Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Baby F’s Birth Story

Disclaimer: This is a birth story, and birth stories often contain information that some may find icky. There is nothing too traumatic in this story, but still…

My sweet husband and I had thought our little family was complete. We had one boy and one girl. I just felt incredibly lucky to have children at all.

With the birth of K I found out that I had an ovarian condition. One of my ovaries had been taken over by a large cystic tumor and had to be removed. I had a 30-50% chance of developing one on the other side. I was told not to wait too long if I wanted another baby.

E was born 2 years and 3 months after K. Her birth had been a much easier c-section than my first. Although I am totally supportive of VBACs, I knew it was safer with my ovarian condition to continue with cesarean births.

When E was about 15 months old our little world was turned upside down. I went to the doctor thinking I had an UTI and found out instead that we were pregnant! I had just been up on a ladder painting in our renovation house. We really had no clue.

The pregnancy went by very quickly this time. We moved into our house. We adopted Miri the big red dog. We found out we were having another boy.

I had some blood pressure issues toward the end of both my previous pregnancies, but not this time. We scheduled my c-section for September 26th- exactly ten days after E’s second birthday.

The day before I was still driving and getting things ready.

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Oh so very pregnant...

The big kids went to spend the night with my in-laws and we got up super bright and early to head to the hospital.

I had heard from a laction consultant friend that my hospital was now offering more family centered c-sections. I had discussed with my doctor being able to have skin to skin with the baby while still in the OR. He was fine with it but said to remind the nurses when we got there.

I was very worried when the first nurse I talked to wasn’t sure about the new policy. She said she would ask our ‘baby catcher’ nurse. Luckily, we had the best baby catcher ever. She was very excited and willing to adhere to our wishes.

At about 7:30am I left my parents, in-laws, and big kids in the recovery room to go back. I had a fairly smooth spinal block and epidural. Soon I was ready to go and had Andy by my side.

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My mom and dad waiting with the kids.

At 8:08am we heard him cry for the first time. Our amazing baby catcher, Monika, quickly wiped him down, suctioned his nose and mouth, and promptly placed him on my chest.

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She really was the best nurse ever. She helped us hold him on my chest and eventually worked all the blankets down enough to help him latch. I got to nurse in the OR!

It was the best cesarean experience I could have asked for. Everything went by so quickly with him to focus on. It was much more personal than the swaddled kiss I had with my other births.

He stayed with me until right before they moved me to the transport bed. She took him to measure and weigh while I was moved.

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8lbs 8oz and 20 inches long

He rode on my chest to the recovery room for more nursing and meeting his family.

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I had supply issues with both K and E. I desperately wanted to make it work better this time around. I think our early skin to skin definitely helped. We had some serious cluster feeding marathons while in the hospital. He lost over a pound, but was wetting, pooping, and feeding well. He wasn’t overly jaundice. I had some great lactation consultants visit with me and show me how to use a supplemental nursing system if needed.

(It is a canister that attaches to a thin tube. The tube is slipped into the corner of baby’s mouth while nursing. They get the expressed milk or formula while still nursing. No bottles or nipple confusion. I highly recommend looking into one instead of bottle supplements.)

My hospital stay was tiring, but fairly uneventful. I was walking to the restroom later that night. I took a shower the next morning and was able to slowly walk to the nurses station and back. We got the ok to head home Sunday morning.

He is nursing well and slowly gaining weight back. He isn’t quite up to birth weight, but because he is so healthy our pediatrician isn’t worried. I offer formula in the supplemental nursing system a few times a day after feedings, but he rarely takes any.

I couldn’t have made it through the first couple of weeks without my parents and in-laws. They helped us so much with the kids and transportation. We also had some amazing church family send us meals.

I’m still sore, but I’m driving now and I’ve even made a couple of outings with all the kids. I even got to go to my 10 year high school reunion this weekend (with the baby).

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Baby F is here!

I know it has been a while dear friends. Baby F did, in fact, make a safe healthy debut. I’ve had a hard time blogging during this pregnancy.

In many ways this pregnancy was the easiest. I knew what to expect. I had no weight gain (lost 25+lbs and gained back about 15-20lbs). I never had high blood pressure…

It was also the hardest in many ways. Chasing two kids while pregnant is not easy. We also renovated a house and moved. I also made the choice (along with my OB) to go through this pregnancy without my anxiety medicine.

After E was born, postpartum depression and anxiety hit fairly hard and I had been on a low dose mild medication since she was five months old.

There are so many wrong assumptions about what depression looks like. I never laid in bed and cried all day. I didn’t look like a little cartoon with a storm cloud over my head. I just didn’t feel right. Little things would make the stress resonate in my shoulder blades. I was moody and didn’t cope with things as well. I would want to write or visit friends or do something, but a weirdness would wash over me and I’d hold back.

I was still me. I still got up every day and made breakfast for my kids. I could still joke and visit family. Please remember that if a friend or family member ever approaches you about depression. They may not look depressed or anxious. It can be a silent affliction that lurks in the shadows.

I made a plan with my doctor and pediatrician to start a new breastfeeding safe medication while in the hospital. I don’t regret waiting out my pregnancy, but I feel much more like myself now. Adjusting to three kids is much easier when you don’t feel like you are drowning in stress.

Baby F is almost 4 weeks old now. E and K are over the moon for their baby brother. They both like to hold him and both help grab things for mama. We are well. I’m hopefully back.. As much as a newborn will let me be.

Stay tuned for his birth story with more pictures!

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11 Comments »

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when…

I apologize for my absence. Our house has been invaded by ants and we’re currently staying at my parents. I’m slowly getting over being ill, but I’m still exhausted. I hope to get back into my reading and commenting soon. Just popping in for a quick post…

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Brother love!

I’m officially a few days shy of 9 months pregnant. As I said before, we are staying at my parents until after the exterminator comes tomorrow. Husband went to the house to move our clothes out of the closet before they come tomorrow. Yes, we have ants all up in our closet. Ugh.

He picked up some more clothes for all of us. I ran up to his work to get them out of his truck. When I got back to my parents, what would fall out of the bag? Why, my bra of course.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant if you’ve ever kicked a bra up the sidewalk because bending over is not an option. (Yes, that happened.)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you bribe your son to pick something up for you with a cookie.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when people ask if you’re due any day now, but you’re still a month out.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant if you’ve ever had an emotional crisis over running out of lunch meat.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you adopt a Hobbit eating plan. (Why yes, second breakfast sounds perfectly viable.)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when water gives you heartburn.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you are willing to let your kids sleep wherever they fall because carrying them to bed isn’t going to happen.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you can’t even fit in half of your maternity pants anymore.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you crave Reeses cups and cry because your husband gets the minis instead of the regular cups. (There is a different chocolate to peanut butter ratio, I swear!)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when the only way sex sounds remotely appealing is the hope of jump starting labor.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you go to the bathroom, wash you’re hands, and the sound of the running water makes you need to pee again.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when switching positions while sleeping involves a bathroom trip and rearranging about 10 pillows.

Yep, I’m feeling it!

22 Comments »

Spawn of Shelob

Fridays are family breakfast/brunch date day. Usually we do something cheap like donuts on non-payday Fridays and something that involves actual plates on payday Fridays.

Today was a fancy Friday. We decided to go to Cracker Barrel. Yep… Extra fancy.

We’d ask K a billion several times to get his shoes from the play room. He kept telling us there was a spider. I finally took a break from trying to chase down E with Husband and went to investigate.

K is not the bravest kid. It took me a while to convince him he could hold a doodle bug without contracting a fatal disease. So, I expected to see a tiny run-of-the-mill house spider. We live in rural area in Texas… Spiders happen.

This is what I found:

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Ok, so this is actually a picture of Aragog... But it is close!

Sweet nightmares! This thing was surely a descendant of Shelob, born from the depths of hell itself.

Me: HUSBAND!

Husband: What’s wron… OH SWEET JESUS!

Me: Do not squish that thing in my house! Take it out and kill it!

Husband was temporarily stunned.

Me: GET A CUUUUP! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

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Husband the Brave battling the Shelob

Husband sprung into action, trapped it in a cup, and took it outside to vanquish.

K: I told you there was a spider…

Yes you did kid. Yes you did.

About that time something flung itself at me from behind the futon.

Me: AHHH! SPIDER ATTACK!

K: It’s a grasshopper mom.

I have become far wimpier during pregnancy…

We did eventually make it to Cracker Barrel. It was 11 when we got there. Husband and I pretended it was still breakfast time and soothed our frazzled spider battling nerves with pancakes. The kids chose macaroni.

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Pictured: Why I wish E was clingier to daddy.

Mmm, slimy cheese covered toddler.

Happy Friday! I’ll have a Friday Favorites up later this evening, provided I’m not eaten by hell-spiders.

10 Comments »

The Cuteness Factor

Another short post. My kids are protesting sleep this week. They are up early, power nap (if they nap), and then fight sleep for hours.

I officially hate summer. It is bright for way too long… And hot… And sweaty… And it means I’m still pregnant. So very pregnant. Waddling pregnant. Afraid-to-stand-up-for-fear-of-peeing-myself pregnant.

Stores are evil, by the way. They already have out long sleeved things and Fall scented candles! Long sleeves! In August! In Texas! Why?!

I digress though.

My son used the eyelash flutter on me today. He asked me if he could spend the night with Nana and Poppy and then fluttered his eyelashes at me. It wasn’t an accident. He was purposely trying to be cute.

When did he learn that?

I did not fall for it…

In other cuteness related news, E had her first ever pedicure with Nana and I today. She sat in my lap and stuck her toes in the water with me. They even agreed to paint a squirmy not-yet 2 year old’s toes. K and Poppy did manly things together while all this girliness went down.

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Her little toes match my swollen pregnant toes.

Have a great night everyone! May you have cute kids, pretty toes, and not pee yourself (pregnant or otherwise).

4 Comments »

My grandson, Llama.

We are having a slightly sickly/allergy stay home sort of day. I don’t have much of a voice, and no one got enough sleep last night. I was given a blogger award today and I plan to do my post on it later, but for now I just had to share a conversation I had with K this afternoon…

K: What is (Baby F) doing right now?

Me: He is saying hi and jumping on my bladder.

K: What is a bladder?

Me: It is the part of your body that holds your pee until it is full and you need to go potty. When mommies have a baby in their tummy, it makes them need to go potty more.

K: I don’t have a baby in my tummy. Only mommy girls can have babies in their tummies.

Me: That’s right. But maybe you’ll get married and be a daddy someday.

K: Yep, I’m gonna get married and my wife will have a boy baby and his name will be Llama. Llama is a way better name than (Baby F).

There you have it folks… In another 20 years I could have a grandson named Llama Miller.

6 Comments »

What am I saying?!

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We tackled the dreaded Walmart this morning before my husband left for work. Going anywhere public with children is challenging. Going into a big, bright, crowded megastore with two kids while pregnant is exhausting.

Groceries are (mostly) put away. Husband left for work. My grumpy 4 year old finally grumped himself into a nap. I wrestled with my toddler (while desperately needing to pee as baby brother/womb squatter used my bladder as a trampoline) and carried her to bed.

I am now enjoying some victory trail mix in a Minnie Mouse bowl and revelling in blissful quietness.

I thought I’d take this time to share a few gems from the past 48 hours…

Yesterday:
My husband works as a supervisor at a baby store. We went in to say ‘hi’ to him and pick up a couple of things for Baby F. I had just checked out when Baby F decided he wanted to escape his 9 month womb stint through my bladder.

Me: Please hurry buddy. Mommy really needs to go potty. Don’t stop to look at stuff, just come.

K: (LOUDLY) Mommy, if you pee your underpants in this store, I will be very disappointed in you!

I rushed in with E and let him wait outside the stall door. While in the bathroom I heard him talking to one of my husband’s female coworkers.

K: My mommy is going poop with my sister. How many old are you? I’m 4.

Today:
At Walmart checking out, he noticed a container of flushable wipes.

K: Are those for me? To wipe my booty with? So I don’t get poop all over my underpants?

Me: Yes buddy…

K: Thanks mom! Now I won’t get poop all over me!

Our cashier was amused, as were the people behind us.

Some other fun family one-liners…

Stop spanking that pizza! -Hubby

If you lick me again, you’re going to bed! -Me

My heart is broken because you won’t get me juice. It’s broken forever… -K

Aw, love potty mommy. Love love. -E hugging my leg while I was on the toilet

What are some of your ‘did I just say that’ moments?

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E in the outfit she put together. Accessorized with a broom and a lightsaber.

6 Comments »

Modesty and Motherhood

Some personal history…

I had a very difficult delivery with my son. Nothing, and I mean nothing, went as planned. I was left feeling horribly broken. I was not allowed to nurse until about 10 hours post delivery. It was awful. Then in the hospital we had a barrage of well meaning visitors. I just couldn’t bring myself to nurse with my pastor or family in the room. I was uncomfortable and still wrapping my mind around how broken I felt. (It really is the only word I can bring to mind on it.)

I pumped, nursed around the clock, and tried teas and supplements. My supply was still gone by 6 weeks. Again, broken. I had a few unknowing moms ask me why I chose not to breastfeed. It was never my choice. My body was having a horrible time healing and just didn’t produce. It was heartbreaking. I felt like a failure.

When my daughter came along I vowed to make it work. I had a much easier delivery with E. I was nursing within the hour. I adopted a new policy of, ‘You may wait to come in or risk seeing a tiny bit of boob as I feed the baby’. I was still as discreet as possible and respectful of everyone, but I refused to sit awkwardly on the side of a bed in the other room or get uncomfortably engorged while waiting for others to leave.

I plan to nurse Baby F and I hope to nurse longer and without supplementing formula this time. I am staying home full time and I feel much more comfortable with my body this time around.

This brings me to a topic that has been on my mind frequently in the past few months- modesty.

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There is a lot of debate right now on nursing and how it effects modesty- especially in religious circles. Where is the line? It is immodest for a mom to nurse discreetly but uncovered in public? Are we ‘leading our brothers into temptation’?

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As a mom of a boy (with another on the way) and a girl, I often wonder how to parent to the idea of modesty. I’ve personally decided that, while I will teach my daughter modesty out of respect for her own body, my biggest duty is to teach my sons to respect women.

There are depraved individuals out there who will take advantage of women- modest or not, but I think the majority of men are capable of seeing a woman as a whole person and not just a bunch of parts. My sons will be bombarded with billboards, ads, and commercials that sexualize the female form. They will. It is everywhere. I’d much rather them see a mom in the act of feeding her child than shaking her goods in a bikini. I see far more exposed breasts at the pool than I ever have from a mom nursing uncovered in public.

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Yes, teaching modesty can cut down on sexual assaults, but so can teaching our sons not to rape and that “not a clear no” does not mean “yes”. Teaching the non sexual functions of our parts is important too. Plus seeing pregnant and nursing women can help young men and women make the connection between sex and reproduction. (Babies are often the result of sex… Just saying.)

I personally cover when nursing, but I understand why others don’t. Some babies are not comfortable eating with a drape over their head. And I find it deplorable to ask a mom to feed her child in a restroom. I invite anyone suggesting moms do this to eat there lunch on a public toilet today. Did you have fun with that? It would be disgusting for an adult, so why bring an infant and recovering mother into that situation?

If my son sees a mom nursing in public, we just say, “She is feeding her baby mommy’s milk. Some mommies feed their babies that way and some use a bottle. Isn’t that neat? Remember when mommy fed sister that way?” It really is a far less embarrassing thing to explain than, “Why is that lady on the sign in her underwear?”

I recently read this article on nursing and the Christian faith. It rocked my world and confirmed a lot of my own beliefs.

I will never get on a soap box about breast is best or make anyone feel bad about how you feed your baby, but I ask that, no matter you choice, you respect other moms and teach your children that feeding a baby mommy’s milk is normal. And for heaven’s sake do not ask a mom to go to the restroom! YUCK!

***Added note*** Please keep in mind that not all moms are able to nurse. It isn’t fair for moms to be put in a no win situation. Nursing in public is “gross”. Bottle feeding is “unnatural”. It isn’t fair to mothers or babies. Infants require food. Mothers provide it however they can. Circle of Life. End of story.

27 Comments »

A whirlwind staycation

My family really wanted a vacation this year, but Baby F surprised us. Being 7 months pregnant, having just moved, and transitioning to being a stay at home mom have all put a damper on any long, far, or expensive plans.

We opted for the next best thing- a staycation. We loaded up the kids, ourselves, and my in-laws and traveled a whopping 30 miles to the Gaylord Texan Resort. It was seriously the biggest hotel I’ve ever seen and definitely the biggest place I have stayed.

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Look at this place!

The entire middle of this thing is a giant atrium with several restaurants, bars, and lots of fun stuff to look at. It has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a water park. Crazy!

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The kids and my mother-in-law walking in the atrium.

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My E. She is adorable, but I'm more than a little partial.

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This is my favorite picture ever.

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View from our room.

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The lazy river- my favorite part.

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Toddler grotto- complete with a gate to keep them in! (My hubby, MIL, K, and E.)

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My big pregnant belly and the kiddos.

Konner told me at the water park that Baby F wanted to “jump out of my mouth and go swimming”. Great imagery bud.

We had a great time. Although, it is a difficult conundrum to be very pregnant at a water park and having to pee frequently… “How do I do this without having to get a wet suit back over this belly?”

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E decided to make some cheese and cookie soup when we got home...

10 Comments »

Dream big… While napping.

My parents have one of my nieces for the night and asked if my son could tag along to give her a playmate. So I woke up this morning knowing I’d be down by one child. I was, however, happily surprised when my dad decided to take E as well. I think her charms won Papaw over. (She very sweetly requested her shoes.)

While I love my kids and will miss them by tomorrow, time alone has been rare since the move and my full-time transition to being a stay at home mom. My husband doesn’t leave for work until later this afternoon, so we are looking at several hours of no kids (besides Baby F the womb squatter).

“I can fold laundry without the kids unfolding it!”

“We can take a nap! Or go to the bathroom without anyone else in there.”

“Let’s have a 10th Kingdom marathon.”

Dream big people. Dream big.

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My plans for today...

Now what am I going to do with myself once my husband leaves for work? Probably eat oatmeal for supper (followed by ice cream), watch trash TV, fold laundry, and pass out on the couch by 9PM… And it sounds wonderful.

***After posting, we realized E left us a present. Her new favorite hobby is hiding dog food in the oven. Since it has happened a few times now, you’d think we’d check before turning the oven on… You’d be wrong. We forget about how much she enjoys toasting kibble for Miri… Until we turn the oven on to preheat and start getting weird aromas drifting our of the kitchen.

Thanks kid. Have fun with Nonna and Papaw. Please don’t put kibble in their oven!***

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Mmm, burned kibble and cinnamon rolls!

11 Comments »

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