choosing gratitude over the if only's



If only I didn’t need sleep 
If only we didn’t need my income 
If only we could afford help 
If only I didn’t need to work 
If only your brothers could be with us 
If only Grammy was still here 
If only it was easy to eat healthy 
If only there were more hours in the day 
If only, if only, if only... 

coming to terms with my breastfeeding journey as a first time mom

This week is World Breastfeeding Week. And while breastfeeding is a truly wonderful, beautiful thing, I really wish “fed is best” would permanently replace “breast is best”. Feeding a baby is hard work. It doesn’t matter if you’re feeding them breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two. And the pressure put on moms to only feed their babies directly from the breast is very, very real. 

Before I had Henry I wish I’d known that exclusively pumping is breastfeeding too. That as his mom I don’t deserve to be shamed by choosing what will work best for me, for him, and for our family. The opinion of a lactation consultant who doesn’t know us or our journey shouldn’t matter. 

The nursing portion of my breastfeeding journey was difficult and short. Henry was SGA (small for gestational age) at birth and spent three days in the NICU. Our first attempt at nursing shortly after birth was unsuccessful. His tiny head and my much larger than average boobs with slightly inverted nipples made latching impossible even with a nipple shield. 

henry's birth story


It’s been almost three months since I gave birth to our little Henry. I’ve wanted to write his birth story for weeks but as a brand new mom I’ve struggled to find the time. As I type this from my laptop on the couch Henry is snuggled up in his daddy's arms while daddy plays a video game. Multitasking is the name of the game these days. And this post is going to be a long one.

Henry Grant Earl was born exactly two weeks early at 3:59am on Thursday, May 14. He weighed 5 lbs, 7 oz and measured 18 inches long. His early arrival into this world started at my 37-week OB appointment on Wednesday, May 6 when my blood pressure registered at 146/98. We’d been monitoring it closely since I'd hit the third trimester and while it’d been a bit high this was a significant change. 

My OB sent me to triage at the hospital where Henry and I were monitored for 6+ hours. Because of COVID, I had to go to triage alone. Thankfully my BP stabilized and Henry looked perfect so I got to go home. The next day I went back to triage for a BP check. It was in the 140s when I got there but settled down quickly so they sent me home. That weekend my church friends hosted a beautiful drive-by baby shower for me. 

recognizing the divinity of motherhood on mother's day


Last Mother's Day I just tried to survive--survive another first without mom, survive another day without my own baby to hold in my arms, survive a complicated holiday for a stepmom. I remember sitting on the couch crying in the church foyer completely overcome with emotions.

Last Mother's Day I talked about how the year before I would never have imagined my mom would be gone from this earth. If you'd told me last year that this year I'd be pregnant and about to give birth to my first child I wouldn't have believed you either. Time is a strange thing.

Yesterday my church friends held a virtual baby shower for me and Henry. All day I felt grateful and loved by so many. It was overwhelming to be the center of attention and have people care enough about me to take time out of their busy lives to shower me with love and gifts.

baby earl first & second trimester recap


So I thought when I got pregnant I'd be blogging a TON documenting every detail. Well, it turns out pregnancy sucks A LOT of energy out of you. I had no idea how exhausting this entire process would be.

Tomorrow I'll be 30 weeks. It feels like this pregnancy has gone super fast and slow at the same time. There's so much anxiety that goes along with pregnancy, especially because it's my first time and I don't know what to expect.

Overall, I feel like pregnancy has been fairly kind to me. But I am so ready to be done. Once I hit 37 weeks this little dude can come as soon as he wants.

thoughts on becoming a boy mom

baby earl's gender reveal at 15 weeks

I thought I’d be devastated to find out we were having a boy. Like go into a major depression, need to take a mental health day off from work kind of devastated. A bit hyperbolic? Yes, but that’s truly how I felt. I really wanted a girl and thought for sure that was what we were having.

Dale and I have both had individual and together experiences that led us to believe we would have a daughter together one day. So you can imagine my surprise when at our 15 week ultrasound appointment they could already tell we were having a boy.