Slow Down!

Hi friends!

It’s suddenly almost July and I finally have grasped what people mean when they say time flies.  We’ve already had multiple weekend trips to the beach, my tanlines are back and here to stay for summer!  We’ve had our first swim in the ocean, ice cream on the pier, walks on the beach, sandy swim diapers, grilled dinners, playing outside, sweaty nights with the mosquitoes, and lots of laughs!  Tony has started his new career and opened a gym location of his own, he’s been super busy but in a wonderful way!  He’s traveled to the Netherlands and back, he turned 30 upon his arrival home, he’s pushed himself and spread himself thin but the growth in my husband and Coralynne’s Daddy is incredible!  We threw the best surprise party to welcome Tony’s 30th year and that has been the building block of his new path!  I am so proud of him.  We celebrated his third Father’s Day, truly his second, but when I was pregnant I gave him a gift and we celebrated him!  I believe the day you find out your pregnant, parenting begins on both sides!  As a Mom you’re in charge of caring for your body in ways you never knew and as a Dad you are responsible for being there for your Baby Momma!  And Tony always was, he’s the best!  We love him so much!

I’d say the first two months of 2018 were pretty rocky and unsettling.  Between the thrush Coralynne and I had, to the flu that swept the house (thankfully Cora and I were safe and didn’t catch it!), to Tony leaving his old workplace – also meaning that we lost some friends who didn’t want to see him leave.. but that’s okay!  Praying things will calm down and people will realize at some point when God opens doors, you have to follow His lead!  We’d be foolish to have not listened and Tony to have stayed at his old job.  In the meantime through this all we have really been working to buy our house (I have gray hairs popping in..)!  We are in a rent to own.  As a first time home buyer, maybe not the best option, but it has been our only option and God is making the way.  It’s been stressful and scary, but in the moments that Tony has to balance my attitude and perception, he does, and vise versa.  We’ve grown so much together this year and Coralynne has been the most precious gift to us through it all!  She’s always the sunshine to our day.

Of course having a baby 20 months ago makes life change, but truly the first year of Coralynne’s life, and the more I talk to my fellow Momma’s about this, life is hard and the transition is not easy.  But not hard because you have a beautiful baby, but hard because you have this new precious joy between your husband and yourself.  Someone that you love so much, just as much as your husband but in an entirely different way!  It wasn’t until January 2018, good golly, that Tony and I sat down and realized we hadn’t been parenting together at all.  Yes we had been parenting Coralynne the best we could, but not in the same mindset.  Not in the way a husband and wife should.  We were parenting how we each thought was best and didn’t ever consider the others feelings or thoughts.  Wow.  That was crushing to talk about.  There were tears from this Momma and heartache from Daddy.  It should have been talked about before Coralynne came into the world, but this is a topic that can’t be discussed until after our precious ruby was born and life began as a family of three.  Of course we have grown from this conversation.  I’d say a lot of prayers from both of us, to restore the fire between us and to reignite our desires the way God intends for us to be!  We joined an amazing marriage group through our church.  It was six weeks but turned to twelve and it truly grew us.  We would discuss things that seemed to be a common marriage struggle.  We had four couples to bounce these things we may have thought seemed crazy and little but things that were really issues everyone faces.  It was so reassuring to hear from couples who’ve been married much longer than us, that it was a season and we’d get through it as long as we put one another first, even before our baby!  Say what?!  No one comes before my sweet Coralynne.  Wrong, I have been able to shift my way of doing things.  So yes, I now will discuss things with Tony and put him first before doing my own thing.  I almost feel like I lost a little independence and have become more dependent, even with parenting, on Tony!  Which is wonderful.  If I can become so dependent on God and myself, Tony surely deserves to be up on the pedestal for my thoughts and decisions to be sifted through!  Needless to say, our marriage is in a state that I’ve prayed for since Coralynne has came into our lives.  Our marriage is strong and unwavering because of our foundation.. God.  You hear that growing up, you listen to your family and pastor say it for years, but until we made God our foundation, our marriage didn’t seem complete.  That is so crazy to re-read but it’s so true!  I pray all of my friends find this balance and completion in their own lives sooner than later!  I won’t say it’s been easy to get here.. really I would say there has been hours of prayer and worship and meditation – I would always joke with Tony and say go read my journal!  I’ve been praying for this!  He never did, but if he did he would surely know my hearts yearn for this!  All in all, year three and half of marriage is where I’ve really felt married to my best friend and it’s the most amazing feeling in the world!


Our girl is now 20 months and 5 days and is a little wild child, firecracker, free-spirited, fierce and serious, loving and cuddle beauty!  She is the perfect little mixture of Tony and I.  Some days she’s my twin, other days her eyes shine like her Dads.  Regardless of the day and new little attitude that comes to life, I love every little ounce of her.  And I must say, now that Tony and I are in a different place in our marriage, the love I feel for Coralynne has grown in a way I wasn’t aware it would.  When I see little cute things she does, I see Tony.  Before, I would feel a little annoyed like, “Your dad does that too.”  Okay, y’all, this blog is me being brutally honest but if not why share?  But this is how we really grow!  God doesn’t always pull out the beautiful things but also the things that will make us more beautiful – the ugly.  The ugly truth about ourselves that we continue to push down more and more but we don’t grow until we face those truths!  Of course I’m not any sort of professional when it comes to giving advice, but I’ve done enough bible reading and praying, that God has taught me this – He isn’t going to just hand everything to us and when we are so badly wanting growth in areas, He is going to make us work a little bit!  And that isn’t a bad thing.  I’ve become more sincere and more loving to my husband which is growing my family.  I’m setting the example for Coralynne, I want her to see the genuine love I have for her Daddy everyday!  I want to be sincere and gentle, a Mom who seeps love from my pores!  Sounds a little too good to be true?  I don’t think so.  God is a God of love, I can be a person that spreads that same love that God has because He lives in me, too!  Give this song a listen – New Wine by Hillsong Worship – Jesus has the power to bring newness out of us.  But like the song says, “in the crushing, in the pressing..”  He makes a vessel out of us after these days weeks or months of working things through us.  All in all, things have shifted and I know the Momma I’m being to Coralynne is reflecting through her along with the wife I’m being to Tony.  It’s always an adventure here at our home!  The past few months Cora has became a sneaky little girl – she snuck out the front door and fell down our front stoop, scary as heck but she was blood free, thank you Jesus!  She’s began to hide in our closets or the shower and she doesn’t make a sound until we’re in an all out panic trying to find her.  Thank God she moved and the hangers collided or else I would have thought she disappeared in thin air!  She’s a funny little girl.  She wakes up the smiliest especially when she gets milk right after.  Yes, my 20 month and 5 day girl is still breastfeeding!  What a milestone for the two of us!  Sometimes she tells me, “No..yes!”  LOL!  Other times she starts signing for milk which I absolutely adore.  It goes to show how she was such a sponge when she was a baby!  She didn’t sign like that for too long but now I get a milk sign everyday at least once 🙂  We took her to her first amusement park with friends of ours!  That was awesome.  She was big enough to ride her first and little log fume coaster with us.. it was the best thing ever!  She slept the entire way home and was a wild child upon getting home, yelling and screaming through dinner, so excited and wanted to keep the noise from the amusement park in the house!  HAHA!  Our house has wood floors and wood ceilings, these little yells and excitement of her travel far around here!  We love it.  It’s exciting to think of all the stories and memories being made in our first home, brings tears to my eyes every time I stop and think about it.  Even the little accidents that make my heart stop or the crying of her first booboo, it’s all happening in the home she will grow up in!  A parenting choice Tony and I made is to let her lead us for now until say she’s choosing to do something that could hurt her.. until then she can continue to be a little free spirited wildflower!  She loves swinging and swimming, she loves Cheetos cherry tomatoes, avocados, cheese, water with ice.  She’s our little piece of heaven and everyday is a new adventure of a word coming out of her mouth or a decision she’s made.  She’s the perfect little child that Tony and I are so blessed to be able to parent and lead through life.  God is so so good to us everyday even amidst the challenges we face, theres always a slice of perfection when I lay eyes on my daughter.  And now I understand all the ins and outs of why God surprised us with our sweet baby girl when He decided to ♥♥♥


Breast is best, right?

Oh, hello 2018. Tony had the flu the first week. Coralynne and I slept downstairs for a few nights to stay strong and healthy before our trip to North Dakota. I became paranoid about keeping Sweetness healthy. Anxiety stricken, tender nipples, depressed and emotionally worn out; what in the world, right? It was Monday and we left Saturday. My Mom thought I was pregnant. I felt like a hormonal volcano about to erupts with a period that still hasn’t came ( PRAISE THE LORD!). I was just feeling off. I had Tony grab me some nipple cream, texted two of my Mom besties and got the idea of thrush. Cora’s tongue was white, but breastfed babies are known for white tongues. So Thursday comes around, Coralynne and I got some good sleep versus the night before where she woke at 5AM to join GiGi and I of Day 5 of our Prayer and Fasting. All was good until I went to shower Thursday morning. My left nipple had something new on it.. around the size of a quarter maybe a quarter and a half, red with some white dots on it and the same thing on my right side but not as big.. oh Lord I thought.. thrush.

So, Tony has a client who loves essential oils just as much as I, she was sweet enough to get me a huge book on them! I frantically flipped to the women’s chapter and whipped up a roller blend for PMS. Actually this was before I showered. Still thinking I had an atrocious period about to hit me. After showering I looked for Thrush, page 216. Yep, it was me, a yeast infection shared between Coralynne and I from feeding. Have I done this to my baby? Could I have prevented this from diet? Just like her ear infections.. ultimately this can affect my milk supply.. my baby needs her milk still.. it was all my fault. I continued to get ready for work, slamming the door to Tony, when I saw my Mom I burst into tears. “I have thrush, and it kills when I feed Cora, it hurts to have a bra on, I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding, Mom.” All being said with tears 15 minutes before I start work. So my Dad being my Dad, he ran to the store and bought two pints of plain Greek yogurt with little to no sugar, tons of leafy greens, rotisserie chicken and steak for dinner. In my readings it is proven that thrush thrives on carbs, complex carbs, sugar, refined sugar, coffee, alcohol.. you name it pretty much! So I did my best and ate what I was supposed to be eating. Paleo, not by choice right? We took Coralynne to her checkup, confirmed it was Thrush, filled her script and gave her the first dose. By evening time, my nipples didn’t hurt so bad! I mean they hurt to have a bra on, to wear a night shirt, to hold my baby.. the hurt. It was incredible to me that from changing my diet for 10 hours had made such an improvement. I mean my gosh, shouldn’t I eat like this all the time?! By friend morning my nipples were healing and didn’t throb but when I fed Coralynne I still winced. Gah, we were leaving for North Dakota in less than 24 hours. Same diet choices, by the afternoon I was able to get an oral prescription for yeast infections and got it in my system quick. By that night, thank the Lord, I was healing up! It wasn’t as painful when she latched and the pain wasn’t as excessive during her feeds. By Saturday morning, the symptoms were barely there. Praise the Lord! Along with everything else, we had some major prayers lifted as well! God is good! And sweet Coralynne had no problem showing us her tongue at this point which had cleared up almost all the way too!! It was a great day after such a long week.

So is breast best? Absolutely. Admits the little hiccups us mothers have that make the world seem like it’s going to end.. God has equipped our bodies to overcome such problems and given us inner strength to endure! This has been the most painful thing physically since birth. Crazy right? I thank God for the specifically designed body of not only mine, but Coralynne too. We overcome things together. A mom and daughter always does right? I’d say yes. Even with my own Mom now, my best friend.. she’s there just as much as I am there for Cora. I hope this is a glimpse of how we will grow as years come and go.

Year of Firsts

January 2017 – we went and splurged on a camera. Coralynne then turned 100 Days Old! A Korean tradition that was so fun and slightly emotional to celebrate.. we spent the day filled with eating yummy foods and snapping pictures. I always dreamed of having an Asian baby, God blessed us at the perfect time – my Grandma was able to go all out for Coralynne’s party finished with dressing in our own Hanbok’s. A day we will never forget! Coralynne experienced her first snow in January!! It was little, but we threw her in her cute pink snowsuit and of course took too many pictures while our family urged us to get her inside because of the windchill! She loved it, digging more into her Daddy’s roots.

We traveled to North Dakota for my girls first trip there in February. Coralynne blew out her diaper and cute outfit before we even made it on the plane! Thank God.. Momma wasn’t mentally prepared to deal with all that in the planes bathroom. Her first flight she did great! Upon arrival she had another blowout.. whoops, the air pressure did something to her body! But after getting settled in North Dakota she loved meeting her Uncle Andy for the first time all of her great grandparents on Daddy’s side along with many more great aunts and uncles! We enjoyed time at a lake in Minnesota where Coralynne went sledding for the first time with her Daddy! When we got home to Virginia she had oatmeal for the first time, celebrated her first Valentines Day and gave Momma lots of kisses that evening!

March came and it was St. Patrick’s day and my girl had her first runny, stuffy, green gunked nose. I didn’t really know what to do except feel sad for my congested baby! After a few phone calls to GiGi, all became well with my soul! We felt with it and then we realized she was beginning to teeth! Our little baby was going to be breaking some skin soon and all I could do was thank God I was breastfeeding! Cluster feeding saved us as her gums swelled and her mouth ached. I think back to the multiple feedings in the night and I never remember a day where I regretted it. Breastfeeding has been one of the most beautiful things I’ve been able to do other than birth Coralynne. Being able to soothe her, literally, almost every need.. What a blessing right?

In April Coralynne turned 6 months old! The beginning on the month we headed to North Carolina for the second time but the first time it was going to be warmer weather. Daddy and the family were going on a 26 mile bike ride to raise money for breast cancer! Coralynne and I would be cheering them on while unknowingly getting wind burn for the first time.. whoopsie daisy! Thank God for Aquaphor, cured that overnight! Then it was Daddy’s 29th birthday, Tonys first birthday with a daughter to help blow the candles out with him! Then Coralynne’s first Easter! And then Grandma and Grandpa visited from North Dakota for the second time since Coralynne was born! And go figure, during their visit, her bottom right tooth broke the skin!! Momma may or may not have had some tears..

May 2017. I remember hearing my babysitter squealing over something, I walked up and she told me to stay where I was and to call Coralynne. Before I knew it, Little Miss was making her way to me! This began her crawling stage! Seven months in and we already had a mobile baby! My heart wanted time to standstill. We traveled to St Louis, MO for Tonys cousins college graduation! It was a quick long weekend trip but she was an airplane champ. Because I was still breastfeeding we were able to get necessary sleep and surprisingly had a restful trip with family! And then came my first Mother’s Day, a fun trip with lots of Vitamin D and the first of many boat rides for Little Miss! I reminisced the last boat ride I had while being pregnant.. and then holding my little girl on my Dad’s boat, like why do I get emotionally excited about these things? Only God knows! But let me tell ya, my girl will grow up loving the boat rides we take as well as being thankful for every opportunity with her grandparents from both sides! Not everyone is blessed to have loving and fun, adventurous grandparents but our sweet Coralynne is!

June was a busy month! We moved and got settled. I was given two weeks off when we moved so our new salon could get ready.. two weeks of much needed time with my little babe as we transitioned from a townhome where her crib was in our room to a home with her own room. My heart wasn’t happy. I didn’t want to change anything! I loved having her five steps away from me and able to hear her move her hand in her crib.. let’s just say two weeks didn’t do a thing! She may have started to sleep in her crib at this point for naps and for maybe 2-3 hours at night time. But I am a firm believer in co-sleeping if it is what comfiest!! Me and my girl love sleeping in the same bed on the same pillow. My mother in law stayed with us for two weeks to help while I got back into a work routine which was a Godsend! Thank God it was pool season, we needed all the vitamin D we could get! We went to my childhood pool where I did swim team and our family hung out together all the time for the first time!! Coralynne went to her first concert, Jack Johnson, where we danced the night away! It was hot but so much fun! We had Tonys first Fathers Day spent with his Mama and my brother! Coralynne loves her Daddy to pieces!

And then we celebrated Coralynne’s first 4th of July! Our family loves the 4th. We love America and anything that is super patriotic! We enjoyed a Topsail getaway, Granpa’s boat, fireworks and the ocean! Coralynne had her first swim lessons, two weeks long! It was a Mommy and Me class that was so much fun! She learned to love the water as the days passed by. We spent off days at the pool, getting as much water time as possible!

August we had our first family vacation! Like real one. A week at the beach with 30+ people dispersed between three homes. This was the first vacation Tony had at the beach since we’d gotten married, two years prior! Coralynne slept with us except for the first night and she rested better than ever! We had many feedings oceanside that resulted in a salty air nap for my sweetness! She also had her very first ice cream cone!! And she literally wanted to eat the entire thing at once!! And the biggest news.. CORALYNNE TOOK HER FIRST STEPS! She started and hasn’t stopped since. Our little babygirl won’t stop growing!!!

September was fun, it was Tony and I’s third anniversary! We spent it camping on the beach with Coralynne in tow. Her first camping trip. It was an adventure, the gnats were biting, but it was an unforgettable 24 hours! She slept and ate under the stars for the first time. One day she will love to hear about this trip. Slowly things settled into place in our new home and then of course her first real boo-boo happened.. I was cooking dinner and Tony had just left to head to work for his client that evening. My parents were in NC and my brother was working late, it was up to me to cook dinner! Coralynne just received her nice homemade Pom-poms from her Grandma in ND and we had been sitting on the floor playing and dancing around when I suddenly smelt burning! I hopped up and stirred our dinner which was a cheesy soup and rice mixture when Cora then grabbed my leg and stood right by me.. well the mixture was boiling and it boiled over and hit Coralynne right in the face by her right eye! OH MY GOSH. PANIC. I quickly grabbed my screaming child and ran to my room dousing some essential oils on it as well as coconut oil. She calmed down but Momma didn’t. I was a mess! It healed and all is good but my gosh.. it was my fault right? Well, no. Accidents happen, but it took me a long while to forgive myself and to cook again! Thankful for crockpots and a Dad who loves to be in the kitchen. We are now always aware that our ergonomic stove top can be super dangerous!

Oh, October. A month of joy because our girl entered the world then! CORALYNNE’S FIRST BIRTHDAY! A day spent at the zoo with family and a party to celebrate the day after! We had a houseful! The first time we’ve hosted everyone in our new home. Coralynne had her Mom and Dad, GiGi and Granpa, Uncle Bro and Pais, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Sara and Andy, oh and PayPay – all under one roof! It was a perfect time for our family! We loved having both our families together to celebrate our girl turning ONE. As Tony and I look back, we’re so grateful for our life together and the time we’re both able to spend with Coralynne. It really didn’t feel like her first year flew by.. of course we can’t believe it but we both feel we thoroughly enjoyed each day! We both were able to spend time with her each day and enjoy the new things she did on the daily! Before her birthday she had her first sleepover at Nana’s with myself. A night we will never forget! I love time with my Nana and Cora will treasure it just as much! October was beautiful. I personally overcame a lot as a Mom. I felt anxious as October 20th approached. I worried about literally everything! Things that are seriously unnecessary, so I journaled and prayed and read. My devotions, bible verses, I turned and gave everything to God. Reminiscing the year before – how relaxed I was approaching my due date, knowing God was in control, why suddenly was I burdened with fear and anxiety as she turned 1? After prayer and reflection, 8 years ago I was in an awful relationship. A relationship that clearly did more damage to my soul than just the mental and physical abuse I dealt with for only 4 months. So more and more prayer, God revealed the root of my anxiousness.. October was the month I finally had to cut all communication and end the relationship or friendship that was somewhat lingering. Okay, simple right? No. He had driven one night and showed up at 3AM to my home. My Dad worked early mornings, my Mom was fearful of this guy and I now found out she and my brother could call the police officer down the street if something were ever wrong.. okay so my ex was a little intimidating to everyone! So, for eight years I let that fester and build up into a mountain that created this monster of anxiety and fear every October. The beautiful fall leaves and changing of colors had been fogged and left me trembling in fear. But God! God revealed this bitterness and unforgiveness I had been carrying around and helped me forgive this ex of mine. And I pray now he has changed and can be loving and caring to whoever is in his life now! God is good to us, His plans are bigger than my own and that part of my book is a testimony of my own! October is my girls month now! We had fun dressing up for her second Halloween, she was a strawberry and we were berry farmers. She was able to walk and open her bag, next year she will be talking and my heart can’t handle that yet!

November was busy! We went to NC for Coralynne’s first Soundside Park Christmas tree lighting! A new tradition with my parents and our friends in NC, it was beautiful! We pulled the girls in a wagon and their faces when the tree lit up.. they were in awe! Thanksgiving was a blast with Coralynne’s Grammy and Grandad hosting, where she had her first Thanksgiving plate!

Along came December. My favorite month! Christmas music, dancing in the kitchen, baking, Christmas movies, the manger scene.. December is a month of pure joy for myself and Coralynne! But December of 2017, my baby had her first ear infection. First ear infection leading us to Kid Med hitting our bank account with a $150 antibiotic bill. Which then! Three days later had my baby throwing up every fifteen minutes leading us to the ER.. where the ER doctor told us she had WAY TOO MUCH! Honestly, Tony and I did really well and completely balanced each other. Like I was freaking and he was calm, or vise versa depending on the situation at the time. God reminding me again why we’re perfect together, because let’s be honest, the first year of marriage and the first year of having a baby is nothing easy on a relationship! I need Tony and he needs me, and Coralynne needs is both. I’m grateful now looking back at these trying times because it makes us stronger. But, my golly, my heart was under a lot of stress seeing my baby sick! All I could do was pray. Pray that Jesus’ blood protect her, His angels surround her, and that everything was being mended back together and functioning. We then took her to the chiropractor which I love knowing she doesn’t have some medicine to rely on, but others.. don’t always see it that way! But my theory on the chiropractor, everything is connected to the spine – pressure in the ear could be alleviated if everything was aligned properly. Tony and I committed to once a week until we travel by plane.. soooo we then skipped the week of Christmas and then BAM our baby was hit with a double ear infection!!! Lord. Her first fever. Her first time having Motrin.. oh Momma got next to none sleep to bring in the new year! But I didn’t care. All that mattered was that my Coralynne was able to feel better! We rushed to the local urgent care in NC, got a prescription and reassurance we were doing everything right and that she would be okay. I slept with her upright that night, it was rough.. at any angle my babygirl would start screaming! This was a first. After the first 24 hours I finally saw glimpses of my sweet girl, the happy baby I birthed! And by the time we rang in 2018, she was back to her happy self! Thank God!

As a recap, 2017 was hard. I overcame a lot, I grew as a Mother and a Wife. I was stretched as far as I felt I could be in good ways and of course the not so good. I hope I grew better as a Sister and a Daughter, but doesn’t everyone fall short? I probably shrunk as a Friend because I was so focused on my sweet Coralynne and each new day, the new challenges we’d face together the two of us and the challenges as a family. I may have spent too many mornings with Jesus and coffee and not enough with my running shoes or workout videos. But, as I lay here with my sweet girl as she cuddles into me to fall asleep, playing with my hair and rubbing my arm.. showing me the love that I pour into her.. 2017 was incredible.


Yes, my baby girl, Coralynne, my little bug, is 9 months old!  I can believe it.  She’s grown fiercely but I feel confident to say my husband and I have had the joy of watching her grow step by step.  I’ve been able to run in while color is processing and feed her, cuddle her, watch her play, or just hear her talk.  While my husband is in and out switching shifts with our awesome babysitter who we call, Nannie.  Coralynne loves her and her excitement she shows up with!  It is now August, she actually turns 10 months this month – I just slack on blogging all the time!  But we are summer people!  So far we have had plenty of trips to the pool and two to the beach.  So Coralynne had two weeks of swim lessons.. which made her enjoy and love the water!  She is a water baby, for sure!  The water gives me peace and happiness, as it does my sweet Girl!  I am blessed to be able to work and take time to give my baby some water and sun therapy!  Of course with our SPF and UV-blocker bathing suits and hats!


From 6 to 9 months a lot has happened!  For starters, we moved.  As a family and our businesses, we moved from a little bitty townhouse to, what feels like a ginormous single family home.  But our townhouse was home.  I didn’t realize how much it had turned into my safe place until moving.  We now have privacy and peace and quiet in our new home.  It’s an older home, has charm to it, and good bones – but it hasn’t felt like our home, yet.  With my sweet girl in my arms and my husband by my side, life is complete, but I know she has been feeding off my anxious spirit.. which isn’t ME.  As frustrated as I’ve become, it’s been a fight within to push through.  With the help of my bestfriends, Tony Mom and Dad, I’ve conquered it.  At least as of right now.  Day by day, little by little, I feel more comfortable in our home.  With the pictures being placed, pillows set, and scents that comfort me, I can say we’ve come a long way in two short months.  It’s not always about the now but more about the big picture.  I am blessed to live in a place my child can grow up and walk through our breezeway to see myself and her GiGi working, go in the basement and visit Granpa’s office, venture to the outdoors to find Daddy working out, or just sit in our beautiful loft and color or watch TV.. this house gives us endless opportunities.. and sometimes (as my devotions keep telling me) God allows us to go through tough trials to not only make us stronger but to refocus and give God the glory.  And that’s just what we have done!


With the move we’ve co-slept every night.  Not that Coralynne was ever sleeping in her crib through the night at our townhouse, but we could usually get two to three hours of peaceful sleep without her.. now it’s maybe 45 mins to an hour and a half of sleep without her.  But with my anxiety, some nights I believe her waking up to feed has been more needed for myself than her.  Crazy right?  When we first moved in she was up some nights four times, like I felt like I never slept.  I did lose a few pounds, lol, my body had no idea how to keep up!  But in the end our baby ended up having two top teeth pop through!  She now has four teeth total!  And she finally is only waking up once in the night, maybe twice to feed.  The second feeding usually hits about the time I need to wake up, so that works for us!  If my boob soothes her during the trauma of her teeth coming through, I am a happy.  We have yet to use any teething remedies, Tylenol, or teething tablets.. prayers have already been said that the boob continues to work!  I am so extremely thankful that I have been able to produce enough milk and keep up with her feedings to keep her full and happy!  She doesn’t seem to want to wean at all.  She does eat food too!  She loves bananas and cantaloupe, turkey is the newest with mozzarella cheese, and avocados are finally going down easy!  Some things make her gag, but hey it’s all learning!  She loves to chew on anything!  Anything that soothes her, she is happy as a clam.


The girl loves to pull herself up on anything!  She is getting so strong.  She has just figured out how to shimmy up my leg from a seating position.. the cutest thing ever!  She will be walking before we know it.  I have recently started a new workout that she sits and watches!  Core De Force has been an amazing shift for my Mom and I in releasing any frustration and getting a good sweat on!  Cora watches in her jumper and has started trying some MMA moves.. that may not be the best thing!  LOL!  As hard as it has been getting back into a routine of working out, my body needs it like it needs sleep.  I gain so much from working out and Beachbody has been my jam before Coralynne and after.. the convenience, nothing compares!  I haven’t been able to start running yet, but I hope to in the next week!  My mind needs it.  A run, the sound of ocean waves, and salty air mixed in with my own sweat – a blessing all in itself!  It’ll be a really weird thing to think through, last year I was seven months pregnant running on the sand.. this year I have a nine month old to push in my jogger.  Thinking back I can still feel the pressure when I first had a braxton hick contraction while running.. and then the kicks I felt after each run, my baby telling me good job before she took her morning nap.. incredible!  The plans God had for us!  There isn’t a chance in the world I would be able to deal with a pregnancy this year and that was Tony and I’s plan, to get pregnant in 2017.  Thank GOD for His plans, I would be a wreck!  I feel like Coralynne’s pregnancy was so great for myself because I had an awesome routine and schedule!  I kept my body in check!


Clearly, sunhats are my girls forte!  She is an adorable, cheeky, smiley, enthusiastic, growing, smart, beautiful little lady – I will do my best to keep this up to date.  Cheers to a happy summer! ♥


I can’t believe it.  I woke Tony up briefly to tell him goodbye this morning and to apologize for being, well, sleepy and rude.. he understood.. ad he whispers to me, “Babe, can you believe it?  Our daughter is six months old today.”  No, no I can’t.  Six months ago I was in a hospital room waiting for my parents to join us because I thought I was going to push this child out within three hours of arrival.  Ha!  It’s hard to believe, nine months ago we were watching my belly move around in alien-like ways, reading books, singing, and predicting what this baby of ours would be like.. well Sweet Little Miss is more than we could ever imagine.  Her sweet gummy smiles, her stares into my eyes that turn to a soft smile, her arms raising as she waits for her Momma to grab her, the little grunts I hear, her arms flailing during feeding, her little giggles, her fake cough that she knows Momma has given in to – my sweet baby girl has changed my life!  I’m in awe that she belongs to Tony and I, she is so perfect in so many ways!  A smart little cookie that knows how much her Momma and Daddy love her.
DSC00042Being a Mom has been the most life fulfilling, heart warming, over joyed, loving thing I have been blessed with.  I sleep less than I did when she was a newborn and I can only embrace it because I know sooner than later it will be over and she will be sleeping through the night.  As a breastfeeding Mom – it’s my job to give her what she needs, and if food at 1 am and 3:30 am is it, you got it baby!  She may be a princess and I may be weak for giving in, but I love her so much that I enjoy the sleepless nights because it’s for her!  I remember when we first came home, the way she slept on me I imagined was how she was in the womb but vertically.. oddly enough this morning I went to grab her before heading out and she was laying vertically on the bed.. when God makes the full circles for me to notice, I can’t help but give Him the praise because this child of mine is His.  He set all of this up in His timing.  Lord knows, Tony and I had a lot planned to do before adding a baby to our lives.. boy does that sound selfish.. but you know what I mean!  I thought I had our life planned, but now I truly understand that God has the plan.  Not only for my life but for Tony and Coralynne’s, too!  I can only pray she follows the footsteps of God ♥
DSC00277One of my devotions this morning had me in awe, something so basic but hit home on my daughters 1/2 birthday.. “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.  Nothing could be truer.  Because our God loves me I am able to love this little lady to pieces!  And to think God loves us more than that, I can’t even describe the feeling except it gets me all in my emotions and I don’t have time to cry this morning 😭😂 trying to describe how much I love and admire my Coralynne, and then it hits me that God loves me THAT much more!  Like, how?! All I can do is thank Him.  Thank Him for this beautiful Angel of ours, our sweet pride and joy, oh Coralynne – you melt our hearts. 

4 months 25 days

Hello teething.  As a new Momma, life got a little scary yesterday.  My sweet girl couldn’t get comfortable.  She was drooly and a runny nose, Lord help me.  Seriously!  Tony was off to work and I was left trying my best.  The key I found, ware her out.  Play, play, play.  Then feed.  Then let her get comfy on my chest.  With the runny nose, she wasn’t sure how to get comfy!  And I can’t blame her.  I feel so bad for her.  It’s the first time I’ve felt helpless.  In those moments I know a praying Momma isn’t helpless.. better than any medicine at that!  Sweet, simple prayers that my baby is soothed by God’s healing.  And others, “Jesus, please let the tooth pop through!!!”  I imagine it’s going to be a few days or weeks of this so having two days off to prep me has been a blessing.  I know this is nothing, but seeing my baby in pain is so hard!  But she always begins and ends with a smile through it all!

It was our first snow day of the year.  Usually I’ll bake some goodies, clean, and then relax and do nothing.. well there’s a first for everything right?  Nothing got done around the house yesterday.  Coralynne came first.  Making sure she was comfortable was my first priority.  The gym?  This week isn’t even in my schedule.  Is it my fault?  Yes of course.  I could wake up and sneak out of the house.  But the only thing that soothes this child when in such discomfort is the boob.  And Tony doesn’t have that, so for my child’s sake I’m here at the first cry.  Or like this afternoon, after 20 minutes of crying.  I made the mistake of pumping while I was off with her today.  What made me do such a thing?  I did notice that my milk supply is off.  Tony said it’s from the stress that I’m feeling from Coralynne.  Although he’s no lactation consultant, I’m pretty sure he’s right.  I’ve drank a ton of water too but have noticed she’s eating more which I am so okay with. 

I’ve tried a lot to keep her calm.  And I promise she’s calm in the picture above, just hootin’ and hollerin’ at me while I was getting my coffee.   I tried the cold washcloths in chamomile tea, breast milk in a mesh bag, all sorts of teethers.. this girl ends up throwing it all overboard!  Makes me laugh every time.  The mesh bag seems to keep her happy, I put frozen milk in it which she really sucks on.  I advise all Mommy friends to try that!  When I took my vitamins this morning I was praying the nutrients would go to her, keep her immune system strong!  I also took a bath with her this morning.  Added a little Frankincense and Lavendar oil to the water.. we could breathe like champs!  My nose was so clear and hers too!!  After a long soaking, we got out and I applied Frankincense, Lavendar, Lemon and Peppermint with coconut oil to the bottoms of her feet.  She was so calm and happy to be breathing while laying on her back, she soon fell asleep and slept for some time!  Thank God.  My Mom and I had talked that morning and getting her to eat and sleep wast goal for the day and it was happening.  And Coralynne was comfortable at that, Mom win!  Tony thought I was crazy to put oils on her but I’ve read a lot about oils and babies.  The comparisons of oils and baby Tylenol.. and me being Danielle.. oils over medicine any day!  Until they really don’t work.  As for now, I can put them on her feet, put some socks on, feed her and get her to sleep comfortably and I’m convinced they’re working. I’m sure tonight I’ll be up a few times to feed, wipe her nose, hold her, remind her I’m here and get back to sleep.  I’m 100% okay with this even knowing I work 9-8 tomorrow.. this is my girl and she needs me and being all I can be is my job, God’ll give me strength and energy tomorrow!  She was talking up a storm tonight, unlike lastnight.  I think we are on the way to a tooth coming in or Coralynne getting used to a runny nose!  Regardless, I’m feeling pretty happy that my girl is feeling better!  We ended the night with GiGi singing Love Shack to her and Granpa laughing hard behind as they heard her really giggle for the first time!  I know their hearts were melting as mine and Tony’s were too.  Moments I’ll never forget.  Thankful for my phone camera and the crappy quality picture I have 🙂 

Oh, the diffuser is running – Lavendar and Frankincense fill the air.  Prayers my girl is comfy and we all get some sleep tonight! ❤

0-4, just like that!

As I sit here – 10:45 PM, with my angel sleeping on my chest, seeming double in length and weight, gripping my family necklace – I want this moment to last forever. She and my husband and fast asleep, but I can only soak it all in because I know the day she doesn’t want to sleep or snuggle with me.. I’ll be happy I didn’t move tonight m. I want time to standstill in moments like these. Blessed beyond measure, an overflowing heart of gratitude. God blessed me with an amazing daughter and husband. A husband who respects my wishes when asked to come to bed and denied because I want to snuggle with my girl. And a daughter, who for now, loves every single ounce of me just as I do her. The love I have for this almost four month old child of mine is indescribable. She’s rolling, cooing, giggling, eating her feet, smiling, staring.. I love her more and more everyday. And I know Tony does too! After long workdays; I find my peace sitting with her. As many times as she lifts her head, slams it on my chest, whatever she needs to do to be comfy.. I could kiss her a million times, well I probably do. And my Mom said she did the same to me, lol, and I regret all the times I told her to stop! Knowing one day, Little Miss will and my heart will break for a split second. She’s four months old on Monday. The prettiest, smartest, happiest, most loving four month old I know to date 🙂💞

Labor Day, Finally!

October 19th, 2016 9:30 PM:  Tony suggested it was time to go to bed, we needed to get rest for all that was to come.  My parents were anxiously running around the house it seemed, doing what?  I had no idea at the time, but my Mom was telling her clients that I was in labor and they would have to reschedule their appointments and my Dad I think was still thinking I should drive to the hospital at that moment.  He makes me laugh!  Me on the other hand, I was getting all my last minute stuff together!  Did I have enough clothes for myself and the baby?  Packed up my makeup essentials and probably a few extra things in panic.  Meanwhile I was having contractions every four minutes.  My contraction timer app on my phone told me to go to the hospital multiple times.. Tony wanted to listen but I knew better.  By the time I was getting into bed the contractions settled down and became every 6-10 minutes apart.  Just like I thought, this was going to continue for the next few days and I would be induced like my doctor had told me.  It was time to sleep any I could and begin the next day like I had previously done..  (Before going further – you can read here what lead up to, well, labor day!)

October 19th, 2016 11:00 PM:  Okay, contractions never did stop.  Every 5-7 minutes they rolled in.  The pain would begin as I was laying there, at this point I stopped waking Tony to tell him – I jumped out of bed to bend over, squat, all-fours on the bed, stand.. anything but lay down.  Laying down made me almost cry.. Lord help me because I knew this was just the beginning.  I was learn what laboring position felt better during each contraction for my own body.  During and after each contraction I had to use the restroom, it may be TMI but for those who are wanting to try all natural childbirth.. you go #2 a lot during this time.  Seriously, after every few contractions I would go to the bathroom.  I guess Tony was lucky he was sleeping through it!  I eventually woke Tony up before midnight to tell him about the pain and frequency of the contractions.. he said to call the doctor!  He got our labor and delivery card the doctor office gave us, dialed, and got to the doctor on call.  We explained I was having contractions 5 minutes apart but then one would jump to 6 or 7 minutes apart.  She said, “Stay home, don’t come in, it’s your first baby.”  Me on the other end.. I was annoyed and irritated!  I asked her what more I could do, this had been painful for about three steady hours.  She advised me to take a bath and relax the best I could..

October 20th, 2016 1:00 AM:  I told Tony I was taking a bath.  I got up, started the bath water, went through about two contractions, used the bathroom, and started guessing how many times I would have to get out of the bath to use the bathroom.  Ugh, what I pain I thought!  Again, better off that Tony was asleep because I probably wouldn’t be the nicest at this point.  I got in the bath and got as comfortable as could be.  The contractions rolled in but they weren’t as strikingly painful as laying in the bed would be.  Good I thought, this is good.  I was able to manage the pain, breathe the contractions through.  I slowly started dozing off during contractions, fine by me!  The more rest the better..

October 20th, 2016 1:50 AM – 2:05 AMOUCH!  I woke up in excruciating pain.  I mean, pain I had never felt before.  Contractions that, well if you think of a mountain as the pain this was the mountaintop!  For fifteen minutes I had 4 contractions that put me in a panic that it could be possible for my baby to be born in my bath tub.. get out of the bath..

October 20th, 2016 2:10 AM – 2:45 AM:  I woke Tony up informing him that I just had had contractions back to back that I didn’t time but they were quick and intense.  I honestly think he would have ran out in boxers if I didn’t tell him to just calm down a minute and let me time some more.  I really didn’t want to get in the hospital and 1.) Be sent home or 2.) Be admitted too early that my labor would stop.  We timed the next four contractions.  2-3 minutes apart, called the hospital and told them we were on the way.  Immediate thoughts all going through my head:  Text my Mom.  Get dressed.  My bag.  Tony, our speaker.  Phone charger.  My bag.  The diaper bag.  Boppy.  A snack?  Water.  Wake my parents up.  Oh my gosh my baby is coming.  Ouch, that one hurt.  Panic?  Cry?  Jesus help me through this.  When I come back to this house we will have our baby.  Tony.  Panic?  I’m cold and shaky.  Cry?  Go wake Mom up.  God is with me.  Ouch.  When I finally walked in to my parents room I whispered Mom and Dad a couple of times.  Finally nudged her and when she woke I thought she was going to either flip off the bed or whack my dad!  I told her about the doctor, bath and contractions and we were headed to the hospital.  She ran out of bed  and got me a necklace, my GiGi’s cross necklace that she put on me.  So much symbolism in one piece of jewelry.  I wolfed down a banana and refilled my water, going through my checklist.  Tony had already started the car and was waiting for me to join him.  At some point I wanted to stay, I wanted to keep this baby inside me, I suddenly felt fearful and panicked.. but then a contraction came and I was reminded this baby was coming regardless of anything I felt!  As I held back my emotions, my parents walked me to our car after the I said goodbye to the dogs.  Hugs and kisses, still I was holding back so many emotions.  Even as I write this I hold back the tears.  Why?  I was having a baby and my whole life was about to change in ways that I had no idea!  I was my parents babygirl and I knew they were relating in the emotion we were holding in.  Although, sometimes I wish I would have just cried and embraced all them just once more as their “babygirl.”  But I didn’t, I wanted to remain strong and carry on as I did.  Maybe they cried when I left and maybe a few tears were let loose as I left but we were headed to give birth to our baby, get excited!  Before we exited our neighborhood I had told Tony I needed to get my playlist going.  “Birth” I had labeled it, filled with Hillsong United and one Kari Jobe song.  Call me crazy, but this was my meditation music.  I listened to Hillsong United almost every morning while getting ready for work and the fourth day after finding out I was pregnant, I was in Texas with Tony seeing them LIVE!  Talk about a full circle!  My in-laws had also sent videos for me that Tony shared while we were driving to the hospital, the tears came back!  It would have been so easy again to just lose it but I held it together, knowing my family from both sides believed in me and was waiting to love both our newest addition and I!

October 20th, 2016 3:15 AM:  We arrived at the hospital.  The woman ahead of us was severely vomiting and Tony shoved me to the other side of the waiting room.  Gross, I didn’t want anything to do with that before giving birth.  The nurse came a greeted us, offered me a wheelchair.. and so the three of us walked from the ER to Labor and Delivery.  Room #1 they put us in.  Of course it probably was like 131 or something, but the nurses called it Room #1 and it was the first door from the entrance to L&D.  Perfect!  We had all our bags.. I advise momma-to-be’s to leave it all in the car!  Bring your phone, charger, speaker, whatever for labor but you don’t need anything else at this point.. our first time parent mistake 🙂 They gave me my gown and so it began.  The socks they gave me barely fit because I was sweating and my legs were even more swollen then I started with.  What the heck, I thought.  Why am I so hot?  I asked the nurse and our room was at 75 degrees which was not going to work for me.  She quickly put it to 65 degrees, thank the Lord!  My parents were texting me that they would leave when I told them to.  They eventually left on their own because, let’s be honest, during natural childbirth there is no time to text people back!  Tell them sorry in advance.  My parents showed up at some point and were just as excited as me, Tony was the focused on at this point.  The check-in process was a little longer due to some hiccups in the paperwork but my doctor was on her way to check me..

October 20th, 2016 6:00 AM – 9:40 AM:  My parents left the room and the doctor who I had talked to at midnight was still on call until 7AM.  “Guess what you’re at?” she said to me.  “5 centimeters?”  “Guess again,” she said.  “7 centimeters?”  Yes!  I was at 7 centimeters.  This baby would be here in no time I thought!  She even told my parents it would be soon, the baby was low, very minimal pushing she told them.. we were pumped!  Tony kept telling me how proud he was.  Because I was so far along they did want to monitor the baby’s heart rate and give me an IV of fluids.  At first I was irritated because I had been so active the first 7 centimeters I wanted to continue, but trusted their advice to have me monitored.  By the end I was extremely grateful for these two things!  They offered me the exercise ball to bounce on to try and break my water.  Absolutely!  They told me I could get my music going, my Mom pulled my binder of bible verses out to start reading and they were bringing me ice chips.  Life was good!


Bouncing on the exercise ball, 7 centimeters dilated, Hillsong United playing & reading through my binder of printed bible verses.

A binder of bible verses?  Before you judge me too harshly, I found verses that were encouraging as if I were running a race.  I always resorted to music and verses to get me through the finish line of my 1/2 marathons, why would I think labor would be any different?  I trained my body, worked out almost everyday of pregnancy, tried my best to eat healthy as I would for a running race, drank a gallon or more of water a day.. this actually seemed to be more intense training as I had a growing baby in my belly!  I trained my mind too.  I did my Mommy devotional every morning – allowing me to acknowledge the miracle God had done already with my baby and seek Him every morning to fix my eyes on the right things instead of the negative worrisome things that come into pregnant women’s minds!  I was preparing during pregnancy and would use everything I learned during labor as well.  Meditation & breathing.  I also was focused on being more in love than frustration and hate..  This baby was made in love and Tony and I wanted to bring “it” into a room full of love! ♥

As I bounced on this exercise ball I had no progress.  My water wasn’t breaking and I wasn’t dilating.  The nurses shifted and my new nurse, GiGi (we called her, ironic?), swore she could break my water.  I moved to the bed, laid on my left side as she placed this peanut ball between my legs, during each contraction it was extremely uncomfortable but I imagined my water being squeezed too.. still no breakage!  Lord have mercy.  My brother was on the way but in traffic, panicking he’d miss the arrival of his niece or nephew.  I knew my body was waiting for him.  When he and his girlfriend arrived I knew my water would break so soon!  Nope.  Still nothing but discomfort with this daggon awkward ball between my legs!  Oh boy.  I was frustrated as my contractions worsened and I had no idea to handle all the pain.  The nurses were really great about honoring my birth plan as much as they could and I respected the parts they didn’t.  I’ll share my plan with you, we stayed as simple and to the point as possible, knowing some things could go unplanned:

Birth Wishes for Baby Plath
Thank you for your help and guidance this far.  These are what we would prefer to have for a natural, unmedicated childbirth ultimately wanting a safe and healthy delivery for baby and mom.
-Allow labor to begin naturally, in baby’s own timing.
-Allow water to break on its own.
-Once admitted, intermittent fetal monitoring to allow mom to be as mobile and comfortable as possible during contractions.  If available, a wireless monitor for the ability to move as much as possible during labor.
-Limit the number of internal examinations, only when necessary.
-Would prefer not to have an IV, but if necessary please use hep-lock.
-No antibiotics/drugs unless discussed with both parents and doctor.
-Mom is allowed drinking fluids/eat snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
-Let cord stop pulsing as much as possible before cutting, then allow dad to cut if possible.
-Allow placenta to deliver naturally, avoiding pitocin.
-Mom and baby have skin to skin immediately and perform breastfeeding as soon as possible.
-Delay newborn procedures at least an hour after birth.
-Preservative free vitamin K shot.
-No eye ointment.
-No Hep B shot.
-Delay the first bath, really only hair wash, with both Mom and Dad present or performing the bath.

October 20th, 2016 9:45 AM:  My nurse, GiGi, came in to see how I was doing and they checked me.  I was 8 centimeters but my water was still holding tight.  Since it hadn’t broke she did offer to have my doctor come and break my water, very timidly might I add.  Tony and I looked at each other, nodded, all else out the window – YES PLEASE!  They were going to all the doctors office and see who could come down (our dr’s office is connected to the hospital.) and I begged they request my normal OB doctor!  She said she’d try but until then if I was feeling up to it we could walk the halls.  Sounded good to me, get up and moving, onward Tony and I went.  8 centimeters, walking with a smile and a Popsicle in hand – the nurses were astonished!  When the first contraction came as we were walking, I had to bear down and hang on to Tony.. it was PAINFUL.  I must’ve just hit 8 centimeters because it was all a new pain and I suddenly had to go to the bathroom.  As we scurried back to our room I was sweating in a panic from the pressure.  When I sat, Tony had to help me because when I bent it hurt, I think he saw it in my face and could see the new pain I was feeling.  I then even burped, throw up?  I didn’t but I wasn’t sure of the changes my body was going through.  We got back up and walked around some more.  Another contraction, holy cow.. as I was bent over hanging on to Tony, my doctor came around the corner.  What a relief to see him!  Or so I thought.  He asked me why I wasn’t in bed and to get there.  We walked to my room, I got all hooked up and he broke my water and there was meconium.  Instant panic knowing the baby needed to come out and quick!

October 20th, 2016 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM:  Instant intense contractions.. the nurse did tell me it would be rough.  I was in transition.  The part where most people say women beg for the epidural.  The NICU nurse visited and said if the baby didn’t cry she would take it immediately and bring it back after they did what they needed to do, she was sorry in advance. Oh Lord, please no, all this work.. I wanted to hold our baby right after.. trying to stay calm it was really almost impossible until I refocused.  Thank God for my music.  I seriously had to go to another world.  I had to focus during every contraction knowing what would be would be.  I slowly forgot about the possibility of our baby being taken away and was distracted by the painful contractions.  It was a team effort!  Tony was getting his hand smashed in my right hand.  My Mom was watching me and praying on my left.  My Dad would go to the end of the bed and put his elbows on the bed with his forearms up and I would pitter, patter my feet against his arms.  Well maybe lightly kick was a better term.  My brother and his girlfriend stood and watched, paced and probably prayed themselves.  My brother was so uncomfortable seeing me like this.. as well as everyone but he may have been in pain for me!  Tony too.  Between this time was when Tony broke down, he couldn’t stand seeing me in this pain knowing there was nothing to be done to help.  Thankfully my Dad was there to support him as I could lay there and only grin to tell him I was okay.. I would be okay.. that I love him.. and then a contraction would come.  Sorry can’t talk, had to focus and since I was on my left side, he was standing behind me unable to see my face.. but my Mom could.  Who also now thinks I’m just so strong.  But at that point strong was all I could be!  I was almost there.  Two centimeters to go and then this baby would be here.. Our baby was coming!

October 20th, 2016 12:15 PM:  I was now finally at 10 centimeters but I still had to wait a bit to start pushing.  How annoying I thought.  SO finally, they said I could start pushing after multiple contractions and lingering pains of, well pooping the bed!  They called the doctor, he told us he was going to have lunch but I could start pushing.  Well that was not what I was hoping for.  We all got in position – Tony was holding my right leg, my Mom my left, and my Dad (yes he was in there but couldn’t see anything!) was in charge of pushing my shoulders up and reminding me to put my chin down.  While sneaking his phone on video mode and recording the labor and delivery from our perspective..  After learning how to push and finally seeing the “dark long hair” (lol) the nurse called my doctor in!  He arrived, joking about hair and highlights, just all chatty with the family – we were ready to meet our baby!  I honestly thought I was sleeping between pushing, I was exhausted.  I could only tell them I needed strength, I felt helpless and pitiful with how tired I was.  They kept telling me I could do it.  I remember Tony telling me how strong I was, my Mom telling me I was at the finish line of my race and to focus on my doctor, the nurse Nora telling me to breathe and focus, my doctor telling me one more push and my dad telling me, “You can do it Dan.”  This push I was in pain and was so tired but pushing my hardest – my Mom telling me, “He’s right there Dan, push!” and Tony, I will never forget the sound in his voice when he told me, “It’s right there baby, push baby, you got it!”  When he said it his voice was cracking and I knew our baby was coming out!  The pain suddenly disappeared, I felt a huge relief after I thought I was going to rip in two, and I could hear the loudest cry from our baby while the doctor sucked it’s mouth and cleaned some of it’s face off!  The doctor told us the head and shoulders were out, just a little more push to get the body out which was easy!  One more push and this baby was on me!  The doctor said, “We have a girl!”  The cries from myself, Tony, my Mom and Dad are unforgettable.  Cries of utter amazement and joy!  “My baby, my babygirl, Coralynne!”  I couldn’t describe the happiness and love instantly between my babygirl and I.  Tony had to cut the cord quick and they took her to clean her up, but she was still in our room!  The NICU nurse jumped for joy when Coralynne cried knowing she wasn’t needed.  My Dad was able to get it all on video, simply amazing.  Seeing her get cleaned off, weighed, her tests done, Tony’s shock as he see’s her, her spitting up for the first time, Tony holding her for the first time.. oh my heart!   God was with us the whole day and blessed us, blessed us more than words can say!  Seeing the joy this baby puts on our families face.. I never imagined such a feeling!

I think my family filled up the waiting room.  My doctor clicked the music on allowing everyone to know a baby was born!  He excitedly asked who was going to tell the family.. my Mom would have but she was stuck by me..literally stuck!  The equipment barricaded her in LOL!  So she was stuck with me while the boys watched Coralynne get cleaned up.. thankfully because I needed someone to be shocked with!  We sat and talked about the amazement of me giving birth to this beautiful little girl, how shocked we were because all the wives tales were pointing to boy!  The placenta was giving the doctor some trouble, wasn’t coming out easy and when it finally did I was bleeding.. a lot.  They gave me two bags of pitocin to ensure the bleeding would stop, thankfully I had my IV, in although in my birth plan I didn’t want it!  I needed the IV and the fluids during labor or else I truly don’t think I would have been able to push her out as quick as I did.  I thank God everyday for this perfect babygirl! Everything happened as it was supposed to, I had my plan and was able to stick to most of it and our Coralynne was born October 20th, 2016 at 1:26 PM making our family complete ♥

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  -Philippians 4:13

The Anticipation

39 weeks.  I was so grateful to say I ran a mile with my wasn’t an easy one.  Between the colder air and bigger belly.. I tied the running shoes up when we got back and a piece of my heart went with them.  Dramatic right?  Running is such a therapy to me.  After a run, even a mile, puts me in a great mood.

All the endorphin’s, the accomplishment I soon as I am cleared to go I’m sure I will be running my loop with the baby in the stroller!  Who knows, I find out in two days if I’m dilated at all and if not I may just put em back on and run 15 minute miles, anything to keep me busy!  It’s so funny to see people’s reactions when they find out I’m still running.  Actually, working too.  My schedule is booked until my due date and I’ve already told the boss that in the case of my date passing by and baby still cooking, I’d love to book more appointments!  My doctor told me to keep doing everything – he see’s the easiest labors in the women who work up until their due date.  I’ll take that advice!

Monday October 17th, I had my 39 week appointment – I found out I was maybe a fingertip dilated and 70% effaced, which I had been the previous appointment.  My doctor then decided to tell me it was important I understood they didn’t allow anything past 41 weeks and the office would be calling me to schedule an induction for 41 weeks on the dot.  October 28th.  I left the office, trying to keep it together.  I mean I wasn’t full term yet, there was still time and days to come to go into birth naturally.  But what if?  The what if’s were endless.  Anxiety stricken, Tony and I briefly talked but coming home and seeing my mom I practically broke – emotionally. I hated hearing that I would have to be induced.  I mean my gosh, I worked way too hard this pregnancy to let the doctors tell me when it needed to end because of their timeline.  In the Bradley world (remember, we took 12 weeks of classes to train ourselves to have a Bradley/Husband Coached childbirth.) full term isn’t until 41 weeks and 3 days and the placenta is good and healthy until 44 weeks.  Not that I would want to go to 44 weeks but my argument is to give my body time to do what it wants.  Don’t pressure me and add unnecessary stress when I wasn’t even at 40 weeks yet!  Needless to say, my mom understood what I was feeling while Tony thought I was giving up on all my goals.  That wasn’t the case but I knew if they decided they had to induce that medicine would only interfere with my goals.  And yes, I went into this whole pregnancy with an open mind – ultimately it was about the baby and I’s health.  As my day went on, my clients came and went, and all assured me regardless of what the outcome was, it would be okay.  Of course I agreed and finished my workday on a happy note, ready to eat my Korean dinner.. spicy kimchi soup!  That evening I told my mom the next morning we were going on a run, two miles, to the top of the neighborhood and back.. she said we would see and I told her we were doing it!

Bright and early, up with coffee in our system ready to go!  As I did my devotions, I was preparing for the first mile.  It’s a steady, grueling uphill that was a real battle at this point in pregnancy.  My mom was really helpful in just letting me deal and fight myself, (lol) because lets be honest, when you’re struggling who wants to talk?  Tug, our 9 year old golden retriever went with us.  Allowing us to only go so fast, but still run at a comfortable pace!  After the first mile, we made it and we walked for about a minute, then picked it back up.  The idea of heading downhill back home sounded glorious and made it easier to get going!  But while running home my body was having some new pressures.. mom and I walked when necessary but really I was trying to push through. I made it and had a full day of work ahead of me!  A 9am-8pm workday that I was determined to get through the day!

Upon getting ready for work I noticed I was a little more crampy.  Not contractions, but noticeable cramps that were new with some pressures that weren’t getting stronger but I could notice them.  Around 4pm I noticed I lost something while going to the bathroom.. in a panic with clients in the salon I wasn’t sure what to do.  I learned about losing my mucus plug while in my Bradley classes but who knew what it would really be like!  After about a half hour I finally said something to my mom, who was ecstatic!  And I was too!  But I could feel crampiness increasing and I could tell my anxiety was heightening.  Of course I was excited to become a mom but also the nerves of Labor Day were setting in!  My last two clients are great friends of mine who both just always encourages and listens to what goes on in my life.  They were just as excited but were also wondering why I was still working.  Well why not?  If I stopped I would be bored out of my mind!  I needed to stay busy and keep my mind off the pain to come my way.  While finishing up my last client my dad told me what was for dinner, buffalo chicken tenders atop a spinach salad.. YUM!  By the time I finished my client I was ready to be off.. feeling exhausted and crampy while also still losing bits and pieces of my mucus plug!  One time I even called my mom in to make sure I wasn’t bleeding, yes we are that close.  She assured me this is what happens and it was okay!  By the time dinner was over I was ready for bed, I stretched a little and was ready for a full night sleep.  HA!  Not gonna happen.  Contractions began, 7-10 minutes apart what seemed like the entire night but I’m sure it wasn’t that often.  Laying down was extremely uncomfortable, when a contraction came I had to jump out of bed into a position.  Bending over on the bed seemed to be the comfiest, but still painful.  I told Tony to get some sleep because it was all enduring myself.  The morning finally came, I got up and joined my mom for some coffee.  Still having contractions I only had a half day of work that afternoon and we had a lunch planned with my grandparents that I didn’t want to miss.  Honestly, I didn’t think I would go into labor.  I figured this was just the start and fun of it all, but I still had so much time because the doctors told me about induction.. I didn’t think things could change so quickly.  We teeter tottered about whether Tony and I should join them for lunch.. a 45 minute drive.. what if?!  Exactly, what if I went into labor – we would be closer to the hospital!  So we went on a little walk and all got ready to get on the road.  Contractions every 10-15 minutes just breathing through and drinking my water while I still could.  At lunch, I felt a little out of it.  Hungry, but not.  Tired, but happy to be with family.  Trying to make the best of my few last days pregnant!  On the way home I fell asleep, woke up to a contraction and fell back asleep.  I worked 2pm-6pm, I could do it!  My mom mentioned that this was the first day I looked tired.. tired of being pregnant and truly uncomfortable.  Funny enough, she said when I had a contraction she would look at me and think, “Is this my daughter?”  The look on my face, the concentration, I put myself in another world to get through each contraction and she was quite impressed!  Tony was not liking the pain I was in, sitting and breathing through it helped mask the pain and keep him calm as well as myself.  By the end of my last client I had to pause, step away, and really breathe through the pain.. my client asked that I didn’t dry her hair and get some rest.  Okay.  I could handle that, I made it through four haircuts and two colors, if I didn’t dry one head of hair as the paying customer insisted, I was okay with that.  I was really feeling the contractions at this point but they were still 7-8 minutes apart, not anything serious.  At 7:30 my mom was encouraging me to go on a walk with her, we went probably a half mile or so.. contractions still the same.  My dad came home with jalapeño everything.  Kettle chips, popcorn, homemade jalapeño poppers, jalapeño stuffed cheddar burgers.. you name it and we had it!  I ate half the bag of kettle jalapeño chips and already noticed a change occurring.  Bathroom break was instant!  Tony got home from work and we sat for dinner, by the end (20 minutes later) I was having contractions every 5 minutes!  My dad was so happy and was ready for us to head to the hospital, little did he know all the time that was to come.. but my birth story deserves it’s own post, stay tuned 🙂

3 weeks to go!

Clearly, summer isn’t my time to shine for blogging!  I get way too preoccupied relaxing in the sun, getting some extra sleep, trying to keep my workout routine, and focusing on anything but sharing about my pregnancy!  I have still had a really smooth and uncomplicated few months!  Here are the pictures that can bring you up to speed.  You can clearly see my summer tan is fading and my eyes seem to look a little more tired, long work days where I forget to take my weekly picture during the day calls for a lousier one in the evening.  From the 29 week beach picture to the 26 week huge belly showing, we have been showered with three different celebrations within a month!  Talk about an extremely blessed family Tony and I are.  It’s a tad overwhelming.. but I’m happy to say I have until Thursday of this week to get my thank-you’s out from the last shower, LOL!

I’m currently 37 weeks, eek, and haven’t noticed any braxton hicks contractions – Tony and I did notice last night that the baby is setting a lot lower, but I don’t notice any different pressure or pains.  I will say – the sleepiness that I felt in my first few weeks of pregnancy has returned.  I can sleep through my alarm for an hour no problem!  When we first conceived, looking back at the calendar, I literally slept in over an hour some days.. my Mom and I thought it was the colder days that kept me snuggled in bed.. nope just a growing little poppy seed. Because of my body refusing to get out of bed some days I’ve decided to only workout three to four times a week, depending on my work schedule and who’s around to workout with me!  At 36 weeks, Tony and I still got a 2 mile run in, the week before that my Mom and I ran a few times that week with the max being two miles.  By the end I need to use the bathroom, like in that moment!  So I guess the pressure has changed, but nothing that I feel is tremendously difficult to deal with!  My feet have grown.. the swelling is inevitable at this point so my Sanuk sandals in my 36 week picture will be what carries me through these next three weeks.  I make it a priority to sit with my feet up while my clients color is processing, helping the blood drain from my feet back to the sweet little child of mine!  Thankfully, it’s only my feet.  My hands feel great and my wedding ring is still on and shining.  Tony wanted me to take it off to be safe but I just can’t..

I still get a little emotional thinking abut Tony and I’s one-on-one life coming to an end so soon.  I know we will still get time together of course, but life is seriously about to change in the most exceptional way possible!  I refuse to get upset about it anymore knowing the joy we already experience with this nugget inside of me.  We are so excited for it to be here in such a short time that I literally soak up every minute alone with my bestfriend.  We were talking about things last night, how we are growing and have grown so quickly in the three and a half years we have been together.  From long nights at our apartment, dating and getting to know one another.. every waking second of the weekends were spent together, quickly falling in love like we wouldn’t believe.. to our wedding day, walks on the beach, short trips to get out of town together.. to now quick dinner dates and nights at home cuddled up watching football while Tony rubs this big ol’ belly of mine.. but every thing has led to something better.  A life that neither of us would trade a single thing for!  And now within a month we will have our tiny baby in our hands, our little creation that has already blessed our life in so many endless ways.. it’s an incredible, indescribable feeling.  And I know we both will be so preoccupied and focused on our baby but without a doubt know that the love we have will only continue to grow everyday as we both take on parenting together as a team.  We did talk about how having faith in Jesus makes a whole world of a difference as well.  We don’t worry like many people ask us.. We know everything will be okay and go as planned because the plan is already made, we just are walking through it.  To hear my husband say this to me left me blown away.  When we first met, church and God we briefly touched on but never would I have thought how much he and I would grow together in our faith.  I am extremely excited to start a family on such a foundation with God in the center.  I’ve grown up in a home like that – waking up to the smell of my Dad’s cologne because he snuck in my room and prayed over me before he left for work, praying with my Mom and Brodie before we left for school, praying within our schools, praying before dinner, in any situation we turned to prayer.  I can say I’ve not met many family’s who do that.. but my little family will be following in those footsteps and I couldn’t be more excited!  I have a husband who is just as ready to raise a family around the plan God has for us and start this new chapter of our lives together, the three of us! ♥

As I prepare for labor I’ve been reading about playlists and how music will help relax.  I’ve also been looking into getting the motivation to get through the transition stage.  While most women think this is the point where everyone curses their husband and breaks their hand, I really am trying to turn that leaf over!  Lol, I have my worship music ready and need to get my scripture cards prepared.  While training for half-marathons in the past years or actually any race or goal I set, worship music is my go to.  Whether it was the power song to get my up the hill or the last little bit of energy to get my to the 20 minute mark on the stair master, worship music would be blasting in my ears!  And I’d accomplish whatever it was I was doing.  That’s my goal for labor.  Tony and I have been training for our nugget’s labor day since we found out he or she was growing in my belly.. we can do this together!  And I do my best not to get irritated when people laugh and tell me that’s the last thing I will want to hear.. Tony reading me scripture, well actually Tony just talking in general.. but I beg to differ.  I’m really depending on Tony to help me through this and I know he is taking it as seriously as I am.  And I know he is depending on God to give him strength when it gets hard – when I am cringing from the pain, when I possibly cry from the pain – homeboy is going to have to really dig deep and stay strong for me with the ultimate gift arriving so soon after!!!  Of course – this is my first pregnancy, first birth, and I just am staying positive refusing to be scared of the unknown!  The comfort of knowing God made women to birth babies is enough for me to have faith knowing I will get through my labor!  I’m so excited to share my birth story in a few weeks, hopefully I can get that done sooner than I’ve gotten this post up.. 🙂