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Special Delivery, A Birth Story Series: Cassie, Part 2

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The birth of my second child was nowhere near the same as the birth of my first! I know so many moms can relate.

birth story seriesMy second son came into the world fast and furious. Adding to this, I was in denial that his birth was imminent. Not a great combination. 

It started like most birth stories…in the middle of the night. I woke up at 3:30 am with pretty intense contractions. I woke my husband and told him I was going to jump into the shower to see if the contractions would stop or get worse. That’s what you’re told to do, after all. He came in a bit later and asked me if I had timed contractions. I hadn’t. Deep down, I knew, but to appease him, I timed them. Shocker, they were less than three minutes apart. Ten minutes later, he came in, eating an egg sandwich {why do spouses always remember to eat?!} informing me that he called his mom over. I called my OB, and we got ready to go.  

I remember standing in my living room talking to my mother-in-law, I couldn’t speak through my contractions, but I could get by; at least I told myself I could. We loaded the car, dropped some stuff off at the farm on the way, and made the drive to the hospital.

From the start, my husband was convinced we would have a car baby. Thankfully that wasn’t the case. With each contraction, I thought I might throw up. This DID NOT happen with my first, and I was not prepared for it.  Halfway there, it started to snow. SNOW. On April 21st! In Michigan, it’s not entirely unheard of, but seriously. I remember yelling at my husband that if he slid off the road, we really would have a car baby. In retrospect, that much snow wouldn’t make the roads slick, but whatever. Labor brain is weird. 

We pulled up to the hospital; I essentially “tucked and rolled” as soon as we parked, springing into action. I had our bags, and I was on the move. My husband was still in the car, and I didn’t care.

We had a pandemic baby, so here was a tent and COVID protocols before hospital entry was permitted. I still laugh at the woman’s face when I think back as she nervously and quickly cleared me to enter the hospital.

What are you arriving at the hospital for?” she asked me. I distinctly remember standing there, cross-legged, rubbing my GIANT belly. I looked down, looked her right in the eye, and calmly said, “I am having a baby right now.” Her eyes got huge. She took my temp, fumbled with some paperwork, and asked if I knew where I was going; I said “yes,” and I was good to go. She was so flustered, that she handed my husband a visitor sticker and just let him walk right on through. Cool, glad the pregnant one was the one forced to do all of that. It’s funny to laugh at now. 

We got into our room, and I was asked to gown up and do all the usual things. As I was lying on the bed getting an exam, looking at my husband, and laughing about something, the nurse stood and told us she was going to get a second opinion. As I said, I am the type to internalize, and let me tell you when a nurse goes for a second opinion, it feels like a bad omen. A second nurse came in, checked me and stood. She looked right at the first nurse and said, “nope, you’re right, she is a 9, we need to call her OB now. Like, right now.” 

Holy cow, I was further along than I thought! Dang, denial.

Things started to get frantic, and the room was bustling. Things were happening everywhere when OB walked in. It was comforting to see her with the chaos going on around us. She checked me and asked me if she could break my water {enter the return of the crochet hook}. So much was going on at once. I remember one nurse getting an IV in my hand, and my ob breaking my water simultaneously, the warming bed and bath being brought in, so much happening all around us. Super weird. 

A half-hour after arriving, I was ready to push. I think they thought I was crazy. I remember them looking at my chart and saying, “Oh, yup yup, I can see right here. Let’s get you set up.” Really?

Two pushes in, I remember looking at my husband telling him I wanted a break, a nurse looks at me “It’s 6:30 am, our shift change is at seven, and we want to see this baby!” Sure, I love a challenge. Why not? It was definitely a good motivator.  Another push and my husband tells me, “he has so much hair!” I looked over and laughed. I told him that it wouldn’t help me push the baby out. Our baby was born at 6:43 am. I looked over at the nurses, and I told them I had fifteen minutes to spare, and the whole room laughed—what a relief after the chaos. 

So, that’s that.

Two different babies and two very different births, neither picture-perfect, but they were mine. One was relatively calm and steady, just like our first. Whereas the other was fast and furious, like the take-charge personality of our second. 

I am thankful that my labors were “quick,” in a hospital, with no medication. I am grateful that I was able to follow the plan I set. I am thankful that my husband could be there for both, although it was a little touch and go the second go-round. Most of all, I am grateful for the healthcare workers and providers that delivered my boys. 

Each birth is so unique and wonderful, and each is beautiful and precious. I will cherish these memories forever.

Do you have a birth story that you’d like to share? Send us a message! We’d love to include your story in our Birth Story Series.

The White Pumpkin Project: A Fall Tradition Honoring Infant Loss

The White Pumpkin Project is a fall tradition honoring infant loss. White: a color so pure and so bright. White represents innocence. Brides typically wear white on their wedding day, and babies wear white for a dedication or baptism. But we make sure not to wear white after Labor Day. White is also a sign of rebirth. In the Roman Catholic Church, priests wear white garments to represent not the end of life, but the rebirth of a person’s new life.

white pumpkin projectAfter losing our sweet Lynn, holidays became really hard for me, especially during the fall season. We loved fall so much that we announced our pregnancy back in 2019 with a really cute mini pumpkin. In 2020, my husband came across a white pumpkin and I struggle with the image sometimes.

I wholeheartedly believe my daughter was reborn into a heavenly life, but the color white is hard to see sometimes. I will never see my daughter marry or get baptized, yet we can always have a pumpkin for her.

The below poem, The White Pumpkin by Jennifer Giles, was written by a momma who also lost her baby girl at 38 weeks.

white pumpkin projectwhite pumpkin projectJennifer created The White Pumpkin Project the same year my husband painted a white pumpkin for our daughter. The White pumpkin is for parents like me to remember their joyful child.

Our children may not physically be with us, but now after reading this you’ll probably notice that every pumpkin patch has at least one white pumpkin.

If you see a white pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, remember that there is a heavenly child watching over their mommy.

A Family Roadtrip Adventure: Bringing History to Life

My boys love Historical fiction, and this last year they have been reading the Choose Your Own Adventure version of the Oregon Trail books. As a family, we were going to a wedding out west and decided to hit a few sites along the way. Seeing the boys light up along our adventure as they saw landmarks and cities they had read about in their books was amazing! 

adventureIf you ever get the chance to take your kids on a trip to a place they have read about – do it! what an adventure! The boys would tell us about the different things they could see and what they KNEW about that location!

We have made this drive several times before but this was the best! Our boys would tell us about the experiences that the Pioneers would go through in the different locations we drove by or stopped to enjoy. They would explain why it would be hard to cross a river or why the pioneers hard to stop more often in the hills than on the plains. 

My 7-year-old spent half an hour telling everyone in the car how buffalo chips {dry buffalo dung used for fuel} were used on the trail and what exactly buffalo chips are when his 3-year-old sister said she wanted chips.  

adventure

For us, an adventure highlight was stopping at Pioneer Park in Omaha. The kids got to see a bunch of sculptures in the form of a wagon train. The detail was amazing. It truly gave them a life experience to see how big the wagons were and what was in and on them. My oldest was amazed at the depth of the ruts the wagons could get stuck in {it was deeper than his knee}. It is one thing to read about history, but it is another to SEE it for yourself!  

Have you taken your kids on an adventure somewhere they have read or studied about? Share it with us!

Baby Sprinkle – A Virtual Event For New, Hopeful, and Expectant Parents

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To our hopeful, expecting, and new parents, we are thrilled to be bringing our Baby Sprinkle event back!

Baby Sprinkle is a 100% free, virtual event taking place in the Baby Sprinkle Facebook Event from September 12th-16th. This will allow you to {from the comfort of your own home} hear from experts and physicians, check out our favorite pregnancy and kid products, tour local facilities, and, of course, there will be the infamous Mid-Michigan Moms’ giveaways. Including a grand prize valued at over $1400! This incredible event is being brought to you by our friends at Hurley Medical Center and Hurley Childrens Hospital.

Invite your friends, invite your neighbors, whoever may be interested because we believe the more the merrier! We hope to meet you soon and would love for you to follow along on the Baby Sprinkle Facebook Event for exciting event updates and giveaway announcements!

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We are thrilled to have Hurley Medical Center and Hurley Childrens Hospital as the title sponsors of our 5th Baby Sprinkle event. From pre-conception care and fertility support, through pregnancy, birth, and beyond, Hurley is dedicated to providing you and your family the best care.

NoMI Moms

Every pregnancy is unique, but at Hurley Medical Center, they all have one thing in common: the best care around. Hurley offers the area’s highest level of obstetric and gynecological services, as well as, a full spectrum of educational classes to help you make the right choices for your growing family and beyond.

At Hurley Medical Center, they’re proud of the part they play in approximately 3,000 births a year. From textbook pregnancies to high-risk births and everything in between, their obstetricians, nursing teams, and Certified Nurse Midwives have seen it all. And should the need arise, Hurley is home to the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), giving patients the best chance for a positive outcome when the unexpected happens.

Plus, Hurley was recently designated as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. That means they’ve met the criteria established for safe and effective specialty care while keeping down costs–all things you want to consider when planning a family.

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We are delighted to welcome a panel of professionals and experts that will be sharing their knowledge on a variety of topics throughout the week of Baby Sprinkle through Facebook Live and Premier videos. We are thrilled to introduce our experts soon, including an Obstetrician, Fertility Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and a Certified Lactation Consultant.

Regardless of the stage of motherhood, you are in, we know our experts will have something for you to learn or share with others!

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Who doesn’t love a good giveaway? How about a grand prize package worth over $1400 for one lucky participant? We’re excited to present you with so many amazing products, services, and items, all thanks to our wonderful giveaway sponsors!

So, how do you enter to win one of these giveaways? Giveaway opportunities will be posted in the Baby Sprinkle Facebook Event throughout the week {September 12th-16th}. Entries will differ for each item but may include responding to a question, watching a video from one of our expert panelists, or commenting or liking a post. Entering and winning could not be easier! For full giveaway descriptions and rules, check out the Baby Sprinkle Event on Facebook!

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We are looking forward to e-meeting you during our virtual Baby Sprinkle event and for you to learn and connect with the bounty of local and national resources, panelists, and giveaways with have gathered!

Bookmark this page or the Baby Sprinkle Facebook Event Page to keep up to date on all the exciting giveaway and panelist updates we have in store!

Are you a service, resource, or business that is interested in being featured in Baby Sprinkle? Please contact Courtney at courtney@midmichiganmoms.com to learn more about our opportunities.

Grandparents Day: A printable to help celebrate!

National Grandparents Day is this Sunday, September 11th

A designated day each year to show Grandparents {by blood or otherwise} how much we love and appreciate them!

If you’re lucky enough to have some awesome Grandparents in your life and that of your littles we’ve got the perfect printable for Grandparents Day.  Just click the link at the bottom of the page to download the letter, print, and have your little fill it out for their special grandparent!  More personable, and much cheaper, than a store-bought card!

grandparents day free printablegrandparents day free printable

DOWNLOAD GRANDPARENTS PRINTABLES HERE

 

4-H Fair: Fun + Learning for the Whole Family!

We have been participating in the 4-H fair for a couple of years now. Our entire family benefits from the fun and learning!

4-H fair We don’t do the animal side, although my kids would love to! I’m just not ready for that. We pin the still exhibits portion, and I encourage every family to look at joining in the fun and participating! You don’t have to be a member of a 4-H club to participate, but joining a club can make the fun last all year long! 

Why do I say the whole family benefits from it? Check out my family’s “why” below. Of our family of seven, only four of us actually compete in the 4-H categories. But EVERYONE gains from the fun!

The Summer Bucket List 
We love making a bucket list of things to do. Much of the “fun” are things that have a competition element – from tie-dye to gardening, and cooking. We learn new skills and check off some fun summer activities from our bucket list. 

Avoiding Summer Slide
My kiddos love writing stories to go with their drawings. To help keep their minds sharp during the “summer slide” we have them develop a few of their stories to enter into the 4-H Fair. Other projects include poetry, menu writing, and building things {math}. My oldest loves building and has really come to understand a lot of his math through hands-on projects. 

4-H fair

Learning New Skills 
We all know that when we move out on our own it helps to have some experience in basic life skills – like home economic type skills. We do sewing projects like making pillows or cases, sewing PJ’s, and aprons. The kids learn to bake cookies, bread, and treats in the kitchen as well as tending and picking the best produce from the garden. They learn about different types of peppers and tomatoes as well as how they each have a unique taste. 

Capturing life and Adventures
Photography! This one we work on ALL year and it is a lot fun for the kids to look back on what we’ve done. The kids and I take thousands of pictures each year. For the 4-H Fair, they find and take photos in different categories like portraits, still life, pets, landscape, and more. 

4-H fairOkay so besides learning skills and having fun how does the WHOLE family benefit from 4-H? Those who don’t compete still participate in the activities and adventures we go on. The whole family goes to the fair. Some nights we walk the barns and look at the animals, others we go to the evening shows. And I will admit fair food and rides can be a lot of fun to treat the kids to. At the end of the week there are a lot of memories made, ribbons received and family time spent together. To us, that is a BIG WIN!  

Have you participated in the county fair? What are some of your memories? Looking to get in on the fun? Contact your local county 4-H extension office or fair office. 

MICHIGAN GROWN, MICHIGAN GREAT®: MI Agriculture Spotlight!

Recently, Mid-Michigan Moms had the opportunity to partner with MICHIGAN GROWN, MICHIGAN GREAT®! Not only did we sit down and chat with this wonderful, local organization, but we had the pleasure of attending the lovely Down on MI Farm Event.

Michigan Grown, Michigan GreatDown on MI Farm Event
Held at Ankley Farm in Imlay City, state farmers, agricultural industry professionals, Michigan influencers, and press gathered together to experience an unforgettable evening. The events included a presentation from the Michigan Soybean Committee on one of our state’s most abundant crops, a cocktail-making demonstration complete with Michigan-made spirits, a sunflower trail, and a u-pick flower garden. We enjoyed terrific hors d’oeuvres, and a delicious dinner featuring great Michigan products and produce as well.

Michigan Grown, Michigan GreatWhat is MICHIGAN GROWN, MICHIGAN GREAT®?
The initiative is championed by the Michigan Agricultural Council. The Ag Council is an organization of commodity groups and agribusinesses working together to raise awareness of today’s food and agriculture. Did you know that in Michigan, we enjoy 300+ great-tasting, high-quality fresh foods and products because more than 50,000 local families farm locally? Michigan farm families take pride in perfecting the art and science of growing fresh, high-quality foods and products every year, and we all benefit. There are a number of partners that make up the Michigan Ag Council, and all work together to highlight Michigan commodities, agricultural practices, and the hard-working farm families who provide Michigan with safe, high-quality foods and products daily.

Michigan Grown, Michigan Great
Michigan Ag Council Partners
{image from https://michigangrown.org/about/}

Michigan Agriculture is Amazing!
Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, AND agriculture is one of our state’s leading industries – who knew?!

  • Michigan’s food and agriculture contribute more than $104.7 billion to the state’s economy.
  • There are more than 46,000 farms in Michigan averaging 211 acres.
  • 99% of farms in Michigan are family-owned.
  • Michigan farmers produce more than 300 agricultural products, making our state one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation!
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Michigan Agriculture


Learn More HERE!
If you’re like us, and eager to learn more, please check out the MICHIGAN GROWN, MICHIGAN GREAT® website and resources. The featured blog and the Michigan AF podcast feature all that you need to know and more about the commitment and dedication of Michigan farms and farmers, and how we all benefit from their hard work and efforts.

The Mid-Michigan Moms team is thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn more about MICHIGAN GROWN, MICHIGAN GREAT® throughout our partnership. Supporting and showcasing local is at the heart of what we do as a team, and as a resource.

This sponsored content was a pleasurable and yummy learning experience for us all! We can’t wait to learn more and share with you all about the Michigan Ag Council, and the MICHIGAN GROWN, MICHIGAN GREAT® initiative!

Please Stop Bringing Your Sick Kids

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I pinky promise that I almost never give out unsolicited advice or make requests or ask {tell} others what to do, but please, stop bringing your sick kids. Stop bringing them to school. Stop bringing them to the park. Stop bringing them to the outdoor family reunion in mid-August with a heat index of 97. Just. Please. Stop.

The barking coughs, runny noses, and exhaustion-induced whining tugs at my mom heartstrings and also leaves me frantically reaching for the hand sanitizer. I sincerely understand the unrelenting need to get outside and do all the things, but please, do not spread the love that is your child’s illness with the world via the dessert table and the traditional family three-legged race.

This request is two-fold. One, I desperately do not want my kids, who themselves are walking Petri dishes, to bring home that bug. Because at our home, when one is sick, five are sick. I know how difficult it is to care for a sick child. The whining, the clinging, it seems to never end. 

Secondly, and most importantly, there is no way your child feels well. The coughing, hacking, and constant nose-blowing, wear those little buggers down. Has your child ever gifted you their sickness? I sadly have, many times and immediately feel more sympathetic to their previous requests and demands, as I now realize how awful they are feeling and would love nothing more than to be at home, cuddled up in my bed.

sick tired kid

So, please, pretty please, keep those sick kids at home. Let them wear their favorite Superman pajamas for the third straight day. Let them eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And above all, please, please let me help you. Let me cook your family dinner. Let me pick up some groceries. Let me lighten the load for you a bit, because I have a bad feeling, that you might not be feeling so swell in the near future, and NEED you to stay home.

For more of what’s going on in Mid-Michigan, check out our Facebook page.

Looking for family favorites around the Mid-Michigan area? Check out our guides here!

 

I Kept My Pregnancy a Secret and it was the Best Thing I Did for Myself

Yes, I kept my pregnancy a secret. You might read the title and wonder, “why is that scary Rebeca? Plenty of families did the same thing before social media became so mainstream.” Well, it’s not that keeping a pregnancy a secret was scary. What was scary for me was experiencing a pregnancy after loss.
I kept my pregnancy a secretIf you are pregnant after a loss, this is your sign of encouragement that it IS possible to keep something secret and you are NOT selfish for doing so.

something as beautiful and hard as pregnancy can be kept secret and OFF social media for your own sanity and mental health. Your friends and family that care about you will be happy for you and you are able to process everything on your own terms.

I was very blessed and fortunate to get pregnant again after my daughter was born sleeping on May 9, 2020. But it was a very long and hard journey at times. I was beyond emotionally and physically drained just trying to get pregnant and then stay pregnant. I am very blessed to write that I am pregnant with a healthy, possible 5-Star recruit baby boy {as my husband would describe our son}, but it’s been so freaking hard.

So why did I keep the news that is so exciting a secret?

Secret Reason #1: My social skills have been absolutely destroyed and I didn’t want to answer everyone’s “How are you doing” question. I don’t expect everyone to know I have a daughter in heaven, but I am honestly so confused why people expect me to go back to my bubbly, social self when they know my daughter passed away. It’s the people that know exactly what happened and they get so upset because they haven’t seen me around in some time. Excuse me? If your child or someone close to you passed away, you wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t expect you to be. I can barely go to work some days and can barely function being so heavy with grief. Then, on top of that, I’m pregnant again trying to be strong for my son.

Secret Reason #2: To answer the first reason, I didn’t honestly know how I felt during this pregnancy. I truly didn’t get excited about my son until I was about 32 weeks pregnant. That’s an entire 8 months of pregnancy before I could honestly tell anyone who could see my belly that I was happy and excited. I know that sounds awful and I sound ungrateful, but that was my reality. I was so panicked and anxious for most, if not all of my pregnancy, that it was hard to function some days. 

Secret Reason #3: I actually liked enjoying something for myself and my close friends/family: My husband and I would have our own jokes and plans for the future. My best friends knew what kind of support I needed. They loved BOTH of my children without dealing with the awkward, “how many kids do you have? Is this your first?” questions that you typically hear or even say to someone pregnant. And maybe that could be a good lesson for someone who has not dealt with child loss: Let’s reframe the “how many kids/is this your first” question into “you are doing a great job momma,” or “you look absolutely amazing today even though you probably feel awful.” Allow an open dialogue for the pregnant person to then on their own terms something like, “oh we are so excited for our first, second, third, etc.”  

I kept my pregnancy a secret Secret Reason #4: I am of the mindset that knowledge is power. Do you want to know the reality of pregnancy and birth? I got you. I have so much pregnancy knowledge that I do want to share that with anyone who asks. I did give birth to my daughter and could help prepare you. I wish people were honest with me during my first pregnancy so that I could’ve been prepared for the postpartum journey. That would’ve helped me so much which I grieved.

Secret Reason #5: I want to be respectful of other people’s pain. I am a proud member of the Pregnancy After Loss group. I have so much insight being part of a group that I never thought I would join and with that comes a responsibility to ensure other women do not feel the pain that I do. “But who cares Rebeca? It’s happy news!” Well, not necessarily. I remember unfriending 10-15 people on Facebook & Instagram as their announcements would send me into a downward spiral. While my pain and reaction are not your responsibility, I can try my hardest to be inclusive and welcoming to all moms, not just moms of living children. My goal is to create an environment where ALL moms feel loved and welcome.

Yes, I kept my pregnancy a secret. It was crucial for my mental health.
Can you relate?

In + Around Mid-MIchigan