I really can't believe he's here. HE! A BOY! It's like we prayed for a child, and now he's here. It makes me cry just thinking about it. In my two weeks of having a boy, I've done a lot of crying. I just stare at his face... tears. I nurse him... tears. All the tears. All the joy. All the love. My sweet baby boy.
It all started Tuesday, the 25th, when I lost most of my mucus plug. I felt things changing on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I had an appointment with my OB and I was 4 cm! I was so happy! I called Matt and shared the news. Later that afternoon, I had my bloody show. Contractions started coming every 5-6 minutes. I thought that baby time was coming, so I had my mom take the girls. Around 9:00, the contractions started to fizzle. A little discouraged, I went with it and got a some sleep that night. Contractions still came, but nothing consistent.
On Thursday morning, we went to the hospital at 6 AM. It was finally baby time! At 8:15 AM, my OB broke my water. Nothing major happened that first hour. Around 10:00 contractions picked up and slowly got stronger. I did a lot of walking and bouncing on the birthing ball. I snacked throughout my labor, and I'm so glad I did. I was gearing up for one of the hardest labors of my life. Around 2:00, contractions were game on. I used a peanut ball for the first time ever and that thing kicked my butt. The peanut ball helped open up my pelvis, and boy, did it ever.
It's funny, because I had full access to a tub during my labor. I remember my L&D nurse asking if I wanted to use the tub and I replied with a sharp "no". I have serious PTSD from Eloise's birth. I am not a tub birther. You're wet, hot, cold. I know a lot of mothers use water as a form of coping, but I cannot. I prefer to sit on the bed (lol). I am happy that I had access to so many great tools that helped get labor really going.
Around 4:30, contractions were strong. They were every two minutes. I moaned and groaned through each one and did lots of breathing. Matt squeezed my hips with each contraction. The pressure helped so much. I started to push at 5:30. I remember them rolling in everything for labor and delivery and I started balling. I knew this would be my last time giving birth, and I was so happy that I was experiencing the labor I wanted, all while anticipating the arrival of our new baby!
I can't really explain what it's like to push a baby out. It's empowering. It hurts. It's an act of pure love. I never once experienced the "ring of fire", thankfully. It's more like holy cow, there's something really big coming out of me right now (ha!). But, with this delivery, it was different. After each contraction, I would get another contraction. This is called double peaking contractions. My uterus was trying to reposition Jack because he was sunny side up! Most babies are born face down, so this was new for me. I remember my OB looking at me saying, "I'm sorry, I have to reach into your cervix to reposition him". Oh my word. It was a sensation I had never felt. After a 15 minutes of pushing, he was here. Safe and sound. What a moment.
I didn't even think about gender after delivery. I was just so happy my baby was born. I did it! I could finally meet my baby, relax, and EAT. Matt looked at me and whispered, "it's a boy, Steph". A BOY! There were so many tears of joy. He weighed a whopping 9.03 pounds.
It's been two weeks since I've delivered Jack. I'm healing well. I am savoring every moment I can with Jack. Time is already flying before my very eyes. Since I've watched my girls grow, I know this time is precious.
I still can't believe we have another child. I thank God everyday for this blessing. He knew just what we needed, and when we needed it. I can't imagine life without Jack. I am praising Him always for our healthy, beautiful son.
It's almost time to meet this baby!? The end of pregnancy compares to that time of waiting for a positive pregnancy test. Is it that a line? Is that not a line? *Vigorously texts a photo to girlfriends*. I guess I can wait another day or two to test again. It's around this time - 39 weeks - that I start to overthink. What if my due date is wrong? Was that the day we actually conceived? My period cycles are shorter, can this be right? I was talking to a girlfriend the other day, and I said "I'm giving it to God". Amen.
It's weird to think that after having a miscarriage and two babes that this time would feel easier. It really hasn't. It's because you forget. And, I mean, how does a mom "just forget". I couldn't tell you. Maybe that's why we females keep trying for babies. The pain of labor and stress of pregnancy instantly disappears after your baby is in your arms. It's love that makes the world go round.
I don't feel sad about not having it just be the girls anymore. I felt sad with Eloise because I always wondered how I could ever love another child, but trust me, you can, and it's amazing. The girls have been waiting so patiently since January to meet their new sibling. They even questioned if this baby is even real because "it's taking so long".
I'm trying to soak up this last week (hopefully). I am thankful to have experienced pregnancy one last time. I feel complete closure with this chapter of my life as a woman/mom, and I'm trying to enjoy every minute. I thought we were done after Flora, but deep down, it didn't feel like we were done growing our family. It took some time, but it's all as it should be.
Please pray for peace and patience. Please pray that I go into labor on my own (which I always have in the past) and for a safe labor and delivery. Pray for Matt, and the girls. Pray for my doctor, midwife, and the nurses that will be on site. Pray for me as I navigate postpartum life with three children. All I can do is give it to God and trust His plan for how this will all play out.
In the meantime, you can catch me walking, napping, cleaning, lounging, and loving my family as we wait for our final arrival! I can't wait to share the news with all of you!
Believe it or not, I've never made fried chicken. It has always been one of those things that seemed too complicated and messy. When Dan and Deb gave me a whole soy-free pastured chicken to cook this month, I thought, what's more summery than fried chicken?
Matt has always been the fried chicken maker in our family. Early on in this pregnancy, it's all I wanted! So, last night I gave it a go, and it turned out great! I topped it with a hot honey glaze. If you've been following me this pregnancy, you know I want all the spicy things. If you want to give paleo fried chicken a try, check out my recipe below! If I can do it, so can you :)
Hot honey paleo fried chicken
It's grilling season! It's spring! I feel like the weather has finally taken a turn here in Michigan, and I couldn't be more thrilled. If you know me, one of my favorite things to eat are smoked ribs. Any kind of rib, I'm down to eat it. Pastured pork spare ribs are a favorite from Greener Grass Farms. With a little love and a little time, you can't go wrong with spare ribs. They're perfect for a bbq or a Monday night dinner ;)
This month, I (well, Matt - he's the smoker master), smoked spare ribs with Greener Grass. I served them with a side of coleslaw and some spicy habanero bbq sauce. I can't get enough of the spice this pregnancy! Ribs, or any bone in meat, can be slightly intimidating, but it's really quite simple. Check out the recipe below! And learn more about Greener Grass spare ribs here.
GREENER GRASS FARMS SMOKED SPARE RIBS
Easter is coming! Even during this weird time, I hope that you can make a meal for your family. And more than ever, it's so important to support your local farmers who raise quality meats. I cooked a pasture raised, nitrate free smoked ham from Greener Grass Farms! I did a simple pineapple ginger glaze with a pinch of chili flakes and I promise you won't turn your nose to ham ever again. It's tender, juicy, and crispy. It was all the things that a ham should be, and it's something you've probably never tasted. As Eloise says, it's her favorite thing to put in her mouth. You will have leftovers for days.
If you'd like to reserve your Easter ham, call Dan or Deb! I know I've talked about this before, but please know where your meat comes from! Know that your animals are taken care of and respected. Know what they ate. Support a local farmer. Your body will thank you. I promise.
PALEO PINEAPPLE GINGER GLAZED SMOKED HAM
Valentine's is this Friday! If you're anything like me, Valentine's isn't teddy bears and roses. Instead, Valentine's has turned into a family holiday. We cook our dinner, and I make paleo chocolate cakes in the shape of hearts.
Dan and Deb Marsh with Greener Grass Farms provided me with their grass fed and finished t-bone steaks. They would make a great Valentine's dinner. I paired the steak with roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes with organic goat cheese! I served the steak with a side of homemade horseradish sauce. Check out my recipe below.
T-BONE STEAKS IN GARLIC THYME BUTTER
You could easily cook these beauties on the grill, but it was a snowy in MI today, so the cast iron skillet it was.
PALEO HORSERADISH SAUCE
And that's it! It's really not too complicated. I know steaks can be intimidating, but they don't have to be! If are still searching for a Valentine's dinner idea, give Greener Grass a call today to reserve your steaks! Happy love day!
Two years ago we were a hard no with adding more children to our family. A miscarriage and two babes in 18 months was a lot for me mentally, emotionally, and physically. It was a lot of pregnancy and a lot of breast feeding for many years. We had two healthy children, counted our blessings, and we were excited to watch the girls grow. We got rid of everything – everything. But, somewhere between then and now, a switch flipped. Last year Matt and I talked about having another child. Would we regret not trying one more time? We pondered and prayed for months, and God blessed us with a beautiful new life. My heart is filled with joy.
I can’t tell you how many times I googled “should you have a third child” last spring/summer. I read blog after blog and no one straight up said “no, you shouldn’t”. Starting over seemed exhausting. I worried if our house was big enough, and if our current vehicles would work. All practical, silly things I tend to worry about. Friends around me were having more children. They said it was more chaos, but more love. It somehow always worked. No one said they regretted adding more children. Time flies. They grow fast, and they’ll be gone before you know it. Looking at the girls, I knew all of these things.
So, we went for it. A few months later I saw a positive pregnancy test. What a gift.
There wasn't an answer on the internet for me. It was figuring out what would be best for our family. My life has changed completely since children, and for the better. I went from a career woman to a stay at home mom at the age of 26, and I’ve embarked on this new journey for six years. It’s been my most rewarding, yet hardest work. It took me a long time to embrace my new norm, and believe me, there are still hard days, but I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world. Watching this new babe dance in my womb gave me butterflies, and I can’t wait to welcome this new life to our family. Adding more love is what's best for us.
This pregnancy has been different from past pregnancies. I am extremely tired. Food aversions are real. I've been a bit of a bear. Sorry, Matt. I do love you dearly. Maybe it's age. Maybe it's a boy (p.s. we could care less if it's a boy or a girl. The girls are hoping for another girl to add to their clan ;)). Remember when I was sick with that respiratory virus? It was brutal, especially during the early weeks. I was a nervous wreck that the never ending sickness would be harmful. But, all is well. Baby is healthy and growing.
I am so glad that Matt and I took a leap of faith to grow our family. I have a completely different outlook with this pregnancy. There are no first time mom jitters, none of the stuff that has made me anxious in the past. I will soak up every moment of this. Sometimes it takes a little time to realize what’s most important in life. And to us, family is just that. God bless this new life today and forever.
Happy advent, everyone! Today is probably the last day you'll be wanting to eat turkey leftovers. I'm currently eating Thanksgiving dinner leftovers #4. Ha. It's all good. Throw the leftover turkey into freezer bags and save for an easy dinner in about a month or so. This food only comes once a year - don't let it go to waste! Two years ago, I wrote a post on how to roast the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. You can read it here. But last night, we were craving something fresh and green, so I made a fresh salad topped with Greener Grass turkey and bacon. We had fresh lettuce from Willow Garden Organic Growers and random veggies that were in the fridge. I topped it with my paleo catalina dressing. Doesn't it look so good? It's really easy. Check out the recipe below!
LEFTOVER TURKEY SALAD
Hi! How have you guys been? I've been busy with a lot of things... work, home stuff, family stuff. I'm sure you all understand. This past month I did a lot of cooking for Greener Grass Farms. I cooked for two farm tours, and I got to use a new piece of meat to me - a stewing hen. When Dan presented the stewing hens, I honestly thought how much different can they actually be from a plain ol chicken. I was totally wrong, and I learned so much about this flavorful bird.
So, what is a stewing hen? Basically they are laying hens that no long produce eggs. Old ladies I suppose ha. In their package, they look like a normal meat bird. I made stock for chicken soup. Here's what I learned about stewing hens.
STEWING HEN STOCK
October is SGB's anniversary month! It's been two years since SGB came to life. Thanks to you who follow along on here, and my Instagram page. It's a little strange (and a little bit awesome) to think that I've made quite a few serious friendships through my blog. I've met fellow foodies, chefs, moms, kombucha lovers, home decor enthusiasts, and all around gems who are right here in my community. I am thankful for you, and I want to say "thank you" with TWO giveaways! If you follow me, you know that I love a really nice piece of personal art work and a great cut of meat. So, a few special people that I love are letting me giveaway their talents and products! There will be two winners - for two years of the Steph Gordon Blog.
I am giving away one custom 6x8 piece of art work done by Beth Walker. Beth is a Michigan based artist who lives in Marshall. Beth has created four pieces for me - and I have a few coming for Christmas gifts. Her pieces are treasures to me, and I know yours will be too.
Dan and Deb at Greener Grass Farms are giving me five packs of assorted brats to giveaway to a local winner only - so sorry! I wish I could share their meat with the whole country.
Here's what you have to do. Follow me on Instagram! Follow Beth! Tag a friend or two! Tell me what you'd love to win and why! I will pick the winner via a handy little generator on Monday, October 7! Good luck! And thanks for being here <3