My NICU Journey

My daughter recently turned 5 and, thanks to Facebook, I was flooded with pictures and memories of her birth.  So for the first time since it happened I’m going to talk about my experience with the birth of my daughter.

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I remember I was pouring milk for someone and suddenly the milk smelled so sweet and delicious.  So for the first time in years, I poured a glass.  There are no words to describe how wonderful that milk tasted.  In fact it was so good I had three more glasses!  Then I called my best friend and asked her “When is the last time you drank milk?!”

Long story short, she asked me when my period was due and I decided to buy a pregnancy test on my lunch break.

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So at my first appointment they gave me a due date of August 13th, based on my last period.  Fast forward to a future appointment and they give me a due date of July 24.  They said that based on her size I had to be further along.  My two previous deliveries were cesarean so I knew my daughter would be the same.  As my due date approaches they settle on delivering her two weeks ahead of her due date in order not to risk me going into labor on my own.  Problem was, which due date are we using?  So they decide to be safe they needed to test and see if her lungs were developed enough and that would determine when they would deliver her.

So the last week in June, on a Friday, they perform an amniocentesis test (They stick a needle into my belly and into baby’s sac to draw out fluid).  If her lungs are ready my     c-section will be scheduled for Monday, if they aren’t ready then they will wait two weeks and test it again. The test shows that her lungs are not ready.

We go home and prepare to celebrate the 4th of July weekend.  July 3rd I am sitting at my grandma’s house ready to go get a second plate when I have a contraction.  Nothing serious, braxton hicks I assume, except they are coming back to back.  The doctor had instructed at this point in my pregnancy, which was considered high risk, that if I have 7 contractions in an hour I need to come into labor and delivery.  I had had 11 in twenty minutes.

My husband insisted we go to the hospital, even though I assured him it was nothing because there was no pain.  We arrive to have the medical staff assure us that we are indeed in labor and because I had recently eaten we would need to wait 12 hours.

I deliver her with no problem, they bring her over to me and explain that she is having trouble breathing on her own.  That is all I remember before falling asleep.  Now when I wake up it is well after midnight and I am surprised to still find visitors in my room.  I honestly believe that my mind was trying to protect me because the events that followed do not make any sense.  I thanked my friends for staying so late and asked them if they had seen the baby.  I asked what her hair looked like, was it a lot or a little, straight or curly.  But not once did I ask to see her.

The next morning I wake up to see my husband and my mom in the room.  The nurses do their thing and then I tell my family I am ready to see the baby.  I get in my wheelchair and we head down the hall…and onto the elevator.  This is why I say my mind was trying to protect me.  WHY DIDN’T I PAGE FOR THE NURSES TO BRING THE BABY TO THE ROOM?!?!?!  It was like somewhere in the back of my mind I knew.  We arrived at the NICU, I showed my band, we did some password thing, and proceeded.  It was like dead man walking.  Everyone was behind me and the walls were filled with the photographic journey of previous NICU babies.  Then we arrive at a little room protected by a curtain.  A nurse opens it and greets me and I see this tiny baby sprawled out, with cords, tapes, wires, machines, and pumps; surrounded by more machines and noises and strangers…and then…she cried.  And I looked around at my family with their tears and swollen eyes and I am overwhelmed.  But I didn’t break until the nurse gave me permission to hold MY baby.

The nurses carefully moved her wires and equipment and helped me to loosen my gown so that we could do skin to skin.  The moment I held her against me she stopped crying.  The nurses explained to me that she had a c-pap machine, feeding tube, an IV in her scalp, and some other devices that helped to monitor and maintain her vitals.

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I was devastated.  I remember secretly telling my husband that I wasn’t being discharged without her and if that meant I had to hide in the hospital I would.  I stayed in her room all day everyday until my nurses began calling down for me because my body needed to be tended to.

Thankfully through it all I had lots of Love, support, and encouragement from my family and friends.  One day the sisterhood president from my church called to check on me.  I began to cry to her.  She told me not to see my daughter as she was but to picture how I wanted her to be.  That night I went to sleep with that thought on my mind.  I dreamed that I was holding my daughter in my room and I kissed her on her body and said “Thank you Jesus” I then passed her to my husband who was on the couch next to me and he kissed her and said “Thank you Jesus” and passed her back to me.  We did this over and over, kissing her in different places,  thanking God, and passing her back and forth.

I woke up still saying “Thank you Jesus”.  It was four something in the morning.  I called down to her room to ask her nurses how she was doing.  The nurse told me “Actually it’s funny you called.  She actually just knocked her feeding tube loose, but we are going to try and feed her and if she does well we will leave it off and see what else we can remove one by one.”  I can’t tell you the smile I fell asleep with on my face.  That next morning I went down to find her off of every machine and ready to nurse.  My baby was on the road to recovery and  doctors projected we could be discharged together, which we did.

I recognize that my NICU story may not be typical, but I just want to give hope to other mothers out there, that their happy ending is out there.

Shipt Review

Hello everyone! It’s been a while but let’s jump into this Shipt review. If you follow me on social media you have seen my pics and coupons for Shipt, which is a subscription grocery delivery service. Shipt partners with different stores depending on where you are at. Some cities partner with Meijer, some with Kroger, Costco, Publix, etc. Your membership however travels with you. So if you subscribe in Ohio and rent a vacation house in Florida, guess what? You can still have groceries delivered. Any order over $35 gets delivered for free. The company boast that you can place an order and have it delivered within the next hour.  Here’s how it works.

Shipt, LLC.

Thinking about using Shipt? Read on…
As a customer, you download the Shipt app, sign up, and begin to shop. Once you are signed in the app will tell you what time the next available delivery window is. From there you have four options:
1. My Lists- here you can set up different shopping list to help you speed through the shopping process in the future.
2. Browse Categories- self-explanatory
3. Buy Again- basically a repeat button which pulls past orders and let’s you order from there; add and deleting as you choose
4. On Sale Today- This is my personal favorite because hey, who doesn’t like a sale?!

Okay you complete your order put in any special request or directions like park in the rear, or 1/2 pound of thinly sliced black forest ham. The app will also ask you your substitution preference (do not substitute, contact me, use best judgment) for your shopper to use in case the store is out of a particular item.

Once your has been placed you will typically get a text from your shopper telling you their name, that they have begun shopping, and finally that they are on their way, and any in between regarding substitutions if you selected that as your preference.

Lastly your groceries arrive and you receive a text thanking you for using Shipt reminding you that you can rate your shopper and tip them through the app if you’s like (you can also tip them cash upon delivery).

Thinking about working for Shipt? Read on…
Okay so the application process is pretty straight forward. You head to the website to apply, with a copy of your insurance card, you download the shopper version of the app, you do a phone interview (which consist of a question popping up and you recording a response), they do a background check, there’s some training videos and questions, and then BOOM if they like ya your in. They send you a starter kit which contains your Shipt shirt and Shipt credit card. Takes about 2 weeks.

So within the shopper app you can put yourself on the schedule (in 1 hour increments up to a week in advance) and select the areas you desire to work in. Doing this will cause the app to notify you of orders giving you priority over other shoppers if you respond fast enough. Otherwise you can go into the app and look at the available orders and pick from those. Sometimes there are orders that are nearing their delivery time and have not been picked up yet, for those orders Shipt will offer a bonus as an incentive for those who accept the order. The app lets you know the suggested time to begin shopping, how long it will take you to shop, and the estimated delivery time.

Once you arrive at the store the order is broken down into categories (beverages, breads, pantry, household items, etc). It even let’s you know what aisle to find each item in. When in doubt you can scan the bar code on the item and the app will tell you if you have the right item or not.

When your done you head to check out lane, remind them it’s tax exempt, swipe the card, sign, take a pick of the receipt in the app, type the total, and head to the customers house. The app walks you through all of your steps with reminder prompts and the directions to the house pop up to help you navigate. Once you have delivered the groceries you select the button that says order delivered and your done!

On  average I make about $17 an order.  This could vary depending on what area you deliver to.

I have had a pleasant experience as a Shipt shopper and as a Shipt customer and would recommend them on both ends. Please comment any questions below and I will be sure to get back to you.

If your interested in trying Shipt I’ve included a link to get $10 off your first order AND two weeks free.   Simplify your life with on-demand grocery delivery. Get $10 in free groceries when you join with my link.
Click Here

A pad/tampon free period!

If you are over pads/tampons, have tried cups, have ever leaked through your pad/tampon, have ever had to change clothes because of your period, have had your period seemingly defy the laws of gravity and maneuver it’s way around barriers, or if you simply want to try something new, KEEP READING!  In this post I hope to answer ALL the questions you might ask and any I miss feel free to ask in the comment section.  

Okay so if you haven’t heard by now there is something called THINX, a period proof-panty.  I’ve been watching the reviews on Thinx for about a year before I felt I was ready to give them a try. For as long as I have been responsible for buying my own feminine hygiene products I have used Always brand products. Then one day the pads started irritating me. As if bleeding wasn’t enough I now had this itch that had to be scratched so I started trying to find other pads to wear which made me nervous about the Always brand tampons, so I was really motivated to find something else and let me tell you…I’m sold!!!

MY PERIOD

First off let me enlighten you about when Mary comes to visit me every month. My worst period comes with horrible cramps 24-48 hours before the murder scene arrives. 


The first 48 hours are the heaviest, requiring a tampon and two winged overnight pads that I strategically overlap so that I am covered in the front, middle, and back. The middle day is regular. The next day or two I spot, not a horrible amount but enough that it requires more than a panty liner.  During the months that I am a good vegan I don’t have cramps, my period is managed with one long pad changed regularly and ends promptly on day three. With that being said I went with the high-waist Thinx which is for the heaviest flow. 

I was hoping to wear them around the house before testing them in public but how often does Mother Nature cooperate?  So when my period arrived I took them out the package and slid them on. They looked and felt no different than regular panties. Even the crotch felt normal, I imagined it would feel like it had a built in pad but nope. I slide them on and in walks my husband. I see him watching. Then he walks over and kisses me and rubs my butt like “new panties?” ?!?! That’s right ladies!!! I didn’t tense up at the thought of him touching my usual diaper pad.   

Sexy period panties!

THE TEST

The next couple hours I went about my daily activities in the public and felt completely dry!  Then came the first bathroom trip. Nothing. I mean the crotch looked wet but they were black so no blood was visible, there were no clots, and there was no smell. Now when I pulled them back up they felt cool, sort of like when you flip a pillow over in the middle of the night but by the time I was washing my hands that was gone. 

Fast forward a couple of hours and everything still feels the same as I head to the restroom. To my surprise things still look the same. Wetter, but no smell and no clots. Now I’m curious so I do the commercial test and press a piece of toilet paper into the crotch of the panties…DRY!!! 

So I decide to sleep in them. No sweats or pajama pants just these panties. Guess what y’all …THE SHEETS WERE CLEAN! Not a spot on them. Now when I went to the bathroom it smelled like I wore a pad overnight but they still felt dry against my skin. 

THE CLEANING

The instructions say to hand wash first and then put them in the washer. Confession: I have not washed period panties since high school. If I ruin a pair I trash them and replace them. If they aren’t terribly stained I throw them in the washer and reassure myself that I’ll just bleed on them again next month so who cares. So I was not excited about this. Nevertheless I turned The cold water on full blast and help the crotch underneath the running water. To my surprise the water ran clear.  And then I squeezed them. 

Just kidding!  There was no blood bath, but definitely a tint to what came out but nothing too terrible. I mean I held the top of the panty with one hand and squeezed the crotch under running water about ten times until the water ran clear and then I tossed it in the washer before I left for work.  

MORAL OF THE STORY

I absolutely Love these and I will be buying plenty more (perhaps one size smaller). I have no intentions of ever wearing pads or tampons again. If you are interested in trying these here is a $10 off coupon.  Thank you to all the brave women who tried these and shared their experience. Feel free to share this with other women and send them the coupon link. Any questions?  Ask in the comment section. Cheers to easier periods!

Mrs Smith

Obsessed

Yep I can admit it.  I’m obsessed with my kids and I don’t care who knows it.  I randomly think about them throughout the day and can’t wait to pick them up from school.  I want to touch them, poke them, squeeze them, pinch them, smell them, hug them, kiss them, and carry them.  They are 8, 7, and 4 right now and at any given time I will put one of them on my lap, although the boys, 8 & 7, make it so awkward by keeping their limbs all stiff when I try to hold them.  


Don’t get me wrong…they drive me crazy and I have been known to hide in the bathroom and even my closet, but those kids are so delicious how can I resist?!?!   Since my daughter is the youngest and smallest she probably gets it the worst (I still sniff her to make sure she smells like my baby).  But that 7 year old has the softest skin that I just can’t resist. And the oldest is affectionate anyway so that’s a win win. 

Are you obsessed with yours?  Answer these questions and let’s see where you fall. 

1. Do you have that “can’t wait” feeling when it’s close to the time you pick them up (even if you regret it on the car ride home)?

2.  Do you catch yourself staring at them and smiling?

3.  Do you take pictures of them when they are sleeping? 

4.  Do you poke, pinch, and or squeeze their little tushies?

5.  Do you talk/post about them ALL the time?

6.  Do you fear for the safety of others when you think your child is being mistreated?  

7.  Do you still pick their noses and/or ears (eye crust counts)?

If you answered yes to four or more of these questions you are obsessed!  Welcome to the club!  T-Shirts coming soon lol!!!

Your’s in motherhood,

Mrs. Smith

3 Tips for Raising Readers

Whether you are a bookworm or not no one can deny the importance of being able to read.  With that being said, let’s focus on how we can raise our children to Love reading whether we do or not.

  1.   First and foremost, READ TO THEM!  Studies have shown that we know about half the words we will EVER know by the time we are five. That means that if at age five you have a vocabulary of 10,000 words than as an adult you will have a vocabulary of about 20,000 words. Now if your vocabulary at age five consist of about 100,000 words than it will basically double by adulthood!  Expose your children!  Read cereal boxes, instructions, books, text (assuming they’re appropriate lol), and whatever else you come across, out loud!
  2. Let them see you reading. In the childcare field there is a saying that with children more is caught than is taught. We know this is true. Which is why when you hear a child say a certain phrase or behave a certain way you know for certain who they picked it up from and you don’t question of they were actually instructed to do it cause we know simply being exposed is enough.
  3. DO NOT USE READING AS A PUNISHMENT!!!  I cannot stress this enough. It seems like common sense but too often as a negative consequence electronics are taken away and the follow up is “go read a book”.
How to raise readers

3 tips for raising readers

Now let’s get out there and raise some scholars!

Real Life Parenting #609

IDK who writes the books on parenting but it’s full of lies!  Okay maybe not lies but definitely half truths; and there seems to be several chapters missing. So let me help them and you.

THICK SKIN

This is a natural occurrence once your children are of talking age. Why?  Because they are going to embarrass the crap out of you. Even if it’s only you and them present, their tiny elf like superiority will reign over you as you stumble for a comeback/answer.

Example:  Last night I was playing just dance with my littles. Having a GREAT time, it’s one of my favorite games. When the four year old turns around MIDSONG and so thoughtfully asks me “Why is your mouth open?” …WHAT?! I gasp as I am trying not to quit dancing because I intend to win. “Why are you dancing with your mouth open?” Now all the children have turned to look at me. And the asker of the question stands there with her little hands clasped together in front of her like some little leader of the minions. I mean maybe I was breathing hard. I mean I should have been as I was applying a great deal of effort to the activity. Who was she to question my dancing face?!?! So you know what I told her?… “I DON’T KNOW!!!!  JUST DANCE!!!”

Or how bout the time I took my son to the doctor and I bend down to tie his shoe and he says “Mommy show the doctor how you take your ponytail off!” As he so Lovingly rubs my hair.

Or when my daughter told me how much she likes my costume. “Oh thats just my bra and panties” I inform her as I am getting dressed and she says “No.  Those.” And points to my stretch marks…even doing a clawing motion in an attempt to point to each one simultaneously.

How bout instructing them to clean up only to have them assume that this means we are having company.

One day I was hanging out at my bestie’s house with our kiddos, her mom, and her grandma. So her grandma notices that no one is eating their pizza crust so she starts to collect them all. My daughter, of course, asks “Why is she taking everyone’s food?”  I tell her that she is cleaning up the food that no one wants. Do you know what my daughter said next?  I bet you can’t guess.  She looked at my best friend’s grandma and said “I don’t like you” I nearly hit the floor! Of course I scolded her and told her it was rude and wasn’t nice but the grandma was like “what did she say?” I told her nothing but my daughter simply looked at her and repeated it. “I don’t like you”. Just like that. Straight face, dry tone, and frank. Well of course the grandma is taken back. She even tells her that they don’t even know each other so how can she not like her. After my daughter asked her her name I took her out the room. I couldn’t handle it.

I’ve been in the game almost 9 years!!! I’m still patching up wounds on skin that hasn’t thickened yet smh

My husband is trying to kill me

Seriously. Or wish the worst on me. However you spin it it’s not a good look.


A couple of weeks ago I had a stiff neck, only on the left side but it lasted for over a week!  On about the sixth or seventh day I am in my daughters closet trying to find her something to wear and my husband walks by and somehow it comes up that my neck is still bothering me. Do you know what he said to me…”Are you sure you’re not having a stroke?”  I can’t make this stuff up.  I won’t tell you my response just know that he will call 911 before he asks me that again.


Just last week, after a long day out, we come home and took our shoes off, I mention that my ankles are swollen and he comes back with “Do you have gout?”  How can I grow old gracefully when I have some trying to rush me off the scene?!?! If I say I have a headache he asks me if it’s because I’m getting older. If I stay in the bathroom a long time he tells me I should drink prune juice. If I say my stomach hurts I have gas and I just need to let it out.

I’ve heard of hypochondriacs but what do you call a person that projects that onto someone else? (Cause I’m too lazy to look it up.). Anyone else’s spouse do this?