Birth Story: Everly Rose Edition

Hmmm. Where should I start?

Do I start this post at the exact moment I went into labor? Or do I go back a couple of days and work my way up to the moment?

How about we start a couple of weeks back. Yeah let’s start there. Back to when I was 38 weeks and very pregnant.

At my prenatal appointment my midwife examined me and I was 1 cm dilated 80% effaced. My first thought: yay! Let’s get this show on the road! But in reality: This means absolutely nothing. Baby could come early… or not. She’ll come when she’s ready.

Another week goes by.

No contractions.

No water breakage.

No nothing.

At my 39 week check up (Wednesday) I was examined once again. This time, 3-4 cm dilated and still 80% effaced. The excitement returned. And then my midwife reminded me again… baby will come when she’s ready. And apparently she was not ready. We decided if nothing happened by my next appointment, we would do a membrane sweep – not a fun procedure but a better option than having to be medically induced.

So I did what any pregnant lady who was being pregnant would do… I hoped and wished for my uterus to go into labor. Like right away.

I spotted a little bit the day after my doc appointment, which can be normal after a pelvic exam. But I was soooo hoping it was my mucus plug. Because then that would mean I could go into labor soon!

The weekend came.

And then it went.

Still no baby. ūüėĖ

Sunday night I went to bed but had the hardest time falling asleep because Baby was doing some major kickboxing in my belly. Kicks, jabs… I swear it felt like she was trying to claw her way out. I thought maybe I might go into labor!!! But then it all stopped just after midnight.

*sigh*

So… Monday, life went on as normal. Hubby left for work. Ella and I went about our daily routine – play, eat, play…and played some more. At about 3-ish, Ella and I snuggled up in bed for our nap. At 5-ish, I woke up to the same dancing act in my belly that kept me up the night before. Ella was still asleep so I just laid there and rested and let Baby beat me up from the inside.

And then I felt a pop.

Did my water just break?

I didn’t move. I just laid there. Waiting. For what? No clue. I never experienced my water breaking when I went into labor with Ella. In fact, my water didn’t break till right before I had to push. The doc had to break it. So I waited. Not long after, I felt myself wet my pants involuntarily. Either I really had no control over my bladder anymore or my water¬†did¬†in fact break.

I got up and ran to the bathroom. My undies and shorts were completely soaked. But I thought, if my water did break…wouldn’t there be more fluid? Like what you see/hear about in the movies? So I wasn’t sure.

Looked at the time and it was almost 6 pm. Called the hubby, who was on his way home from work but stuck in traffic. He arranged for his brother and sister-in-law to come get me and take me to the hospital. My brother-in-law took Ella home with him while my sister-in-law drove me to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital about 7 pm. At this point, I still wasn’t 100% sure that my water broke – denial at its finest. The nurse taking care of me told me they’d check me out. If it did break, I’d be admitted. If it didn’t, I’d be sent home. My sister-in-law stayed with me till the hubby arrived. The midwife came in and examined me. Turns out, my water¬†did¬†break. And I was still 3-4 cm dilated. I felt zero contractions. But once they hooked me up to the monitors, it showed that I was indeed having contractions. I guess I do have a high tolerance for pain.

So here’s the deal with having your water break well before you are in active labor. There is a small window in which the doctors would like to have the baby delivered. The main reason is because there is a huge risk of infection that could lead to complications for me and the baby. That’s when they asked me if I wanted to try to hurry my labor along with the help of Pitocin or if I wanted to try and see if my body would let labor progress naturally. I opted to try the natural route instead. They gave me about 2 hours to see if anything magical happened.

At around 9 pm, I was examined again. By then I was experiencing stronger contractions. Not too painful. But I had not dilated at all. So we agreed to start the Pitocin. I had been on the fence about getting the epidural up until this point. But after realizing how late it was and that Baby P #2 was not going to be born any time soon, I said yes to the epidural. I chose the opportunity to rest and sleep through the night so that I’d have the energy to push at the end of it. I remembered just how exhausting it was when I had Ella. And I was not looking forward to being completely sleep deprived before the newborn stage even started.

So they pumped me up with fluids and started the Pitocin. About an hour later, the anesthesiologist came in and got the epidural going. The contractions came on strong once that Pitocin was in my system. And once I got the epidural, it was instant relief. And I tried my best to get some sleep. I don’t think I slept much. I guess I was just too anxious. But I got to relax through all those contractions.

At 6 am my nurse examined me and said I was fully dilated and wanted me to do some practice pushes. After a couple of pushes, she had me stop because there was still some cervix. So we waited.

At 7 am there was a shift change and I got a new nurse and midwife. My new nurse didn’t try to hurry things up. She wanted me to “labor down” (let baby make her way down the birth canal) so that I wouldn’t have to work so hard to push. I was totally fine with that. So we waited some more.

It was some time after 9 when I was given the go to start pushing. Totally different experience from the last time for sure. I didn’t always feel the pressure of the contractions with the epidural. So my midwife and nurse both had to coach me on when to start pushing when a contraction I didn’t feel would come on. It didn’t seem like I was pushing very hard because I couldn’t feel much, but they assured me I was doing an awesome job. After 3 rounds of 3-4 pushes (about 15 minutes), Everly Rose was born.

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I was totally relieved I didn’t have to push for 4 hours like I did with Ella.

And thank God I had chosen the epidural route because guess what? It wasn’t over yet. I bled. A lot. They couldn’t stop the bleeding. The midwife was all up in there doing everything she can to make sure everything that needed to be out was out and that everything that needed to be stitched up was stitched up. But the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I shudder at the thought of having to endure that without the epidural.

Anyway, I tried my best not to freak out when she called for the OB that was on staff that day. But before the OB showed up, my midwife finally got the bleeding to stop and was able to finish me up. And then, of course, I spiked a fever. The risk of infection we tried to avoid happened anyway. I was put on antibiotics immediately and because of the fever, I was not allowed to go home 24 hours later like I should have. But at least Baby was fine.

*sigh*

And there you have it, folks. My birth story. Finally. It only took me 4 months to write. LOL

I still cannot believe I pushed out a 9 lb baby!!!

Evie – skin to skin bonding with Daddy

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My entourage, my coaches…

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Little Sis meeting Big Sis for the first time…

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2018 Goals… Not Resolutions

First and foremost… Happy New Year!

2018 is going great so far. We didn’t do anything crazy on New Year’s Eve…just stayed home and relaxed and then slept in the next morning. It was awesome.

I don’t usually set resolutions. Only because I feel like resolutions never stick. But I do set goals. And not just at the beginning of the year. But since I just had a baby and enjoyed myself a little too much over the holidays… I thought I’d use the New Year to set some goals for myself.

It’s no secret that I’ve slacked off a lot on my workouts. I don’t remember the last time I’ve lifted weights. And I haven’t been eating the healthiest. In fact, I think I’ve developed a bit of a sweet tooth over the course of both pregnancies that just never went away.

So it’s a no brainer that my first 2 goals are:

1) Get my eating habits back on track

2) Get in 4-5 workouts a week

So to help me ease back into the fitness groove again, I turned to the fitness program that helped me get into shape the last time – Tone It Up. So for the first week of 2018, I did a 5-Day Detox. To get ready for their Love Your Body Challenge which starts tomorrow. For the next 6 weeks, I will be following their nutrition plan and workout routines at home. And then hopefully after that, I can renew my gym membership and start weight lifting again. Sounds like a good plan, right? Ok, fingers crossed ūü§ě.

Next on my list:

3) Get my toddler potty trained

I had planned to accomplish this at the start of my maternity leave. You know, before I had the baby. Because it would be easier since it was just Ella and I, one on one, for like 4 weeks before Everly came along. But I was soooo pregnant, soooo tired, and it was soooo hot so I postponed it till later before I went back to work. Looking back, I should have done it then. Because now my toddler is showing some resistance towards the porcelain throne and won’t go near it. But, in my defense, I heard that toddlers tend to regress after a new sibling enters the picture so it could have ended being a waste of time if I had to do it all over again anyway.

Anybody got potty training tips or best practices they’d like to share with me?

And lastly:

4) Give more love to my blog and linked social media

5) Work towards becoming a mom-preneur – whatever that may be!

#4 is always ongoing. I try. I really do. All the mom bloggers (and dad bloggers) out there serve as my inspiration. Like seriously. I don’t know how they manage to blog/vlog frequently enough while raising kids but I am in awe of their ability to do so.

As for my mompreneurship goals… I’m still trying to figure it all out. I know I want to eventually be able to stay at home with my babies. But I’d also like to be able to do¬†something¬†while I’m home raising my girls. Something that involves blogging, social media, and fashion. I’ve got ideas…but it’s all a matter of working out the details. Once it’s all dialed, I’m going to run with it and see where it goes!

Anyway… that’s that. My goals. Not too much. Not too crazy. Totally realistic. And definitely not impossible.

Here’s to you 2018 ūü•ā

Finding My New Normal After I Became a Mother of 2

Nothing could truly prepare me for this new life.

Nothing.

Of course I’ve heard stories from my mom-friends. I’ve also read a ton of mom blogs. But like becoming a first time mom, you don’t really know what it’s going to be like until you’re in it.

So I was optimistic. I mean I already knew what it was like to have a baby. And I knew what it was like to survive the darkness of the newborn stage. Now it was just a matter of having to go through it again… but with a toddler.

No big deal, right?

Boy was I optimistic. I can’t help but laugh at myself a little bit. Because really… I had no clue.

Becoming a mother of 2 is basically starting all over again. Like seriously. Starting from scratch. The routines that were established with Ella was designed through trial and error and what worked for us and Ella. Not Us, Ella, and Baby. Just when we thought we were winning in this parenting thing, we decided to challenge ourselves by having another kid.

Let’s start with life at home. Because let’s face it… my outside social life was put on hold until further notice. So the only life I had was my home life. That’s just the reality of it. If I could not get a grip on tackling day to day chores, forget trying to take on the outside world.

When you have 2 kids… 2 babies… trying to establish any kind of schedule in the newborn stage is not even worth the effort. Especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding. Having to balance nursing Everly on demand and feeding Ella took¬†a lot¬†of time and effort. I was lucky if I got to eat anything myself. And like my babies, if I didn’t get anything to eat, I became very cranky. And stressed out. Which made my toddler cranky and stressed out. And by the end of the day we were all crying when Daddy came home.

We used to have a system where dirty dishes was loaded up into the dishwasher at the end of the day so that we would have clean dishes for the next day. Some days it gets done (usually when the hubby is off work and both of us together, we get ish done) and some days it doesn’t. It just piles up until we are completely out of clean ones. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but for real… some days I just don’t have the time to do dishes. There’s been a couple of instances where it literally has taken me an entire day to get a sink load of dishes done – in between diaper changes, feedings, and putting babies to sleep!

When it was just Ella, our living room would be picked up each night before we went to bed. Because there’s nothing like the feeling of waking up to a clean house each morning. Yeah… getting Ella to help pick up toys now that Everly is here is like trying to pull teeth. Sometimes she helps, sometimes she refuses. Sometimes the living room stays messy with toys everywhere for days!

Laundry. Can’t save it for the weekends anymore. I’ve actually started doing a load of laundry or 2 a day just so they don’t pile up. Because the pile grows quickly when you got a newborn. Can’t believe how much laundry a little tiny human being can accumulate in one day, but it does.

And forget about looking cute! The effort I put in to look decent when I went out after having Ella went out the window with Everly. Pajamas¬†is high fashion status these days. When we didn’t have any visitors, my go-to outfit consisted of a pair of shorts and a nursing bra and a comfy robe. I rocked the mom bun and no makeup look for weeks! When people came to visit, I added a shirt and put on minimal makeup. And by minimal I mean moisturizer with a brush of powder foundation. I was now a mother of 2 and I was definitely going to use that as an excuse to why I looked the way I did. I was too tired to care.

I hardly ever cook anymore. My poor husband has had to deal with working 40+ hours a week and then coming home to cook dinner for us all. And then on weekends, he helps me meal prep for the week. Okay, okay, he doesn’t just¬†help… he pretty much does it all. And when we both can’t, we order take out. Gotta do what you gotta do.

Everly is now 3 months old and although we are still adjusting and setting new routines, it’s getting a little bit easier. It’s definitely a team effort for the hubby and I.¬† But we’re getting there.

And hey, I’m still workin’ on getting that birth story written. ūüėČ

The 4th Trimester

Before you go any further, I have to tell you that the following content was written in pieces from the moment I got home from the hospital (in the wee hours of the night when I nursed or in the middle of the day when the babies were napping) and completed about 5 weeks ago. But for whatever reason, I managed to forget to post it. Go figure, right? Anyway, I thought of just 86’ing the whole thing altogether and just start a whole new post. But then who knows how long it’ll take me to write that one and then finally post it?! By the way, it is currently 2:46AM and I am writing this insert from my phone with my 12-week old on my boob. Yup, can ya believe she’s already 12 weeks old?! Oh how my life has changed…

Please read on… and maybe my next post won’t take another 12 weeks to publish ūü§£

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Give me a minute to find the right words to describe what life has been like for me in this 4th Trimester.

(Long pause)

It’s been amazing.

It’s been chaos.

It’s been a bunch of highs and a lot of lows.

But most of all, it’s been exhausting.

I am beyond exhausted.

The sleep deprivation.

The inability to function when you don’t get a good night of unbroken sleep.

Which, in turn, leads to frustration.

And then comes the tears.

Ohhhh the uncontrollable tears!

Tears of joy.

Tears of frustration.

Tears that just come out of nowhere because having a newborn all over again can make you lose your mind and you begin to think you know nothing about babies or being a mom. And then it makes you second guess the decision you made in wanting another one!

Seriously.

The newborn stage is hard. I’ve been through it once already, I know how needy newborn babies are. The never ending cycle of eat, sleep, poop/pee may sound boring easy but mix in the crying (especially the Witching Hour crying) and an energetic 2-year old who doesn’t quite understand that I can’t just “put Baby down” whenever she tells me to… it can get pretty overwhelming.

7 weeks in and I have yet to establish some sort of consistent routine. There are days where my days start off pretty good and I feel like I’m gonna be a rockstar and totally nail this motherhood thing. And that lasts about, ohhh maybe 2 minutes. I’m talking just tackling everyday chores like doing the dishes and picking up toys and doing laundry! Yeah there’s been days where my house is just a complete mess. And yes it bugs me… but I’ve learned to let some things go. Especially since I am still trying to recover from childbirth. The first 3 weeks were rough. My body was sore. I was weak. I was instructed to not do too much and to just let my body heal. I was also told I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than my newborn baby. Yeah, try telling that to my toddler.

Learning to give my time and attention to my newborn and my toddler was hard. Ella was excited to have a new baby around. But, like the rest of us, there were a lot of adjustments to get used to. Like putting Ella to bed, for instance. That’s always been a special moment for Ella and I. Lots of cuddles and talking and story telling happened at bedtime. After we brought Everly home, the hubby had to take on the task of tucking Ella in at night. Ella wasn’t happy about it. And to be honest, it made me sad, too.

The only thing that’s “easy” about caring for a newborn this go around is knowing that this phase is just temporary. It’s tough yes…but it won’t last forever. And that’s what gets me through the sleepless nights. Through the days where hubby comes home from work to find his newborn, toddler, and wife all in tears because I can’t seem to figure out how to simultaneously play with my toddler, nurse the baby, and make us all something to eat…and I probably never will!

Ok so before you swear off having kids forever (for those of you who are on the fence about having them) or change your mind about having more of them… just keep on reading.

Even though this stage is hard.

Even though we feel like we’re going insane…

We are completely over the moon in love with this tiny human. Love cuddling her, kissing on her, getting to know her… love seeing my Ella Bella love on her little sister (I know it’s just a matter of time before Everly is old enough for Ella to fight with but for now, I’ll take it!) it’s just been an amazing blissful time. You know, all the feels.

Yes the newborn stage is hard, and at times “boring,” but the best is yet to come. Almost 8 weeks in and Everly is starting to “outgrow” this stage. She’s more alert. She coos. She smiles! And yeah these moments only last for a few minutes at a time right now before the crying starts, but this is just the beginning.

So that’s that. Life with 2, a toddler and newborn, is exciting, wonderful, chaotic, and so very unpredictable. 7 weeks in and I’m doing my best to just roll with the punches. Learn as I go. Fair enough

Happy Birthday

I’d like to introduce the newest member of my little family to the world…

Here she is…

Miss Everly Rose

She made her debut on September 26th, a day shy of her due date.

And like her sister, her birth story was quite chaotic and definitely memorable…one that the nurses in that ward will talk about for awhile. At least it seemed that way by the way they reacted to the news that I somehow popped out a 9.2 lb baby.

Yup you heard it correctly.

No C-Section needed.

Thank God I didn’t have one because my recovery for this one was not as easy as my recovery with Ella. And I can’t imagine how much worse it would be to have had to go through a surgical recovery like a c-section.

Anyway, life couldn’t be any more perfect right now.

Well… maybe if I could get more sleep…then it would be more than perfect. ūüėČ

But sleep deprived and all, this little thing has brought so much joy and love to our lives.

Lots to share in future posts, but for now, just wanted to celebrate the news of Evie’s arrival with you!

Here are just some pictures taken in the last 3 1/2 weeks…

Stay tuned for her birth story and other updates!!!

Baby P #2 Bump Watch: 39 Weeks Preggers

Still pregnant! Had my doctor appointment at the start of my 39th week on Wednesday 9/20. Still no contractions. Still feeling anxious about going into labor. Anticipating that first wave of contractions is¬†not¬†a fun feeling. My midwife checked my cervix and confirmed I went from 1cm dilated/80% effaced (last week’s appointment) to 3-4cm dilated/80%effaced this week. She said there’s still no way of knowing when my body will go into labor – which is the sucky part about all of this. But she predicts that I could have Baby P #2 before my next appointment. If not, I told her we need to do a membrane sweep/strip at my next appointment to try and get this going. I really am not looking to possibly carrying this huge belly till 42 weeks. Or having to be medically induced to get her out. Nope. I’m not looking forward to doing a membrane strip either because that’s pretty painful, too… but I’d rather do that than being induced with pitocin and other drugs.

Anyway, so that’s where we’re at. We are still just waiting for her to come.

39 Weeks
 

 

 

What is up with Baby P #2 this week?

  • Baby P is as big as a pumpkin – measuring about 20 inches long and weighing about 7.3 lbs. She is continuing to grow even though the belly is running out of room.
  • She is most likely able to flex her limbs now – and I’m pretty sure she tries to every chance she gets because her movements HURT!!!
  • Her brain is still rapidly developing and getting smarter by the week!
  • Her nails may also extend past the fingertips now
  • At this point, there is nothing left to do except see the doctor each week and wait for Baby’s arrival.

What’s been happening with ME this week?

Weight Gained:¬†none. Thank Goodness!!! It was only a 5-day break between doctor checkups but still… it was nice to know that I did not gain in that short week.

Workouts: None whatsoever.

Symptoms:¬†Whatever symptoms you get for being almost 9 months pregnant I have ’em all. Braxton Hicks, heartburn, lightning crotch, pelvic pressure… all of the above.

Food Aversions: anything I eat just grosses me out now.

Food Cravings: everything lol

Sleep:¬†very difficult rolling from side to side but once I’m asleep, I’m good.

Any Baby/Pregnancy-Related Purchases? nope. Just waiting for her to get here!

Stretch Marks: ¬†I think there’s more since my last post. But at this point, I’ve already accepted that it’s not that big a deal. I’ll still rock them in a bikini once I’m back in shape.

Miss Anything?:¬†Yes. Everything about not being pregnant. I’m over being pregnant. If I can’t even enjoy indulging in foods I crave because I feel gross afterwards… I just want my baby to get here so I can cuddle her instead of wishing she wasn’t hurting me from the inside. She has no room to move anymore…

Belly Button In or Out? ¬†I don’t think it will ever be the same…

Wedding Rings On or Off? OFF!!!

Happy or Moody Most Of The Time? Neutral. And a hot mess all at once.

Any Movement? Yes. Jabs. Pokes. All kinds of soreness going on.

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week? Ummm…. nothing really. I’ve just been a homebody these last few days. Trying to keep the house in order and somewhat clean so that Baby P #2 can come home to a clean house.
 
Looking Forward To? Not the actual labor part, but looking forward to meeting this little human who is taking her sweet time baking in my belly.

Baby P #2 Bump Watch: 38 Weeks Preggers

38 Weeks and still pregnant! I guess it isn’t always true when people say “if your first was early, then your 2nd will be early, too.” I know I still got a few days to go till I’m “full term 40 weeks” and I could still have her “early.” But right now, she looks to be super content in my belly.

At my last appointment on 9/15, my midwife checked me to see if I’ve even dilated. And yes, my cervix has dilated 1cm and is 80% effaced. While some may think “yay, that means she’ll be here soon!”…hate to break it to ya… it just really means I’m dilated 1cm with a possibility of going into labor really soon. The truth is…I could stay dilated 1cm till 40 weeks. Or I could go into labor any minute. It’s all up to mother nature now. Whenever my body and Baby P wants it to happen, it will happen. I haven’t felt any real contractions yet. Just the normal aches and sharp pains from Baby’s movements down there.

So we continue to wait…

38 Weeks

 

 

Monster and me…

 

 

What is up with Baby P #2 this week?

  • Baby P #2 is as big as a winter melon, measuring at about 19.6 inches long and weighing about 6.8 lbs.
  • Her head is about the same circumference as the abdomen
  • She has really plumped up and has a firm grasp – which we’ll soon be able to test when we hold her hand for the first time
  • Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb

 

 

What’s been happening with ME this week?

Weight Gained: Up 2 lbs from the last appointment. Not something any woman likes to hear but doc says its normal and Baby P and I are totally healthy. So that brings us to a total of 32-33lbs gained.

Workouts: Are¬†you kidding me? Me? Workout? Those words don’t go together. We did go to the mall over the weekend to get some new stuff to wear for Baby P’s newborn photoshoot coming up soon after she’s born. And, let me tell you, this belly of mine made walking that mall almost unbearable after 20 minutes. Muscles ached for days just from that walk. No joke.

Symptoms: 

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Lightning crotch – this is a real thing, I assure you. Google it.
  • Nausea – usually after eating anything
  • Whacked out tastebuds – anything I eat leaves the worst aftertaste in my mouth AND no matter how many times I brush my teeth and tongue, I always seem to have the worst breath ever.
  • Aches and pains everywhere
  • Heartburn/acid reflux – makes for some uncomfortable sleep
  • Itchy belly…because it’s so dang stretched out, it just itches like crazy!!!

Food Aversions: nothing specific

Food Cravings: Ice cream. Fried chicken. But not together.

Sleep: It was pretty damn good up until now. Insomnia kicked in right at the start of my 38th week. Can’t seem to get comfortable with this watermelon belly. And also, can’t seem to shut the brain off. The anxiety of going into labor again is not fun.

Any Baby/Pregnancy-Related Purchases? Nothing new. I’m looking at new bows to add to Ella’s old collection that Baby P #2 will inherit.

Stretch Marks: ¬†Oh don’t even get me started on this one. Gone are the days of flawless abs for this mama.

Miss Anything?: Everything about being mobile!

Belly Button In or Out?  What belly button?

Wedding Rings On or Off? I keep them off most of the time. I put them on when I leave the house.

Happy or Moody Most Of The Time? Happy but easily irritated if you say or do the wrong thing. For real.

Any Movement? Heck yes. There’s never a dull moment with this Baby. She is ALWAYS moving.

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week? I think we finally settled on a name! LoL. You’ll find out once we’ve announced Baby P’s arrival.
 
Looking Forward To? Meeting this little human of mine. But not looking forward to labor.