Caleb’s Officially One!

I officially have a one year old.

I can’t believe that it has already been an entire year since I was able to finally set eyes on the being I grew. Someone recently shared with me an article “6 reasons December babies are special, according to science” – and while I think that all babies are special, it was a joy to read that article. I have felt so truly blessed to have Caleb in my life. It’s funny, even though he hasn’t existed that long, I cannot imagine my life without him.

The birthday boy all ready for daycare this morning.

There have been bad days, of course, but the good days outweigh the bad days a million times over. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

We don’t give Caleb a lot of sugar but I did let him have a couple of bites of a cupcake. He enjoyed it a lot.

That being said…  I’m giving my two weeks notice to my job. I returned to work when Caleb was exactly 3 months old with the short-term goal of being able to stay home with him. My self-imposed deadline kept getting pushed farther and farther back. We are now at the point where I am able to stay home with Caleb and I want to take that opportunity. The toughest part of all of this was letting Caleb’s daycare know (it made me a little misty-eyed). They’ve been with him for 9 months and have watched him grow so much. We went with that daycare because it had the feeling of taking Caleb to grandma’s house and we couldn’t have asked for a better family.

That face! <3

So this is my birthday present to Caleb in a way. Sure, it will be interesting setting up our routine, especially as I will be working some from home, but I look forward to the opportunities that we will have together. There is always that doubt in my mind if this is what is best for Caleb, for our family, but I’m comforted by so many fellow moms (even some who have children that are now in their 30’s and 40’s) telling me that they do not regret staying home with their children for the first few years.

“We are reminded that, in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame, but rather how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

– Barack Obama

The birthday boy is OUT!

We celebrated his birthday today simply. A cupcake, a song (followed by the playing of the Captain Zoom birthday song – a tradition my mom started many years ago), and that was it. We’re having a few people over on Saturday for a little birthday party but nothing big.

Enter to Win: Tula Baby Carrier

This morning I went to the grocery store for the first time with Lil Bean in his carrier. The past few times I had gone, it was only to pick up an item or two, so I had simply carried him. I knew that this time I would be spending a decent amount of time in the grocery store and wanted a way to keep Lil Bean snug and comfortable.

Enter babywearing. I love babywearing. When I first became pregnant, a baby carrier was one of the first things that I added to my registry. I ended up getting the Ergobaby Baby Carrier with a Easy Snug Infant Insert. Lil Bean loves being carried around in what is essentially a reverse backpack. It keeps him close to us and typically he falls asleep. In the grocery store, he was wide awake, looking around, but content.

When Caleb gets especially fussy, it’s nothing for Robb to put him in the carrier and swing him around the house. After a few minutes, it’s lights out.

I’ve teamed up with some other moms to giveaway this great Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier from Tula in the Blossom print, valued a $160. See it here!

February 19-March 1 at 11:59 pm ET. Open to US residents, 18+. Winner drawn on March 2 and will be notified within 48 hours.

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Enter to Win: Fit Momma Giveaway!

Mondays are always better with a GIVEAWAY! I’ve teamed up with some girlboss champs to bring you this Fit Momma prize pack valued at $750!

The prizes include: Baby Jogger City Select LUX Stroller, Workout Outfit, Running Shoes, and Water Bottle!

Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE to all entrants 18+ years old. Ends January 17 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner to be announced within 48 hours of January 18 drawing and notified by email.

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This giveaway is in no way administered or endorsed or sponsored by Instagram, Facebook, or any of the hosts, sponsors, or companies included. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Lil Bean’s Birth Story

Meet Lil Bean – aka Caleb!

DOB: 12/5/17 | Weight: 9.9 lbs. | Length: 21″

I’m currently sitting in my living room on a chilly December morning, snug as a bug in my “throne” (i.e. numerous pillows and blankets tucked around me) with a hearty crockpot going in the kitchen. Most important of all, I get to look at my Lil Bean, also snug as a bug in his little swing, completely at peace with the world.

Lil Bean is officially one week old as of today and let me tell you, it has been a whirlwind of a week. On my Week 38 Update, I wrote that we had a set date for Lil Bean’s C-section – December 6th. I made December 1st my last working day so that I could take Monday and Tuesday to get some errands done, relax, and prepare for my c-section.

Pssh. Let me tell you what really happened.

Sunday, Robb and I went to visit a fellow couple and their two week old baby. After that, we went to a local restaurant – Montero’s – for brunch. He had never been there and I just wanted to go out to eat. We ended up leaving the restaurant way beyond stuffed.

That’s when I started feeling funny. Crampy, some back pain, nauseous, just a little out of sorts really. Still, I went on about my day though I couldn’t quite get comfortable at night. Monday came and I woke up feeling a little bit more out of sorts but I had a full day planned – I wanted to get a haircut, check out a potential daycare, etc. By lunchtime, I was starting to hurt so I went home to rest, thinking I would finish up my errands on Tuesday (grocery store and picking up contacts).

I woke up on Tuesday and Robb drove me to the hospital to have some blood work done. I hadn’t been able to sleep at all Monday night due to cramping so even though Robb suggested we go and talk to labor and delivery, I shrugged it off. Less than 24 hours from then, I would have my C-section anyway.

He drove me home and went off to work for a few hours. The pain grew worse and grew constant (I tried to time the waves but they never seemed to end). There was no relief or break – not through a shower or heating pad so when Robb called to check on me about two hours later, he suggested that I call my doctor and then actually called for me because I didn’t think I could get enough words out. Belle tried to help by bringing me toys and snuggling with me.

After a call from my doctor, Robb came and picked me up to carry me to the hospital. We got to the hospital about 11 a.m., they hooked me up to some machines to register my contractions and SURPRISE – active labor. Not long after, my mom showed up and we were told that they would start making preparations to have my C-section that day, basically within the next hour or so.

It was non-stop action at that point. People coming in and out of the room, getting me set-up with my IVs, measuring my vitals, etc. A little after lunchtime, I was given a pain medication that took the edge off – and it certainly helped. After having no sleep for the past few days, all I wanted to do then was close my eyes.

Being rolled into the operating room was a surreal experience. I had never had any sort of surgery so I had no idea. In my haze, it almost seemed a bit alien – big bright lights, people milling about everywhere in scrubs. I was given a spinal block which was not pleasant by any means. Then there was nothing but numbness. I had the shakes pretty bad, even though they covered my arms in heated blankets, I couldn’t stop shaking.

They put up the curtain and that’s when Robb walked in. He was quite brave and peeked over the curtain quite a few times. His eyes got really big at one point but he never wavered. Talking to him later, it was quite a trippy experience for the both of us – he saw more of me than most people ever see of someone and all I felt during the whole process was a bit of tugging. He saw my water being broken with a huge gush and not long after, watched our Lil Bean being snatched out butt first.

As soon as he came out, he started to cry. After 9 months, I couldn’t believe that he was finally here. The doctor held him up so that I could see him and after a few moments, his umbilical cord was cut. Robb followed them over to where they got his measurements and cleaned him up some (no bath) and then he was brought over to me and placed him on my chest. I think Caleb and I were both looking at each other with a sense of wonderment at that time.

Robb left with Caleb as they finished closing me up and I was wheeled back to my room. Start to finish, I’d say the whole process took less than 1 hour. I was feeling no pain at that time and watched my mom and Robb change Caleb’s first diaper.

After two hours, I was taken to the recovery room where I would spend the next two days with Robb and Caleb. Tuesday wasn’t bad. Wednesday, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I tried to move around in the bed as much as I could and tried to make it a point to get out of bed every few hours. It sucked but even though pain medication was available, I didn’t take much advantage of it – the pain wasn’t that bad to me. Getting woken up throughout the night by the nurses was not fun nor was the fact that I really couldn’t tend to Caleb, but the time passed. We were discharged on Thursday and after a few quick stops, headed home.

Our first evening home – I’m not intentionally shooting Robb the bird.

Robb was a huge help in the hospital and even now that we’re home, he has been amazing. He has been the primary diaper-changer (just because it has been hard for me to move about) and has taken care of me and Caleb wonderfully. The first few days after getting home, I was still sore but today – there is a soreness but I feel much more invigorated (I’ve done dishes, cleaned the kitchen some, changed diapers). Everyone keeps commenting on how surprised they are that I am recovering as quickly as I am.

Since coming home from the hospital, Caleb has had two doctor’s appointments (one was a follow-up for his weight), been introduced to Belle (we’ve been letting her in for a few hours at a time – she really doesn’t seem interested in him other than in sniffing his butt), and gone on a Sunday drive with us (which was actually on Monday, but it’s what we call the days when we ride around to look at houses). Nights have been a bit rough but as Robb is a morning person and I’m more of a night owl, it’s working out somewhat.

To be honest, I’m glad that everything worked out how it did – that even though my C-section was scheduled, it ended up having to be a day early. It all happened so quickly that none of us really had time to think about it. Plus, I love the fact that Caleb had his little heart set on being born December 5th – ever since the early stages of my pregnancy, I just KNEW that December 5th would be his date of birth.

Surprise!

Why hello first post! First posts can sometimes be a little intimidating but this time around, it isn’t. This seems more like catching up with old friends that I have unfortunately neglected for a little while.

I have a surprise to share that I have been keeping on the down low for quite a few months now. A surprise that has led my blog into a new direction, hence the revitalization of it. I had been wanting to start fresh with my blog for a while and this seemed like the best time to do so. If you want to check out past posts from The Southern Belle Blogs, head over to the other WordPress.

So anyway. That surprise.

Yup! Robb and I are expecting a sweet little BOY in early December! We’ve been holding this secret in for quite a few months now but only found out the gender last Thursday. As soon as the ultrasound technician turned on the machine, she asked us if we wanted to know the sex. Our little bean apparently was showing off everything that he had to her. I was 95% sure before going into that appointment that it was a boy (I had even dreamed it was a boy) and had been telling our bean for weeks that he needed to make sure we got a look at the goods.

At my appointment, I was at 20 weeks, 6 days but our little bean was measuring at 21 weeks, 4 days (14 ounces). His heart rate was 145 and my weight was at 141 pounds – a relief to me because since becoming pregnant, my weight had gone from 141 to 136 pounds. It appears out bean is growing nicely though and I attribute my weight loss to a lack of appetite, changes in diet, and of course, some bleh.

The rest of our appointment went well until the technician commented, “It looks like you are going to have your hands full with this one.” As soon as she woke him, he was tossing and turning and had no interest in getting his picture taken. Just like his dad.

We are ecstatic about our new journey in life and seeing where it takes us. We both wanted kids but were starting to think that it wouldn’t happen for us. Except for some midday nausea the first couple of months and some face-in-the-toilet action (which I was fortunate, as soon as I threw up, I was good to go) I have had a pretty easy pregnancy so far. I have been exhausted with no appetite, but that could also be from working our summer schedule of 10 hour days as well. My heartburn has increased and I feel bloated some but have been making even more changes to my diet to help with that.