Archives for May 2015

Friday Favs

Heyyyy! It’s been a hot minute since I participated in Friday Favs and I have a lot of favorites this week so let’s get to it!

1. This isn’t really a favorite, but Kyle went back to work yesterday after taking 2 weeks off. Boooooo. The good news is that Dean and I both survived! We managed to eat, nap, take a few walks, do a few loads of laundry, and practice BODYPUMP. I call that a successful first solo-baby day :)

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2. My “Scenes from the day” posts on Instagram. I am trying to stay off of my phone more often than not these days but I still take a lot of photos that I want to share! Plus, a few of my fellow mamas mentioned that I’m going to love looking back at the moments from each of the first few weeks with Dean.

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3. Mommy juice… aka – Spark. Oh my goshhhhhh. It has never tasted so good in my life, haha! I have it in the morning before breakfast and then again an hour or two before Kyle gets home from work. It saves my life, I tell ya.

4. My mom and sister are visiting next week! We haven’t had any visitors yet (minus a few friends/neighbors) so Kyle and I are excited to begin introducing Dean to our families :)

5. I WILL be going on a Starbs run today! I have been saying this ever since Tuesday but haven’t had the chance to get there yet. Going out solo with the babe will be an adventure but an iced coffee and a few seconds of adult interaction (<– the more important part, haha) will be worth it.

I’m linking up with Katie, Heather, and Clare today to share some of my favorites from the week.

What’s your favorite… workout, meal, drink, purchase… from the week? What are you up to this weekend?

5 Reasons Leslie Knope Is My Spirit Animal

My adorable blend turned real life friend, Lindsay, is here for y’all today. Lindsay and I met last year at Blend and spend many a day chatting on Google ;) I love her lightheartedness and positivity and today she’s here to share a bit of her humor. Thanks for taking over while I take care of the little dude!

Hello hello! I’m Lindsay, and I blog over at Lindsay Weighs In. I’m so happy to be here guest posting for my pal Becky!

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It’s okay if you want to be us, we’re kind of a big deal ;) Bahaha!

When I was trying to decide what I wanted to share with you all today, I kept going back to Leslie Knope. You might say that means I’ve been watching entirely too much Parks and Rec (and you’d be right), but seriously – Leslie Knope is my spirit animal. Here’s 5 Reasons Why:

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(Original Pictures Source)

1. We both know the importance of supporting our besties and encouraging them.

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(Source)

2. We’re passionate, and sometimes that makes people afraid of us. It’s all good.

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Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. ;) (Source)

3. We both know that you have to support yourself and give yourself some love sometimes too.

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(Source)

4. We can both be a tad over dramatic.

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(Source)

5. And last, but certainly not least, we both found the loves of our lives when we weren’t even looking for them.

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Dawww! (Source)

What TV character is your spirit animal? If you don’t watch Parks and Rec, I’m not sure that we can be friends (just kidding, but seriously, why aren’t you watching it?!?!) Do you think I watch too much Parks and Rec? Don’t answer that.

Thanks for having me Becky! Can’t wait to come meet your precious little boy soon. Aunt Linny needs some snuggles.

Seven Tools Every New Mom Needs in the First Year

I’m excited to have Alissa from A Journey to Thin here for y’all today! Alissa is a new-to-me blogger and I love her focus on healthy – yet balanced, living with her adorable little family :) Thanks for sharing these awesome tools for new mamas – I know I’ve already added a few to my mama list.

First of all, I want to thank Becky for inviting me to guest post! I love your blog, Becky, and it is an honor to write for you. Congratulations on the arrival of your bundle of joy and welcome to motherhood!

My precious baby girl turned one year old on the 1st of May and in addition to celebrating her first year of life, I also found myself mentally patting myself on the back for having survived the first year. My hair might be a mess (and a little more white), the baby weight still on (and then some), and I may have stains on my shirt more often than not, but I survived my first year as a mom and I am proud of that.

Since Becky is beginning this roller coaster of a ride that is motherhood, I wanted to share some of the resources and tools that were invaluable to me as a new mother. These are in no particular order.

1. White Noise Baby App: This app is available in both the App Store and the Google Play Store. It’s 99 cents very well spent!

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This was a little secret that we discovered when baby girl had her newborn pictures taken by a professional photographer. The photographer had this app on her phone and baby girl remained asleep almost the entire time that the photographer moved her around for photos.

When she was a newborn and wouldn’t stop crying, all we had to do was turn on the “air conditioning” noise on this phone app and she would immediately become peaceful and quiet. I am sure that it was a comforting “womblike” sound. It was such a lifesaver in those early months.

2. Postpartum Progress: My husband and I took all of the baby classes and I read the informative baby books, but somehow we didn’t recognize the signs of postpartum depression until 10 months postpartum.

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It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the Postpartum Progress website that I realized how I was feeling wasn’t normal and I reached out for help. The symptoms that I had learned about were very different from what I was experiencing—there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

All new moms should read through the symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety and be familiar with them. Even have family members and close friends read them so they know what to watch for. Be informed and never be afraid to reach out for help.

3. Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year: This book has a chapter for each month and details milestones and behaviors. It’s also a great resource book for common questions a parent might have during the first year.

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I read each chapter when baby girl turned a month older. With all of the information out there on the web, I knew the information in this book was from a source I could trust.

4. Feed Baby App: This app is free in both the App Store and the Google Play Store. There are a lot of things that you have to keep track of with a newborn: how many poops and pees, how many ounces they’re eating and how often, how long they’ve been sleeping, and if you’re breastfeeding—whether the feeding was on the left or the right. Using this app makes it so easy to track all of these things and more than likely you take your phone with you everywhere so when the pediatrician asks these questions, you’ll have the answers handy! I still use this app to track nap times so I can estimate when baby girl will wake up because I tend to forget the time I put her down for a nap…we’ll call that mommy brain.

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5. Medicine Dosage Charts: My sister sent me a link to the Mundelein Pediatrics website, which lists the dosages for Tylenol & Ibuprofen, among others. They never print the dosages for infants on the bottles. Our pediatrician gave me a printed copy and I never seem to have that handy but I always have my phone around so this resource has been super helpful for me.

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6. Online Symptom Checker: Another resource from the Mundelein Pediatrics website is the Online Symptom Checker. You can select a symptom or an illness and it gives you detailed information about possible causes, home remedies, what to watch for, and when to call the doctor. I know it’s a resource that I can trust and it has reassured me many times when I was worried.

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7. Solid Food Chart for Babies: Once baby is ready for solid foods, it’s helpful to know what the recommendations are for what foods to introduce when. I used a chart from Momtastic: Wholesome Baby Foods and it reassured me I was introducing foods that baby’s tummy could handle and also gave me ideas about foods to let baby try. As a result, baby girl ate a variety of foods that maybe I wouldn’t have even thought to feed her, like papaya, chicken, and soft boiled egg yolks.

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I know that these tools will be useful for first time moms and perhaps even experienced moms.

Sharing is caring! What tools/resources would you recommend to a first time mom?

#89 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Comin’ at ya a little late this morning… An extra hour of sleep presented itself to me and I wasn’t about to turn that down!

How about we jump right into the treats?

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

Baby Dean’s newborn photos! We had his newborn session on Friday with Rochelle Shucart – She did an amazing job and I cannot wait to see his full gallery. I gave y’all a sneak peak on Instagram – Aren’t they adorbs??

“Scenes from today” Instagram posts – I am taking A LOT of photos these days and rather than bombard y’all with images every 20 minutes or spend all of my time on social media, I’ve been making little collages at the end of the day. I like it so far! Thoughts?

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Wine! This is kind of disappointing (and embarrassing!?), but I have yet to finish a full glass… haha. Go figure! I have a few sips and then realize I don’t want the entire thing. Eh, it’s okay! A few sips still taste good and then I don’t have to worry about timing breastfeeding so carefully.

This treat hasn’t happened yet… but it WILL today. I am getting OUT. Haha :) I am normally a homebody but sometimes you just need some outside interaction. I haven’t told Kyle yet but I am going to run to Starbs (I don’t even drink coffee that often anymore, LOL) and quickly to Target for baby wipes – Seriously, all I need is 30 minutes and I’ll be a new woman ;)

Baby cuddles. Newborns are so sweet and I’m taking advantage of the cuddles throughout the day.

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Lots of family walks – It feels great to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise in each day. We are aiming for one walk in the morning and one in the evening. It’s good for us and good for Baby Dean to have some outdoor time each day.

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What was your favorite treat from the week? Scenes from today posts – yay or nay? What should I get at Starbs? I’m thinking an iced americano but haven’t been in forevs… What’s good??

Things I didn’t expect postpartum

There are a few things I’ve experienced after Baby Dean entered the world that I definitely did not expect. I know there are a lot of you future mama’s out there, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on my postpartum experience thus far. Obviously, every pregnancy and labor/delivery is different so what I experience will most likely be totally different from the next mama… It’s never wise to compare yourself and/or your recovery to anyone else’s – Please remember that these are my experiences as you read through this post!

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1. Recovery isn’t as terrifying as I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, the first two nights in the hospital were rough. It hurt to get out of bed and going to the bathroom by myself was a horrifying thought. Thankfully, those nights were the worst and I have had minimal, if any, pain from delivery since leaving the hospital. I was expecting a much, MUCH worse experience… especially when you hear horror stories from everyone you run into during your last month of pregnancy (the grocery cashier… the fellow gym-goer… random people you walk by…) about bleeding for months and months, not being able to walk like a human, utter exhaustion, never having the time to shower, your body never being the same again, a colicky baby, and so forth. I guess it goes to say, set your expectations low and you’ll be pleasantly surprised ;)

2. Similar to my previous point, it is amazing how quickly my body has “bounced back.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of work to do (I tried on my non-maternity shorts last Thursday… Yaaa, bad idea, haha!), but if anyone saw me walking down the street or even in a bikini at the beach, they wouldn’t assume I had just popped a kid out of my body. It just looks like I have had a few extra bags of Doritos and my share of Ben & Jerry’s over the past few months. #truth ;) Granted, I had a fairly easy (relatively speaking…) labor and delivery which I know is helping in my body go back to “normal,” but I honestly believe that staying fit and eating relatively healthy throughout my pregnancy has been a huge contributor as well. I haven’t been working out post-baby (or doing much of anything…), but I am breastfeeding, *trying* to eat well, going on slow walks, resting when I can, taking my Catalyst, and wearing my BelleFit (it still won’t zip completely but it’s getting closer each day!) – Basically women’s bodies are amazing and know what to do when it comes to babies!

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3. Breastfeeding really sucks at first. Just being honest here! Even if the baby’s latch is perfect, your nipples will be super sore for the first few days (they have to suck really hard to get that colostrum out at first)… And then your milk comes in and your breasts become engorged. HOLY OWIE. I think it’s nature’s way of forcing you to feed your baby because if you don’t, you will be in an incredible amount of pain. Heck, even if you do nurse every hour, you’ll still be in pain, it just takes the edge off! Thankfully, as long as you stick with it, the pain subsides and your milk production evens out to meet demand after a week or so. I recommend getting a jar of coconut oil and Motherlove Nipple Cream (my friend Molly sent me a jar of this and – no joke – 12 hours after my first use, I felt 100x better) and taking a lot of warm showers to get you through the beginning days.

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4. “Let down” literally means milk will come pouring out of your body, almost always at the most inconvenient time. For some reason, I thought that term just meant that your milk was easier to come out for the baby. HAHAHAHA. No. It’s a good day if I only soak through 2 shirts… apparently this gets better with time, we shall see. Oh, and nursing pads are the most painful things to wear when your nips are sore. They’re scratchy torture devices, but they do work if you need to catch all of that fallin’ milk.

5. Even if you didn’t have swelling during pregnancy and didn’t have an IV during labor, you will probably still experience some weird postpartum swelling. I freaked when I woke up the day after Dean was born to swollen fingers and ankles. The nurses assured me this was normal – A lot of fluid builds up during pregnancy and after that baby comes out, your body has to figure out what to do with the excess. Lots of walking and water consumption will help even everything out within a few days.

6.  It’s incredibly sweet to see your husband interact with your baby. I always knew Kyle wanted to be a dad, but the way he interacts with Dean is adorable – Reading books, saying “I love you,” telling him that he’s getting cuter by the day… Awww. Your heart really does melt!

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7. Mama and non-mama friends alike will be amazing! I can’t express how grateful I am for all of my friends who have reached out to see how I’m doing, to say congratulations, and to make sure everything is okay. I’m not the best at responding in a timely manner at the moment, but everyone’s texts and messages mean a lot to us!

8. You WILL become obsessed and post photos of only your baby. I swore that I wouldn’t do this, but I quickly realized that for a few weeks (maybe even months??) after birth, you do NOTHING but spend time with your baby. So, even if I wanted to post about something else on social media, I really have nothing at my fingertips to share, haha. Thank you for bearing with me… I promise I’ll get to more than baby things with time. You know, like wine (SO glad it’s back in my life!), Spark, BODYPUMP, beaches… The things I used to obsess about in my day-to-day life ;)

Fellow mama’s – What did you experience postpartum that you least expected?

Tips for Beginning Runners

Hello, hello! I’m excited to have Nicole here on ONW for y’all this morning. I love Nicole’s realistic approach to life that she shares on her blog. She’s all about balance and fitting in health and fitness where she can and, as you know, that’s my kind of girl! She’s taking over while I am on mama duty… and I hope she knows she will be getting LOTS of little boy questions in the coming weeks and months since she is a mama to two sweet boys :)

Take it away, Nicole!

Hello Olives ‘n Wine readers!  My name is Nicole and I blog at A Midwest Life.  I am so excited to be guest posting while Becky is enjoying her sweet baby boy!  Little boys are so much fun :)

Nicole Midwest Life

Currently I am training for my first marathon!  While I have been running for quite a while I have never had the opportunity to run a marathon so I can’t wait to experience the race and see how I do running 26.2 miles :) .

While I ran sporadically during middle school and high school I didn’t really start running on a regular basis until the summer before my junior year in high school.  I played tennis and found that it was a great way to stay in shape while not playing tennis.  Running in the summer in southern Kansas is HOT.  August can be pretty brutal but I stuck with it and eventually worked my way up to running 4-5 miles on a regular basis.  By the time I went to college I was determined to not lose what I had worked so hard for and ran whenever I could before or after school and work. Not too long later I was pregnant with my first son and was unable to continue to run. After he was born I didn’t really work too hard at gaining my running fitness back since I knew I was going to be pregnant again soon! A year and a half later I had my second son and found myself basically starting over with running. It felt unfamiliar and was so difficult!

Finding myself back at square one with running I was reminded as to what it feels like to be a beginner again. It is easy for someone who has been running for a while to give suggestions but when running doesn’t even feel normal or familiar those suggestions don’t really apply, at least not for me :) .

Being new to running requires a whole new perspective and approach until you start feeling stronger. These are my favorite tips to follow when first starting to run.

Start slow. Set a goal to run for just a few minutes and walk a few minutes. Start with an even 50/50 such as three minutes running and then three minutes off and slowly work towards running longer and walking less. Maybe after awhile run 3 minutes and walk 2 minutes. Don’t focus too much on speed but on how running feels and how your body is responding to running.

Run with other beginners. A lot of runners will say running with someone faster than them is a huge benefit. When you are first starting out I would suggest finding other runners that are beginners as well. They will be more relatable and will be a better support system long term as they will be going through similar things at the same time. While finding a mentor with tons of experience is great it is also important to find and meet other runners. Just as though it is important to find experienced professionals in your field as mentors as well as others majoring in the same major in college it is important to find running mentors as well as runners you can relate with on a regular basis.

Get fitted for running shoes. Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is make sure you have good running shoes. This will help reduce aches and pains, as well as help maintain better form. Visiting a running store or a shoe store that has a treadmill so they can watch you run and then suggest shoes based on your form and feet is a great way to find the right running shoes for you.

Focus on mobility. Everyone hears about how important stretching is when exercising and running. However mobility is just as important. Mobility refers to your joint flexibility. When you stretch you are mainly focusing on stretching muscles, which is also important! However, maintaining a good range of motion in your joints helps reduce the risk of injury as well as may help improve your running speed! Here are two articles about mobility.

Have fun and don’t stress! Most importantly, don’t stress about being too slow! Even if you are the slowest runner in a race or in your group you are still benefiting your health in huge ways. And you are still running! It is easy to compare yourself to faster runners and feel like quitting. I will more than likely never win a race I run, and qualifying for the Boston Marathon is quite a reach for me would require a lot of hard work, and probably not likely. It used to stress me out when others would assume that because I enjoy running that I was automatically fast. Personally, I think I am fast, compared to where I started, but that doesn’t mean that I am considered fast compared to others. The beauty of running is that you can compete, run races, and join the running community without being exceptional or considered an elite runner. Elite runners run many of the same races everyone else does, just faster! Just remember to have fun and the only person you need to compare yourself to is you :) .

I am so excited to be running again after taking a few years off! Even though starting over has been difficult these tips have helped me get back into shape without getting injured or experiencing a lot of soreness or stiffness.

If you run, what helped you when you were first starting?

The one item I forgot…

From the crib to the dresser to the recliner. Books to cute little outfits to diapers. I thought I had the entire nursery covered when it came to what we would need for Baby Dean.

Turns out, I missed one thing.

The baby had everything he needed and then some, but I forgot the most important nursery item for mama and daddy…

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A snack basket!

It’s well-known that breastfeeding mama’s need extra calories to keep up with that milk production, but daddy’s need snacks as well. It’s hard to wake up for midnight (and 2am… and 4am… and 6am…) feedings and diaper changes without having a little extra fuel to keep you going.

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With a baby you need snacks that you can easily eat with one hand. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean… I didn’t believe it until Baby Dean arrived, but it’s inevitable, as soon as sit down to a meal or attempt to grab a snack with both hands, the baby will cry and your stomach will be left growling as you tend to your darling little gremlin. (Does anyone else have a baby that scrunches up his face to look like a sweet little gremlin? Haha – poor guy already has quite a list of nicknames!)

Anyways…

Enter, the one-handed snack basket for the nursery! All you need is a basket close to the nursing chair that is full of snacks (and water!) that are easy to grab, easy to eat, and healthy for the new parents.

Yup, healthy. Now more than ever – especially with that intense sleep deprivation, your body needs good-for-you foods to keep that energy flowing. Plus, healthy snacks = optimal nutrients going into your baby’s body :)

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So, what is in our nursery snack basket?

  • Dried fruit <– Specifically apricots as they are good for milk production.
  • Water bottles <– We try to bring in tap water from the kitchen, but sometimes, especially at 3am with a screaming baby, it’s easy to forget on the way to the nursery.
  • Meal bars <– Lotsa protein to keep your body going for the lil’ baby.
  • Snack bars <– When you’re hungry, but not THAT hungry for an entire meal bar.
  • Blue Diamond Almonds <– Specifically, the Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate flavors. Yum, yum! Almonds are also a fabulous food for milk production and anything that I can do to keep the little man fed is something that is good in my book. Plus, if something that is chocolate-flavored can be considered healthy, count me in ;)

Speaking of Blue Diamond Almonds, I love the new packaging for their almonds. Not only is it easier to open one-handed than the canisters, it is also more environmentally-friendly and I’m all about that! The bags are also lighter and much easier to throw into a diaper bag (or purse or gym bag or work bag). Thanks for changing it up, Blue Diamond!

So, soon-to-be mama’s and daddy’s, make sure you don’t forget what you need for YOU in the nursery. And that means snacks ;)

Parents – What did you realize you needed in the nursery once the baby arrived? What is your favorite, middle-of-the-night snack to get you through baby feedings and diaper changes?

What is your favorite, healthy, on-the-go snack that you always keep handy?

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. As are my current 2am feedings ;) Thanks for the healthy snacks, Blue Diamond! Baby Dean loves them too :)

Baby Dean’s Birth Story

On Thursday, May 14th, Kyle and I woke up to what we knew was going to be a special day. We waited and waited until the evening hours and finally, Dean’s stork appeared at our door! It brought all 7 pounds, 7 ounces of a healthy baby boy and we couldn’t have been happier. The end.

Oh, that’s not the birth story you were looking to read today? ;)

Well then, let’s get to it, shall we?

On the morning of May 14th, Kyle’s alarm sounded like any other weekday at 6:30am. I was tired and didn’t want to get out of bed when I felt a little trickle. Ugh great, now I can’t even control my bladder… I jumped out of bed to run to the bathroom and then there was a bit more of a gush (although it wasn’t a ton of fluid, I was thankful that I was OUT of bed at this point). I looked at Kyle and told him that I thought my water had broken. After confirming that I was definitely not losing control of my bladder, I asked Kyle to clean up the floor (poor guy!) and jumped in the shower.

I had about every thought under the sun as I took my last pre-baby shower… Is this really happening? Am I supposed to be showering? What else do I need in my bag? HOLY CRAP.

Kyle packed his bag and took Mitchell on a quick walk while I finished throwing my hospital bag together. I was starting to have contractions at this point, but nothing painful and I was able to clean up the bedroom and the kitchen before Kyle and Mitchell came back home. After chugging a Spark (priorities…) and eating a banana (In retrospect, I should have definitely forced myself to eat more – I was just anxious and not hungry!), we packed the car and headed to the hospital.

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Go time!!

After checking in at the front desk, we were taken back to triage to confirm that my water had actually broken and that I was truly in labor. Obviously, I was… I could have told the nurses that myself, LOL… and we were assigned a labor room. At that point, I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. I still couldn’t believe it was actually happening – We were going to have a baby today!

I tested positive for Group B Strep a few weeks prior (It’s a normal bacteria that women can carry but it can cause serious illness, like pneumonia and meningitis, in babies so all pregnant women are tested after 35 weeks.), so I had to be on an IV drip to receive antibiotics every 4 hours. They started penicillin ASAP, and let me tell you, receiving the IV lock in my hand and having antibiotics run through my veins (holy burn!) was probably the most annoying part of the entire birth experience. Oh, and the damn automatic blood pressure cuff on my right arm. I swear that thing would start to tighten every time a contraction started to build and there were multiple times that I yelled to Kyle to rip the thing off of my arm.

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Anyways, back to the story…

As luck would have it, Thursdays are my OBGYN’s day to be on-call at the hospital so he was able to swing by the room a few times to see how things were progressing.

At 9am, my labor was still pretty mild, so Kyle left to take Mitchell into the vet overnight. Don’t worry, he was back within 30 minutes and there was no way the baby was going to pop out that quickly! While he was gone, I updated a few of my social media sites with photos I had taken previously to keep people from guessing that I was in labor. I’m a sneaky one ;)

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Around 11am, things started to get a bit more intense. My contractions had been about 3 minutes apart since arriving at the hospital and they progressively got closer and closer until they were about 60 seconds apart around 12noon. I had to focus through contractions and, let me tell you, they didn’t feel good. AT ALL. They started out feeling like strong menstrual cramps and by noon, they transitioned to feeling more like an elephant was jumping on my pelvic bone for 90 seconds at a time. The nurses told me that it was because the baby’s head was SO low so I was feeling every contraction in my cervix.

So that was fun.

In order to reduce the risk of strep infection in the baby, my progress wasn’t being checked very frequently. Around 3pm, I was checked and was incredibly discouraged that, while I was now 100% effaced, I was still at 2cm. So, 8.5 hours and LOTS of pain later, basically nothing had happened. The nurse assured me that this was totally normal for a first time baby but that we needed to talk about “other options” since we were on a shorter time frame thanks to that dang strep bug and my broken waters.

My doctor recommended starting a very slow drip of pitocin to see if that could get things moving in the right direction. As much as I wanted to avoid it, I knew we had to do something and I wanted labor to be OVER at that point. I was done. The pain and lack of rest between intense contractions had taken over my body. I was also starting to vomit with contractions. Everything was getting on my nerves as well. From the beeping machines to the smell of magazines (I yelled at Kyle at one point to get rid of whatever he was reading because it smelled!) to the dang blood pressure cuff – I was seriously at my breaking point.

Labor is super sexy.

After talking it over with Kyle, when the nurse returned with my bag of pitocin, I requested an epidural. There was no way I was going to be able to make it through with that level of pain and nauseousness, and at that point, the benefits far outweighed the risks to me. She knew I wanted to avoid pain medication, so she offered to start the pitocin drip and see how my pain levels changed. I basically told her, HELL NO – I needed the drugs now and that I couldn’t do it without them, LOL. I was really pleasant at that point. She quickly called the anesthesiologist and I was never so happy to see a man with a needle in my life.

(Had I actually been progressing and been a 6 or a 7 at that point, rather than still being stuck at a 2, I think I would have tried to push through without pain medication a bit longer. But the idea of going through the same – and probably worse – contractions for at least 8 more hours had me close to tears.)

The epidural process itself was painless. I had to sit up and lean forward onto the nurse while relaxing my muscles (easier said that done when you have 12 elephants jumping on your pelvic bone!!) I felt a little sting as the initial numbing agent was injected, but after that, I wouldn’t have known that anyone was even touching my back.

I used to think air conditioning was the best invention ever. Nope, not anymore. Whoever developed the epidural is my hero and I love them forever and ever.

The epidural worked… at least for the most part, for a short amount of time. Ha! I’m one of those bizarre cases that respond to anesthesia in an odd manner. I remember waking up halfway through my wisdom tooth surgery ten years ago and, go figure, my epidural didn’t ever fully kick in.

Don’t get me wrong, it took away probably 80% of the pain for about 90 minutes. And that little edge gave me enough energy to keep going. My legs and butt felt like they were on pins and needles, but I could (thankfully) still move them with just a little bit of help. Unfortunately, I had what my nurse called a “hot spot” – Because the baby’s head was so low and hitting the nerves to my cervix, the medication couldn’t flow very well to that area of my body. (At least this is what she told me – Any L&D nurses want to confirm this can actually happen? Or did the epidural just not take for me?) And, that is where you want it during labor! I told the baby that he was already grounded for life at that point, even though he hadn’t yet made his appearance ;)

Okay, so I received the epidural around 4pm and my nurse started the pitocin around 4:30pm. She wanted to make sure both the baby and I responded to the epidural well before adding another drug to the mix. My already low blood pressure dropped so I got to wear a super cute oxygen mask, LOL, but other than that, all looked good so my pitocin drip was a go.

My progress was checked again around 5:30 to see if the drip needed to be increased and good news – I had gone from 2cm to 4cm! Woohoo – It was working! But the bad news, I still had 6cm to go, haha.

My pain levels – along with help from the epidural, tolerated the pitocin for about 90 minutes. Then I was back to feeling the pain exactly how it was before my drugs, except the rest periods were even shorter at that point. Holy goodness, I seriously thought I was going to die. My nurse’s shift was over at 6pm, so I was introduced to my new nurse (I think her name was Nicole?) and she agreed to check me at 6:45pm if my pain was still this intense.

After enduring 45 minutes of full-on labor pain, I was checked and the nurse was shocked. I was at a 10! It was time to get this show on the road. Also, no wonder it hurt – I progressed 6cm in less than an hour!

The nurses told me to sit tight while she called my doctor and prepped the room for pushing. Yeah, sit tight. Don’t ever tell that to a woman in labor. Also, in case you were wondering, you can’t get additional epidural medication when it is time to push. Worst. News. EVER.

Starting at 7pm, I pushed and pushed and pushed <– This is the HARDEST part of labor in my opinion. You’re exhausted. You’re still having the exact same contraction pains. And now you have to push 3-4x (10 seconds at a time, all while holding your breath…) per contraction to get that baby out. I was totally not prepared for it. Thank goodness I stayed fit throughout those 9 months! Kyle was at my left leg, a nurse was all up in my business (I think she was helping to stretch things out with each contraction to reduce the risk of tearing? I was so focused I didn’t ask questions…), and there was another nurse at my right knee. Everyone was great cheerleaders and at 7:30, I was told that the baby didn’t have much hair, haha ;)

I refused a mirror. To each their own, but I did not want to see my body go through those kind of changes… Kyle watched and was extremely supportive and excited throughout!

At 7:45pm, one of the nurses ran to grab my doctor because the baby was almost here and, let me tell you, he took his sweet time to get to the room. Apparently he stopped to chat with someone in the hall. I think I yelled at one point… HELLO! I’M IN LABOR! TELL HIM TO GET HERE NOWWWWW!

Once the doctor arrived, I gave a little push and baby’s head came out! The nurses calmly told me that his cord was wrapped around his neck so the doctor was going to cut the cord rather than Kyle. I immediately freaked out and worried something was wrong, but my doctor was amazing and kept me calm. Per Kyle’s description, he had the cord loosened in less than two seconds and Kyle was still able to cut the cord. Once Kyle cut the cord, he pulled out the rest of the baby’s body (It was the weirdest feeling – It honestly felt like someone was ripping out my insides and it still gives me the shivers thinking about it!), gave him a few slaps to get him to start breathing and then handed him to a nurse to take to the warming table.

Again, the nurses were extremely calm (so amazing!) and explained they were going to warm him up and get him to scream before placing him on my chest since of the issue with his cord. Soon enough, there was a baby scream and I cried. Kyle went over to say hi to little Dean and take photos while he was measured and weighed.

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7 pounds, 7 ounces. 19 inches. Born at 7:57pm.

Then I got to meet him as he was placed on my chest! He was just as squirmy as he was in the womb ;) And yes, he was wrinkly and pale and puffy but he was still beautiful to me. I kissed his little head and said “Hi baby” and was able to cuddle him while the doctor finished up with my lady parts. I had a slight tear (no episiotomy and it was only a 1st degree tear, nothing major!) so I had to get a few stitches, but my mind was on the baby at that point so I didn’t even notice.

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And that’s our Baby Dean’s birth story! Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There were no major complications and we got a healthy baby at the end. That’s the goal, right?

We are happily adjusting to a family of four (Mitchell is a worried big brother when Dean cries) and my recovery has been much better than I anticipated. Don’t believe those horror stories you hear, soon-to-be mamas!

Thanks for reading my novel! We are so happy and in love with Baby Dean.

#88 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Hellooooo Tuesday! I’m awake and not feeding a baby at the moment AND communicating with adults. I even showered and took myself to the bathroom this morning… The little things are the big things after giving birth, LOL ;)

First of all, thank you SO much for all of your sweet comments on yesterday’s birth announcement and for your love on my social media posts. I promise I won’t be all baby all the time – I gotta have my wine too, haha – but I appreciate your patience with our newest obsession.

I DO plan on sharing the little guy’s birth story – maybe even tomorrow! I figure if I don’t get it written now, I’ll forget all the details.

How about we jump into last week’s treats?

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First, let’s talk the big treat… BABY!! <– This is how I started last week’s post and it’s for REAL this time. It’s crazy how much can change in a week.

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I was planning on treating myself to a prenatal massage and manicure-pedicure on Thursday of last week, but Baby Dean obviously had other plans. I have a feeling this is just the start of him making me cancel my mama plans ;) Don’t worry, I’ll get that spa day sometime this summer!

Sooo, let’s see… Baby Dean was obviously my biggest treat and the reason why this post will be nice and short.

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Turns out, he’s a really good eater and the concern I voiced on Friday hasn’t been an issue! Yay! <– Another treat and something I am glad I don’t have to worry about.

Kyle and I took him to his initial well-baby appointment yesterday and after dropping to 7 pounds, 1 ounce before leaving the hospital, he’s back up to 7 pounds, 8 ounces! One whole ounce above where he was at when he entered the world ;)

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His newborn photos are scheduled for Friday morning – Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Next week I hope to have a few more treats for y’all – Thank you for your patience over the coming weeks of crazy baby business here in the ONW household. I have a bunch of posts coming your way in the next few weeks so stay tuned :)

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How did you treat yourself last week? 

Introducing Baby Dean

On Thursday, May 14th at 7:57pm, Dean Axel Klapman entered the world!

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7 pounds, 7 ounces and 19 inches of baby perfection.

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We are so in love and spending time getting to know our new family member :)

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