Heidi’s One Month Recap

I took a nap when we got home from dinner tonight and Chris woke me up (since I apparently ignored my alarm) so I could put Heidi to bed. After he changed her I did my usual routine of feeding her and swaddling her then I laid her in her rock and play to go to sleep. 

Typically she is half asleep after her last feed so when I lay her down she’s quick to fade. She was awake when I laid her down tonight but not fussy. So I got up to wash some bottles and such, brush my teeth and get ready for bed. 

Maybe 10 min later when I was done I went to Heidi’s room to check on her, figuring she fell asleep because there hadn’t been a peep. I turn on my cell phone to shine over her to make sure she’s asleep but instead she’s smiling up at me wide eyed with her little hand propped under her chin. My heart practically melted on the floor!

I scooped that angel up immediately and sat in the recliner and rocked her to sleep while I talked to and prayed over her. 

That was one of those moments you just know you need to cherish because it won’t last forever. I welled up with tears as I thought. She won’t always be such a good girl. She won’t always be so tiny. She won’t always want to be held. So I took advantage and am locking this memory up in my heart. I love that girl to pieces.

Mommy and daddy’s first date!

This month Heidi’s height is almost 22″ and her weight is about 9.5 lbs. She’s still wearing newborn clothes and 0-3 sizes are a little big on her. I don’t mind because I’m glad we’re getting some wear out of things and to be completely honest, momma isn’t ready to let go of newborn status!

Her sleeping patterns are still pretty regular, about 4-5 times a day and she’s mostly sleeping 6-8 hour stretches at night now. She’s been sleeping through the night for the most part since day 2 home and can sleep through noise like a champ! She is becoming more alert and awake as the weeks pass.

Her feeding schedule is every 3-4 hours except at night when she goes longer. I love watching her eat, she’s always so focused and her milk drunk faces still make me giggle.

Some sounds and motions she makes are a little bit of cooing and stretching her arms out or kicking her legs. We’ve been doing tummy time daily the last week or so and she’s getting good at pushing up and holding her head up or turning it from side to side.

She likes when daddy talks to her and gives her kisses. She also loves going for walks in the stroller. She dislikes being wiped down and changed into new clothes.

Being a sweet girl at my one month check up

Her favorite toy is her little jungle kick and play piano mat and the singing owl bar on her car seat. She loves the peaceful piano playlist on Spotify. 

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Vision Boarding 2017

The start to this new year was unlike any past years but that doesn’t mean I’m not setting goals and laying out a vision for what I want 2017 to look like. I’ve never been good at sticking to resolutions but vision boarding was definitely something I could get on board with (see what I did there? Hah!). 

My gal pals and I started a tradition last year to kick off the New Year with a vision board party. What better way to set goals than to have your close friends around to share with and keep you accountable in the months to come? 

My 2016 vision board

While I did check off several of the things I laid out on last year’s vision board, being pregnant for the better part of 2016 altered things a bit. But that’s the beauty of this project — it’s there for you to visualize what you want to achieve but it’s not set in stone. It’s meant to keep your list at the top of your mind and motivate you to accomplish things.

Gal pals, wine, laughter and crafting!

To get started on your own vision board all you need is a list of goals, an idea about how you want to visualize them and the supplies you need to make it happen. I personally love collaging but some of my girlfriends like to use push pins and a bulletin board. Check out my friend Mel’s video on vision boarding

This year I decided instead of making a poster to display in my bedroom I wanted to create my vision board in my monthly planner. This way it’s almost always around for me to flip open to when I need to refocus.

I selected a patterned page from a magazine to serve as the background of my board and got to work cutting out words that represent the things I want to focus on in 2017. Before I knew it, my vision board had come together and positive vibes were flowing! 

Here’s a rundown of my 2017 vision:

Mom – Front and center on the page and in my life for the first time is my new role as a mommy. And as such, much of this year will revolve around that. This includes learning to parent alongside my husband, spending quality time together creating memories and establishing traditions for our little family.

You – While I do have a new title as mom, I also don’t want to lose sight of who I am. This is really important to me! This includes healing and being healthy in mind, body and soul. One of my goals is to get back to running and complete at least two 5Ks this year. Also, my job is changing and I am determined to grow professionally through that.

Blogger – Last year I was accepted into the Houston Food Blogger Collective but again, being pregnant got in the way of me really diving into that opportunity. I love exploring local food & drink and I want to get back to date nights and making that a regular thing so I can blog about it. 

Books – This ties in several things. I asked for an Audible subscription for Christmas because I knew I’d spend a lot of “down time” breastfeeding and pumping and I figured it would be a good time to engage my mind. I always liked reading but I typically find myself too occupied or sleepy to read and I want to change that. Additionally, at church this past Sunday our pastor introduced 4 books that we will be reading as a congregation throughout the year. I am really excited that my personal goals are being supported through church! “Books” also serves as a reminder to me to spend more time in scripture this year.

Serve with love – Another double meaning, so to speak. I want to find somewhere to volunteer my time this year as well as regularly open our home to friends and family for home cooked meals and great conversations.

Travel – The one consistent thing I strive for from year to year. Traveling really nurtures my free spirit. I love how it challenges me and teaches me new things. I love the way it makes time seem different and my heart feel excited. It’s important to experience new places as often as I can and I want to continue to share that with Chris and introduce Heidi to adventure outside of Houston.

Cup of Tea – This serves to remind me of the importance of friendships. My girlfriends and I make it a point to get together at least once a month to catch up and enjoy each other’s company, whether over tea, brunch, crafting or a weekend getaway. Relationships are the core of our existence and I want to nurture the ones that I have.

So that’s vision boarding in a nutshell. What’s on your agenda for 2017?

Heidi’s Birth Story

Let me start by saying that every birth story is special, despite if it turned out the way you wanted or expected or not. Our bodies are truly amazing and to bring another human into the world is a true feat. While Heidi’s birth didn’t go the way I had envisioned, she’s here and she’s healthy and I’m healing quickly so I’m choosing to see it positively.

I wanted to document Heidi’s birth before the details fade more than they already have in her first three weeks on this earth. I won’t make it graphic but it is a birth story so here we go…

I had an OBGYN appointment and ultrasound scheduled for the 22nd of December, a few days after my due date to make sure everything was still ok with my amniotic fluid levels and placenta. I knew there was a possibility of having to be induced that day but everything had been so great for my entire pregnancy up until that point so even though in the back of my mind I knew there was a chance I sort of dismissed it. Well, less than two minutes into the ultrasound the tech informed us she was going to send us to the hospital that day to be checked in for an induction. I immediately started crying. I wanted my baby girl to come when she was ready, wanted my body to naturally go into labor, wanted to labor in the comfort of our home with my husband. Not to mention I wasn’t mentally prepared that day. I’m supposed to have a few more days at least, I thought to myself. 

My last bump pic.

The next thing I knew we were headed home to pick up our bags, meeting with my doctor and getting admitted. The first few hours we were in a tiny room where nurses were monitoring me while we waited for a labor and delivery room to free up (apparently late December is a pretty busy time of year for births). 
It was about 2pm when we got checked in and I was so hungry. We had a late breakfast and had planned on grabbing lunch after my appointment but I was instructed that I couldn’t eat because of the induction. Well, at about 5pm we were still in the small room and somehow it was decided I wouldn’t be induced until midnight so I was cleared to eat. At that point my mom was headed up to the hospital and I requested Chick-Fil-A for my “last meal”. 

Shortly afterward we were moved into a nice big L&D room and the next few hours were spent killing time chatting and watching TV. 

Watching Big Bang Theory for comfort.

At midnight our nurse started me on pitocin to get things going. I was about 3cm dilated to start. I labored for about 4 hours until I was 5cm. The contractions were coming about every 4-5 minutes and while they were pretty uncomfortable they weren’t unbearable but it was almost 4am by that point and I was so tired. I decided I didn’t think I could go however many more hours with increasing pain and no sleep and be able to push when the time came so I asked for the epidural. 

Let me tell you, while the pain subsides after the epidural, getting it placed hurt like eff. It seemed like it only worked on one side at first so the anesthesiologist had to adjust it, working between my 3 minute apart contractions. 

After that I was more relaxed and was able to get about 2-3 hours of sleep. When I woke up we realized my water had broken. There was a window of time that was fuzzy to me, I suppose as a result of being exhausted and on meds. 

Next thing I knew it was about noon and I was 9.5cm. I somehow developed a fever so I was being monitored more closely as it was time to start pushing. I felt every urge to push as the contractions were coming and I was pushing like hell with all my determination. Baby girl was in posterior position, meaning her head was down but facing up, so the doctor was in there trying to flip her to be face down. She was able to rotate her but after two hours of pushing it was evident that this little one was just not going to fit. I wanted to refuse that it wasn’t going to happen naturally but my mom and Chris saw where she was getting stuck and both told me that the doctor was right. The doctor had been super encouraging and patient with me but at that point she was suggesting that I go in for a c-section for the safety of me and the baby and before more happened down there so I wouldn’t be nursing two wounds. 

They let our parents come in one at a time to kiss me before going into the operating room. I was balling. Again, not how I wanted things to go but I was praying and trying my darnedest to be flexible and reassure myself it would be well worth it the moment she arrived. 

The OR was so cold and Chris was escorted to another room to get scrubs on while they prepped me. I could hear everyone bustling about and I felt so alone and helpless laying there knowing I was about to be cut open. The nurse tending to me was so sweet, she put a heated blanket across my chest and asked what kind of music I wanted to listen to and the doctor told her we liked upbeat music because we had been listening to a playlist with artists like Major Lazer and George Ezra while I was pushing. 

Soon after, Chris was in the room with me and I instantly felt secure again. I could feel tugging and pressure and could hear and smell everything and just like that I heard Heidi’s little cry for a few short seconds. SHE’S HERE!! Praise Jesus!! Our sweet baby girl was finally here after the most challenging 24 hours of my life. 

First look at our precious daughter!

But again, I was in for disappointment. They whisked her away to clean her up and get her measurements and such. But because of my fever earlier, my placental infection and our different blood types she needed to go to the NICU for antibiotics. I didn’t get the chance to take advantage of the “golden hour” or stare at the little thing I had just worked so hard to bring into the world. Again, a crying mess. I guess I should have mentioned that I’m a pretty sensitive person as is, in addition to all the extra hormones that were pumping through me at that point. 

Heidi Lynn Anderson born at 2:55pm on 12-23-16. 7lbs 15oz and 19 3/4″.

Chris was able to go with her to NICU and stay with her while they stitched me up. Afterward I was taken to the post partum unit to rest and wait. And wait. And wait. I was able to see family but Heidi wouldn’t be brought up to our room until about 5 or 6 hours later. It felt like forever and I was hurting and feeling sad. 

Once I had her in my arms I never wanted to let go! She was so pathetic looking with all the monitor cords hanging from her and her little IV splint. But what a strong little human at the same time.

Finally going to get to hold her!

The next three days in the hospital were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced. I was so swollen and could hardly move because of my incision. I never could give myself enough credit that I had just had a major surgery done. Getting in and out of bed was a chore. We so take for granted being able to do simple things like going to the bathroom. We also had some challenges with breastfeeding and latching to start as she had been given formula in the NICU and I was pumping to supplement with colostrum. 

I am eternally grateful for the care that the nurses provided to me, emotionally just as much as physically (because I was a crying mess several times). I could also never thank Chris enough for being so supportive and helpful and for seeing past the unattractive things he had to see as my body began to mend and learn how to provide for our new baby. 

Getting some quality time with daddy.

Child birth is a process and while it’s definitely a thrill it also comes with its challenges and things you just have to experience to understand. We had educated ourselves before the actual labor and delivery but even then no one tells you all the details. You could probably never be completely prepared for this sort of thing. But then again, sometimes ignorance is bliss! 

Showering and putting on my own clothes after more than 72 hours felt amazing!

I was glad I didn’t have a birth plan that I was married to. I had a vision for what I wanted but ultimately I knew I wasn’t in control, just like I wasn’t really in control throughout pregnancy. I’ve learned time and again that God has a way of working things out and our story is no less special than the next so there’s no reason to beat myself up over something that wasn’t fully in my hands.