Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wife Life: 10 Year Wedding Anniversary

I think for anyone being married is a big accomplishment. When you get married at 21 and 25 I think it's an even bigger accomplishment to get married and stay married for any significant amount of time. We didn't realize it until yesterday but we were so young when we got married. I hadn't even graduated from college yet (I still had one semester left). That's how young we were.

marriage advice

We were so young that I don't even remember if we talked in great detail about what our lives would be like. We knew we would have kids and that I would try staying at home with them but that's just about all we discussed. I don't recall us talking about money (perhaps because we didn't have any) or credit scores or any of the things that I think grown ups discuss before jumping the broom. We just kind of wandered our way through our twenties together. We figured out life and leaned on each other when our mistakes yielded unfortunate results.

I think that's one of the benefits of having married at young age. Neither one of us were set in our ways or dead set on how things needed to be. I think we have both learned a lot about what it means to be married and have a partner in life.

We often joke that if we had met each other right now in our 30s that I would probably have a long list of demands and requirements. Cause ya know, women in their 30s think and women in their 20s just kind of leap and pray it all works out. I am so glad I leaped.

I knew that I loved my husband and that I wanted to spend my life with him but I would be lying if I said I understood everything that marriage is about. I had no idea about what all it truly meant to be someone's wife. Now that I look back on these ten years I am so thankful for all the lessons I have learned. Here are ten lessons that I have learned during my first ten years of marriage...

Communication really is key. It is so important to talk about everything that needs to be discussed. I have learned that all topics don't need to be discussed to death and the issues that do need to be worked through need time and patience. It takes a lot of patience to listen when you don't agree with someone. Listening is huge but so is speaking up. You can not hold your husband accountable for the feelings he doesn't even know you have.

Don't try to read his mind, ask the hard questions. Instead assuming to know what my husband is thinking and feeling I have learned to just ask. It's much easier and it cuts out all the confusion, worry and doubt that you'll experience while trying to read his mind. 

Have your own life. As a newlywed I thought that we were suppose to spend all of our time together when we weren't working. I was wrong. Everyone needs their own time as individuals. My husband and I each have our own hobbies that allow us to grow and have interests in something other than each other. I love having time to myself to recharge. I'm a better wife and Mom when I take time to focus on myself. Have friends, go out and do things that make you happy.

Children can change your marriage but they don't have to. Having kids will definitely change the dynamic of a marriage. Now that I'm a wife and a Mother I see how it is possible to put all of your energy into your kids and forget to save some for your marriage. I have learned that I can not allow Motherhood to completely wipe me out. I still have to "remain the same chick he fell in love with". (Yas, Kelly. Who got that?)

Money does not make your marriage go 'round. Money is a necessity. It's important. Building wealth and paying off debt doesn't have to be a source of tension for a marriage. During our first (or maybe second) year of marriage we participated in the finance ministry class at our church. The class talked about being a good steward over your money. We learned about how to think about money from a God led place. Because of that class I can honestly say that we have never fought about money. We either have enough or we don't. It's not his fault. It's not my fault. Our philosophy is that we'll earn together, save together and build together. Until we get to where we want to be we will be content with where we are and know that God will continue to bless us in His time.

Disagreements, fights and disappointments don't mean divorce. Every time we fall out with each other it doesn't mean our marriage is over. It's an opportunity to sit down and refer to lessons one and two.

People grow and change. None of us will remain exactly the same over our lifetime. I am not the same twenty-one year old girl that got married ten years ago. I'm a thirty-one year old woman who is not exactly like my twenty-one year old self. My husband isn't the same as he was at twenty-five. We will both continue to change. We may not always like the changes we see in our spouses but that's where that whole thing about for better or for worse comes in to play. 

Keep people out of your business. When I mean to tell you that it is so important to keep folks out of your business and your marriage.... Everything isn't for everyone to know. If you have an open line of communication with your spouse then you won't have the need to call and tell everyone your problems. If you really must have a listening ear or a third party to bounce ideas off of make sure it's someone you trust. When I need to talk to someone I call my Mother because I know she loves both of us, she prays for our family and she isn't going to spread our business like US Weekly. If they don't genuinely care about your marriage, don't tell them your business.

It's not always about me. Even though I know I'm an awesome person I have come to learn that there are times when it's not about me. I can not always have my way. Compromise is a concept worth learning.

Pray. Pray with your husband. Pray for your husband. As Bishop Bronner once said during one of his sermons, "Praying wives keep praying." 

What are some of your best marriage tips? What lessons have you learned as a wife?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

#GrandfinaleBaby's Birth Story

Well this post feels like a long time coming. It's Christmas Eve and for the first time in a long time I actually have time to sit down and blog.

This birth story isn't very long or traumatic but I'm sharing it because the aftermath of the delivery is where I think most people will find solace in knowing they are not alone.

As you know I struggled with high blood pressure and symptoms of preeclampsia during my pregnancy. On November 4th (Wednesday) I was admitted to the hospital after a routine growth scan appointment due to my blood pressure being high. The Doctor explained to me that he thought it would be best for me to stay in the hospital until the baby was delivered. My original due date was December 26.

That morning I had gone to the doctor alone. Once the doctor said that he was admitting me I informed him that I would need to go back home to swap cars with my husband and pack a bag. I was driving the car with the car seats and strollers in it and because I had refused to pack a bag (despite my husband's constant suggestions to do so...) I really did need to go home.

So I went home, updated my husband about what was about to happen and we packed a bag and got me back up to the hospital after driving thru Chick Fil A to grab what felt like my last supper.

We arrived back at the hospital and I was immediately taken back to my room in Labor and Delivery. Initially I thought I would just be "living" there until we were much closer to my due date. But then my blood pressure spiked. It was so high that I had to be put on magnesium. Again. I hate magnesium. I think most people do. Magnesium makes you feel like you're having an outer body experience mixed with hot flashes and the flu.

Once you're on the mag (as the doctors call it) you have to stay in bed (because your risk of falling increases) and you're not allowed to eat. Luckily, I had eaten that CFA right before being admitted so I wasn't starving.

The next day was a different story. I was hungry. They were able to get my blood pressure down (by IV) but unfortunately my 24 hour urine sample showed that protein was spilling over into my urine. Your urine sample number shouldn't exceed 300 and my sample came in at 800. Not good.

That's when the team of doctors came in and told me that I would have to deliver the baby because I had developed severe preeclampsia. I had so many different feeling about delivering early. Is my baby going to be okay? Is my situation really that bad? Can't they monitor me for a few more weeks? What are the chances that I'd really have a stroke or a seizure?

I was scared and nervous but at the same time I knew I couldn't let those fears get me upset. I needed to stay calm so I could think rationally about what was about to happen and what the next couple of months would be like. I asked my nurse if someone from the NICU could come talk to me because I knew he would have to spend some time there after the delivery.

The NICU doctor came in and gave me the run down of all of the worst case scenarios. He told me he would come back by again in the morning to make sure I didn't have any questions. When he came back in the morning (Friday) I felt like the entire hospital staff came with him...

Now if you remember I got pregnant after having my tubes tied two years ago. My doctors wanted to talk to me about that and how they would "try their best" to make sure my tubes were really done this time. I got a refresher from the NICU, I met my nurses and the anesthesiologist. Before they began to prep me for surgery I called my Grandfather who's a Reverend and asked him to pray for me. My Grandfather has the most soothing voice. After talking to him I was so calm and I felt so strong. I was ready to walk through this journey, prepared for whatever the results may be...

My husband and I were prepped for surgery and we headed back to the operating room. It was the same room that I delivered Little Mike in two years ago. My husband waited outside while they got me up on the table and gave me an epidural. Normally I am freezing in the OR but I was given warm blankets during my delivery this time and I appreciated that so much.

My husband was escorted into the room and my surgery began. At 4:19pm on November 6 we welcomed our son Moses into our family. He weighed in at three pounds even and he had the tiniest little cry...

My husband and the baby went to the NICU while my doctors finished up my surgery. I spent the next two days in the hospital recovering from the surgery, pumping colostrum and learning as much as I could about the NICU journey.

In the next post I'll recap our NICU journey and share somethings that I think would help you if you ever find yourself in this same situation. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experience with preE and the delivery of our #grandfinalebaby. 

Has anyone experienced preeclampsia? Share your story with me in the comments...

Monday, December 14, 2015

WaterWipes at Target

This post was sponsored by Water Wipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Hello Mamas! I am slowly getting back into the groove and back to blogging. Today I am sharing one of my most recent Target finds, WaterWipes. WaterWipes is a premium European chemical free baby wipe that contains only purified water and grapefruit seed extract.

When we welcomed our grandfinalebaby on November 6 I knew I would want to use natural baby products. I haven't shared his birth story here yet (it's coming, pinky swear) but after he was born he spent a month in the NICU. As a Mom you want to do everything you can to keep your baby safe and comfortable and I was glad that I found these wipes during one of our baby prep trips at Target.

Water Wipes baby wipes

Now that I am a Mom of three I am so busy. It has helped me out tremendously to have these packs of wipes in different places. I have a pack on the changing table, in my diaper bag and under the baby's bassinet. It's so convenient that the wipes come in a value pack. I can get several of them at one time without making multiple trips to the store. The price point is nice too.

WaterWipes are good for up to 15 months prior to being opened. Once the wipes are open they are good for a month. We normally use a pack of wipes way before a month is up and I'm sure other families do too. These are one of my new favorite baby products and I recommend that everyone try them. My son's skin was so dry and sensitive when he was released from the NICU and these wipes gave me so much peace of mind.

Have you seen these wipes at your Target? Have you tried them? 

WaterWipes Target

*I-C will randomly select 1 winner from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.