Mastering Motherhood

Picking up baby girl out of her crib with one hand while pumping (because this chick can tell when mom gets all hooked up and becomes pretty much useless) and NOT dropping her (hands free pumping bra in the works) 

I think just "not dropping her" in general deserves a shout out

Made dinner and had it ready by the time Bart got home (yay soups!) 

Pointed out Macs' little body parts to her during tummy time (finding things to say to a newborn is hard) 

Holding her a few extra minutes as she falls asleep because she grins non-stop (no, it's not gas and yes, I'm creating "bad habits" #sorrynotsorry) 

Not crying out of sheer happiness when she slept for 5 hours AT NIGHT (I know her sleeping is directly related to how good of a mother I am, so apparently I rocked it today) 

Dressing her chubby legs in jeggings. It's the only time chubby legs in jeggings is OK 


Distance: 1 mile Time: 16:21

I haven't been running for 4 months. I haven't been running regularly for 8 months. 2 months before I got pregnant I ran my first half marathon. I still consider myself a runner and getting my sneakers back on and hitting the pavement is something I have been looking forward to for a really long time.

3 weeks postpartum and I ran my first mile! I have been out walking with McKenzie every day for the last week and a half and have felt great. Abdominal surgery can't keep me down! I have been really blessed with a great recovery and have been itching to get back into an exercise routine. It's no secret that I didn't exercise when I was pregnant. I hated exercise and pretty much gave it the middle finger. Since this pink squishy thing made her arrival I am back to craving that sweaty, out-of-breath feeling.

Today we headed out for a walk. I wasn't really planning on running. We were almost done with our first mile walk when I decided to do the "walk 1 minute, run 1 minute" and see how I felt. I did about 4 of those before the first mile ended.

Then I decided to run the second mile.

At first I was just going to see if I could make it 5 minutes....then it was to the end of the block...then it was to the top of the hill....then it was the end of the mile. It took me 16:21 to finish. But I finished. My boobs needed more support and my knee was a little sore, but we did it! I was talking to my sleeping baby by the end of it, giving myself a pep talk.

It felt so great to get back out there and realize my body isn't as different as it sometimes feels. I now have something to look forward to and new goals to set. Macs loves her little seat and we enjoy our time outside.

Now that my swollen cankles are gone and I fit back into my shoes, I will be enjoying my 16 minute pace and the beautiful sunshine!


Motherhood: Rated R

If new motherhood was made into a movie it would be the most vanilla Rated R movie of all time. Why an R rating? Because you would be seeing boobs 80% of the time.

The rest of the film would feature the same three songs new mommy knows, mixed with an array of cute baby noises and plenty of diaper changes. You would be entertained by mommy's attempt at doing things one handed and you would probably fall asleep because the sheer exhaustion on her face would be contagious. 

The dialog would be pretty much non exsistant as new mommy figures out what the heck she is supposed to say to this pink squishy thing in her arms and the soundtrack would be courtesy the "Heavenly Lullabys" station on Pandora (babies like classical music right??) 

And after an exciting round of feed, burp, poop and play you will catch a glimps at that angel baby's face and watch it all over again 


Hi baby: Grandmas

Hi my darling baby,

Yesterday we got to see two of your grandmas and one of your great-grandmas. Nana has been helping us all week and totally loving on you. Grandma Reney has been waiting for a girl to join the Bowen family for so long! And your great-grandma Bainum fell in love with you at first sight. 

At the end of the day I was overwhelmed by how much family we have and how much they all love you! But I was specifically thinking of all the amazing women in your life. You still have one grandma and two great-grandmas to meet and I know they will cherish you as much as the others. 

I have been so blessed to have these women in my life and I'm so happy you get to live under their love and influence. I am the woman and mom that I am today in large part because of the amazing mom I was given. When I married your daddy I was blessed with even more great women to look up to! 

Womanhood is hard (I think living in general is just hard) but having good examples in your life makes it a little easier. I hope you look up to the women in your life and learn from them and feel their love. I hope you see their Christ-like behavior and their hard working, independent attitudes. They are all beautiful, intelligent, righteous women and you and I are both so blessed to have them above us in our family tree. 

Grandma Bainum and McKenzie

Nana and McKenzie

I love you sweet girl, and I'm excited to see you grow and get to know your grandmas 


P.s. You have some pretty great aunts, cousins and men in your life too. That's another post for another day! 


2 weeks and extra hands

I'm trying to write out "The a Birth Story" but since my writing is limited to my right thumb on my phone keypad most moments I'm not getting very far!

My mom has the week off and has been coming over to help me the last few days. It's amazing what an extra pair of hands can do! She has been an angel for me and it's only Wednesdays. I've been able to take a few naps and even went grocery shopping on my own. I love my squishy little girl but the short little breaks have been so nice. I know I'm supposed to take things one day at a time but I'm already wondering how next week is going to be without mom here. 

I am exclusively pumping for my hungry little hippo so being hooked to the milking machine is a pretty typical sight around here. I keep reading about "hands free pumping" and need to look into it...a lot of people say exclusively pumping is such a hassle but since I have made this decision to feed Macs with a bottle it's something I am happy to do! 

On another note: I love watching Bart be a dad! He is so sweet with her. This is his busiest and most stressful time of year but he comes home every night ready to snuggle and bond with his daughter. I look forward to evenings when we are all together (not always all fully awake, but together!) 

My little one is two weeks old! Honestly it's been the longest two weeks of my life. We have learned a lot already and we learn more every day. 

At two weeks she is growing well and within the 50% range for weight, height and head. She is finally sleeping more than she is awake and has started to take a few 3.5-4 hour naps. Doc says there is no need to wake her to feed since she is chunking up nicely. I am so blessed and thankful beyond words to have a healthy and happy baby girl 


A good nights sleep

Well we have had a few good days! Three nights of keeping her in her nursery instead of our room. The monitor is in the corner so it doesn't pick up every squeak but it captures her awake cry perfectly. It allows all of us to sleep so much better!

I understand the saying "when mom isn't happy no one is happy" so much better and my new motto with motherhood is if it makes mom a little more sane or her life a little easier than DO IT.  

I feed my baby breast milk from a bottle 

My newborn sleeps in her own room 

I turn the monitor on, but the volume is down so I only wake up to her legit "IM AWAKE!!" Cry 

I give her a binki if she needs it

If she falls asleep in her car seat there's no way in hell I'm taking her out until she wakes up 

I don't wake her up for visitors 

Motherhood is such a selfless lifestyle we so willingly accept, but that doesn't mean we have to ignore little conveniences that help us out a little. 

I am a better mother bottle feeding my baby and not having her sleep in our room. And no, I don't need you to "make me feel better" about it...because I don't feel bad! 



It's 2am and I'm holding my beautiful baby girl. She is freshly changed and freshly fed and trying to decide to fall asleep or keep those beautiful blue eyes open for a while longer. She just slept for 3.5 hours so you do your thang baby girl.

 I decided to start her out in her nursery tonight with the monitor across the room. She is a squeaky little sleeper and having her in our room made it really hard to ever fully fall asleep. 

Is she waking up? 

Yes? No...nope...ok maybe...

It's almost been a week since we brought her home and I think I have felt every emotion in the book.

 I have no idea what I'm doing and yet at the end of the day she is still healthy and happy and ready for the next round.

Each day is different and just when I think I have a handle on something...it changes and adjusts.

 I'm so happy and so tired and so overwhelmed all at once. So I will write. Because that's what I do to get the thoughts out of my head and into real life. 


Mastering Motherhood

Peeled a boiled egg with ONE HAND

Only banged the car seat on a few doorways getting to/from car-to-home 

Applauded my baby for farting like a champ 

Leaving her in jammies because they are so dang cute 

Changed her 2am diaper and she didn't make a peep 

Took a shower ('nuff said) 


Baby Macs' First Week

Day 1- August 5 Tuesday

Stopped by for my last doctor appointment before my scheduled c-section on the 8th. Turns out I was in labor ( so THAT'S what that pain is...) and my doc told me we were having our baby tonight! (My whole birth story and pics coming soon)
Heading to the hospital!

McKenzie Scott Bowen came into this world feet first at 7lb 15 oz 20 in small. I heard her beautiful cry from the operating table and saw Bart hold his daughter for the first time. The rest of the day was a blur as I came out of anesthesia and took in my whole new world.

Less than 2 hours old

Day 2 Wednesday

One of my favorite pics of our bright eyed angel baby
Spent the day in bed since I couldn't really get up and down just yet as my incision healed. Had lots of visitors come see us. My sweet baby girl slept in her crib beside me and daddy Bart helped all day. It went by quickly, figuring out how to breast feed (it hurt!)...being asked if she had a wet diaper (not yet) and had my vitals checked every few hours. Bart had fallen completely in love with this little "thing" and I was still in a bit of shock that that "thing" was ours

Day 3 Thursday

don't worry..that's my arm not my boob :)
Still can't get out of the hospital bed very well.  This little one is the brightest eyed newborn you have ever seen. So alert with her dark blue eyes and happy! Never really cried and just liked looking at everyone. She was especially bright eyed at 1 a.m. At this point I don't think I had slept for more than an hour at a time but the mommy adrenaline was still pumping through me. Have I mentioned the hospital food? Because it was delicious. All I wanted was veggies and "healthy stuff" which is weird since I avoided it like the plague my whole pregnancy.

Day 4 Friday

Can we go home yet? Nope, one more day. Macs is totally healthy and rocking all of her tests and check ups. She is still bright eyed as ever...didn't they say newborns slept the majority of the day?? Not this one...I am now avoiding the bed as much as possible and can get up and down slowly. Incision is healing nicely and the pain meds are lovely. Bart and I could stare at this little one all day. I  maybe got a 2 hour nap in...

Day 5 Saturday

All dressed up and ready to go home!

Staples removed, baby checked, discharged from hospital. Mom and mother-in-law come over to help us get settled in. Apparently I look extremely tired...I am. McKenzie is still such a happy baby. Isn't fussy at all and is bright eyed and awake ready for attention. The fact that she doesn't cry makes the lack of sleep a little easier to handle

Day 6 Sunday

Seeing her sweet face was the only thing keeping me sane and happy at this point...
The first night home from the hospital and I was convinced we weren't going to survive it. Finally broke down in complete tears around 3 a.m. and had Bart cuddle with her. She isn't sleeping. She eats and then is wide awake. She eventually will doze off but only if someone will hold her. Mom can't sleep when she's holding the baby. I can finally understand why people would be interested in co-sleeping with their babies (don't worry..I didn't) I spend the day on and off in tears totally exhausted. Never get the chance to nap and dreading nighttime.

Day 7 Monday

Are those eyes closed???

Nighttime was the complete opposite from the night before. Macs ate, stayed awake for about an hour after and then eventually fell asleep in her bed next to ours for about an hour, sometimes two. I still didn't sleep. When I finally got the chance my mind was racing...but I could see a potential future. Her eating is random and she isn't acting satisfied. Breastfeeding is from the devil and I hate it. At this point I am crying over EVERYTHING and Bart is worried. The tears aren't associated with any negative feelings toward the baby though and I tell him it's just all those crazy hormones! I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by breastfeeding and am so tired.

Day 8 Tuesday

taking ANOTHER nap (it's a miracle) and enjoying a walk
Another night different from the others. Not as bad as Sunday, not as good as Monday. Macs goes over 3 hours without sleeping. I feed, attempt to put her down and eventually it's just time to feed again. She is so exhausted and finally has a legitimate cry session. Bart says he has never heard her cry that hard before...me either. I'm emotional and frustrated that I don't know how to make my happy baby sleep. I can tell she isn't getting the rest she needs, despite her happy bright eyes 90% of the time. She finally falls asleep 2:30-5 am and so does mom! Hallelujah. I feel better already. She takes another 90 minute nap at 7 and so do I.

After feeding her around 8:30 I am in so much pain I am sobbing and crying. I am ready to quit breastfeeding altogether. I call my pediatrician and ask for the lactation consultant. We talk (and by talk I mean I cry) and she tells me this shouldn't be painful at all. Stop immediately and let my nipples heal, next week I will meet with her and we will figure it out. I run to the store to get bottles and learn how to use my breast pump. Angel baby sleeps for 2 and a half hours while I get everything figured out.

The lactation consultant says I have been pumping cortisol into my milk because I am so stressed about feeding. No wonder she isn't sleeping! Bart's joke about her being a "crack baby" is a little closer to the truth than I would like. I pump and Bart feeds her. Happy as a clam she immediately wants to go back to sleep. An hour later she wakes up ready for more! I got to feed her this time and start crying tears of joy because this is the first time I have enjoyed feeding my daughter. This is the first time I haven't dreaded her waking up and it's the first time I can enjoy her sweet face and tiny fingers wrapped around mine.

It's the end of day 8 and I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who heard the prayers of a scared, frustrated and overwhelmed new mom. I don't know what tonight or tomorrow will be like, but I know we will be able to get through it.


Hi baby: 39 weeks

Hi Baby,

I can't believe I will see your sweet face in less than 4 days! These last few days have been hard; I haven't been feeling very well and I thought I was going into labor on Friday but JUST KIDDING! It was just 6 hours of false labor. Good times. Your daddy and I are ready for you and we talk about you all the time. As I sit here and rub my belly, feeling you move, it makes me a little sad to think soon you won't always be with me. I have bonded to you and I see why pregnancy feels so long. Once you're here I'm not going to want you out of my sight!

On the other side of things, I can't wait to not be pregnant anymore! I seriously feel like this body is not my own and I can't even remember what it feels like to have a core and be able to do things like sit up in bed or get off the couch without a little help. I'm so excited to be able to feel my fingers again and not have swelling in my feet. I think I still have a wardrobe in that closet of mine, but I'm not really sure because I wear the same 5 things and don't even care anymore.

I have read a lot of different things from a lt of new moms and I am interested to see what my experience is going to be like. I know my personality is really going to come through once you are here, and I just wonder if that's a good or bad thing. 

One of the biggest things I am excited for is to see my husband become your daddy. He is already so sweet to you and talks about you all the time. He treats me like a queen and I have no doubt you will be his little princess. I hope you stay close to him and be "his favorite" just like me and my dad. There is something special about the daddy-daughter relationship and I'm so happy that you get a man like Bart as your dad.

Your sheets are washed, your bag is packed and there are diapers in the drawer. We are just waiting to meet you little one. See you soon



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