Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What I Would've Told Myself About Being a Mom

"You won't ever sleep again."
"Oh, you think it's bad now, just wait until they're a teenager."
"Enjoy your sleep now."
"Isn't it hard?!"
"It'll get better eventually.. Probably not until they're 18!"
etc...

These are the things I've heard from people. I started hearing them the moment we told people we were pregnant. I have constantly heard these things even to this day. While some of them may be true, it's not what I really wanted to hear.

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Parenting is work. I knew that before I signed up for this gig, but I didn't really understand that until we had Ruby. There's no way I could have truly been prepared for what I was about to embark on. But it seemed like the moment we told people we were pregnant, we constantly received these negative messages that basically were summed up like this: Parenting is awful. You'll never sleep again. And it never gets better.

We suddenly had this overwhelming feeling that maybe this wasn't our best decision, or maybe we weren't ready to be parents yet.

I truly do get where people are coming from, but it felt like no one had encouragement to give us except for a handful of people (those people I'm extremely grateful for!). So this is what I would've told myself about being a mom..

"Sarah,
You're about to experience one of the best things of your entire life. Sure, you won't understand all the work you're about to do until you start doing it, but it's worth it. Even though you may not feel like it's worth it, it is. Every single moment is worth it. Every time you get peed on, it's worth it. Every time you get upset because she keeps crying, it's worth it. Every time you get frustrated with her because she won't eat, it's worth it. Every time you get up in the middle of the night with her, it's worth it. SHE's worth it

Because every time she smiles at you, you realize it's worth it. Every time she learns to do something new, you realize it's worth it. Every time she stops crying because YOU pick her up or she hears your voice, you realize it's worth it. Every time she cuddles with you & falls asleep on you, you realize it's worth it. Every time she looks at you, you realize it's worth it.

It won't be easy. Some days you'll want to quit. Some days you'll think to yourself, 'Is it really worth it?' But just remember that life goes by way too quickly. Soon enough she'll be in your shoes, embarking on parenthood & asking herself, 'What did I get myself into?' And you'll be able to tell her, 'Ruby, it's worth it because...

Don't listen to the negativity. They all mean well. You'll never know a love like this until you hold her in your arms for the first time. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world. And soon enough you'll quickly realize, it's worth it."




Monday, November 28, 2016

Family Pictures 2016!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this past weekend! Yesterday, we got our family pictures back that we are using for our Christmas card this year! They turned out AMAZING. My friend, Katy, did them & I am so pleased with how they turned out.. Especially because we decided to include Murphy & he was a little rambunctious with all of the people walking around in the park ha! Nonetheless, here are some of the pictures from our session! :)












Oh, my heart! 






My mom came to help with Murphy so she also got her picture taken! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ruby's Newborn Pictures!


We had Ruby's newborn pictures done just 4 days after she was born & I'm so glad we did because she looks so fresh & new! LG Photography did them & I'm really pleased with how they turned out! Lisa was great working with Ruby.. I could definitely tell she knew what she was doing when working with newborns. So I thought I would share some of the adorable pictures with you all! :)


















Tuesday, November 8, 2016

One Month With Ruby!

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My sweet baby girl turned one month old on Saturday! She is already growing up so fast & I can't believe we met her a month ago! She went to her one month checkup yesterday & did fabulous. Some of you may know that Ruby had a hard time gaining weight at first, but we are proud to say that she weighs 9 pounds 8 ounces & is 21 inches long. Which both of those happen to be in the 50th percentile so she is spot on.. Yay! And it turns out that she is in the 75th percentile in her head size, which Andrew says just means she's smart! :)

We FINALLY get to let her set the pace for feedings. We were feeding her strictly every 2 hours during the day & every 3 hours at night because of her weight issues. We're still trying to stick to a "schedule" by feeding her around every 4 hours unless she says otherwise. But those extra few hours at night make a world of difference to this tired momma!

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Ruby is definitely becoming more alert. She loves her black & white curtains in her room, her Daddy's singing & she's starting to enjoy tummy time. She also likes to cuddle with her momma ;). Ruby likes her pacifier but gets a little overzealous sometimes & it falls out & then she gets mad haha.  She does NOT like bath time yet. I've tried to make it enjoyable by turning music on & talking to her but overall, she just isn't a fan right now! But at the same time, she doesn't like to be dirty. If her diaper is dirty for a split second, she'll typically let you know. She's a conflicted girl ha! She's still in newborn clothing but I have a feeling not for long. She can wear some 0-3 month already. When she moves out of newborn diapers though, I have a feeling I might cry.. Don't judge me!

We're taking this parenting thing a day at a time. Every day is a new adventure. Some days (& nights) are better than others but we really do love her & basically stare at her all the time!

Happy One Month, Ruby! We love you!



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Birth Story: Ruby June Cunningham

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On Monday, October 3rd, I went to see my doctor for my 38 week check up. Since I had been on bed rest for two and a half weeks at that point, I had a feeling my doctor would talk to me about being induced. Sure enough, my doctor walked in after I saw the nurse & said, "You want to have a baby this week?!" Obviously I exclaimed, "YES." because at that point, I was just ready to no longer be pregnant. I went for my already scheduled NST (non-stress test) right after because my doctor wanted to see what it showed & have some more blood work done. After the nurse who did my NST talked to my doctor, I got scheduled to start the induction process at 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 4th. Andrew & I were slightly freaking out after we found out that we would most likely meet our daughter on Wednesday some time. We celebrated our last "real" night as just the two of us by ordering Charleston's to-go & finishing the evening with our usual ice cream for dessert. We were wanting to actually go out on a date (since we hadn't done that in weeks), but because I was still on bed rest, we didn't want to risk it.

Tuesday evening rolled around & we headed up to the hospital & ate Chickfila in the parking lot before we walked in. We tried to keep calm while eating but we both kept saying how nervous we were & excited at the same time. The time came to go in, so we grabbed our bags & walked in hand in hand. I rang the intercom & said, "Um yes, I'm Sarah Cunningham. I'm here to be induced." Our nurse for the night took us back to our room & started on all of the lovely paperwork you have to do when you enter the hospital. After we got all of that taken care of, she started the early induction process which was a pill that they put inside of my cervix to soften it. Our nurse told me to eat & drink up until midnight because after that I couldn't have anything other than ice chips & popsicles.

That night was probably one of the longest nights of my life. I had a really bad headache (which I had before I got to the hospital & I was hoping it would just go away on its own but it didn't) & then I started having contractions. Not to mention that I had to pee all of the time & getting up to go to the restroom was a big ordeal because I was hooked up to so many monitors! We made it through the night though & at 5:00 A.M. on Wednesday morning, they started up Pitocin. My new nurse for the day, Laura, came in at 7:00 A.M. and asked me when I wanted my epidural. I wasn't in a terrible amount of pain & by that point I was already dilated to a 4 & thought I could maybe make it a little longer. But she informed me that my doctor was wanting to come in pretty soon & break my water (which I asked if it hurt & Laura advised me to go ahead & get the epidural). So I gave them the "go" & no more than 15 minutes later, the anesthesiologist was in.

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(Sidenote: Epidurals are AMAZING. Like, there's no words to describe how awesome they truly are. More power to you if you give birth naturally.. But I'm definitely pro-epidural :).)

So basically, life was fantastic after the epidural. I expected that I wouldn't feel anything as if I was almost paralyzed from the waist down, but I could feel pressure which I appreciated. It made me feel like I had some control. Even though my legs felt like they weighed a million pounds each.

After I got the epidural, my doctor came in and broke my water around 8:30 A.M. or so. Around 10:00 A.M., my nurse checked me again & I was dilated to a 5. She told me that if my doctor would've checked me, she would've given me a 6 because she's more lenient than my nurse. I told Laura that it was my goal to have Ruby by dinner time that night & she told me, "Oh, I think you'll have her around 3:00 this afternoon."

So after that, they wanted to stick this giant "peanut" thing in between my legs to help me progress. I have a couple thoughts about that thing. First off, it's awkward. It was like having an exercise ball between both of my legs. Secondly though, it was amazing BECAUSE, my doctor came in around 1:30 P.M. & checked me & told me I was a 10. Remembering what my nurse, Laura, told me about my doctor being lenient, I asked to make sure I was really a 10 (assuming though that there's no leniency about being called a 10). My doctor told me I was ready to start pushing but Laura was on her lunch break until 2 so they would start prepping until she got back. So all of our family & friends who were there came in to give us hugs & then they stepped out into the waiting area.

Right around 2:00 P.M., Laura was in, as well as Andrew, & we began the pushing process. Some people may think it's weird for their delivery nurse to talk to them between pushing, but I loved it. It kept my mind off of what was truly happening & it kept me calm. Because going in, I was definitely a nervous wreck & couldn't stop shaking. Andrew & I chatted with Laura about how we met, what shows we watched on TV & other random things. The WORST part for me during the whole labor & pushing process was the fact that I felt like I was dying of thirst. Those ice chips just weren't cutting it! I told myself that I could have a giant glass of water after Ruby arrived & that was my motivation! Around 3:00 P.M. I remember thinking that pushing wasn't too bad, but I was definitely getting tired. It wasn't long after that though that I gave one last good push & Laura told me to stop because we needed my doctor to come in & deliver. My doctor was in shortly after (as well as what felt like every other person who worked in the hospital) & after a few more pushes, our sweet Ruby June Cunningham was born at 3:43 P.M. on October 5, 2016, weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces & 20 inches long!


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Birth is truly an amazing & miraculous thing. I look at her & can't believe that God grew her inside of me. Parenthood has been hard, but I'm truly trying to soak in every single minute of watching her grow. I'm so blessed to be her mama & thankful that God has given Andrew & I the privilege to be her parents.

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We love you, Ruby! Thank you for gracing us with your beautiful presence.

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