7 months

Dear Crosby,

I’m a day late writing this letter, and even a short 24hrs makes a difference these days as you are booming in development and soaking in every ounce of learning as possible.

You are quite courageous my love. You are determined, focused and you thrive on learning curves and challenges. (As well as being the challenger) Testing our limits and keeping mommy and daddy on our toes. I just know you are going to do something radically profound and incredibly active when you grow up. You my sweet one, will probably be passionate.

My deepest desire is for you to be whole-heartedly passionate for Jesus. That your energy and tenacity be focused on the Lord. That your determination keeps you firmly rooted and planted in faith. There may come a time when you wander- but we’ll be praying that those days are limited and you only wander further into truth.

At 7 months old you’ve stolen the hearts of many, but you, my baby boy, you’ve completely captured my heart. Forever you will be my sweet Crosby. Forever you’ll be who taught me even more, who helped heal my heart.

You’re officially closer to age 1 than day 1. YIKES!
Love Always,

Your Momma

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Crosby’s Likes:

  • Bath time
  • Boobies
  • Moving from point A to point B
  • Laughing
  • Smiling
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Playing with toys
  • Going for walks
  • Solids are typically a hit- but sometimes he couldn’t care less.

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Crosby’s Dislikes:

  • Diaper Changes
  • Clothing Changes
  • On Occasion, the car seat
  • Teething
  • When momma takes away or puts toys/objects away
  • Cold food

Milestones:

  • Army crawling everywhere – very quick!
  • Working on two bottom teeth
  • practicing his pincer grasp
  • Starting to notice and enjoy watching someone clap or hit two toys together
  • Plus many many more that I can’t even keep up anymore

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Nicknames: 

  • Bubs
  • Buddy
  • Chubbers
  • Crozzy
  • Stinker Butt

Weight/Stats:

This is the first time I’ve not known! It’s making me crazy, but it’s also good for me to be patient and wait. I’ve worried about his weight since day one. From the minute the nurses told me he was on the bigger side and doing blood sugar monitoring constantly (which in hindsight was likely completely unnecessary) to losing weight (apparently too much according to the docs)  and then being slow to gain. Then he exploded and gained perfectly and then some. But yet, I’ve still worried. So it’s good for me to just trust and know that he’s doing amazing and thriving!

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TRIGGER WARNING

Over the last two years I’ve raised funds for the March of Dimes. It’s a passion of mine, for obvious reasons. I’m passionate about my littles who never made it here. But this year is different. We had some friends of ours from Church who had to say goodbye to their sweet little boy, Brody, far too soon. He spent 5 amazing days here on earth with us, but he went home to Jesus due to complications from being born prematurely. Once again, I am raising funds for the March of Dimes. I want to encourage you, if you can, to make a donation!

www.marchforbabies.org/babybrooks

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Let’s do something about this. Together.

Together we can all make a difference. This year I’ve raised my goal by a lofty amount, but I’m confident that with your help I can reach this goal. In honor of Brody’s sweet life, let’s make a difference. I’m so proud that I’ve already reached $500 raised but I still have $2,000 left to go!

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8 Weeks!

You don’t give Yourself in pieces, You don’t hide Yourself to tease us.

Dear Crosby,

One of my favorite songs to sing to you right now is “Jesus loves me”. Except, I’ve changed “me” to “you”. If there is one thing I want you to always know is His reckless, crazy, radical love for you. Yes, you. It will never change. It will never fade, it will never cease. It’s pure, it’s perfect, it’s all you’ll ever need. I need you to know that. Your momma didn’t learn it for a quite some time and I spent far too much time looking for it. He will love you far better and far longer and with perfection for the rest of your days.

You’ve changed my life, you’ve challenged me. You’ve shown me my imperfections and selfishness. You’ve taught me how to love, you’ve taught me how to laugh at the really hard things. You’ve taught me how to hold my tongue. Most importantly you’ve shown me how to love your daddy better too. You’ve shown me how to prioritize and truly know what is important, what can wait, and how to cherish the moments that are passing far too fast.

Each day I hold you and you’ve changed, you’re bigger, you’re stronger, you’re smarter. And one day, you wont need me. One day you might not want me. So, I’m gonna hold you close and pray over your tiny little body, your tiny little mind and your tiny little heart –  one day you won’t be so tiny and I’ll still be praying.

He loves you, Crosby. I don’t want either of us to ever forget that.

He is for YOU.

Love you always…

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Crosby’s Likes: He still loves his boobies. Seriously, this kid is a true oinker and his weight it finally showing it. He’s gaining on average almost 2 oz a day which is perfect! He is just shy of 12 lbs now and starting to get a few rolls. We happen to have a long baby! He is now 24 inches long, that’s 3 inches in length since birth! No wonder this boy loves his sleep. Unless he’s beyond tired then… we don’t sleep. We cry. All of us. We all cry.

We’ve recently introduced a flexible schedule and he is now eating every 3 hours unless he happens to be hungry earlier. He is responding fantastically to our new routine, and I’m happy that we are all starting to get a little more sleep! Having a consistent schedule has made a huge impact on his fussiness and his reflux. He has always been generally happy but now he’s just incredibly sweet and snuggly and all smiles 90% of the time! He takes a bottle (breast milk) well, however it’s incredibly rare that he receives a bottle (maybe once every couple of weeks?). So, for the most part we are exclusively breast-feeding. We did run into a reflux issue which we have narrowed down to a milk/dairy protein sensitivity. The LC said it is most likely temporary but for now, it means this momma has pulled out all the stops to make sure my diet is in check (I’ve tried cheating, just look at the bags under my eyes today for the proof that cheating is just not worth it, for me or Crosby), I’ve also gained some great positions for burping him, holding him, and nursing him. So, overall we’ve seen a HUGE improvement, although I’m pretty sure we do more laundry than anyone I know cause he still spits up pretty frequently.

Improvement – He loves bath time now! YIPPY! However he doesn’t like being chilly afterwards so we rush to get him dressed! He especially loves baths with me 🙂

Crosby’s Dislikes: Waiting for food 🙂 Gas pains, reflux. He doesn’t like it when things hurt (I don’t blame him one bit, and its usually always my fault when the reflux is bad… poor baby).

Crosby’s Milestones/Development: Crosby can hold his head up very well, he is batting at his little friends that hang from his activity mat, he loves to smile and coo and squeak and squawk at himself in a mirror and also back at me or his daddy. He is incredibly conversational. He tracks things with his eyes and turns to look at noises from different directions. He is doing very well with all the milestones he should be meeting. I couldn’t be more proud. I love that I can see something new that he’s learned every day! It’s amazing!

Nicknames: Chunk-a-muffin, peanut, bubs, boyfriend, sweetpea!

Weight: Just shy of 12 pounds!

How’s Momma?: I am 100% healed and back to my normal self. I am not down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but in due time, I’m sure! We still have our occasional latch issues (usually when we try to introduce a binki), I probably pump after feedings about 3-4x a week, and its usually just 1-2x a day. So not very often and because it’s after nursing I usually only get an extra ounce or two max. I am still struggling with a postpartum headache, some days are better than others, so perhaps it’s on its way out! I hope! I still worry about my supply but I choose to trust in the wet and dirty diaper rules and based on his weight I think I produce just enough to keep my baby happy and healthy.

Breast-feeding has been by far the biggest obstacle and hardest thing we’ve done together. I’ve been determined to continue and each passing week we achieve milestones and are successful. Each week we get better and better. Even though it’s been incredibly hard – it’s been worth every single tear and struggle. I am still just as passionate about it today as I was before I even started. I’m proud of the hard work we’ve put in and it’s clearly paying off!

Some days I find myself struggling, especially when I realize I haven’t showered or spent any time alone in a few days, or on days when my best effort is changing my clothes and brushing my teeth. I think it’s all normal, each new momma has to find her balance and routine. Because he can be considered a little needy, or “hard” to some it just took us a little longer to find our flow. I’m very thankful for the time I’ve been able to take off work and spend my days with him and learn together. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

8 weeks flew by! I just can’t even believe it. Over the last 4 weeks I also became an auntie again!! Yippy! I love being an auntie! He is just perfect!

Cousins, exactly 6 weeks apart!

Today, my sweet sweet Grandpa starts chemo. If you are the praying type be praying for him, the family, for healing, for strength. He has a long road ahead of him and we all hope this gives him more time to spend with family and enjoying time with the ones he loves!

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month!!!!!!

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Blooming… in more ways than one!

I’m choosing to set aside my pride and ability to hide behind a blog. Usually, one can type away making things seem glamorous or great when really things are less than awesome. Not that anything MAJOR has happened or that anything is wrong or that I’m some depressed human, but I’m just going to admit, being 36 week pregnant is a lot harder than I anticipated. I did NOT expect some of the feelings, both physical and emotional, and I didn’t expect to be so…. moody. I couldn’t be more thankful for a patient and understanding and supportive husband at this point. I’ve actually been avoiding blogging… Basically because I’m tired, and honestly I just don’t feel like it. In a nut shell, I’m feeling a little less than efficient, kind of overwhelmed, and seriously behind. I know there are some pretty amazing women who work full-time right up until the day they pop (and these wonder women still manage to get their to-do’s done and meals prepped, and checklists complete, I’m just realizing I’m not THAT type of wonder woman…), and that’s exactly the route we’ve chosen as well, but seriously, it’s flippin’ hard. And I don’t think that really adequately describes my personal feelings towards it.

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Due Date: August 6th, 2015

How far along: 36 weeks – Second goal MET! I failed to do an update for week 35 so, I have two lovely sets of pics for you. My midwife estimated little dude to be about 7lbs now and she said that he’s more than welcome to come anytime he wants. She is completely comfortable with how things are, but obviously we’re all cheering for as long as possible. But for this momma’s sake… I’m hoping it’s at least a tiny but early. I get increasingly crabby trying to prep myself to go to 42 weeks. I doubt that will happen, but honestly, you never.really.know.

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Next Appointment: Next Tuesday. They’re really quick appointments. I’ve already completed my GBS test and it was negative, so now we just check in once a week, talk, check the HR and FH, and say see you next week or see you soon if there’s a baby to be born. I’m at least hoping/expecting to hold out until week 38, cause our doula is on a much deserved vacation for week 37.

Gender: Boy – Crosby Dixon

Exercise: I am now released for all normal activity, obviously within reason. But no more modifications for me! Yippy! So, it’s gonna be swimming (running back and forth in the pool). I’m not sure I could manage a yoga class at this point. But maybe I’ll try it out again, even if it’s just for a giggle.

Stretch Marks & Belly Button: Nada! I’m pretty proud. Several months ago I took out the weight tracker – it was a struggle for me for a while, but I think I’ve gained so steadily and within a GREAT range (holding steady at 26/28ish lbs), that it’s allowed my body to adjust nicely. My belly button is still half in, half out. It changes every day. Sometimes it’s flat.

Sleep: It’s a surprise every night 🙂 And on weekends I’m learning the art of 2+ hour naps.

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Cravings: Nada. Food. I just want food. All the time. And like good food. I want breakfast, and loaded sandwiches, and dinners filled with yummy food. Instead we snack, and hodge podge it together cause I don’t want to cook/don’t have the energy to cook. And right this very second, a whiskey river BBQ chicken wrap from Red Robin sounds amazing. With ranch and streak fries. What’s sad is I will take 4-6 bits and be full and I’ll cry cause I just want to eat a full meal.

Symptoms: Contractions, fatigue, pretty much anything you might expect from someone who is 35+ weeks prego. The hip pains, and swelling is seriously uncomfortable. I don’t know how women survive pregnancy without a pool in the summer. It’s such a life saver.

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Movement: His movement has changed a lot. It’s not quite as frequent and its become a lot more…. defined. I know when it’s a foot, or knee, or butt. I know exactly where his head is and which way he’s facing. It’s weird. But, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love it. I’m going to miss it.

Baby’s size/Milestones: After this week, Crosby will almost be carried to term – the rest is mostly just baby fat from here on out. His digestive system is the only major system in his body that is not fully developed yet – although Crosby has had plenty of practice swallowing, he will not be fully digesting food until he starts eating on the outside. Crosby is probably close to 19 inches, and 6 lbs. (or as my midwife is estimating – a whopping 7lbs!!!! But, he’s always measured HUGE from day one. I’m not terribly surprised if he’s an overachiever in the weight and length department), the size of a papaya, although variation between the height and weight of different babies increases as they get closer to birth, just like how you are bigger or smaller than people you know.

Labor Signs: 36 week goal – MET. On a day-to-day basis, I never know what my body is going to do. I’m honestly both consumed with wondering when it’s going to happen and simultaneously not even paying attention because some things that happen can mean something AND nothing. Like dilation and effacement… I could stay right where I am for weeks and week. Or it could change tonight. So, I trust that his birthday is secured in Gods hands and I trust he’ll make an appearance when he’s ready.

Miss Anything: I miss feeling normal. And I have a feeling I may not ever feel “normal” again. But, I will say it might be a nice break to have my insides to myself again. But really, I’ve enjoyed this process more often than not. So I can’t really say I miss a ton. Sleep, maybe I miss sleep. But I’ve long let go of the idea of a good night’s rest. And that’s ok. That’s how it should be, but I’m still a pansy sometimes and I want to whine about the lack of sleep.

What I love:  I love watching myself and my husband learn to adapt to a huge change that’s coming. I have a love/hate relationship with these changes and how I navigate them. Some days I win, some days I lose. And some days, as my sister-in-law S stated, I just need to forget where my feet are, lay down and Praise Him. Bingo. Love the journey! Love the little dude I’m gonna meet soon. Love the transition from a family of 2, to a family of 3 (well, 6 if you count my babies who aren’t here).

What I’m looking forward to: Birth, labor, delivery. Maternity leave. Seeing my mom. Meeting Crosby.

Recent Purchases: I suck at this section, mostly because I don’t take pics. But I will say here’s what’s going on the wall on each side of the window. I haven’t hung them, we probably should… Other than that, there are lots we’ve bought, but nothing I can list out.

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Best Moment this week: Same……Realizing I’ll never again be pregnant with THIS little dude (and perhaps maybe never again… only God knows) has made a lot of moments really bitter-sweet. It’s helping me remember that these aches and pains and discomforts are worth it and purposeful. It’s helping me remember that I can do this and I’ll likely miss it once he’s here. I don’t want to be so wrapped up in my head and my pain/discomforts that I completely miss the purpose and the lessons of NOW. It’s not as easy as it seems.

I realize this is lengthy, but I know if I don’t write about it now, I never will. And I’m feeling like I just need to get it out.

38 weeks. That falls on July 23rd. July 23rd happens to be a day that I will never ever forget. In fact, I still remember vividly what I was wearing, the phone calls that were made, and the struggles that compounded into one day. July 23rd was the day that we agreed to terminate a much desired pregnancy that happened to be located in a spot that would not be viable and it posed a great risk for my life if we let it continue. Maybe it wouldn’t have continued without intervention, but a tubal pregnancy isn’t really something you take chances with. My appointment was around 330p and by 7am the next morning I was in surgery. I don’t know why having THIS specific event fall so close to delivery time makes me squirm. It’s been 2 years since that day, and still, I get uneasy and sad. We’ll never know the true gender but we have always called this babe Our Little Flower. And in memory of that babe we bought an African Violet flower.

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It blooms vibrant purple flowers on occasion, but not very often. In fact, the last time it bloomed I was pregnant with Colton. It died the same day I had my D&C…. It hasn’t shown any sign of blooming since. Until this morning. Maybe it’s a bloom starting, or maybe it’s just new growth. But, it lifted my spirits a little. I’m on edge, I have a lot of feelings around each passing anniversary date that I never know how to navigate and I never know what to do with. I’m hoping that as the years pass it becomes easier.

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I think what’s made me most edgy is my husband has, from the very beginning of this pregnancy, thought that we will welcome little Crosby at 38 weeks. It was only recently that I brought up what 38 weeks was. I’m not mad, and in fact, I think it would be almost bitter-sweet if he was right. Maybe bringing to a close a sad chapter and replacing it with sweet redemption. Either way, my heart gets unsettled. I start to panic that if we happened to lose Crosby around the same date (which I don’t know why my brain even goes there, there is no reason we should lose him) July will be ruined forever. And this is where the faucet of irrational thinking and worries come flooding in. It’s tricky, and I tend to run with those fears far longer than necessary.

So this is my rant/rambling of things I don’t even know how to process, but it needed to come out. Or maybe I figured I should share. Or something….

So on that note, I’m feeling especially thankful for sweet friends and supportive family. And an extremely patient Husband.

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Trying Too Hard

I didn’t want to blog today.

I’m in a foul mood, I’ve been super discouraged, annoyed with people, and just… blah.

It’s no secret and not easily hide-able the changes that occur to a woman’s body during pregnancy. Maybe at first it is… But after a while, its all just – out there. Here’s what I have to say: If you think it’s even remotely acceptable to make any comment on a pregnant woman’s body that doesn’t resemble a compliment – keep your mouth shut. Seriously. It’s completely acceptable to ask when she’s due, if she’s having a boy or a girl and offer up some congratulations of some sort. However, it’s not acceptable to comment on the food she’s nibbling on, it’s not acceptable to remind her how big she is and make faces when you receive the answer of how much longer until she pops. It’s rude – it’s inconsiderate, and further more, you have no idea how it will impact her.

Maybe I’m just annoyed and need to grow thicker skin – but seriously. I am proud of my NORMAL – and healthy – weight gain, I am proud of the snack choices I make and I am proud of the little dude who happens to be thriving. Yes, I am feeling incredibly insecure, incredibly large, and sadly  completely unattractive. Keep your opinions to yourself 🙂 Unless you want to compliment me, then I’ll freely hear what you have to say.

Comparison has been a joy thief for me. I’ve often looked and compared pictures of myself to my twin sister and her pregnancy with my nephew. I think after today I’ve learned that even though we are twins, we clearly carry babies differently. I’ve been stuck inside my own head and I have let it beat me up minute after minute. It’s drained my mood and I’ve been battling serious inadequacy feelings all day long. It’s like I’m quickly forgetting the amazing work my body is doing and the amazing work that God is doing. It’s sad and it definitely impacted my day, and I hated every second of it.

Yeah, I’m big – but my baby is healthy and gaining the weight he needs.

Yeah, I’m tired – but my body is working really hard, and I’m not so concerned with being as done up as I used to be… Who cares if I don’t wear concealer right now… Yes, I have bags under my eyes and I don’t “poof” my hair like I used to….

Yeah, I’m a little fluffy right now – but I needed to gain weight to have a healthy baby, and to breast feed, and to grow a human – trust me, it’s not all fat.

I’m not sure why some of this wasn’t good enough reason for me to just shrug off some comments and be confident in what my body is capable of, of what God has allowed me to sustain.

I like me… I like my baby… I’m better than this, even if I’m tired, crabby, sore… I need not please anyone but God.

Due Date: August 6th, 2015

How far along: 34 weeks – First goal MET! I seem to have gotten noticeably bigger in just a short week… I’ll do you a solid and even do a side by side of last week to this week.. WEEEEEE 🙂 The Red shirt is 33 weeks, and the purple shirt is 34 weeks. Growth spurt? Dropping? Big.. Yup.. Big.

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Next Appointment: Honestly, I cannot remember – but I know that it is sometime next week. I just can’t remember the date or time. Thank you Jesus for text/call appointment reminders. I can’t keep track anymore. I got to skip this week since my last appointment went so well. We’ll start weekly appointments next week. Little man is more than welcome anytime after 36 weeks.

Gender: Boy – Crosby Dixon

Exercise: I’ve been cheating and trying to do the stairs on days that I feel good. Other than that, I’m a bump on a log. I hate it. I want to do my laps in the pool and move around. Oh well, two more weeks and then I’m released for at least a little more activity!

Stretch Marks & Belly Button: Nope 🙂 And in/out/flat combo. So weird.

Sleep: HA! I am SO looking forward to purposeful sleeplessness. For now, it’s just annoying.

Cravings: Nothing really. But I do find I want milk shakes and pastries a lot more often. Or pancakes. Ok, basically carbs.

Symptoms: Contractions, fatigue, pretty much anything you might expect from someone who is 30+ weeks prego. But, considering some have it pretty bad, I’m very lucky and have had a fairly easy/boring pregnancy.

Movement: Always rolling, twisting, kicking, punching. He loves to use my hips and ribs as a place to stretch from, it’s cute – and painful 🙂

Baby’s size/Milestones: Right now, Crosby is measuring in at somewhere around 18 inches, the size of a savoy cabbage, and weighs in the neighborhood of 5 lbs (or according to my ultrasound on Friday about 5 pounds 10 ounces…. He was measured to be as big as a 35 week baby at 33 weeks, and my FH was 34) – big enough that otherwise healthy babies born as early as this generally do just fine. His lungs, brain, and central nervous system keep rapidly developing, and all but the lungs are reaching their final stage of development in the womb. He is currently busy using my immune system to help build his own. The vernix caseosa, that slippery coating that will help Crosby move through the birth canal, is covering his body as he gets closer to delivery day. He is also peeing up to a pint a day, and preparing that tarry meconium for his first poop. Excellent work dude – grow baby grow!

Labor Signs: 34 week goal – MET. On to 36 weeks! Thankfully the contractions and BH’s have slowed way down and I’ve only needed to use my medication once. I usually try to manage them with a bath, Tylenol, and bouncing on my exercise ball.

Miss Anything: I miss being able to sing. Sounds silly – and don’t get me wrong I still squeak out a tune or two… But, this whole pressure on my lungs and baby thing taking up every inch of my torso has really put a halt on things. It’s sad for me. My voice feels out of shape. I can’t wait to get it back!

What I love: My little man, growing a belly (most of the time), preparing for his arrival, celebrating his little life already!

What I’m looking forward to: Unrelated – My hubby’s Birthday! He already spoiled 3/4 of his present, but he loves it.

Baby related – I’m looking forward to finish shopping this weekend for last-minute items, I have a breast-feeding class on Saturday, and a pool day on Sunday. I can’t wait to just float and do nothing. Seriously. Cannot.Wait. I’m looking forward to a lot. Especially his arrival.

Recent Purchases: Well, we went shopping and somehow spent a nice portion of the gift cards we’ve received – but I can’t quite make a list of things we actually got. So for now, I’ll just show you a few pics of his room so far. We have lots left to do – but it’s slowly getting there!

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(the top of the changing table is housing some possible decorations – So don’t mind that mess)

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Best Moment this week: I’m struggling with this one… But – realizing I’ll never again be pregnant with THIS little dude (and perhaps maybe never again… only God knows) has made a lot of moments really bitter-sweet. It’s helping me remember that these aches and pains and discomforts are worth it and purposeful. It’s helping me remember that I can do this and I’ll likely miss it once he’s here. I don’t want to be so wrapped up in my head and my pain/discomforts that I completely miss the purpose and the lessons of NOW. It’s not as easy as it seems.

Have a happy weekend!