Promoted to Big Sis!

I can official announce that we will be adding another Matthews to the family in May 2016!

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We are all so excited to be a family of four. Kinsie loves the idea of being a big sister, and is already practicing any chance she gets. I know that realistically, it will take Kinsie some adjusting once the baby gets here, but overall I know she will be a wonderful, protective, big sis!

The day I found out I was pregnant is actually a fun little story…

Without getting into the details, I knew that I should be able to take a pregnancy test during Labor Day weekend. I decided to try it out before work on Friday. I knew it could still be too early, but I couldn’t wait any longer. At first, I saw just one line. Bummer. I wasn’t devastated by any means, but I was still a little disappointed. I continued to get myself ready for work, and then looked at the test again about 10 minutes later, just to be sure I didn’t see anything. Well…I did see something now, at least I thought I did. The faintest pink line had me blinking again and again and moving to different areas of light to make sure I was actually seeing a faint line and it wasn’t just my imagination. It was so faint that I still wasn’t too sure, so I didn’t want to get too excited just yet. Ryan was in Muncie during this time, so on my way to work, I called him and said, “Well, I think I may be pregnant??” All day at work I could hardly focus. I planned on taking another test the next morning but how was I supposed to wait that long? When I got home from work, Ryan was home from Muncie because we were getting ready to go to Nashville for the weekend, and he convinced me to go ahead and take another test that night. I did, and again, another faint line, but darker than it was that morning. Now I was starting to feel a little more comfortable with the idea that it actually was positive and I actually was pregnant. We drove to Nashville that night, and luckily only saw my family for a few minutes before going to bed because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret very long. My family can read me like a book and I worried that they would guess just by looking at me! The next morning, we went and bought Kinsie a “Big Sister” shirt and had her wear it, which is how we told my family (and Ryan’s family a few days later). I took one more test a couple days later just to make absolutely sure since the lines were so faint before and I didn’t feel pregnant whatsoever, and the pink line was nice and bold!

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Can you see the faint pink line?

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All three of my tests…darker each time!

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I am now in my second trimester, so I’ll give a quick update on how this pregnancy has been so far.

Month 1:

  • I started out with no symptoms. None. This made me question if I really was pregnant for a while. I couldn’t complain, but I didn’t feel pregnant at all. After a week or so, the fatigue set in, and it hit me HARD. I remember feeling fatigued when I was pregnant with Kinsie, but this time it was 10 times worse. I am guessing it had something to do with chasing a toddler around instead of resting whenever I was home!

Month 2:

  • Fatigue was still kicking my butt. I took a nap every Saturday and Sunday when Kinsie did, as well as every day on fall break. It was so bad that I couldn’t concentrate at work, and I was practically worthless when I got home each day. Luckily, Kinsie has been pretty good about playing independently lately, so she could play while I at least sat down and rested on the couch.
  • I started craving salty things. Chips, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and especially pickles and lemons. Very similar to my pregnancy with Kinsie.
  • I could see a baby bump at 6 weeks!! It could have started as just bloating, but this bump was definitely coming sooner than I expected.
  • I am cold…all. the. time. Uncomfortably cold to where I am constantly in long pants and sweatshirts and wrapped up in blankets even in bed. This hasn’t gone away yet. I’m sure I will miss it when I’m a whale and sweating all the time!

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5 weeks

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Kinsie looking for her baby!

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8 weeks

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Month 3:

  • I am starting to show so much at this point that it is hard to hide. I had to be very selective on what I wore in public. Especially at work where everyone knew me. I wasn’t ready for a 5th grader to ask me why my stomach was getting bigger!
  • I had my first ultrasound over fall break (mid October – 9 weeks). Our little peanut was squirming the entire time! I have a feeling that this one will be just as crazy, if not crazier than Kinsie!

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  • My birthday was November 16, which happened to be the first day of my second trimester. As soon as week 14 hit, I noticed the fatigue starting to subside. I could actually get through the school day without having to smack myself! This also happened to be the day that I felt tiny baby kicks for the first time! I guess that was the baby’s birthday gift to me! I told my staff that I was pregnant the previous Friday, and my students on that Monday. It sure was fun telling my elementary coworkers and students some exciting news!

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I hung this on the bulletin board in the teacher’s lounge and had everyone guess who was pregnant. The picture of Kinsie (and my initials in the thumb tacks) were added after I revealed it was me.

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I told my class through a game of hangman.

  • I no longer have to hide my bump anymore, and thank goodness because I was having to get creative. I am almost 15 weeks, and I look like I did last time at almost 20 weeks. Yikes!

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A lot of people have asked me if I have a hunch on if it is a boy or a girl, and the answer is no. I really don’t have a feeling either way with this one. I thought Kinsie was a boy, so obviously my hunch last time was off. This pregnancy has been very similar so far, but my sister said her two pregnancies were the same too and she had one of each! We will find out if Kinsie will have a brother or a sister after Christmas.

Stay tuned on more pregnancy updates until May!

Four Months of Sunshine

Our sweet girl is 4 months old today! We have had her for 1/3 of a year…unbelievable! I honestly don’t remember what life was like before this angel came into our lives. She has brought us so much joy in these past 4 months, and I can’t wait to continue our adventure with her. She is such a beautiful, happy little girl with a smile that lights up the room. She loves interacting with people and seeing everything that she possibly can. Especially now that I am back at work, I cherish every second I have with her. Once you have a child, you appreciate the smaller things in life, like sitting at home on a Friday night with your husband, your baby and your two dogs watching Duck Dynasty and drinking root beer floats. That is our life now, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today is also a special day because it is the one year anniversary of when I found out I was pregnant with our sweet baby. This will always be one of the most exciting and joyous moments of my life. I loved every second of being pregnant with her, but I love it even more now that she is here with us, bringing us a kind of happiness that just can’t be described!

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One year ago today

Here is what our girl is up to these days at 4 months old…

  • She is sleeping 9-10 hours at night
  • She smiles with her tongue out
  • She loves the song “Eidelweiss,” from the Sound of Music
  • She likes to kick and splash in the bathtub
  • She notices and smiles at the dogs
  • She will giggle and squeal when tickled
  • She still has blue eyes
  • She can roll both left and right from her tummy to her back
  • She is VERY talkative
  • She has extremely strong legs
  • She is showing all the signs of teething but hasn’t popped any from her gums yet
  • She is really into grabbing her feet
  • She smiles with her eyes

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I have a NIECE!

My sister and I are three years apart, but we have always been close since the day I was born. The first time she met me, she was with our cousin, who claimed that I looked like Rudolph since my nose was red from just being born. Krista immediately came to my defense by saying, “She not Wuldolph, YOU Wudolph!” She has been my best friend and my #1 supporter from day one. My sister and I have experienced so much together…including our pregnancies! We had the wonderful opportunity of being pregnant at the same time, me just 2 months ahead of Krista. Pregnancy is such a special experience in and of itself, but sharing it with your sister makes it that much better!

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As I mentioned in my previous post, all I really wanted for my birthday was a new niece or nephew. My sister was due on November 19 and my birthday was November 16, so it was very possible for that to happen. However, my birthday came and went, and no baby. I felt so bad for my sister because I know the feeling of anxiety waiting for labor to strike at any moment. Each night we went to bed hopeful that we’d get a call in the middle of the night, and finally, at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, November 17, my mom called. I was already awake because Kinsie was getting hungry. While we waited to hear if Krista really was in labor, I fed Kinsie and got us ready to go to the hospital, then I woke up Ryan and said “It’s time!” He was sleepy, but excited. My mom called again saying this was the real thing, but we can wait and sleep a little longer while Krista progressed. However, Krista asked me to take pictures of her labor and birth, and our family tends to go through labor pretty quickly, so we went ahead to the hospital around 5 a.m. When we got there, Ryan took a nap because he needed to study, and I hung out in the room and took pictures while Krista labored. It was unbelievable how quickly it all happened, and thank goodness because she went natural this time around. I couldn’t believe how well she handled herself during contractions, especially now that I know that kind of pain. It was very difficult watching my sister in so much pain during the delivery, but I knew that it would soon be worth it. At 9:05 a.m., the baby was born…a beautiful baby GIRL! I was overwhelmed with joy at that moment. My sister has a daughter. Our daughters would be cousins. And they would only be 2 months apart. What an amazing blessing! It was amazing to think that the whole time Krista was pregnant, she was pregnant with a girl. We both were. I can’t wait to see these two girls grow up together to be best friends. And we can’t forget about Briggy too!

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Kerigan Kay Robinson

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Briggs and his sister

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Kinsie and Kerigan love each other already!

Before and After

Like most women, I am a major advocate of Pinterest. I feel pretty lucky that it started up right in time for all the major events in my life. For example, I used it to plan my wedding, my classroom, my house, the baby’s room and much more. I mean, what did we all do before Pinterest started?? I know Ryan appreciates it too since I’ve gotten many recipes from the website and if you know him, the way to his heart is his stomach!

Anyway, on Pinterest I found so many great photography ideas to do during and after a pregnancy that I had to make sure that I did myself. I was SO happy that I did these photos and I highly recommend doing these before and after pictures if you are pregnant. Enjoy!

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Introducing Kinsie Kay Matthews!

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I want to apologize ahead of time for the lengthy post…but its hard to condense the best and most important day of my life, the day my child was born!

Our beautiful daughter, Kinsie Kay Matthews, was born on September 21, 2013 at 3:34pm. She was 6 pounds, 10 ounces, 21 inches long. Kinsie’s birth was a long awaited moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. Here is the story…

Near the end of my pregnancy, of course I was extremely uncomfortable, especially while teaching all day, but I was also very anxious to meet my baby girl. It got to the point where it was literally all I could think about. I couldn’t focus at work, and I had to keep myself busy at home so I wouldn’t drive myself crazy. Every woman in my family had delivered early, so I was trying not to count on that, but I was really hoping that it would happen to me too. For several weeks, I was having clear symptoms of approaching labor, such as loose joints and hips, ligament pain, and constant Braxton Hicks contractions. Of course I was ready any day for my little girl to enter the world, but I was also praying that she would decide to come on a weekend, when Ryan would be home from Muncie. As a medical student, he doesn’t exactly have the most flexible schedule, but he came home every weekend, and I really wanted him to be there with me and experience every second with me. I had no control over when she would come though, so I just had to pray for patience and trust God’s timing. Every day I would wake up in the morning hoping that today would be the day. My sister described it perfectly…I felt like a child on Christmas Eve, excited and anxious for Christmas morning, except you didn’t know exactly when it would come.

On Friday, September 13, I started having regular contractions after school, and they were consistently 10 minutes apart. As the night went on, they became closer together, and eventually they were 5 minutes apart for 1 minute each for over 1 hour…which was the clear “5-1-1” rule that they tell you to follow on when to go to the hospital. I thought this was it, only my contractions were not painful, just uncomfortable. I knew that when it was time for the real thing, contractions were supposed to increase in frequency and intensity. However, every woman’s labor is different, so we thought it still could be the time, and we didn’t want to risk it. We decided to make the 40-minute trip to the hospital to get checked out. When we got there, we quickly found out that I was no more dilated than I was earlier that week. My contractions were indeed consistent and regular, but were not strong enough to be productive. The doctor sent us home, very disappointed. Throughout the next week, I tried really hard to not be down in the dumps and just focus on other things. I had to remember that even though she wasn’t here yet, her arrival was coming soon and I just needed to soak up my last few days or weeks before I became a mother.

Friday, September 20 was my last day of work. My teaching partner, Kristin Sesslar, and my students threw me a diaper party at school, and really helped me enjoy my last day before I went on maternity leave. That night, Ryan studied and I put away all of the diapers we received at my party. When I finally sat down to relax, I had a very intense contraction. I didn’t think much of it, since I had contractions all day every day at this point. Ryan finished his studying, and we decided to watch the movie “Bridesmaids,” since it was on TV and Ryan had never seen it. As we watched, I continued to have somewhat painful contractions. They mainly hurt in my lower back and hips. After about 4 or 5 contractions, I decided to time them using an app I had on my phone. We kept track of the contractions throughout the movie, and they seemed to be about 8-10 minutes apart, and were getting closer. They were also getting MUCH more intense. The pain started in my hips and completely wrapped around my body. It got to the point where I had to squeeze Ryan’s hand and use the breathing techniques just to get through them. Ryan was starting to get excited, but I told him not to get his hopes up, because it could still be false labor again. I didn’t know what to do because I did not want to make the trip to the hospital, only to be told again that this wasn’t the real thing. I continued to labor at home while Ryan timed the contractions. He could tell how intense they were just by the look on my face and how hard I was squeezing his hand. Around 2a.m., I decided to call my sister, Krista and see what she thought I should do. She said that by the way I described it, it was labor pain, and to see if I could talk through a contraction. If I couldn’t talk through one, then it was probably real labor. When I tried to talk during the next contraction, it was extremely difficult, so we decided to go to the hospital. I continued to have extremely painful contractions all the way to the hospital, while Ryan held my hand and drove 80 mph. He figured he has a pretty good excuse if he gets pulled over. He was proud of his personal best time – 30 minutes to get to IU North Hospital. When we got into the triage room, we had the same nurse that we had when we came the week before. She said I definitely looked like I was in more pain than last time. When she checked my cervix, I was only 2 centimeters. I was happy that I was more dilated than last time, but disappointed and surprised that I wasn’t dilated more with the contractions I was having. Although the nurse said it sure seemed like I was in labor, we still weren’t sure that we were there to stay. We waited in the triage room for a couple more hours while I contracted away. The pain was becoming so unbelievably intense, that I would have been extremely surprised if this wasn’t the real thing. Ryan tried to talk to me and show me videos on his phone to help keep my mind off of the pain while we waited. The nurse checked me again a couple hours later, and I was dilated to 3 centimeters…still not much progress but better than nothing. The doctor wanted me to go home since I was not very far along, but the nurse convinced her to let me stay since I was clearly in labor, and we lived 40 minutes away and would just have to drive all the way back a few hours later. I am still so grateful for that nurse!

Around 5a.m., we went to our labor and delivery room, which is where we made our phone calls to our families that we were there to stay. My sister and my mom were on their way right away, while my dad, my brother-in-law Ryan, and my nephew Briggs had to finish moving the last few things out of their house (they were in the process of moving and had to be out of the house by that day – thank goodness the baby decided to come once they were almost finished!) and then they would be on their way too. Ryan called his mom, told her we were at the hospital, with which she responded, “Oh my gosh, did she have the baby?” He also called his sister Megan and left her a voicemail saying, “Meg. Answer your phone. You have a niece on the way. Bye.” Clearly everyone was a little groggy since it was so early in the morning! Ryan continued to coach me through my contractions while the nurse started my IV and helped get me comfortable. Finally, I asked her, “Can I get my epidural yet?” She laughed and said that she’d page the anesthesiologist. He came in around 6 a.m., asked me a bunch of questions, then asked Ryan to step out while he did the procedure. Right away, I started crying and asked, “Does he have to?” The doctor said yes, and that they have a protocol at the hospital, even though I know for a fact that it is up to each doctor, because my brother-in-law got to be in the room when my sister had hers. I know I was sleep deprived and over-emotional, but I was not happy about the fact that Ryan had to leave me for a few minutes. He had been so amazing helping me get through this, that I didn’t want him to leave my sight. While the anesthesiologist did the procedure, he asked me what Ryan did for a living, and when I said he was a med student, he seemed to feel bad that he didn’t let him stay in the room, knowing he obviously could have handled it without freaking out like some dads. The procedure itself really did not hurt at all considering it was nothing compared to the contractions I’d been having for hours. From then on, each contraction hurt less and less, until I could not feel them at all. It was a dream! I cannot even imagine having to go through the entire labor process with that pain, and I praise the women who go all natural! When we were finished, Ryan came back in the room with my mom and sister, and I was so happy to see them, I cried again. (I was very emotional throughout this entire experience!) It was pretty obvious that Ryan and I needed to get some sleep since we never went to bed the night before, and now that I had my epidural, I was actually able to rest. I slept on and off for a few hours while I waited to be checked by the doctor. Dr. Fried was the doctor on call that night, which I was fine with because she was extremely pleasant every time I met with her throughout my pregnancy. She told me that my cervix was dilating, but not as quickly as she wanted, so she wanted to give me Pitocin. I was fine with this, as long as I wasn’t able to feel the contractions!

By around 11 a.m., my family and Ryan’s were all at the hospital. We just had to wait. And wait. And wait. The day seemed to drag on. We watched several movies and took several naps. I had to be tortured as everyone else in the room ate their lunch and I had to stick with ice chips. When I reached about 6 centimeters, the doctor was supposed to come in and break my water, but it took her a few hours because she was delivering a baby in the room next door. By that point I was getting so impatient, I started to cry again. I was sick of waiting and I just wanted to see my baby. Ryan kept having to reassure me that it would be soon and all the waiting would be worth it once we met our baby girl. It also felt like my epidural was wearing off because I started feeling a lot of pressure in my hips with each contraction. The nurse said that was normal, and it showed that the baby was very low and almost ready to arrive. As 3:00 p.m. rolled around, the nurse checked me again, and said I was 8.5 centimeters, and I wasn’t able to dilated anymore until they broke my water. They said it was bulging and as soon as they broke it, I should dilate to 10 immediately, which I did! Dr. Fried broke my water, then had to run and do something and said she’d be right back to deliver my baby! I was beyond excited, but I was also nervous that I wouldn’t be able to push very well since I couldn’t feel much from the waste down. The nurse said the baby was ready any moment, and her head was at +3 station. While we waited for Dr. Fried, she wanted me to do a few practice pushes to make sure I knew how to do them correctly, so after I did one, she made me stop because I could have the baby at any push, and she wanted the doctor to deliver the baby, not her!

As soon as Dr. Fried got back, we all got ready for the big moment. Ryan was to my left holding my hand and rubbing my shoulders. My mom and Krista were each behind me taking pictures and video. My mom and I got to be in the delivery room when Krista had Briggs, and the pictures and video were incredible and I wanted the same thing. Seeing Briggs born was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I wanted my sister to get to experience it as well. Dr. Fried and the nurse were at my feet ready to guide the baby out. As I pushed with each contraction, it felt like nothing was happening because I couldn’t feel it, but Dr. Fried kept saying that the baby was right there and it would take only a few more pushes. At one point, in between contractions, she had me feel my baby’s head as she was crowning! I could feel the round shape of her head and lots of hair! I never would have thought to do that, but it was incredible. I knew that I was just moments away from meeting my daughter. I think I only pushed twice more before it happened…my baby girl was born and was placed right on top of my chest. Words cannot even describe the emotions I felt during this moment. She was here. After 9 long months, this moment was here, and I was staring at my beautiful daughter face-to-face. It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen in my life, she was absolutely perfect! I just sat there and cried while I stared at her, and Ryan was completely speechless, which is the first time I had ever witnessed that happening. Dr. Fried asked me what her name was, and with tears streaming down my face, I told her, “Kinsie Kay Matthews.”

After a few minutes, they took Kinsie to weigh and measure her. Ryan went with her to watch and he just stood there and cried, also not a common thing for him! My baby girl was 6 pounds and 10 ounces, and 21 inches long. Such a tiny little thing! They wrapped her up and gave her to Ryan, and he brought her over to me. We both just stared at her and admired our beautiful daughter. It was such an amazing moment, the first time we were together as a family of three. I had never felt that kind of love until that moment. I was overwhelmed with joy and love, and couldn’t remember what life was like before this beautiful angel entered our lives.

After the nurse cleaned me up, the rest of our families came in to see our new addition. Everyone took turns holding and admiring our sweet baby, and everyone was immediately in love with her. Even Briggs was excited to meet his new cousin. We spent the next few hours just taking in the moment and gazing at the gorgeous baby girl that we created. Although it was a long and exhausting day, it was by far the best day of my life. I thank the Lord every day not only because he blessed us with this beautiful little miracle, but that my husband and our families got to be with me through all of it. This was proof that God’s timing really is perfect and that we should always have faith that He will provide!

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My last day of work…I went into labor that night. I was a whale!

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Getting some rest while we waited.

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The moment I met my daughter…you can’t fake that kind of emotion!

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Ryan admiring his baby girl.

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Our new family of three.

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Unexplainable love.

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Grandpa and Grandma Vargas

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Grandpa and Grandma Matthews

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Briggs meeting his baby cousin.

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Uncle Nate and Aunt Megan

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Our sweet baby girl

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Getting ready to go home

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Welcome to our lives!

Welcome to the Matthews family blog! I have always wanted to write a blog, but I thought, “who would care to read about my life?” Well, now that I have a beautiful baby girl and a husband in medical school, not only did I think more people would be interested in reading about our lives, but I wanted a place where I could document our journey and be able to look back on it in the future. When I was in college, I started writing a journal, which I still write in today. Looking back at the older entries now, it is incredible to see how much I grew as a Christian woman over just a few years. I went through a lot in college, both good and bad, and to be able to go back and read my raw emotions at the time, and to see how I overcame it and how I grew, is such an amazing experience. So that’s why I finally decided to write this blog. Even if nobody reads it, I will use it as my own journal that I can look back on and show my daughter when she is older and show her how we grew together as a family.

For those of you who don’t know our situation, I am a 5th grade teacher, and my husband, Ryan, is in his first year of medical school at IU Muncie. I cannot even begin to explain how proud of him I am for everything he’s accomplished so far. We started dating when we were 14 years old, and even then, he has always dreamed of being a doctor. In college, he worked his butt off taking 19 credit hours, working full time at Wishard hospital, coaching soccer, being involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, and much more. We didn’t get to see much of each other and when we did, he was most likely sleeping. From the beginning, I knew that being Ryan’s partner in life would not exactly be easy because of everything he had to do to pursue his dream career, but I knew that he was worth all of it. Once we found out he got into IU Medical School, we were thrilled, because we didn’t have to uproot and move out of state. However, I was not so thrilled when we found out he got placed at the Muncie campus, which is 1.5 hours away from our home in Avon. While this wouldn’t be such a difficult situation in normal circumstances, I was pregnant with our first child due in September. We both knew it wouldn’t be possible for him to drive back and forth every day with all the studying that would be required of him, so we decided to get him a one bedroom apartment in Muncie, and he would come home on weekends. With this arrangement, I would be able to keep my teaching job at Mill Creek (besides, who would hire an 8-month pregnant woman who would need an immediate maternity leave?), and still be close to both of our families for them to help when the baby came. This was definitely not an easy transition for me, but I did feel very blessed that he was placed in Muncie instead of Fort Wayne, Gary, or Evansville. It turned out that this was the best possible situation for him because he has a smaller class in Muncie which he has become very close to. They have been extremely supportive and helpful through our situation, which I am very grateful for! When Ryan is home with us, we cherish every second together. He is such a hands-on dad and does everything he possibly can for me and our daughter. I cannot imagine going through life with anyone else!

I constantly have to remind myself that we are incredibly blessed with so many wonderful things happening in our lives, because we really are. Even though I wanted our situation to turn out differently, I trust God completely that this is the way it happened for a reason. He has never led me wrong before, and I know that He is on my side no matter what. As long as we keep God as the support system in our lives, we have faith that He will help us get through it!

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Ryan and I at his White Coat Ceremony for IU School of Medicine (I was 8 months pregnant)