.  His sweet face where he has literally every single one of Jason’s features to his giganto feet just like his mama.  It seems unreal that we could be blessed with something, someone so innocent and perfect.  I never imagined I would be sitting here with the sweetest, most perfect  little boy who is milk-drunk passed out on my chest, dreaming of more milk, and sighing little wheezes of satisification.  

I’m overwhelmed with so much joy and love that the rest of the side effects that come with pregnancy and labor do not even register in my brain.  They do show their ugly faces at moments but the love and joy overcomes!  Just like God’s love for His creation (us).  His love always prevails.  His love always overcome.  How can we not be overwhelmingly grateful for someone so strong and powerful that His love always will overcome?  

Momhood is hard.  It’s dirty and you may feel like  your body and mind has been hit by a freight train, but I’m grateful for my overwhelming amounts of mother’s love and my unfailing, always prevailing Father’s love.