Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Birth Story: Part 2

We did it. Seven days later, and Maddie is still alive folks!! And I'd like to say that she's a little machine. Girlfriend can cry, nurse, and poop mustard all while sleeping! It must be awesome being a newborn. Except for the whole mustard thing. I'm not too sure I'd feel great about pooping that out. But whatever, she handles it like a boss.

So I know all of you are sitting on the edge of your seat to hear the rest of the this birth story. So let's get started.

After the nurse told me about the merconium, my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. Maddie would stop breathing and she would either be flown to Arkansas Children's Hospital or worse, we would be leaving the hospital without her. I'm sure I looked like a ghost when the nurse explained what could happen. But there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing. And that was the worst part.

The nurse gave me an IV below my right hand. I can usually handle IV's, but this was the first one I've had in that spot. The tape was pulling my arm hair and the IV never felt "in place" so that was extremely uncomfortable until they took it out after I gave birth. But honestly, I would take "extremely uncomfortable" over any contraction.

Ohhh, contractions. Where do I even start with this one. When I was first hooked up to the monitors the nurse would tell me when I was having a contraction. I laughed saying, "I don't even feel it!!" and she said "you will." and BOY did I!!! I didn't feel my first until around midnight. I was still 1cm dilated and thought maybe, just maybe I could handle this birth thing like a champ. Then 2:00 rolls around and they started to get stronger. The nurse slipped me some pain medication which made me feel loopy and I wish I never got it. I felt drunk. But not the fun kind of drunk. The "ugh, I need to sleep with one foot on the ground" type of drunk. The nurse checked me again (which if we're being honest, she was rather aggressive) and I wasn't making any progress, so at 4:00 the pitocin started.

Side note: through all of this, I was still feeling "the gush" down below and it was awful. I swore I ruined the hospital bed because the towels just weren't enough. I felt gross and... warm. Yuck!

The pitocin obviously did it's job. It sped things right along and I was slapped in the face with some massive contractions. I would watch the monitor and warn Nate what was about to happen. At one point he asked if he could feel my stomach during one....

I was in so much pain that I started singing Sponge Bob Squarepants really loud in order to pass the time. One of the nurses was in the room during one of my episodes and had no idea what I was saying. If I remember correctly she asked me if I needed a sponge. No. Just no.

Some of the contractions were longer than others and I hated everything in that room at that point. I asked Nate if he could secretly rip the machine that was giving me pitocin out of the wall... he said no, so I eventually hated him too.

When I was FINALLY 3cm, the new nurse asked if I wanted an epidural.

Umm..... are you crazy?! YES. Get me an epidural. Like yesterday. Thanks.

She was really nice and I liked her, not because she's the one who allowed me to get an epidural but really, she was nice and funny and she changed my towels often. So I loved her. The anesthesiologist/my new BFF didn't arrive until 7:00 so I had to wait about 30 minutes until I could get the miracle drug. And I wanted it.... bad. You guys!! Whoever said contractions feel like strong period cramps LIED. NO! It feels like you're dying for 60 seconds... then you have to die again. And again.

The anesth... I can never remember how to spell it, so I'm just going with BFF.... my new BFF, Jason, came in my room a little after 7:00 with all of his gear. I was so ready to get the party started that I totally forgot about my contractions... well, until I had another contraction. And I had another one. Annnnd another. I screamed the F word a dozen times and maybe shouted a few "WHY ME!!!! WHYYY" but we eventually got through it and my epidural was in. My left side felt more numb than my right but I didn't care. I was finally ready for battle and nothing was going to stand in my way of getting this babe out of me.

The epidural was amazing besides the fact that it made me feel really cold. I didn't know if it was just nerves or the medicine but I was literally shaking and no matter how many warm blankets I had, nothing was helping.

By 11:00 I was 9cm dilated and the nurse let us know that it would be time to push in about 30 minutes. THIRTY. MINUTES. We did some practice pushes and I informed her that I couldn't feel enough to push so we should probably turn the epi down. This would delay pushing another half hour, but I didn't want to not feel anything, ya know? So we waited. Shish was about to get real in that hospital room and I was incredibly unprepared for what was about to happen.

It was 12:00 and my legs were put in stirrups. They felt like they weighed a 100 pounds. I couldn't lift them so I had a little help from my friends. We were in position. and it was time to push.

Since my epi was turned down I could feel when a contraction was on its way. You could also look in the monitor but I knew before it showed up on the screen.

"Here's one"
"Ready, push.... 1....2...3...4...5...6...7...8....9..10
deep breath, push again... 1...2...3...4...5...6....7....8...9...10
deep breath, and again... "

We pushed for 30 seconds each contraction. I was given some good advice beforehand and pushed with my stomach muscles and not like I was pooping. We were making progress... quickly...

After pushing for about 10 minutes, Maddie's heart rate dropped. The nurse said to call my doctor and have him make his way over to our room as soon as possible. No one panicked, except for me. I could hear the machine with her heart rate and I had every bad thought running through my head. Every time I pushed, her heart rate would drop which made the nurse believe the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.

And there was nothing i could do besides push. And I pushed hard. We continued to push every contraction and my doctor finally made his way into our room.

12:23 pm I felt a contraction coming, and we started....


"We have a baby!!!"

and I could see it. The cord.

Although it may look like it in the pictures, she wasn't crying, and I was worried. I kept asking, "is she ok?!" "what's wrong?"

I wanted to hear that terrible newborn cry so badly, but we didn't.

They let me do skin to skin for about 60 seconds. She wasn't breathing right, so they suctioned a lot of fluid out of her lungs. They then took her straight to the nursery.

I honestly didn't know what to think. For one, I just had a baby. I was in shock that we made her. She was mine. And she wasn't doing very well, which broke my heart into pieces. I just wanted her to be ok, and then I would be ok. I knew then that I was a mom... a real mom. 

 I don't know how long it was until we saw her again but it was the sweetest moment of my life. She had more color and was breathing normally. She was perfect.

We did the whole breastfeeding challenge which was comical but she latched! We didn't get very far with that but I didn't mind, I was just happy that she was happy and warm and with us.

Little did I know, the "afterbirth" war had begun. The epidural was gone and a nice young nurse came and pushed on my stomach... and by "pushed" I mean, made me feel like my insides were coming out. That was just the beginning of my recovery....

Part 3: recovery. holy shiz, it's no joke.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Birth Story: Part 1

Well it happened. The day I've been waiting for the past 10 months. After 15 hours of labor, Madeline Ray arrived on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm with 10 fingers and 10 toes. It was probably the worst yet most exciting time of my life so while it's fresh on the mind I figured it's a good time to share our birth story/I got to have a nap today AND a shower, so I'm feeling good.

Where to begin. Ah, yes.... Tuesday afternoon. 3 days until the due date.

I woke up feeling ok. I hadn't been sleeping well since the beginning of this pregnancy but lately it had gotten worse. I was waking up at 1:30 and would stay up until Nate's alarm went off for work at around 6:30. I would nap when he left, then I would get on with my day. This lasted for a couple days and I knew something was surely about to happen. SURELY. I was 0 cm dilated according to my last doctors visit, and had another one on Wednesday that I was looking forward to. I was doing everything you're supposed to do to jumpstart labor. Pineapple, walking, spicy food, cuddling with your husband..... NOTHING was working. Girlfriend was comfortable in there but I was praying to be at least 1 cm dilated at my appointment the next day. So I continued my pineapple-walking-spicy food routine on Tuesday morning beginning with a walk around the neighborhood with Emily. A couple hours later, something was different. I started feeling something I haven't felt in months... cramps. I sent Nate a text letting him know, just in case...

Two hours later... the cramping stopped. I was using the restroom a lot so I figured I was mistaking the cramps for a stomach ache. So, I continued on with my day and forgot about it. At this point, I was prepared to be pregnant for another couple weeks because of how little progress I was making at my appointments, so the cramps didn't worry me at all. When Nate got home from work, I was making BLT's and he asked me how I was doing. I was fine and told him it was just a false alarm. After dinner, Nate wanted to watch the newly released Spider Man 2 movie and we made a trip to a nearby redbox. When we were on the way, I mentioned that I started to feel "different" again but didn't think anything of it since the cramping stopped earlier in the day... they'll probably stop again.

8:40 p.m.

We got home, popped the movie in, Nate and I met in the middle on the volume level (he likes to feel like he's literally in the movie) and I opened a bottle of root beer and got relaxed on the sofa. "Ahhh..."  but in typical pregnant fashion, as soon as I got comfortable I had to pee. I got up and again mentioned how different I felt as I made my way towards the loo. Warning: the next part may be TMI. I got to the bathroom and did my usual business. Squeezed a pee out, wiped, and got up. Before I flushed I looked into the toilet and noticed that it didn't look like my normal pee. There was something in it.... blood. As soon as I realized what was happening I felt something start to come out of me so I sat down on the toilet again and there it was... THE gush. My water broke.

I screamed for Nate and he and Emily came running into the bathroom.

"I think my water just broke" **more trickles into the toilet** "and I think it's still breaking"

I started to cry, Nate lost all of the color in his face and said "let's go".

Nate grabbed the hospital bags, I changed clothes and put a roll of toilet paper in my pants and we headed out the door. Fluid was pouring out of me and I was scared. I won't describe what it looked like but just know that the movies lie to you with that clear crap.

On the way to the hospital, I wasn't feeling contractions, I wasn't feeling cramps, I wasn't feeling anything labor related. I WAS feeling: like i was peeing my pants, nervous that something was wrong, and 100% not ready to have a baby.

We got to the hospital. Finally. And we made our way to labor and delivery. A trail of fluid was following us from behind. It was really a red carpet moment.

I checked in, and they got our room ready. I was told to take everything off and put a gown on and they made sure that my water in fact DID break and they let me know that it would continue to break until I delivered.

"Um, I'm sorry... you're telling me that I'm going to pee myself the rest of the night?"
"Yes ma'am"


And then the nurse said something no one was expecting:

"that brown stuff you saw in your water and what we're seeing now is called merconium, so the nurses may take her right away in case she inhales it and stops breathing"


To be continued.. 

Part 2 will include: contractions, epidural, the beginning of pushing, and the nurse telling us the umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My thoughts on BREASTMILK

... the movie. A movie specifically on breastfeeding. And even if you're not a mom, don't plan to be a mom, or don't care about it in general, hear me out.

Before I start rambling, I should mention that while I would love to give you my opinion on actual breastfeeding, I don't think my thoughts or opinions really matter on the subject. Just know that I'm excited and grossed out all at the same time. I think the only opinion I want you to know is that I hate seeing breastfeeding pictures on instagram or Facebook. I think how you feed your baby is your business and I think some moms share their breastfeeding boobies just to get a rise out of people. Just feed your freakin' kid and move on, ok?! ok.

I think the movie is something every woman should see. It shows you what our bodies are capable of and how we're engineered to grow healthy babies. It's pretty neat. I learned that you don't have to have a baby to produce milk (weird, right?) and if you are breastfeeding, breastmilk will leak out of you in the most inconvenient times (ya know, like when you're in bed with your husband/whatever your sleeping with) WHO KNEW?! I mean, I knew they leaked, but not in an intimate moment. I also learned that some women use their breastmilk in their food. One woman proved that by squeezing her breast into her eggs... then she made an omelette with those eggs. I CAN'T. 

I paused the movie several times, wiped sweat from my forehead, and turned away 90% of the movie. The different scenes of boobs expressing milk into the air literally made me gag, and I almost decided it was time to turn the movie off. The film was also up close and personal with pumping. If you've ever seen a nipple being pumped, good for you... I have not been graced with that vision before yesterday, so you can imagine the look on my face when I saw it for the first time. Here's what it reminded me of:

just let that sink in for a bit. 

The women you meet throughout the film had all the same thoughts I'm having right now. 

"Will I make enough milk?"
"What if it doesn't work?"
"will the baby latch?"
"how do I know she's latched?"
"I don't want to use formula"

yada, yada, yada. It was comforting knowing that I'm not alone. It was also interesting to see that a majority of those women eventually went to formula and only a couple exclusively breastfed. It lowered my confidence at times, but also made sense in the fact that this is really hard and time consuming. It's going to take a lot of patience. A LOT. And since I'm not working, it can be something we (the baby and myself) can focus on. 

I wouldn't recommend eating anything while watching this movie. If you have a weak stomach, this isn't for you. I know my thoughts will probably change once baby Maddie arrives, but for now this subject makes me cringe even though I'm 100% for it. It's totally weird, I know. So obviously I had to blog about it. Does anyone else feel this way about breastmilk? am I just immature? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

37 weeks: What's in your bag?

Are we really at 37 weeks? I mean.... really? Because it's hard for me to imagine that I'm going to be delivering a baby.. A BABY... in about 3-4 weeks. You guys, A BABY. And then, the nurses and doctors are going to send me home with that BABY and we have to somehow figure out how to take care of it. Just so we're clear, I know nothing about babies. Like... nothing. I mean I know they poop and pee and eat and stuff but that's all I know. 

Here's what I do know. I know what I'm bringing in my bag to the hospital. Because that's semi-important, I think. Thanks to Pinterest and other mommies out there who have given me their 2 cents here's what I have so far... 

1. Nursing sleep bras
2. Nursing pads (because apparently I start leaking from places I've never leaked before)
3. The most comfortable Gap v-necks that are now on sale for $8
4. Ugg Slippers
5. Gap Maternity leggings (in both black and grey)
6. Nursing tank
7. Camera, video camera, and chargers that go with them
8. Boppy pillow for nursing
9. Wine to celebrate
10. Pillows for Nate
11. Cheap underwear
12. iPhone charger
13, 14: Blow dryer, straightener
15. Shower stuffs
16. Maxi pads
17. Make-up bag filled with... make up.
18. Not pictured: shower shoes, nipple cream, snacks for Nate, coming home outfit, and nursing bra to come home in.

So basically, it's a normal overnight bag minus the boob pads and cheap underwear. Unless, boob pads are your thing. I also have baby Maddie's bag packed with clothes and swaddles and other goodies, but the hospital provides all the diapers, wipes etc. (I packed a few just in case). And obviously, the car seat is ready to go. Insurance info is also important but the hospital already has all of our stuff so we don't need to bring anything.

I'm sure I'll pack a few more items along the way! But right now this is all I have. It's so crazy that I'm already getting ready to go to the hospital. It feels like yesterday that I was just making the pregnancy announcement.

Ok so what am I forgetting? any other suggestions?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Things I Don't Like Right Now

True Story: I started writing a "favorites" post and then I realized that I hate more things than I love them right now. Welcome to my life, friends! I'm currently miserable, waiting for this little girl to make her debut so I might as well show my honesty on this blog. But really, let's talk about what I'm hating right now.


THESE crazies! Let me tell you... I used to be the real housewives of whatevers biggest fan! I could tell you about every cast member and what they're currently eating at the moment based on their instagram feed. But for the past several seasons (of every city), I just can't get into it. I don't know if it's because I'm growing up or can't stand their over-plastic surgery faces, but these ladies drive me nuts. In fact, every show on Bravo drives me nuts. THEY'RE ALL THE SAME. They're all about rich women with marriage problems buying a new home they can't afford. Like, can we chill out and go back to my favorite New Jersey cast members? and Orange County before Tamra? She's too much.  OK but I will admit that I love "Don't Be Tardy" with Kim from RHOATL. She's my favorite.


Camille Leblanc-Bazinet/the fittest woman on earth. And to be clear, I love her so much I hate her. She was crowned 2014's CrossFit Games winner yesterday and she earned every bit of it. She's the definition of perfection. She can lift heavy weights yet she doesn't look like Hulk Hogan. Which if we're being honest, a lot of CrossFit ladies are starting to look... manly... and it's awful. Keep it feminine and beautiful like Camille, and you'll be a fan favorite. Except I hate her because I'm currently shoving a brownie in my mouth while looking at her abs. Gross.


Fajita night because all I want right now is a frozen margarita with no salt in one of those giant glasses with the dark blue rim. And don't even talk to me about that virgin crap. It tastes like pure sugar with ice and I don't have time for that. 3-4 WEEKS you guys!! Can't wait to cheers!... and obviously, to have my daughter here...


this smelly nonsense. In the last month of pregnancy I've had 5 stretch marks pop up on my sides. FIVE. and they're not pretty. Like I'm sorry... where did you come from and who invited you to the party? NO ONE. I've gone this long without a mark, and all of a sudden I have this to worry about. Thanks cocoa butter for doing your job... NOT. Ugh...

5. My toes because I can't reach them.

6. My fingers because I want to paint them but I have no patience.


the added .99 pastry from Panera Bread because I can never say no and they're so delicious that I want more than one. If you're wondering how much weight I've gained through this pregnancy, don't. It's more than you and I want to know. Really... it's bizarre.


sleep. I know, I know. This is also bizarre. Sleep for me is waking up 4-5 times a night peeing or trying to get comfortable. Rolling over just isn't the same when you're in your 9th month of pregnancy. It hurts and then she starts to move and then I get hungry and then I think I have to pee and then... the list goes on. I just live a really hard life, ok.


Speaking of sleep... I'm supposed to be reading this book about how to make sure my baby is getting enough sleep at night. But it's boring and I'm tired and I don't want to read it... so obviously, I hate it.

10. I should probably end on a positive note. So I'll leave you with something I love.

Nate and our first child, Emily. They really are the best. and Nate gives really good foot rubs. I hope they continue after pregnancy... a girl can dream, right?

What are you hating right now?


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some Maternity Pics + New Hair

about 3 days ago I swore against maternity pictures. I've gained 40+ pounds, my face is fat, and my thighs are bigger than they've ever been -- so why in the world would I want to remember myself like this? Why would ANYONE want to remember this? This stage in pregnancy is anything but glamourous. But when Michelle asked if she could test a new picture site on me, I thought "she's a good photographer, she can't make me look THAT bad" and I was right, she did a wonderful job. Before she asked if she could take them, I made the decision to ditch my blonde and dive into brunette. This dramatic change also scared me a little bit to take some pictures. Because let's be real, I sort of resemble that salsa dancer emoji. Or that's what I feel like anyway.

Let's get to it, here's a quick look into our session....

Michelle Miller Photography
I know, I know. My hair is a lot to take in right now, but let's focus on what a wonderful photographer Michelle is. She really knows her stuff. Sadly, the hopeful new picture site turned into a bug infested, tall grass, hard to walk through area.... but these pictures were worth it! If you're in the Little Rock area and need some pictures, go to her Facebook page and get her info. 

Let's move on to the hair. 

What were you thinking? Here's the honest truth. I had a scheduled hair appointment on Monday morning. I was planning on getting the usual until I went to bed Sunday night and thought, "I really don't want my roots anymore" and started looking up new hairstyles on Pinterest. I fell in love with the Ombre look and thought it would be perfect because it looks like less maintenance. Since my hair was so blonde before, we decided to go a little darker so my blonde doesn't start peeking through so fast (if you've ever made the transition, you know what I'm talking about). Believe it or not, this color is closer to my natural hair color than the blonde was. Obviously, I've always been the salsa emoji dancer at heart. 

I'm still in shock that I don't have my blonde hair. Literally, every time I look in the mirror I think I have a wig on. It gives me a quick heart attack every.time. But like I said, it will fade in about a week or two. I'm just so relieved I don't have to worry about going to the stylist every 6-8 weeks to have my roots done. We'll be saving TIME and MONEY, which is important with a newborn hanging around your house. Right?

What do you think of the ombre look? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cheers to forgetting how to blog!

No one said having a blog was easy. I think I've quit writing at least 100 times this year, I just love it so much I can't delete it. I sometimes daydream about getting back into it again like the old days, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Something about a "link-up" just doesn't catch my fancy anymore. And let's be real, I'm really fancy. 

Instead, I want to use this space for something different this time around and I think that will help me 1) actually write something and 2) not get so wrapped into it. Not that I have much time to get serious about it anyway (countdown to baby: ONE MONTH) yikes! 

Here's what I'm going to do. Write about whatever I want whenever I want, take as many pictures as possible and shocker: share them without writing anything, share my favorites no matter what day it is, and talk about my weekend even if I'm posting on a Thursday. Sure my follower count may be low, but who is this blog for anyway? ME. It's so I can go back and read how my life was and reflect on how far I've come. Life around here is about to get really crazy and surprisingly, I want to remember it all. So here goes nothing! Cheers to a post that will bring more posts!! 

Ya know what else I miss? blog friends. Nothing compares to this little community and I'm excited to reconnect with all of you. Really. I am. 

In the meantime, I'm still going to end this post how I end all of them. Time to take the dog for a walk! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Maddie's Nursery

I'm just going to say it. Maddie's room isn't photogenic and I'm totally blaming the lighting and the brown walls and carpet. But mainly the lighting because our carpet does NOT look that brown in real life. And the walls don't look that... brown. It also doesn't help that we don't have many pictures up. I'll eventually get around to decorating her walls when she gets here. I need her newborn pictures to move any further, ya know. I also have a hard time with picture placement, but that's a different post for a different day. So let's get to it: Here's her room!

Ok I can't show anymore pictures because the lighting is so bad. 


Restoration Hardware
Flower Fairies 
I need that wall color. But I'm not picking up a paint brush any time soon nor are we paying anyone to do it, so I'll just have to suffer through my brown walls. Whatev.

One thing I enjoy about the room is that it's not too "baby" and she can grow into it. The crib turns into a bed and she can use that until she grows out of it. If she's tall like me, that may be sooner than most toddlers but that's ok. I'm just READY for her to be here!! Ugh....


Monday, July 14, 2014

I'm bad at being pregnant

Well, this is awkward. It's been months since I've seen this internet place of mine so I figured I better start using it again. Ya know, since my life is about to change drastically in about 4-5 weeks. Yikes.

I'm now 34 weeks, but I'll be 35 weeks in a couple days. Every day is harder and every day I seem to complain a little bit more. I'm sweaty, large, swollen, tired, emotional... just to name a few AND my lower half is in PAIN. By lower half, I mean you know what. OMG no one talks about that during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, but really I think it's the most important thing right now. My walk has officially turned into a waddle because of it, and I'm OVER IT.

I get it. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but let's be real, it sucks too. Especially during the hottest time of the year. I really love it when people say, "you should have planned it better" -- YA THINK?! who really plans pregnancy anyway?! everyone besides us.

Moving on... here's a lovely picture of me being all pregnant/sweaty and stuff.

sometimes I pass my reflection and think "who is that?" and then I come to realization that it's me and that I'm 8 months pregnant.

34 weeks + 
that's me in our dining room. I swear I look bigger in that room, but whatever. We're so close!! Only 5 more weeks to go, maybe sooner! Emily and I have been walking around the neighborhood or going to the park so she can swim. Apparently, if you stay active during your last few weeks, labor seems a lot easier. We'll see about that... Anyway, speaking of my little angel...
.... she's been a terror lately. Here's the thing, she's AWESOME at home. She doesn't chew, run around, get on furniture (unless I say she can), or bark outside. When we see other people or dogs outside our home... things change. She barks, growls at dogs, becomes aggressive, she HATES children too. She's always barked at men but recently that's changed to both men and women. I mean, she's never bitten anyone or any dog but that's because I'm usually holding her back. This is obviously a problem we need to fix FAST because ya know, we're bringing a child home next month. We decided to get some professional dog training. In true dog whisperer style, she told me that Emily is insecure and just needs some confidence. She did well during our first course at home and we were given homework. YES. HOMEWORK. We have our first "class" this Thursday and Saturday and I'm excited to see how Emily works with other men and dogs.

(update: we went to PetCo and saw another dog, she didn't say a word while the other dog went nuts. It felt refreshing to have that old Em back. Homework is WORKING!!)

Let's see what else..... Oh! We had our baby showers...

You may be wondering who that woman is to the left, and that would be my mom. Girlfriend loves her stylish glasses and I'm ok with that. Baby Maddie is so loved by all of our friends and family and I just can't wait for her to meet them! We officially have everything we need (we think) to survive the first few months she's here. Even diapers and wipes! Couponing has definitely saved us and I recommend anyone having babies to look into it. But if you're not having babies, don't do it. It just makes you buy things you don't need.

I'm taking you around the nursery tomorrow, so stay tuned!/ I'm getting kicked in my side and don't want to sit anymore. BYE.