Posts Tagged ‘Baby’

Favorite Things

I like raindrops & roses, but I hate it when “Favorite Things” plays during Christmastime. Brown paper packages tied up with string does NOT constitute a Christmas song. Whatev. In honor of the first month with a baby, I thought I’d critique a just a few of the massive number of baby items we’ve achieved for The Kid.


I know everyone registers for one of these anyway, but seriously, this thing is awesome. I can easily feed Wes while I’m typing away on this blog post. I can set him down next to me on the couch if he just needs a little “him” time. I can take adorable photos of him. And I know it will be useful when he starts to really use his neck muscles.


Doesn’t matter what brand or design you use. I love having one because I can tote him around the house if I’m going to be in any certain room for any length of time (example: taking a shower). We don’t always snap the toy bar in place, but I will say that it’s a great dog-detterant.


It’s kind of an extravagant purchase, but thanks to my cousins, I own this cute burp rag that can also serve as a bib when Wes is a little bigger. I guess I like it mostly because of its size and terrycloth texture. I find myself running to get this item more than any old receiving blanket or other spit-up cleaner-upper.


Yep, the glorious one given to us in the hospital is still his favorite! We’ve tried a few other brands, but he seems to like this one best – and he can keep it in his mouth for the longest period of time. The only downside is that this model isn’t compatible with the paci holder clip things, but we manage anyway.


Until he regulates his diaper changing schedule, we’re using up the many disposable diapers we received. From there, we’ll start introducing cloth diapers into the mix. Compared to Pampers, Luvs and even other types of Huggies diapers, we like the Little Snugglers version best. He’s a massive eater, which means it all comes out in one swoop – these seem to cause the least amount of clothes changes and use of wipes.


Lansinoh has a version of their own lanolin, but I like the Medela brand’s lanolin much better. The consistency is much easier to handle and apply when you’re sore. Enough of that.


Another extravagant purchase (thankfully, a Twitter friend is letting me borrow hers!), this infant-to-toddler bath is unique in that the baby sits in a bucket-like tub resembling utero. I think I’ll like this even more when Wes can hold up his head on his own.

THE WONDER WEEKS – Van de Rijt, Plooij

I know there’s a million books out there about how to raise a kid, but this book has been helpful in looking ahead at when I should be prepared for certain fussy periods. I haven’t yet read BabyWise or Happiest Baby on the Block, so I can’t comment on how it compares.


Fantastic way to save additional milk as you’re nursing on one side.


Saves us the trouble of knowing that yes, indeed, he’s breathing while he’s sleeping. I’m sure I sleep better at night knowing this!


  • Kindle – easier to read one-handed while multitasking.
  • Amazon Prime – stuff comes within 2 days, but we’ve received most orders the next day. Awesome!
  • Netflix – you gotta get it if you don’t have it yet. Forget about the soaring prices. All you need is the streaming version, anyway.
  • Ninja – good for making smoothies now (nursing health) and great for making baby food later.
  • Baby Bunny Book Bag – Marion County Library’s grab bag of books for infants 0-24 months. No due date, no fees, bag of age-appropriate books with a surprise factor!
  • GreenBEAN Delivery – Saves me a trip to the store.
  • – Updated daily; gives coupon codes and highlights of all the daily deal sites geared for families.
  • – Similar to above.


  • The First Years Breastflow Bottles – good concept (tries to mimic nursing for less confusion), but you can tell how annoyed Wes gets when using them. I finally just took out the inner nipple, which defeats the purpose.
  • Baby Trend car seat – I love the lightness of the seat, the design and the compactness, but the straps are ridiculously hard to adjust. When you have a growing baby that needs adjusting EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU PUT HIM IN THE SEAT, you get mad at said car seat.
  • Swaddling blankets & sleepers – I think it’s just too hot for our warmblooded baby. He sweats right through them.
  • Infantino Easy Rider baby carrier – Bought at a yard sale, and it’s an old design. Can’t figure out how to adjust it, and I’m terrified I’ll drop the baby.
  • Sleepers with snaps – No comment needed.

I’m sure I’ll be trying more things as he gets older and his development allows us to use more toys and gadgets. If you have any must try items for recommendation, I’d love to hear them!

Posted: August 16th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Welcome home, GrumpFace!

Beware, this is likely to be a rather winded post. End disclaimer.

Wesley Matthew


Waiting for Wesley to arrive was a little difficult, only because I was so far progressed. If you read past posts, you knew that I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced at my 40-week appointment. Doc was convinced I was delivering over the weekend, but we scheduled an induction for Monday morning if that didn’t happen. To pass the time, we went to see Harry Potter 7.2 the day after D Day (thank you, Wes! That shows your love for me.) and walked around the mall and downtown to encourage his arrival.

That evening, I started having mild but regular contractions that lasted all night long, preventing me from sleeping much at all. Waking up on Saturday morning, they had completely stopped. Not fair. Disappointed and hot, we just stayed in on Saturday, thinking that labor was imminent. I had a similar night with regular contractions to keep me up, only to have them stop Sunday morning. I was so tired and bummed that we just skipped church and watched bad TV all day. After dinner and ice cream with my parents, I was anticipating another evening like the last two, but the contractions only got stronger and longer. We were already scheduled for an induction at 6 a.m., so we headed to the hospital, taking bets on how far dilated I had become.

After checking in and signing paperwork in between contractions, the nurse announced with disbelief that I was a whopping 6 cm and completely effaced. She said, “I guess we won’t be needing Pitocin for you!” She brought in my doc, who was pleased that I had waited until he was available to deliver this baby. Doc said I would have a baby in my arms by 11 a.m., and my response was, “Awesome! I can eat lunch!”

I got an epidural about an hour after arriving at the hospital, and within another hour and a half, I was already pushing. I was super blessed to only have to do 40 minutes of actual pushing – feeling very little pain or pressure. In fact, once Doc came in to deliver Wes, I only had 2 major pushes. He decided to arrive with a bang, and I remember seeing an entire body escape at what seemed like 20 mph – leaving all the nurses dumbfounded at how fast he came into this world.

Wesley Matthew was born at 10:39 a.m. on July 18, 2011. He weighed 8 lbs, 0.4 oz and was 20″. He looks a little like me, but is a healthy mixture of both of our mothers’ sides of their families. He’s got a cute little old man scowl, which I’ve affectionately nicknamed GrumpFace.

Lucy greets Wes for the first time


Jake and Lucy have been rock star dog-sibilings! I was overly anxious about how they would react to him, but as Steven usually says, I was being unreasonable. They were anticipating something great was about to happen, and their welcoming licks and kisses just about made my heart melt.

Wesley is part of the pack. Jake has already claimed his legs & feet for lounging upon, and he repeatedly shares my lap with Wes as he’s feeding. Lucy lays down next to him during tummy time. She loves to watch him through the rungs of the bassinet while he’s sleeping. And there is no lack of doggie kisses! They both give his feet some lovin’ whenever they get a chance.

The next step is attempting a walk with the entire family. This has yet to be accomplished since it’s been so freakishly hot and humid. Once it gets below 95 degrees, perhaps we’ll be able to make use of our awesome jogging stroller!

My little rhino


I gave birth to a champ. He’s super strong, a great eater and has allowed us to sleep 4-5 consecutive hours for 3 nights in a row. (Fingers crossed it stays this way!) I’m increasingly amazed at how natural it is to care for a little human. I may not be doing everything I should be doing, but he doesn’t know any better and probably doesn’t even care. Obviously he’s content – proven by the fact that he has a slight smirk on his sleeping face at the moment.

The visits with friends and family have been great. Everyone loves this little guy! We have some wonderful people in our lives. I’ve definitely felt the affects of all the prayers given to us. Our week has been nothing but fun and special. We are blessed!

If you’d like to see more photos of Wes, his big first day and beyond, visit Steven’s flickr. I’m sure we’ll be updating it frequently as he grows and changes. We have a son!


Posted: July 22nd, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

Dear Wesley (a pep talk)

Jake & Lucy waiting patiently

Dear Wesley,

I know you’re officially only 2 days “late,” and it must be nice and warm, comfortable and entertaining with all the gurgles and whooshing sounds surrounding you. I promise, however, it’s very nice out here in the world, and your father and I are so looking forward to introducing you all kinds of new discoveries out here.

Admittedly, I’m a little cranky this morning because I didn’t sleep well. It’s not your fault, I know, but mild, intermittent contractions for 12 hours last night got me excited that you were on your way. When they stopped suddenly this morning, I was disappointed that I would have to wait longer to see you and hold your tiny little hands.

We may have to wait until Monday to look upon your face, but I thought I’d give you once last little nudge to see if today or Sunday might be a possibility. Think about it, but don’t force yourself into something that will harm you.

You are loved tremendously already; I can only imagine how that love will grow when we finally have the chance to snuggle, laugh and grow with you!

Love, Mom

Posted: July 16th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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D Day

I woke up this morning thinking my water had broken overnight. You know, this is the first time I’ve ever been pregnant, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Since today is the official due date, I had an appointment scheduled in the late afternoon anyway, but my doc wanted to see me earlier to check out if the sac had indeed broken. FALSE ALARM. Who knows what it was – perhaps Wes’ head is just sitting on my bladder too well, or maybe I was really hot? Gross. Either way, no baby on D Day.

However, the good news is that I’m now 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Wes has dropped considerably lower at -1, so all that galloping around the house yesterday must have done its work! Doc says I should deliver this baby at any time! Wahoo! He said he’d be surprised if I was still pregnant come Monday.

After all my hesitations about preterm, convenient “elective” inductions, I don’t feel so badly about having an induction scheduled for Monday morning if Wesley doesn’t arrive before then. It eases my mind that Doc feels confident I’ll labor fairly soon, and since I’ll be postterm on Monday, an induction doesn’t scare me as much. If Monday rolls around and I’m still pregnant, at least I tried to deliver on my own. I’m not giving up hope just yet.

When my mom was pregnant with my older sister, her water broke just after sharing a dozen donuts and a pot of coffee with my dad. We stopped at Hart Bakery on the way home from my appointment, and I’m now enjoying my 3rd donut and second cup of coffee of the day. No shame.

  • Heartbeat, Measurements, Blood Pressure: Mine was up to the 140s today because of sheer nervousness!
  • Weight Gain: Lost a pound!
  • Movement: Still going strong. I had a stress test completed today, and Wes’ movements looked great. In fact, Doc says, “this is a beautiful baby.”
  • Dilation: 4 cm, 80% effaced, -1
  • Cravings: Fruit smoothies. We’ve been making quite a few with our new Ninja food processor.
  • Moods: Yesterday I was totally bummed there wasn’t a baby in my arms. Today I’m excited that there might be a baby in my arms within a few days.
  • Biggest Gripe: Water didn’t break. I have to admit I just probably had, well, an accident.
  • Biggest Like: Excitement is growing around us. Everyone is thrilled to meet Wesley!
Posted: July 14th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

Complicated Morning, Complicated Migraine

On Thursday morning, I lost my peripheral vision in my right eye as I was typing a document. I thought I had just stood up and sat down too fast or something along those lines, so I got up and walked around the office to shake it off. It felt as if I had just walked inside after a bright, sunny day, and my eyes were unable to focus, even though they were not dilated. I called my eye doctor to see if they could check out my eyes that morning, but they were unable to see me until after 5pm that day. After 10 minutes of no recovery, I told one of my coworkers what was happening. By this point, my right eye’s vision was more like specks and floaties – similar to what you see before fainting. I had tried minutes before to tell Steven what was happening via Gchat, and I found that I was typing completely wrong words – not just typos.

My coworkers (bless them), convinced me to call my OB and tell them what was happening. At 34 weeks pregnant, you can’t be too careful. They asked me to get to the office as quickly as possible and to have a coworker drive me there. Laura and I got in the car, and on the way over, I tried to give her directions to the hospital. My nouns were gone. I felt like a person with a dementia diagnosis. I could explain to an extent, but I just couldn’t come up with the correct words to describe. It was scary, frustrating and completely frightening. We knew something was majorly wrong.

By the time we got to the Women’s Center at Community East, my vision had returned, and my speech was improving. They took my blood pressure, which was extremely high, and based on my other strange events, wheeled me to Labor & Delivery to check out my labs and continue monitoring my blood pressure. They were highly concerned it was the onset of preeclampsia.

Thankfully my labs came back normal, and my blood pressure was dropping, but I was contracting every 2 minutes (didn’t feel it at all!), and they decided to keep me for 24 hours just to make sure it wasn’t anything more serious.

The nursing staff was amazing and checked on me periodically to make sure I was comfortable and feeling well. I had a slight headache all day, but I was seeing and speaking fine after the initial episode, which lasted about an hour or so that morning.

My OB came in that evening to debrief his findings. At that point, he wasn’t convinced it was preeclampsia, but he wanted me to stay and talk to a neurologist because though my symptoms didn’t look like an obstetrics issue, pregnant women are more likely to have blood clots, headaches and migraines that can affect many areas in the brain. He ordered an MRI, which turned back normal.

I spent the night and was consistently monitored to watch Wesley’s heartbeat and movements. I’m pleased to say that he’s in wonderful health, and this had no affect on him whatsoever. I enjoyed hearing his little heartbeat, occasional hiccups and watching his heart rate increase as he shifted positions. This monitor definitely opened my eyes to be more aware of My Little Person. He provided much comfort and security during a scary, uncertain few hours.

After a night in a hospital bed, my nurse practitioner came in to tell me that they had talked to the neurologist, and she was going to see me at some point that day to go over her findings and prognosis. If the neurologist was fine with my discharge, then I would be cleared to leave.

Thankfully, the nurses, my OB and NP were growing less worried that it was a pregnancy issue, which helped calm my nervous considerably, and I felt in good health all day. Mom and I enjoyed watching bad shows on TLC all day until the neurologist came.

She had great things to say: if you have had even one migraine in the past (which, I had several in middle and high school years), you are more likely to develop a “complicated migraine,” which can affect cognitive, speech, vision and temporary paralysis. She said that some patients look as if they have had a stroke, when it has, in fact, been a complicated migraine. In addition, pregnancy can make its occurrence even more likely because of increased blood flow, chance of clots, etc.

Even more interesting: Mom had a strange series of events in January that caused areas of her face and arms to go numb for several minutes at a time. She was hospitalized for 3 days to conduct a series of tests to rule out stroke, clots and other more serious issues. Once we brought this to the attention of the neurologist, she said, “That was most likely a complicated migraine as well. In fact, once you start quizzing patients with this particular migraine, you can always find a relative in the family who has had a similar occurrence.”

This was the weirdest, scariest and most frightening situation I have experienced. I now know firsthand what it must be like to live with a dementia diagnosis. My encounters certainly placed me closer to understanding our Guests at Joy’s House. If you haven’t yet seen this youtube clip of a similar situation that happened to a news reporter on air, relive what I experienced briefly on Thursday morning:

I am happy to report that I was discharged around 5pm on Friday, and I do not have preeclampsia. I do have a scheduled EEG next week to double check there isn’t any risk for seizure, but the neurologist is pretty confident of the complicated migraine diagnosis. Most likely, I will not receive another one, but there is a chance, and I have been asked to limit the amount of stress in my life until the baby is born. This doesn’t mean that I can’t resume normal activity, but I have to keep a better eye on my sleep patterns, what I’m consuming and how much I’m doing.

I can’t say enough great words about Community East. They have treated me with the upmost care and respect, and I have great reports on my the nurses in Maternity Services, the MRI techs, the transfer techs, even the room service staff! Some of the nurses pulled me aside when I was discharged, saying that they loved having me on their floor, and they can’t wait to meet little Wesley in 6 weeks!

Thanks to my loving husband, my awesome coworkers (especially Laura, for driving me to the hospital and staying while they figured out where I was headed), my dedicated parents and all the uplifting prayers and support from friends and relatives during my scary few hours in the hospital!

Posted: June 4th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 4 Comments.

Birth-Mother’s Day

Usually I hate this time of year. While I’m sure my mother was ecstatic to birth me within 3 days of Mother’s Day, I’ve always been slightly more irritable right around my birthday because I knew that one day I would lose a holiday. Today is Mother’s Day, and I’ve been surprised at how many people have wished me a Happy One myself. And you know what? It’s been a wonderful day.

Waffle lunch with Mom & Dad led into a very productive day of yard work and house cleaning. While I was nesting, I felt the baby move and switch positions countless times. I wish I could accurately describe what he feels like to Steven. There’s just no words to describe the movements and flutterings that happen within me.

I think I’m finally getting over those irritations. Yes, I’m sure I will have a morphed celebratory birthday/Mother’s Day once Wes and (hopefully other) kids are older, but I’m getting over it. Tomorrow I’m extending Mother’s Day with my sister, mom, niece and nephew as we travel to visit my grandparents on my day off work. Following tomorrow is my actual birthday. Reflecting back, I love the fact that I can easily spend time with my relatives and family. There are many who are unable to get together as often as we do – or that don’t want to get together – and these back-to-back celebrations are ones that I cherish.

Next year will be quite different. I’m enjoying my last holidays without a baby on my hip, but I know I won’t trade it for the world once Wesley is in our lives. Only 10 weeks remain.

Posted: May 8th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

2010 Recap and an Announcement

So much has happened this year, and more is going to happen in 2011. LOTS of changes, in fact, we’ll be adding a member of the family come July. No, not another furry friend. This is the kind that walks, talks and takes your last name:

Briefly, let me fill you in on what’s happened in the last year. We have a new dog: Lucy, who is a total 65-lbs of sweetheart. She was found as a stray in Ellenberger Park in April, and since we couldn’t locate the owners of the cute little 5-month-old puppy, we kept her. She loves Jake, but Jake doesn’t care so much for her.

I (Leah) am still working at Joy’s House, an adult day center in Broad Ripple for older adults and those living with physical and mental challenges like Alzheimer’s and dementia. I design, create, promote, fundraise, plan events and all kinds of fun in my position as Outreach Coordinator. I’m in love with my job, and I couldn’t be happier or more stretched in my abilities. I’m always learning and surprising myself! What more could you ask for?

Steven worked as the General Manager for CMC Media Group until November. He is now recently employed with BCFoward, an IT recruiting and consulting firm in Indianapolis and several other locations. He’s responsible for marketing, promotions and social media, which is basically what my job entails! So funny. I’m still figuring out exactly what he does, so I may be wrong and will be later corrected. 🙂

We’re still serving and attending at Castleton Christian Church on the NE side of Indy. I’m on the praise team and Steven helps with the multimedia obligations during the service. He also occasionally makes feature videos for sermon series and events around the congregation.

Steven has been heavily involved in community organizations this year. He has been producing short videos for feature speakers at various community events, helping with the marketing and promotions for Irvington festivities and attending so many different meetings that I can’t keep track of them all. We’re both really proud that he has been able to meet so many wonderful people in the community. We absolutely love the East side, and I highly expect us to be here for a very long time.

Our house has been up for sale since September. We’re not actively trying to sell it – just feeling the waters and seeing if something would happen. Granted, we decided to do this before we knew we would be expecting, so if it doesn’t sell come March, we’ll reevaluate what to do & what makes sense. I’m always finding “dream homes” that I would love to live in or fix up, but I’ve been careful not to fall too much in love in case something doesn’t work out.

So now that you’re up to date, you really just want more details about Baby Shattuck. This is what we know: I’m about 15 weeks along, I’m due in mid July and we WILL find out the gender at some point. (In fact, we have a pretty good guess based on last week’s ultrasound.) No, it’s not something that was in our immediate plans, but God has a way of doing HIS thing on HIS timing. Based on the amount of doors being opened the last few weeks, we fully understand this. We’re excited, and it will be a brand new adventure to explore and discover. Wish us luck, pray for us, and keep in touch!

Here’s to an adventurous 2011!

The Shattucks

Posted: January 17th, 2011
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

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