Oliver’s First Month

I can’t believe my sweet baby boy is a month old today. This has been the best month of my life. It scares me how fast it is going by.

A lot has happened in a month: c-section recovery, Oliver’s weight gain problems and my transition into motherhood. Luckily, my husband was home with me for the first 4 weeks. I don’t think I could have done it without him.

Coming home from the hospital was amazing. After 6 nights I was ready! I was on such a high. The lack of sleep had not caught up to me yet. Everyone had told me how hard having a newborn was and the first couple weeks I didn’t understand. It was a piece of cake! I was on cloud nine with my perfect baby.

My high slowly wore off around week 2 and the reality sunk in. I was tired. I was still in a lot of pain from my c-section. And taking care of a newborn who is feeding every two hours on top of that pain wasn’t fun.

At Oliver’s two week doctors appointment he had still not reached his birth weight. He lost 10% in the hospital, I am assuming because he was a magnesium baby. This week we were at the doctors office every other day to make sure he was able to gain. I saw the lactation consultant again which was super helpful. I’ve been seeing her about once a week to keep up with his weight gain.

Finally at three weeks, he hit his birth weight and at four weeks he surpassed 8 pounds! It is a huge relief.

At four weeks Daddy went back to work and things got a lot harder. Having the baby by myself is hard and I am still getting use to it. I am trying to get into a routine. Oliver sleeps a lot less than he use to and cries when I put him down, so now doing just about anything is extremely hard. Most days I just let the house go and enjoy the cuddles.

Thinking about leaving him in a month terrifies me. I am trying to make the most of the time I have left on my maternity leave because no amount of time off would ever be near enough.

The nights are long, but the years are short.”

Things I’ve learned about Motherhood-

  1. Motherly instincts are real, listen to them!
  2. You don’t know how much you can love until you have a child
  3. Recovery takes WAY longer than I had expected. It has now been a month after my c-section and I am still in pain. C-Sections are major surgeries and it takes a long time to heal.
  4. Parenting isn’t 50/50 – no matter how hard you try, being the mom means you give more. You give more physically and mentally. We were made this way for a reason.
  5. Mom guilt is a thing
  6. You learn that the baby comes first- which means I’ve eaten a lot of cold meals and went a little too long without showering
  7. You will get frustrated. Take a couple minutes to let that shit go.
  8. Days go by way too fast. Enjoy every moment.
  9. Things don’t go as planned and simple things like going to the doctor take a lot more time now
  10. Learn to love your body. It may never go back to what it was, but it gave me the greatest blessing of my life- my son.
  11. There’s many things in my life that I am proud of, but nothing beats being a mom

*** Also, thank goodness for snapchat filters that hide the bags under my eyes

Life saving baby products-

  1. Baby Bouncer
  2. Baby Swing
  3. Boba Wrap
  4. Velcro Swaddles
  5. Wubbanub 
  6. Sound Machine
  7. Humidifier
  8. Nightlight
  9. Gripe Water

A few things that have also helped the past few weeks- 

Babywise- I wish I read this before Oliver’s arrival

Babes and Babies Podcast + Facebook page

The Wonder Weeks App

Oliver’s Birth Story

I was convinced that Oliver was going to be weeks late and I am actually pretty sure he would have been if my blood pressure cooperated.

I went in to my OB office for my 40 week appointment on January 24th. The doctor sent me upstairs due to my high blood pressure. This was my 3rd time going to L+D due to blood pressure issues so I didn’t think that anything would come out of it. They had just been lying me down and monitoring my blood pressure for a few hours and then sending me home.

But this time it was different. They were actually really concerned and insisted on inducing me.

They started the induction around 4pm. At this point I was barely dilated 1cm. They inserted Foley Bulbs on either side of my cervix to speed up the dilation. About 30 minutes after this I was in EXTREME pain. The pain was so bad and it continued into the night. At one point I remember telling Justin I didn’t think I could continue. I was terrified. I wasn’t even in active labor yet and was experiencing the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

I had fallen asleep and woke up with about 5-8 doctors and nurses surrounding my bed. The were hooking up all different kinds of medications to my IV and all looked extremely concerned. They told me my blood pressure had increased to 172/124 and I was at risk of stroke and seizure, so they put me on magnesium.

Never have I ever felt as horrible as the magnesium made me feel. I couldn’t move and slowly sunk into the bed. My husband was sleeping peacefully on the couch about three feet from my bed and I couldn’t even raise my voice loud enough to wake him up.

When he woke up in the morning to me being a vegetable in the bed, he became extremely concerned. All day Thursday I was bed ridden while they monitored me. They weren’t as concerned about my labor progression, but more concerned with stabilizing me and keeping my blood pressure down.

That evening once they felt it was safe and I was dilating, they started the Pitocin.  I was terrified to go into labor on the magnesium because I couldn’t open my eyes or move- how was I going to be able to push a human out?

After about 6 hours of Pitocin, my contractions were strengthening and my water broke around midnight. I was so excited because my body was finally doing what it was suppose to do. And while in active labor the pain was nothing like what I had felt with the foley bulbs. I could do this! It wasn’t so bad! I saw the finish line and I was so ready!

About an hour after my water broke I felt like it was time to get my epidural. I was scared. I am not a fan of needles and thinking about a huge one going into my spine was absolutely terrifying. The anesthesiologist took 6 TRIES TO GET THE EPIDURAL. SIX TRIES. Right before the final poke I told him if he couldn’t get it then he needed to find someone who could. It was too hard to continue getting poked through contractions. I couldn’t take it anymore. Luckily, he finally got it.

At this point they were increasing the Pitocin frequently, and then Oliver’s vitals started going down. They screwed an internal monitor into his head to be able to monitor him better. Every time the Pitocin went up, Oliver went down. This continued for a couple hours until it was clear that I would not be able to progress safely.

At 9:45AM they took me to the operating room for an emergency C- Section.

I felt so defeated. This was the last thing I wanted. But, it was what was best and honestly after almost 48 hours of labor I was done.

After the weirdest feeling I have ever felt during the c-section, Oliver came into the world at 10:19AM.. peeing. I’ll never forget Ed Sherans “Castle on the Hill” was playing. Hearing those first cries was the most relieving sound I’ve ever heard. I cried and cried and cried. It was all so surreal.

When Justin brought him over to me, I was still on magnesium, and I could barely see him since I still couldn’t really open my eyes. I think that was the hardest part of the whole experience, the magnesium.

I was on magnesium for 24 hours after Oliver was born and Justin had to do everything for Oliver. I was still bed ridden and so weak I couldn’t even brush my teeth. I felt completely helpless, which is something no new Mother wants to feel. I just wanted to hold my baby.

Saturday morning I came off the Mag and was moved to the Mother + Baby ward of the hospital where I had to stay for an additional 4 days while they continued to try to get my blood pressure under control.

We were in the hospital for 6 days total. My poor husband never left my side and was seriously a Godsend. He quickly became a swaddling, diaper changing, super Dad. Seeing him with our son, I fell more in love and I didn’t think that was possible.

I am forever grateful for the amazing doctors who took such good care of me and the nurses that were there for me during some of the lowest moments of my life. And for the lactation specialist who was so real and helpful.

& my Mom. I couldn’t have done it without her. She slept in the chair next to me until Oliver’s arrival. She was my advocate and had my back during all the scary medical decisions. She took care of our animals during our long hospital stay and she cleaned my entire house during our hospital stay. I am so blessed.

The week in the hospital was one of the hardest times of my life. I learned so much about myself and what it took to be a Mom.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”

I was brave because I knew I had to be for Oliver. I felt as though I transformed into a whole new person. And during that time I realized that this is what it is to be a mother. Putting your child 100% before yourself.

The hell I went through lead me to the greatest blessing in my life, my sweet baby boy.

3rd Trimester

Here I am 38.5 weeks pregnant and counting down the days. The second trimester truly was a breeze compared to the horror that is the third trimester.

By now I am so large that even the maternity clothes I have been wearing aren’t fitting and my shoes are all too small due to the excessive swelling in my feet and ankles. I have bought a rubber wedding band because my hands are too swollen for my wedding rings. Even my face is fat.

I feel as though I really took for granted being comfortable. I miss just being able to sit on the couch and get cozy. I miss being able to sleep laying down and not waking up at all hours of the night for no reason. And now I can’t make any movements without something popping or without grunting.

I am soaking up all the kicks and punches, although they hurt a lot more than they use to. He’s running out of room very quickly. I’ve also been taking lot of picture so I will have proof on just how large I’ve actually become. I really didn’t think it was humanly possible. It is amazing what our bodies can do.

We have been spending every day off together preparing for Oliver. We have our baby bags packed, everything in the nursery put together, we stocked up on all household items, and I have all the postpartum items I could think of ready to go.

I am absolutely terrified of labor. I had been avoiding even thinking about it because it freaks me out. But now I am reading “Mind Over Labor” and watching “The Business of Being Born” trying to get into a healthy mindset. I’m probably the biggest wimp in the world, so this is extremely difficult for me. But I have my eyes on the prize– My sweet baby Oliver!

We can’t wait to meet our baby boy!

Second Trimester

I was so excited to enter the second trimester! Of course because the chances of miscarriage decreases about 80% and because the second trimester is suppose to be the easiest.

Although I am not done with my second trimester, it has been easier than the first. I have more energy, my skin is clearing up, and my hormones have gone from making me angry to making me sad (not really sure if this is any better.) My sciatic nerve is still extremely painful, but exercising has helped manage the pain.

The best thing by far in the second trimester was FINDING OUT THE GENDER! I was scheduled for my second sonogram at 21 weeks and while I was on the phone scheduling they informed me that they do not disclose the baby gender to the parents until birth… OH THE MILITARY. This was not going to fly. I immediately started looking into other options and found Great Expectations in New Braunfels and made the next available appointment.

I was 16 weeks when my husband and I got to have the best sonogram experience! Great Expectations was like a little boutique! It was extremely cute and comfortable. The woman who did the sonogram was probably the nicest human I’ve ever met, such a difference from what I had been going through at SAMMC.

Pretty quickly into the sonogram Oliver revealed his gender! I was over the moon excited for a baby boy and although Dad was hoping for a girl the look on his face could not hide his excitement. And now knowing the gender it was finally time to start planning and decorating!

Now I am at 21 weeks! I went in for my anatomy sonogram and my monthly appointment and everything is going well. I am aiming to gain 30-40lbs this pregnancy,  but have already gained 25 lbs! I need to lay off the Ben and Jerry’s and really start making time to add a pregnancy friendly workout into my daily routine. Indulging is a great thing about pregnancy, as long as it is managed.

My belly is here, round and large. But although it is totally noticeable to myself and my husband, I think to strangers I am in the weird faze where they don’t know if its baby or beer belly. Oliver is a whole pound! It really amazes me. Daddy is anxiously waiting to feel his kicks, but right now only I can feel them.

The nursery is finally coming along. We ripped up the carpet and installed hardwood floors, painted the walls white, and assembled the crib! (And by we I really mean He.) I haven’t wanted to buy anything for Oliver yet until the nursery is done so the incomplete nursery has been good to our budget. The theme is a black and white, Texas western boho.. Obviously I really couldn’t decide on one thing so it’s a blend of my favorite nurseries. Next step is to instal the baseboards and then get the dresser ready! I’m so anxious to get it done because I know the next few month are going to fly by.

I’m probably anxious to get it done because I feel the nesting starting. I have an urge to throw everything away and I wake up in the middle of the night to write lists of things I need to do and closets I need to organize. (This is totally normal, right?)


130 days until we meet our sweet baby boy! I am so anxious to see what he looks like. We had a 3D sonogram and will get another around 30 weeks, but for now I just stare at my husband and I’s baby pics and wonder.

First Trimester

Finding out I was pregnant was so surreal. I was at my friends house and after a couple of glasses of wine (whoops!) she insisted I take a test. When I took the test I was very hydrated… and the second line was so faint at first glance I was sure it meant I was not pregnant.

I went back to tell her the news and was so bummed. Later I went back into the bathroom to clean up and took a better look at the pee stick and there was a itty bitty faint second line. She was 100% sure that meant I was pregnant. I called a few other mom friends and they also assured me that I, for sure, was pregnant. I just was so unsure. I didn’t think it would happen so soon, or so easily.

I stopped by the firehouse on the way home to surprise my husband with the news and as soon as I showed up he immediately knew.

I went to target that night and bought about 10 more tests, a box of every brand. It finally hit me when the digital test read “Pregnant.” I couldn’t contain my excitement. I planned dinner with my mom for the next night so I could tell her in person right away. I wanted to tell everyone and their mama, and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve done having to wait until I was in the clear and my first trimester was over.

Luckily the first trimester wasn’t too hard for me. I was just moody and exhausted. I had no morning sickness.

I got familiar with my hospital and doctors. Then at 12 weeks we had our first sonogram! And that was when we decided we would announce. We soon got names picked out (Oliver Patrick and Lucie Elizabeth) and were so anxious to find out the gender.

The first trimester was the hardest so far and it feels so good to be out of it!


Summer 2017

It has been a while since I have written a blog post. It has taken the back burner during this crazy busy summer I have had.

In May we took our week long honeymoon trip down the West Coast. I was planning to write multiple posts about all the cities we saw, but shortly after we arrived back in Texas we received the best news we could have ever imagined… WE’RE PREGNANT!

Right before I found out I was pregnant, I started a new job as a marketing specialist at a free standing emergency room close to my home. Which worked out perfectly because with a baby on the way traveling would have been too hard. Although I miss my old job terribly, everything happens for a reason. My new career path is much better for our growing family.

My first trimester was exhausting, with a new job and all the fun joys that come with being newly pregnant I think I slept every minute of free time that I had. I feel like I haven’t done anything. Summer is my favorite season and this year it has just slipped away.

Now that I’m into my second trimester and I have some energy back I will be blogging more so I can share this wonderful life experience with y’all! I hope that y’all are ready to follow along with me the next 4 months of my pregnancy and come January I’ll be a mom! I have never been more excited. God is Good.



Rodan + Fields

My profession is in sales, but I’m really not here to sell you anything you don’t want. I have become a consultant for Rodan + Fields so I can help the woman (and men!) who struggle like I did with my skin.

When I entered High School I started getting a little bit of acne, but nothing serious. I used proactive daily and everything was fine. Then when I went to college and started using foundation, my skin completely broke out. I got horrible deep pimples due to foundation and the makeup I was using along with the unhealthy diet and lifestyle I was living. I was so self conscious, I felt too old to have acne.

Once I started using better makeup my face cleared, but the scars remained. My self consciousness continued as well. I have been to so many dermatologists and have tried everything from microdermabrasion to at home natural remedies. None of these things really did what I wanted.

Then while I was scrolling through Facebook I saw my friend was selling a premium skin product line and was posting REAL RESULTS of people I actually know. Of course I was skeptical, but after scanning her posts for a couple month I figured I should at least look into it.

Rodan + Fields is made by the same dermatologists who created proactive, now they have created a new line for all types of adult skin. Rodan + Fields is the #1 premium skin care line in the nation! The specific line I use is for redefining, so it not only has helped my acne scars but help with my fine lines! I have seen such an overall difference on my ENTIRE FACE!

It was more than I really wanted to spend, but way less expensive than continuing expensive dermatologist procedures or buying a million products that don’t work.

Now, after using it for almost a year it has been well worth it. The results I have seen have changed my life and brought back my confidence. And now as a consultant I hope to do the same for other women.


If you are interested check it out—> traciephelps.myr+f.com/

ANDDDD stay tuned for some before and after pictures!