Hello Sweet Cheer: August 2016

8.20.2016

Through Photos and Jesus, I Found Healing

     I had no plans to write this post! I have another one drafted that I planned to have go up next but today things changed. When I had Titus two months ago, my dear friend Elise was there to photograph the entire thing. Today she wrote a post about it on HER blog and now I feel completely ready to express what has been so difficult for me following Titus' eventful arrival.

     I cannot say enough wonderful, incredible, positive things about Elise Hurst and her passion for Birth Photography. You can read my perspective of Titus' birth HERE and her post about it HERE.

But I need to rewind just a bit to fully explain.

 I met Elise as a freshman at Texas Tech in 2010. I can't believe it's been SIX years! 

     Elise and I connected on so many levels and she ended up mentoring me over the next year and a half or so. I got to participate in her wedding festivities when she married Josh, who was also a huge influence on me, we were in a women's bible study together, had the privilege of going on two Haiti mission trips, and truly became such good friends throughout our time at Tech. She continued to be a solid friend in my life even after they moved to Kentucky and had their two boys. I loved observing their family from afar and hearing all about her two natural births! She is a strong, passionate, loving, kind, driven, determined mama! I look up to her in so many ways.

     Fast forward to 2016, I'm pregnant with my first babe and Elise is building up her birth photography business! She posted that she would be taking clients in Lubbock and Midland starting late May/early June and I was ecstatic! I was due June 7th and knew I wanted Elise to be there if possible. She called me a few weeks before my due date, talked through my expectations of her, helped me think through a few things and made me feel comfortable and confident leading up to having Titus.








     Once again if you missed his birth story you can check out the links at the top of this post, but to summarize, she was a huge part of encouraging me through my labor and delivery. I am so thankful for her. The single best thing about what she does is the fact that I now have a photo story of the entire process of having my child. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with how everything went and fully heal emotionally from the expectations I had that weren't met. 

I expected a birth center birth. I ended up transferring to the hospital.

expected a vaginal delivery. I ended up having a c-section.

I expected to have my husband, mom, mother-in-law, Elise, best friend and midwife present for the birth. I had a team of doctors, my husband and Elise present for the birth.

I expected to have my baby placed on my chest immediately after taking his first breath. I had him on my chest after the cord was cut, he was cleaned, weighed, diapered and wrapped up in a blanket.

I expected to feed my baby and have skin-to-skin with him for the first hour after delivery. I had skin-to-skin for about ten minutes (which I am incredibly thankful for) before the medicine made me too loopy to hold him any longer and they took him to the nursery for blood draws and an exam.

I expected to have a serene, natural, painful, beautiful birth experience. I ended up having a stressful, scary, medicated, surgical birth experience.

     The first time I saw the photos I watched them as a slideshow with my favorite worship song playing in the background. I cried as they rolled through remembering that day. I was elated to finally meet my son after such a long five days of laboring, but after getting home with him I started to feel the disappointment in myself that I wasn't able achieve a vaginal delivery. As I processed everything and played all the decisions back in my head, I started to question a lot. I questioned our decision to use a midwife instead of an OB. I questioned my motivation for desiring a natural birth. I questioned my body's ability to birth my child. I questioned my own endurance and strength. I began to work through what became a somewhat traumatic experience, while also being the second greatest day of my life in meeting my son. 

     As time passed I began to see that the Lord had a specific plan for Titus' birth. He showed His sovereignty over me and that His plan was sufficient. He taught me the importance of surrendering to   Him when I think I have it all figured out. The photos Elise took helped me move from a state of shock and disappointment to a state of thankfulness and acceptance of the birth the Lord had planned for Titus. Now I can look at them with joy and remember all that was positive about that day!











     Here is the moral of this long winded story: My birth experience was nothing I thought it would be. The Lord used it to teach me much, and I can't wait to share with Titus one day how his birth taught this self reliant mama to rely more fully on the God of the universe! The Lord also used Elise and her work to bring me to that point. Hire her! She is professional, compassionate, respectful, helpful and so knowledgable. I love her dearly as my friend and as my photographer. I will most definitely have her at my next child's birth (if possible) and I highly recommend her.

I love Elise. I love my son. And I have grown to love the story of his birth.

xoxo || meredith

p.s. the Lord also used THIS sweet article to draw me to Himself through the healing process!

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8.19.2016

I'm Still a Blogger!

Happy Friday, friends!

I wanted to drop in today to say a few things..

     First, I still LOVE blogging and I plan to continue it! AND it won't only be monthly baby updates! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I'm getting back in the saddle! Second, if you want to know what has been going on in the last two months go check out our YouTube channel HERE. We post daily videos and have a lot of fun doing it! Third, I am almost finished with the post I'm writing all about Titus' birth, how I've been coping with how it turned out, and all my feelings surrounding it. It's taken me a while to be ready to write it and once I was ready, I still had to work around caring for my newborn! Stay tuned.

And because I haven't done one of these in FOREVER... 

Five on Friday

O N E

     My favorite worship song that I've clung to over the past... four months maybe? The Lord used it to carry me through the hard waiting days before Titus was born and then the even harder, emotional, confusing days after the craziness of his birth. It is my anthem!


T W O

     We moved! We're living back in the Dallas area as of about three weeks ago. Ryan had been looking for a new job for a bit and once he found one we made the move! It was tough to move with a 7 week old but definitely worth it and we are loving being here. We'll be looking for a place of our own in the next few months as we are currently staying with my parents!

T H R E E

     Titus is growing and changing SO much! He is getting a little personality, making so many little coos and loves laying on the floor playing! I've posted updates with tons of pictures and all kinds of milestones, check them out! Also, if you missed his birth story you can find it here! 1 week, 1 month, 2 months


F O U R

     I haven't done an Instagram update in a while but go follow me to stay updated on pictures of Titus and what's going on with our little family!


F I V E

     I'm starting to wonder if I'm the craziest mom ever...my son is two months old and I'm already thinking about his 1st Birthday! Please tell me if that's normal or not...... ;) Let me know in the comments if you were the same way or if you waited a normal amount of time before you started planning!

Have a great weekend, friends!!

xoxo meredith

Linking up for Five on Friday with




8.13.2016

Titus Matthew | 2 months

Once again, I've attempted to sit down and write all about how I feel about the way Titus entered the world - and I haven't been able to finish it. I have actually started it though, so that's progress! I'm not promising anything but definitely be expecting that post soon!

For now, an update!


A G E: Two months!

W E I G H T: At his 2 week doctor visit he weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces. I weighed myself on our scale at home holding him and did the math and according to that he is 14 pounds, 13 ounces! I guess that breastmilk is really working!! I'll get his official weight at his 2 month appointment.

L E N G T H: At birth, 22 1/4 inches...he has his 2 month appointment on the 23rd so I will update this post then!

S I Z E: We are well into size 1 diapers! He wears mostly 3-6m/3m with a few 0-3m and a few 6m. Based on brands, he fluctuates a bit but is mostly in 3-6m/3m!

E Y E S: Dark brown!

H A I R: Dark brown!

S L E E P I N G: He is still not sleeping or eating with much consistency...we are working on it. I'm trying to take note of when he eats and sleeps as often as possible! In general, he goes down between 7 and 9, eats around 11, up again between 2 and 4, and again around 7 or 8. So, our nights are fairly consistent and he goes back down super well after eating and getting his diaper changed. We still swaddle pretty religiously - his crazy arms always wake him up if we don't! Daytime is always different. He's usually happy in the mornings, eats about 4-5 times throughout the day, mostly stays fussy in the middle of the day and hardly naps :) It's a crazy life but it's worth it!

E A T I N G: Mama's milk! Every 3-5 hours around the clock.

M I L E S T O N E S: Titus sleeps in his crib in his own room! He's been doing that since about 5 weeks old. He is starting to tolerate tummy time a lot better. He used to scream every time I flipped him to his belly on the floor, but now he lasts about 3 minutes before he gets upset! He is holding his head up better and better every day! Loves laying on the floor looking up at toys! He has also started following me with his head a lot more often and even fusses when I leave the room! He is growing and changing so much every day!

O U T I N G S: Still goes to church, the grocery store, etc. but this month he went in the pool for the first time (and second and third and fourth time) and he went shopping at the outlet mall with mommy and daddy!

F A V  T O Y S/A C T I V I T I E S: Loves chillin' in the rock-a-roo, laying on the floor playing and being held by anyone (but especially loves Mommy, Daddy and Libby!)

W O R D S/S O U N D S: Coos, screams and cries! He is making a LOT more noise this month than last. He makes the sweetest happy sounds!

N I C K N A M E S: Titus boy, Love bug, Bug, Lovie, Titus Almightus, Sweet boy

F U N N Y  M O M E N T S: He pouts his bottom lip out every time Daddy kisses his cheeks when he hasn't shaved recently! Poor babe.





That would be me trying to get a smile out of him! ;)

Mama is beside herself, it's so crazy that our boy is already two months old! We love him more every day. My favorite times with him are our morning nursing sessions. He's usually still really sleepy and I like to take that time to pray over him, pray through scripture verses and for his future! It's such a sweet time of day for us.

Here are some more photos from the last month!






































We are so in love with our sweet boy!

xoxo || meredith holguin