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!

Advertisements

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.

The date has been set.

Well, I should apologize for being MIA lately.  Baby boy is causing swelling in my hands and swelling + working on a camera or computer all day = some ridiculous carpal tunnel symptoms, so blogging has been put on the back burner.  During this quiet time I’ve reflected a lot about what I was going to write about next..new symptoms or new thoughts that race through my mind every day or about the incredible support system I have. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by so many people that check on us daily, some are people that I just know via social media, but the care and time it takes to check on someone means so much to us.  Then today, we had a doctor’s appointment and I left the appointment overcome with emotions and I realized this is what I’d be blogging about.

This pregnancy is real.  Our baby boy is almost here.  The date is set.

I’ve been laboring slowly, which isn’t that surprising.  Some contractions here and there and have only dilated from a 1 to a 2 in the past 2 weeks.  OF COURSE, this child definitely has the Neighbors gene in him and wants to do his own thing on his own time.  Typical, but makes me love him that much more!  After talking to our doctor and determining how healthy Z is, we set a date to be induced.  If he doesn’t feel like joining the world this weekend, we’ll go in Halloween night and I’ll be induced.  As our doctor was telling us what time to arrive and what to do beforehand, my eyes were wide with excitement, gratefulness, and sheer terror.  I glanced over at Jason and I laughed as I saw the same expression in his eyes.  I waited until we left the doctor’s office to let my emotions take over but I was overwhelmed with the feeling that finally it is time.  This IS real.  He is real. You would think carrying a giant bowling ball in your uterus, while waddling around every day would make this all seem real, but not like this.  So in true pregnancy fashion, we wait….wait until his arrival with excitement, a little fear, and so much love and gratefulness.  Finally, our 6+ year infertility journey will all be worth it.

Your mama is ready to meet you little man!

Mom Thoughts

If you don’t know me… I have a wild imagination that never stops and sometimes my thoughts can border the line of realistic and possibly morbidness.  This may be one of those posts and I apologize now, but I need to get these thoughts out and on paper, for the “just in case.”  So let’s get down to it….

To myself: If I can be realistic with you, it’s possible this pregnancy may not end with the happy tears you envision.  I realize this and so should you. As much as I pray every day that this doesn’t happen, it is possible for him to stop kicking at any moment.  So remember how perfect a moment this is for you right now; embrace the kick in the ribs, the 1,000 nighttime bathroom breaks, the uncomfortable-ness when laying, sitting, standing or just moving in general, enjoy these moments fully.  And if the kicking does stop, I need you to remember that there is a bigger plan than what you’ve created in your mind.  THERE IS A BIGGER PLAN. I know it hurts, it sucks, and just royally pisses you off, but just remember there is a bigger plan and that little one is where he’s supposed to be.  Now, just because there is a bigger plan doesn’t mean you can’t be pissed off.  Go for it.  Be angry…you should be.  Yell and scream (if it helps), run your tired heart ragged, cuddle with the pups, veg out and watch crap tv, take a breath, and lean INTO your husband and always pray even though you feel like your prayers are going deaf ears, because they’re not and deep down you know that. So keep praying.  And don’t listen to anyone else….not everyone gets it… when you’re ready, you’ll know.

To my husband: ……I honestly am not sure what to say here.  Besides, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I never have lived up to the potential I could be.  I’m sorry for all the past let downs.  I’m sorry I’ve let you down again.  I’m sorry I can’t comfort you and help you take care of little one.  I’m sorry you’re experiencing this without me.  The good news is you are so far from being alone.  You have my overbearing (yet wonderful and helpful) family, your wonderful family, so many friends, an incredible church family and small group, and you have the good Lord looking after you every single second.  Be mad at Him if you have to, because I know He can take it but don’t stay mad at Him because He’s there for you and looking after you and baby Z every. single. second.  So no matter how much you want to, don’t turn away from Him.  Also, please teach little Z all the silly & fun things you do, especially pterodactyl calls, but make sure he knows that I was the original pterodactyl-caller and you simply just learned from the master.  Let him have as many dogs as he wants.  🙂  I told you our child will love animals, and he does and you can’t do anything about it, so just give him one more puppy.   Please teach him how to ride a dirt bike and be a BA like his dad.  And whatever you do, make sure he takes on your ridiculous personality, the part that never takes anything too seriously.  And let him be stubborn.  Don’t fight it.  When you think the stubbornness is about to push you over the edge, remember that he gets his stubbornness from me.  Come down off that edge and just embrace it.  Most importantly, you make sure he knows who our maker is.  You wake up on Sundays and go to church and be apart of it. He needs that just as much as you do.  Anddddd in your free time, please please tell him all the stories about how cool his mom is and you can fabricate some if you run out of them.  As for you, don’t change a dang thing about yourself.  You’re so over and beyond anything I could ever imagine, so do not change.  And in case you EVER forget how much I love you, just put Ollie outside for a few minutes then let her back in.  She will shower you with love and excitement, that overwhelming love and excitement is just a fraction of how much I love you.  And finally, you got this, but when you think you don’t, ask for help.  When you’re hungry, there are meals in the freezer.  When you don’t know how to work the baby contraption, google it. When you need extra love, invite all 3 pups on the couch with you.  And when you think you’ve run out of diapers or wipes, there are more stuffed away in the upstairs closet. But you’ve got this.

To my little man:  Buddy, you have no idea how cool of a dad you’re getting to grow up with.  He’s literally cooler than anyone you will ever meet.  Always give hugs and kisses.  Always tell people how much you love them (especially your dad and grandparents).  Always pray, every single day. Always get up and try again.  Always choose to go on the adventure.  Always let your dad take your picture, even when you don’t want him to.  Don’t focus on the win, but always focus on how to get your team to the win.  Always reach out to the kids that don’t seem to fit in and be their friend.  Always choose to love, not hate.  Always lean into Jesus, even when you think He’s not listening…because trust me, He is.  Always ask your dad for a new puppy (but only rescue them).  Get muddy, run as fast as you can, wreck your dirt bike (but don’t get hurt), work hard but play harder, only speed sometimes (but be careful), don’t be afraid of anything, including when to say no. Be silly & weird, please be silly and weird.  Be a lover, not a fighter but it’s ok to fight for important things. Don’t worry about what others think (besides your dad..listen to him). But also, give your dad a run for his money because he deserves it just a little. And lastly, never forget about me…  I can’t explain how much I love you because there literally are not enough words to describe it, but know I love you so much!  I fought long and hard for you and I will always be with you.  Until we get to meet…go and be brave!

To my family and friends: My heart is full knowing each one of you.  Not that any of you have listened to me in the past (lol) but if I could get you to listen to anything, I hope you find and lean into God, especially if you are feeling lost. Thank you for the ones that were good to me.  Thank you for the ones that didn’t ever listen.  Thank you for the ones that always listened.  Thank you for the ones that did stupid things with me.  Thank you for the ones that were there to bail me out of stupid situations.  Thank you for the ones that made me care more than I ever thought I could.  And biggest thank you for the ones that are there for Jason right now.  Thank you.

Maybe this post is over the top or maybe it’s considered morbid to think like this, or maybe it’s just a mom that wants to be the best mom she can be and will do everything she can to make sure her family is ok, even in the worst of situations.  Maybe I’m just a mom.