Cesarean Awareness Month – My Story

 

As some of you may or may not know, both of my children were born via cesarean section. With it being Cesarean Awareness month, I thought it would be fun to tell my story.

Most of us mothers can agree that a cesarean section isn’t our first choice when it comes to our delivery plans but sometimes that’s the way it goes. I never really had a ‘birthing plan’ but of course my intentions were a normal birth. All I knew was I definitely wanted an epidural. This mama wasn’t ready to experience a natural birth, the contractions were enough.

In December 2013, my son was five days overdue. I went to my weekly OB appointment, thinking I was going to plan my induction and continue working until then. So I waddled my way up onto the table for my doctor to check my dilation, and within a few seconds all I hear is

“Welp, I don’t think your heading back to work, I think I just broke your water”.

THANK YOU DOC, I AM READY.

I headed over to the hospital, called who I needed to call and was ready to get this baby out. As much as I was ready to get this boy out, he wasn’t ready. Not one bit. We waited and waited for any teeny bit of dilation change. Nothing. So here came the Pitocin, hours later.

 Finally, the contractions began and a little under 24 hours later I was ready to push. Did I mention they predicted my son to be around 8-9lbs?! Yeah, I was a little nervous to push that dude out. After twenty minutes of pushing, an episiotomy, and a vacuum my sons heart rate was dropping, quickly. So, emergency C-section it was. I was rushed to the OR and within 20 minutes, my beautiful 6lb 14oz boy was born.

Yeah, SIX pounds. So much for an 8-9 pounder. Thanks for freaking me out doc.

In the back of my mind, I felt like I failed at birthing my son. But, after having him in my arms, my entire heart filled with happiness and relief. My little boy and I were healthy, and that was all that mattered. Everything was worth it.

 

After 8 months of being a mother, I had to received emergency back surgery. All from carrying and attempting to give birth to my son. You can find that story here.

A little over three years later, in February 2017 I was preparing to give birth to my daughter. This time was a little different though, my cesarean section was planned.

I met my current husband in 2015, when my son was a little over a year old.

When I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, I knew this was going to be his first child. Fear overcame me when I started to think of my back and what he would think knowing he might not get to experience the ‘normal’ birthing process of his daughter.

I was afraid he would be upset to not be able to experience the labor, holding my hand while I had contractions, and the actual anticipation of me pushing and giving birth to our beautiful baby girl.

Although, there was the risk of uterine rupture, I decided to try for a VBAC.

So that was our plan, we’d wait it out until I go into labor and I would try a vaginal birth all over again.

Everything was going great, I was so excited to be able to attempt a second vaginal birth. We knew she would be a little one, so I thought it would be a breeze. Then we hit about 35 weeks and I was crushed.

My daughter was breech, so a repeat cesarean was mandatory for the health of my daughter. I was heartbroken. The feeling of failure overcame me once again and I broke down. Knowing that there was nothing I could do to change my birthing options now; my husband was the most supportive man. He didn’t care about how our daughter was brought into this world, he just wanted us both happy and healthy. I was the mother of his child and he’d never love me any less then he does now. In fact, knowing that I was carrying his child made him love me even more. To this day, I appreciate him more then he’ll ever know.

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So here came February 6th, 2017. The day we picked to give birth to our daughter. As much as I was upset that I couldn’t attempt a VBAC, the process of a repeat cesarean section was very relaxed and calm. I knew what I was about to go through and I was ready. My husband and I were both ready. He was waiting for this day to come for years. He was so excited to become a father and to make his parents grandparents. We also couldn’t wait to give my son a sibling.

We arrived at the hospital around 10AM, expecting to go into the operating room around 1PM. After waiting and waiting, not to mention I couldn’t eat or drink all day… at 3:30PM I go on back. My husband had to stay back at first while they inserted my epidural and numbed me which slightly made me nervous because all I wanted was him next to me, but once I was ready and that lovely blue sheet went up, he was right by my side, ready to welcome our girl.

The doctor came in, introduced herself, and explained every single step of the process with us during my entire surgery. My husband and I stared at each other the entire time and were impatiently waiting to hear our daughters first cry.

Finally, we hear “here she comes” and at 4PM exactly we heard her first little cry. My husband sat his forehead on mine and we cried together. Our bond felt stronger than ever.

 

After a few moments, he went over to cut the cord, and then brought our little girl over so we could meet her together.

My heart was so full, our little girl was here and she was completely healthy. At that moment, all the feelings of failure disappeared. I just had my second major surgery to give these beautiful little humans life. This wasn’t the ‘easy way out’. Cesarean mothers go through just as much as mothers who give birth naturally. We all have the heal afterwards, just in different ways. We all bleed, we all cry, and we all become new mothers to a beautiful little baby that will love us no matter how they came into this world.

I am a proud cesarean mother, and I wouldn’t change how my children came into this world one bit. They are healthy, energetic, intelligent kids that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

 

Happy Cesarean Awareness Month!

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100 Ways to Get Your Kids Outside

Happy Spring Everyone!

I am so excited that the weather is final warming up here on the east coast! I’m ready for ice cream dates and playground fun. With my youngest now on the go, I’m really excited for what this spring and summer have in store for us. Last year was difficult because she was so young so getting out was a little tough, but this year she’s able to keep up with her brother and I know they are going to have a blast.

I am big on getting the kids outside as much as possible. I like for them to be active, to run around, and just be a kid! My son is old enough to get into sports, so I really want to experiment and see what he truly enjoys so we can sign him up for a team. We’re thinking baseball, so I’m really excited. His cousin is amazing at playing ball, so I’m hoping to get them together a lot during the summer to really get my son into learning to rules of the game.

As for my one year old, I just want her to learn to love the outdoors. We’re a very ‘outdoorsy’ family, so I really don’t want my little ones to be stuck on electronics and television, especially when it’s so beautiful outside. My in-laws are getting the kids a play set for our backyard so I’m excited. That will go great with the sandbox and fire pit we currently have out there.

So why not kick off the beginning of spring with a list of 100 ways to get your kids outside!

Some may cost a little, but others are completely free!

There are options for every budget!

 

Draw with sidewalk chalk

Go for a bike ride/learn to ride a bike

Visit a playground

Have a picnic

Go for a walk

Catch fireflies at night

Plant a garden

Visit a lake

Go fishing

Practice/Play a sport

Go swimming in a pool

Hike in the woods

Visit a zoo

Visit an ice cream shop

Go to a carnival

Visit an amusement park

Play tag

Play hide and go seek

Have a bonfire

Roast marshmallows

Pitch a tent and ‘camp’ in your backyard

Have a water balloon fight

Set up a sprinkler or slip and slide

Visit a national or state park

Identify different birds

Have an outdoors scavenger hunt (see below for a free printable!)

Paint rocks

Play hopscotch

Catch butterflies

Build and paint a birdhouse

Pick different flowers

Go feed ducks

Finger paint

Find shapes in the clouds

Look for stars at night in a telescope

Wash a car

Play I-Spy

Climb a tree

Fly a kite

Make paper airplanes

Play with bubbles

Go puddle jumping

Have a squirt gun fight

Make a time capsule and bury it

Play in the mud

Visit a farm

Have a lemonade stand

Visit a beach

Go to a local baseball game

Make dandelion wishes

Visit a water park

Go frog catching

Collect seashells

Go paddle boating

Go to an outdoor concert

Play in a sandbox

Go on a boat ride

Go swimming in a lake

Paint pine cones

Make a bird feeder

Identify tree types

Make a nature journal

Collect different types of leaves

Collect different types of rocks

Grill and eat dinner outside

Go mini golfing

Skip rocks

Pick berries

Smell different flowers

visit a farmer’s market

Make a wind chime

Visit a drive-in movie theater

Roll down a hill

Dance outside

Visit an aquarium

Go crabbing

Look for bugs

Plant a tree

Take outside photos

Build an outside fort

Go horseback riding

Hula hoop

Watch the sun set/rise

Jump rope

Go go-karting

Make paper boats

Build sandcastles

Have a race

Build an obstacle course

Jump on a trampoline

Make a tire swing

Do a science experiment

Tour a fire station

Visit a children’s museum

Find a four-leaf clover

Tie die shirts

Make shadow puppets

Walk to a snowball stand

Make your own snowballs

Make your own ice cream

Scavenger Hunt
Right Click to Save and Print!

 

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Easter Bunny Cake Pops

Happy Spring Everyone!

For some crazy reason Mother Nature decided to dump over a foot of snow here in Pennsylvania on the first (and second) day of Spring. Totally not what we wanted, but my oldest got a snow day out of it so we decided to celebrate the spring season inside while the snow falls. Since I knew what kind of weather was headed our way, the little one and I went to Walmart to grab some necessities we needed. I came across this adorable bunny shaped silicone baking mat and instantly thought it would be a great idea to make bunny shaped cake pops! My son is in love with eating cake pops and he always gets one when we visit Starbucks, so why not make our own! I wanted to share the recipe because it’s perfect for the Easter season. Over the weekend we made Spring Flower Chocolate Pretzels. Check those out too!

Ingredients:

• Bunny Shaped Silicone Baking Mat

• Lollipop Sticks

• Pastel Colored Chocolate Wafers (however many colors you want)

• One Box of Cake Mix (we went with Funfetti. Make sure you have all the ingredients listed on the back of the box also.)

• Cooking Spray

• Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine your cake mix ingredients together as directed on the back of the box

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2. Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees

3. Place your silicone mat on a baking pan and generously spray the mat with cooking spray

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4. Fill each bunny with cake mix about a quarter to half way full

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5. Bake in the over for 10-15 minutes

6. Let the cake pieces cool for a few minutes then place them on a sheet of parchment paper.

(They should pop right out of the baking mat)

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7. Place a lollipop stick into the center of the bunny cake pieces. This could be done before or after you dip the cake pieces in the chocolate. Whichever you prefer.

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8. Melt your chocolate wafers in the microwave (or as desired) in a microwave safe bowl. I usually do 30 seconds intervals on defrost until chocolate is fully melted

9. Dip the cake pieces into the melted chocolate until fully covered, let the extra chocolate drip off, then place back on the parchment paper to harden

10. Design the bunny pieces as desired and enjoy! We decided to drizzle a different color on some and add sprinkles to the other. If you are using sprinkles, be sure the add them before the chocolate fully hardens so they stick

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These were definitely a hit in my household, and I hope they are with yours also! Enjoy! We sure did! Also, a special thanks to my little helper. We had a blast making these together.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bites

These delicious little bites are one of my favorites quick recipes to make. These no bake snacks take only minutes to make and are super delicious. They are the perfect snack for a healthy lifestyle and are packed with protein and fiber to keep you feeling fuller during the day. They are an easy on the go snack if you live a busy lifestyle like mine. Best thing about them is that they help curb my sweet tooth when I’m craving something with chocolate. Each bite tastes more like a dessert than healthy protein and fiber rich snack.

My kids approve of them also, which is a total mom win.

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5 Simple Ingredients:
2 tbsp. Honey
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup ground flax seeds

All you do is simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes until chilled.
Once chilled, roll into mini balls and enjoy!
(I made mine about 1 inch in diameter)

If you don’t eat them within a week, you can also freeze them and eat them at a later time.

These balls are also super versatile and you can mix them up however you’d like. You can add in some coconut or shredded almonds. Maybe trade out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips. Whichever you prefer.

Hope you enjoy!

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