The Tough, Beautiful Job of Nurses

The Tough, Beautiful Job of Nurses

A nurse friend of mine posted this story last night about what takes place behind the scenes of labor and delivery.

I couldn’t hold back tears as I read the blog. It seemed as if the nurse was writing the story about the delivery of Sugar Plum.

I was the woman bleeding, Sugar Plum was the one being revived.

It wasn’t me. But it was so similar, that the emotions of the day came rushing back to me.

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Let go. Let God.

Let go. Let God.

It’s been a year since I began to write about my journey in the NICU. It sure doesn’t seem like a year ago that we were sitting at Sugar Plum’s incubator, praying and watching her through the ups and downs.

We’ve come a long way since those long, hard days and nights in the NICU. To this day, I feel like I am still growing stronger in my faith because of our struggles we endured those few months.

One major thing that still stands out today is “Let go. Let God.”

Let go. Let God - Modern Momma Musings

Our time in the NICU made me learn to, “Let go. Let God.” and even today I am still following this train of thought. There are so many things in life that we need to let go and let God take control. So many moments when we feel things are spiraling and while we try with all our might to keep control, it’s those moments we need to let go most of all. Those are the hardest moments, though.

I’m not saying drop everything and give up. I’m saying pray and ask for help in your journey. Instead of making decisions on your own, ask God to guide you and then listen to his guidance.

It’s difficult to put a task into another persons hands, but we are not putting them in someone else’s hands we are putting them in the one and only, God’s hands. He knows what’s best for us and will help us through.

So next time you feel like you can’t do it alone, pray, listen and have faith. It’s hard but He knows what you need. Let go. Let God.

Sugar Plum is One

Sugar Plum is One

After a crazy, unexpected entrance,  NICU, home, CPR at home, back to the NICU and then home for good.

We have made it through the first year of our little miracles life. There have been many ups and downs, many struggles, but we have overcome and she is so much stronger now than we ever could have imagined.

I am still stunned at the fact that it’s been a year. She has come so far in the past year and we are so proud of her! She is a little fighter and the most easy going of my three kiddos for sure.

Even a year later, I still hold her and can’t help but compare her to the little peanut she was when she was born. It’s scary to think about the first few months of her life, but I know that she has overcome and we are all so much stronger for it. Our lives have been forever changed and while she will always have that past, she is quickly moving into the normal in her development and overall is doing very well!

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We are so very proud of her!

Happy birthday beautiful, sweet, happy, giggly angel! I cannot image life without you! Thank you for blessing our lives in so many ways!

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Starting Solids – After the NICU

Starting Solids – After the NICU

I couldn’t believe our little Sugar Plum was already 8 months old (6 months adjusted)! It seemed like just yesterday she was in the NICU learning to breathe, and now we were taking the next big step… solids!

This is a big step for any mom, but it was a difficult step for me to push through. Starting solids after the NICU especially after performing CPR because she was choking, was very nerve-wracking. I was pretty sure she was ready, but I wasn’t sure I was…yet. I had to push past the worries and anxiety in my head of her possibly choking again. The image played over and over again in my head and I couldn’t shut it off. Finally, one day, I decided I had to try solids and see how she did, we could always wait a little while longer if she (or I) wasn’t ready after giving it a shot.

That’s what we did and she was ready, I, on the other hand, was nervous still. As she got more efficient I became less nervous and more excited for her big steps.

Starting Solids - After the NICU - Modern Momma Musings
One thing that I think helped was that we make our own baby food. This allowed me control over how thin the food was and what it was made with. THe process is so simple, all you need is your fresh (or frozen) food choice, a pot to boil, oven to bake and a food processor. With just about a half hour – hour of work one night a week, I could make enough food for for her to eat the next day as well as enough to fill an ice-cube tray (of each food) in the freezer. This allows me to pull out the already prepared meals in the morning and have food ready for each meal that day. Plus with the addition of the “on-the-fly” foods like banana, avocado, yogurt, oatmeal and sometimes pears, we were all set for meals quickly and easily. Because we don’t season our veggies I can also give her what we are having for dinner by pulling out a bit and pureeing, or smashing, it for her. This makes mealtime extremely convenient.

Those first few meals she pushed a lot of the food out, but she definitely learned quickly. About a week after she started, she was eating most of what I gave her and was excited to get real food.

Here’s what we started with:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Green Bean
  • Butternut Squash
  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Oatmeal

We started with the veggies and worked in some of the fruit, I’m not sure it really matters, but we didn’t want to start with the sweet foods until she was accustomed to the bland veggies. Now, she is a great eater, is starting to eat thicker foods and is eating everything we give her.

Here’s what she has had to date (in addition to those above):

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkin
  • Chicken

Everything she has had has been made by me. If you want more information on making baby food, I recommend the site, Wholesome Baby Food. They have great recipes, timelines on what your baby is ready for and how to guides on making your own food. If you like a book in your hands, I have been using Super Baby Food for reference as well. The book contains everything you need to get started making your own food, including recipes and tips. It is very useful to have around.

Thankful. Blessed.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am snuggling with a sweet Sugar Plum this cold, rainy morning. We’ve been cuddling by the fire for a little while now and I can’t help but reflect on the many blessings in my life.

The last 12 months have been absolutely crazy. From a “threatened miscarriage” around Thanksgiving last year, which kept me worried for the remaining pregnancy. Then delivering an itty bitty, 29 weeker in April. Spending almost 8 weeks in the NICU initially. Heading back to the NICU for another 10 days. All the while, taking a dip in the real estate world by selling our house and buying a new one. Trying to keep our older two kiddos living life as normal as possible, while still understanding what was going on with Sugar Plum.

This juggle, this craziness, was almost constant for 9 months. It wasn’t until July that things started to slow down again and we began to get into a normal routine.

I look back on the past 12 months and wonder how we made it through. The only way I can explain it was faith and support. It was looking up to God when things got tough. It was prayer and faith that pulled us through. Knowing life was in God’s hand. It was sticking together as a family when things got tough. It was the shoulder to cry on. The hugs. The smiles and laughter. Even in the toughest moments we were a family and we did our best to support each other through it all. Without faith and each other my reflection would be so much different.

As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but be thankful for all those things I have been blessed with. Even those tough times have made (and are still making) us stronger. There is a bigger plan, a reason for those tough moments, they are a way to make us grow. I know my life has forever been changed on so many levels and I am forever grateful for those beautiful blessings; some in disguise, showing their beauty in retrospect. Others making their beauty known immediately.

I am so very thankful for everyone in my life, for the good and bad times, the ups and downs, the moments I didn’t think things would get better, and then they did.

I am so blessed.

 

World Prematurity Day 2015

In honor of World Prematurity Day, here’s a reflection on my two preemies.

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Mister Man – 31 Weeker

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Miles and miles away from home, life flight and emergency c-section were how you made your grand entrance. You were a fighter from the very start and amazed us all! From the Ozarks, to Columbia then finally into Lees Summit, you had seen quite a bit of the state before you were a few weeks old. We finally went home 4 weeks after you were born. After a month with a heart monitor and just a few alarms you were free to be a normal little man.

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Today, you would never know you were a preemie, other than your strong mind. You are an amazing 5.5 year old now with the biggest heart and more energy than I know what to do with!

 

Sugar Plum – 29 Weeker

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Our latest crazy delivery. A Starbucks coffee stop, immediate rush to the hospital and another emergency c-section, this time before daddy could even make it to the hospital. You were transported from Lee’s Summit to the Plaza within a few hours and I didn’t get to see you again until the next day. You were such a fighter in every aspect. After 7 weeks in the NICU we finally went home but, a few weeks later you had an issue breathing, I had to perform CPR and get you back to the NICU for another 10 days because of Pneumonia. You have kept us on our toes but have been such a wonderful baby. We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

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At 7 months (5 adjusted) you are doing more than expected. You are rolling, pushing up, sitting, and standing!

We are forever grateful for all the nurses and doctors that took care of our little angels. You are amazing! To our families who supported us through it all, thank you! We are forever blessed!

52 Weeks of Gratitude – Favorite Personality Trait – Faith

52 Weeks of Gratitude – Favorite Personality Trait – Faith

This week’s challenge in the 52 weeks of gratitude challenge – Favorite Personality Trait

play. wash. rinse. repeat.

A few weeks ago we put the spotlight on things about me. This week I will narrow it down to one trait I love about myself – Faith.

I’ve been blessed in so many ways. With every blessing and struggle, my faith has grown stronger.

Faith has been something I have struggled with at many points in my life, especially when things seem to be going down hill.

Questions run through your mind at those difficult moments. Why? It’s always the first thing that comes to my mind. What happened and why are things so hard right now? It’s a difficult question to understand, especially in the midst of the issues, but I have learned that while it’s hard to know at the time, God has a plan for us and everything that happens, happens for a reason, whether we like it or not.

There are so many occasions when I look back on a hardship and realize (days, weeks even months or years later) how it shaped me. Without the struggles, I would be completely different. Though my faith may falter I always seem to find strength once I get my bearings again. Many times it may take a little while, but sometimes I can focus on God and have faith that he has a plan.

This is what I felt with Sugar Plum’s delivery and NICU experience. It was a time when I could have gone into a deep depression, but instead I put my faith in God and knew he had it under control. And even though it seemed awful at the time, there was a reason and his plan would unfold in due time. It was at the times I was praying that I felt the calmest. The times I was talking to God that I saw the bright future. He had a plan.

I feel like this experience, in particular, has brought me closer to Him and my faith has only gotten stronger through it all. It also created in me a strong desire to give back.

The experiences I went through, and go through daily, can help others in those same situations. That’s exactly why I started this blog, to help others in the NICU, others homeschooling, other Catholics, other moms just trying to make it through another day. I want to put myself out there so that you know you are not alone.

So faith, yes, it may not be a personality trait, but it has definitely shaped my personality. Without faith, I would not be the person I am today. I am wonderfully and beautifully made and I want to show the world that in everything I do. There is plan. He is in control, sometimes it’s just to help us grow in faith.

A Reason to Celebrate

A Reason to Celebrate


This week ended on such a high note and gave us much reason to celebrate! Our little 29 weeker had her final NICU followup appointment!

She weighed 9lbs and does not need her heart monitor anymore!

Sugar Plum

This was such a big day for all of us!

She has been monitored for 4 months now, both in the NICU and at home and it’s such a relief to know she is doing fine and can be treated like a normal newborn!

After a fun ice-cream celebration with the kids, hubby and I opened a bottle of wine and toast the special occasion.

So cheers to our little peanut, Sugar Plum. You’ve come quite a way in the last 4 months!