cuffed for life

10 notes &

There’s so much to say about this day, and the few days leading up to sweet Carson’s birth day. Until I find time to write about everything, I’ll leave you with her birth video.

Brady’s birth is such a blur, heck, my eyes were closed most of the time, and there were no pictures from right after he was born. I was determined not to let that happen again. So before I even found out I was pregnant, I reserved Rachel to photograph the birth of my next born. Not three weeks later I got a positive pregnancy test and Rachel was one of my first texts. Once again, she captured the day and my little family perfectly.

I’m telling you. If you are thinking about having a birth photographer, do.it. Better yet, ask Rachel. She’s amaze.

More pictures on her blog here: www.rachelfarganisphotography.com

Warning: I’m spread eagle in a lot of it. Just sayin.

Filed under birth photography

17 notes &

Well, it’s been one eventful (and slightly dramatic) week but she’s here!!! Carson Brooke arrived tues, April 8 at 5:26pm weighing only 8lbs 2oz. Thank you sweet girl! Things are 100% easier this go round and we are all great. Pictures to come!

Well, it’s been one eventful (and slightly dramatic) week but she’s here!!! Carson Brooke arrived tues, April 8 at 5:26pm weighing only 8lbs 2oz. Thank you sweet girl! Things are 100% easier this go round and we are all great. Pictures to come!

4 notes &

39 Weeks

How Far Along: 39 weeks

Size of Babe: A small watermelon. 

Cravings: So one thing I haven’t mentioned much is how much peanut butter I’ve been eating. Since I’m not a huge fan of hot sandwiches I mainly eat peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and banana when I have a sandwich. Or on apples. Or anytime on anything. Iloveit.

Sleep: It’s starting to kinda stink. When I first lie down I have shortness of breath. Probably because Carson’s using my organs as her personal Snoogle. I’m most comfortable on my right side so I end up laying in one position for hours. When I wake up feeling as though the Hoover Dam is about to burst I’m a sweaty mess and sore. It’s lovely. But I know I’m going to miss it so I try not to let any of it bother me.

Gender: A baby girl!

Weight Gain: Hello 40 pounds.. I was hoping we wouldn’t meet again but alas, here we are. I’m fine with it. Cuz really, what can I do about it? And no one at my doctor’s office has said a word to me about it so I guess they aren’t bothered. #Imightsmackthemiftheydid

Names: Carson Brooke

Symptoms: I don’t feel like much progress is being made, or that I’m any closer to meeting this nugget. I honestly can’t believe my due date’s a week from today. Nothing feels different. I have Braxton Hicks throughout the day but really that’s it. Hopefully when I see the doc tomorrow I will hear otherwise.

9 notes &

Layin’ it out there.

That face. I could just EAT it! 

Things are going well. I’m in love with my little man. I’m still recovering from the birth (I’ll spare you the details) but it brings anxiety because not only am I caring for this little sweet soul but I have to care for myself too. The help I have is amazing. My moms been here a week and Aaron’s moms coming next week so I’m in good hands but my anxiety levels been out the roof. I cry just thinking about Aaron going back to work and my mom leaving. It is the worst it’s been in years but I knew it was probably coming. 

I have to say.. My husbands been a saint. I can’t imagine ever getting through this without him. It makes me very attached and I hate him out of my site. Hopefully that’ll get better. Anyway just a small update but hopefully I’ll feel rested enough soon to blog more often. Have a good weekend!

I remember when I wrote this post, days after Brady was born. I was sitting it the bath tub, orders from Nurse Mama and Dr. Best Friend, in efforts to heal the train wreck down south, crying and posting from my phone. I can’t put into words the emotions going through my head. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Frustrated. Terrified. I know it was hormonal. I know it was my anxiety going haywire with the exhaustion and hormonal trip I was already on. I expected it, some. But I had no idea just how intense it would be. 

I wanted to feel normal, myself, elated over this miracle that I was just blessed with. I wanted to be excited about everything around me and surviving off the adrenaline rush from just having a beautiful baby boy. But I wasn’t. I wanted to sleep. I wanted my nipples to stop hurting. I wanted everything to be healed. I wanted to be in a routine. 

I can’t lie. I’m nervous about going through it again. I HATED those feelings. It was a struggle to eat - my stomach was constantly in knots. It was a struggle to make it through a dinner without crying - and I couldn’t tell you why. I didn’t want Aaron to go anywhere - he was my security blanket to the max. More like a security snuggie that I had to have wrapped completely around me and double knotted so it didn’t go anywhere. 

Of course I was happy and in love with Brady but the mind can be a cruel, cruel beast. And sometimes I let it win. I gave into the anxiety and those first 2 weeks were not ones I want to relive emotionally. I don’t think it was PPD because after those first few weeks I was so much better. I honestly think it was exhaustion and anxiety. Why does it affect some people and not others? I hear it’s better the second time around and I hope that’s the case.

I am determined to be as positive as possible this time. To not let the anxiety take over or win. I’ve done this before and know what I’m doing, right? I want to enjoy each moment and it not be a blur. I want to feel like myself and have confidence.

I have Brady to focus on too, which is a wonderful distraction from the feelings of being overwhelmed and scared. I can look at him and see that 1) I lived through it and 2) I did something right because he’s an incredible little person. I can do this. Anxiety, I will sucker punch you in the face if I have to. You will not shadow my joy.

But I might need your help. And I’m ok admitting that. 

Big girl panties.. check!

Positive attitude.. check!

Confidence.. check!

Filed under post birth anxiety

10 notes &

Carson’s Nursery

When envisioning what I wanted for baby girl’s nursery, I knew it’d involve teal, coral and metallic gold. As with Brady’s nursery, I wanted to avoid too specific of a theme because I am always afraid those become over-the-top quickly. You tell one person that the crib sheet has a small elephant pattern and next thing you know all outfits, stuffed animals and picture frames you receive are covered in elephants. 

Brady’s room remains “rustic” and almost cabinish which is great because it’s grown so well with him. We’ve changed nothing in over 2 years and probably won’t until he starts having an opinion about it. I wanted the same for Carson and I believe we’ve accomplished it.

This is an awfully lit, panoramic view from the doorway. This room is oddly shaped and was tricky to decorate because it’s smaller in size, with a small room off of it. It’ll be adorable for her to have a room on the side for her doll house and play area, but from a decorating point of view it was a tricky little thing. Both rooms were the gray color, but I wanted to set the offset room apart somehow. Hellloooo stripes!

We got the dresser from my fave go-to antique store, Revival Antiques in Raleigh. I’ve raved about this store before so I’ll spare you, but we found this dresser in their showroom which was a major jackpot. One less project for the hubs. 

The initials came from Etsy, unfinished and I just painted them coral to match the birds in the mobile. I made the mobile which was so super easy. I picked up a birdcage on clearance from Garden Ridge and spray painted it gold. I picked up those small, wooden birds for $.50 each at Michael’s and painted them. Aaron drilled holes in them, we strung’em up and ta-da! Done.

We already had the lamp but it was silver. Spray paint is awesome.

I spotted this gorgeous thing on Target.com months and months ago, way before I knew I was having a girl. I knew this was the one and I’d plan colors and decor around it depending on what we were having. I gotta say, I was so excited it was a girl and that this beaut would be surrounded by coral and gold. Luckily, Target had bedding (that wasn’t flowers or animals) that matched and I really really wanted an ikat pattern. Way to deliver Target. You never disappoint. 

The sign! We acquired barn wood from our good friends, Jason and Christine, a while ago because I had planned on doing a sign for our living room and they had a bunch lying around. But then I spotted this quote on Pinterest and couldn’t get it out of my head. I needed more dimension on the walls so why not plop the quote on some boards?! Since her room isn’t so much rustic, I needed to somehow tweak the old wood look. I wasn’t sure how it’d look painted or if I’d like the gold on cream, but we got lucky. It turned out great and we love it. Aaron gets ALL of the handyman credit.

We had this bookshelf (old Craigslist find) but it was unfinished and crammed away in a corner. I knew all it needed was some paint and pizzazz and it’d function like a the true little bookcase it is. The princesses are from my childhood (I was so uh-bsessed with the Disney store) and the headbands were made at one of my bridal showers. The mirror was already hanging in that spot when the room served as the guest room so all I had to do was spray paint it. I realize it should probably be higher, but asking the hubs to put another hole in the wall is like asking him to remove a limb. No lie. 

Rug - Overstock. Side table - Home Goods. Lamp - Target. Pillow - Zazzle.com

Glider - Yall. Let’s discuss the glider, shall we? We couldn’t avoid buying another one since we still use Brady’s. But I mean goshdarnit I didn’t want to spend another $500 on one. So I admit it. I bought this glider from Walmart. There I said it. It was cute, it’s comfy, and it’ll do the job. Oh, and it was $300 shipped. I gotta say, I’ve never looked back. 

I wanted roman shades but could NOT find any with a fun pattern that again, weren’t $300 a piece. So I ordered blackout roman shades off JCPenny online, purchased 2 curtain panels that matched the crib sheet from Target, and had those puppies covered. 

That sweet little chandelier was also a Craigslist find. And it wasn’t so sweet when I found it. Old. Brass. Begging for some paint. I think we put a whole 25 buckaroos into it. 

I hope yall like it! I wasn’t too far off from the original mood board.

Now she just has to get here!

Filed under baby girl nursery

2 notes &

There she is!! 

Can we TALK about those cheeks?! And she got the lips!! This made me even MORE excited to meet her. She looked beautiful and perfect. 

She measured 7lbs 14oz but the ultrasound tech said she was on the larger side of that and would probably estimate she’s pushing 8lbs. Carson, you DO realize you have about 2 weeks left in there right? As in have some mercy on your mama and please don’t grow much more. 

Dr. Deibel said “25% of babies are larger than she is at this point.” Which made me feel better for about a second, until I realized his clever choice of words, rather than saying “uh your chunky princess is in the 75th percentile.” I see what you did there, Doc. 

She said if I go to my due date there’s a good chance she could be 9lbs or larger. Well shucks. But I can do this. I lived through it before, right? 

And not much progress down therr. Only 1/2cm dilated and about 40% effaced. I go back and forth on how ready I really am. Of course I’m ready to meet her and love on her and see Brady with her, but I’m also going to soak up the present as much as I can, knowing how much is about to change. 

Hurry up Carson! But not too fast…

There she is!!

Can we TALK about those cheeks?! And she got the lips!! This made me even MORE excited to meet her. She looked beautiful and perfect.

She measured 7lbs 14oz but the ultrasound tech said she was on the larger side of that and would probably estimate she’s pushing 8lbs. Carson, you DO realize you have about 2 weeks left in there right? As in have some mercy on your mama and please don’t grow much more.

Dr. Deibel said “25% of babies are larger than she is at this point.” Which made me feel better for about a second, until I realized his clever choice of words, rather than saying “uh your chunky princess is in the 75th percentile.” I see what you did there, Doc.

She said if I go to my due date there’s a good chance she could be 9lbs or larger. Well shucks. But I can do this. I lived through it before, right?

And not much progress down therr. Only 1/2cm dilated and about 40% effaced. I go back and forth on how ready I really am. Of course I’m ready to meet her and love on her and see Brady with her, but I’m also going to soak up the present as much as I can, knowing how much is about to change.

Hurry up Carson! But not too fast…

9 notes &

How Far Along: 38 weeks 

Size of Babe: A leek? That’s kinda boring.. and strange. 

Cravings: So on the way home from work last night I had a hankerin’ for dill. So weird right? Like dill you’d find in a chicken salad or potato salad. Straaange. And of course cookies around 9pm. That’s going to be a lovely habit to try to kick le’metellya.

Sleep: It’s ok. Lots of pulling and aching. And peeing.

Gender: A sweet baby girl!

Weight Gain: 36 pounds.. 

Names: Sweet baby Carson

Symptoms: Nada. Just livin’ large. Literally.

I’ll up date ya tomorrow on what the doc says regarding the ultrasound. Happy Thursday!

How Far Along: 38 weeks

Size of Babe: A leek? That’s kinda boring.. and strange.

Cravings: So on the way home from work last night I had a hankerin’ for dill. So weird right? Like dill you’d find in a chicken salad or potato salad. Straaange. And of course cookies around 9pm. That’s going to be a lovely habit to try to kick le’metellya.

Sleep: It’s ok. Lots of pulling and aching. And peeing.

Gender: A sweet baby girl!

Weight Gain: 36 pounds..

Names: Sweet baby Carson

Symptoms: Nada. Just livin’ large. Literally.

I’ll up date ya tomorrow on what the doc says regarding the ultrasound. Happy Thursday!

Filed under 38 weeks

7 notes &

How Far Along: 37 weeks (and 4 days).

Size of Babe: We will find out Friday. At least an estimate. Fingers crossed for a smaller babe.

Cravings: Nothing too crazy. I finally did break down and get Oreos. I’d gone this WHOLE pregnancy without having them and I’ve gained the exact same amount of weight so at this point who the heck cares, right?

Sleep: I love sleep. And I’m soaking in every ounce that I get at night since I know it’s soon to be o-v-e-r.

Gender: A sweet baby girl!

Weight Gain: 36 pounds.. I mean really? So much for that 25 goal…

Names: Sweet baby Carson

Symptoms: No signs of action just yet. Everythings sealed and she’s still high so I think she’ll be right on time if not late like her big bro.

I’m still pretty anxious about juggling two. I know I will figure it out. I know I’ll switch into survival mode and it’ll get done - that it’s ok if one is crying while I’m tending to another. But I’m skerred.

And I know the white mesh underoos and chucks pads are in my very near future which I’m not looking forward to. The squirt bottle. The numbing spray. Ack! I hear it’s not as bad and you don’t need this stuff as much for #2. But regardless, having a baby and your first week home with them would be so much BETTER without the added crap down therr ya know? Popping out babies is hard. People make it look like a breeze but I’m here to keep it real for ya. Maybe it’s because I make big babies? Here’s to hopin’ for an easy recovery.

Filed under 37 weeks

3 notes &

It’s no secret that I struggled with breastfeeding little Brady. Or shall I say, CHUNKSTER Brady who required being fed every 30 minutes and then would nurse for an hour straight. One thing after another caused my milk supply to plummet, but fortunately I was able to provide half of his dailly intake for 4-5 months. I’m determined to have a successful experience with baby girl. I know having a toddler in the mix will only complicate the process but I’m determined to at least try.

My good friend, Sonia, offered to come over and conduct a refresher breastfeeding course for me several weekends ago. She’s a certified lactation consultant here in the Raleigh area and let me tell ya - she was a lifesaver those first few weeks I was home with Brady. I’m surprised she didn’t block my cell phone number quite honestly. She also recently accepted a position at UNC Hospital as a lactation consultant so if you’re a mom planning to deliver there, make sure to ask for her!

She and her business partner, Bonnie, provide accurate, research-based breastfeeding information and support. AND it’s not ridiculously expensive either. It’s just $30 per couple and you leave the class feeling confident and knowledgable. They also provide in-home consultations if you have any questions or concerns once your baby is here. You guys. This is awesome. With Brady, I’d call the lactation consultants at Rex and every.time they wanted me to come in, which living about 30 min away just was not appealing. So the thought of having Sonia or Bonnie come to me is a game changer!

At first when Sonia offered to come hold a refresher course I wondered if I really needed it considering I had breastfed and the only difference really would be baby girl’s ability and my mindset. What would another course provide? Ohmygosh I was wrong. Turns out I had actually been taught incorrect information which could have been part of why I struggled with Brady. For example, I was taught to watch the clock when nursing, not cues from the baby. And the rythm at which the baby eats - I was told Brady’s rythm was ideal when actually it wasn’t, which could have meant his latch was off and the process could have been inefficient for him, inevitably causing my supply to decrease.

Needless to say, I’m SO glad she came and did the course for me. Even the parts I remembered from Brady being an infant, it was good to hear again. Aaron wondered in and out for parts of the class, which he obviously took very seriously.

If you or a friend are interested in a class or breastfeeding support please check out Breastfeeding Support of the Triangle.

Filed under breastfeeding breastfeeding support lactation

7 notes &

Sorry this is so late. I’m having issues with Tumblr…

How Far Along: 36 weeks (last Thursday). yikes.

Size of Babe: Doc says around 6 pounds. They will do an ultrasound in a week or two to double check. Baby Center says a head of romaine lettuce.

Cravings: Still haven’t had that hot dog. It WILL happen though. Nothing else too out of the ordinary. Still something sweet after dinner, hence the 33 lbs.

Sleep: Sleep’s getting tough. Tossing, turning, sweating, aching, pulling, peeing. But it’s sleep, so I’ll take it.

Gender: A sweet baby girl!

Weight Gain: 33 pounds.. I really hope I don’t gain much more. That’s only more I’ll have to burn off. And did I mention I’m going to the beach for a week when she’s 10 weeks old? Frightening. For me and you fellow beach goers. 

Names: Carson Brooke! Carson was completely random. One Sunday morning I asked Aaron if he liked it and he said yes. It hadn’t been on our radar really and definitely not in the list I had in my head. With his track record I figured by Tuesday he’d have changed his mind so I didn’t get attached to it. He kept bringing it up and liked it by the next Sunday, which by golly was a first. It stuck and seemed to really fit in our little family, especially as a sibling’s name for Brady. And here we are :). Brooke was my middle name before I got married so I’d hoped to incorporate it somehow. Which is perfect since Brady has Aaron’s middle name, Neal. 

Symptoms: Still heartburn that comes and goes. Those Alka-Seltzer fruit chews look like giant Mentos so you’re excited to eat chewy fruity candy until you get half way through and realize it’s just glorified chalk. Whatever. It does the job. 

The nursery is thiiiiiiis close people. Once I have everything in place and a few more things washed I will feel done and ready. I gotta say, decorating and prepping for a baby without worrying about a 2 year old that likes to eat floride toothpaste and string every last inch of dental floss across the house was so much easier.

Sorry this is so late. I’m having issues with Tumblr…

How Far Along: 36 weeks (last Thursday). yikes.

Size of Babe: Doc says around 6 pounds. They will do an ultrasound in a week or two to double check. Baby Center says a head of romaine lettuce.

Cravings: Still haven’t had that hot dog. It WILL happen though. Nothing else too out of the ordinary. Still something sweet after dinner, hence the 33 lbs.

Sleep: Sleep’s getting tough. Tossing, turning, sweating, aching, pulling, peeing. But it’s sleep, so I’ll take it.

Gender: A sweet baby girl!

Weight Gain: 33 pounds.. I really hope I don’t gain much more. That’s only more I’ll have to burn off. And did I mention I’m going to the beach for a week when she’s 10 weeks old? Frightening. For me and you fellow beach goers.

Names: Carson Brooke! Carson was completely random. One Sunday morning I asked Aaron if he liked it and he said yes. It hadn’t been on our radar really and definitely not in the list I had in my head. With his track record I figured by Tuesday he’d have changed his mind so I didn’t get attached to it. He kept bringing it up and liked it by the next Sunday, which by golly was a first. It stuck and seemed to really fit in our little family, especially as a sibling’s name for Brady. And here we are :). Brooke was my middle name before I got married so I’d hoped to incorporate it somehow. Which is perfect since Brady has Aaron’s middle name, Neal.

Symptoms: Still heartburn that comes and goes. Those Alka-Seltzer fruit chews look like giant Mentos so you’re excited to eat chewy fruity candy until you get half way through and realize it’s just glorified chalk. Whatever. It does the job.

The nursery is thiiiiiiis close people. Once I have everything in place and a few more things washed I will feel done and ready. I gotta say, decorating and prepping for a baby without worrying about a 2 year old that likes to eat floride toothpaste and string every last inch of dental floss across the house was so much easier.

Filed under 36 weeks Pregnant