Reu’s Birth Story

It’s been a few weeks since I posted in this space. I’m a sucker for reading birth stories, so today I thought I would get back in the writing groove and share our boy’s birth story with you!

Irregular contractions started the afternoon of January 5th. I knew it could be awhile, but I thought that it for sure meant the process had started. With both Gracie and Lillian, once contractions got going, that was the real deal. This little dude decided to change things up for me a bit! Contractions continued here and there through the night and some into Friday morning, but I was still able to sleep and then Friday morning they stopped.

Sunday morning things started again and this time they were more regular. So of course I thought, “Yay! This is it!”  I wasn’t sure how quickly things would progress and I was nervous not to have the midwife at our home in time, so we asked her to come to our home about mid day. Since our return from Uganda we have been staying with Dustin’s parents in their basement living area until we are able to build in the Spring. So Mimi and Pap took the girl’s to church, the midwife arrived, and I was all set for this to be the day our boy was born. Long story short, after 12ish hours of regular contractions, not terribly painful, but regular, things just kind of slowed down and pretty much stopped. The midwife went home and I was more emotionally exhausted than physically exhausted. When was this kid going to actually be born!? He was still a few days before his due date, but both my girl’s were born around 39 weeks, so I was getting impatient and tired of all this teasing! I was trying to get things going with walking when I could, sitting on the exercise ball, going to the chiropractor, but I knew he was only going to come when he was ready!

Tuesday morning things picked up again. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but then again, it was hard not to. It was now his due date, and third times a charm, right? This time contractions kept coming steady, and they seemed to be increasing in intensity. I didn’t want to call the midwife to come too early this time, but as she lives farther away, I asked her to hang out somewhere close  and I would let her know if things continued and picked up. Around three we decided to ask her to head to the house. She arrived and Mimi Steiner took the girl’s to the library and out to eat with Pap.

I continued with pacing around the living room and stopping to brace against the couch for contractions. I also spent quite a lot of time on the exercise ball. Any swaying motion seemed to help. I’ve always felt very in control during my contractions. They hurt, but I feel capable of handling them. I was having a bit of anxiety already just thinking about pushing, as this has always been the most painful part for me. We had the birth tub all set up and ready to go for when I felt that I wanted to get in. As I had a midwife at home this time, I had no idea how much I was dilated or effaced and she said it was totally up to me as to when I wanted to get in the water. I knew it could speed things up or slow things down, but I was actually a little worried it would speed things up too much! With Gracie, once I got into the water I transitioned very quickly and dilated the rest of the way rapidly. I was ready for this little guy to be born, but not as sure I was ready to actually push him out!

As I contemplated what to do, I felt like Jesus gave me the assurance that it was going to be ok and just get in the water! So I did! A little before six I got into the water. At first I didn’t have a contraction for awhile and I was afraid things had slowed down. I was holding Dustin’s hand, on my knees in the water and leaning on the edge of the tub. As my first contraction in the water started, all of a sudden I jumped and gasped, scaring Dustin in the process! My water had broken with that first contraction in the water! Now I was ready for thing to really get moving. About a half hour passed of contractions, but I felt absolutely zero urge to push! I had expected that I would feel the urge to push almost immediately as I did with Lillian after my water broke. With each contraction and no urge to push I felt a bit anxious, but tried to remain as relaxed as I could and just breath. The midwife reminded me to just listen to my body and not to worry if I didn’t feel like I had to push yet.

All of sudden, things changed! I went from absolutely zero urge to push, to this baby’s head is on it’s way out! It was a pretty intense pressure and pain and as I was on my knees in the water my body automatically tightened up, instead of relaxing and allowing more room for him to come out! I was trying to balance between pushing and not pushing too much so I didn’t tear. I had my hand down by his head with the first contraction and after the first contraction his head and little hands were out. He decided he wanted to have his hands by his face when he was born. Then with the next contraction I was bracing myself on the side of the tub and trying to relax my legs a little bit. The rest of him slid on out into the water and the midwife told me to reach down and pick him up! I picked up my perfect little babe and had him resting on my chest. Time of birth was 6:29 pm.  He gave out a little cry when he first came out of the water, but then he calmed down as he laid on my chest. He tried to lift his head some and look around a bit…and he was so cheesy! If you don’t know what that means, it means he was covered in a good thick layer of vernix! He also had some good bruising on his nose, as he must have dropped very quickly at the end!

We waited to cut the cord and he nursed awhile while we were still in the tub. Eventually I delivered the placenta. For some reason, I hate having to deliver the placenta afterwards. Obviously it’s necessary, but I’m all like “Really? I just pushed out a human being, and now you’re asking me to push again!?” Of course it’s not as bad as the actually pushing of the baby, but it still feels like so much work!

After the cord was cut and the placenta delivered, we got out of the tub and all situated in the rocking chair to nurse awhile. Big sister’s were back from their outing and were pretty excited to meet him. They came down to peek at him and already started kissing his smooshy face.  The girl’s went to bed upstairs and I had some more time snuggling and nursing. I eventually got up to shower and get all cleaned up. The midwife weighed him in at 7 lbs 8 oz. My biggest baby yet!

Reu Benjamin Steiner is a sweet addition to our family as the little brother. He has perfectly chubby, kissable cheeks, and a full head of light brown/blonde hair. His name can be found in the genealogy of Jesus and means shepherd or friend. We are so happy that our little boy is here!

Dear Baby Boy

Dear Baby Boy,

First off, it sounds a little strange to write, boy. We are super excited for your entrance into our family, but I should warn you, you’ve got two older sisters that have the whole bossiness thing down pretty well! But I also want to tell you that they are pretty wonderful and you will be very, very loved…and possible smothered at times!

In about two more months we will get to meet you! To hold you, kiss you, love on you and in general ohh and ahh and thank God for the gift of you. You are already so loved.

I can already tell that you are going to be active! Neither of your older siblings were great sleepers for awhile, and I have a feeling, you may just follow suit! You like to kick and tumble, and I’m almost certain that at times you are in there dancing and performing the worm! You are active, strong, and responsive.

It’s fun to imagine what you will be like. What you will look like. How you will interact with us. We can imagine now, but it won’t be long before we get to experience you. To learn about you. To nurture you. To help you grow in the love of Jesus and try to foster and encourage the good gifts that He has given you to use for His glory.

Baby Boy. It won’t be long until we won’t remember a time without you as the little brother. You are loved. You are cherished. You are prayed for.

Dear Baby Boy, we love you

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

Follow along with Keri
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter


Gender Reveal Announcement // He or She?

heorshe

Our family is expecting another baby this coming January! With little sis’s birthday January 25th and big sis’s birthday February 1st, we have managed to ensure that we’ll always be busy that time of year!

With Gracie we found out as soon as we could whether we would be having a boy or girl and shared it with the world right away! We called parents and friends and posted it on facebook the minute we were able. We couldn’t contain our excitement! We did manage to keep her name a surprise! With Lillian, we decided that we would wait to find out whether we were having a boy or girl until the birth. I for some reason expected a boy, but out came sweet Lillian, another girl! With this next baby we thought it would be fun to find out the gender. The girls will be close to turning three and five when the baby arrives, and we knew it would be fun for them to be able to plan for whatever gender this baby would be. They have actually been rooting for a baby brother. They figure that we already have girls, so we must need a boy!

To get them in on the gender reveal I gave them each a sucker, smartly ensuring success with the whole cooperation in the picture taking department! I told them to hide them in their mouths for a few pictures and then finally hold them out and show me the color! Psst…I’ll let you in on a little secret…I didn’t actually have the right color of sucker, so I had to do a little editing!

Enjoy our gender reveal photos!

IMG_9899

IMG_9905

And the verdict is a….wait for it…

IMG_9903

BOY!!!

IMG_9906

IMG_9907

I also made them some “books” so they could study up on having a little brother in the house come January.

IMG_9888

IMG_9889

IMG_9893

IMG_9896

It’s an intense read, but I think they’ll make it!

IMG_9898

So there you have it, our gender reveal photos. What do you think about gender reveals? Love ’em, hate ’em? Do you like to wait until the baby is born, or are you too impatient like I have been 2/3 times! Whichever route you choose, I hope you enjoyed following along with our reveal!

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

Follow along with Keri
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter


What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag // Preparing for Baby’s Arrival

A month or so back I did a post on some of my top recommendations for what new parents should buy for baby. To follow up for those friends that are still expecting their precious bundle, I racked my brain for what to pack in your hospital bag. Preparing for your baby’s arrival can get stressful, so stick around and learn what to pack and how to make it easy to prepare!

whatopack

  1. Birth Plan. Remember to pack your birth plan! We typed up a simple plan that allowed the doctor and nurses to know what our wishes were. We handed them out right when we got to the hospital and didn’t have to worry about it from there. Make sure to have lots of copies!

2. Comfy Clothes. You’re not going to want to wear the hospital gown the whole time! Make sure you pack clothes that are comfy, but also help you feel put together and human again! I packed some yoga pants, but if I were packing again, I would totally want these At Ease Bottoms from Albion!

3. Nursing Bra. If you’re going to be breastfeeding, make sure you pack a comfy nursing bra. These bras are a great price, comfortable, and cute!

 

4. Chap stick. Just pack it! Dry lips should be your last worry!

5. Snacks. I would recommend you smuggle in some snacks! They aren’t going to want to give you solid food just in case you would have to go in for surgery last minute, but if you’re shooting for a natural birth, you’re going to need energy!

6. Camera. Don’t forget to pack your camera to capture all those precious memories!

 

 

7. Toiletries. You’re going to want to shower…and smell decent…and brush your teeth. Pack them!

8. Essential Oils. You may want to pack a few to set the mood. Maybe peppermint to perk you up? Peace and Calming…for obvious reasons!?

download (2)

9. Music. We didn’t actually put together a playlist, but I know that lots of people put together a special birth playlist. Maybe you want some music to pump you up, or maybe something soothing?

10. Baby outfit. Make sure you remember to pack a going home outfit! It’s so much fun to pick out that first outfit you’re going to put your new precious bundle in and then see them wear it!

Was there anything I missed that you considered a must have? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment and help all those expecting mamas out there!

What New Parents Really Need // What to Buy For Baby #1

You just found out your pregnant! Congrats! Soon you will have a precious, tiny little human being. A perfectly unique babe, with just the right combination of you and your spouse. She’ll fit perfectly inside your arms. He’ll look so tiny in his crib. Ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. Tiny, small, petite, little…you get the idea. But somehow this tiny, small, petite, and little human being will take up more room than you could ever imagine! Yes, we could go deep here and expand on how this little babe will fill your heart with more joy than you ever thought possible, but today, we’re going to talk STUFF. All the gadgets, do-dads, products, and stuff that comes with welcoming a tiny, little person into your lives!

I can remember registering for Gracie’s baby shower. It was exciting, fun, and overwhelming all at the same time. All the choices! What do we really need? I remember registering for things that we never used, and then there were things that we never registered for that we realized we needed! My list won’t be all inclusive and every new family will have it’s own unique needs, but here are a few things that we loved having for Gracie, or figured out that we needed to buy.

topfivebabypicksjpg

Jogging Stroller

We loved our jogging stroller. I did jog with it some, but even just for walking it was great. You can get a nice one like this without breaking the bank. The key is to get a stroller with a front swivel wheel, that then has the option to lock. This will make switching between walking and running so much easier!

81O0O9KITWL._SX522_

Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

We registered for a bassinet for Gracie. She HATED it! We did a little research and read that some babies really liked to sleep in the rock ‘n play. Gracie did so much better in the rock ‘n play. It elevates baby’s head a bit, holds them more snugly, and when put right beside your bed, you can gently rock it when baby starts fussing and hope she drifts back off to sleep!

 

 

14556282

 

Swaddles Blankets

We used large thin swaddle blankets to get Gracie all baby burritoed and snug, but I also like these velcro swaddle blankets as an option. These would be useful for those that don’t feel they can easily swaddle their babies. I will warn you though, many babies can be little Houdenis and somehow figure out how to wiggle their arms free of the swaddle…or was that just our restless, poor sleeper babies? When they get big enough to roll over, make sure you are leaving their arms free of the swaddle. These are still great to use to keep them warm, instead of having extra blankets in their crib that could be a safety hazard.

lSummer-Infant-SwaddleMe-3-Pack--pTRU1-18831371dt

Noise Machine

Babies, ok, our babies, seemed to wake at every tiny floor and door creak. We never actually had a noise machine, but we used an app on our phones (and still do) called Sound Sleep. We program it on the relaxing river noise.

The-First-Years-Sounds-for--pTRU1-8450170dt

Exercise Ball

You’ll thank me for this one! When our nephew was born, his parents discovered that if they sat with him and gently bounced up and down on the exercise ball, the movement would calm him down and help him go to sleep. This was seriously the ONLY thing that helped get Gracie to calm down and go to sleep. She would fight sleep like it was her job. Swaddle her up, pop the binky in and bounce up and down with the noise machine going and she just couldn’t win. The down fall of this is that you could be bouncing them to sleep for awhile. Upside…sleep!

k2-_1ffd7ba3-f457-4e17-89b1-b15c8cfb36a4.v1

 

Most of my picks for mamas involve those mamas that will be breastfeeding. There were so many things that I never even thought about getting before Gracie was born. Breastfeeding can be hard! Hopefully having a few of these things on hand can make it a little easier, and you can enjoy your baby without stressing.Top5picksformamas

Lily-Jade Diaper Bag Insert

I love Lily-Jade diaper bags, and happily became the owner of one after winning an instagram giveaway. They are so stylish and their inserts are so amazing. They hold everything you need without constantly having to rummage through everything to get to the very thing you need that has somehow made it’s way to the bottom of your bag. But honestly, I probably would not have bought myself one due to price. If you have someone that would love to gift you with these beautiful bags, yay! If you need to buy yourself a diaper bag and really love the organization of the Lily-Jade bags, I would recommend buying the diaper bag insert. It won’t break the bank and it can fit great inside lots of other bags. I actually just brought my insert with us to Africa and stuck it inside a bag I purchased here. It works perfectly!

BB2L-RED-2T

Nursing Scarf

I use to make nursing scarves to sell in my etsy shop and loved the versatility of them. Other nursing covers can sometime feel too bulky or awkward to handle. You also have to find a place to put them after you are done nursing. Nursing scarves are great because you can wear them where ever you go and easily covert it to cover up.

il_570xN.754943922_1nc9

Motherlove Nipple Cream

I didn’t discover this until well into nursing, Gracie, but it is something I wish I had earlier. Nursing moms, have some on hand!

 

61f-wNWoIrL._SX522_

 

 

Disposable Nursing Pads

Nursing pads are something I didn’t even think of having, but when you’re breastfeeding, they’re kind of nice to have on hand so you don’t end up soaking through one side of your shirt!  The disposable ones have always worked better for me, so I’ll use these often, especially over night.

81RNyHIblML._SX522_

Reusable Nursing Pads

I’ve tried a few different brands of reusable nursing pads, and so far, Marleys Monsters , are the ones I like the best. They are also pretty cute, so even if no one is going to see them except the baby, they can still make you happy when you stick ’em in your bra!

il_570xN.803144164_r7hto

There you have it! My top picks for new parents. What would you add to the list? Was there anything you had wished you registered for or something you never ended up using? Let us all know!

Everything but the Kitchen Sink//What’s in my Diaper Bag?

whatsinmybag

I finally have a great diaper bag thanks to an awesome giveaway where I won a Lily Jade diaper bag! Pockets galore and if I actually work at putting things where they belong, there is a place for everything. Will I ever be that mom that knows where the tissues are? Did I remember to pack a snack? Is there an actual diaper in the diaper bag?  With this diaper bag the answer is (usually) a confident, YES! This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share with all those mamas out there that might be toting around a diaper bag for several little ones! I understand that not everyone is going to have an expensive diaper bag, I probably wouldn’t even have this one if it wasn’t for the giveaway, but a good diaper bag is essential to start with. Before this bag I was using a free one from the hospital. It worked ok, but had ZERO, pocket space.

How to Pick the Diaper Bag

  • Pick a diaper bag with LOTS of pockets. The Lily Jade bags have a great insert that easily slips in or out (blue insert picture below out of the bag). The pockets are essential to keep things more organized and make sure you aren’t just throwing everything into a big jumbled mess. Lily Jade even offers the baby bag inserts separately so you could place in any good sized bag.
  • Pick a diaper that YOU like. You want one that is functional, but also looks cute. You are going to be lugging this thing around a  lot and the more it helps you feel cute and stylish, the better! You may even want to pick a bag that is not traditionally a diaper bag, but a bag you love and is large enough to use as a diaper bag.
  • Pick a quality bag. Maybe this is a good time to splurge a little. If you are going to be lugging this thing around for years then instead of buying a new one every year or two, spend  more on one that will actually last you and meet your needs through the changing years! Since the Lily Jade baby bag insert is removable, I can slip it out and use as a regular purse down the road.

numbereddiaperbag

What’s in my Diaper Bag

  1. Bib and swaddle cloth. Bib, because they’re messy. Swaddle cloth for when they are little and you want to lay them down or need a quick cover for nursing.
  2. Diaper and wipes
  3. Extra big girl panties, a pair of pants and a hair clip
  4. Headband. This is an Oh Tiny Gifts headband. When you’re on the go and need to throw up either your hair or theirs, this can help you look put together!
  5. Kleenex
  6. Umbrella
  7. Thieves spray, stress away, and a diluted digize roll on. Thieves spray helps take care of those nasty germs when you’re out and about. Stress away is great as a perfume and can help any mama out! Digize is great for when the little ones start complaining about tummy issues while on the road.
  8. Eos lip balm
  9. Small books and crayons
  10. Snacks
  11. The Lily Jade wallet insert. I didn’t even open that thing up and take out all that’s in there. It helps keep my wallet, business cards, pens and mommy odds and ends in place.
  12. Sunglasses. Whether for them or for you, I’ve learned that keeping a pair in my purse helps keep the complaining down when the sun is too bright!

So there you have it. A few things that usually end up in my purse. I actually forgot to open one of the zippered pouches and pull out the CPR mouth barrier, phone charger and few lollipops! Over the years I’m sure the contents of this bag will change, but I’m excited to have a bag that will handle the transitions…even in Uganda!