Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Birth story

I have been playing  with writing this for awhile, but it has been hard to wrap my head around the whole experience. It was not as planned or expected, but it is what it is.
All the pregnancy/postpartum blogs say to write down your birth story so you don't forget
Well, I don't think I'll ever forget it.

(Taken Thursday 8/28)
To preface the story, We had decided pretty early on we were going to have a doula and had decided on a friend, we will call her E. When you hire a doula you go over your birthing preferences and what you feel comfortable with, etc. I had decided I wanted a mad free birth, I did not want to be induced ( this was a fear, especially with pitocin), I was really scared of the vacuum, I didn't really want iv fluids, etc. I was surprisingly ok with a c section, I knew if I needed it, I needed it.
On my way to my Drs appointment on Friday (8/29), I was carrying my laundry to my car because my plan was to go to my moms after the appointment. P would be gone all weekend as well. Well, I tripped (again, on the same crack as when I was 20 ish weeks) and scrapped my knees and right 2nd toe pretty badly.
This doctors appointment was with another dr, we will call her dr meanie pants and I will get to that later on. My dr was out of town getting married in Hawaii. 
At the appointment, my blood pressure was borderline/high. I had labs done on Wednesday and they all came back negative. My bp came down, but than I told the dr I fell and was unsure if I fell on  my belly. That was a one way ticket to triage (again), ugh. I knew that was going to happen, but in the back of my head I was kind of hoping it wouldn't. 
So, once I got to triage my bp was HIGH-ish at 154/72. It was decided by Dr meanie pants and the team, that I would be induced due to gestational hypertension. This issue had been presenting itself for the last 4 weeks and being 39 weeks and 4 days, it was time for baby and placenta, the culprit, to all come out. P was an hour flight away but was unable to come back that night.
I was only 1/2-1 cm, 0%, and +2-3, no where near ready. Around  9 pm (after being there over 4 hours) they started with a balloon and  1 dose of cytotec. After the cytotec, my contractions were 1-2 mins apart even though I couldn't feel them the drs could not give me another dose of cytotec or start we on pitocin (aka pit) because of the timing. P came in around 12pm on Saturday the 30th. The balloon stayed in until around 2 pm the following day and I was only  3-4 cm, 20-30-%, and +2.  Not much progress and kinda disappointing. Around 9 p, it was decided that my contractions had slowed enough that we could start pit, which I had been dreading knowing the contractions would be worse and I probably wouldn't be able to stay med free. We started off really slow and I had not made any progress. Over night I stayed at 1 ml/hr all night until 6 am when we had switched nurses. Around 1 am, I started to get uncomfortable and called the doula. When she arrived she gave me a massage and tried to let us get some sleep. I was still in a triage room because the hospital had filled up with it being Labor Day weekend and all. We finally got a bigger room with a view in that hour I got increased to 3 ml/hr and it was a bit much.

My doula was downstairs getting breakfast and I wanted to cuddle with my husband. As we laid in the bed spooning each other, yup you guessed it. My water broke around 8 am. I don't know what I was expecting but that's what it felt like. After that, my contractions came with a punch. I was only 4 cm, 40%  and +2.. Still nothing significant. Due to my water breaking the drs wanted to know how strong my contractions were instead of just frequency and inserted an intrauterine pressure catheter. Things started to become real and they started to hurt. Besides the bathroom the next place of choice was the shower. I sat on the birthing ball with the hot water pointed on my back and my head on some pillows as I rocked back and forth. Man, did it feel good. After I got out of the shower, I got cold and that transition was not good. Yup, I threw up. It sucked. I was up and I was down. I was all over the place and my pit kept increasing. My contractions were good and strong and frequent yet I wasn't going any where. It was heart breaking. The baby's heart rate continued to be perfect. To quote a nurse, " I had the best baby in the unit" and my pressures remained under 140s/80s. Around 430pm the pressure was getting the best of me and I just couldn't keep up. I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. I decided to get the first of two doses of IV push fentanyl to see if I could get some rest. It worked for about an hour and a half.  I was hoping the second dose would have a similar effect but it did not and my blood pressures were increasing again. On narcotics they had gotten to 158/84, when they should have done the opposite. Blood tests had come back and showed I had protein in my urine and was preeclamptic and I had almost reached the max dose of pitocin.I was devastated, my cervix was no longer contracting the way it was suppose to and in a lot of pain. The doula, nurse, my husband and I sat down and talked about my options. I was begging for a c section, but they had convinced me to keep going and this baby should be here around 2 am. Because of the preeclampsia I needed to be put on magnesium to prevent seizures, needed a catheter and was going to  be on bed rest. I had decided to go ahead with an epidural. At 630 pm,  I was 5 cm, 0 station and 100% effaced. Right after shift change around 730 pm, the Foley catheter was placed. After it was placed, I felt like I had to push and each time I would squeeze I was leaking fluid. Everyone told me to stop doing that because I would swell and it would be bad. I begged to be checked even though an hour prior I was not ready, I really felt the need to push. My nurse, who I had had the previous night for the last hour and the night before for a few hours as well, checked me and.. I was COMPLETE with 10 cm, 100% and -2. I would have never guessed those three little words would bring so much joy. The nurse called the dr (dr meanie pants) and she was 10 minutes. I was not waiting 10 mins and we had our nurse on board and got ready to push. When I started pushing my bp increased to 179/101 and I was given labetalol. When I started pushing my perfect baby started to not be so perfect, her heart rate kept decreasing at each push. The dr came in with a crowd of probably 15 people including resident, nurses, nicu docs and nurses and more residents. There were probably 20 people in that room. I started pushing around 735pm. Due to the baby's heart rate dropping they had to use a vacuum to assist with the delivery. With a vacuum, they allow three pop offs and than a c section is needed. The vacuum poped off almost immediately and than we there for serious. Dr meanie pants did not let me rest in between pushes and just kept going until the head came out and soon the rest of the baby was pulled out of me. There was no cry, like you see in movies and I was exhausted in all capacities. After  I heard the babies first cry a sense of relief swept over me and I was in my own world. The residents and nicu drs were still working on the baby while I was getting stitched up. I had a 4th degree tear and as they were stitching me up, I could feel it. Wait, didn't I have an epidural. While they were stitching me I kept jumping and anesthesiology had to be called 2x to give me extra numbing medicine to finish the sewing.

I was taken to the high risk post partum section due to the magnesium. I was on bed rest for 24 hours and we were discharged on Tuesday (our original due date) and we were ready. Was this the birth I expected? No. I had every intervention out there except a cesection and after 47 hours from start of induction to baby I had a healthy baby girl and that's the best thing ever.
I would love to hear your birth story. Anyone have anything similar happen?

~ Steph ~

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Traditions of the christmas kind

Let’s talk about traditions for a moment, shall we. As a person “new” to parenting, it is funny  to think that we make up the traditions our children will remember. As a child my sister and I got to open one gift on christmas eve prior to santa coming. Every year we opened a gift from out faux grandmother and every year it was books or a gift card to get books. We discovered many book series because of this. 

For the last eight years, P and I have been together we have a ONE ornament a year rule. For the last several years they have been sentimental in one way or another. Well, this year we had a baby.. so what other way to show that in years to come. Our little theme this year seems to be her hands. It seems themes may be a tradition we may keep in the future, as this is the second year with a true theme. Last years theme was houses which you can find here


So, this year we used a hand making kit we received at our baby shower to make an imprint of Miss Willows hand into an ornament. It is quite the perfect way to remember her being so small for her first christmas. I am quite infatuated with all of her little parts lately, they grow up so fast. 

Our christmas cards also include little Willows hand in a glove. The glove was already cut out from the Paper source and I used a regular stamp pad to get the hand print. Tied a little string around the glove and it was that easy. 
I am really happy with the way things turned out.


What are your family traditions, especially around the holidays?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pregnancy photo project

So, I decided to try to take a photo every week to see baby's growth. As you can see towards the end I got lazy. If you missed any of the updates, you can go here

At 4 weeks, when I found out I was pregnant


At 8 weeks, confirmed with an ultrasound


                       Week #15 I ran/walked a marathon, it sucked but I finished it

                     Week #18 at walt disney world in Florida with my mom

20 week ultrasound, confirming gender. I was team green and did not find out the gender




                                                week # 30 in sacramento visiting friends

                                      34 weeks pretending I am not pregnant

                                   36 weeks maternity photoshoot      

  37 weeks getting lunch with my seester


 and my last week being pregnant

the last belly shot I have at 39 weeks and 4 days

It is pretty neat to see the progression over the weeks.
and.. this is what we got.

Did you do a photo montage of your pregnancy? I would love to see it.

~ Steph ~

The week of August 24th: my last week of being pregnant

Looking back, since it's been a few months since I started this post and had  time to think about it, this is the week my life was never going to be the same.

I didn't know it would be my last week of my pregnancy, although I had predicted that this baby would be born on August 28th, just 5 days before my EDD (estimated due date) on september 2nd. The week was pretty normal for me including my last week of work, running errands and drs appointments. I wrote out everything I did that week, but what for? Too cherish it, no I am good and I don't want to bore my readers.

Things came and went as they normally do things were becoming harder, but not impossible.
I actually loved being pregnant, I felt beautiful and womanly with my extra weight and cankles.


To end this story and begin my birth story of little miss willow,. Friday was not my day and things went array from there. I fell taking my laundry to my car on the same crack I fell on when i was 20 ish week, I don't know if i hit my belly or not but my knees were scraped up and so was my ego. This was before my drs apt where my bp was high, again and I got a one way ticket to triage.. Oh fun, this again. I was upset and felt like my chanes of having the labor I wanted were out the window.
I'll leave this post here.. To be continued


Thursday, November 27, 2014


November has been insane
 Willow and I have been to Laughlin, Sacramento, and to my sisters (near Palm Springs)
We moved to a bigger apartment
Mommy started skating and conditionally passed her skills test, got re-drafted, than got a 2 day mom-cation
It has literally been one thing after another (in a good way)

Back to our regular scheduled posts soon

I am thankful for wonderful friends and family that support me, I would not be here without them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


One of my favorite holidays.
I love love love get dressed up and making my own costumes
I knew this year would be no different even  with baby the events would just change

My criteria were comfort, some warmth (mainly for baby) and cute factor
So I went to Pinterest for some inspiration
As my plans formulated I knew we would be truck or treating and wanted to use my carrier for ease
After much debate, I chose this for inspiration

I bought a yard of white felt and 1/2 yard of red. Than cut stripes about an inch in width glued those on with a glue gun. Told my husband I wanted the zig zag top and he measured and cut that for me (I am bad at measuring and precision). I did the popcorn sign by free handing the bubble letters in red and gluing them to the white and outlining it.
The dots candy box was suppose to be for her candy catching. I used a granola/cereal box for the dots and painted it yellow. I free handed the candy and tootsie sign, I used markers to color it all in. The dots emblem is made the same way at the popcorn above.  

For her outfit she is just wearing a long sleeve onesie and yellow striped pants. For my costume I borrowed my husbands white shirt and red bow tie. We did not go trick or treating because I was too chicken to go by myself  but we did go to a party with a friend and her kids. We were told we would have won first place if she had prizes, which was awesome. 

There you have it.
What did you dress up as? Did you make it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Baby fever

 So is it me or has everyone seriously been pregnant this year?
I feel like I have made a ton of blankets since March (thats only 6 months ago).
So for your viewing pleasure, here they are
They are all a little different .. I need variety in my life
It started when one of my really close friends adoption went through
1. Aqua and teal shell pattern

That got me started on the everyone else.. And my creative juices going
Next was a friend having her second boy and me getting a little ambitious,
so ambitious it took me an extra 6 months to finish.
2. Ombré blue apache pattern
Than my sis in law who was having her first child (boy)
3. Forrest green popcorn stitch (on top of that pile)

heres a better picture

a friend in chicago with her first (boy)
4. Raindow yarn V stitch with a twist blanket

Its a funny story because my sis in law, this friend in chicago and I were all at my bro in laws wedding 2 and half years ago and now having all our children in the same year

a good friend having her second, a girl
5. Flowers in the garden
Grey and pink single crochet with crocheted tulips added

a friend having twins (boys), I made two blankets using the same yarn but two different patterns and borders
6. A blue popcorn and green shell

 a friend had a premie baby (girl) she was just able to take home.
7. Purple wave pattern

and one for my baby
8. a color block single crocheted blanket


I still have 4 more to make this year and one I can't show you yet since it has not been sent out yet.
What is your go to gift for new babies?

~ Steph ~