JoMarie’s Baby Book

Good Morning!! I hope you are having a great week so far. I have been excited to share something with you that I am really loving right now! I have previously mentioned that throughout my maternity leave that I started a journal for JoMarie. It was fun to document this special time in our lives for her and I have always loved to write. I want her to be able to look back someday and read what life was like for us when she became our first baby. There were many times throughout my pregnancy and first months with Jo where I wondered what those specific stages were like for my mom. So I wrote it all down for Jo and I…What Nick and I are like, who our friends are, how much love and support we had from our families during this time, what’s important to us, what some struggles have been, what we did with her in her first year with us, and just for her to see what a little miracle she was and is to us. And to be honest, my brain and memory has gone down the drain since having a baby so writing it all down for myself as well 😉

Writing in a journal for Jo to read someday has been fun, but it was time for a baby book!! As much as I wish I was creative and had unlimited time to sit and decorate the perfect baby book for my daughter, that just is NOT the case. I wanted a simple, cute, and special book to fill up! I received the perfect baby book from Polka Dot Print Shop and it is everything I wanted in a baby book and I have had such a fun time filling this up with so much goodness.

There are pages to fill in that I would have never thought of to add to her baby book and I am SO happy the book includes these pages. For example, there are pages for me to write our birth story and a also write a little note to JoMarie about our first moments together. There is also a page for Nick to do the same. Pages to tell her how Nick and I meant, our love story, how we reacted to finding out we were expecting this sweet little baby. They have literally thought of everything! There are also pages for each month where you can put the cute monthly photos and what stages your littles are at during that month. I fell in love with the style of these books and knew I had to share!

Polka Dot Print Shop also has toddler books and bump books that are so neat!! Welllll I know I have many mamas and expecting mamas who would love these books so for the next two weeks, you can use code MyGoodness to receive 15% off your book. You can find them in Instagram, Facebook, or right on their website. I know many of you will love these books as much as I do.

Have such a great rest of your week ladies!! We are taking a long weekend to soak up our last days of summer and I am really looking forward to some family time and relaxing! Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

Little Lucy Co. Headwraps

Happy Monday!! How was everyone’s weekend? Is it just me or did Monday come around far too quickly? JoMarie and I spent the weekend at home while Nick was running a baseball tournament and it was so nice to be home and have no schedule. It was a HOT and WINDY weekend so we spent a lot of time inside reading books, trying new foods, and a few short walks. Little miss is changing daily and we are having a blast watching her grow. This mama has been full of emotions with all of the exciting changes Jo is up to right now but as much as I want her to be my small little babes forever, it’s so fun watching her personality develop more and more. I am excited to share some goodness with you today!!

JoMarie received the CUTEST head wraps from Jessica over at Little Lucy Co. You guys, these wraps are honestly perfect. They fit nicely and are not tight at all (Jo has a very large head so I was so happy that these were not tight on her) They are extremely soft, light, and she doesn’t seem to even notice they are on. We fell in love with these little wraps so much, that I wanted to share them with you all. Ladies, hook your little girls up!! Daughters, nieces, godchild, cousins, the neighbor girl 😉 whoever, they are worth it. It’s nice that they are not just in baby sizes either, they have toddler as well.

I loved the personal touch of the package. That always makes such a big difference to me for some reason. A hand written thank you goes such a long way with me and Jessica does a great job. You can find Little Lucy Co. on Instagram and Facebook. You just message Jessica your order and she takes care of you 🙂 The wraps are $10 and if you mention MYGOODNESS10 you will get 10% off your order. I was SO looking forward to our order arriving and it did not disappoint.

I hope you enjoyed this little dose of goodness on this Monday! I hope you all have a wonderful week and remind yourself to stop watering those weeds, it’s time to tend to the flowers! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Fitting In Your Fitness:: For Moms

I’m learning that being on the go constantly just comes  along with being a parent. JoMarie is still a little babes, I watch my siblings, cousins, niece and nephew who are all involved in activities and their mamas deserve a medal, there are just not enough hours in the day! If you are like me and attempt to juggle your work and home life, you probably struggle to find time just for you. “Me” time?? What is that? This is why our fitness can suffer and in the big picture, causes us to suffer. We all need a good level of fitness just to keep up with our little ones. I’m sure it can feel like a workout just running after those little feet, but that won’t always be enough. What you need is a good plan, and the skills to improvise to make sure you look after yourself just as well as you’re looking after the baby.  I have been pretty creative and have improvised often since beginning to workout again after baby. From calf raises while waiting at the copier to resistant band pulls at my desk, you just do what you can 😉 

Sneaking away and working out at the gym is great, but for me there is that inevitable Mom guilt. Right now, I do not love taking time away from JoMarie, to go workout. Don’t get me wrong, I do it and it is 100% necessary sometimes, but there are other options as well. Did you know that you can spend quality time with your child as well as exercise? Babies love to be a part of our everyday life. All you need to be mindful of is their safety. Stick to activities that work just one part of your body. There are lots of workouts you can try that focus on just the legs, just the arms, or just your core. I had to skip my shoulder worker the other day so little miss loved me pushing her up into the air and slowly coming back down. She giggled away while I got a killer shoulder workout in. WIN WIN! More on this further down 🙂 

Change it up a little so baby can come along too. Use a backpack style carrier or a sling if your baby is still small enough. Walking and hiking can then become a practical activity for you both. You’ll both enjoy the fresh air, and you’ll get an extra workout from your walk by carrying the extra weight of the babes. If you don’t have time to get out and about, try mixing in some cardio at home or at work by walking or running the step. It’s great for the calves, thighs, and ankles! 

Lifting your little one rhythmically can also provide some strength training to help tone your arms (insert this weeks shoulder workout). Even just ten reps before you change the diaper or pop the little one in the high chair for feeding, can work wonders. Do you ever dance with your baby? This is one of my favorites! Put on some uptempo music, and rock, sway, turn and wiggle with your little one. Have a look at websites like thestir.cafemom.com for track tips. As they become more steady on their feet, this will help secure their balance too.

Of course, there are lots of times when your little one is napping that you can fit in a few quick exercises. Although sometimes it feels more important to get those dishes done or start that laundry, time to feel great about yourself and get a sweat going is just as important! You can increase your fitness by taking on a little bit of your workout program at a time. Look at websites like topworkoutprograms.com to find individual exercises or entire fifteen-minute routines to fill your time. 

Once you are at work, you might feel a little sleepy to your desk. This has been happening to me! I will be going 100 miles a minute in the morning while getting everything ready for the day and when I get to work and sit down, I get a little tired.  Try not to sit too much, spending a little of my time at a standing desk has seemed to help. Walk-and-talks with colleagues help keep your body moving, and we all know we should take the stairs. Go out of your building for lunch and walk a couple of blocks to your lunch venue, or go workout over your lunch break!

Becoming a Mom has put an entire new meaning to the word “selflessness” for me but that in no way means that I no longer find it important to stay active. Working out continues to show me how needed it is and how great I feel when I take that time for me. When and where do you find a few minutes to focus on active fitness?

Well Hello!

Hi!! I cannot believe it’s been almost two months since I have sat to write a blog post. As much as I missed blogging and sharing some fun goodness with you all, I must say it was a much needed break. I promised myself once I finished my thesis and my last graduate class, that I would put my laptop away for a bit and just enjoy all my free time with my family or actually sleep :). And that is exactly what I did! I knew my blogging adventure would take a turn once I became a mom but I just wasn’t sure what that turn would look like. If it was something I wanted to continue or put to the side permanently. After giving it some thought and hearing from some of you, I am just not ready to be done blogging completely. I will not be publishing tons of content, or sharing every little detail, but I love the connections I have made through this creative platform of mine, and when I am able, continuing to share some goodness is something I want to do. I recently put together three new workout programs for some pretty awesome ladies and it was exactly what I needed to remind myself how much I love helping others in their health and fitness journey and just bringing some light to others 🙂 SO thank YOU for sticking with me and following My Goodness. It was really nice to hear from many of you throughout these last couple of months!! I have some fun ideas planned for the blog and inevitably will be sharing some things we are learning with being new parents and will continue my health and fitness posts.  I plan to blog when it fits in and it feels right. I really enjoy it and never want it to feel forced or stressful. So that is where I am at with my blog.

How about a quick little update on things over here? And by quick I mean extremely wordy, far too long, and poorly written. Here goes….

First up is of course, JoMarie! Ugh you guys I could write about this girl all day long, seriously. I will just worn you know I am an obsessed first time mom who thinks her little one is the coolest person on this earth. With that, I will always keep it real with you guys and will not just be posting about how amazing my daughter is 😉 this parenting thing can be tough work and that is no secret to me! I have some specific posts planned about our first 6 months together so I will not get too detailed now, but a little update won’t hurt. Who doesn’t love cute baby pictures on a Friday? Jo is the sweetest little girl and has absolutely changed my outlook on life. She brings a crazy amount of joy to us and Nick and I couldn’t be happier to be seeing the world through her bright blue eyes. She is pretty great and I feel very blessed to be her mama! She will be 6 months next week and I’m kind of dreading it to be honest. This last month she has just changed SO much and I would greatly appreciate it if time slowed down just a little bit. She got her second tooth this week and I would be lying if I said I was excited. My baby is growing so quickly and this is just a reminder to not take a second for granted. JoMarie is so very loved and I always remember this special time in our lives!

Next up, me! Oh gosh, hmmmmm. I’m doing well 🙂 Life is much less stressful now that I’m officially done with my Master’s program. THANK THE LORD! I really loved the classes I took throughout the last two years and I learned a ton. But having a newborn and trying to balance going back to work, starting a new position at work, a new baby, and school, while trying to keep up with seeing friends and family, it just kind of sucked to be honest and I couldn’t have done it without Nick’s consistent support and our amazing families help! I love having that off my plate and off my checklist. Not much else has changed with me other than becoming a Mom! I really do feel like this is what I am made for. I think everyone says this, but becoming a parent really does change you in ways you cannot understand until you are holding your baby in your arms.  I was hit with this new level of gratitude and contentment. I have been thrown some curveballs these last six months, some great curveballs and some unexpected not so great, but there is just a new calm in me now, a new grace and it all came from adding this little life to the world. Things have changed BIG time and our focus, perspective, and outlook has taken a shift and it feels good! Life is too darn short not to live it being your most happy self, whatever that looks like for you. I am currently reading “Present Before Perfect” and oh my gosh to anyone who is a people pleaser, tries to do it all, wears 498094383 hats, or just needs a good read, I highly suggest it. It is reminding me when I need it the most to be present in every situation you find yourself in, reminding me that it is okay to say “no” and how I will never regret doing what is best for myself and my family. It’s a great book and is helping me stay centered during this exciting time in our lives!

I’m back to work in a new position that I trained for, for the last two years and I am enjoying it! I am working out when it fits into my schedule, and when it doesn’t, it just doesn’t and that is okay. Getting use to my body after baby has been interesting but I’m learning to embrace the small improvements. I am still amazed with what our bodies are capable of. My outlook on eating right and working out hasn’t changed much. It is still important to me and I know if it’s important enough, I will find time for it. Working out continues to be such a stress reliever for me and sometimes it’s just best for everyone for mama to get her workout in. Overall, I’m doing well and really soaking up this stage!

Marriage! The question I probably get asked most from my girlfriends since having Jo is how Nick and I are doing. I do not know what exactly I pictured before, but Nick is really killing this new dad gig. I know how blessed I am to have such a hands on husband when it comes to parenting. I won’t get all mushy gushy on you but I will just say that it’s true when people say you fall in love all over again when you become parents and we have a bond stronger than ever. Has our marriage taken the back burner at times? Absolutely! We are learning to navigate through our routines with this new little sidekick along for the ride and there are times where every second we have together, is focused on JoMarie. She recently was sick for the first time and like all new parents I’m sure, it rocked both of us. We were both obsessed with getting her better and constantly checking in to see how she was doing or planning our next step to get her well. But even during those times, we are working as a team and I couldn’t do it without him. Let me be clear, there are absolutely those times of frustration or misunderstanding, we are human! We are doing the best we can and it seems to be working well for us and that’s all I can ask for.

Lastly, cannot forget our fur babies! They are doing very well with the baby. We try to still give them plenty of love and they have not acted out since bringing her home so that’s good. I do see a little jealousy with our Daisy girl but she is just requiring some extra cuddles right now which I try to give her when possible. They are reminded multiple times each day that puppy kisses are not needed on the babies face but they sneak them in sometimes. Guinness is always the first to hear JoMarie when she wakes up from her naps and Daisy is the first by her side when she’s crying.

WOW! Okay, I have to apologize, but I did warn you, wordy, long, and poorly written as promised. I hope you all have such a great weekend! It feels so good to jump back into my blog and as always, you can email me at mygoodnessblog@gmail.com with any questions or suggestions. I will say I do much better of a job updating my snapchat @JordynAshley and my Instagram @mygoodnessjordyn than I do my blog at the moment but that may change. Thanks for anyone who made it to the end of this post, you deserve a high five and a cup of coffee. For the love! CHEERS!

JoMarie’s First Valentines Day

I LOVE Valentine’s Day and I always have! Long before I had a Valentine of my own or before I got to celebrate Jo’s first Valentines Day with her, I have just always loved this Holiday. My Mother is 100% to blame 😉 She always went over and beyond on both Valentine’s Day and Easter with making my day so special each year! I remember feeling so loved and excited to wake up on these Holiday’s and search for my Easter basket or find a cute little something for me on the kitchen table the morning of V-day.

This has 100% rubbed off on me as there is nothing I love more than showering my loved ones on these special days! I have so much fun getting together little gifts or even just finding the perfect card to make someone feel a little more special. Soooo you can imagine how our first V-day went with JoMarie 😉 We had fun!! She probably thinks I’m a crazy mama with my singing, kisses, and dress up we did all day.

We went to drop off little gift bags for Jo’s cousins and of course put a little something together for Nick. Nothing huge or anything, I try to stay budget friendly with gift giving but it certainly is my love language. Just knowing the little ones heart might have felt a little more full on the day of LOVE?!? nothing better! I think this goes for a lot of people. You hear about the “drive thru difference” on the radio. This is where you pay for the random person’s order behind you in a drive thru. Giving without expectation just has a way of filling you up! I don’t just mean gifts here!! Absolutely not! A genuine compliment, kind smile, or even just holding the door open for someone will make you feel good.

I hope you all had such a good day full of love!!

Baby Update:: 2 Months

Good Morning! I cannot believe we have a 2 month old already! I thought it was a good time to do a little blog update on how things are going 🙂 Life as a new mommy has been such an adventure and I really think I was put here to be JoMarie’s momma and love her with everything I have. When I was pregnant I would constantly think how things would be once our daughter was here with us. The reality is 20 times better than I ever imagined during those 9 months of carrying this sweet girl in my belly.

Maternity leave is going great and I literally get sick to my stomach thinking how close it is to ending. Nothing brings me to tears quicker these days than thinking of not spending my days with my girl, watching her grow and cuddling her. This bond is like no other and I get so emotional thinking of it changing at all. I just keep reminding myself that some of the strongest women in my life have left their babies in someones arms and gone back to work too, I can do this!! I am thankful for this time I have home with Jo and I try to make the most of every minute with her as I will obviously never get this time back. I have started journaling for JoMarie. I wanted something a little more personal, just for her, that she can read someday. There are specific things I want to remember and want her to know about this time in her life so I have started to write her letters in a journal. Some silly little things like how I sing a silly made up song to her every morning when she first wakes up and she gives me the biggest smile with her entire body that melts my heart every single time. Or how Nick would wake up in a panic every single night the first few weeks of her life, asking me “is she okay” as she was sound asleep in her rock n play. I’m also journaling some more personal things that I want her to know about this time. I started this because I often find myself experiencing things with Jo and I think “I wonder what this was like for my mom and I when I was a baby”.

As precious as life has become with becoming a mommy, it has been challenging as well. I always want to keep my blog content real with you guys! You see a lot of the perfect parents and flawless mom’s who make it all seem so simple and easy. It is so far from that in our house 😉 JoMarie is pretty cranky from 5:00-9:00 every single night and her two month check up confirmed she is colicky just like her mommy was. We have our times of feeling helpless and frustrated. The other day all at once, Jo spit up all over herself and straight down my shirt (my third shirt of the day). A couple minutes later she had a complete blow out, my doorbell rang, I was about 2 hours over due to pump, and my dogs were playing tug of war with one of Jo’s bath towels and I could hear it ripping.  It is not all glamorous and I think it’s so important to remember that and not compare ourselves to others “highlight reals” we see on social media. I absolutely share my cute photos of my baby girl smiling more than I share a picture of her screaming her lungs out (yes I have pictures of this as she’s still so stinking cute even when she is so mad) but that is never to hide that we struggle just like every other new parents do! But the struggle is all part of the beauty in parenting. We just do the best we can and love our baby unconditionally and that is enough!

I will say, I am obsessed with her you guys!! I know this is completely normal (at least I hope so) but sitting and just staring at your baby for hours isn’t just something people kid about, people actually do that, I do that! To say the least, I feel very blessed to be JoMarie’s mother and she is the best gift God has ever given Nick and I. She is growing like crazy and changes every single day. She is happy and healthy and that is all we have ever asked for. This little girl is surrounded by people who love her, near and far. Right now she is 11 lbs 13 oz and is 22.5 in long. The girl has a big brain 😉 as she’s in the 90th percentile for her head. JoMarie is a slobbering monster right now and loves to put her hands in her mouth. She has no interest in a pacifier and is very close to finding her thumb which we would be perfectly fine with! I think thumb suckers are so cute! She has a couple sounds she loves that will make her smile no matter what and I’ve only heard her giggle a few times in her sleep. Nick claims she has laughed for him when I was gone but the jury is still out on that one. She kicks kicks kicks her legs like crazy, enjoys bath time, and will have a stare down with any ceiling fan around. Her absolute favorite is being talked to and listening to conversations. I literally talk or sing to her all day long and she has started to coo right back to me. We have been lucky with her having her days and nights figured out since day 1. She wakes up once throughout the night to eat and goes straight back to sleep. With that, the girl doesn’t nap during the day. She is one of those 20 minute cat naps here and there 🙁 sorry daycare!!

Everyday is a new adventure with being first time parents and we are just living it one day at a time. I apologize for the many typos that this post probably has 🙂 it is late, my homework is done for the night, and it’s time to go get some shut eye before little miss wakes up for her next feeding. Thanks for stopping by!!

Post-Baby Fitness

Good evening!! Late night post for you 🙂 I got little miss to sleep, Nick is in bed, and I brewed a cup of coffee for a late night of school work. Yep, school work. So here I sit, blogging and avoiding my school work 😉 I have recently started to workout again since giving birth and thought I would do a little post on that. Currently I am doing the Kayla Itsines 12 week BBG challenge (when I have time to do it) and I’m also getting back into my lifting program. It feels great, but I have learned some things along the way as well. Be nice to your body!! As much as I LOVE my workouts and the feeling I get after a good workout, right now my favorite workouts include morning stretch time with Jo, and planking over her cute little body and watching her smile at the ridiculous silly faces mommy makes at her.

Pregnancy changes your body in many ways, ways that I never even imagined. But I do not just mean changes to our outside appearance. Do you notice how we tend to only focus on the aesthetic side. It’s a bizarre focus really because in many ways, the biggest change is what happens internally. The feeling is indescribable and something I will not try to explain. You just change.  

It has long been suggested that pregnancy alters your internal chemistry in such a way that fitness is harder to achieve. Sure, there’s some biological basis to it as well. There’s also the fact that when you have a new baby – and despite what celebrity magazines proclaim – you’re not focused on “getting your body back”. I LOVE health and fitness and I received many questions asking if I was just going crazy not being able to workout, but honestly, no. It just hasn’t been my focus, but now that I have gotten the go ahead from my Doctor, I have started to workout again and I am learning to love my post-pregnancy body, one step at a time 🙂 It’s actually all pretty freaking beautiful! Your body just carried this little human, pushed the baby out of you, and now your body is healing so that you can live your life chasing that little human around for the next 18 years 😉 

So you’ve got your postpartum body and it is different; it’s inevitable. So is this the end? Are you doomed with a “mom body” as people call it, for the end of time? 

Of course not. Take, for example, athletes. Tennis star Kim Clijsters gave birth to daughter Jada and then came back to win the US Open. British athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill became World Champion after having her son. And these are the elites! So of course you can return to your previous fitness form – and surpass it if you so choose to. Sure, there are some things that regardless how many burpees you do or weights you lift, some things will always be different. But is that so bad? What’s important is to get to a point where you love your body and are proud of it and feel beautiful if your own mommy skin 🙂 

But how?

#1 – Reintroduce Yourself Slowly

So slowly. So very, very slowly. This is a marathon and it’s also a marathon you’re not prepared for – so be careful with it. I will be honest with you all and say I made this mistake. I was SO excited to get my first lift in after the Doctor gave me to go that I jumped right in and tried the weight I was lifting during pregnancy. Well…. I just took 6 weeks off and you lose muscle fast! I had some pretty sore core muscles (and not the good sore) and I felt pretty silly with myself. It’s not worth it!! Take it slow! 

The best way to begin is with something simple, like walking. Walking is good! This is made even easier in that you can team it with a stroller, so you get a little baby time as well. The key step is to support your body. If you have any previous injuries, tape them. Use support wherever you need to: thighs, bra, any areas you are concerned about. Make sure you have the right shoes for the job, I’m huge into reviews before I buy things, here are some reviews of the best walking shoes for women

A walk around the block a few times a week is a good way to begin. Or mall walking with your babes in the stroller during the winter months! 

#2 – Forget What You Knew Before

Ding ding ding! I need to take my own advice! If you used to be able to do X number of reps or run for X number of miles, then forget them. You can use them as goals if you really want to, but generally, it’s best to forget those numbers and create all new numbers for yourself! 

If you push to try and regain your previous stats, then you’re facing an uphill battle that you don’t need. Instead, set new records and teach yourself to find assurance in them as they improve. It doesn’t matter what you could do a year ago; look at how you compare to what you could do a week ago.

#3 – Swim

Swimming is great for your body in a variety of ways, but it’s particularly good for the new Mom. It’s also something you can share with your child as they get older. Nick and I were just chatting how we can’t wait to take JoMarie swimming for the first time! Not only is swimming a decent cardio workout, but it will also help toned and strong – all in the supportive environment of good old H20.

Just remember to take it easy on yourself and love your body! The changes can be so hard, but they are so beautiful as well. Loving your baby is your main focus right now, everything else will come when it’s supposed to 🙂

Weekly Goodness:: Take 51

Happy Friday everyone!! It has been a long time since I’ve done a Weekly Goodness post. Not for a lack of goodness, more of a lack of time 😉 JoMarie is deciding to nap today after a tough night of sleep, and I for some reason am WIDE awake, so I thought I would pop in to say hello to MyGoodness readers!

I’m sure you can guess what my main goodness going on around here is 🙂 you guyssssss, she’s just too stinking cute and we can’t get enough of her. I have a full post coming up about being a first time mommy so far and how she’s doing but I will say now, Jo is growing like crazy, is starting to smile at us more, she is eating great (hints her every growing cheeks that we love so much ;), she hates tummy time and isn’t a fan of the evenings. Here is some cuteness of her to help brighten anyones day!

Below is a little camera roll version of what I’m loving this week! I have been loving this oatmeal for breakfast. It’s quick and easy which is what I need. I just add water, warm it up in the microwave, add slivered almonds and fruit and breakfast is a go! As excited as I was to have fully caffeinated coffee back in my life, we have learned it takes a toll on Little Miss, so I have to time my coffee intake very strategically and do not have more than 1 cup a day, so believe me when I say, I SAVOR that one cup and get excited for it. HEY, it’s the little things. Wine has been nice to enjoy once in awhile as well 😉 Add in my favorite KIND bars and bath time and this has been a good week! My little monkey is starting to wake up from her 20 minute nap, so off I go. Have a great Friday all and enjoy your weekend!!

 

JoMarie’s Birth Story

One month. It has been one month since we brought the most beautiful little human into this world and I still can’t believe it! This last month has been incredibly exciting, emotional, exhausting, and beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Life has an entire new meaning for us and this little girl has fulfilled us with overwhelming happiness. JoMarie is sitting in her rock n play next to me right now and I could just look at her for hours, and I have 🙂 I appreciate your patience and understanding with MyGoodness blog as I have most definitely been taking this time, to enjoy this special time that I will never get back. Today I am sharing Jo’s birth story. I can’t tell you how many birth stories I read and loved when I was pregnant so here is one more to put out in the blogging world, not to mention I am documenting this for my own memories too, so please brace yourself, this will be a long one! Our little lady arrived in a timely manner, on her due date, December 4th, 2016 with deep blue eyes, a head full of dark beautiful hair, and weighing 8 lbs exactly, and 21.5 inches long. Healthy baby girl!

Four days before my due date, I went to my weekly appointment to leave a little discouraged when I was told I still was not dilated, my cervix was still posterior, and progress wasn’t happening. The following days were filled with emails and text from my husband throughout the day asking how I was doing (his way of asking, IS THIS BABY COMING YET?!) we would chat each night before bed telling each other that MAYBE tonight would be the night she would come. I will never forget that feeling of anticipation waiting for this little girl to come join our world.

On Sunday, December 4th, Nick and I woke up and decided we would have a low key morning and go to our late church service at 10:45. Around 9:30 I started having some different sensations but I wasn’t convinced they were contractions as I was not having the tightening in my belly that I had read and been told all about. I figured it was late pregnancy uncomfortableness so we went on with our morning. By the time we got to church, I realized the pains were increasing a little and seemed to be happening often. Nick suggested maybe using the app we downloaded to time these, JUST in case they were contractions. Whatever it was, they were 2-3 minutes apart but were only lasting between 15 & 40 seconds. It wasn’t until we stood up to take communion and I started walking that I thought “oh boy!” as we walked back to our seats I told Nick we should probably go. We did our Sunday Aldi trip for groceries for the week after church and the pains were starting to intensify. We got home around 12:15 and we were on the way to the hospital an hour later after calling the nurse line and being told to come on in just to get checked.

We got to the hospital a little after 1:30 and after explaining to the nurse what I was feeling, she didn’t give me much hope this was IT. To our surprise, she checked me and I was dilated to a 4! This was IT!! We got admitted to our room and the contractions were uncomfortable but tolerable. My family was on their way from Iowa and only family and a few close friends knew I was in labor.  Things were progressing on their own and rather quickly. Contractions were around 1 minute apart and lasting 2-3 minutes at a time. Nick was so great, coaching me through each contraction. My goal was to hold off as long as I could before getting an epidural, if I did end up getting one. I didn’t love the idea of being restricted to my bed so I knew I wanted to hold off as long as I could. Each contraction was coming on more intense than the last and it was getting hard to focus during them. I remember telling Nick “okay after this one I’m done!” “after this one lets order the epidural” “I don’t want to do this to myself anymore” and I just remember Nick telling me “okay, after this one babe!” THEN we would get through that contraction and he would tell me “you got one more!” He knew my goal and kept me going as long as I could. The last time they checked me, I was  dilated to a 6 and I got to the point where I just couldn’t imagine physically having the energy for these contractions that much longer and not to mention, possible hours of pushing. Bring on that epidural!

The amazing grace 😉 of the epidural was given to me and I was checked immediately after, to be told I was dilated to a 9! A NINE! In the movies and everything I read, you push when you’re at a ten and I was at a nine, holy cow! Wellll that is not exactly how it worked for me. Have you ever heard of the term “labor down” Well, we hadn’t either, but let me tell you, I’m so glad we were being made aware of it now. Long story short, since you have an epidural, you can see what your body does naturally to get the baby lower once you are dilated to a 10. We decided to do that. I “rested” for an hour after I was dilated to a 10 and when I was checked after that hour, my nurse decided we should labor down for 1 more hour to see how low my body will naturally take the baby and then it was time to push, so that is what we did. I couldn’t take my eyes off that clock. Five minutes before we knew our nurse, Doctor, and my Mom would be coming in the room to be with us as I started to push our baby into this world, Nick and I held hands and prayed and this brought so much peace to my heart. Let’s do this!! I was ready!!

I was very blessed with a quick labor. I started pushing, and I pushed through 4 contractions, 11 minutes, and JoMarie Evelyn Elioff was placed on my chest at 9:36pm and I locked eyes with my daughter and fell so deeply in love. She is a healthy little girl which is all we hoped and prayed for. I am doing well too! I think I cry at least once a day BUT happy tears 🙂 I just look at her or Nick holding her and it literally is too much for my heart to handle. I’m in a constant state of awe and shock that I get to be this little girl’s Mommy.  I get to show her the world and raise her, and love her forever! Now I get it. Now I get what that motherly love is and I have never been more in love with Nick. JoMarie has put so much grace on our hearts and so many things just do not matter anymore, while other things now matter more than ever! God is so very good to our little family and I’m so thankful!

There you have it! Please excuse the typo’s and ramble that I’m sure go on in this post 🙂 I wrote it over two days, during Jo’s mini nap sessions and I am not taking the time to go read it and edit my mistakes. Thanks for stopping by today and bless you if you made it this far in this post! Happy FRIDAY!!! Now I’m off to go cuddle this little sweet girl.

Welcome JoMarie!

Good Morning! On December 4th at 9:36pm our world took the best possible turn we could imagine as Nick and I welcomed our daughter, JoMarie Evelyn Elioff, into the world!

I have thought about what to say in this post for the last few days and finally decided words just cannot describe the love and happiness this little sweet girl has put in our hearts! The last almost three weeks have been spent staring at JoMarie’s little face, learning new things about her each day, playing with her dark dark hair and rubbing her oh so kissable, chubby cheeks.

My contractions started around 9:30 the morning of 12/4, which happened to be Jo’s due date. I had similar contractions the week prior, so I was not convinced this was the real thing. Nick and I went to church and did our normal Sunday grocery shopping, timing the contractions as we went. After we got home, I labored at home for awhile before the nurse line told us to head in around 1:00 or 1:30, I can’t remember exactly. Things progressed rather quickly and before we knew it, we were holding the most beautiful little girl we had ever seen! I’m excited to share more about JoMarie’s arrival with you all and some details on our first moments together, more to follow 🙂 For now, I’m going to continue snuggling this baby girl and enjoying this time with my little family. I hope you all have such a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you all so much for the well wishes and love on Jo’s arrival!! Also, thank you for your patience with the blog and I will get around to answering all your emails soon!