Preparation for Millie's Birth

I've been dragging my feet on writing Millie's story. I have read so many stories and wanted to do hers justice. I also knew that no matter how good I am with words I will never have all the right ones to get across the immense amount of emotion that day has tied to it. But I realized that the longer I wait the more I will forget and that's really not doing the story any justice. None whatsoever. So I'm starting the story here. Hoping it will be an encouragement to mommas and give Millie something to read someday.

Millie's birth story starts weeks in advance. It's no secret that I'm passionate about birth, evidence based birth practices, and positive and empowering birth experiences. Where that passion will take me I'm not sure yet but nonetheless it is there and on fire. I follow various birth pages and birth photographers on facebook and one day a birth photographer posted a photoshoot of a homebirth in Florida. One photo captured the reflection of a mother laboring and in the corner of the mirror was an empowering quote. For months Senor Smarty Pants had been lecturing me about visualizing how the birth was going to go. He was channeling his highschool football coach-they visualized before every game. Motto: Mental Toughness. Visualizing was ok but I felt positive affirmations-because they are words would resonate with me more. So I got online and found quotes and scripture and mounted them on scrapbooking paper. Quotes like:

"The knowledge of how to give birth without outside intervention lies deep within each woman. Successful childbirth depends on the acceptance of the process." 
-Suzanne Arms

"There is a secret in our culture and it's not that birth is painful. It is that women are strong!" -Laurie Stavoe Harm

"The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you because they are from you. -Unknown

"My grace is enough; it is all you need My strength comes into its own in your weakness. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become!" -2 Cor. 12:9

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you." -Isaiah 26:3

"For you know that when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete needing nothing." -James 1:3-4

I then went around the house and placed them where I would see them. On the fridge, chalkboard wall, bathroom mirror, night stand, above the sink, etc. 

Like I said, I have a passion for peaceful and empowering birth. However, because I live in the culture I do I found as my belly was growing, fear and apprehension were growing as well. These positive affirmations helped my mindset and gave me the confidence that I am always so quick to give others, because when it's you-the ball game is a little different. I also had stopped watching anything that had to do with non-positive birth. Meaning no "A Baby Story" and no movies that included birth how our culture perceives the process. I found this element of preparation vital to my confidence and mindset. VITAL. When I encountered apprehension or negative birth imagery of any kind I recited and/or prayed a quote or verse.

Yeah things got serious. But it worked.

Next up, the story. 



A Shower

Yesterday while at my parents I asked if I could take a shower. It's a funny thing being 23 and asking for permission to take a shower. But when you have a 1 month old that isn't quite self sufficient yet- maybe by next month-you either clean up with baby, have baby in room, or you put baby to sleep in swing and pray they stay asleep. You also take the fastest shower on record to ensure you get done before they wake. Back to the task. My shower alone, in the morning, thanks to my gracious momma.

Sugar Bean was fed, so I had a little bit of time, precious time. I felt a little like Macaulay Culkin on Home Alone. You know the part, where he's listening to "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" while combing his hair and trying his dad's aftershave? Yeah my time was like that minus the aftershave, the music, and being home alone. You get the picture.

It was so nice to not have to take a lightening fast shower. I thought about shaving my legs. Then decided against it. Then decided to shave the bottom half, just to make myself feel civilized. Once out of the shower I brushed my teeth. Really brushed them, not just hurrying while bouncing a baby in my arms. Next, I lotioned my legs, because I shaved them. Silky smooth...or something of the sort. After that task I thought, "Hair product, YES." So I carefully picked my hair out and dug around for some product, I put it on. I felt...I dunno but it felt good. Then I remembered the purple nail polish in the cabinet, and get this-I painted my toes. I felt like me again. Last but certainly not least...I smeared some mascara on. Not because I was going or someone was coming but because I wanted to.

Those 20 minutes were familiar and foreign all at once. I'm writing about them because they were nice. Because they were refreshing. Because this whole "Take a Leisurely Shower" situation is few and far between and that's ok-it's what I signed up for.

But after my shower I couldn't wait to get my baby back in my arms. I did just that when I got out of the bathroom. I think she grew while I was in there doing my nails and stuff.

So I've decided I'm never leaving her again.

I wonder who we will take to prom.

Too far?

Too bad.



One Month of Millie

Today our Millie is 1 month old. Which doesn't feel possible. So I've decided to do a small recap of the last month. 

One month ago Millie was born. I'll be posting her birth story sooner or later-hopefully sooner. After she was born we decided to camp out at my parents house for a night...that turned into more than one night.... So grateful they were willing to have us, the full house and extra help was so nice. 

We stayed in my brothers room since my old room has been demoted to a twin sized bed. 

While at Grandma and Grandpas she got lots of cuddles and ooed and awwed over constantly. The way it should be. We also went and visited her other grandparents and met two more stinky uncles. Such a blessing to be so close to family. In the last month it has been totally reaffirmed as to why we live close to family. 
After a few nights I decided we couldn't stay there forever. So we went home and found our new normal. 

This is Millie's bill payin' baby wearing daddy. 
Millie's dad will do anything for her and I. I sometimes feel like I'm not doing enough because he is so willing and wonderful about doing whatever needs done. I could not do this without him. 

Speaking of dad, he can calm Sweet Pea when she's in a tizzy. She loves to look at him while he's talking. She seems to sleep the soundest on his chest. Long story short-baby girl already is in love with dad. 

Jerrel went back to work last week. It was hard, 3 nights in a row. He got to see us everyday for about an hour but every time Millie was asleep, when they finally saw each other, they were two peas in a pod. She looked at him and listened to his voice so intently. 

Before baby was born I found a fabulous photographer that was looking for a newborn model. I filled out the form and we were chosen. Then after meeting my baby I realized that this shoot might be interesting. Millie is observant and alert. Photographer preferred her to sleep. Not my child. 5 hours later we were leaving with our bright eyed girl who was sick of trying to be put to sleep and posed. But we did get some beautiful shots. 

When Jerrel went back to work we decided to sleep over at my parents house. My mom has a thing about giving babies baths so we took a bath. Plus when spit up is getting all caught up in your neck folds it's probably not a bad idea. 

This is how we know Millie is really OUT. She gets that open mouth sleeper thing from her Momma. Sorry 'bout it.  

Since the day Millie was born she has had the biggest yawn. It takes her whole face to yawn. It's adorable and usually makes her mad. 

We hang out in our jammies pretty much everyday. We like to be comfy. However, we did go out on a limb and wear a dress last week to go shopping for Momma's new RECLINER. 

Side note: we all love Momma's new recliner!

So serious, I'm certain she is already smarter than us. 

Sweet Pea is also getting so much better at focusing. She will now follow us with her eyes and we are starting to see more expressions. 

And her feet. Well, her feet are still the cutest thing on the planet.