Mr. Foster Gray

After a breezy 10 hour labor with zero complications, except for the fact that he managed to flip himself in the tub and was born breech, Foster Raymond Gray joined us at 6:02 pm on Monday, September 16th. He is a little miracle and we can’t even believe how lucky we are that all turned out well considering his last minute acrobatics.

A full birth story is in the works, along with some decent photographs. For now, you’ll have to settle for this view from my iPhone on Day 2.

blended family baby

We are madly, madly in love with him and I am on a fast road to feeling back to myself again thanks to being completely pampered by Seth…

Your lucky, lucky and deeply grateful mama -

Alaina

Home birth video

I have had so many questions from friends and family about the decision to have a home birth. To Seth and I, this is a natural choice as our siblings were all born at home. Having witnessed my mother giving birth to my little brother, comfortably in her own bed and then having experienced my first birth in a hospital, which was a far cry from that peaceful scene – the choice is clear for me.

However, that choice is extremely personal for every woman and I have zero judgement to anyone who wants to have a hospital birth. But, I think those choosing hospital births should educate themselves on their options. So, I wanted to share an awesome home birth video I love in hopes that you, too, may one day consider having a natural birth with the help of midwives in your own home.

NOTE: this is a tear-jerker. Always makes me cry. Read More…

The finish line

10 days until our official due date…

I am hanging on by a thread in the sanity department. I just want to be back to my normal self, walking at a quick pace, off from one place to the next and wearing whatever I want. Right now, I’m lucky if I can get from my car to the office without being short of breath and I am down to about four outfits that are acceptable for public consumption.

On the bright side, I was a nesting fool before I came to this screeching halt, so, we’re as prepared as we can be for the home birth and for Foster. If you can really be prepared for either.

They will both be firsts for me– a birth at home and having a child with someone I love. I imagine both unpredictable experiences daily and feel as equally exhilarated as I do terrified. Will we ever sleep again? Will the kids adjust okay? Will Seth and I ever get time to ourselves? Yes. Yes. And, yes, I tell myself. But am I just lying to myself– did we ignore all of these obvious things when we decided to have another? Seth says all of our questions will be answered the moment we see his face. And, as always, he’s absolutely right. Knowing this is all happening for a reason and knowing that fear had no place in our decision assures me that everything will be more than fine.

Remarkable, really, how life just comes at you, like a wave.

I am a woman of few words as of late and have been extremely antisocial. I can say this- I miss you World and will be rejoining you very shortly in my skinny jeans back and with an extremely adorable baby on my hip.

xoxo,

Alaina

 

Nesting

Foster will be making his debut in five weeks.

As a result, I have a serious case of nesting. Not only at home, but at work. With the business being my business and all, I have to make sure all of the ducks are in a row. Fortunately, I have hired an amazing team and they are already proving that they’ll be just fine without me. At home, Seth and I have purged every nook and cranny and we even have the children on a strict chore chart. Turns out they are completely capable of vacuuming, dusting, polishing and even picking up after themselves.

In the quiet moments Benjamin and I have together, he rests his hand and head on my belly and waits for Foster kicks. When he feels one his entire face lights up in awe. I tried to capture it with my camera, but only caught this moment – just after the face lighting up. Here he is just calmly listening and feeling, waiting for another…

Big brother feeling baby

I am sure it is a common feeling for the mother of one to wonder what Read More…

Our epic journey, Part II

We started in Yosemite National Park.

And I must say, this was the highlight of our trip. Yosemite competes with Glaciar National Park in pure, downright, jaw-dropping beauty. I made this nifty gallery instead of embedding a million photos. (Love you WordPress). You’ll see the beginning of a photo bombing “bunny year” war by Benjamin, which continued through the entire trip leaving us with very few good pictures of all three of them.

We camped in Yosemite – for three nights – in a tent. Normally, my un-pregnant self loves camping. I adore every minute of it, even squatting in the woods. So… I was willing my body to just do it. But, by the third morning when Seth had to literally roll me over because I couldn’t move, we decided hotels would be best from there on out.

And, in case you were wondering, Seth’s beard turned into this: Read More…

Our epic journey

It began with the drive out to San Francisco by Seth and his two brothers. Their goal? To make it in time for their youngest brother’s bachelor party. The plan? Seth would make the drive out with his brothers. Nathaneal and Ben would then take one way flights home. The kids and I would fly into San Francisco, Seth would pick us up and after the wedding, we would all drive home together. Hard to follow, I know.

After he left, Seth and I could only connect to talk for a few minutes a day. After finding these pictures on his camera, I know why…

They were too busy taking ridiculous pictures of themselves.

AllThree2

Using completely different camera settings, part of the charm I suppose… Read More…

I take it back (and where we’ve been),

Nine days ago, I set off with all three kids on a flight to San Francisco to meet Seth. He had driven out a week prior for his little brother’s bachelor party and we were joining him for the wedding.

The plan – drive back home to Ohio from San Francisco and camp the entire way. After three nights in a tent, and two in a hotel for the wedding – my back and hips decided to stage a mutiny.

Suddenly my last post about pregnancy being a breeze became a haunting jinx as I struggled to walk without pain. We weighed our options- I could fly back or we could keep going, staying in hotels. I would stay back and bench it while the rest of the family hiked. We opted with the later and I am feeling much better, but still have to rest as much as possible. Eleven weeks to go now.

We started in Yosemite, Heaven on Earth- by far my favorite stop so far- then headed through Idaho to meet my brother, Ezra in the Grand Tetons. Now we are in Wyoming and headed toward Iowa City to see another brother. Keep up with us on Instagram – @alaina_gray or @sethgray.

Here is a view from last night as we drive through Bighorn Canyon, a hidden treasure just west of Yellowstone.

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More pictures when we get back.

xoxo,

Alaina

I am feeling fine. Due 9/1. And having a home birth. Please don’t project.

There is one question nearly everyone asks me upon seeing my giant pregnant belly. And I mean everyone. Cashiers at check out, distant relatives, street strangers, friends and colleagues.

First the stare down, literally, and then the “How are you feeling?”

This isn’t a bright, happy “How are you feeling? You must be so excited!”  On the contrary, it is a “How are you feeling? You must feel like shit. Because, well, you’re pregnant.”

When I answer, “I”m feeling fine. You know, normal sleepiness at night but just fine overall,” their response is a disbelieving, “Really?”

“Yes, really, I’m fine.”

Our bodies, as women are designed for this. Maybe it’s just me, but pregnancy isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s uncomfortable, sure. It’s annoying because I can’t ride with Seth or have a shot of whiskey after a long week of work. And I hate not being able to go for a jog. But all in all, not a big deal.

But after you hear the sympathetic, “How are you feeling?” so many times you start to think, “Well, should I be feeling worse?” Read More…

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