High Fives and Hello’s

Milestones. I call every single new thing my baby does a “milestone.” Most recently she says “Hi” and “uh-oh” all the time and loves to give high fives. I am so amazed by the smallest things and obviously I think shes the absolute smartest baby in the world!

Motherhood is so funny at times, especially when I’m having an out of body experience and watching myself react to all of the different ways she’s growing. Its wonderful and hilarious to see the things my husband and I will do just to get a smirk or a little laughter from our tiny human.

Now that she is nearing the 1 year mark I don’t even know what feelings the next milestones will invoke. I mean I know she’ll be walking and talking soon and creating great big huge milestones, but I have a feeling they won’t feel quite as big or important as the first giggle, the first time she rolled to her tummy, or the first time she signed for milk. Though, they will be much bigger and more important because she won’t be attached to me anymore. She just started to realize in the last few months that we are in fact, not physically attached. I don’t know if either of us can take it sometimes!

She’ll start walking and talking and the years will fly by and she’ll go on her very first date! She’ll get her drivers license and I know I’ll worry more then than I do now while she’s completely under my watchful wing. The milestones are what I look forward to, but they are also what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid as the milestones get easier for her and start happening closer together that they’ll just get that much harder for me.

Motherhood is one of the best things that ever happened to me and from the very beginning it’s been the toughest. I’ve never felt the need to protect, to love, to give to any human as much as I feel the need now. What’s funny is I feel the need to love and protect and give more to myself now too. I know my daughter needs a strong, healthy, giving, caring, and smart mother to look up to and I want to be exactly that. Since I’m afraid of all of the milestones she’ll experience while growing up, I must grow with her and create my own.

Working on myself and on my goals and creating a vision for the mother I want to be is becoming more of a priority than ever. Maybe my daughter will clap her hands and say “Go Mommy!” when she notices my achievements, haha!

What have been your favorite milestones while watching your child(ren) grow? Please leave a comment below!

Showing Off on Social

My life looks like pure magic lately! It looks like everything is so fabulous lately, and really when I look at the big picture I hate to say it, because I don’t want to make you jealous, but it really is!!  I mean, I get to do soooo many fun things!!!

With that said, I have had some really bad days recently.

We were in a car crash on Easter and have been down to one car for about two weeks now because of several things going on with the insurance and the multiple vehicles involved. No, it wasn’t even our fault!

I am constantly playing catch up with work and I feel like I will never be completely caught up but am doing the best I can. To top that off, my laptop (which I just payed off after 2 years) just crashed. It has my entire life on it I feel like and doesn’t help work a bit. After compiling document after document to become more organized with work, I have no access.

As soon as I think I have it all kind of together my daughter gets sick. Do you know that a 10 month old sick baby girl needs more attention than a fine dining restaurant ridden with rodents? Well, now you do.

My debit card fell into the river after I bolted out of the car to check on my daughter after the crash. We all know how it feels when we have to change cards. You have to connect the dots and figure out everyone who deducts a payment for a bill. Sometimes it’s seriously a mystery and then you get a phone call or an email and ding ding ding, lights on!

Wait, so why do I think my life is so fabulous? Because it is!!! It took me a lot of time, grief, and growing up to realize it. My life is completely unreal and perfectly imperfect. Sometimes something hits me in the face and I impulsively want to scream out, but I make sure to become aware of my emotion and raise my gratitude towards God for my beautiful life. I have the most amazing husband who loves me to no end. I have a beautiful step-daughter who is probably one of the most grown up teenagers I’ve ever met and much much smarter than me. I have a baby girl that is incredible and lights up my life every day. Plus, the amazing family and friends that are near and far away bring so much positivity to my life. That, is what life is all about. The small things are pretty stupid in the grand scheme. It’s time to dumb the dumb things down.

Every time I look out at a crowd I think, “Wow.” Every one of us thinks we’re so important and we each have things and emotions and needs that we think are so important as well. Sometimes, you just have to step back and look at the big picture.

I notice that when I do, I’m nurtured with blessings that I didn’t even know were going to exist. Some of those blessings I share on social and some of them I keep for myself. Xo Julie Ann

NO DAY BUT TODAY

Yes, the title of this post is taken from a song in one of my favorite musicals RENT! RENT deals with a group of people, who despite their circumstances, rise above so much and realize that every moment counts. It’s about love and loss, moving on and finding out that in order to improve your circumstances you have to adapt to change and fight for what’s right, for those you love, and for yourself.

So much of our fight is inner dialogue that other can’t see on the outside. Lately I’ve been so overwhelmed because I have so much to do. Instead of picking a task and conquering it, I wallow in my own thoughts and get upset because I don’t know what the first step is in tackling a job or making one thing a priority over any other. I mean, I still have my Christmas Tree up and it’s February. I go from “well, ugh-maybe I should just leave it up for the rest of the year,” and all of these other passive aggressive inner thoughts when in reality I just need to stop what I am doing and start removing ornaments!

Last year a friend recommended a time scheduling app called Be Focused. I downloaded it onto my computer and it was a game changer. I used it religiously for a while and then started to get the hang of the timing on my own (or so I thought) so eventually stopped. Well, one tiny little break led to multiple unscheduled breaks and I completely lost my FOCUS! I’ve decided that I better get back on track and start using the app again because I know that it helps me to concentrate on one task at a time. Check it out if you are constantly checking social media at work (unless that is your work), taking a break to play candy crush, or just zoning out!

I find that routine truly helps my stress level and my productivity. I normally navigate through my week trying to multitask. Getting everything done that I need to get done seems nearly impossible. Since I work from home and mostly from my car, I have to adapt to change pretty much daily. I work by appointment so normally I know when I’ll have a break, but I have to be very conscious of what I do during that break so I don’t waste valuable time. I understand, now more than ever, that time is so important because the seconds go by so fast. I was always taught to anticipate other’s needs. Well sister, I have to start anticipating my own needs in order to keep a positive outlook and not become overwhelmed.

This weekend, my plan is to enjoy the time I have with my family, but I am also going to remove some of the chaos from my life by trying to map out a routine for my week to come.

Today, I am taking down the damn Christmas tree!

Being overwhelmed and stressed isn’t good for me, but it isn’t good for anyone around me either. A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating healthy foods and being active, it’s mostly about being happy (which those things definitely help in the happy department). I have to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, everything we worry about is so very minute. So if you feel like your life is a shitshow, OWN it or take the steps to IMPROVE it. I think I’ll do both!

17 weeks old – Flashback

I wrote this a long time ago thinking that I’d have so much time to start blogging again. It’s nice to see where we were in comparison to where we are!

[Fade to Flashback]

I’m on a plane right now and am going to try to make the most of my time. It’s not very often that I get an hour or two of complete quiet. There’s no baby to answer to, no work email or calls to respond to (because I’m not paying for WiFi), no appointments to drive to, and no clothes to try to remember to throw into the dryer.

If you don’t follow me on Instagram then you probably don’t know that I had a baby 17 weeks ago. That’s a little over four months for you people that don’t already have children or don’t do math. Seventeen weeks ago my whole world changed. Everyone always said that you don’t completely understand what love is until you have a baby. Truth is, I always understood it, I just wasn’t ready for it. I still don’t know if I’m ready for it. I look at my baby girl and wonder how in the world I am lucky enough to be her mother for the rest of…forever. Some people say that the love you have for your child is greater than any other kind of love. I disagree, it’s just a different kind of love which I’ve wanted to experience since I was a little girl. Having a baby gives you a little glimpse into the way that God feels about each and every one of us.

It’s a love I know I’m ready for because it’s a love that’s changed me for good. I never knew how strong I was until I had a baby. I have a whole new respect for motherhood and my own mother.

And yes, sometimes I don’t know if I’m ready it. I never knew how weak I was until I had a baby. Hearing her cry makes me cry. When she hurts, I hurt. However even through that weakness there is strength because I have to be strong for her.

Four months in and I’ve learned that:

◦ Sleep is a necessity, but only in 10-60 minute increments.

◦ Giving birth is exactly like it is in the movies, but with more tears, convulsing, and shaking.

◦ I will always need my mother.

◦ My husband has seen me at my worst and still adores me. 👏👏👏😍

◦ Part of me is living outside of me. She is an extension of me that I need to nourish just like I nourish my own body and self.

◦ The laundry will never be done and the house will never be clean.

◦ I have the best family and in-laws EVER.

◦ No diaper is too scary.

◦ Breast milk is a precious thing (I learned this the very first time I spilled it after pumping).

◦ No noise is too small to wake me when I’m finally asleep.

◦ I am needed and loved and have a purpose.

This journey has already been wonderful and as they say, the moments go by so fast. I am enjoying every one of them. This past week my daughter has been up at all hours, and every time I pick her up to console her I truly thank God that she is breathing and that I am here for her no matter how tired I am. Some babies aren’t as lucky which is hard for me to even grasp. I’ve never been so grateful.

Cosette Isabela Maszy was born on June 8th of 2018. She weighed in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces! She was two weeks early (full term) but just on the tiny side. She has since tripled her weight and is thriving and beautiful.

As you can probably already tell, FitFabDelish will have a new category because my world now revolves around it. More to come in MomSoHard- reviews, things I’m learning along the way, and maybe some love notes that she can look back on. Haha, we’ll see where it takes me!

You can follow Cosette (or Coco as we like to call her) on Instagram @cosetteisabela .

She’s already a bit of an influencer!

Stay tuned as I definitely always have material now!

Xo FitFabDelish

Push it, push it real good.

I didn’t have the best pregnancy. It’s so interesting how pregnancies differ from woman to woman. My first trimester was filled with 24/7 morning sickness, I craved sweets, and often couldn’t find anything to eat that sounded good and seemed nutritious enough to feed my growing baby. From the very beginning my baby seemed to measure a little small from check up to check up. However, she remained healthy and there wasn’t anything that seemed out of the ordinary. Although, my pregnancy was considered “high-risk” because of my age (37), there wasn’t anything special I had to pay attention to. 

My second trimester was much better compared to the first, even though I had bouts of different symptoms. I started eating a little better, working out when I could and then before I knew it, those feel good sporadic moments ended and I entered my third trimester. 

During the third trimester you start going into check ups weekly with your doctor just to make sure the baby is healthy and growing as she should be. It was at one of these appointments that the doctor raised her eyebrows and noticed that the measurements were smaller than they should be, especially this late in the game. We scheduled a follow up appointment for a sonogram the next week so they could get a more accurate picture. Following that next appointment it was determined that the baby was much smaller than she should be at this stage so I was sent to the high risk doctor. At first they though it was just her belly that seemed small, but the high risk doctor found that she was small in every aspect.

After my visit to the high risk doctor, we decided that it would be better to be induced a couple of weeks early. My pregnancy was considered an IUGR pregnancy (Intrauterine Growth Restriction)…. Basically my placenta wasn’t feeding her enough nutrients in order for her to grow at the rate she needed to. I was originally due on June 20th and we scheduled an induction for June 8th. From what I understand, IUGR can cause major complications, but since it occurred later in my pregnancy there wasn’t as much risk as long as we induced a little early. At 38 weeks, I was still full term. 

On June 7th I went into my schedule appointment and I hadn’t dilated at all at this point. Swollen from head to toe and as uncomfortable as a penguin in the desert, I was more than ready to have this baby. My husband and I checked into the maternity ward around 3:00 p.m. and got settled in for what would be a very long night. As soon as I was given the cervidil to help with dilation I started having more contractions. I always had the worst cramping growing up during my cycle, and this felt like the the worst of those cramps time and time again. Around midnight they gave me some medication to dull the pain so I could try to get some sleep. Getting sleep is hard when someone comes in every 30 minutes to an hour to check on you or get some piece of paperwork signed. 

After what seemed like such a long night I was excited that morning had come because I was anxious and ready. Being so uncomfortable, I was just ready for the next step. My doctor came in around 8 and gave me the lowdown. The nurse had previously checked my cervix and informed us that it didn’t seem like I had dilated at all. The doctor confirmed that I was half a centimeter to 1 centimeter, if that. She said that she’d try to see if there was a chance she could break my water but made sure that I knew it was a slight chance, given where my body was at in the process. She and the nurse both told us that it was highly likely that I would have to have a c-section the next day if the circumstances didn’t improve. 

Low and behold, it hurt like crazy (LIKE CRAZY), but she broke my water! I had told the nurse earlier that morning that I thought my water might have broken when I was in the shower. I guess I had no idea what that flood would feel like!! It was like a warm rush of liquid that seemed never ending at the time. 

The Doctor told me that she’d be back to check on me after her rounds. Her last appointment in her office next to the hospital was at 2:00 p.m. She said I probably wouldn’t go into labor until the evening and possibly the next day. Little did she know, baby girl wanted to arrive a bit more quickly. 

An hour later I had already gotten my epidural and was dilated to 4 centimeters. The nurse had asked when I wanted my epidural and I told her that I wanted it is soon as I could get it. As soon as my water had broken I was already having very painful contractions (and I thought the night before was bad, who knew?). My husband helped me through that process and once the epidural was in place I felt much better.

The next time she checked in on me nothing had changed. My mom got there and we gave her the updates and told her we’d be playing the waiting game for quite a while. The nurse turned me onto my right side to see if that would help move things around a bit.

The next thing I know, I’m talking to my mom and husband and I have a very painful contraction. Gripping the sides of the bed and crying, I just know that I’ve opened up a little. The nurse comes in and I tell her so, so she checks to see how much I’ve dilated at this point. Her head is coming out!!

Deep breaths.

The nurse calls the doctor on her radio to let her know this is happening and happening now and the doctor says she just had to finish up one quick appointment. Then the nurse reiterated that this was something that couldn’t wait. She really meant that the baby was coming NOW.

My nurse seriously took charge and started running the show. If the doctor wasn’t going to be on time, then we were going to have the baby without her. I never trusted anyone more than my nurse and am so grateful that she was the one in the room with us. All of a sudden there was a team of people in the room.

My mom and husband were both on my right side holding my hand and I was uncontrollably shaking and crying. My bodies reaction to the pain and circumstances was more than I could have imagined. 

The nurse instructed me on breathing and pushing in intervals and the baby slowly started making its way. My doctor flew in just in time to take over and my baby was delivered in the next several minutes. She told my mom and husband not to worry, and that my reaction was just hormones. 

The umbilical cord was wrapped around the her foot so had to be cut loose and she was immediately taken by the nurses. While I was getting stitched up they were working on the baby. I didn’t know what was going on, but my husband kept staring in her direction watching it all. I looked up at him and it didn’t seem like all was ok. I’ll never forget seeing the image of her when she was delivered. So dark and tiny and still. She was born at 11:05am.

With so much going on it was hard to focus and understand anything, but I remember being a little worried. More so because the look on his face, trying not to worry but knowing that he was. My mom there, telling me everything was fine and that I did such a good job. After what seemed like forever, we heard the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard in my life and I started crying. It turns out that she wasn’t breathing and they had to unclog her little throat. 

We weren’t able to hold her and I wasn’t able to see her closely for about an hour. She measured in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces so could not keep her body temperature up. When she was finally warm enough, they wrapped her up and put two stocking hats on to keep her head warm and finally handed her to me. 

What a feeling. 

Shortly after, my Dad, Sister, Mother and Father In-law arrived.

Cosette Isabela had her eyes wide open, taking everything in and all of a sudden was our little girl who stole our whole hearts in such a short amount of time.

I hope this is an experience I’ll never forget. It was the hardest experience I’ve ever had, and also the best. 

It showed me how strong I am and it was also something that brought me and my husband even closer. I was so lucky that my mom was there too. I feel like I couldn’t have done it without them.