Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ben's birth story

I feel like a terrible person, I started off my documenting my pregnancy and then, kind of stopped. In all honesty, my pregnancy was pretty non eventful though, which is a good thing. So, I guess that is part of the reason why I never got around to weekly updates. However, I would never forgive myself if I didn't document his birth story though -- he at least deserves that!

I finally have a free moment (and a both hands free!) to get it written down :)

As I stated, my pregnancy was pretty text book. This time around, it was a little more exhausting as I was dealing with a rambunctious toddler every step of the way. As you know, we waited to find out the gender this time. I thought it would be tough, but it really wasn't (and yes, it WAS worth the wait in the end!) I was also hoping to have a VBAC this time around, but knew that a second C-section was always possible. I specifically chose a VBAC friendly practice this time, and had positive support from my doctor's my entire pregnancy. The only stipulation was that I was not allowed to be induced and that I had to go into labor on my own. Inducing with a VBAC increases your chance at a uterine rupture -- its not a huge increase, but its enough that the practice does not want the liability, and I respect that. In talking with a doula friend, I later found out that its pretty standard across the board.

So, as part of the routine, I still had to schedule a backup C-section date in case I never went into labor and had no other choice. My practice left it up to me as to when I wanted to schedule, and were willing to let me go a week "past due" if I so choose. In basing off my previous pregnancy, I decided to schedule it for a week past my due date, to give myself a chance to go in to labor. I just had a feeling that I would still be pregnant at 40 weeks -- and I was! At my 40 week appointment, I had made absolutely no progress and baby was very high up and posterior (just like big sister). My normally optimistic doctor did not seem confident I would be going into labor on my own at that point, and I didn't think I would either, so I was being pessimistic and planning for my scheduled date the following week -- but baby ended up proving us wrong!

On the evening of June 22nd, I was getting ready for work (by getting ready, I mean I was showering and putting on my pajamas...the perks of working from home!) I used the bathroom before jumping in the shower and noticed I had lost a teeny tiny bit of my plug. I didn't think much of it, but thought it was interesting since I never had that with my previous pregnancy. I continued on with my night and logged in to work. A few hours later, I went to the bathroom again and a bigger chunk of my plug had come out -- still didn't think much of it, but texted my mom and sister to let them know. I also told my mom friends and they were all least SOMETHING was starting to happen!

Not even an hour after that, I started having mild cramping, but nothing consistent or time able. I refused to believe I was actually in labor! My mom kept insisting that I more than likely was, and that it was going to start out feeling different than it did during an induced labor. Over the course of the next two hours, I finished my shift at work as my contractions started getting stronger. After I got off work at midnight and realized this was the real deal, I started rushing around the house doing things I had planned to do that week leading up to my scheduled date -- laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and packing the rest of my hospital bag! I even tried painting my toe nails, but at that point, my contractions were strong enough that I had to keep stopping to breathe through them. Around 2a, I called my OB to tell him what was going on and gave my parents the green light to make the two hour trip down to Pittsburgh. By 3, my contractions were coming close together and getting stronger. My parents were still an hour and a half away and we were nervous about waiting at home until they could get there. Luckily, my friend Shanyn saved the day and came to stay with Audrey until my parents could get there!

We arrived at the hospital around 3:30a and they took me back to triage and hooked me up to all the monitors. After a short while, the triage Dr came in to check me. At that point I was 4cm and 90% effaced. However, the baby was still very high up, floating, and in a totally non-favorable position. His head was against my hip bone, facing the wrong direction. Deja vu. The chances of baby moving into the correct position at that point weren't great and we spoke with two separate doctors about it. They were both willing to let me continue laboring and try for my VBAC, but agreed that usually by 5-6cm, baby is typically starting to move into position. This kiddo was basically sideways. It was a difficult decision, but I knew what I didn't want -- laboring for hours and hours, only to end up with a C-section anyway. So, I chose to have a repeat C-section. Once that decision was made, things moved quickly! They had anesthesia come in to speak to me about getting my spinal, signing consent forms, etc.

They wheeled me to the OR to prep me for surgery. I remember this time much more vividly, probably because I wasn't exhausted physically and mentally! The environment was a lot more laid back and the surgical team was awesome, walking me through the spinal and other prep steps. Once I was prepped and on the table, the curtain was up and they brought Ryan in to sit by my head. I had requested my hands not be strapped down, and they allowed it, which I was thankful for! I had also requested that Ryan be able to announce the gender, and if all was ok with the baby, that they lift baby over the curtain so we could see him (we did not get that the first time, and I felt robbed of that experience!) I also spoke with the nurse and asked that she take as many photos as she could (and she did...and for that, we are SO thankful).

The surgery itself took FOREVER (no, seriously.) When all was said and done, it was about a 2-hour process. Not normal, but there were some special circumstances surrounding mine. Once the doctor accessed the uterus, my uterine window was so thin from my previous C-section, he could see the baby and amniotic fluid through it. Not good. In hindsight, having another C-section ended up being a blessing in disguise. Had I attempted a VBAC, I likely would have experienced uterine rupture -- very scary. Because of this issue, it literally took forever for them to get the baby out as he had to work around scar tissue and unfuse my bladder from my uterus, inject dye into my bladder to ensure it wasn't leaking after all of that -- hot mess! My OB was wonderful though, and was explaining to me what was going on and why it was taking so long. Finally, after what seemed like eternity, the baby was out! The nurse Anesthetist (who was also great and chatted with us during everything) apparently missed the memo that Ryan was supposed to be the announcer, because as soon as the baby was out and before they held him up he peeked over the corner and said "it's a boy.."...Ryan didn't even care at that point because he was THRILLED to have a son! Finding out at the moment of delivery was an awesome moment and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

After we got a sneak peak, they had to take him back to clean him off, weigh him, etc. We hear his first cries -- and it was wonderful! And he kept Little boy had some lungs on him! They weighed him and announced it to us -- 9 pounds and 22" long! Considering I only gained 6 lbs this pregnancy, I'm not really sure where that big boy was hiding :) He scored 9/9 on his apgar scores and everything looked great. Shortly after that, they brought him over for Ryan to hold. He was beautiful and because my hands weren't strapped down, I was able to stroke his cheek until I could physically hold him. I am still in awe that I have a son!

They let us hold him for awhile before they had to take him back for some more checks. At that point Ryan left to go tell my poor mom what was going on because she was in the waiting room and probably wondering what was taking so long! I obviously stayed back (haha) and had to wait for again what seemed like forever for them to put everything back and stitch me back up. Apparently my uterus was so thin he had a hard time stitching it back together :/ When everything was finished, they wheeled me back to recovery where I finally got to hold my baby boy. It was love at first site -- again!

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days instead of 3 -- because everything was going well with both of us, they let us break free a day early! We had lots of visitors during our hospital stay and are so thankful for that. We truly are blessed with all of the wonderful people in our lives! Recovery is going well and baby is doing very well! I had some pain, which was to be expected and I probably didn't take it as easy as I should have, but hey, I also have a toddler and life doesn't stop!

Meet Benjamin Ryan :)
born at 6:37a on June 23, 2014
9lbs and 22"

We are over the moon in love with our little boy...his big sister is pretty fond of him too (usually) ;) We are so blessed and thankful to have two (!!) healthy, happy and beautiful babies <3

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

3 + 1 = 4 :)

I suppose its time for another update around here, considering we have some exciting news to share...

Yep, Audrey will be a big sister on or around June 20th 2014! We are super excited and thrilled to be adding to our family. Nervous, of course, because the prospect of TWO kids is just a little nerve wracking...but in a good way. Audrey will be 28 months old when her brother or sister is born, so I think its a good age difference.

I found out we were expecting on October 13th. I decided to keep it a secret from Ryan right away, because I wanted to surprise him in a cuter way than just telling him, like last time. Somehow, I was able to keep my mouth shut for 2 days while I waited for Audrey's big sister shirt to be made! I shared the news with him by having Audrey run out with her shirt on..and he was definitely surprised! I mean, he knew it would likely happen soon, but was not expecting fact, his initial response was "Are you serious?"..HA!

This time, we are doing a few things differently. We are going to be surprised on the gender until birth, which I am super excited about!! Also, I am going to try to have a VBAC this time if at all possible. Recovering from a C-section is rough. Recovering from a C-section WITH a toddler (plus a newborn) this time, is not my idea of a good time. So, here is to hoping! My OB's are on board with me (I specifically found a VBAC friendly practice this time around). A few things will prevent me from having a natural birth, such as if I had to be induced for any reason, but if that ends up being the case, I am okay with it. And finally, I am hoping to make nursing work, full time this time around. I had to supplement with Audrey, almost from the get go, so I am really hoping my body cooperates with me this time around!! To not have to buy formula ($$!) would be fantastic :)

As far as pregnancy goes, I feel like this time around hasn't been nearly as bad. I definitely had my moments of nausea, but it was bearable. I had no food aversions, which was great. I feel like my appetite was increased! I definitely experienced fatigue for the first several weeks, and found it hard to keep my eyes open in the early afternoons. I avoided naps if I could though, because when I woke up I would feel worse than before! I've had some heartburn too, which is fairly new to me, because I didn't get that until much later last time.

On December 7th we had our first ultrasound and first peek of the baby. So far, everything looks great and we have a healthy, strong heartbeat of 170 bpm :) Also, the baby is measuring right on track! After our ultrasound, we made the "big announcement" to the rest of the world.

I thought for this pregnancy, I would use this fun little survey every few weeks or so :)

How far along: 13w5d (2nd trimester, we're coming to get you!!)

Gender: team green! we could find out at our anatomy scan January 25th, but we're going to hold strong.

Weight gain: I somehow LOST 5 lbs..I'm not complaining.

Maternity clothes: not shirts, but I will wear maternity pants sometimes. I usually wear yoga pants around the house anyway.

Stretch marks: not new ones, lol.

Belly button in or out: innie. it never popped last time..I hope it stays that way!

Sleep: sleeping fine, but still getting up a few times to pee.

Miss anything: diet coke :( it makes me sick.

Movement: I've felt little flops off and on.

Cravings: nothing major yet.

Queasy: still happens off and on, but its getting better.

Looking forward to: Christmas :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

the most wonderful time of the year!

Fall, that is. Not everyone will agree, of course, but I absolutely love it. What is there not to love? The colors outside are absolutely gorgeous, the weather is beautiful...then you have pumpkin farms, Halloween, apple cider, falling leaves, boots & sweaters...I could go on forever.

It just recently started feeling like fall around here, believe it or not. Thank goodness, because I was itching to put on my fall gear AND Audrey's new fall wardrobe!! On Tuesday, the husband and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. He took the day off of work and we spent the morning hanging out as a family. We decided to go to the pumpkin patch because a.) we hadn't gone yet and b.) we hoped that with it being in the middle of the week, it would be less busy. Thankfully, it was.

Last year, I couldn't wait to take Audrey to the pumpkin farm for the first time. She was 8 months old and crawling (and pulling up), but I was able to get a few good shots of her sitting near the pumpkins. THIS year, photos weren't nearly as easy with a busy toddler that never stops moving. BUT, she absolutely loved it. Her reactions to everything this year was so much more fun to watch (makes me anxious for Christmas!) She had so much fun climbing in and out of all of the wooden play areas, and "driving" the tractors.

When we reached the patch (after climbing was felt like Mt Everest) she was in heaven. She kept saying "Ooh! Nice!" while running from pumpkin to pumpkin, trying to pick them all up. It was so cute.

Since we were the only few people in the patch, we let her run around for awhile, just taking it all in and enjoying herself. Whoever said "to see the world through a child's eyes is truly living" (or something like that) is totally right. I absolutely love experiencing these things with my daughter and look forward to each and every new experience we get to have together.

After we chose our pumpkins, we made our way back down to the main area to pay for them, and to pick up some fresh apple cider. We grabbed a small pumpkin just for Audrey, and she was THRILLED she finally had a pumpkin she could hold on her own :) In fact, she was so attached to that pumpkin she insisted on bathing with it that night. LOL!

I'm sure this is not the last time this season we'll find ourselves at the pumpkin farm, but the first time sure is the best!

What sorts of fun fall activities do you do with your family?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

life is short, get messy!

Last week, we were invited to a different kind of play date -- one filled with finger paints, shaving cream and kool-aid powder!

My friend Heather graciously (and bravely) agreed to host it at her house once previous plans fell through. She certainly is courageous allowing several toddlers the opportunity to run around with paint brushes and paint filled hands! But, the kids had a great time. When we first arrived, Audrey was a bit skeptical about the whole thing, but after a few minutes, she was elbows deep in paints and shaving cream! At the end, I had to scrub her off in the baby pool to wash off all that mess!

Heather had several cute activities for the kids, allowing for lots of fun art projects to be made. My favorite was the shaving cream paint art..we haven't seen the finished projects yet because we left them to dry, but even wet they were pretty!

I'll leave you with some photos of our fun day!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

adventures in homemade laundry soap!

A friend of mine recently talked about making all of her own laundry detergent and cleaning products. What? I mean, sure, I've seen pins on Pinterest about it, but I didn't know anyone personally who actually did it...until now. I was intrigued. Was it easy? Did it work as well as the store bought stuff? And most of all, was it actually cheaper?

I decided to find out. My friend gave me her recipe, which I based it off of, but I wanted to make the powder version. We just prefer powder over other reason, really. I did a little more searching and located a recipe that appeared simple enough, and most importantly, was HE compatible. My husband was already skeptical about the whole idea, and the last thing I needed was something that would ruin our newish washing machine!

The recipe I found was simple, only requiring three ingredients. Also, when all is said and done, it ends up costing around 3 cents per load. Um, sold? Three people in my house more like husband and a little of daughter and there is SO much laundry. I am scared to see how much it increases when we add a 4th and maybe a 5th..!!

Here is what you'll need:

- 2 cups borax
- 1 bar of soap (any kind - just NOT a beauty bar like Dove or Olay)
- 2 cups washing soda

Get a cute container to store it in. I went with a classy gallon sized ziploc bag, myself. The first part is easy. Measure out 2 cups of each of the borax and the washing soda.

The next part is a little trickier. The recipe I found said you could cut the soap up into smaller chunks, and put them in a food processor or blender, as is. Um, no. My food processor isn't the best one our there or anything, but it definitely has good chopping power. It most definitely wasn't cutting through those soap cubes! So, it turned into a three part process. After chopping, I grated each cube into shreds..THEN, I finished off by putting the shreds into the food processor and bada bing, bada boom!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

midweek randoms

- Audrey had her 18 month check up today. Luckily, she only had to get one vaccine, and she hardly cried. It's getting harder and harder to take her to the doctor's, because she knows and understands what is going on :( As soon as we enter the exam room and the door closes, she starts to cry. Heartbreaking!! She's still in the upper percentile for height/weight as she has been her whole life, but its starting to slow down a bit. She's not a chunky kid at all, so I think its funny she's in the 80th percentile for weight! She's just a very solid kid. People pick her up and are surprised. lol.

- This is the week for doctor's appointments. We have a follow up visit with the pediatric dermatologist for her hemangioma tomorrow. I contemplated not even going, because really, I already know how its going to go. They are going to look at it, say its looking great and we'll be on our way. We stopped treatment 6 months ago, and its only gotten better.

- Earlier this week, I went and got a pedicure with Katie. I try to get them done once a month or so, but sometimes it ends up being longer than that, when life gets in the way. I get really dry skin, so my heels need more than just a pumice stone! It's definitely best when left to the professionals. Plus, 45 minutes in a massage chair? Yes, please. I normally go for a simple french pedi, but this time I switched it up and got some color. Add an iced latte and we have mommy bliss hour!

- This past weekend, Audrey and I went up to Erie for the night. My dad and I took her to the beach for a bit since she had never really been there. I can tell she's going to be a little beach/water baby -- she loved it! She was having a blast running in and out of the water and around the sand :) I was unprepared and didn't pack a bathing suit, but she didn't care. She was just as happy running around in her diaper.

- Is anyone watching Breaking Amish: LA this season? We started watching it last year when it was a different group and in New York City. This is only the 3rd or 4th episode, but I am hooked! So much drama. I am a sucker for reality TV, what can I say? I am also watching Dexter, of course, and some others. Can't wait for Grey's Anatomy and Teen Mom 3! What shows do you watch or are excited for? I am always looking for new suggestions!

- Wednesdays are typically my days to catch up on laundry and housework since the beginning of the week is always busy. It took every ounce of motivation to get me to fold a basket of clothes today during nap time! I also cleaned the litter boxes, but that was in between cooking dinner. Sanitary, right? :p

- The weather was much cooler today, as in, low 70's. I absolutely love it! The cooler days remind me of fall, and since its my absolute favorite season -- you know I'm smiling! When any sort of inkling of fall appears, I am all over it and have a tendency to do things like light a fall scented candle. But, I love wax warmers so much more than candles, so I usually use those! While I do love Scentsy products, I have no problem using knock-offs. While at Walmart today, I couldn't resist and picked up a couple fall scented wax cubes. My house smells amazing right now!!

- Tonight was spaghetti night for dinner. I love that its so easy, but yet, delicious. Pasta is the ultimate comfort food, and I could probably eat it every day if I could.

- After dinner we took Audrey to the park next door. She is always so full of energy at night constantly, so we let her run off some steam. She had a blast, of course. The girl is relatively easy to please, as long as she has space to run and things to get into!

Hope your midweek's were just as random! ;)