My Experience Having a Baby During a Global Pandemic


On April 5, 2020, our family welcomed our precious Remington Palmer, who weighed 6lbs 2oz and is absolute perfection. She is adored by her older sister Isla, and we are so happy to all be home and healthy. Remi ended up being born via a scheduled C-section for a few reasons. The main one is that I previously had an emergency C-section with Isla, and since I hadn’t started showing any signs of going into labor by 39 weeks, we decided to play it safe with another C-section. On top of that, we weren’t sure how our hospital’s restrictions were going to look even another week out with positive cases of coronavirus being on the rise. We are so thankful that even though we weren’t able to have any visitors, my husband was able to be there the whole time.

Remington Palmer


Besides the surgery going smoothly, everything else about our experience just seemed strange. Anyone who came into our room wore a mask (thankfully we didn’t have to wear a mask in our room), and if we wanted to leave our room, we had to put a mask on. The hallway lights always seemed dim since there weren’t people walking around requiring it to be well lit. At one point, Remi was the only baby on our floor. It felt lonely not having our family and friends come and love on us and our new baby. In fact, 2.5 weeks after she’s been born, our families still haven’t held her. We’ve been trying to take this quarantine seriously, but at some point we also want our parents and siblings to hold her.

Wearing masks in the hospital on our way to go have our baby!


Sometimes we get visitors that come to see her through the glass in our front door, but it’s not the same as when people can come sit on our couch and visit for a while. We just miss the community feel of having everyone come around us when a baby is born. There is so much to be thankful for though. This isn’t me just complaining—I really am overall just trying to explain how our experience has been because of everything going on. I look so forward to being on the other side of this quarantine. Because my husband has been working from home, it’s also allowed for a sort of extended paternal leave for him as he’s been able to help out more than if he had to go back to work.

So in love!


I hope that others who have given birth during this pandemic have still had pleasant experiences despite the many restrictions they may face. What matters is that the babies are safe and healthy. We will get through this together!

2 weeks old

Last Pregnancy Update!


Before baby girl arrives in April, I thought I’d get one last pregnancy update out before I forget. Especially considering these peculiar times, I want to be able to look back and remember all that was going on surrounding the time that our Remington Palmer was born.


As I’m writing this, I am almost 37 weeks pregnant, and am going on a full week of isolation at home, due to recommended social distancing because of the Coronavirus. At my appointment today, my doctor said only my husband will be allowed in the hospital during our stay when Remi is born. It’s so strange to think that we won’t be able to have family and friends come and go to visit with us and meet our new baby when she is born. When Isla was born, we looked forward to having visitors and even Starbucks and other food brought in. This time, however, that will not be the case. Everyone will have to wait and meet her when we get home, and even those visits are going to have to be spread out.


I am thankful for the time Ross and I will have to bond with our baby before coming home, but gosh I’m going to miss Isla, and I’ll be so excited to introduce her to her little sister!


My goal right now is to stay healthy. I’m not leaving the house much at all. Going to the doctor today was my first public outing in a week, and it was almost eerie seeing all the steps that had been taken within a short amount of time to try and combat the spread of this virus. I also want my husband to stay healthy so that he can be with me when we welcome Remi into the world.


At this time, I haven’t started dilating. I’m taking it all a day at a time, but I am getting so excited, it’s hard to stay patient!
The next post I write may be a while from now, but when I do, I will have 2 children. That thought is so wild! I have been loving my time with Isla during these last couple weeks of my pregnancy as I know that things will be very different here soon. She’s still my baby no matter what, and I love and value the sweet relationship that we have.


I’m so excited to post photos of our daughter when she arrives!!

Striving For Clean

The other day on Instagram, I asked what were favorite clean brands and products that people like to use. I was so surprised by the response! So many people reached out to not only share what their favorite clean products were but offered to be of assistance along my journey to slowly remove toxic products from my home. 
I don’t know what exactly prompted me to start looking into the world of toxin-free, but it can be overwhelming to say the least! All I know is, I have one body and I need to care for it and take responsibility for what I expose myself and my children to. I’m ok with this being a journey that takes me a long time because I want to do it the right way, and it can be a little bit more expensive, especially starting out. My hope is to do an updated post in a couple months reviewing my favorite clean substitutions that I have made. The categories I’m looking to change span the spectrum from makeup, to skincare, household cleaners, bath and body, etc. 
I know there is endless information to absorb within this topic, and while I may never become an expert, I am thankful to have access to so many options! There are so many companies that are transparent with their ingredients and their desire to not only offer cleaner options, but also options that are still going to perform! I think that was always my fear with going clean—that I’d end up spending more for something that didn’t do the job as well as their more toxic counterpart. 
I’m so excited for my first purchase, which is kind of silly, but it’s toothpaste! We needed more anyway, so I thought this was a perfect time to test out a new, cleaner option. I ordered it on Amazon (thank goodness for 1 day shipping!) and it comes in today. My next goal is to switch from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant.
A helpful resource for me to start this journey has been the Think Dirty App. This is a simple tool to search a general product or brand to see how “clean” it rates according to the ingredients that are listed. While not every brand can be found on this app yet, it still has many to look up, and I’m sure they’ll only continue to add to what is currently available. 
As a mom especially, I want to set an example for my girls that mindful shopping is so important. Just because it’s FDA approved doesn’t mean we should trust it. Just like I want them to be careful and intentional about what goes into their mind and heart and comes out of their mouth, I want them to be careful about how they care for their physical body as well. Let’s take this journey together! If there are any products you recommend, pass it along my way, and I’ll be sure to do the same as I have had time to test out my purchases. 

Second Trimester Recap

I can honestly not even believe that I am in the final stretch of this pregnancy! I remember thinking the second trimester lasted forever with my firstborn. The second time around, this whole pregnancy is flying, and I wonder if it mostly has to do with the fact that I keep myself busy chasing a toddler around all the time and can’t just sit around staring at my pregnancy apps, while slowly watching time crawl by (I may or may not have done this when I was pregnant with Isla). 
As mentioned already, the second trimester was a blur, but I’m going to do my best to recap what all I did/did not experience.

1. No Crazy Cravings

Along with the first trimester, I have not had any specific cravings that are out of my normal preferences. I will say that my appetite has increased, however, and I’m seeing that reflect on the scale! (I’ll talk more about that later)

2. Constantly Exhausted

I remember hearing that the second trimester is the golden trimester, as this is usually when women feel like a million bucks and get all their energy back that was zapped from them during the first trimester. Nope, not for me. I still wake up each morning super excited to take my nap as soon as I put my daughter down for her nap. This has effected my exercise as well. I still workout about 3 days a week, but those workouts are definitely nothing to brag about. However, I’m doing my best to stay moving and go on walks when the weather is nice enough.

3. Weight Gain

When I was pregnant with Isla, I gained about 22 lbs or so, if I remember correctly. I’m hoping to stick within that same number this time around, but it feels as though it has been packing on quickly lately! During the second trimester I gained about 8 lbs, for a total of about 13 lbs. I know I’m within a healthy range of weight gain, but it’s important for me to maintain my healthy lifestyle while pregnant so that I can bounce back easier after baby.

4. Troll Status

My husband thinks I’m crazy any time I compare my appearance to that of a troll, but I can’t help but think I’m onto something. I didn’t bother to buy myself any news clothes during the second trimester because I was in that “in between” phase where you can still kinda fit in your regular clothes, and some maternity clothes still don’t fit quite right. Regardless, that meant that most days I stayed in my comfy clothes if I wasn’t leaving the house, and elastic waistbands and no bras were my best friend. My husband was lucky if I did my hair or makeup. Poor guy, I know this isn’t going to get any better after I have the baby. Maybe in 5 years I’ll try a little harder (I kid! sorta..) I’m not one that feels particularly beautiful while pregnant. I know I’m growing a human, and that’s such a miraculous blessing, but I can’t wrap my head about the mental state of all the physical changes I’m going through. I’m going to make an effort during this final stretch of my pregnancy to see myself the way I know my husband does.
Overall, I am sure I’m forgetting quite a few things, but that’s what I get for not taking any notes during the second trimester! I really am just so excited to meet my daughter in a few short months. That is what makes any pregnancy symptom or physical change totally worth it. It’s not all glamorous, but it is such a gift, and one that I want to always remember to be so thankful and grateful for. 
Thanks for reading, and go hug on your precious kids!!

How To Survive Sick Week

As I’m writing this, we are on day 9 of myself being sick, while Isla is finally feeling and acting more herself. I am not quite in the clear, but Isla is thankfully. This was all so new to me. I hardly get sick, and Isla has never had more than a cold, so when I was told that she has RSV, pink eye, and an ear infection, I was at a loss. I have never had a sinus infection, but I’m convinced that’s what I have, and my symptoms are taking a little longer to subside. Because of all that she had going on, it affected pretty much everything about her from her sleep, to her eating, to her need for her paci, and overall energy. Since I was also feeling terrible, it just compounded on the entire situation. I don’t want this to sound like just a bunch of complaining, however. It’s definitely been tough to navigate this week, but I learned a few things that I wanted to share with any moms that may need some encouragement if they ever find themselves in the same situation.

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1. Forget what’s “normal” in your routine

You are now in survival mode momma, so that’s what you need to focus on. I was so stressed out in the beginning of our sickness wondering how I was going to care for my sick child while doing everything else. When I finally accepted that I was not going to get sleep and that our typical day-to-day routine was definitely not going to happen, it really helped me to just let go of any expectation to keep normalcy around. Just focus on staying up on administering medicines, getting in extra snuggles, and taking care of yourself and your sick baby.

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2. Don’t stress going backwards in your parenting efforts

I quickly realized that Isla was going to need me to be less strict on enforcing normal parenting habits like limited screen time and when she is allowed to have her paci. What she needed was plenty of rest and comfort, and I hate to admit it, but she was able to get more rest with her paci and a movie. We’ve been trying to limit pacis to just night time, which had been successful. But when she wanted it 24/7, I was worried that we were undoing every effort we had previously made. Same goes with how much screen time she was getting. I will say, on the other side of this, neither issue has taken more than a day or two to transition back into. It takes standing your ground and consistency, but I think that a week isn’t going to undo what you’ve been working on for months.

 

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3. Find joy in the little moments

While I could’ve been felt overwhelmed that my 20 month old wasn’t going down for her nap with gladness like she usually does, I chose to take the time she wanted with me to rock her while she reluctantly drifted off to just be thankful for this time I do have. It gave me time to give my tired and weary thoughts to God and find peace and rest in Him. I would rather have these moments than none at all, and as her momma, it’s my joy and privilege to be her person that helps when she feels absolutely helpless.Image result for please help

4. Ask for help

I’m not one that naturally asks for help all the time. I’d like to think that I can handle most things on my own (this is a big area I need help with in general). However, my husband has been amazing with picking up the slack that I so desperately needed, even without me asking for help. If he wasn’t able to help out as much, I would’ve needed to ask for more assistance on some days when I was at my wits end, but it’s something I highly recommend if you are going through the same thing and don’t have your husband as available to help during the day. I was surprised as to how many people that reached out asking if they could help if Ross wasn’t able to, and that is a blessing just to know that those people are there and willing. Image result for this too shall pass

5. Know this: You will get through this!

It was probably night 3 or 4 of having little to no sleep that I started to wonder if life would ever be the same again. In my dramatic and delirious mindset, it had felt more like it had been 3 or 4 years. In reality, most seasonal sickness seems to run its course in about a week or two which isn’t that long in the grand scheme of life. If crying and allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed for a moment helps release your stress and tension, let it out! It helped me tremendously a couple of times to be vulnerable with myself and just cry. But when you’re done crying, gather yourself, find some grit deep down, and get through another sleepless night. You are a strong mom, stronger than you know.

I am grateful to the other moms that encouraged me while navigating a tough week nursing my daughter back to health. This was all new to me, and oftentimes overwhelming. I’m also so grateful for my family’s health. I have a new appreciation for each breath and a good night’s rest. My heart also goes out to those who have children with chronic or debilitating illnesses. You are amazing, and there is so much I can learn from you.

Don’t Sweat the Clingy Phase

I’m speaking to myself on this one, but I’ve also been learning a lot about how to navigate this phase, and I’ve picked up on some really helpful tips! I can only speak for myself based on my experience, but I feel that being a SAHM has contributed to Isla’s tight circle of people that she trusts. Her separation anxiety has been pretty constant since she was a couple months old. For us, this looks like her not wanting to be in the nursery at church without me in there. Or even when we’re out and about in public, if she had wondered too far (even still in the same room), she’ll start to cry and rush back over to me. At the same time, she loves people and is super friendly. She just so happens to want me around probably 95% of the time. I’m so thankful she also loves being with grandparents because that can be a lifesaver for when this mom needs a break! Anyway, here are some things I’ve learned from my experience along the way with having a child that has separation anxiety:
  1. Pray- I’m not saying this to be funny or cliché either. I’ve found myself having terrible dreams the night before an event where I know I’ll be putting Isla in childcare for a couple hours. In these dreams, Isla is miserable the whole time, and it makes me super uncomfortable because I hate pushing her into situations like that as her mom, the one she should be able to trust 100%. In reality, these are not just bad dreams though. This is real life. When she can be so miserable apart from me, the anxiety can run high. So one night as I was putting Isla to bed, I prayed with her about the upcoming day where she would need to be in childcare, asking God to help us both not to be nervous. But that if she did have a hard time and I needed to come get her, that I wouldn’t be worried or stressed about it. And that night, I felt as though I truly had given all my fears to the Lord. I slept well, and Isla even lasted the whole time with another caretaker the next day! I’m not counting on that being our new normal, but I’m grateful to have had the peace going into it. That was what changed my perspective the most. 
  2. Don’t worry about establishing super high expectations- I used to create these ideal expectations and scenarios in my head where Isla loved going into the nursery by herself at church. And every time that didn’t happen, I’d find myself more and more discouraged. Finally, I decided to toss my currently unreachable expectations and be a little more flexible and relaxed. 
  3. Keep trying- Even though I may not have those high expectations right now, it doesn’t keep me from trying. I still put Isla in the nursery at church each week, and in childcare for my MOPS meeting each month. 
  4. Create opportunities as consistent as you can for them to be around other caretakers- My last point leads me into this next one, which is similar but adds an extra step. Along with your normal routine, be creative in thinking of ways to incorporate new opportunities for your child to experience being under the care of others. An easy way to start is by introducing one new person and having them watch your child often. I’ve found this to help Isla. She’s never been one to click right away with someone and trust them, but if she’s given the opportunity to build a relationship with them, we’re more likely to find success. And start within your home if you’re able. Having someone care for your child within their own comfort zone can be super helpful for the child as well. 
  5. Enjoy-They’ll grow out of this before you know it! It will definitely get better in time. It may not be today, but being anxious about it definitely won’t help, so don’t stress! This can be the hardest tip to implement, especially all the time, but is crucial in getting through it with joy. 
I’m grateful for my daughter teaching me so much beyond just how to parent. A lot of my flaws have become painfully clear to me since becoming a mom, but through realizing them I’m also seeing that there are always ways to improve. 

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m Grateful For A Good Report

This week was our 20 week doctor appointment for little Remi! My husband was able to go with me, and we were so excited to be able to see her on the ultrasound. As when I was pregnant with Isla, however, there are many things that they check for during the ultrasound that I forget to even think about.
I went into our appointment thinking that everything was going to be fine and that we’d be able to see the little fingers and toes that are developing. It could be naivety on my part, but I always just assume that everything is going to be fine. During the ultrasound, the tech started pointing out different things like the 4 chambers in her heart, the fact she has 2 kidneys, her brain, diaphragm, and on and on…all the things that Remi will need to thrive once she is born but things that I forget she needs! It brought a tear to my eye during that ultrasound to just pause and be so thankful that our baby girl has all the parts she needs to continue to grow and develop the way she’s supposed to. It never is a guarantee that a pregnancy or baby is going to 100% smooth sailing and healthy. I am so thankful and blessed for the good report about our precious baby girl! Even if everything wasn’t as it should be, God is so good and faithful. He deserves all glory and praise all of the time.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for laughter

The story I’m about to share will probably seem so silly and strange to you guys, but I’m going to share it anyway because it happened to me today, and I’m thankful it did.
This morning, we all went to the health department to get our flu shots, including Isla. As we were sitting in the waiting room watching her play with the different toys, Ross and I found a toy that seemed strange, and we weren’t sure how it worked or the point of the game. So we did what any curious person would do and start messing with it. I’m not even sure how to describe this game except for that you use magnets under this table to try and move the pieces that are on top of the table. Before you know it, Ross and I have turned an innocent children’s toy into a full-on competition between each other to see who could “win.” We were cracking up at each other for how much we had gotten into this game and had a blast being the only adults enjoying the kids’ toys.
I live for moments like this with my husband. Since becoming a mom, I can find it harder to break through my outer shell that is constantly worrying and having thoughts travel a million miles an hour to just stop and laugh at silly things. I’m thankful to him for helping me enjoy mundane activities like going to the health department for shots.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for mornings

I wake up so excited that it’s morning. I love everything about mornings to my morning routine, breakfast, coffee, everything! I often wake up feeling tired still, so don’t get me wrong, it can be hard to get out of bed at times. However, there is nothing like watching some morning news while snuggling with my whole family in bed after Isla has gotten up, opening our blinds to see the sun coming up, making my oatmeal, and making delicious coffee. It all just speaks to my soul.
Being able to have such laid back mornings every day is one the reasons why I love being able to stay at home with Isla and not be rushed to get anywhere first thing. And with my husband’s schedule, he is normally able to set his work hours and allow for a leisurely morning as well.
Being able to have something that I love to look forward to every day is so helpful in keeping myself in a joyful and grateful state of mind. It’s not always easy being home a lot and raising a toddler, but I sure am thankful that it allows for me to enjoy my mornings with my family.

Countdown to Thanksgiving…I’m grateful for a healthy pregnancy

Leading up to Thanksgiving, I really want to place an emphasis on being in a state of gratitude and thankfulness. This is, of course, good to do all the time, but this time of year can place it on our hearts even a little more.
As I’m writing this, I am 17 weeks pregnant with baby #2. We just found out that she is a GIRL last week and, we are thrilled out of our minds.
Every pregnancy is different, and we are not guaranteed an easy ride during these 9 months of growing a precious child. Besides the occasional discomfort while sleeping, moodiness, exhaustion, etc…I am so grateful to be growing a healthy baby girl. I really can’t complain when I think about the blessing of being able to have another baby and have her grow in my belly. It really does far surpass any pregnancy symptom or discomfort that I may experience. Before I know it, we will be holding her in our arms and wondering how the time flew by so quickly that we are actually able to be meeting her.
What are you grateful for today? Write it down or share it with someone! Prioritize time each day to cultivate gratefulness in your heart.