Jack Leland Merrill: A Birth Story

I honestly can’t believe I’m writing this right now. It all still seems like a surreal experience and I am some things still seem fuzzy, because it seems like everything happened so fast. As I have shared before, I had an induction set for Thursday (March 2nd). It was set for when I would be about 39.5 weeks pregnant. I wanted to be induced because of the severity of my pain. See, my pubic bone was separating, something known as Symphysis Pubis Disorder. It was awful. It got to the point where I couldn’t walk more than a few feet without pain. So, I planned an induction close to my due date so I didn’t have to prolong the pain more than I needed to. On Tuesday, we picked my mom up from the airport, and that night we went to Red Robin for dinner. We planned on doing a lot the next day to prepare for Thursday. Well, all day Tuesday I had this terrible sciatic pain in my right leg, it seemed really random. Looking back, there were probably little signs that I was close to labor that I totally dismissed. But that night, going to bed, I just felt different. I can’t describe the feeling, but it’s like my body knew what was going to happen before anything did happen.

I woke up at about 5:30am. I’m not sure what woke me up, but I immediately got up because I thought my body was just telling me to go to the bathroom. When I stood up, I was… leaking. At first, I thought I was peeing my pants. But it felt weird. Then I knew I wasn’t peeing my pants because it just kept flowing and I had absolutely no control over it. Uhhh, this was it… right?! So, there I am, cleaning myself off in the bathroom, and I calmly wake Grant up and tell him, “Umm, I think my water just broke.” He said, “Are you serious?” and got up immediately. So, while I was cleaning myself up, Grant went and told my mom and we started getting ready. It’s a good thing my bag was almost fully packed and I had a list of what still needs to be packed because Grant was so panicked. I was pretty calm as I got ready, but Grant was not. It was so cute. He was totally Jim when Pam was in labor. And though he’s going to hate that I’m writing about it, he was totally crying. It was early, he was in shock, and totally overwhelmed. I was seriously so surprised, but I was so calm. I gave him a hug and told him it was going to be OK and to try and stay calm. I had to help him pack (which he should have done days ago but of course, he didn’t listen) and keep a steady head. So then when my mom and Grant and I were ready, we headed off to the hospital.

Since it was so early, we went to the emergency room first and they wheeled me up to labor and delivery. We got settled in a room and checked in. They checked to make sure my water really was ruptured (it was) and then set me up to the fetal heart-rate and contraction monitors. So next we just kind of waited. I was dilated to about a 4, so after an hour or so, I was going to get my epidural. I hated getting my epidural. I don’t like needles, and though I couldn’t see it, I knew it was being put into my back and I hated it. It’s also painful. The sting and then the pressure were awful. But then I had some pain relief as my legs got all heavy and tingly. But I didn’t feel so good after I got the epidural. I started feeling really faint. Everything was going dark and I told them so and they saw that my blood pressure had plummeted. So they quickly gave me this medicine through my IV to increase my blood pressure. Everything became clear again. Once I was feeling better, the doctors and nurses left and we continued to wait. We watched Brave and then listened to some music. But I was definitely still in a lot of pain. For some reason, I could feel each contraction on the right side of my body and it was agony. Even after pushing the button for more medicine to come through, nothing seemed to change. This didn’t seem right—this is not how I was told epidurals would feel. So they called in the anesthesiologist and they decided to just completely start over and give me a new one. The doc said I should be comfortable and I was definitely not, so the distribution of the anesthesia wasn’t working correctly. So I had a new one put in, and it worked! I felt so much more relief. I could feel nothing from the waist down and it was fantastic. I couldn’t even tell when I was contracting. Thank the heavens! However, my blood pressure dropped again and they had to give me medicine to keep me from passing out. I also got super weak and tired. It was hard to breathe for a while. I remember my mom trying to put my hair in a braid and I couldn’t even lift my head to help her. The nurse offered me oxygen and I took it. That helped a ton, and I regained my strength. So after several cervical checks that day, my labor was progressing. Then, the glorious moment came at about 4pm. I was feeling some pressure down in my pelvis that basically felt like a bowel movement. I told the nurse and she decided to check me. I was completely dilated and effaced. I WAS READY. Holy cow, I was so nervous. My doctor had been in and out of surgery all day and I was totally scared he would be in surgery and another doctor would have to deliver. But I was super lucky because he just got out of surgery when the nurses called him. He came and checked me and decided it was go time. Suddenly everyone was getting ready and I was totally freaking out. I can’t believe I am about to have a baby! So, they got my legs onto the stirrups and the doctor was telling me what was going to happen. He also made sure Grant knew what to do and told him to sit down immediately if he started to feel faint. But Grant was so good. He had been great all day so I knew he would be OK. The nurse and Grant each held one of my legs. And then I started to push. This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Though it was one of the hardest I’ve ever worked, this strange power came over me and I felt so strong and so focused. It was also very spiritual. I have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father than when I was bringing one of his beautiful children into this world. I felt angels holding me up in those moments where I sincerely didn’t know if I could keep going. I was pushing for about 25 minutes. I could feel when he was almost here and Grant could actually see his head and the doctor told me one more push and he would be here. And so, Jack Leland Merrill came sliding into this world. I immediately just bawled as they placed him on my chest and I held this beautiful little human. As I held him, the doctor had Grant clamp the chord! Grant told me later that he was terrified when the doctor just handed him scissors out of nowhere and told him to cut. Then they took him from me because he swallowed a lot of fluid on his way out. They took him to the warming station and sucked fluid out of his lungs and tried to get him to cry out. I was so scared because he didn’t make a sound, but they assured me he was breathing, and they just wanted to make sure they got the fluid out. He was so quiet! Even when they cleared his lungs, he was just looking around, totally chill. I just watched and didn’t even pay attention to the doctor sewing me up. Yeah, so I tore pretty badly down in lady town. But I didn’t care. My babe was here and that’s all that mattered. So they cleaned him up, got his footprint, weighed and measured him and then gave him back to me so we could do skin-to-skin. Finally, he was back in my arms.

The rest of the story includes a lot of crying and a lot of marveling over this BEAUTIFUL baby. He was finally here. All the pain was worth it. He was worth everything. I am still astounded that he is mine forever. Jack Leland, this world already seems a little brighter now that you’re here.

Jack Leland Merrill

Date: March 1, 2017

Time: 4:44pm

Weight: 6lbs 2oz (he’s so little! His newborn clothes drown him)

Height: 19.5 in

Hair: brown

Eyes: blue

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Happy Birthday Pink Lemonade (GIVEAWAY)

HAPPYBIRTHDAY

Guess what?! My blog is one year old! I started exactly one year ago. To celebrate I’m doing my first giveaway. I’m making and sending one lucky person my “you are my greatest adventure” watercolor world printable. I’ll even put it in a nice frame for you.

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To enter the giveaway, you need to head over to my instagram page, like my photo, and comment and you’ll be entered into the giveaway to win my printable. Here is my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/kelsi_lynn_merrill/

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by the way, my shirt is from Piper and Scoot- Check it out here: Piper & Scoot

 

Blogging has been such a rewarding thing. I’m so glad I started this venture a year ago and I hope to continue to grow and expand. Thank you for those who consistently read my posts and follow my adventures. Without you, I wouldn’t be blogging. So thank you!

 

xoxo

Kelsi

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BBQ Teriyaki Flank Steak

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Guess what? MY BLOG IS 1 YEAR OLD! Happy anniversary Pink Lemonade! To celebrate, I’m sharing my favorite recipe of all time. BBQ Teriyaki Flank Steak. YUMMMMM. Seriously, the best. And it’s easy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs flank steak cut diagonally (I totally just thought of Harry Potter when I wrote that)

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 clove garlic

1 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

optional: 1 Tbsp green onion

Instructions:

  1. combine all ingredients into a sauce
  2. pour over steak in a Tupperware container.
  3. Seal and marinade overnight.
  4. Next day, grill it up!
  5. Serve with rice and light Asian salad. NOW DEVOUR.

num num.

kelsi

Easy, Healthy Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

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I made this today and it was the perfect comfort food without being super heavy. That is hard to come by. Pair this soup with some Pillsbury flaky biscuits and you’ve got a healthy but filling (and easy) meal!

Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts

2 cups of your favorite frozen veggie mix (I used corn, carrot, and green beans)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

6 cups chicken stock (if you don’t have any, bouillon works as well)

2-3 cups egg noodles

1 tbsp dried or fresh parsley

 

Instructions:

  1. Put thawed chicken breast, frozen veggie mix, salt, pepper, garlic and chicken stock into a crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Take chicken out and shred.
  4. Put chicken back in and add the egg noodles.
  5. Add parsley.
  6. wait 5-10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serve immediately with biscuits.

Bringin’ Healthy Back!

 

HEALTHYBACK

 

Hey everyone. To be completely honest, the fall was the best time of my life. I was the thinnest I’ve ever been and healthiest I’ve ever been. I was so happy, my depression was way down, and I was loving the freedom of being healthy. However, since then, I have gained 30 pounds. 30 freakin’ pounds. And as you can imagine, my self esteem is way down, my depression is way up, and I’m not as happy as I want to be.

So, I’m bringing healthy back!

These 7 goals are ones I set for myself that are sure fire ways to get me back in shape. I don’t want to overwhelm myself or over-strain myself, so I want to be kind of light on the exercise and heavy on the nutrition. Because no matter how hard I train, I will not be healthy unless I eat right.

Anyway, I’m gonna be posting some healthy recipes and my progress on here and on my instagram.

 

xoxo

Kelsi

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10 Things You May Not Know About Me

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Just for Fun, I thought I’d share a little more about myself–in case anyone new is reading my blog. I am trying to expand my reach so hopefully this post will be useful at some point! So without further ado, here are 10 things you may not know about me.

 

1.I just started an Etsy shop for all my nursery prints, called “Nella’s Nursery”. You can see it here.

2. I consider myself to be a crazy dog lady. My cavi, Charlie, is my world. The first time I left him was for a three day trip down to Utah and when I came back, I bawled because I was so happy to see him.

3. 3 years ago, I got breast-reduction surgery. Very few people besides close friends and family know this. I was roughly a size G and went to a size DD. I used to hate my chest so much. I felt like I couldn’t wear anything without looking like a tramp and being modest was almost impossible for me. The surgery was such a blessing and I feel like I can finally share because talking about things like this is becoming more acceptable. I used to be ashamed thinking I had altered my God-given body for selfish reasons. But I have since come to terms with it and no longer feel any shame for what I did. I think everyone should be able to talk about things like this. It’s one step closer to having a society filled with girls confident about their bodies.

4. When I was in high school I was diagnosed with Depression and body dis-morphia. Many people are prone to certain mental illness, and just need a trigger. My Depression was triggered when my boyfriend cheated on me with 3+ girls when I was out of town.

5. 4 years ago, a guy put my in the hospital by showing off and using an illegal jujitsu move on me. My ACL and meniscus was torn. He was kind enough to take care of me while I couldn’t walk for 6 weeks, but the moment I could walk again, he never spoke to me again. I still haven’t spoken to him.

6. I’ve been to England and Ireland. They’re amazing countries and I seriously cannot wait to go back.

7. Currently, I have bursitis and tendonitis in my right shoulder, an injured lower back (the docs still don’t really know what’s wrong with it), and patella-femoral pain syndrome in my left knee. I’m 24.

8. In High School, especially the last two years, choir was my life! Singing is still a huge passion of mine and I hope to someday start a music youtube. I also dabbled in musical theater. I was in three musicals in High School and once played Cosette in our concert version of Les Miserable.

9. I have an unhealthy obsession with Tom Hiddleston. I don’t think Taylor Swift is right for him. 😉

10. I love fitness. I have completed over a year of Kayla Itsines’ BBG program, as well as several beachbody programs including Insanity, Cize, and I am halfway through Piyo.

 

xoxo

Kelsi

Obsessed with Nursery Decor

Evening!

If you’ve been following my instagram, you’ll notice I’ve been practicing my graphic design chops by making different nursery-styled decor. I think nursery decor is the absolute cutest. It’s such an easy way to add to a room but can make a huge difference. By the way, this isn’t an announcement. This is me just loving nurseries. If you want to take a look at what I’ve done so far, keep scrolling to check them out the printables. I’ve been considering opening an Etsy shop to sell them but I haven’t quite decided if that would be worth it or if I would be successful.

Woodland Nursery

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Woodland Cartoon Nursery

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Nautical Nursery

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(sorry they have a completely white background so you can’t really see the edges. oops.

Safari Nursery

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Well that’s  all I have so far, but I love them! Safari may be my favorite 🙂

 

xoxo

Kelsi

Different Beauty

Hi all!

One of my fitness idols posted something on instagram that I thought was interesting. She said, “Just because you don’t look like someone you think is attractive, doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive. Flowers are pretty, but so are Christmas lights and they look nothing alike.” And while instagram quotes can be a little corny, this one actually struck me. I was thinking about it and I started to truly realize the different kinds of beauty. While someone may be a flower, I may be a Christmas light. I may not have the flower-like body, but I may be a shining light that brings joy in a different way. This is why it is so important not to compare yourself to another person’s beauty, because it would be so silly to compare your bright Christmas light beauty to a beautiful pink flower.

This is all I really wanted to say. A little happy thought to keep you going and keep me going as well. I also wanted to show off my little black dress :). It’s from Piper & Scoot (the cutest store ever), and it feels like I’m wearing a nightgown and I love it. Find it here, they have so many different colors! And it’s only $28 bucks! Such a steal!

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xoxo

Kelsi

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Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

I wanted to do a blog post. I told you I was going to get into one of my new dresses and hat and I needed you to take pictures of me. Once I was dressed, we went outside to where the light seemed best, but that was hard. The camera wasn’t capturing the light no matter what we tried. I got frustrated. But you kept taking photos and kept telling me I looked good. I went to look at the pictures you took and got mad, at you for not capturing it right, and at me for looking so “ugly” and “fat.” You got mad when I called myself ugly and we ended by me giving up and saying “that will have to do.”

I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I can’t imagine it’s easy watching your wife cling desperately to any self-esteem she has left in her and not be able to do anything about it. I want this blog to do well, and honestly, I get so vulnerable, thinking about myself and how I may never be a blogger anyone wants to follow because of my size. But this is unfair to you, who have been nothing but supportive when it comes to my hopes and dreams.

Dear Husband, please forgive me. Please forgive me for reaching for perfection, when you’ve seen it in me all along.

Dear readers, please enjoy these photos that caused a few tears.

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Here’s the dress! From my favorite: Piper & Scoot. The Derby Dress

 

xoxo

Kelsi

Nautical Bathroom

When me and Grant got our first apartment, I knew my bathroom was going to be nautical. I love beach stuff. It’s so cute for a bathroom. I loved doing my dream living room plan, so I did the same with a bathroom. Here it is! No matter how big your bathroom is, you can have your dream bathroom.

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Yep, it’s short today–but I told myself I had to do more with my blog. It helps me focus on other things– it keeps the depression at bay. It’s also just super fun.

Here are the products and their prices:

Bath mat: Bed Bath & Beyond for $29.99

Candles: Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99

Rope mirror: Target for $39.99

Shower Curtain: Bed Bath & Beyond for $19.99

Soap Dispenser: Target for $12.34

Waste Basket: Target for $11.79

Thank you all for those who read my blog. I am so grateful for those who support me this way. This  could be the best way to support me at this difficult time.

 

xoxo

Kelsi

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