Boston's birth story

Monday, Nov 21: Labor; Am I actually high?

The day before I felt so sick and just *off* that I went home from church to lay down and rest, thinking to myself that I didn't know if I could be pregnant for much longer. Even Nick had commented that I definitely looked pregnant now. (I didn't actually look pregnant until I was well into my third trimester, so this was a big deal for me to finally look the part!)

So Monday around noon when contractions started getting painful and I started timing them at 15 minutes apart, I called my mom and suggested Beckham come have a sleepover that night *just in case.*

Normally I wouldn't try to be at the hospital so early in labor but I tested GBS positive this pregnancy and based on how fast my labor went last time I wanted to make sure I got in with enough time to get at least one round of IV antibiotics before delivering.

My dad picked him up on his way home from work and I helped pack the car. After I said goodbye and shut the car doors, I looked at Beckham in the back seat and thought, "This is the last time I'll see him before the baby comes! This is the last day that it was just us pal'in around." And I wished we had done more! I wished we had more time to be "just us." But then he waved goodbye and they were off.

And before I could get inside the house the reality of my labor hit me and I was in tears. Picture a pregnant lady walking around her house ugly crying, cleaning, packing a suitcase and also stopping every 8 minutes to breathe through a contraction.

I hopped into the shower so I could relax with the shower head pointed at my lower back (back labor AGAIN, what is it with these babies of mine) and waited for Nick to come home from school and I CRIED. Hard. Nick walked in and I realized how silly I must have looked crying and doubled over in the shower, but he was loving and helped get everything ready to go.

Eventually the house was clean, the car was packed, and once I verified that my contractions were consistently getting stronger, longer, and closer together we were on our way. By the time we made it to the hospital contractions were roughly 5 minutes apart. I felt pretty confident that this HAD to be it!

I was trying to put on a brave face and the girls at the front desk kept telling me to stop smiling or nobody would believe I was really in labor, but trust me when I say these dang contractions were painful and getting stronger.

Soon I had the monitor on to prove it. Yep I was definitely in labor.

Except I wasn't progressing.

After not dilating or effacing further for an hour after check-in, they had us walk around the hospital for another hour to see if we could get things going. But nothing. After 3+ hours of NOTHING and sitting at 3cm dilated, they couldn't admit me or keep us there because I wasn't 38 weeks yet (and other reasons) and sent us home.

They asked if I wanted a shot of morphine to help with the pain, assuring me that sometimes women just need to relax at home for awhile to get labor really going and I would probably be coming back later that night. So in my heartbroken and depressed state of "I can't believe I can be in this much pain and not be progressing and I can't believe I have to go home right now" said yes, give me the drugs.

I've never had morphine before. I never took any sort of drugs or pain medication, never drank alcohol, no coffee, and I don't even know what it's like to drink caffeinated soda. Someone once asked me if I wanted a "special brownie" but I shut that nonsense down real quick. I'm pretty sure I now know what it's like to be on the hardest of hard drugs.

I walked out of the hospital and started shaking UNCONTROLLABLY. We cranked up the heat in the car and I cried and complained about how sad I was that we had to go home and how I was so done with this. We were getting off the freeway and it was like I was instantly completely 100% tired and nothing in this world could keep me awake. A few minutes later, down the street from our house, through my brain fog I asked Nick to pull over because I was certain I would barf. Suddenly, I felt like I was on the surface of the sun and had Nick turn on the AC while I opened my door to the snow falling outside, and literally felt that the only way I could help my condition was if I threw myself onto the ground and laid in the snow. Obviously I know better (no snow laying for me) and eventually felt good enough to drive the rest of the way home where Nick helped me to my bed (I couldn't tell if I was walking or floating, really) and I promptly fell asleep, in my clothes, makeup still on.

Tuesday, Nov 22: Hallelujah it's a boy!

I spent the night in a never-ending cycle of "kind of sleeping" and "having a painful contraction" until it was eventually morning and time to head to my regularly scheduled OB/GYN appointment. In my state of pure painful exhaustion (like having to put my toothbrush down more than once and squat while I hung onto the bathroom sink to get through the contractions) I threw some clean clothes on and we headed out the door. Nick asked if we should bring our bags and I said, "No, there's no reason to." Luckily he was optimistic when I didn't have a sliver of hope, and he brought them anyways.

The whole drive is a blur, I don't think I opened my eyes once while I tried to breathe through the contractions. In the office I couldn't even muster a smile as I checked in and went back. In the bathroom I noticed I there were streaks of blood on the toilet paper, and I got a little excited. Maybe I was progressing! Maybe this was it!

My blood pressure was high when it had always been low. My hopes were getting higher.

I sat in our room and the nurse informed me that my Dr. had just left to deliver a baby and would be back soon. I labored in that office like my life depended on it, breathing the right way to help with dilation and trying not to cry. If this wasn't it and I wasn't having a baby today I didn't know what I would do.

Eventually my Dr. came in and I lost it. I started crying and she looked at me and empathetically asked, "Are you in labor?" and I nodded. She agreed that I look like I'm in a lot of pain and said "we should have this baby today, yeah?" I agreed. She checked me and enthusiastically said, "YEP you're 5 cm dilated and I'm sending you downstairs!" I SOBBED I was so relieved and excited! THIS REALLY WAS IT!

So we checked into labor & delivery and once in the room I immediately asked for the epidural. I was so done feeling the pain and was ready to enjoy this birth! Once the epidural was in and working I was able to rest a little and hang out.

(I would like to title this photo "Druuuuuuuugs")

I felt a huge gush and let my nurse know that I thought my water just broke.

"Oh yeah that's normal."

She goes to change the bed pad underneath me and there's BLOOD. so much blood. everywhere. Now I've watched enough Grey's Anatomy to know that bleeding like that during labor isn't a good thing, and I started to panic. I grabbed Nick's hand and squeezed it as hard as I could.

She looked worried.

"Okay, I'm going to call your doctor and have her come check on you."


Is my baby getting oxygen? Am I going to die? Will I pass out in a few minutes and wake up tomorrow with a C-Section scar and my baby in the NICU? WHAT IS HAPPENING?

So my Dr. came to check on me and said, "Hmm okay let's break your water to make sure everything's okay with the baby." so she does and there's no blood in the amniotic fluid, or something, so we're good? But I'm still bleeding and don't feel any better about the situation.

"Alrighty, so, we can fix this by delivering your baby!"

She informed me that he was currently "sunny side up" which was probably why my painful labor didn't progress the night before, and they were going to try to get him to rotate by having me squeeze the blow-up peanut between my legs for a little while.

I was 9cm dilated, which meant this baby was coming so soon. He never ended up rotating, but my Dr. told me she could help him turn as I pushed. A little while later I was ready to go and relieved that everything was okay (so far) but this baby HAD to come out NOW (remember I was sleep deprived and everything was magnified a quadrillion percent, so basically I was the James Bond/Ethan Hunt of delivering babies at the moment) and I put my game face ON.

The epidural was perfect and I could still feel pressure but no pain. I pushed 3 times during the first contraction. My Dr. helped him rotate to face my back as I pushed and told me she could see a head of hair! I pushed 3 times during the second contraction and his head was out! I laugh-cried a serious sigh of relief. The next contraction came and I pushed once more. Before I knew it they were placing my tiny little crying baby on my chest!

Nick cut the cord and he was all mine. Our little piece of heaven was finally here!

I was so relieved and happy that I didn't even hear when my Dr. told me I didn't tear at all, that I "did so well!" and that the source of the bleeding was a partial placental abruption, but everything was okay now that baby was delivered.

Boston continued to cry his little baby cry. They weighed and measured him: 6 pounds 15 oz., 20.5 inches. Born on the 22nd of the month, 38 weeks exactly, and around 1:30 in the afternoon (just like Beckham!)

Everything past that point is a blur, and once in our recovery room my family brought Beckham to meet his new brother. He was so cute when he pointed to the bassinet and said "Ohhhh, baby brother!" and got to give him kisses and hold him.

We had loving visitors (my grandparents brought us cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory! THAT I remember.) and were both well enough to be able to leave the next day to spend Thanksgiving at home with family (lucky us!)

I love being a mom of 2 and we're even able to get a little sleep every now and then! Boston is a great eater and sleeper, and Beckham is sweet and can get me things when I ask. ;) Gosh we are elated and feel so blessed that everything went good and we're a happy (despite the looks in the pictures below), healthy family of 4! I love my boys!

a farewell

(family photos by samantha kelly photography

going into the new year, I've decided to give this old blog the boot.

I never really cared about it all that much, except for the occasional showing off of my family and being snarky.

Even though the dream of being a big shot blogger has crossed my mind more times than I'd like to admit, it's just not for me. I don't care enough. I'm not the kind of person who does that, and that's okay! I always found myself consumed with thoughts of "should I blog this? This would be great to blog!" and I felt that it robbed me of my experiences. That's absolutely my fault, though. People can blog and not be consumed by that, and that's awesome! It's definitely a downer in my life, though, and again I'm sad to admit that because blogging can be such a great tool.

I'm so lucky to have met and got to know so many people through this site! I'm an introvert, and special relationships are what are important to me. Friendships forged here will literally never be forgotten.

However, I'm not sad to see it go. I have so many more things to pay attention to like my (hopefully) growing family, my business I'm starting, making more time for music, traveling, learning Italian, and so many more things I hope to accomplish.

Here's to building a life that feels good & not just looks good on a blog!

DIY felt advent calendar

okay, so maybe the title of this post is misleading, but I made this whole thing by myself which is pretty awesome.

actually no, I had help from my mom, sister & nick, so not all by myself.

the pockets are 2"x2" and sewed on in 2" by the width (of the banner) strips of felt, on the bottom of the strips and between the dates.

The tree was cut, pinned, and sewed on using a machine.

I folded over the top until it made a loop, and sewed that. Then I put a dowel in it and some ribbon to tie it up. I think next year I'm going to get some red and white baker's twine instead of ribbon.

Each felt ornament was made by hand using tacky glue and hand-sewing. We used sequins, puffy paint glitter, pom poms, minky fabric, and good old ingenuity.

I'm usually pretty bad at crafting, but this turned out so good. I'm so excited to have this in my house for all my kids to use!