by gillian claire: November 2013



choices / sponsored post.


nine days.

(top: roman, bottom: asher)
Alright guys, I'm here to talk a little bit about two of my favorite topics: babies + childbirth, and also to share a little bit about my sponsor: LifebankUSA. One issue that I feel very strongly about is a woman's right to birth and to me it is all  about women being educated about their choices. Having a baby is different than what it was in our mother's generation: we have more easily accessible rights and choices regarding how the birth of our child will go. I have always tried to hold strong to my convictions about the choices that I have made for my sons at birth and of course after, even when they went against the grain.  One thing that I am trying to keep in mind is that no matter what, I will never be perfect and neither will my choices. Today, mothers have so much to choose from and truly, the responsibility can be overwhelming. I would love to be the "perfect mom" and I find it very easy to fall into the "I wish I could be more like that," trap especially in the blogging world. Personally, I know that I will never be perfect and I know that when it comes down to it, being a good mother is really about trying my best to make better choices every day. I believe that all parents should educate themselves about all birth and parenting choices and feel empowered by making the best decision for their family. Whether you choose to have your baby at home or in a hospital, whether you choose to go intervention free or have an epidural during birth, whether or not you choose to breastfeed: make an educated choice that is best for YOU and feel empowered by it!

One choice that is new to our generation is that of cord blood banking, and I have been asked to share a little bit about that option with my readers today. LifebankUSA is a company that offers both cord blood banking as well as the combination of placental and cord blood banking. Collecting and saving stem cells from a baby's umbilical cord and placenta at birth could one day save that child's life or the life of a family member! There is only one opportunity to choose cord blood banking and it occurs at birth. I did not choose to bank Roman or Asher's cord blood, but as the practice is becoming more well known, it is something that I want to keep in mind if I get pregnant again. One thing that I think is really awesome about LifebankUSA is that you can also choose to donate your baby's cord blood! Cord blood banking is definitely something that is worth looking into today, so consider adding it to your list of things to educate yourself about as a parent!

Currently, LifebankUSA is hosting a contest on Facebook to give away 3 Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seats! These car seats are valued at $290! Be sure to check out the LifebankUSA Facebook Page to enter for a chance to win. All you have to do is "like" their page. Good luck!

(I was compensated for sharing my opinions. Thank you for supporting my family by reading!)

listen closely.

2R6A6364 (3)
2R6A6365 (2)2R6A6365<2R6A6363-2 (2)2R6A6345-2 (2)2R6A6354-2 (2) "let your heart guide you. it whispers, so listen closely."
- the land before time
i love these photos that aaron took of asher and me. this was during my frantic "trying to fix my camera" phase. honestly i don't even know what went wrong here but these photos are super grainy and technically wacky. i seriously love them in spite of that though and kind of because of that.
they aren't "perfect", but they are, ya know?

a letter to my baby.

IMG_6584-4 .
oh, asher. it's honestly hard to remember sometimes that you actually, truly are two.
certainly it's clear that you are changing and growing. every day you make me smile in wonder with your new words and new habits. of course you are two, of course. but still, really, you are just my baby. you are wanting and whiney and you ache and need with reckless abandon. you still sleep next to me every night and you still wake up to nurse. you still stir franticly to find me and you settle with my touch. you are sweet and little and  still somehow keep so much newborn-ness lingering about you. i can't completely explain this, but baby is just a part of your aura. i see it in you and your dad sees it too; it's just there.

you are such a trying little soul, full to the brim in every way imaginable. needless to say, my days also feel filled - with lots of patience-testing and soul wrestling moments and darker thoughts of "i never thought i'd be this mother" shouting and crying and wondering "when will this day/this week/these hard moments end?"

i know that you ache too. you feel so much and too much and your little tiny heart just can't always hold it all in.

looking back, i see now how it has always been in you, always all along. the way you stretched your little leg inside me, reaching, reaching until finally i could grasp my hand around your footprint entirely. poking from my belly, a tiny perfect foot. a real baby foot attemping to climb his way out of my womb, fascinating. i see it too, in the way you were born. i planned a water birth all along, it's what i'd practiced over and over in my mind. but at the last minute, my midwife was still fighting uneasy feelings that i should get out of the bath. and so, as you were coming into the world, i did. you were born in bed, fighting and grasping for breath. a baby who just wanted to breathe too soon. desperate to do everything fast and first right from the very first day.
sometimes, amidst all the turmoil and strife, i just get it. i get that you and i are not that different at all. and sometimes, in the middle of the night - there's just a fleeting instant where i feel it. we're both toppling about, restless in our sleep. i  pull your head to my face. i swear you still have some of that downy newborn hair and if i just tuck you in just right, i can still get a taste of that intoxicating newborn smell . your arm curls under my neck and your little baby hand twists for a fist of my hair. and we both just breathe a momentary, miniature sigh of relief. it's not a real sigh, but it's something.
and in that moment, we finally feel what we both have been searching for all along in life - just to be loved and cared for, for no other reason than love itself. 


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