Monday, February 22, 2016

One week....

Its been one week almost to the minute that Jordan arrived at my 19 week doctors appointment. During Vincent's pregnancy he darn near almost attended every single check up, but being that this was baby #5, he didn't attend unless I asked him to specifically. We had already scheduled the 20+ week ultrasound to get a good peek at Henry in the coming weeks, we already knew he was a boy, our fifth, finding out around 11 weeks with the cool Panorama blood test that gives a chromosomal diagnosis and also a gender. Part of me now wishes I had never taken that test because it gave me a sense of false hope but I am grateful on the other hand because it let me know that our baby was indeed our son, Henry Jordan.

Last week was just a quick routine check up, my 15 week appointment was legit maybe 4 minutes total and I was on my way, so I had my day scheduled and wasn't expecting to be there more than a half hour. We got through the normal small talk and moved on to the fetal doppler. For weeks I had been a tad anxious because my belly wasn't growing at the rate it did in the other boys pregnancies, and I chalked it up to me being healthier because I started 10lbs lower than normal so it kind of made sense, I even bought a fetal doppler for at home and found a heartbeat in the 140's which I assumed was Henrys. Well it was like a horrible dream when she couldn't find it after a minute, and then she kept searching and searching and NOTHING. I was watching her eyes as she traced by belly with the doppler, she remained calm but I knew she was scared. She told me we were going to need to do a ultrasound and she needed to see if the room was open. Of course she told me not to worry which in my mind means PANIC, I texted Jordan asap and started praying, sending your husband the text "They cant find his heartbeat" is heart-wrenching in itself. I was in a trance when my midwife and I walked to the ultrasound room, the silent room was dim and I wanted to crawl out of my skin. She applied the jelly and up popped Henry. He looked perfect and I started bawling because there was no movement. I was wearing a hat so I pulled it down over my eyes and started losing it. My midwife was holding my hand so tightly and they were both saying "Im so sorry" over and over. They wanted to check measurements and see if they could find maybe a sign of what went wrong, so I allowed, it felt like 5 hours sitting there crying and having them look at him via ultrasound. They spotted a cystic hygroma which indicates chromosomal abnormalities. We walked back to my original room and I felt like someone had taken all my insides out and I was just a walking zombie. Everything was in slow motion, I called Jordan to confirm that he needed to come there NOW, it felt like hours until he walked in the door, we both cried and were so confused. Shocked this was happening to us this far into the pregnancy. We miscarried at 6-7 weeks a few years ago and always assumed that once we passed that 12 week mark we were in the clear. We discussed the next step and rallied to figure out how we would function with me being in the hospital for 2-3 days with 4 kids at home who needed someone to watch, feed, and get them to school. We decided we would start the labor at 8am on Tuesday and we left the doctors, with that plan in mind. We walked out like zombies, confused, and feeling like we were sucker punched. I kept feeling as if maybe it was a bad awful dream and I would just wake up. Knowing that Henry was inside me was comforting but also at the same time terrible, knowing he had passed away. The thought of delivering him the next day was by far the biggest fear on my mind.

This week I will explain more about the labor process and us finally getting to meet Henry and say hello and goodbye. This experience is something I always dreaded and feared would happen to me, you read about these stories sadly all the time and thank your lucky stars that it isn't you and then in one instance it is YOU and there is nothing you can do about it, you cant run, you cant hide, you have to deal with it. In the weeks before this when I was worried about Henry and my stomach not growing fast I looked up all these stories of moms miscarrying at 17-19 weeks and it was awful, I told my best friend I was so scared that would be me and that I would NEVER be able to do that, of course I voiced my worries and friends also said they had those fears but to keep my chin up and that Henry would be fine, the at home doppler also reassured me to everything being fine.

To put it lightly at the end of the day, what this boils down to is that IT SUCKS. It sucks so bad. I have so many thoughts and emotions rolling around and each day I am trying to dig deep and figure them out. I went into this pregnancy terrified and so tightly wound over having another baby, I was adamant after Sam and my postpartum depression that having another baby wasn't going to happen, but in the world of NFP, anything can happen. I was trying so hard to control something because I was so scared of the what ifs. I was using my past weakness as a crutch, I was guarding my heart and soul to never go through it again. I was terrified the day I found out I was pregnant, could I handle the post partum again? Would it come back? Would I really be able to handle 5 kids? but as the days and weeks went on Henry showed me how strong I really was, that I could and would be able to handle anything that came my way. I was so excited to welcome this little man into our family, the boys were so excited for Henry and sweet Luke asked daily while rubbing my belly when we could get Henry out. He was a part of our family, we had the calendar planned around his due date and were just waiting for the weeks to pass. We were HALFWAY there. We had so much planned and it hurts to see his personalized coming home outfits, his carseat still in the box in the dining room, and working through all the things that were supposed to be. Its a battle in my mind over what was supposed to happen and what DID happen.

I am not mad as of yet, I have seen babies upon babies in the past week and my heart is not at all upset with those families, I have 4 amazing beautiful boys and I know the joy that each child brings to a family so I could and would never be upset over that, because each life is a blessing and a gift. I am also not mad at God, not by a long shot. I know He is the reason I am coping so well. Its surreal, you envision how you will react to something like this, like I said earlier and you can never imagine you being in that situation and surviving. I really envisioned me crying the entire labor and when I saw him but I just marveled at him. Every inch of him was a miracle. He was small but he was a complete tiny human. I keep searching for an answer to why, and I really think that cystic hygroma, which was clear as can be when we saw him was the cause, I think he lived longer than he was supposed to but those extra weeks I think were needed for me and he stuck around to show me how much of a blessing a new baby and life was. That I didn't need to be scared of the future, that I could tackle and handle anything that stood in my way, even if I didn't think that was true. I wanted him so badly, so badly, I wanted to squeeze him, snuggle him, nurse him and love him. It was so easy to kind of brush off the idea that Sam was our last baby when we found out I was pregnant, so I wasn't letting all Sam's last moments dig as bad because I knew we were getting another full blown baby stage this summer and now we are back at square one. And square one is not bad, we are extremely blessed, its just resetting my heart and mind to our new reality.

Off to visit my counselor, which came at the perfect timing. He day after I delivered they called me to give me a reminder of my appointment on Monday, couldn't have been timed better.....

If you are going through this please listen to this song. It has helped me insanely. I listened to it through the whole labor.


If you have no idea what the hell is going on, here it is.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stuffed Peppers that will ROCK your WORLD!

These little babies are packed full of flavor and goodness, my 4 boys are obsessed with them, as well as my husband and they are pretty darn simple to make. I would call this one of my more advanced recipes since we are hard core crockpotters 75% of the time!

Like I said this is PROBABLY the longest recipe of mine. I cannot stand long recipes, they kill my soul. Plus cooking with 4 kids is not the funnest thing in the world. I need things to be quick and easy. This one takes a decent amount of time. I searched high and low for the perfect stuffed pepper recipe and ended up making my own. I usually wing it on most things and make it taste how I want vs what the typical recipes call for. Also most stuffed peppers call for rice and I try to cut that stuff out so no rice in these babies.
 You will need:
4-6 peppers 
32oz jar of diced organic tomatoes 
2-3 TBS Garlic (I buy it already minced because I'm lazy haha)
Worcestershire Sauce 
1 large onion
2 lbs of sausage
Cheese (I used some shredded Parmesan and Feta)

Directions: Start cooking your sausage in a sauce pan. Meanwhile start dicing. Preheat oven to 350.
Dice up your onion.
 Add everything to the cooked sausage and let simmer together! 
Cut the tops off your peppers. 
Boil the peppers in a large pot of water. Boil til they are stab-able with a fork. 

 I add a few random spices to the sauce. Then I also do a few circles of the woschesthire sauce in the pan of sausage while it's simmering together. Taste to your liking. I would say I do about 1/4 cup. I also grate the cheese in the meantime while the peppers are boiling.
 Once they are done, get the peppers out and place in a dish, fill them up with all the meaty goodness. I use a 1/4 cup to help lessen my mess and it helps to pack them in! 
 Plop a heaping mound of cheese on top! 
 Place those babies in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted! 
 Take them out and enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Slacker. What's in a Name?

I knew I forgot something, I forgot to share week 15 on the blog! Name reveal! :)

Picking out a 5th boy name was a tad hard!
The older boys are all named after Saints and when we do prayers each night we pray to each saint so having this little mans name also be after a saint was uber important! And when I looked up this saint, the feast day of this saint was on his due date! I knew it was fate.
Our older boys names are
Vincent Jeffrey (St Vincent, and middle name after my dad)
Luke Cosmas (St Luke and St Cosmas, I guess we thought he needed two saints)
Jude Edward (St Jude and Edward after his great grandpa)
Samuel Clarence (St Samuel and Clarence after Jordans grandpas side)
and last but not least we will now be adding
Henry Jordan (St Henry and middle name after his daddy and uncle Elliotts middle name)

Thats a whole lot of BOY names isnt it? I am still in shock that we are indeed having another BOY. I guess I am honestly still in shock that I am indeed pregnant. Its a double whammy haha! I have been feeling so great lately that it doesn't feel quite real, waiting for these kicks and punches to start so I know he's really in there!:) Also waiting for that nesting to come in so I can purge this entire house! 

Onesie and newborn set from Jennifer Ann 

Monday, January 25, 2016

From Jealous Wife to Confident.

First day back from LA and slowly unpacking and getting reorganized, we have a house full of sick kiddos, so I am trying to stay healthy amidst the coughs and puking, the school emailed that 12% is out with a stomach bug, so praying these boys can get strong and kick it quick!! When I was in LA, I got a lot of time to reflect on the past two years. They asked us a question that got my wheels turning...."Who were you when you started" and yowza, I was not at ALL the same person. I made a little video chatting about it.....

Monday, January 11, 2016

My Journey.....


Sat down and took a good look back at my journey. 
Added some more pics from the years. So many insane memories 

If you don’t know my story already…here it is [cliff note version!]

2004: Graduated high school and went to college with the sole purpose of Cheerleading, skipped class a lot and barely made high enough grades to cheer. Cheerleading defined who I was. I hated my major and was just lost in life. Drank a lot, gained weight and ate horrible. 


2007: Quit college after wasting thousands of dollars on unattended classes and rent. I felt like the worlds biggest failure. I moved back in with my parents and worked at the ice cream shop I had been at since high school until I moved to a new city and became a nanny for the most amazing family in the world. I lived alone and hated coming home at night to an empty apartment so I picked up two more jobs and worked, paying off my school loans and car payment and not saving one penny. I had no control.

2008: Met Jordan and fell fastly in love, we moved in after a month of dating and bought a dog. Jordan started his MBA, we got engaged, bought a house, and found out we were pregnant, yep before being married. I continued nannying.

2009: I gained 70lbs, had Vincent, got married and I continued nannying with Vincent tagging along. Jordan worked 40 hours and did his MBA at night, we barely saw eachother.
2010: Added Luke to the family gaining another 60lbs, battled my first round of postpartum depression, stopped working and budgeted hard core to allow me to stay at home, Jordan was at a job he hated so he finished his MBA early, Jordan graduated and searched for a new job in a horrible economy, he found a new job, we relocated to a new city with no friends. I was lost pretending to be the perfect mom and wife. It was exhausting. I was so unhappy and lost. Jordan traveled 3-4 nights a week and it was a rough adjustment. 
2012: Why not add another, another 40 lbs and Jude entered the family and I continued pretending to be mom & wife of the year. I decided to open a photography business to try to find me. 
2013: Moved into a new home in a new city knowing no one once again, the pretending to be perfect cycle continued, renovated our house and found out again we were expecting again, I was gone almost every single weekend doing photography and it was ruining my marriage and family. It was becoming toxic. Sam and another 45 lbs entered our family that December. 
2014: Started the year in the worst possible spot in my life, postpartum battle #2 and it was nasty, I missed Christmas with my family and was in a dark place. All the pretending to be perfect was front and center and I was at rock bottom. My body was in shambles after 4 kids, and my love for life and confidence was so far gone. I decided to try an at home workout in hopes to lose weight. I fell in love with the program and started sharing my story and it insanely turned into a career I never imagined. I started to figure out who I was and find my footing as a wife and mother. 

2015: My business ran wild this year and my income jumped 6x what it was in 2014. I closed my photography business and was able to enjoy my family on the weekends. I have found the best friends ever through the business and met so many amazing women in our groups. I am able to pay my team back with a trip this spring to FL and reward them for hardwork. I am able to surprise my husband and boys with spring break plans.The weight of worrying about school tuition and the boys future (cars, college, sports) is no longer there. I never imagined being able to HELP my family in this way. Especially after walking away from college 8 years prior. We ended the year finding out we are expecting baby #5! 

I am sharing this with you to show the craziness that is my life. I've had a ton of knock down moments and never ever saw myself living this life. I was terrified what I would do when my kids were all in school! Would I go back to retail or nannying? I had no fall back options? Would I go back to college? All those things weighed heavily on me and made me feel NOT ENOUGH especially while trying to pretend to be the perfect mom and wife so many years. All these moments have made me who I am, I am so FAR from perfect and I am done pretending to be something I am not. I dont need to let my "failings" hold me back, I am who I am and thats what makes me special. I have found my path and footing finally at almost 30 years old. 

I am a college drop out turned at home business owner who is telling you that you can do ANYTHING! Don't let the past dictate your future. You are in control!