April 26, 2017
by Bethany

It Still Gets Me

I feel really bad that I’ve been skipping weeks of posting, but it’s been a challenge keeping up with photography, the house, & taking care of Myler. Some weeks he wants to eat every 2 hours, but recently he’s made it about 2 1/2-3 hours in between feedings! We are getting to a good schedule now, & he’s been a super happy baby (as you know if you follow me on Instagram). Although Myler is now our world, I still want to share my heart with you. I still want to be an encouragement to you who are going through something similar.

When I started to open up about our journey, we didn’t know if we would ever have biological kids of our own. We had just lost our 6th baby at 9 weeks old, & at that point, I really wanted to give up. I was so devastated, & I was physically, mentally, & emotionally worn out. Going through multiple miscarriages has so many ups & downs. The process is a roller coaster. Deciding if we wanted to get pregnant again, trying to get pregnant again, waiting, getting tested for disorders, blood draws, finding out we’re pregnant again, hearing a heartbeat, pregnancy nausea, fatigue, not hearing a heartbeat, cramping, bleeding, contractions, & losing another child. It’s a lot to deal with. My hormones have literally been off kilter for the past few years due to continually being pregnant for a few weeks, then losing each baby & adjusting back to normal. I say all this to you because I’m sure it’s easy for many of my readers to look at my recent posts of pregnancy, birth, & Myler and forget the trials we went through to get here. Naturally I’m going to post more about our life now & the joys that come with having a child, but I know many of my faithful followers started reading because they could relate to our struggles. So here goes… the struggle.

When we got pregnant with Myler, I think I was so distracted by being pregnant & also worrying if he would make it full term, that I didn’t cry much about losing our other babies. I thought about them often, but my focus was shifted. What I cried about were thoughts of losing another baby & wondering how I would deal with it if it happened again. I went through excitement, worry, & regret just about everyday in the 1st trimester. Regret because I thought, if I lost this baby, I would be mad that I put myself through it all again.

While I was somewhere in my 2nd trimester, I was trying to make a decision about flying on an airplane. We had a trip planned, but just before the trip, I found out I had complete placenta previa. I won’t go into the details of it, but I was told I couldn’t do any major physical activity, & I should be close in distance to an Emergency room at all times. There are other things to go along with it, but even though this is a pretty common thing, & it often corrects itself, it still gave me anxiety. At the time, it was such a big deal to me & very hard deciding if I wanted to fly or not. I felt like everyone around me just didn’t get it. Why were they making it such a small thing when I was stressing big time over it? Then it hit me… struggle. That word sunk so deeply into my soul & immediately brought me back to a place I didn’t want to go. The struggle of getting to where we were in this pregnancy. Nobody else had the struggle that we had faced as a couple to get pregnant with Myler. That was why the decision was so difficult. I ran to our bedroom & sat in our gliding chair & wept. All the feelings from our 1st, 2nd, 3rd… they were there again. So raw & so real. I sat there & cried over my babies for the 1st time since getting pregnant again. I cried because I missed my other babies. I cried because we struggled to get where we were. I cried because I felt alone. I cried because I was thankful for this current baby. And I cried because I was terrified of losing it.

Fast forward to Myler’s 1st week here with us. The emotions of labor & pregnancy are so up & down, but I remember specifically one very emotional moment. I don’t remember if we were still in the hospital or not, but I remember all too well what I was feeling. Myler & Griffin were asleep, & I was awake just thinking to myself. I looked at my sweet baby boy & my amazing husband, & I couldn’t help but cry. Seeing my child right there in front of me, not just feeling him move in my tummy, I sort of started to grieve the loss of our previous babies all over again. It was different than before because now I knew what it was like to hug my child & kiss his little lips & hold his sweet hand & look into his eyes. And I grieved that I couldn’t do that with our other babies… at least not here on earth. I felt so happy, yet so broken all at the same time. Even typing this out brings tears to my eyes. I miss my babies. Before getting pregnant with Myler, one thing that I would cry to God about was that even if we had a healthy baby (or babies), I didn’t think my family would ever feel whole. I was still mad that He let my babies die because I would never get to have them as family here on earth. Yet somehow, having Myler here, our family still feels whole to me. I have peace that my babies are in heaven. And I’m especially thankful for my Myler. And I’ll be honest (when am I not?), it took me a little bit of time to feel connected to Myler. I think everything was so surreal (& I was overly tired), that I couldn’t completely comprehend that he was here. Even still I have some days where it surprises me that he’s still ours. But everyday I get to know him more. I feel closer to him. I know his personality. It’s crazy to look back at video clips & photos from when he was born & recognize his personality. I just didn’t know him back then. It’s crazy to be so in love with someone you’re just getting to know. But I love every moment. I’m thankful for every moment. I’m trying to cherish every moment.

The rainbow that came after the storms was worth every second…
Photos by: Theo Ryan

*This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so in honor of it, I’m giving away my HOPE key necklace to someone who needs it. Head over to my Instagram to enter.

March 15, 2017
by Bethany

Bethany’s Top 20 Items for a Newborn

While I understand that every baby & parent is different, I have a few items I want to share with you that are my favorites for baby’s 1st few months. There are other items that are obvious, like a crib or bassinet, but I’m sharing the not so obvious ones with you today. I’d love to hear from you if you used any of these or if you would add any to my list!

2-3 SwaddleMe baby swaddle blankets // you will still want & use regular swaddles (you can’t really have too many), but these are awesome for when you’re little one is squirmy & fussy, because it’s snug, & they can’t wiggle out of it. These have been so helpful for us when trying to put Myler down to sleep. Make sure you get the right size because you don’t want your baby’s face to be covered if it’s too big for them.

4-6 Changing pad liners // I didn’t realize how much we needed these until we had a baby. We have 6 liners, & I’m so glad we do, because we can go through them pretty quick. They are very helpful because you just have to wash them when they’re dirty instead of washing the changing pad sheet all the time.

Nest Camera // This is what we use for the baby monitor. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! When it’s not a baby monitor, it’s our security camera. It has amazing quality, is durable, & works in a variety of places. We can attach it to Myler’s bassinet, hang it on the wall, or place it on a table.

2-3 Soothie pacifiers // these are Myler’s favorite pacifiers. In fact, they are the only ones he would take at first. He still prefers them over other styles.

Pacifier clips // If you use a pacifier, you will want clips for sure! This way you won’t lose the pacifiers as easily, & they won’t drop on the floor all the time. They also add a cute touch to the baby’s outfit, I think.

Honest healing balm // This stuff right here is amazing! I’m so happy for safe, non-toxic baby products like this, & it works like a charm on diaper rashes. You can also use it on cuts & scrapes. This is something you will want on hand at all times.

4Moms infant tub // I wasn’t sure if we needed this spa-like tub for our baby, but we went ahead & registered for it. I’m so happy we did, because it’s really easy, convenient, & clean. The water filters out constantly, so you always have clean water, but you can also plug the holes if your baby wants to soak. It has a temperature gage & pour cup as well. We are super happy with this tub!

Kinsa thermometer // I love this because it hooks up to an app on your phone, & keeps track of every temperature you take. You can also type in other symptoms your baby has. While it’s not as easy as a forehead thermometer, I use it under Myler’s armpit, & it reads in about 10 seconds.

Room & bath thermometer // Whether or not you buy the tub above, I still recommend this item. If you’re traveling, you can bring this for the bath temperature along with a small travel tub (or just bathe with them). It reads the temperature really fast & accurately!

Footie PJ’s w/ inverted zipper // I love footie pj’s when it’s colder, otherwise your baby’s feet can get chilly (socks don’t always stay on). The inverted zipper part is key though, because it makes for easier & faster diaper changes.

Onesies w/ mitten cuffs // I recommend these because they are easy for everyday wear, & you can’t lose the cuff part like you can with mittens. We still have lots of mittens & use them, but a cuffed onesie is more convenient.

NoseFrida // And all the other moms said “amen!” Just get it!

Chicco carseat insert // I’m not sure if you can use this if you don’t get a Chicco brand carseat, but if you do end up getting that brand, this is really nice for when they’re little. It keeps them snug, but it’s also super comfy, & Myler almost always falls asleep in it.

Hearing protection // I really didn’t think we needed this because Myler loves noise (falls fast asleep to loud music), but many churches have loud music, & I wanted to make sure to protect his little ears. We also will be at camp when he’s still little, & the music there is always blasting.

White noise sound machine // At first, I didn’t want a sound machine because I didn’t want Myler to NEED it in order to sleep, but it’s honestly amazing to have. Especially if you have a smaller house, it’s nice to block the noise while baby sleeps & you have friends over or are watching TV in the other room. You can get just about any brand machine, & it should work the same.

Lullaby music // We made a lullably playlist that we turn on every night when we put Myler down for bed. Sometimes he’s not even asleep when we lay him down, but if he’s fed, changed, & swaddled, the sound machine & lullaby music puts him right to sleep most of the time!

DockATot // We don’t use this as Myler’s regular bed, but we travel with it, & he also naps around the house in it. I love that it keeps him snug so he feels tight & swaddled, it’s easy to carry around, & it’s washable. I also have had him nap in this outside! If you’re going to get this though, start using it right away, because your baby will probably outgrow it pretty quick. Myler isn’t a big baby, but he is pretty tall for his weight, so I’m using the DockATot while we can.

Baby probiotics & Gripe Water // I take my own probiotics, but when Myler was more fussy & having tummy trouble, I started giving him these probiotic drops as well as the gripe water for gas, & he has been a different baby ever since! They have honestly been a lifesaver to have! It also makes me feel good knowing he’s getting extra probiotics in his system. *Please talk with your doctor before using these products.

Moby wrap // I’m currently wearing Myler in my Moby wrap, & I probably couldn’t get a lot of work done without it. If you work from home, especially, you will want this!

Boppy nursing pillow // I use this multiple times every single day! My back would be killing me without it, & it fits just right around your waist. I LOVE this product if you’re going to nurse. I also used to wrap a blanket around it & lay Myler down for a nap in it. When they’re a little stronger, you can place them on their belly over it for neck strengthening. It’s definitely a must-have for me!