Update on Baby #4


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Yesterday I was trying to remember how many weeks pregnant I am.

Thirty-two. The answer is THIRTY-TWO! I feel like everything is hitting me all at once. I really want to meet and hold my baby. I can’t wait to see the excitement and joy of my other three children to get to meet their sister.

I am also nervous though. There is still so much left to do and even though this will be my 4th natural birth I am also a little scared about the labor and the post partum period. I love pregnancy and babies and all the emotional miraculous stuff that goes along with it, but it’s hard work. I always compare it to running a marathon, which for the record I have never done. You train, you prepare, you have great expectations. You love running (again this is just hypothetical none of this applies to me) and there is nothing that compares to the feeling you get when your first foot crosses over that finish line, but there are times of exhaustion that make you think you are crazy for trying. Times you need a cheerleader and a second wind.

Things are moving along though. J and I went to an orientation class at the birth center.  I was amazed at how geared toward natural birth it is. It’s actually within a hospital so I expected it to be a little bit more mainstream, but it wasn’t. Which I liked. The one thing I was shocked about was that they don’t allow video during births! I don’t know if it’s a legal issue or what. This was the one birth I was going to video tape and it’s the one birth where it is not allowed! Out of all the things to be frustrated about though, that isn’t really a big deal.

After the orientation we explored the city and made a date out of it. The last time we went on a date was in March when we took the pregnancy test so we were long overdue.

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All of these photos are ones that J took that day. So these are the most current pics I have of my belly which is getting huge.

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I am feeling really great. Lots of fetal movement. We have a name and it’s really hard for me not to say anything, but with only 7 weeks to go I’m going to hold off. I get the normal braxton hicks. Call me a weirdo, but I’ve always liked braxton hicks. It’s an empowering feeling to me, but as I already mentioned this time around they scare me just a little because my mind starts racing with the reality of it all. The baby is already head down so as long as she doesn’t flip that’s one thing less to worry about.

My iron is still really low and I do not want to give too much info, but if you don’t like to hear about gory pregnancy details you can stop here.

I have been trying to be good about taking my perscribed iron supplements (which they have now doubled the dosage on), but they make me constipated so that is really annoying. I asked my midwife what I could do and there was a range of answers, none of which I wrote down or have yet to try so I guess I can’t complain.

I should be getting my Bella Gravida maternity clothes in the mail soon and then I am going to bombard you all with tons of baby bump pictures because before you know it the baby bump will be gone and I’ll be able to bend down and pick stuff up again. I know most women can’t wait to be done with pregnancy, but it’s bittersweet. I am just trying to take it all in.

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By | September 30th, 2015|My Life, Pregnancy & Birth|9 Comments

The Next Big Thing In Maternity Fashion

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Bella Gravida. I received a complimentary subscription and promotional item to thank me for my participation. 

 

Today I am 31 weeks pregnant and at a time when I should be feeling my most BLAH, I am actually ready to rock this baby bump like never before because I get chance to introduce to all of you a brand new revolutionary service for renting maternity clothes.

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You can find all the latest fashion available in maternity styles at BellaGravida.com. It’s brilliant really. Why spend tons of money on something that you are getting such a limited use out of!?  


1782045_599311656836084_7477942312591678720_n Bella Gravida means Beautifully Pregnant in Italian and I am starting a subscription service that will last through the remainder of my pregnancy. So get ready for lots of photos because in October I’ll be blowing up my IG feed and Messy Mom accounts with all the fun stuff I find!

The cool thing about renting through Bella Gravida is that there is a flat monthly fee with plans starting as low as $39 a month.

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It’s free shipping, unlimited exchanges, and thousands of designer maternity AND nursing outfits. So you can utilize the service from the time you are barely showing all the way to wearing maternity/nursing clothes after the baby is born. By the way, if you are a first time expectant mother be prepared to still wear maternity clothes for a while after the baby is born. It’s completely normal!

The best part is there are no return deadlines, you get unlimited exchanges, and laundry service is included. Do I need to keep going? I don’t think so, although I could because there is more. I’ll just let you go to BellaGravida.com and see for yourself. 11012779_687274231373159_8235411844444194926_o

By | September 22nd, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth|11 Comments

What I Wore the 2nd Trimester

From the creator of What I Wore the 1st Trimester comes the next set in the trilogy. Unfortunately, I have been very busy the last three months so unlike the first installment where I had my fancy camera and set up a little session just to feature each outfit, I have nothing like that this time.

I do have some shots of my baby bump along the way though and I thought it would be fun to look at some of my outfits from the summer. So here it is. What I Wore the 2nd Trimester.

 

what I wore the first trimester

I had the opportunity to dress up and go to the Aronoff theater and I didn’t get any decent photos other than these super grainy ones from the phone camera. It’s shame too, because who knows when I’ll do something like that again.

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I was 15 weeks here so not quite showing, but I definitely could not fit into any of my usual formal dresses so I headed off to Goodwill and was pleased to find the deal for the day was buy two dress for $6. I got this dress and the one I will share next.

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Cute from the back too, although not that comfortable to sit in through a whole production. Ahhh, the things we do for fashion.

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Here I am outlining my 19 week bump, just before finding out we were having a girl.

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This is supposed to be a dress, but no way I am ever going to wear it without pants, however I might wear it without being pregnant because it isn’t actually maternity it’s just stretchy.

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Moving forward to 24 weeks.

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Shirt/ Kohl’s- this is also not maternity, but it’s billowy enough to work if I hoist the belted area up.

Pants/ Gap Maternity.

 

If you subscribe to the Messy Mom newsletter then you have probably seen this photo.

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I was 25 weeks here (I am 30 now!).

Dress/ thrift store

Shoes/ Given to me from a  friend whose feet didn’t get along with the lack of support (they are tricky to walk in)

Necklace/ Charming Charlie and since that day I have never worn that necklace with that dress again. After seeing the photos I didn’t like the combo at all.

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That’s about it. It’s fun to highlight some of my favorites, but most of my 2nd trimester summer days were spent in a tshirt, shorts, and flip flops.

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Shirt/Motherhood (I snagged it second hand from Once Upon a Child)

Shorts/ Gap maternity. 

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I plan on taking an annoying amount of pregnant selfies in a few weeks because I have a really exciting opportunity to work with a  maternity clothing company and review some of their stuff. I can’t wait to share more!

I potentially have only two months left before meeting the baby. It’s so hard to believe. I have tons emotions going on right now, but most of them are all goooood.

By | September 15th, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth|9 Comments

Goodbye 2nd Trimester

 

I was explaining to the kids that I was in the last trimester or the final third of my pregnancy. I said “It’s like if you were running 3 laps, we already ran two of them! Only one lap out of three left to go!” Z responded in a total serious tone, not being sarcastic at all “Yeah, but it’s more like we walked.”

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Okay, fine. So maybe I didn’t sprint through the first two trimesters, but I really can’t complain about this pregnancy so far. I’ve had some rough moments, but I am grateful about how uneventful it’s been for the most part.

 

Looking back at the past three months there have been some really great memories.

Of course we found out that we are having a GIRL!

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The gender reveal painting was so special and memorable, I can’t thank my brother enough for making this video possible! I will cherish it forever!

We also did our annual dress like a cow tradition for Chick-fil-A cow appreciation day. This was my second year to be a pregnant cow. The last time was with Ezie 3 years ago. I was just one month further along then.

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I know I am such a nerd, but one of the first things I got excited about after finding out we were having a girl was knowing next year she would get to wear SJ’s little Baby Gap cow overall dress for cow appreciation day.

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Our little trip to Michigan was also a very memorable part of the pregnancy

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and lastly, this past weekend we did the Color Dash Bubble Bash 5K and had the best time.

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We did run part of the race, but I’ll admit I am not in running shape! That might be what Z was referring to when he said we walked 2 laps. I am still proud of myself for staying active all summer even if I’m not a runner.

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The funny thing was when we got home I realized my belly (and ONLY my belly) had been stained blue! Of course it washed off, but it definitely caught me off guard because that did not happen last year.

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As far as all the little prego details, my glucose tests came back with good results, other than the anemia. My SPD actually hasn’t been bad at all, so thank the Lord for that. I am starting to feel the acid reflux increase. Last night I went ahead and took one of J’s antacids for the first time because it felt so yucky and the chewable definitely helped. I crave ice the most, but anything crunchy hits the spot- baby carrots, rice krispie treats, ice cream cones, cashews. These are not things I normally eat!

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Everyone wants to know about the baby name and I am going to be a meanie and make you all wait. This is by far the longest we have ever gone without knowing the baby’s name. We are on the brink of finalizing it! In fact we talked about it yesterday, but I was on my way out the door and I said “Well, I am definitely not ready to make it official right now when I’m in a hurry, but that sounds good”. At this point I think we will wait until the birth, but maybe not.


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As you can see by the pictures we are all in love with her already and even though I am not ready for her to be here I am awaiting the day with great anticipation.

We get to tour the birth center and have an orientation in two weeks! It’s all starting to get real and I couldn’t be happier!

By | September 2nd, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth|6 Comments

Gender Reveal Video Announcement

I don’t usually post on Saturday nights, but I can’t wait a second longer to share the news! Watch the video until the end for the big announcement.

 

By | July 18th, 2015|Creativity, Pregnancy & Birth|10 Comments

Behind the Scenes of the New Messy Mom Video

 

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Baby Face

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Baby Hand

Last week I had my 20 week ultrasound. Everything went great. The baby is healthy. I’m right on track with measurements. The kids enjoyed seeing the baby on the monitor and yes, we did find out the gender.

I texted my brother from the doctor’s office to announce the news and tell him I had a gender reveal video that I wanted to try to put together as soon as possible. He was on board and days later he and my sister in law came out to turn my idea into reality.

Some of you may remember last time we did this (back in March).

That video was obviously scripted whereas this next one (which I have not seen any of yet), is totally just documenting the moment.

I can’t share too much because I don’t want to blow the secret, but we used paint to make the announcement.

 

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This was the first drawing on my story board. Don’t critique it! It’s just a really quick sketch to get the idea across and that’s just about all I can show you other than this photo of set up

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and the two paint cans

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and here we are getting ready for some fun.

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I can’t wait to share our news with everyone!!! It is an honor to have my brother help out with this project. He has a busy schedule and he literally travels the world shooting films and commercials. Yet, he and his wife jump in with both feet to make a short film for their new nephew… or niece. Ha! Just kidding. I’m not telling.

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That’s my brother in the orange jacket on set in Iceland. Photo Credit: Paper Lantern Productions 

 

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Here he is wearing some kind of gear that I don’t know the name of. Photo Credit: Drive Media House

 

Subscribe to my youtube channel so that you know exactly when we release the video. The big reveal is just days away!

By | July 17th, 2015|Creativity, Pregnancy & Birth|2 Comments

Finding Out We Were Pregnant

I think most moms remember where they were when they found out they were having a baby for the first time. Well, you were probably in the bathroom, but I guess I mean where you were at in life. Or maybe you remember the date or details with every child. It’s one of life’s most surreal and indescribable moments.

With my first pregnancy I took a test and then announced it to J at the Macaroni Grill while playing hangman with our crayons on the paper table cloth.

Then with the next pregnancy I had Z color a picture for J saying saying he was going to be a big brother.

With Ezie I switched things up. Instead of me announcing to J I had him tell me. I saw it on a show one time. I took the test, but he was the one to go in three minutes later and come out and tell me the news. If you consider this keep in mind this also means your husband will be the one to tell you if you are not pregnant (which did happen once). So it can get emotional, but it was really special to hear the news from my husband that we were expecting our third.

This last time I thought why not just find out together? 

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Once your test leaves the bathroom it opens up a whole world of possibilities really. You could take the test and then tuck it away to save after you hike up to the top of a mountain. You could have the life changing experience at the same place he proposed. In our case we went home after a nice date night and then opened a little gift bag while snuggling on the couch. That’s where we were when we found out our lives were going to change forever, again.

The thing I worried about when I started drumming up this idea was the possibility of accidentally seeing the results. That’s an easy fix though since you can just cover up the result window with tape.

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I used Christmas tape because that’s what I had. It could be any colored tape. Once you take the test you can put the cap on and seal it in a zipper bag. Most test results will last up to 24 hours, but you will want to check the specific brand to know for sure ahead of time. That would be no fun to plan to take a canoe out on the lake or something and then just see a blank screen because your plus sign faded.

Another obvious downside to finding out together is that you don’t know if you are pregnant are not, which could be very anticlimactic if the test is negative. I can see how this is an impractical approach that would NOT be ideal for all situations. For me, since this was my fourth and I was tired of finding out alone. I KNEW I was pregnant. I was just waiting to confirm it with a test. So I just waited a little longer so that we could schedule a date night and celebrate afterwards with a special package and lemon meringue cheesecake. It was fun!

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So that is the story of how we found out we were pregnant this time. I’ll never forget it.

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By | July 9th, 2015|My Life, Pregnancy & Birth|13 Comments

The BIG Ultrasound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t believe the pregnancy is already half way over.

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I am feeling well. I still get a little nauseous from time to time, but it’s definitely on the decline. The acid reflux is just barely starting to make short little unwanted visit. Boo. For the most part I feel fantastic though.

I am to the point that I feel the baby moving now and it won’t be long before the kids and J will be able to. We  have our FIRST ultrasound on Monday.

Quick poll for anyone who has had a baby in the past decade or so.

Did you have more than one ultrasound?

At my first appointment they said that if they were unable to detect a heartbeat at the beginning then they would, but that wasn’t an issue so they just went ahead with the exam and didn’t schedule a sonogram until 20 weeks. This is a first for me. I usually had one early on where you can see the tiny little bean inside and then a second at the halfway point.

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With that said, I’m excited to see the baby on the black and white monitor for the first time. This is always an emotional moment for me. Of course I want reassurance that the baby is healthy and everything is coming along fine and I am definitely anxious about finding out the gender!

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Most people are guessing that it is a girl. The pattern so far has been boy, girl, boy… So it seems a girl would fit right in with our current rhythm. However, I have had some STRONG boy vibes. So much so that I was worried about psyching myself out if I was wrong. I didn’t want the baby to feel like I don’t want a girl if that’s what I’m having!

It’s just that we have a boy name picked out already and the baby would be 3 years apart from Ezie  (whereas he/she will be 6 years apart from SJ) so I can picture the boys playing well together and being in school together. Another reason maybe that I was the only girl with 3 brothers in my family so I know what to expect with that.

On the flip side, if I am wrong and it’s a girl there are lots of things to look forward to with that. I was sorting through their stash of costumes the other day and I thought about all of the princess clothes that SJ would be grown out of before you know it and I have so many more little girl party ideas that I won’t even get to throw if I don’t have another girl. There is also dividing up rooms and the convenience of an even number of boys and girls per room.

I’m rambling out loud, but needless to say it’s a win-win regardless of whether the baby is a boy or girl. I am still really anxious to find out so that I can hit up the yard sales and also clear out some of the old stuff we won’t need anymore depending on what the gender is.

Did any of you other mamas feel like you knew what you were having? 

 

By | July 3rd, 2015|My Life, Pregnancy & Birth|2 Comments

Questions Answered With First Response

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I recently wrote about the 10 pregnancy symptoms I had before I knew I was pregnant and it stirred up a lot of discussion because it seems that just about everything can be a pregnancy symptom.

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I have heard it all and seen it all. You can have every symptom in the book and not be expecting or vice versa. Take it from someone who has been in both of those positions more than once. The only way to alleviate the uncertainty is through an accurate pregnancy test and the sooner you can know the less you have to wonder! That’s where First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test comes in.

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Pregnancy tests have come a long way, even in the past few years that I have been using them. The First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test can detect pregnancy as early as SIX DAYS BEFORE the day of your missed period. That’s like one week less of having to play guessing games with every little potential symptom. What a relief!

comfort-sure-designNot only is the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test able to give you results sooner than any other brand of pregnancy test, but they have a new Comfort Sure Design feature that makes the whole experience…um…less awkward. The curve shape is especially design to fit a woman’s hand, the handle is longer, and the tip is 50% wider. When you use this newly designed test you will wonder why no one thought of this sooner! I have taken dozens and dozens of tests over the years and trust me, the First Response Early Result Pregnancy test with new comfort sure design just makes sense.

 

It’s easy to use, easy to read, and easy to find since it’s available at all major drugstores and grocery stores. The retail price is $8.99-$15.99 . The First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test is FDA approved and can detect all relevant forms of urinary hCG throughout pregnancy ANY time of the day. So you don’t have to worry about taking the test in the morning like you used to. The results are 99% accurate from the day of the expected period and the test only takes 3 minutes. If you are like me and the test shows 2 pink lines then get ready girl because you are pregnant!

So whether you think you are pregnant, want to be pregnant, or just want to quit wondering, I recommend the only test that can tell you 6 days before your expected period and the only test with the comfort sure design:


 First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

 

Stop asking questions and get some answers with First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test .

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Be sure to go to FirstResponse.com for some wonderful pregnancy planning resources, coupons, product information, and more.

By | June 10th, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth, Uncategorized|8 Comments

How Do I Know I am Done Having Babies?

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J and I always wanted a big family. We were in agreement, but we never set a number. It seems for a lot of people they have always known exactly how many kids they wanted, but I never did.

Yet, here we are at baby number 4 and suddenly I know that I’m done.

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This is actually SJ. I don’t have a sono of baby #4 yet.

It’s not that frazzled hair, bug-eyed mom staring blankly into space whimpering, “No more. Pleeease make it stop!”. I mean, I might look like that mom at times, but that’s not how I feel about it.

I’m going to be extremely candid and uncensored with my personal thoughts and feelings here, so please keep in mind that they are just that- personal. Every couple needs to follow their own path when it comes to bearing children; when, if, and how many. And sometimes that path is determined for you for various reasons. I don’t want my words to be hurtful, I am just expressing how it’s worked out for me at this point. That’s all.

There are a lot of reasons I feel like I am done, but the biggest is that I don’t want to birth children when I am over 35. There I said it. I said it to someone the other day who gracefully mentioned that ALL of her children were born when she was over 35. I hope I did a decent enough job of pulling my foot out of my mouth when she told me that, because I really do think she and other women like her are awesome. I know lots of people that have gone that route and I am all for it.

For me though, I will be turning 33 this month and so as far as I’m concerned this is it. Given my fertility history, if we continued having children I would be at least 35 when the next one would be born. I know that pregnancies after 35 are considered “high risk”, but that’s not even why I decided this. I just had a peace about having closure at this time. My body has been either pregnant or nursing for 8 years. After this baby I will have committed a decade of my life to using my body as a beautiful and miraculous source of nourishment. I feel a little sad about moving on from that season, but I know I’m ready. It’s not just about pregnancy either, these children grow up and I am considering my age when they graduate, and potentially have my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Only God knows the future. Children, health, and lives in general are all very unpredictable. So I realize my planning is somewhat futile, but I still like to dream about what lies ahead.

I look forward to soaking up every last bit of this pregnancy and turning the pages slowly as I close the chapter on this era.

I like that I know so many other moms that are at the same stage as me. I feel like there is a bond between us. If you know me, you know I never let conformity determine my choices AT ALL, but I have a lot of women I can turn to for support about this decision. And that’s a nice feeling.

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Me and one of my closest friends when we were pregnant with our oldest sons (8 years ago). She has had 6 pregnancies and I’ve had 4. We are both feeling  the same about the next step.

The thought of missing the tiny toddler voices makes my heart ache, but I get a burst of excitement thinking of being able to ride bikes as a family, or travel and minister together, and play board games on a level that is fun for everyone involved.

My mind continues to waltz through visions of each season; from enjoying regular date nights with my husband again when we are in our
40’s, to planning weddings and welcoming grandchildren in our 50’s, maybe seeing the world in our 60’s, and then perhaps great grandchildren?

Who knows what will happen. Plans change. Circumstances change. Feelings change. Proverbs 27:1 says “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” As far as what J and I have discussed though (and there was a lot of prayer and discussion), this will be my final pregnancy. The million dollar question is always How do you know when you are done? The answer is simple for me.

I know I am done because the thought of it is comforting.

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By | June 2nd, 2015|Family, Motherhood, Pregnancy & Birth|15 Comments