Meeting Family and Friends

Miles met a lot of family over the first few weeks of his life. Some drove quite a distance in order to meet Miles. His great aunt Addi drove three hours from Ohio, the Mathy’s drove an hour from Holland and cousin Noah sat in a car for about eight hours in order to meet Miles.

I didn’t get a picture with everyone but I did snap a photo of a lot of family and friends when they met Miles for the first time.

My cousin Noah came downstate for the first time. He rode with my parents and met Miles when he was one week old.

Noah also used FaceTime on his phone so Miles could “meet” his cousins Logan and Jonah and their mom Mandy, great Aunty Wendy and Great Grandma and Grandpa Kloida.  Sometimes I really love technology. I was so thankful everyone was able to “see” Miles and to talk with him.

FaceTime(click on the photos to enlarge them)
Ben’s Aunt and Uncle and their kids came to visit Miles a few days after he was born. Everyone held Miles, even though Jeremiah, the oldest boy, was reluctant at first. He did a great job trying out the football hold!
KruithofsAunti Addi came from Chicago to spend a few hours with Mr. Miles! Miles even opened his eyes for his Aunt and was awake for a bit!
AddiMy cousins, the Mathy’s, also came to visit that first week. Then my Aunty Sandy and Uncle Tom (bottom photos) came to visit the next week. I forgot to get a picture with cousin Sandy holding Miles but I will get one this weekend when we see her again! 
Mathys
I also forgot to take pictures of some friends when they first met Miles but I did get a few pictures of some of our friends who visited. Starting at the top left and going clockwise; Addison (Lauren’s daughter), Alyssa (college friend and neighbor), Jordan and Lindsey (my friends from high school) and Lauren (Ben’s friend from high school). 
Meeting Friends

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Month 1

In my attempt to catch up quickly I am going to do a few massive posts filled with lovely pictures of my little man. We have a big summer ahead of us and I know I will have lots to blog about! I have even managed to fit in some crafting since little man arrived so I want to show what I’ve been up to!

But before we can do that, here is a glimpse at Miles and his first month of life! He met lots of family members, had a lot of “firsts” and laid around looking cute. We were smitten with him (still are) so we take lots of pictures of him just laying around looking cute. Bear with me.

On our third morning with Miles I let Daddy sleep while Miles and I snuggled in the living room and caught up on some laundry and Facebook.

IMG_4201IMG_4204This was Miles’ bedroom for the first week. Pretty much everything he needed was within reach.
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Miles loved the swaddle for just under two weeks. When we swaddled him he would instantly calm down and would sleep well. Then all of a sudden he hated it, but for two weeks it was wonderful!
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It wasn’t until day three that we finally remembered to take a family photo. I wish we would have remembered on the day he was born but live and learn. 
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Miles was showered with gifts during his first month of life. This adorable personalized gift came from our downstairs neighbor and college friend, Alyssa. She made the monogram and then painted it on the little box. The box was filled with diapering goodies that were quickly used! The box now holds some of Miles’ infant toys. 
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Miles did a lot of sleeping during those first few days of life. Ben and I were actually pretty rested for the first few nights but that ended pretty quickly. We ended up being in bed from about 9pm – 11am for the first few weeks but only getting a few hours of sleep during that time.

Miles slept with us for the first month so we were able to catch quite a few pictures like the ones below!

IMG_4232 IMG_4233We lived in our bed for so much of the day/night that it often looked like this by mid afternoon. I used a ton of pillows just to get comfortable during the many hours I was nursing Miles and by morning there were random burp cloths and blankets in bed with us too. Many meals were had here too and most of the meals Ben fed me. Miles had an uncanny way of knowing when I was about to eat and demanding he eat first! 
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When Ben found out he was going to be a father he instantly dreamed of playing video games with his child in his lap. Ben was able to live out his dream when Miles was a few days old. Coffee, video games and Miles – life was good! 
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I had a hard time resisting snapping photos of Miles when he was sleeping. He was so peaceful and so beautiful! 
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Miles was jaundice for the five weeks or so. We were advised to put him in the sun as much as we could so there was a lot of sunbathing happening during the first few weeks of his life. April was especially cold this spring so Ben made sure Miles stayed warm while having his nakey time. Miles was laying on a heating pad and a space heater was blowing in his general direction. Gramma helped make sure he wasn’t too warm but was warm enough! 
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I soaked up every little detail of my sons’ body during those first few weeks. I snapped a few pictures of those little body parts that I knew wouldn’t be little for too long! 
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IMG_4246 IMG_4247Welcome to the gun show! 
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Gramma and Grampa watching over Miles has he sunbathed! 
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Daddy getting nakey snuggles with his boy! Those little wrinkles are to die for! 
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Grampa and Gramma soaked up every moment with Miles during the week they were with us! They spent the week in Kalamazoo and came to our house every day around noon. 
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Uncle Casey came to visit Miles too! He earned extra points for bringing me more cookie dough! 
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I was pretty concerned about Miles’ weight since I was breastfeeding so we used the scale that was belonged to Miles’ great-great grandma’s cousin, Betty. We continue to use the scale and love watching Miles grow! 
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IMG_4259 IMG_4263 IMG_4264Miles got his first package from the Tramp family! It included clothes for Miles and chocolate for us, including chocolate cigars! 
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As the days went on Miles became more alert and he tried out new faces. This is one of my favorite photos of his new expressions! 
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Miles would get extra floppy after he filled his belly and sometimes he would fall asleep in the funniest poses and places. Daddy is especially proud of this photo that captures Miles sleeping like a man with his hand in a silly place. 
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I still can’t get over those pinchable kissable cheeks! 
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Gramma and Grampa visited for a week then went home for a week then came back for an extended weekend. Miles had already grown so much in one week! Everyone enjoyed snuggling with him. 
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IMG_4296Miles lost his umbilical cord when he was around one week old. It didn’t last long but man I was glad when it was gone. It got quite stinky right before it fell off. It took awhile to heal up but his belly button looks fantastic now! 
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Justin and Tia came as often as they could to see Miles. They were moving back home within a month of Miles being born so they made sure to be with Miles often. Sometimes Justin came by himself because Tia was finishing up her bachelor’s degree.

During one visit we decided to take Miles to the park and for me to actually get out of the house and go for a little walk. It was still quite chilly and windy so we bundled up Miles and headed out side. 
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IMG_4307Our first time outside as a family!
IMG_4309 IMG_4314Miles’ first time at a park! 
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Miles goes down the slide for the first time! Just kidding, but it did make for a fun picture! 
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Parenthood rocks, but it wasn’t an easy transition. We often got distracted and didn’t finish tasks. Laundry would sit in the dryer for a few days, we would forget to eat food we cooked and in this case forget the faucet was running to fill up the sink to do dishes!

Thankfully when the sink overflowed it flowed into the other empty sink so no harm was done! 
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Uncle Justin on another visit got to visit with Miles who was alert. Uncle Justin sang and danced with Miles! 
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Daddy caught Miles and I sleeping one morning. There is nothing better than newborn snuggles! 
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IMG_4325We were too nervous to cut Miles’ nails so Ben attempted to dull his claws with a baby emery board, that too was nerve wracking!
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FLOPPY BABY! 
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More sunbathing! 
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Miles’ first car ride was to the Dr when he was two weeks old. He looked extra tiny in the car seat. At 2 months his feet hang off the edge! 
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Miles’ great grandpa Bosch was in the hospital with heart problems during the first month of Miles’ life so Grandma and Grandpa would stop by on their way to/from the hospital to get some snuggles with Miles. 
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Miles slept through most of the day and was alert more in the evenings. On this evening in particular Ben went grocery shopping for the first time and Miles and I were home alone for the longest time we had been alone. He did great! 
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Here is another gift Miles received. This hat was given to us by Miles’ great-great grandma’s neighbor. Her sister made it for Miles! 
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On another visit with my parents we made sure to take a few pictures as a family. Miles was not thrilled and cried through them. 
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IMG_4374 IMG_4380 IMG_4381My parents wanted to buy Miles a swing so the boys went to Target and bought one with the features that they liked. This swing had all the features they wanted but they didn’t pay attention to the design. The swing was pink and flowery. Whoops! That one went back and they bought a gender neutral one instead! My parents also bought Miles a bouncer. 
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Grampa worked hard to put the bouncer together for Mr. Miles.
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IMG_4397While Miles tried out his new bouncer his dad and uncle put together his swing. 
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IMG_4409He loved it so much that Miles gave us his first spit bubbles in appreciation. 
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Miles couldn’t have a real bath for awhile due to his umbilical cord and then circumsicion so he had a few washcloth baths. We discovered that Miles’ hair gets curly when wet – swoon!
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After Miles was nice and clean Daddy teased him by making him lick his toes. 
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Miles quickly learned how to swat at his toys that hang over him in his bouncer. 
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Finally a few weeks after he was born Miles was able to take a real bath. His first bath was in a roasting pan and he was NOT thrilled! 
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IMG_4427 IMG_4432We wanted to make sure Miles was comfortable taking a bottle so around three weeks he has his first bottle and loved it! It only took a few minutes to eat his bottle compared to 40 minutes with mommy! 
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Miles also had his first exposure to the Moby during his first month of life too. He didn’t always care for it but loves it now! 
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Miles got extra snuggly with Uncle Justin during one of his visits. 
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I bought a few little things before our baby was born and this was one. But by the time Miles wore this owl hat, it was already too small! Still made for a cute picture though! 
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Miles learned how to use a pacifier when he was three and a half weeks old, the night before Aunty Tia graduated from Honors College. He loved it instantly!
IMG_4457Miles was able to watch Auntie Tia graduate from Honors College and get her Bachelors Degree from Western Michigan University. He did a wonderful job with all the chaos! 
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We took some silly pictures with Miles while we waited for the graduation ceremony to start. 
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IMG_4478 IMG_4483 IMG_4487Miles looking dashing after a bath with daddy. 
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Before our baby was born I knew I wanted to do a birth announcement so I had made address labels for the people I knew I would send a birth announcement to and I also made boy and girl address labels so I was prepared either way!

Below are the two birth announcements that I made to send to our family and friends.
IMG_4512There you have it! Miles’ first month of life! Next is a post where Miles met his family and friends before we move onto month two!

Miles Day 2

On our first morning with Miles we woke up feeling fairly rested. Still tired after a long day the day before but we got a fair amount of sleep since Miles slept most of the night. Miles had his first real awake session that first morning while Daddy made breakfast. 
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My view that first morning was Miles and a delicious plate of food! 
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Ben made homemade hashbrowns and warmed up ham from Easter Sunday. 
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We had a fairly chill day with only a couple visitors. My mom and dad came by around noon and helped us out by doing some dishes. Our midwife Yolanda came around the same time and checked on Miles and I.

It was at this time she checked pricked Miles’ foot and took a few blood samples to make sure he didn’t have any serious issues (he doesn’t!). She said we were both doing well! I was in some pretty intense pain near my tail bone and she figured out it was my muscles and not tail bone that was giving me trouble. A little biofreeze went a long way and I felt a ton better!

DSCF6645 Miles snuggling with Mommy. DSCF6641This is Miles milk drunk. He would get extra floppy after nursing and his eyes would roll back.
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Miles sunbathing! He surprised us all and enjoyed it!
DSCF6612 - CopyAfter some sunbathing Miles got a little sponge bath from Mommy and Daddy while he was already nakey.
IMG_4180 IMG_4182Sweet naked snuggles with Daddy
IMG_4183After Miles was cleaned up a bit he had more snuggle time with Gramma and Grampa before they left around 7pm.
DSCF6622 DSCF6602Miles was most alert at night at the end of his second day. Daddy caught this photo with both of his eyes open. Miles would peek one eye open frequently throughout the day, we called it his pirate eye, but it was rare that both eyes would be open.
IMG_4196Goodnight baby.

Miles Day 1

Miles had his first visitors arrive around 2:30pm, Ben’s family. Grandma was the first to hold Miles. He wasn’t too happy but quickly calmed down thanks to Grandma’s special touch!
IMG_4141Grandpa looked on, clearly excited about the arrival of his second grandchild.
IMG_4144I think Ben’s mom looks like a supermodel in this photo! I love this one!
IMG_4149Grandpa’s turn to meet and hold Miles.
IMG_4150Casey was so excited and he looked so proud holding Miles for the first time. Uncle looks good on Casey!
IMG_4155Miles received a card and the start of his college fund and I got some cookie dough (without egg in it). It was a yummy treat and I loved having a spoonful throughout the day.
IMG_4157Ben’s family didn’t stay too long because they wanted to give my family some time with Miles too and well our bedroom isn’t too big and I wasn’t moving anytime soon! As my family arrived, Ben’s family left. I wish they could have stayed longer but also appreciated their thoughts behind not staying longer.

Then my family got to meet Miles. I know my parents and Tia were excited to meet Miles but I don’t think anyone was more excited than my brother, Justin! When they got the call around 8am that I was in labor, Justin paced like crazy and didn’t want to go to work. My family told him I could be in labor all day. Thankfully for their sake I wasn’t because I think Justin was tiring them out! Once they got the phone call around 10:30am that announced the birth of Miles, they decided they couldn’t be cooped up in the house anymore with Justin so they left Kalamzoo for Grand Rapids. After arriving in Grand Rapids they went to Cabela’s so Justin could buy Miles his first camo. I guess Justin worked himself up so much before the birth that he slept the car ride to Grand Rapids.They also stopped at Meijer and bought us some fruit and me some juice.

I know Justin would have loved our baby equally no matter what sex baby was but I think there is something special about a nephew. Justin has a niece whom he loves dearly but now he has a boy to hunt, fish and camp with (even though he enjoys those activities with his niece, Dani, too).

I imagine that my family fought over who would hold Miles first but when they came in, it was my mom who got to hold Miles first.

DSCF6583Then Grampa got to hold his first grandbaby!
IMG_4162Miles meeting Auntie Tia!
IMG_4166Uncle Justin has been waiting for this moment all day but was patient enough to let everyone else hold Miles first!
IMG_4168Uncle Justin gave Miles his first camo outfit when Miles was just a few hours old! After spending some time with Miles my family gave us some time alone and did some more shopping. They bought Miles some BOY clothes and other boy goodies.

When my family came back the boys walked to Cherry St. Deli and bought sandwiches around 7pm. They spent some more time getting in more snuggles with Miles and then my family went back to Kalamazoo for the night.

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I believe Ben, Miles and I were in bed around 9pm, if not earlier. Miles slept in his pack and play for part of the night but we weren’t super comfortable with that so he ended up sleeping with us for most of the night. Miles slept through most of the night so we actually woke up fairly rested.

Birth Story Part 2

For part 1 click here.

For some unknown reason I thought it would be a great idea to lay down on our bed with my head at the foot of the bed. So when Yolanda said she could see our baby’s head, I was not moving! This led to a bit of an extra unexpected challenge, mostly for Ben, but we’ll get there in a minute..

Yolanda said that when I felt the next contraction that I could push. This was the moment I had dreamed about. I was so excited to push after trying so hard not to push for the last hour. I was excited to get some relief and was even more excited because I knew baby would be here soon!

I pushed with all my might with that next contraction, and the contraction after that and the one after that.

Ben grabbed all the pillows he could find and used them to prop me up and keep me comfortable in between contractions. If I would have been laying the right way in the bed I could have leaned on our headboard, but I wasn’t thinking logically so I didn’t do that! Ben was sitting on my right side and I was pulling myself up using both of my arms on one of his arms during each contraction.

Yolanda kept me updated with baby’s progress into this world and shocked me by saying baby had a ton of hair! At some point Yolanda used a mirror to show me our baby. This was wonderful motivation!

I feel like I was pushing for an eternity with little progress. The contractions weren’t painful anymore and I barely felt them. I was quickly becoming exhausted and remember saying at one point that I can’t do this. It was then when Ben really stepped up and helped me through the pushing. I remember just staring at him and he could help me without even saying anything.

I’m working the hardest I have ever worked in my entire life when all of a sudden I hear a cell phone go off after receiving a text. I actually kind of got mad because I told Ben weeks before I wanted our phones on silent but looking back now I think Ben was a little busy so I can’t blame him. It was our friend, Lauren, who was asking me if their was any signs of baby because, well, Ben and I tried to coax out baby the night before. 🙂

I knew Ben checked the message but what I didn’t realize until hours later was that Ben actually texted her back.

The conversation went like this.

Lauren: So… any signs of that baby?
Ben: I can see the head!
Lauren: Haha! If that were true you would definitely not be texting me (she thought I was responding and didn’t know Ben was).

(half an hour later) Wait, are you serious??

(another half an hour later) Your non-response had me suspicious and excited all at the same time…ahhhhhhhhhhh

While Ben was texting Lauren I continued working my hardest to meet our baby.

Then all of a sudden major progress was being made and Yolanda told me how important it was to listen to her and do what she said. It was the best advice she could give me and I worked so hard to follow her instructions as I pushed so hard to deliver our sweet baby’s head. Yolanda urged me to put my hand down to feel my baby and I remember feeling baby’s wet hair and I believe it was about then that tears filled my eyes.

I watched Ben and his eyes as the love began to fill his eyes. This was the moment we had been waiting for. Pushing really had a purpose now and I carefully listened to Yolanda as she instructed me to push lightly, push hard, stop pushing and over a few more pushes I grabbed down and brought our child into this world. Our blue, squishy, slick baby was born at 10:10am on April 1st, 2013 after 8 hours of labor which includes one hour of pushing.

Yolanda quickly rubbed down our baby with a towel and covered baby up. Our baby quickly grabbed my finger as he/she rested on my chest. Ben and I both were crying as we watched our baby begin to cry. At this point we had no idea if we had a son or daughter but Yolanda did. After a few minutes of staring and touching and kissing our baby we found out this baby was a boy! Our Miles. Now things really felt real because this child, our child, had a name!

I had hoped to let a good amount of time go by before we had to cut the cord but due to my blood type we couldn’t so Daddy cut the cord a few minutes after Miles was born. I held on to our sweet boy while I delivered the placenta. I was nervous about this because I had just given birth to a chunky baby and wasn’t sure what to expect. Yolanda comforted me by saying I just gave birth to a baby filled with bones and the placenta doesn’t have any so I wouldn’t need to exert a ton of energy. She was right.

I’m going to share some not so pretty details but this is my way of documenting the birth so I don’t want to leave out anything.

Yolanda showed Ben and I the placenta and talked about it with us. She described different areas of it and then shared how she knew I delivered the entire placenta, how nothing was left behind. Yolanda then cleaned me up as I continued to hold Miles. Then came one of my least favorite parts of labor/delivery – moving! Remember my head is at the foot of the bed so eventually I would have to move. I was sitting on an absorbent pad (the kind used for bed wetters…) and Yolanda grabbed unto the pad from both sides and together we had to move me to the correct side of the bed. Because of the adrenaline I wasn’t in much pain after birth until that moment, ouch.

Then came another fun part, Yolanda squished and pushed on my uterus to make sure it stayed contracted and I didn’t continue to bleed. She continued to do this on and off for the next few hours and it was super uncomfortable.

It was around this time that Ben called both our moms to share the news that Miles had arrived. Ben told them we would call them later when we wanted them to come and visit. My brother was too antsy so my family came from Kalamazoo right away so they would be in town when we made the call to come and visit.

Miles then nursed for the first time as we lay skin to skin for the first few hours after his birth. Yolanda left us alone for a few hours and put away our dishes, completed paperwork, cleaned up after the birth, etc. She came in to check on us occasionally and push again on my uterus but it was only for a moment or two before she was gone again. On one of our visits, Yolanda scoured our fridge and brought Ben and I some fruit to eat and then brought me some juice.

Ben took a photo of Miles nursing and sent it to our family and some friends to announce that Miles had arrived. Ben sat next to Miles and I as he read all the messages to me.

I knew how it important that first nursing session was and how vital skin to skin contact was for Miles and myself so Miles hung out on my breast for a long time until about 12:30pm when Yolanda came in to weigh, measure and check over Miles.

Here is Yolanda.

IMG_4108Checking Miles’ head, spine, and limbs.

IMG_4109Miles was less than thrilled by all this poking and prodding so Yolanda took a few minutes to snuggle and warm up our boy before continuing.
IMG_4112Next up was checking Miles’ lungs. Yolanda said she could hear they were working well because of the way Miles was screaming!

IMG_4116I did my best to sooth him from a distance but he was beyond comforting at this point.
IMG_4117Then came the part I was most excited for, to see how big our baby was! He seemed pretty chunky so I couldn’t wait to hear the official numbers.
IMG_4118 8 pounds, 8 ounces! That is a lot of baby considering I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall! I was about the same when I was born and Ben weighed almost 11 pounds. I was thankful for a “bigger” baby but even more grateful that Miles wasn’t as big as his daddy was at birth!

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Daddy took all these pictures and this is by far my favorite from those first few hours of Miles’ life.

Then Yolanda dressed Miles in his first diaper, outfit, socks and hat. We had a neutral outfit picked out for Miles but when it came time to dress Miles Ben ran into the nursery and came back with this instead.

This outfit was one of the few outfits we bought before our baby was born. It came in a pack with three other striped onesies and we fell in love with them! They were a bit too boyish but we didn’t care – turns out it didn’t matter!

IMG_4125Now that Miles was nice and warm and had lots of skin to skin time with Mommy it was finally time for Daddy to hold Miles. I couldn’t believe we had gone a few hours without Ben holding Miles but in all honestly that time flew by and it felt like only minutes.

Ben wanted to continue the skin to skin time with Miles so he took off his shirt before reaching for his son.
IMG_4126I had waited for this moment for so long. I couldn’t wait to watch Ben become a dad and knew my heart would melt when I watched him holding his baby for the first time. I wasn’t disappointed. Ben looked so comfortable holding Miles for the first time – like he was made for this. Ben is such a fantastic and supportive husband that I knew he would make a spectacular father.
IMG_4128Ben and Miles spent some time together while I put on one of Ben’s shirts and then continued to admire Ben and his love for his son. I then got some more snuggle time with Mr. Miles.
IMG_4132At some point Yolanda left our home and then we were left alone with our little family. Yolanda suggested taking a few hours to ourselves, shower, eat, and soak up this time together. Miles was quite exhausted so we put him in his pack and play and then I showered while Ben cleaned up the bedroom a bit to prepare for when our family started to arrive.
IMG_4135 IMG_4136My shower felt amazing. Ben helped me get into and out of the shower and also had to help me get dressed but overall I was feeling pretty well. The adrenaline was still pumping through my body so I wasn’t feeling too terrible at this point yet. After my shower I got some more snuggle time with Miles as we called our families and told them they could come visit.
IMG_4138Miles was so pink a few hours after birth.
IMG_4139Daddy also got in some more snuggles with Miles before our family came and we had to share Miles.
IMG_4140Miles’ Birth Stats

APGAR at one minute: 9/10

Miles lost one point for still being blue at the one minute check

APGAR at five minutes: 10/10

                                                         Born April 1st, 2013

10:10am

8 pounds, 8 ounces

20 1/2 inches long

Birth Story Part 1

As I write this I am watching my nine week old boy starting to doze off in his bouncer. I am still in shock that our baby is here, my son, is here. After his birth I knew I wanted to take in this time and to take a break from the blog. But I’m back and will pick up where I left up so I can document my sweet boy and the beginning of his life.

Here is his story, in more detail than you might care to know… this is your warning. 🙂

My parents came downstate for a few reasons; to bring some of Justin and Tia’s belongings back up North with them because they were moving back at the end of April and to visit us for my Mom’s Spring Break. They came into town on the Saturday before Easter. The plan was for them to spend a few days with Justin and Tia and then spend a few days with us. They hoped that our baby would be born during  the week but with my due date at the end of their stay, I just knew baby wouldn’t come in time.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Ben and I had a very busy Easter. We attended church in the morning then went to his parents’ house for a delicious meal. At this point of my pregnancy my carb intake was minimal but because it was a special day I did eat half a baked potato. Then my parents, brother and future sister-in-law came into town. Together we made an Easter dinner and then spent some time dying Easter eggs and playing Ticket to Ride. During dinner I helped myself to more carbs; crescent rolls and two helpings of cheesey, bacon mashed potatoes.

DSCF6551 DSCF6553 DSCF6560My mom snapped this picture of me and the baby bump at the end of Easter Sunday. It would be the last photo of me pregnant.
DSCF6568My family left around 9pm and after cleaning up a bit, Ben and I went to bed. A few hours later I woke up with the strongest urge to pee and pee NOW. I quickly looked at the clock and noticed it was 1am and that I haven’t been sleeping for very long. I went to the bathroom but still felt the urge to go. I went back to bed but the feeling was so strong that I got up almost instantly to go to the bathroom again. This time more liquid came out.

It was at this point that I grabbed my Yoga ball and decided to spend some time on the computer until the feeling went away so I could go back to sleep. I was a little concerned about the extra liquid that just left my body and I decided to ask the ladies in a Facebook group that I am a member of. The Facebook group is filled with women who all had April due dates. I explained what happened and one mom said it sounded like baby would be here soon and a few others agreed.

As an hour passed by I started to feel quite uncomfortable and was having what I believed to be contractions. I woke up Ben at some point and then he went back to sleep. Around 2am I woke him up and asked him to be with me.

I started feeling more and more uncomfortable as the minutes went by. I now knew that I was having contractions but I wasn’t too excited yet. Even if this was early labor, I knew I could be in labor for hours or even days before baby arrived or that labor could stop all together.

Over the next few hours I worked with the contractions on all fours, on the Yoga ball, over the couch, leaning on a wall, bending over the kitchen counter and anywhere else I felt comfortable. I did my best to walk around the apartment and Ben did his best to keep me comfortable. Ben was timing my contractions and providing me drinks from a V8 juice box. We still weren’t convinced I was in real labor, at least I wasn’t.

Ben was suppose to go into work at 4am and he called work a few times letting them know that I was having contractions and if they continued he would not be coming in. Eventually he made the call and said he wouldn’t be coming in early but would continue to update them if he was coming into work for his regular scheduled time at 7am.

We weren’t sure when to call our midwife and since I figured I’d be in labor for FOREVER, we waited until a reasonable time to call her. It was difficult for Ben to time my contractions because they were pretty constant. Ben called our midwife, Yolanda, around 5am. It was around this time that the contractions were getting harder to manage so I moved to the bathtub. It was also around this time that Ben called work and said he wouldn’t be coming in that day.

After speaking to Yolanda, Ben updated me on what she said. Yolanda said it sounded like I was in early labor but it was likely that as the sun came up the labor would stop and it would probably start again in the evening. She would stop by around 8am to check on me and see how things are going.

5am to 8am is a blur to me. I spent most of my time in the bathtub sitting on a thick towel because it hurt so bad to sit on the hard bathtub. I did my best to breath with the contractions and I truly spaced out for quite awhile. Ben slept for awhile on the toilet and he thought my contractions were calming down and updated my midwife. In fact, my contractions were getting stronger but I was getting “used” to them and was finding a way to work with them and accept them.

I bounced around from the bathtub to the yoga ball to the toilet. I enjoyed sitting on the toilet because there was no direct pressure on my butt unlike sitting in the tub or on the yoga ball. Labor was getting pretty tough but I was still managing the pain pretty well.

8am rolled around and Yolanda arrived but we were unaware of her arrival. Our phones were on vibrate and she called both phones multiple times. At some point our neighbors saw her outside and after questioning her why she was on their porch, they let her in. Ben updated Yolanda with what he was seeing and then she came in by me. I don’t recall speaking much to her but she talked a bit to me. Yolanda checked my progress and said my water hadn’t broken yet and I was 6cm.

I was in shock. I was in labor. Our baby would be born at some point on April 1st, 2013.

Yolanda left and said she had some things to take care of and would be back no later than 2pm. She told Ben to call her if my water broke or I was feeling the urge to push. Ben called my mom and his mom and let them know the news.

It wasn’t long after Yolanda left that I couldn’t get comfortable and felt the urge to push. I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes in the tub or on the yoga ball. The pain was unreal at this point. I remember sitting on the yoga ball shivering because I was so cold and paranoid that I would be feeling this way for another 12 hours. I knew I was just 6cm and had 4cm to go before I was ready to push so I did my best to not push because I thought it was the right thing to do. I even remember Ben saying something along the same lines. We both didn’t even consider that I was progressing that fast.

I ended up spending most of the next hour on the toilet by myself. I had asked Ben to leave me alone and I couldn’t stop myself from pushing at this point. Finally I asked Ben to call Yolanda back. She arrived around 9am and after observing me for a few minutes she decided to set up everything she needed to deliver our baby.

I spent time alone focusing through the pain while Ben and Yolanda worked together in our bedroom. At some point I moved from the bathroom to the bedroom. I don’t remember if I moved without assistance or if Ben helped me. I do recall laying with my head near the foot of the bed and curling up into a ball. Yolanda came in and checked me once more and sure enough my water had broken at some point and she could see our baby’s head. It was time!

Our baby would be born soon and likely before lunch time.

It was go time!

(to be continued here…)

Week 39

Week 39I am a bit bummed and forgot to take a 39 week photo but my mom did snap this picture on Easter, the last night I was pregnant. 
Week 39 LetterHow far along?  
39 weeks

Total weight gain/loss:  35 pounds, more than I thought I’d gain..

Maternity clothes? Yoga pants, Ben’s shirts, Ben’s pajama bottoms and my work shirt… that is my wardrobe! When I go out in public my options are a dress with leggings.. yup, my wardrobe is quite limited at this point.

Sleep: Still can’t really complain. Good night, not so good nights and very little sleep nights are all a possibility at this point. I did sneak in a few naps this week though so life is good.

Best moment this week: I was thrown a surprise baby shower at work. The kids made group cards on large pieces of paper and I received a few gifts from my staff. The kids loved on the bump giving the baby hugs, tickling baby and trying to find baby’s butt (they were successful!). Of course, baby slept through the party despite the children’s best efforts to wake baby up.

Movement: Baby is most active after my daily half glass of orange juice and in the evenings as I am settling in for the night. <——– same as the last few weeks

Food cravings: Still craving sugary treats and carbs, both of which I am doing my best to cut out in the past two weeks. I would give up chocolate for three days (whoa!) if I could have a bowl of rice right now! Few more weeks..

Gender: Ben and I have both agreed that this is the part we are most excited for, to figure out if we have a son or daughter!

Belly Button in or out? Flat…gross..

What I miss: My normal self. I love being pregnant but I do miss my wardrobe, my shoes (I only wear ones I can put on by myself… so slip on ones), and being able to play with the kids at work.

What I am looking forward to: Seeing my family this weekend. They are coming down for my mom’s Spring Break with hopes of meeting their grandbaby. We will get to celebrate Easter together! I’m also looking forward to Spring Break/maternity leave. I am officially done with work and look forward to some time of rest and relaxation before baby arrives.

Milestones: On Wednesday, Ben and I went for a walk and we snuck away to a nearby cemetery that we often walk through. While we were there Ben challenged me to some intense fast walking and at one point we were (I was…Ben was fast walking..) sprinting through the cemetery. I called it sprinting, others may have called it waddling quickly, but the result was the same. Some extra intense Braxon Hicks contractions and a giggly mom and dad-to-be.  I’m thankful for the beautiful weather coming our way after all the snow/rain/hail/sleet we experienced this week.