a bittersweet moment. (a lost post)

8:00:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Logan usually sleeps from 7 to 7. Occasionally he will whine a little if he wakes up in the middle of the night and can't find his paci, but that's usually the end of it.

Around 10:30 last night Logan began to whimper. Nick was on his way to bed, and agreed to stop in and check on him. Through the baby monitor I heard that his whimper had quickly become a loud cry, and it would take more than a paci retrieval to soothe him.

I headed upstairs to relieve Nick since he had to get up early in the morning. I found Logan in his arms, still screaming.

As soon as Logan caught sight of me his cry turned to desperation, and his little arms reached out to me in a panic. As I cradled him in my arms he immediately became silent and nuzzled his head into my chest.

In that moment my heart broke for Nick. He had been home for less than 2 days after being gone for 3 weeks. He couldn't offer the comfort Logan wanted, despite the close bond they once shared.

What's worse is that, despite my sympathy for Nick, I also felt a great sense of pride. I was proud to be a mother and the most important person in my little man's life. There is no greater feeling. I can offer something to Logan that no one else can.

Logan may not have words for it yet, but he knows what love is. He needs me just as much as I need him. There is something so magical between us that it brings tears to my eyes.

Once I rocked Logan back to sleep, I found Nick hurt and alone. I can't imagine leaving Logan for so long, time and time again, and feeling like your son doesn't even know you when you return. It was a bittersweet moment.

It won't be long before those two boys become one again, and my pedestal gets knocked out from underneath my feet. But until that day comes, I will cherish each of the moments that remind me just how special I am to Logan... and just how special he is to me. Nick will forgive me.


7 years. (a lost post)

8:00:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

an oldie but a goodie... from the draft archives

Logan's party made me realize just how much our lives have changed in the 7 years we've called TN home. When I loaded the moving truck after my last exam at UNCW and hit the road, I never thought I would find myself in a city I love, with a husband and family, and surrounded by the best friends I've ever had. I never thought this is where we would plant our roots and grow our love. I never imagined we'd still be here nearly a decade later. And I definitely never thought I would find my heart and myself in Nashville.

When I left my parents' house and moved away to college, I didn't leave behind many friends. Through my last few years of high school I found myself further and further away from the friends I had grown up with, and disconnected from the world I had always known. I had good friends, just not nearly as many as the girl that started high school just 4 short years before.

In Wilmington I did everything I could to avoid making new friends and embracing the college life. I was shy, I was scared, and I found a way to keep myself from having to face my fears. I had a few friends from my hometown and a few new friends I shared a lot of classes with, but my life felt different than what most people experience in college. I was happy, but lonely. Nick and I found each other, and in a way this kept me even more isolated from the rest of the world. We spent all of our time together... I was head over heels.

When we moved to TN, we weren't leaving many friends behind... only our few best friends that we would always keep close. We moved to a little ranch in Murfreesboro, TN, surrounded by cows and farm land and far from anyone our age. I didn't work outside of the house for the first year, so meeting new people was a challenge (and, let's face it, NEVER happened). Nick had a few friends from school, but many of them were young college girls drooling over the hot, 25 year old in class. It was a recipe for disaster. I can't say I have a lot of great memories from our time in the little house at the end of the road.

But it wasn't much later that things began to change. At the beginning of 2007 I started a new job in Nashville, and met some girls that would later stand by my side in my wedding. I met more new friends through them, and for the first time in years my calendar was filled with girls' nights, dinner with friends, and nights out in the city. A few years later I was in nursing school at Belmont, meeting even more great people. And three years ago I found myself at Centennial with the greatest group of girls I have ever worked with.

Seven years ago, I never thought the hardest thing about planning my son's birthday party would be shortening the invitation list to fit our budget. I never imagined that we could fill a room with so much love from family and friends. Seven years ago I wouldn't have expected so much of our Chattanooga family to drive so far to celebrate with us, because I wouldn't have made the effort. But somewhere along the way I found that the only thing that really matters in life are the people you surround yourself with. You can have all the success in the world, but without family and friends to share it with you won't find happiness. I found that holding on to insecurities and fears only made me more insecure, and more fearful and envious of the world I was missing. But most importantly, in the last seven years I have found the people I want to share the rest of my life with.


Adaleigh's birth story (better late than never)

8:00:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I wish I had a fantastic story to share of a natural, unmedicated birth. Instead, I have another story of an American girl with a scheduled cesarean. Fortunately, though, it ends with the birth of a beautiful and healthy baby girl.

Logan's birth was awful. From being overdue, to induction with Pitocin... nearly 24 hrs of labor, 2.5 hrs of pushing without progression... an emergency cesarean with too little anesthesia, 104 degree fever, vomiting, postpartum hemorrhage... It. Was. Awful. You can read all about it here, here, and here.

At every prenatal appointment with Adaleigh I brought up the possibility of a VBAC... and every time my obstetrician insisted it was a bad idea. I wanted so badly to experience natural childbirth, the way it's supposed to be, but she convinced me that I would likely have a failed VBAC and another awful birth experience. I continued to question her judgment up until the day of my scheduled cesarean, but I put my trust and faith in her hands until there was no turning back.

I had so much guilt after Logan's birth. Nick always reminded me that before medical intervention, so many more mothers and babies died during labor. He was more than happy with the doctor's advice for a repeat cesarean. He was still traumatized from our first experience, and wanted things to go smoothly without surprises or complications. It was hard for me to imagine never having the natural birth I dreamed of, but I did what was best for me and my family.

Adaleigh's birth was scheduled for 8.8.13. Two short days after Nick returned from annual training in Mississippi with the National Guard. I have no idea what I would have done had I gone into labor early, but luckily we'll never have to know. My OB wanted her born at 39 weeks to minimize the risk of going into labor on my own. My Mom and niece arrived in TN the night before to take care of Logan while we were gone.

On the morning of August 8, Nick and I left the house early for one last meal at IHOP before I was ordered to be NPO. I didn't have nearly the nerves I expected when we were finally only a few hours from meeting our daughter. We went home to pack the last of our bags, showered Logan with love and kisses, and arrived at the hospital for admission just before 11am.

I was admitted straight into a labor & delivery room, which I found odd since there would be no laboring or delivering in there. I filled out paperwork, was started on IV fluids, and Nick and I were left to wait and watch the clock tick by. Just before 2pm the stretcher arrived, and I was wheeled alone into a cold, bright operating room.

Because my cesarean was scheduled, I was given anesthesia via spinal injection rather than an epidural. The poor CRNA attempted my shot 3 times before the anesthesiologist stepped in to make it happen. The pain was minimal, but ended up being the only pain I felt during the entire experience. I was warned by my OB to expect intense pressure and pain as she pulled our little girl out into the world, but I felt nothing. I held my breath until I heard her faint little cries, and a petite 6lbs 8oz Adaleigh Rose was introduced to the world with a head full of dark brown hair.

As the doctor announced her arrival, I could only turn to Nick with the type of look you give someone that has been your whole world for 10 years. She was born at 2:22pm. For those that don't know, my life has revolved around the number 2 for as long as I remember. Logan was born on 2.2.12. I knew I was onto something in those early years of OCD.

The postpartum period was just as I remembered with Logan, expect that the spinal wore off much quicker than the epidural and I was walking the halls as fast as I could get out of bed. I was sore but the pain was manageable.

As much as I resisted a scheduled cesarean, I wouldn't change a thing if I could do it again. There was no stress and no anxiety... just a beautiful day with the people I love welcoming a new ray of sunshine into our lives. There were no surprises, no difficult decisions, and no time to worry about the fate of my little one. For once in my life, I can proudly say I have no regrets.


diy: felt bird mobile

8:00:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I have always loved birds. To me they represent freedom... flying free toward dreams... and always a symbol of calm and peace. It was natural for me to incorporate them into my little girl's nursery, beginning with a freshly painted, antique, yellow bird cage. I had long drooled over the many handmade mobiles on Etsy, and knew I could create the perfect feeling of freedom and peace for my little one with some scrap felt and yarn.

The process was simply, and took only a few hours to complete (over the course of many, many weeks). I stitched together hand-drawn, felt birds, stuffed them with batting, and strung them from an embroidery hoop wrapped with yarn.

The mobile hangs freely from a Command hook on the ceiling, and both hoops are adjustable in height. Adaleigh has loved the birds from the day I hung them in her nursery, which makes it all so worth it. After looking at mobiles for $100+, I'm quite pleased with the results!

Easy DIY felt bird mobile


embroidery thread (in contrasting colors)
felt (I used solid colors for the birds, and contrasting patterns for the wings)
embroidery hoop (I used 2 in different sizes to create a 2-tiered mobile)
ceiling hook (the Command stick hook has worked great and no tools needed!)

Step 1: cut desired shape from felt
Step 2: if creating birds, attach wings to felt birds using a backstich with contrasting embroidery thread
Step 3: attach two birds together using a blanket stitch around the edges. Just prior to completing the round, stuff with batting and finish stitching to complete the bird
Step 4: string yarn through the top of the birds and tie off, leaving plenty of yard to attach birds to hoop
Step 5: wrap yarn around hoop and tie off with birds at desired length from hoop
Step 6: after all birds are attached to the hoop, wrap yarn around the hoop. Conceal any tails from the previous step while wrapping
Step 7: if creating a second tier, wrap yarn around the additional hoop
Step 8: string yarn around hoops to hang from ceiling
Step 9: assemble hook to ceiling
Step 10: attach mobile to hook and let the birds fly!


watch me grow! (Adaleigh weeks 21 & 22)

2:00:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


watch me grow! (adaleigh weeks 15-20)

2:45:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


watch me grow! (adaleigh weeks 13 & 14)

1:41:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments