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Date archive for: November 2015

Jack’s Birth Story

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AKA: The day I threw F bombs like nobody’s business.

Until that epidural…God bless modern medicine!

POP!  I woke up at 4:30 am on Saturday morning when I felt a poke and heard a pop.  And then the water came.

I thought to myself “Is this my water breaking or lack of bodily control, again??”  I got up to RUN to the bathroom with my hands holding my underwear (like that was stopping the flow) and sure enough, it was my water breaking.  Now, it wasn’t like the movies where a massive flood ensues, but it was enough to realize that it wasn’t just me peeing my pants, yet again.  I went over to the bed and woke up Geoff.  “My water broke.”

“Are you sure it was your water this time?”

“Yes.  It’s time.  Sorry but I don’t think you’re going to make it to your golf tournament today and we’re going to miss our dinner in Palm Springs” (so much for checking that off our November Bucket List ha!)

I took a shower to wash my hair and shave my legs.  Who knows when I’ll have the luxury of taking a shower again?  We ate waffles and headed over to the hospital around 6:30am.

I was admitted around 7am and placed in a delivery room and hooked up by 7:30am.  And then the waiting game began.  We put John Coltrane on Pandora.  My mother and mother-in-law arrived.  My friend Adriana stopped in.  I felt like a pro!  With every contraction I was using my yoga breathing and having conversations with everyone.  I even wanted my friend Tawney to swing by to visit since she was expecting her little one in a couple weeks.

Well, visitors would have to wait.  At around 5 centimeters dilated, I started experiencing the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Fear got the best of me and I started hyperventilating!  My hands and fingers were freezing up on me and I started feeling faint.  The F bombs were non stop!  I got an epidural about 40 minutes later and let me tell you…LIFE CHANGING.

Because of my heart valve the nurses were very watchful of me not pushing to my max.  I’m proud to say that even with my artificial heart valve I was able to deliver Jack vaginally.  After 13 hours of labor, it was time to push.  I remember pushing and thinking “this is the one!” but it was never the one push to get him out.

However, after a short break, some pitocin, and the help of Geoff, my mom, and the support of the doctor and my mother-in-law, at 5:30pm, with one last deep breath in my old life, I delivered Jack and began a whole new journey.

I became a mom on November 14, 2015.

“I could do this again!” were the words that came out of my mouth immediately following.  It was the epidural speaking.

All in all, my labor and delivery was a very enjoyable experience.   I felt like it went by so fast.  Everyone else present that day has a different opinion.  I can’t believe I gave birth to our son.  It’s one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my life.  Seeing my family with tears of joy in their eyes, watching Geoff look at our baby.

I would do it again.

Now recovery is a different story for a different time.  I’m singing a different tune these days!  But once the postpartum recovery has subsided I’d love to share my experience with hopes of helping others not feel so alone.

But staring at my boy makes it all worth it.

Three Things Pregnancy Taught Me

This week I’ll be posting about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and my first two weeks as a mom.

Pregnancy was quite possibly the best experience of my life, only to be trumped by motherhood, but that’s a later post!  I learned so much about myself and want to share with you all the three things that pregnancy taught me the most.

Body Image

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You are in for a doozy when you’re pregnant in terms of body image issues.  As a young teen I remember having the absolute worst attitude towards my body.  I felt extremely uncomfortable in my own skin.  Puberty doesn’t help.  Well, pregnancy somehow brought back insecurities about my looks.  It was as if I was going through puberty all over again.  Clothes weren’t fitting like they used to, I had to buy at least three different bra sizes the entire time, and I would even have growing pains similar to the ones I had when I was growing as a child!  Yet, after the initial awkward and confused sensations I experienced when I noticed a major milestone in my pregnant body, I learned to embrace the change.  Making light of situations (remember my lack of bladder control??) made being pregnant that much easier.  Plus, I can’t express enough how important it is to allow yourself to dress up!  When we feel good about ourselves on the outside, we feel so much better inside as well, and visa versa.  If I felt extra frumpy, I made sure to at least put on some red lipstick.  When my feet were swelling and no shoes would suffice, not even my Birks, I would put on a necklace that drew attention to my face.  And most importantly, I would choose to just love the process.  Pregnancy isn’t pleasant 100% of the time, but when you choose to embrace the changes your body is going through, making your beautiful child, you just might feel more beautiful than you’ve ever felt in your life.

Let My Guard Down

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Holy emotions!  First and third trimesters were the most difficult for me to control how I was feeling about everything in my life.  It was very rare for me to have a full day of pleasant thoughts.  Most of my emotions stemmed from my physical symptoms, however, some deep fears of becoming a parent started to rise in the last couple weeks of pregnancy.  I would see all over Instagram and other social media platforms mothers-to-be sharing how excited they were about becoming mommies, and new moms sharing how blissful mothering a newborn was.  Of course I had these same feelings, but I also was scared out of my mind!  And I started expressing these fears without any walls up.  I’m sure all my friends were tired of hearing my sob stories, but I just needed to be honest, let my guard down, and word vomit all over everyone.  And man did it feel good.  I can bet 100% of moms-to-be and new mamas are just as afraid is not more than I was.  Letting our guard down and sharing how we really feel can really lighten your load, especially when you’re pregnant and have so much to carry as it is!!

Geoff

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I love my husband.  He has taken care of me before in the past when I had open heart surgery.  There was no one as devoted to my health and well being than he was during that trying time.  And he did it again during my pregnancy.  He never allowed me to massage his shoulders, but he would offer to rub my poor feet instead.  He played games with Jack, tickling his feet when we could see them kicking my belly.  The love Geoff showed me and our little guy, even before Jack was out of the womb, made me fall in love with my husband even more.  Of course we had our arguments (I did get some crazy pregnancy brain towards the end, especially with nesting…oh my!).  But he would always rise to the top and help me.  And love me and the belly.  How could it get any better?

It does…so much better.

Looking forward to sharing Jack’s birth story next!  Have a fantastic Monday everyone!  I’ll be snuggling up with my little man and my baby daddy (ha!) for the day.  And changing diapers, and feeding, and thanking my husband every chance I get.

I’m a mom

Welcome to the world, Jack!

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I’ll be sharing more about his birth story soon.  In the meantime, we are just soaking each other in, embracing and learning what it’s like to be a family of three.

Stripes and Lace

 

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With the anticipation of Jack being here any day now, Geoff and I have been busy getting items checked off of my November or “Before Jack” Bucket List.  The car seat has been installed.  I’ve been driving around the last couple days with an empty car seat, imagining what it will be like putting our little guy in it to go home from the hospital.  I’m sure it will be both horrifying and hysterical.  Also, included on the list was a shopping spree to get ready for Fall to refresh my soul!  I know I don’t have much more time left to experiment with maternity fashion.  Maybe another month or so worth, but I did purchase a couple new items from Old Navy to help me get through the last weeks of this pregnancy and a couple weeks postpartum.  Along with new maternity tights, I spotted this little striped lacey number from Old Navy’s maternity online selection.  I’m a sucker for stripes, especially a black and white combo.  But because it’s finally Fall weather, and maybe I’m missing red wine a little too much lately (having dreams of drinking LARGE glasses and realizing I’m pregnant then feeling guilty afterwards), I fell in love with the burgundy stripes on this top. The addition of cream lace accents around the sleeves gives the top a bit of a feminine and romantic touch.  I can imagine wearing this top even after pregnancy as more of a tunic, maybe with a long sweater draped over the shoulders or with a bulky scarf around the neck.  I can’t believe this journey of dressing the bump is coming to an end so soon.  It’s been a creative outlet for me.  Soon I’ll get to dress up MY little boy instead…and that’s something to look forward to even more!
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{Outfit Deatails// Top: Old Navy Maternity// Tights: Liz Lange Maternity for Target (borrowed) // Hat: Target //Shoes: Born 3 Seasons ago}

Heart to Heart: Freedom from Guilt

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Last week I experienced one of the worst nights of my pregnancy so far.  Pre-labor pains, cramping, spotting, and contractions.  Once I called the hospital and was assured that everything I was experiencing was normal I had a sigh of relief.  However, I spent most of the day feeling as if this baby boy were to come then and there I would be unhappy, scared, and unprepared.

And I felt guilty for being unhappy, scared, and unprepared.  This is a time when I should be feeling happy and excited, right?  I had a heart to heart with a friend who was also struggling with feeling guilty and upset for being unhappy and stressed out.  Another friend called and felt guilty for being depressed.  Life is pretty damn difficult at times. And right now, it seems to be a season for everyone in one way or another, filled with worry, anxieties, when all we want is to feel happy…because we “should” be happy.

And this “should be”mentally is causing us to feel guilty about our genuine feelings.

Being a huge advocate for personal therapy (I do have a psychology degree, too, after all), I have been going for over two years.  One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my therapist is to treat my feelings as valid.  No need for apologizing for how I genuinely feel.  And if I’m feeling scared, anxious, not ready, unhappy, or any feelings that are associated with negativity, I need to only embrace them and know that life is full of balance.  My friends who shared with me their guilt for feeling so negative lately inspired me to write this post.  I know they, and myself included, are not the only ones who feel guilty for their genuine feelings.

You can find freedom from guilt.

You can find freedom in allowing yourself to be genuine.  Find freedom in sharing your frustrations with someone you trust.  Sit with your feelings and know they will pass.  Freedom comes when we can be honest with ourselves, and share our honesty with others.  I can’t imagine any new, expecting mother hasn’t felt a tinge of fear or the desire to keep her baby in the oven a little longer.  I can’t imagine someone never experiencing periods of depression, whether minute or clinical.  Let’s be honest with each other and share how we really feel.  I had three of the closest people in my life share their fears and anxieties with me on the very day that I was feeling the most anxiety I’ve had throughout this pregnancy.  And I don’t think that was an accident.  We all felt guilty, but in sharing our stories, I think we all left our conversations feeling a little more freedom, a little more calm, and a little less hard on ourselves for not being happy.  Because we “should” be.

Find freedom from guilt, friends.  Allow yourself to be genuine, no need to apologize, and remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

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