The Wayfaring Longinos

life with Beckett 


Now that Beckett is almost two months old, and I feel like I’ve (sort of) got a grip on motherhood and reality, I suppose it’s time to talk about life a bit. 

Guys, this baby is so dreamy. Sometimes I start kissing his cheeks and I just can’t stop. I can’t get enough of him, I want to just breathe him in. Also, I know I have to get in all the kisses I can, because one day he will stop letting me. But I don’t have to think about that yet. 


Beckett’s entrance into this world wasn’t the smoothest, as you can read in his birth story, and it didn’t get much easier for a while. He had jaundice, and I could only hold him for 30 minutes every 2 hours in the hospital. He was unable to latch to nurse, and he lost a lot of weight while we tried to teach him. He had to have lots of blood drawn to check bilirubin levels, visit the chiropractor, go back for multiple weight checks, and eventually have his tongue and lip ties revised. Suddenly, after chiropractor visits and the revision, he was able to nurse normally, and his weight shot up. I can’t explain how much I love his chubby cheeks, round belly, and chunky thighs, because they mean he’s healthy. After worrying about him for weeks, those rolls mean I can relax. 


Beckett loves bath time. He loves the warm water being squeezed over his head. He loves his lotion massage after the bath. He loves his Papa, and when he cries while I’m changing his diaper in the middle of the night, all Luke has to is hold his hand and talk to him and he stops fussing. He loves when I sing to him and replace words in the song with his name. “Mr. Beckett, you’re the one. You make bath time so much fun! Mr. Beckett I’m awfully fond of you…” “We love you Beckett, oh yes we do, we don’t love any babe as much as you…” He really loves the zebra toy on his play mat, and his Jungle Book board book that was given to us by some sweet friends. 


He doesn’t love when it takes me half a second too long to start feeding him. He knows what he wants, and he is not afraid to let me know. He also really doesn’t love when the car stops… Can anyone explain to me why babies hate when the car stops moving? 

He loves the solly wrap, but hasn’t gotten used to the wild bird sling yet. 

Somehow, he seems to have gotten my sister Ashleigh’s hair, which seems fair because all 3 of her babies had my hair. 


One thing Beckett doesn’t get enough of is the rabbits. They pretty much ignore him. Occasionally Amaretto will nuzzle his hair with her nose, but that’s about it. I think they might start paying more attention when he starts eating fruit and vegetable purées…



​❤️

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Beckett Luke’s Birth Story

Remembering my labor and Beckett’s delivery feels like waking up from a dream, the kind that makes you want to fall back asleep so you can get back to dream land. 

During my pregnancy, I researched a LOT about labor and delivery, and had a checklist of things I absolutely did and did not want for Beck’s birth. I also daydreamed a lot about his birth. Let me tell you, it didn’t go down at ALL the way I hoped. But I wouldn’t go back and change any of it, because this is our story, and it’s beautiful because it’s how my beautiful baby boy entered the world. 


So, here it is.

*Disclaimer: when a woman is in labor, time stands absolutely still. I’ve had to have people remind me of a lot of things and clarify events and time frames. I think most of this is accurate 😏

*Disclaimer, part 2: when I was pregnant, my favorite birth stories to read were the really detailed ones. So I’m going to make this as detailed as possible… I don’t want to leave anything out! 

*Disclaimer, part 3: if words like “mucus plug” makes you queasy, you may want to stop here. 


Tuesday evening, at around 11 pm, I couldn’t stop thinking about my friend Dani, and the story she told me about how her amniotic fluid leaked with one of her pregnancies. I was group b strep +, and one of my biggest concerns was getting to the hospital in time for 2 rounds of antibiotics to protect Beckett. I thought I was just being paranoid, but what if I was leaking fluid too? So my sweet husband got out of bed and took me to the hospital to get checked. We brought the hospital bag that I had just finished packing that day, just on the off chance that we’d have to stay. I fully expected to go back home that night, and that I would remain pregnant for another 2 weeks at least. But still, better safe than sorry. 

At the hospital, I was not dilated at all, and the 20 minute amniotic fluid test came back negative. The nurse was going over my discharge papers with me, when she got called out of the room. A few minutes later, my midwife came in and told me that after the 20 minute test was over, the nurses just happened to keep the test out, and a very faint pink line showed up. I’m pretty sure none of them had ever seen that happen before. So my midwife did another test, did find a pooling of fluid (which would point to a leak) and put the fluid under a microscope to find that it was, in fact, amniotic fluid. Because I was GBS+, we needed to go ahead and get me on penicillin and induce. 


At this point, it was 4 am, so Luke and I took a 3 hour nap, and in the morning we got the ball rolling. First, they inserted a little balloon filled with water into my cervix to help dilate me. It stayed in for 12 hours, while I slept and ate and listened to Beckett’s heart beat and had my vitals taken. 

After 12 hours, the ballon had done its job and I was dilated to 4 cm. At some point, (see? Time frames are very blurry) my midwife (a different one this time… I had 4 total, since I was in the hospital so long) checked my dilation, and my water spontaneously broke while she was checking me. It felt like a POP that didn’t hurt, followed by a gush. I kept laughing, and the water gushed with each laugh. I lost my mucus plug, which I had been watching for diligently for weeks. The midwife shared my fascination by it. Luke, not so much. Then, the midwife said “I feel his hair!” Which shocked Luke and me, because we fully expected to have a bald, blonde baby like Beck’s Longino boy cousins. 


After my water broke, and with the help of Cytotec, labor contractions started. I breathed through them for as long as I could, and sat on the birthing ball (which I loved. Totally recommend. They made the contractions much easier to bear!), until I felt like I wouldn’t be able to bear them for much longer, and asked for an epidural. 

Let me tell you something: people should be able to pay for epidurals. We should have epidural parties. Sure, the numbing shot hurt, but never have I felt so wonderfully warm and fuzzy as when that epidural kicked in. And mine was a walking epidural, so I could move around and feel my legs, I just couldn’t feel pain. It was beautiful. 


Beckett is a picky boy. He knows what he likes and doesn’t like, and he’s not afraid to tell you. He started this practice during my labor. If I lay on my right side, or on my back, or sat up, or used the peanut ball, his heart rate would dip down. The only position he liked was on my left side. So, on my left side I stayed until I reached 10 cm and it was time to push. 

Oh, pushing. It is impossible to describe what pushing is really like, or how difficult it is. I pushed on my back. I pushed on my sides. I held onto a sheet and tried to pull my nurse onto the bed. I pushed on my hands and knees. I used stirrups, and handles, and pushed until I thought my eyes would pop out of my head. There is a specific way to push, and a specific spot in your body to push toward, and until you find it and push with all of your strength, nothing will happen. 


I pushed for 4.5 hours, and took 2 30 minute breaks. At the end, my midwife said she thought we needed to turn down the epidural so I could feel it more. I said, I can feel it just fine! I don’t know if she listened or not. Ha. But there does come a time when the pressure is so intense, that to NOT push would be torture. By the end, I had my eyes closed and was sobbing after each contraction. Eventually, I had 2 midwives in there. (when did the second one come in? I have no idea.) The midwife who had just gotten there said “Kelsey, I think if I give you a tiny snip, he’s going to come right out.”

And I said, “will I feel the snip?” Hahahaha. Why in the world did I even care? I have no idea what her answer was, because I realized it didn’t matter, and said “just do it!” (The answer is no. I didn’t feel the stupid snip.) 


On the next contraction, I was sobbing, eyes closed, feeling like there was no way I could possibly continue doing this, when the midwife said “Look! Get your baby, Kelsey!” 

I opened my eyes, and I could see Beckett, halfway out. I reached forward, grabbed him, and put him on my chest. 

Let me tell you, there is no better feeling in the world. All the pressure was relieved, my warm, wiggly baby was on my chest, and my husband was looking at him adoringly, his eyes filled with tears. Guys, it’s the best. I could live in that moment forever. 


When I saw his face for the first time, I was shocked by his cuteness. His full lips and bright eyes and head full of hair were better than anything my dreams had invented. I still haven’t gotten used to his beauty, and I probably never will. 

While we were lying there, I learned that the reason I had to push so long was that Beckett came out sunny side up. My pelvis, I learned later, is small, and my pubic bone juts down into the birth canal. It was like a speed bump that Beckett kept getting halfway over, then sliding back. At any other hospital, and with anyone else delivering him, I would have had a c-section. I am forever thankful to those midwives for allowing me to push, and not giving up on us! 


Luke was the best partner and helper I could have asked for. He brought me food and a constant flow of ice chips. His hands were there for me to squeeze through the pain, and he was a constant encourager through the hours of pushing, reminding me that I was strong and that I could do it. He watched Beckett’s heart rate on the monitor constantly, and told me when my contractions were halfway over (while I still felt them). I am so thankful for my sweet husband. 

Beckett was born at 8:04 am Thursday morning, after about 32 hours in the hospital. I wasn’t afraid of labor, and I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I would do it again and again to bring Beckett home. We love our baby boy more than we could have even imagined! 

❤️

38 weeks 

  
Don’t come out quite yet, little babe. I still need to pack my hospital bag. And see The Jungle Book. 

Okay, so it’s 38 weeks and there’s so much that I have been meaning to tell you. If you’re pregnant, you need to know a couple of things. 

  1. LUSH skin care. Your skin is going crazy, right? LUSH has saved my pregnant skin. Just trust me. Go in and let them tell you what to get for your skin type. My personal every day products are ultrabland, angels on bare skin, breath of fresh air toner, and grease lightning spot treatment. 
  2. Go to the dentist THREE TIMES during your pregnancy. I promise. Go  3 times. Pregnancy does very mean things to your teeth. 
  3. Go ahead and start using your baby’s white noise machine. The past 2 weeks of sleep have been the best I’ve had all 9 months, and I attribute it to the Marpac Dohm. It’s incredible. 
  4. Small Batch Studio push pack. They basically packed my hospital bag for me.

Okay, moving on. 

I am going to get a little vulnerable here. Ready? God has given me the gift of a very easy pregnancy. I am honestly still feeling very normal, fairly comfortable, sleeping well at night. My uterus measures perfectly every week. I’ve had really minor heart burn, and never even had a kick to the ribs. 

My temptation is to believe the lie that I will pay for this easy pregnancy somehow. Either my labor will be difficult or complicated, or there will something wrong with Beckett. 

I’m tempted to believe that, because that’s how the world gives. Nothing good comes without a price. 

But that’s NOT how God gives. His gifts are given freely, and He absolutely loves to give us good things, and to wrap us in His love. 

So I’ve been praying daily, renouncing the lie that I will have to pay up for this easy pregnancy, and surrendering myself, my body, and my baby to God. 

I have no reason to fear for the health of my baby. 

I’m just shining light on the darkness, people. It’s so much harder to believe a lie when you expose it as such. 

Beckett, 

We love you so much. Our love has grown daily over the last 8.5 months, and our hearts are bursting with it! We can’t wait to meet you, to see your sweet face and hold you in our arms.

But seriously, I really want to see The Jungle Book. So keep cooking just a little longer, okay? Thanks. 

Love, Mama and Daddy

❤️

36 weeks

  
Is this officially the homestretch?

It feels impossible that this could be Beckett’s birth month. 

Every. Single. Moment of this pregnancy has flown by. You guys, where does the time go? 

I still have lots to do… Moving to a new state and new hotel room at 35 weeks really pushes things! We are SO EXCITED to be back in the great state of Texas, to be near family and friends when Beckett comes, and to be in Fort Worth, one of our favorite cities! 

By the way, I had to cut the bottom of my jeans open because they were cutting off my cankle circulation. Yikes. One more month. 

That’s Beckett’s bassinet in the background, if you were wondering. It’s the Guava Family Lotus bassinet, which will convert into a travel crib when Beck is ready. It folds into a little backpack and is super light and easy to pack up and set up. 

Plus, Amaretto loves to sleep under it.

 
I realized at some point during the last 2 weeks, that every time I pray about the kind of man I want Beckett to become, I’ve been praying Luke’s characteristics over him. How lucky am I, to have a husband that is so wonderful that I would pray for my son to become just like him? 

Here’s what Beck’s been doing the last couple of weeks:

  • Lots of cervix punches. He likes to use that thing like a punching bag. This morning, I was sitting and bracing myself against the punches, and a wave of nausea rolled over me from the pain. I’m a super tough lady. Anyone have a guess on whether I’ll be asking for an epidural?
  • Lots of pushing and kicking. It feels like he’s getting uncomfortable in there, and trying to push against me to make more room. Sorry, buddy, it only gets tighter from here. 
  • Hiccuping. Why do babies have the hiccups so often? Seriously, why?
  • And that’s all. That’s all babies do. 

Here’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks:

  • Eating ravenously 
  • Sitting on the couch, staring sadly at my ankles
  • Figuring out a way to lie on the floor and pet the bunnies (it’s not easy)

  

  • Forgetting everything that people have told me, and everything that I have told other people
  • Peeing (the other night, I told Luke I was going to the restroom, and it took me so long to get up that he thought I was wetting the bed)
  • Existing in a state of wonder that a fully formed child is in my belly, with a fully formed spirit and personality, and that he’s going to be in my arms SOON. Absolute wonder. 

❤️

34 weeks 

  

Today was Beckett’s first baby shower! It’s amazing how loved and special a shower makes you feel. My mother in law has an incredible group of lifelong friends that gave it, and it was beautiful, sweet, and filled with delicious food. I am so blessed to have been welcomed into their community of wonderful women (I’ve felt it from day one, way back when they threw my bridal shower!), and I truly feel like Beckett got taken care of today. 

It was also so very sweet to see some out of town friends that made the trek to Lufkin to celebrate Beckett! I may or may not have cried (I cried). 

In the picture with me is my good friend Jill, who is pregnant with a baby boy and shares Beckett’s due date! We’ve been keeping up with each other since the beginning, and it’s been really fun reaching milestones together. So since we turned 34 weeks today, Beckett got to share his bump pic with baby Evan 😊

And now, since lists are more fun:

Books I want Beckett to read:

  • Jane Eyre
  • The Harry Potter Series
  • A Wrinkle In Time & its sequels
  • The Magic Bicycle 
  • The Bible goes without saying, right? Still, I’m saying it. 

Things you should say to a pregnant lady:

  • You look awesome!
  • You look exactly right for how far along you are!
  • Cutest pregnant girl ever!

Things you should NOT say:

  • You look huge! (Or any variation)
  • You look tiny! (Or any variation)

Pregnant women want to look exactly like every other pregnant woman, and if they think they look too big or too small, they will freak out and think something is wrong with their baby. The best compliment I’ve gotten was “oh, you’re 7 months along? You’re PERFECT.” Bless the sweet French waitress who said that to me. I will never forget her. 

❤️

32 Weeks

32 weeks.JPG

(care to see what I looked like last time I wore this dress? click here.)

So, I’ve entered a new phase of pregnancy: it’s titled: “Large and In Charge: Please Don’t Make Me Get Up, but If You Must Then At Least Help Me, and Also Know That I’m Listening To You But Mostly I’m Thinking About Sleep.”

This picture was taken last night at the Dedication Dinner for the restaurant that Luke is opening in Louisville, and it’s also the moment I realized that I’m officially fatter than a cow. Grand Opening Week is so much fun. It starts with Premiere Night, where friends, family, and people in the community get served sample sizes of pretty much everything on the CFA menu. The next night is the dedication dinner, a catered dinner that every team member and their family is invited to, where the store is dedicated to the Lord, and I pretty much cry my way through every moment of it. Wednesday is all about the first 100, where people camp out all day and night leading up to the grand opening, playing games, being fed, and receiving their year’s worth of free CFA. Thursday is grand opening day, which is just all around exciting. Luke ends every grand opening week exhausted and with a feeling of accomplishment. I can’t wait to take Beckett to his first grand opening, and maybe one day to the grand opening of our very own CFA!

The past two weeks has brought on a new king of belly movement: the kind that shakes my entire stomach. It’s also brought on hip pain, fatigue, a newfound love of epsom salt bubble baths, a weird type of nesting in which I get the uncontrollable urge to clean our hotel suite top to bottom at very inopportune times, and an almost complete depletion of my current wardrobe. I still kind of refuse to buy maternity clothes, but maybe I should just buy a teeshirt or two, because I have worn the same one every day this week.

Guys, I’m sitting here trying to think of something interesting to tell you, but really all that is happening inside my head is that I want Beckett, and I want him now. It’s pretty much all I think about. Hopefully, the next 8 weeks will go by quickly, with a move to Fort Worth, 2 baby showers, meeting my new midwives, touring the hospital, and getting the hotel room set up for a baby. It’s hard to wait, but I definitely want Beckett cooking in there for as long as it takes for him to be ready!

30 Weeks

30 weeks

30 Weeks, 7 months, sweatshirts that are barely hanging on, birkenstocks because they’re the only shoes that still fit, and a baby that has discovered the joy of a swift kick to Momma’s pelvis.

I’ve officially deteriorated into the lazy bathroom bump pic. Hopefully I’ll get a picture out in Louisville before we leave, because it’s truly our favorite!!! Guys, visit this place. There is so much goodness here. But visit when it’s warm. Brrrr.

So here’s what it’s like being 30 weeks pregnant: I no longer smile with my mouth open because my face is fat and I can’t handle it. I wake up 4-5 times a night to switch sides because my hip is hurting, but it takes about 5 minutes to turn with all of my pillows, which wakes up Luke, and he has to try to get back to sleep before I start snoring again. (Pregnant people snore, in case you didn’t know.) But by the time I’ve rolled over, I realize I have to pee. My best friends are warm baths with a Lush bath bomb, glasses of ice cold milk, and the Tums bottle. But the main theme is: I just want Beckett here with me, now! I’m glad he’s still cooking away in there, getting all the development he needs, but with every kick, I just want to hold him.

It also feels like a nice little pocket of calm and quiet, and I’m enjoying the peace before things get wild around here. I’m loving having one on one time with Luke, smothering my bunnies with affection, quiet slow mornings to drink coffee and eat toast, and the time and energy to do things like make the bed and do the dishes.

On the bright side, my belly button is hilarious. I feel like I’m telling myself a joke every time I take off my shirt. But I won’t show you, sorry.

God keeps reminding me of this one particular moment from the past. I don’t remember when it was. But I was on my phone, looking at pictures of friends’ babies on social media, and just crying. I was tearfully asking God, “Can’t you see me? Can’t you see how much I want a baby?” and just feeling desperate and hopeless, like it would never happen. I think it’s giving God a lot of pleasure to remind me of that moment, to show me that of course He saw me, of course He knew my desires, and of course He wanted to give me such a wonderful gift. He’s just so good at loving us.

Today, I read this prayer in Ephesians, and was blown away by the richness of it. This is my prayer for Beckett, and I want to pray it over him every day. If you have a desire to pray for Beckett, I would love for you to pray this for him. It’s my prayer for myself, too, and for every person on this earth that I know, and all the people I don’t know:

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14-21