15 Things I Wish I Had Known About: Childbirth

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hello lovelies! I hope you all had a great weekend! Time for part two of my "15 Things I Wish I Had Known..." series! If you missed my post on "15 Things I Wish I Had Known About: Pregnancy" click here to read it! This time we are talking about childbirth. Disclaimer: I kept it real here, so if you get queasy about the thought of childbirth, then this post is not for you. :)

1. That I should have made a birth plan. When I was pregnant all my books, apps, and the websites I looked on said "make a birth plan", but I thought the idea of that sounded so stupid. I mean, what's to plan? You go into labor, go to the hospital, have the baby...right? Well, now that I've been through the experience I really wish I had written on paper what my expectations and requests were. Once you're in that much pain, life just kind of happens around you and you are completely zoned. I made decisions that I probably would not have made because I hadn't thought them through in advance. In all, my child birth experience was amazing, but there are quite a few things I would have changed if I had the chance.

2. That I should have eaten something on the way to the hospital. We left to go to the hospital around 2:00 AM so food was the furthest thing from my mind. However, by the time we were getting admitted around 5:30 AM I was H-U-N-G-R-Y and not allowed to eat anything but ice chips and popsicles. :( Boo. So while my entourage sat there eating donuts and coffee that morning I watched them...in pain...pregnant as I could be...and starving! No fun. I honestly thought I would have her before dinner time though, so at the time it wasn't too terrible. But by the time 5:00 PM hit I was really feeling it, I was exhausted and hadn't eaten anything in 24 hours. I had her at 7:15 PM and didn't get any food brought to me until around 9:00 PM. At that point I was so famished, I would have eaten anything! In hindsight, I should have had Brian drive through somewhere on the way to the hospital just to get some real food in me before the whole process started. I really think it would have helped. I get the whole reasoning behind the medical staff not wanting you to eat (incase you have to have surgery or incase you puke...which I did...3 times) but personally I think denying a laboring woman food is just wrong!

3. That I should have had someone run and get me food as soon as she was born. This ties in to the same idea as above...everyone was in la-la-land with baby Baylee (rightfully so...she was stinking cute!) that they forgot that I hadn't eaten in forever and had just had the most intense workout of. My. Life. I needed food like yesterday, but of course by the time anyone could get me food the cafeteria was closed except for Subway. I was so hungry that I didn't care, but I would have loved a huge burger and fries or pizza; something that would sustain me more and replace all those calories I burned.

4. That I should have listened to my body more. Laboring in a hospital is really hard for someone like me. All my babies will be born in hospitals for safety and health reasons that I hold important, however I have a "home-birth" personality when I'm in labor. I wanted to move. I wanted to walk. I wanted to bounce on my birthing ball! That's all really hard to to when you're hooked up to an IV drip and all kinds of monitors. I honestly think that I should have waited to let them admit me. Something in my heart told me that I should keep walking around the hospital, but I was so unsure of what I was doing that I just went with it. I was progressing so much faster when I was walking, and as soon as they got me in bed my labor slowed down a bit and the pain of my contractions got sooooo much worse. At one point I literally jumped out of bed because I couldn't take it anymore. I needed to labor standing up and I couldn't. I honestly think this all was a big reason why my labor lasted so long. If I had listened to my body and did what I was feeling like I should do, then I probably would have made it to 10 centimeters a lot faster.

5. That epidurals are your best frenemy. I was always open to getting drugs, and I communicated that to my team. However, I wanted to try to go all natural if I could. In the end, I hit 8 centimeters (transition) and ended up caving in and getting the epidural. That thing was awesome. It allowed me to take a nap and get my strength up for the battle I had ahead of pushing my baby out. Honestly, I am so glad I got it, but I would love to try to go without one for my next birth if at all possible. The pros of an epidural: getting one doesn't hurt and it literally takes most if not all of your pain away; the cons: you're stuck in bed laying on your back the rest of the time, it numbs your legs too, you have to have a catheter, and it makes pushing harder because you don't know when you're having a contraction. The worst part was that I could not feel my left leg until the next morning...that was kind of scary. So by "frenemy" I guess I mean I would get one again, but I'd rather not.

6. That I wasn't going to remember a lot of it. I had heard that laboring women get in this "zone" where all they can focus on is the process of their labor, and it's true. I heard stories of things that happened or that I did later on that I don't remember at all! It's pretty funny actually...apparently there were some "F-bombs" dropped from my end, and I said a few mean things to Brian. LoL. The whole day honestly felt like a blur. When they told me she was born at 7:15 PM I couldn't believe I had labored and pushed that long. It went by in a flash.

7. That pushing is really hard. Probably the most frustrating thing about childbirth is when it's time to push. Unless you are one of those women who can pop a baby out in 2 or 3 pushes (shall I count the ways I envy you?) then it's going to be the hardest workout of your life. I pushed with all my might, but it was so hard to get those "productive" pushes when I couldn't feel much going on down there. Her head would come down and then go right back up again. And just when I finally pushed her low enough that she was ready to come out, the nurses tell me "Ok just hang out...the doctor will be here any minute." Wait...whaaat?! I just did all that work and now I have to "hang out"?! Hahaha...I had reached that irrational point of being ready to catch her myself, but luckily my wonderful doctor showed up within 10 minutes and the most amazing L&D nurse ever stayed after her shift just to help Baylee enter the world...bless both their hearts!

8. That I was going to totally be ready for it. I spent my whole pregnancy kind of freaking out about giving birth. I was scared out of my wits! When the day came, though, I was cool as a cucumber! It was so weird. This feeling of "I got this!" came over me and I knew everything was going to be okay. I really was freaking out for nothing. Yes its hard and painful, but it's definitely what the female body was made to do. I have a super low pain tolerance, and I'm willing to do it all over again one day!

9. That it was going to be the most exhilarating experience of my life! It sucks. It sucks. It sucks. And then you have this beautiful, screaming, tiiiiiiny infant on your chest and there are no words for the pride and excitement you feel! For the next week I felt like a certified badass, because I was! I made a human; that's no small task! The endorphins that are released when you give birth are like you just ran a marathon twice...and it's no joke! I honestly can't wait to feel that feeling again one day! :)

10. That it would make me fall in love with my husband all over again. So cliche, but so true. Just when you think you love and appreciate this man to your fullest extent you see him shedding tears while holding his new little bundle of joy and the heart just swells. Every time Brian held Baylee for her first 24 hours here he couldn't help but get a little emotional because he was so happy and in such disbelief that we had made something so perfect in 9 short months. Those were sweet moments that I will never forget. He really is the most amazing Daddy ever, and he loves his little girl so much!

11. That the worst of the pain comes after the birth. Birthing the placenta as your epidural is wearing off after your doctor just finished stitching your episiotomy...ouch. Having a nurse come in every hour for the next 8 hours to massage your uterus to make sure its shrinking back down correctly...double ouch. Waking up the next morning feeling like you got hit by a train and then had to ride a horse....holy crap. I wish I was exaggerating, but for me it was really that bad. I didn't stop hurting for about two weeks. Thank God for drugs! Whatever the doc prescribes you, take it!!! 

12. That I wasn't going to get any sleep for three days. Those first few days and nights with a newborn are totally exhausting, especially with nurses and visitors coming and going. I think I slept a total of 6 hours our whole time there! Once you get home, it gets better; so don't fret! Just don't go in with high expectations of slumber, and if you get too exhausted have Daddy or another relative be on baby duty and try to get some shut-eye in between feedings.

13. That I overpacked for the hospital. I followed all those lists on Pinterest and didn't use half the stuff I brought. Anything medical or baby related the hospital already has for you, and I wore the same PJ pants the whole time. The only things that we really needed were snacks, toiletries, and cute clothes for Baylee. Next time, though, I will probably bring towels from home for showering, because the hospital ones are really small and scratchy.

14. That I was going to feel ridiculously happy and sad at the same time. I was elated that my baby was finally here, but I was kind of sad that it was already over. I will never have that "first baby" experience again, so it's definitely bittersweet. The nice part is that now I know what to expect, so I shouldn't have as much fear and anxiety with the next baby. 

15. That watching my baby take her first breath was going to be the best moment of my life. No explanation necessary here. :)

Reliving Baylee's birth makes me so nostalgic. I can't believe over 7 months have gone by since that day! My next post in the series will be things I wish I had known about having a newborn, so look for that in a few weeks! Oh, and I'll be doing a special post next week for my birthday! Woohoo! Until then, I leave you with a picture of my sweet little girl when she was brand-spanking new! :) XoXoXo

7 Months With Baylee!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

This was, by far, the fastest month yet since Miss Baylee was born. I seriously feel like we were just taking her 6 month pictures, (which turned out suuuuper cute by the way) and now here we are with our 7 month old baby girl who just thinks she is oh, so big! :)

I know I say this all the time, but I just can't believe how quickly her first year is flying by! In only 5 months we will have a 1 year old...a toddler...oh my...

Lately, Baylee has been 100% fixated on crawling and standing. She will sit and play with her toys for a little while, but then she immediately engages in "crawl practice" or looks for something to try to pull herself up on. This is why the play mat was packed away...she tried to pull herself up on it and timbered backwards taking the mat with her. She was not happy, to say the least! Not being mobile has been extremely frustrating for her. I'm constantly struggling between my maternal instinct to pick her up when she cries, and my knowledge that she'll never learn unless I let her try. Her little baby acrobatics have been pretty cute to watch. She cracks Brian and I up all the time with her rocking and "planking", and how she figured out that rolling gets her places...just not necessarily where she wants to go. I have a feeling she will be crawling very soon, and then the fun reaaally starts!

I have recently found myself absolutely obsessed with how adorable Baylee is when she eats her "snacks". I have started letting her have small snacks of Gerber puffs or Cheerios once or twice a day and she goes crazy for them! I love watching her chubby little hand pick up Cheerios and put them in her mouth so she can gum them to death! Despite all the teething signs, we are still toothless. I don't know when this angry tooth or teeth are going to finally cut, but I am sure hoping it's soon. She's been such a grumpy drool monster lately! I know it can take time though, so it's just a waiting game.

How cute are those chubby baby hands?!

Probably the most adorable thing she has started to do this month is "dancing". If you follow my on Instagram, then you've seen the video! Whenever a song comes on that she likes she starts bouncing up and down while she is sitting...totally grooving to the music! I die every time! We are definitely music lovers in this house, so I'm not surprised that she likes music, but I was kind of shocked to see her dance and respond to music so young. She loves fast "dancy" type songs with lots of rhythm. It all started with the "Friends" theme song "I'll Be There For You" (Mommy may or may not have binge watched every season on Netflix ;) hehe) and now she dances to Toddler Radio on Pandora and a bunch of Disney songs too. I'm so happy she's a little music lover like her Mama

It's been great to watch her little personality come out more and more each day. Right now she is a total Mama's girl and I'm loving every minute of it! She's my little shopping buddy on our weekly Target trips and other errands, and she even chills out and plays in her bathtub (with no water of course) and watches me put on my makeup and get ready for the day. Having a daughter has been such a blessing! I'm looking forward to bonding with my little diva as she grows and teaching her everything about being a strong woman. This kid has got quite a bright future ahead of her!

Yesterday, we celebrated Baylee's first Valentine's Day! Since it was on a Saturday and we were not in the mood to deal with crowds, Brian and I kept it simple. We ran some errands and hung out with Baylee and then made some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Brian had some flowers and chocolates delivered for me, and I got him a massage off of Groupon and some chocolates as well! The highlight of my day was being able to name it a "cheat day"! I have been going hardcore on trying to lose those last pesky pounds of baby weight, so it was nice to indulge a little in some wine and cheesecake for dessert! Yum! The highlight of Baylee's day was getting to try her first donut! It was just a plain cake donut, and to be honest, she didn't eat much of it; but boy, was it fun to crumble and play with! She ate a little bit, looked at it like "The frick is this...?" and then continued to try more. Then there was happy dancing! :) I think it's safe to say she liked it. I'm not down with the sweets this young though, so she won't be getting another one for a verrry long time! Just one little treat for my sweet!

This girl is definitely going to be my wild thing! Just getting her 7 month picture today was a challenge because she's so crazy and all over the place now! These next few months are going to be quite the adventure, but I welcome it with open arms! I still don't know what I did before I had this sweet little miss in my life! 

Look for a post next week continuing my "15 Things I Wish I Had Known" series! Until then, I leave you with some out takes from today's mini-shoot! Take care lovelies! XoXoXo

15 Things I Wish I Had Known About: Being Pregnant

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

 In less than 3 months, my sister-in-law/best friend, Jenny, will be giving birth to her first baby. I am so excited to meet my niece, and talking to Jenny makes me so nostalgic. I read my weekly blog posts over again here and there trying to remember what I felt like when I was in her shoes last year. This inspired me to start a little mini-series of blog posts over the next few months. "15 Things I Wish I Had Known About..." For my first one: pregnancy.

1. That I was going to feel like a beached whale my whole last trimester. I have been that girl who freaked all her life at a 5 pound weight gain. Petty, I know, but something I've never been able to shake is that fear of getting overweight. This being the case, you can imagine my horror watching the scale as my last few months of pregnancy progressed. My goal was to only gain 30 pounds and on the day I went into labor I had gained 45! Holy moly! I waddled and rolled everywhere. I was expecting to have a heavy belly, but I definitely was not expecting to be so large that I couldn't fit through two cars parked too close together! (True story!) Now I know for next time that it's normal, and that maybe I should take it a little easier when indulging those preggo cravings. ;)

2. That there are pregnancy symptoms that no one warns you about in advance. Everyone knows about the morning sickness, the cravings, and the feet swelling...its what they don't tell you that really gets ya! My big surprise was my constant nosebleeds! What the heck? Apparently rhinitis is a thing and it happens to a lot of women, but nobody talks about it. Oh, and hair growing on my belly?! Um...ewww! I swear no matter what happened to me, it would turn out to be a pregnancy symptom that I never knew could happen. Someone really should write a book on the untold stuff...hmmmm...

3. That morning sickness, is terrible, evil, and just the worst thing ever in life. Okay, I'm lying. Everyone really did warn me of this, but I wasn't expecting it to hit as hard as it did. I literally could not eat anything without puking until I was around 16 weeks pregnant. It was all day sickness...moring, noon, and night. I missed food; oh, how I missed food! After I lost around 10 pounds (10 pounds that I could not afford to lose) I got kind of scared, but the doc said it was no big deal and that baby would be just fine...which she was! Now I know what to expect for next time...bring on the preggie-pops and sprite!

4. That sciatica sucks. If you've never pinched your sciatic nerve, it's really hard to explain the pain. Basically it feels like someone stabbing you in your lower back and then the pain radiating down your leg. Some people feel it to the knee; I felt it straight out the bottom of my foot for 4 months straight. It was agonizing and a big reason why I didn't get enough exercise during my pregnancy. If I walked too much, it hurt. If I sat too long, it hurt. Then, finally at around my 8th month she changed position and I felt much better! I've heard that strengthening your back before getting pregnant can really help with sciatica pains, so that's my plan for future pregnancies. 

5. That you can be in early labor for weeks. Two to be exact. I went to the hospital on June 30th having contractions. I was scared to death because 5 weeks early was just too early for comfort. It turned out that I was, in fact, in labor, but that it was false labor. Nothing a little rest and relaxation couldn't fix. Sounds fine and dandy except that my false labor pains continued all day, every day until I finally went in to active labor the night of July 14th! It was not fun at all, however it did get me used to the feeling of having a contraction and just dealing with it. I'm kind of convinced thats why I lasted until transition without having much pain. The nurses were like "How are you joking and talking right now? You're dilated to a 6...." Your guess is as good as mine! LoL

6. That you start to lose your marbles around 35 weeks. You're all pregnant and happy and then around 35 weeks you're like "no...i'm done!" I don't know if its the eagerness to meet your baby or the fact that you're just so damn uncomfortable all the time, but something just clicks and you become pregzilla. And honey, you have every right to be. ;)

7. That feeling the baby move is the weirdest feeling ever. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful, but at first it feels like you have an invader in there. One day you wake up feeling this little person tickling your insides, and if you think about it too long it can kind of creep you out! ("OMG...there's a human inside me...") Then at the end you start to realize what movements are hands, feet, and knees...and it's pretty dang amazing.

8. That the questions at the end are the most annoying of all the pregnancy woes. Maybe this is the actual reason for #6. "You're still pregnant?!" "When do you think you'll have her?" "How do you feel today?" "Do you think it will happen today or tomorrow?" or my favorite, "Can you hold her in until this day?" Yes. I don't know. Very pregnant. I have no clue. Hell no I can't. Honestly, they mean well, and they're all just very excited, but when you're feeling pregnant and miserable you can't rationalize that. You feel like a ticking time bomb who has lost their identity. You feel like everyone only thinks of you as the pregnant girl who could pop any day. I broke down at the end because I couldn't take it anymore. To avoid the risk of me committing a crime (kidding...lol) Brian got me out of the house. Neither of us talked about the pregnancy or the baby and it TOTALLY worked. Just answer the questions and move on...and then spend a day with someone who will help you forget the pregnancy even for just a few hours. :)

9. That if you're going to keep anything a secret, be prepared for it being very hard. Some people keep the pregnancy or the gender a secret; for us it was her name. We weren't going to reveal the name until her birth, but I was annoyed at not being able to not tell my friends and family. I finally caved in and ended up revealing it at the shower. In hindsight, it worked out perfectly, but keeping my mouth shut even that long was sooooo hard. I don't know if I will put myself through that again. Only time will tell. 

10. That I was going to grow out of my maternity clothes. Sounds silly, but when the clothes cost so much money as it is, it's annoying when they stop fitting. At one point I was ready to just live in my bathing suit. Lesson learned...get a size too big in everything. There's really no way to predict how much your belly might pop at the end.

11. That you shouldn't compare your pregnancy to others. Everyone does it, but it's just not healthy. Every pregnancy really is different, just like every baby is different. I had to learn that what was not normal for some other women's pregnancies was normal for me and that was okay!

12. That you have to feel comfortable and trust your OBGYN. I was hesitant to change doctors in the middle of my pregnancy, but I am so glad that I did! My original doctor was never around (I met him at my first appointment and that was it) and a lot of the staff was on the rude side. Once I found the doctor that ended up delivering Baylee I was so happy! She was young, positive, and readily available...just what I needed! She understood how important it was to me to not have a C-section and was willing to do everything in her power to make sure I didn't. I plan on using her for future pregnancies because I had such a great experience. If I had kept my old doctor I don't think it would have turned out as well.

13. That I was going to be so in love with the little baby inside me. You're never prepared for the love you feel once you know there's a life inside you. As the baby gets bigger and you learn more about them (the gender, their name, etc) the love grows even deeper. Then when they finally arrive. Oh my goodness. There is no deeper love on this earth. I honestly can't even contemplate loving another baby as much as I love Baylee. I know I will when that day comes along, but it's so tough to imagine!

14. That I should have taken my time out to enjoy my pregnancy more. I really did complain a lot. Well, with reason...I really did have a rough pregnancy most of the time. Looking back though, I wish I had just breathed and taken it in stride instead of freaking out. Those 9ish months go by entirely too fast. I was so eager just to have her here that I definitely did not take enough time to just enjoy carting her around with me in my belly wherever I went. Next time I won't be in such a rush.

15. That I was going to miss it. When people told me I was going to miss being pregnant I was like "Uh huh...right..." At first I was just happy that it was over and she was here, and then a few months later as my belly started to revert back to it's original state (well...sort of...) I started to miss it. I miss taking my weekly bump pic and seeing her swim around on the screen during ultrasounds, but most of all, I miss the food! Food just tastes so amazing when you're pregnant, and I miss being able to eat virtually whatever I wanted without feeling like a guilty fatty! I wouldn't trade her actually being here for anything in the world, but at least I know that I'll be able to do it again one day knowing that it's going to be a great experience!

My next post in the series will be "15 Things I Wish I Had Known About: Childbirth" so be on the lookout for it! Other than that, my little pookie is turning 7 months old in only 11 days! What?! We will have our 7 month post on the 15th! Until then! XoXoXo