Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Due Date

Since today is actually the day that Riley was due to make her entrance in this world. I thought it would be a perfect time to write "our story" or as most call it, "our journey". It is amazing that she has been here for over 3 weeks so far and today was supposed to be her actual birthday. Take it from me...those dates are just guesses and never 100%. I couldn't imagine my life without her these past 3 weeks.

I was really hestitant to write our journey on the blog because once I do...it is out there, on the internet, for everyone to read, judge and have an opinion. Our journey is something that is really personal for me and a time in my life I will never forget. Many blog moms (or TTC moms) have inspired me to put our story out there. Hopefully it can be hope for women.

We tried for two years to get pregnant, I know that is not that long for some couples but to me it was a lifetime. Josh and I got married in September of 2010 and started trying right away. I am 32 and I knew I was going to have some issues trying to conceive (TTC). I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20 years old. I went off birth control in college and never really thought it was going to be an issue...until I wanted to start a family.

For those of you that know me, know I am very driven, I also put a lot of pressure on myself in every situation. This was no different. I started going to a fertility specialist right away from the Cleveland Clinic (one of the best) and got some tests taken. Hormone levels were alittle off but nothing to be too concerned about. We also got Josh tested and his little swimmers were PERFECT. That was ahuge relief because male infertility is a lot more scary then mine.

We started the clomid and started "baby making" regularly. You see, there is a big difference between baby making and love making. For those of you in this process, you totally understand. During this process we picked up and moved to Indiana from Cleveland, no big deal right? It was very stressful, fun and emotional all the same time. I missed my family so, but was excited to have a fresh start. We needed it.

One week after we moved to Indiana, we found out we were pregnant off of the Clomid. It was amazing. Totally one of those songs were you are laughing, crying and jumping up and down like you won the lottery. The baby was due October 25th, we were estatic.

One week later we had a miscarriage, we lost our little baby. We were both devistated. I do not wish that on my worst enemy. So we picked ourselves up and kept trying and trying. Weeks and months went by with no positive result. We started seeing an RE here in Indiana (who was a buckeye fan so we couldn't go wrong). We absolutely loved him. We drove 2 hours each way to go and see him once a month because he was the best. We had Josh tested again, had my dye test and had more hormone tests for me.

In the meantime we prayed...and prayed and prayed. I turned to God so many times during this time. I wasn't really raised with a strong faith background, or didn't have much faith in my life. This felt like my last hope. This process was staining on me, and my marriage.

Doc found I was "insulin resistant" and  put my on metformin from Halloween 2011 through the holidays. After the holiday we were to start the shots and get us pregnant! The holidays came and went and the medicine was not working. I was not regular and still not ovulating. I went 4 months without a menstual cycle and decided to put TTC behind us and start the house hunting! We found an awesome house we absolutely love....and guess what?? it has a swingset:)

The time came were the doctor wanted us to start the shots and give me something to bring on my menstrual cycle. I told him to hold off because I felt like it was coming and wanted it to come naturally. I waited about another week and still nothing. Doctor told me to take a pregnancy test and come in and start the next process. I got home from my spinning class and did what the doctor ordered. The test came out POSITIVE...I was pregnant. I took 3 more tests....all positive.

What..could this be real? This time it wasn't a crying, jumping, crazy moment. Josh got home from the grocery, I walked out and said "I'm pregnant" and we both just stood there, and looked at each other. It was surreal.

Infertility is hard, and it an be a long long process. I  think people that don't experience it really understand what it can do to a woman, or a couple.It definitely changed me, made Josh and I stronger. I hope to have more babies in the near future but refuse to put my family through this stress again. We have our angel and the rest is up to God's plan.

 Don't tell women to "relax" or "it will happen". Even though it did happen for us when I relaxed and didn't put pressure on it, I would never say that to another couple TTC. It is all in God's plan, and when God's plan isn't your plan...rely on each other.

I am grateful everyday for this little girl in my life. Every 2 hours and wake up, every diaper change and every time I pick her up and she stops crying. I kiss her and appreciate every. single. moment.

Riley, we love you! You are truly the best gift.
Shannon and Josh

Monday, October 29, 2012

Life Lately

First I have to say that being a mom is awesome. I have no idea what I am doing most of the time but it is the most rewarding thing EVER. I am a total "Momma in Training" these days and asking a LOT of questions. It seems like my mom knows it all now, I call or text her like once a day now! Even my friends that have kids know everything there is to know about poop, diapers, sleep deprivation and sleep patterns. It makes me happy they all had kids first! I've had such great support.

When they tell you your life changes the second you become a mom...they are not lieing. Having a newborn changes everything in your life. I found myself looking up baby clothes and headbands and no longer looking up cute fall outfits on Pinterest for mommy.

Riley is now 3 weeks young (old) and  is growing up so fast. She is very alert most of the time but still gets her beauty sleep on and off during the day and night. She has one period of sleeping 4 hours but is mostly up every 3 hours. Who knew sleep deprivation could be so awesome....

Daddy is also a HUGE help when it comes to Riley. He gets home from work and is on "baby duty", while I read, blog or cook dinner. He helps out with feeds at night so we both end up getting some sleep. There is nothing sexier to me than a good dad and boy did I score the jackpot on that one.

Harvest time is upon us and our neighbors are hard at work. These farmers are out all the time lately. Friday they were out at our nidnight feeding, then again at six oclock when we were getting up again. I guess they only really do this type of work twice a year but man are they working right now. The whole country and farming is still so intriqueing to me. I had no idea...

Our view from our front yard neighbors.

Back yard neighbors

See when I tell everyone I live in Indiana in the country, now you know it's for REAL.
What else is upon us soon. CHRISTMAS! Christmas is 56 days away and I can. not. wait. Everyone that knows me, knows it is my most favorite time of year (goes along with fall and football season). I can't wait for the decorations, wrapping presents, crazy malls and line, snow, cold, family and friends. I haven't even think of anything this year that I "want" or "need" because I have everything I have ever asked for right below!

Happy Monday
Thank you to Kay at Life After Blog for creating my new blog design. It is fun, classy and stylish!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Packing up the Pump

Okay Okay...so it has been two weeks and I already had my first "I am failing as a mom" moment. I think that actually happened in the first week. It has taken me one more week to get over it (kind of).

Everyone knows that I am(was) dead set on breast feeding. I mean I have it all...breast pump, nursing pads (like 500), storage bags, nursing bras and everything else you will possibly need to have a heathy breast feeding baby. I have read all the articles that tell you breast is best. I know and understand what I have to do to go back to work full time and breast feed. WELL....just like everything else, it didn't go as planned. Here is my story:

Baby Riley was early and I was not producing anything, no colustrum, milk or anything. I don't even think my breast grew during my pregnancy at all. Since Riley was so small we had to start feeding her something. The doctors let us know that most babies can survive off little once they are born because of the vitamins they received from my placenta and cord. She needed some food to help her gain weight.

Part of my birth plan (again we all know how my plan worked out) was to have skin to skin breast feeding right away after delivery. Since I had a c section I was in recovery for about an hour after the delivery so that didn't really work out. She was having trouble latching on because of how small she was. So we used a nipple shield with a feeding tube and sringe. I know it sounds complicated but I was against giving her formula in the first place and did not want her to be introduced to the bottle before I could even breast feed.

Well then I pumped. I pumped every two hours, had her try and feed every two hours and then resorted to the formula (high calorie) that the hospital was providing us. Again this was all through a feeding tube, skin to skin, and attached to the breast. My goal was to keep trying until it worked. I was determined.

Then we got home. Feedings took abotu 1 1/2 each time. I was still determined to get her on the breast milk. I just was not producing anything...nothing was happening. The little that I did produce she would gulp right up and be starving, I mean CRY YOUR HEAD OFF starved. Once I finally gave her the formula (again the the feeding tube) she was gulp it like she had never eaten before. That was my OFFICIAL I am failing as a mom moment. My baby was starved and I wasn't able to norish her??!!

Then the realization came when I went to the pedetrician. She lost a couple ounces since she was home. She was born at 5 lbs, came home at 4 and 12 oz, and was 4 and 10 two days later. His concern was she wasnt getting enough food. She was alway starved.

Still I pumped, and pumped, and fed her through the nipple shield with the feeding tube. My last resort was my appointment with my lacation nurse. After taking new herbs, still pumping and my milk ducts not producing anything, she gave me two options. Both were prescription medications that would (maybe) help my produce. One is something you get from a combine pharmacy, or overseas in New Zealand (really?) or the other is one you can take once and it has a high rate of depression. Okay that sounds like something I am willing to do. I just had a newborn and already think I am failing...I think my hormones had enough depression from one lifetime.

AFter talking about it with Josh, we decided against the prescription and I was going to give it up (i hate those words) but I did. I cried, cried and felt so guilty it killed me.

Today we are doing great and have already gained a pound since the big decision. The feeding are easier with Josh in the mix and she loves her Tommee Tippie bottles. They are a total newborn musthave because they are designed to resemble a breast nipple.

Sweetie I tried! Just remember that mom gave it her all but in the end your nurishment is more important because I just was not producing. So that folks is why I am PACKING UP THE PUMP.

Since I have this awesome newborn, I have so many great  posts to write about. Here are some that are coming your way:

Riley Mea's Musthaves
Delivery Story
Our Journey
My Pregnancy (hopefully with maternity pics)
The NURSERY...it will be done this week

Happy Tuesday


Monday, October 22, 2012

2 Weeks Young

Dear Riley,

I can't believe you are two weeks young already. I know you will read this one day and laugh, but two weeks have flown by. The next thing I know you are going to be 16 when I blink again. I am just enjoying every single moment I have with you when I am home on leave. I know when I go back I will be such a mess...but enough talk about that for now.

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You are getting bigger and bigger by the day. You were 4 lbs 10 oz when we brought you home and now you are 5 lbs 3 oz. You can tell you keep gaining weight because your face is filling out and you are almost out of premmie clothes. Our little girl is getting so big.

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You love your hands and arms. You can not have them tied down at all. This means in a swaddle, carseat or your swing. You will let us know really quick that you are not having that. You have long fingers like me. We will try to get a basketball in your hands right away, or maybe some piano or swimming lessons. I will contact the YMCA right away (even though its not for a couple years).

You are starting to smile, or it could be gas, but whatever it is, it is ADORABLE. We just can not get enough of you. I hold you all. the. time. You love to be on my chest and will fall asleep or soothe yourself right when you hit my chest. I think you recognize my smell and heartbeat from those 9 months you were inside my belly.

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You love your rock n play sleeper and your boppy pillow. You do not like getting undressed at any time. I think your dad likes this and is thinking for the future. The only time you cry is when you are getting undressed, diaper changes or if your extremely hunger. Usually we have to wake you up to feed you so when you cry out of hunger, you are STARVED. We try not to let that happen since we switched to formula.

I love everything about you and your hiccups. Dad and mom couldn't be more proud of you and look forward to every single day in our future.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Past Week...

Sorry I have been out of commission this past week with no word for me. It is all for good reason...

Guess who made an early appearance???

Riley Mae was born on October 7, 2012 at 1:08am. She is 5.04 pounds of pure awesomeness. Josh and I couldn't be happier because she is absolutely perfect.

So far 2 weeks of momminess has been a pure blessing. Who knew exhaustion could be so rewarding. There has been many joys and surprises with little Riley. Nothing about her delivery, feeding schedule, or due date has been planned. She keeps us on our toes.

She is our little pumpkin and we love her to pieces.
I have some future blog posts that will tell you all about the delivery, first couple weeks and her Rileyisms.
I never knew you could love this much. Our lives are changed forever...and we love it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Believe

It's Friday and that makes me feel like....

I think that I deserve some sort of award for making it through another week. Maybe a metal, cookie, or I will just settle for some pizza tonight.

I'm linking up again to make my blog world become bigger and today is the I Believe day. I think I needed another pick me up. Enjoy

I believe in wearing things that sparkle

I believe that your best friends are sisters you never had.

I believe an apple a day really does keep the doctor away.

I believe in working out and exercising your body.

I believe in laughing until it hurts.

I believe that college football should be all year round.

I believe that morning coffee makes everything better.

I believe in Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media that makes this world turn.

I believe that blogging is awesome and stimulates the economy.

I believe that love can change your life.

I believe wearing heals makes you feel prettier.

I believe on being attached to your Ipad, Iphone or whatever technology vice you have.

I believe that family will always be there. NO MATTER WHAT.

I believe in the power of prayer.

I believe in FRIDAYS! Woohooo.

Have a great weekend. One week closer.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

36 WEEKS Folks!

It's 36 weeks and time is slowing down. This week has been harder then the past weeks. I am starting to slow down my work schedule and prepare for baby. This is probably going to be the last bump attack picture. Belly is perfectly round like a basketball and ankles are like cantelope. Yea...it's time for me to take it eassyyyy.

Oh yea...I cut my hair and dyed it RED! I love it. It was alittle shorter than I thought I wanted it but now I actually do it. When it was longer I just put it back everyday and went on with my day. Mom's got to be stylin' too.

How far along: 36 weeks

Gender: Girly girl all the way. You go girl!

Movement: Lots and lots. She is dancing away in my belly. Sometimes she is trying to escape and sometimes she is just letting me know she is there. Josh is totally amazing, and slightly freaked out, by how vivid her movements are now.

Size: Honeydew! I am not sure who comes up with these analogies but she looks and feels way more like a huge watermelon.

Cravings: Brocoli Cheese Soup

Sleep: Still sleeping pretty great (knock on wood). My body pillow is the third person in our bed

Best Moments this week:
Dinner with Josh's parents
crafts for baby's room
Knowing that next week she is full term!

Worst Moments this week:
Lots of swelling
harder to get dressed or even function for that matter

These next couple weeks we have so much to look forward to. Bags are packed and we are ready to go. Next doctor's appointment is Tuesday and we get one week closer. Full term baby...can you believe it?


Monday, October 1, 2012

Your Father

Riley, I wanted to do a post so you would know a few things about your father. I already know you so much and he barely gets to even feel you kick. There is a special bond between father and daughter that most will never understand; i know all about a father daughter bond. These are good tips for you (and hopefully your siblings) to maybe make fun or joke with him someday....

  • Your dad LOVES to nap. He can nap anywhere and everywhere. He would take a nap in the garage if I let him. I think it is just he loves to sleep. He will sleep all night and then get up and take a nap in like 4 hours.
  • He's from Georgia and a southern boy at heart. He loves the county life and is a hard working man. He is not even close to a suit and tie guy. I think he got all of his ties since I met him...and he doesn't own a suit.

  • He would keep ESPN on all day if I let him...don't worry sweetie, I never will.
  • I think he is in love with the yard. He would probably mow it 3 or 4 times a week if it didn't take him 3 hours each time. He takes a lot of pride in the yard.
  • He is a totally ORGANIZED! To the extreme. We even have separate closets because mine is so messy and his is color coordinated. He is very neat likes things clean. We are opposite in that area:)
  • Is favorite shows are Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Big Bang Theory, ESPN, or anything that involves swamps, antiques or reality tv. He also likes the Kardashians (yup mommy makes him watch it and now he is hooked on the madness).

  • He loves to golf but knows he needs lessons. He would golf everyday if he could.
  • Loves to fish also. He never keeps the fish because he could never hurt an animal so he throws them back everytime. His cousin Fritz wants him to come turkey hunting with him next year...yea, we need to witness this.
  • He loves Georgia Football. By the time your old enought to read this and understand this you will be well aware of that.
  • He used to have long hair in high school. YES! Long hair...can you believe it.
  • He must have a treat every night before he goes to bed. Peanut Butter Panic ice cream is his vice of choice. He can not get enough.
  • Two things you MUST KNOW: He has a HUGE heart.


He loves you and your mom very much!