Hurricane Irma – Before the storm

This post is the first in a series recapping my first experience with a hurricane. I am still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened in the month of September, so thank you for reading my jumbled thoughts on Hurricane Irma. Before I begin I will say, however, that I didn’t get it – I didn’t get the emotions and fear involved with hurricanes until experiencing it for myself. So, if you can’t relate to what I’m sharing, I understand where you’re coming from. I never realized that a hurricane can impact EVERYTHING in your life like food, water, fuel, homes, businesses, jobs, electricity, life savings, etc. I GET IT NOW and this is why I am sharing my experience. I hope others will understand the serious outcomes of massive weather events like hurricanes.

The past 3 weeks of life have been a blur. Most of my fellow Napoleons agree that it has felt like we’ve been living in the Twilight Zone. No one remembers what day it is, what they ate for dinner last night, if they paid their water bill, or what life was like before the storm.

THE storm. Hurricane Irma.

Is she shifting to the west? Yes? No… Maybe she is shifting east? She’s getting weaker, we’re in the clear. Oh wait, just kidding. We’re looking at a Cat. 5 here. The days leading up to Hurricane Irma were confusing. They were full of unpredictable weather forecasts, stress, and the unknown. They were pretty darn terrifying as a hurricane newbie. Although I have friends who’ve lived through their fair share of hurricanes and they were also experiencing the same variety of emotions from sadness to terror to panic to shock.

Approximately 5 days before Irma hit, the forecast was clear. Irma was going to hit Florida. The only thing in question was if she was going to tear up the east coast, the west coast, or the center of the state. No one knew, but it didn’t really matter. Irma was twice as wide as Florida and looked to be the size of Texas on the weather maps. She was going to impact the entire state no matter where her eye hit land.

Panic started to spread throughout Naples the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 5th, 2017. In retrospect, the holiday weekend felt like the calm before the storm. And it was, quite literally. Once Tuesday afternoon hit, gas lines were hours long. People were stock piling non-perishables and water at every Publix. (It is recommended you have 2 weeks of food/water/supplies for each person if you choose to ride out the storm.) You could feel the unease in the air.

I don’t take panic well so what did I do? You guessed it. I started to panic.

Imagine learning that a potential Category 5 hurricane is going to devastate your city. Not just “kinda impact” – NO. A Category 5 would completely change the way your city, your HOME, the place where people you love live. It would make Naples look different. It would ruin buildings, flood roads, homes and businesses. It would tear up landscaping and trees as if they were tiny blades of grass meeting the sharp blade of a lawnmower. After the storm, power could be out for weeks in 100+ degree temperatures. There would be no safe drinking water. And no fuel to for vehicles or for generators. Residents would be dependent on the government (military personnel and FEMA) for basics like food and water and places to cool down in the extreme heat.

As a mama of two littles, there was no way I was staying to see what this storm decided to do. My job is to protect my boys and I wasn’t sure I could do that to the best of my ability if we stayed in Naples. I’m sure my fellow mama’s agree that what I’m describing is a SCARY feeling. I didn’t know if my boys would have a home when we (eventually) returned to Naples. I didn’t know if they’d have their beds or their toys or their books or a safe place to live. It felt like a punch in the gut and it still makes me emotional when I think about it.

I do not wish that feeling on my worst enemy.

While Dean was in preschool on Tuesday morning, I ran last minute errands and packed up the house. In less than two hours I had packed clothing and necessities for myself and the boys, moved everything on our lanai into the garage including a 75 pound grill (I knew I did BODYPUMP for a reason!), found important documents we would need to take with us during our evacuation, placed items normally on the floor onto our counter tops in case we experienced flooding, and told Kyle were were getting the heck outta dodge ASAP.

They’re not kidding when they say adrenaline kicks in before a storm!

I will spare you the details of our road trip. 19+ hours in a car with a 2 year old, an infant, and a dog… I’ll just say you didn’t want to be there. Leaving our home and Naples was surreal though. Again, imagine if you were setting out on a “vacation” but you didn’t know if your house would be there when you returned and you had no clue when you would be back. It isn’t a fun feeling.

Throughout the drive and leading up to the storm, I was glued to weather forecasts and CNN. Seeing the devastation Irma caused on her way up to Florida was most definitely NOT reassuring. This storm was continuing to get worse and she was going to impact Naples. It didn’t help to ease my constant concern. While I was relieved to be a safe distance away from the Irma, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about our home and our friends who decided to stay in Naples.

One shining light in the time leading up to the storm was seeing how neighborly Naples became. Strangers were helping strangers put up hurricane shutters and plywood over windows. Those with extra water and supplies were offering it to others. Naples can oftentimes feel… what’s the word… elitist? I’m not sure that’s the exact word I’m searching for but it works. Regardless of where you lived, worked or played, EVERYONE came together to prepare for Irma and it was heartwarming to experience. People really are genuinely GOOD and while I wish it was visible each and every day, it shines through in desperate times.

My memory is somewhat of a blur, but I believe on Thursday or Friday before the storm, forecasters were pretty darn certain Naples was going to get the brunt of the hurricane eye. There was still a chance she could shift eastward or even more westward causing the worst of the winds and flooding to go elsewhere, but it did not look likely. More and more of my friends decided to leave town, even long-time Floridians. That is when you know things are serious. I remember not being able to eat much because I felt sick thinking about what could happen. I was basically living on a liquid (AKA – wine) diet in the days leading up to Irma. The boys and staying busy with friends helped to distract us from the inevitable, but Irma was always creeping in the back of our minds.

A category 4 or 5 hurricane was going to slam into Naples – my home, where my boys were born, where Kyle and I have lived and worked and played for 3 years – in 48 hours. We were safe and my friends who were staying were as prepared as they could be. At this point, there was nothing to do but wait.

To be continued…

Current Favorites

These are a few of my favorite things…

I’ve been loving on a few things lately and – because I always like to know about fun things others enjoy, I want to share my current faves with you!

1. Walmart Grocery Online Ordering – YOU GUYS. This is a game changer! I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of Walmart (Target all the way…), but I have been impressed with this new service since James was born. I won’t lie, the thought of grocery shopping with a toddler and an infant is somewhat terrifying which drove me to try this service back in June. I’m happy to report that not only does it make grocery shopping a breeze, ordering AND picking up is incredibly simple, Walmart has an impressive assortment of organic/natural products, and I find that I save money by not randomly browsing aisles in the store. And yes, you can order items other than groceries… the only exclusion being electronics. So load that cart up with toiletries, WINE (haha), whatever you need!

Here’s the gist of it… you reserve an hour time slot for pick-up, place your order online (they even have an awesome phone app so you can order on your phone!), arrive at the pick-up location and – voila! – your groceries are loaded into your car. Seriously… that’s it! I definitely recommend checking it out! If it is your first time using the service, here is a link that you can use to save yourself $10.

2. Vilia Soaps – My internet friend (One of my favorite kind of friends… the ones you meet online!), Staci, recently contacted me about her new soap company, Vilia Soap Company. She and her husband recently moved back to the United States after living abroad in Greece (#goals) and decided to begin selling handmade soaps made with Greek olive oil. She sent me a few to try and I am pleased to report that these may be my new favorite soaps!

I was a bit hesitant at first because I am not a fan of grandma-esque soaps… you know the kind that smell like decorative soaps? Villa Soaps are NOT like that at all! They offer a perfectly light aroma and hold up well in the shower or by the sink. I also love the flavors of soap. My personal favorite is the Activated Charcoal and Tea Tree!

Because I love her soaps so much, she’s offered to give all of my readers a 15% discount on all purchases until the end of August – Yay! Enter the code olivesnwine during your online checkout and receive 15% off your purchase. This coupon cannot be combined with other coupons or sale items. This coupon can only be used once per customer. There is no minimum order amount on this coupon. Coupon Expires August 31, 2017.

3. Baby Bjorn – Dean LOVED our Baby Bjorn carrier when he was a baby and James has been the same so far. I actually purchased a K’Tan as well after receiving good reviews from friends, but that one is tricky to put on and James does not like it nearly as much. It is what I use to get him to nap if he won’t give in and I carry him in it while running errands. If you’re a new mama or expecting, this carrier is a must!

4. Commit to FIT – YOU GUYS!! I am super excited about this!! (Can you tell by all of my exclamation points?! LOL.) A few weeks ago, AdvoCare launch a brand new line of products called FIT… yep, you guessed it – They are for your fitness game! There are Pre, Intra and Post products as well as a convenient, ready-to-drink protein shake.

The products take the guessing game out of your fitness supplements (HALLELUJAH!) as you take the Pre 30 minutes before a workout, the Intra during a workout, and the Post within 45 minutes following a workout. Easy peasy! They are also made for ANY fitness level and ANY type of workout – How awesome is that?! Oh, and have I mentioned they taste like candy?! Haha… The Pre is a strawberry-lemonade flavor and oh my goodness is it ever good!

I’m happy to answer any question on the new FIT Line of products – They don’t disappoint! Also, if you’re brand new to AdvoCare and would like to try a sample of the new FIT line, please reach out – I have a few more I can send your way!

What are your current favorite products or services? I love getting recommendations so please share!

Breastfeeding and Thrush

If you follow me on Instagram (<– PS. I recently combined my accounts to make my life easier! Make sure you’re following me here for all things wine, fitness, food, and – of course, cute baby/toddler photos ;-) ), you are well aware that James and I had a run-in with Thrush.

Yay.

Can you sense the sarcasm? Ha!

Thrush while breastfeeding is NOT fun and I do not wish it upon anyone. What is Thrush? Basically, it is a fungal infection of your nipples and/or breasts caused by a yeast (Candida) that normally lives on our skin. When the yeast grows out of control and enters your milk ducts, Thrush happens. And yes, it is the same fungus/yeast strain that causes yeast infections in the lady bits. Ick.

For more information and resources on Thrush, check out this site. (Kelly Mom is my favorite for all breastfeeding questions/concerns, check it out if you haven’t yet!)

I am fairly certain both James and I had Thrush from Day 3 or 4. As with all newborns, he had a teeny tiny mouth and, at least for me, that always causes a bit of breastfeeding pain at the beginning. However, this time around, the pain didn’t subside after a few weeks… It just kept getting worse. Not only were my nipples extremely sore and it hurt to wear anything but a super baggy t-shirt, I had stabbing pains after each nursing session. It was MISERABLE and after it got to a point where I no longer wanted to breastfeed, I knew I needed to see a Lactation Consultant.

Yes, I know I probably should have seeked help a bit sooner, but I honestly just thought it was a small mouth/minor latching problem that would correct itself in time. Yeah, no…

The weekend prior to the 4th of July was my breaking point, and decided to Google my symptoms during a Saturday evening 2am feed. FYI – I don’t recommend Googling health symptoms in the middle of the night when you are sleep deprived ;-)

To my surprise, ALL of my symptoms pointed to Thrush of the breasts/nipples. I was also surprised (but I should have assumed) that recent antibiotic usage as well as steroid usage (such as a rescue inhaler for asthma) can increase your risk of Thrush. I had to use antibiotics and steroids twice while pregnant thanks to a nasty chest bug AND I also had been using a rescue inhaler for my asthma as my pregnancy with James triggered some breathing issues for me. AND because I was GBS+ with Dean (no test with James since I had been + before), I was given IV antibiotics during labor. I am certain all of these things combined weakened my natural fungal defenses and allowed the Thrush to set up shop in my body.

Thankfully, James’ pediatrician was open on July 3rd (PSL!) and was able to prescribe him oral Diflucan (a liquid anti-fungal medication) as both baby and mama need to be treated simultaneously to cure Thrush. If only one is treated, the fungus will continue to pass back and forth. It’s a tricky one to rid yourself of!

My OB’s office was closed over the 4th of July weekend and the on call message did not get passed onto my doctor (I was SUPER annoyed because I was in pain and wanted treatment!). Thankfully, I have a few OB’s in the family and was able to have them call me in a prescription for Diflucan as well. I took a double dose which took care of 75% of the pain. Unfortunately, Thrush likes to linger… and linger… and then linger some more. It’s like a bad house guest that JUST. WON’T. LEAVE.

In addition to taking the Diflucan pills 72 hours apart from one another, I also washed EVERYTHING in hot water and vinegar for three weeks, only used towels once (wet towels can harbor yeast… gross), gave James a new paci every 2 hours and boiled pacis after each use, changed my t-shirts/bras every time they got even remotely damp from milk. I am still using a 50-50 vinegar/water rinse on my nipples after each feeding as apparently vinegar’s acidity level creates an unfavorable environment for fungus. I’ve heard direct sunlight helps as well, but I didn’t want to expose my neighbors to such a sight, HAHAHA!

Honestly, it probably took about 2.5 weeks to be completely pain and symptom free. Although sometimes I think I still feel random pains that I think must be related. So, if you’re currently experiencing Thrush, be patient. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that it takes time. It should, however, feel a little better after a few days so if you’re still in excruciating pain, give your physician a call back for a different treatment.

If your Thrush/pain is only in the nipples and not yet the breast tissue, you can try to just be treated with anti-fungal creams. James’ doctor said that they prefer to use oral medication to prevent the baby from consuming any cream. Obviously, ask your doctor and your babe’s doctor what is best for your individual situation!

Moral of the story, SEE SOMEONE RIGHT AWAY IF BREASTFEEDING DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT!

I most likely would have avoided a few weeks of horrible pain had I just seen a doctor sooner.

Oh well, you live and you learn!

Are there any other mama’s who have experienced Thrush? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

James Reilly – One Month Update

On July 8th, James turned one month old!

Similar to Dean, I am going to keep an online “baby book” – It is much easier for me to type these updates than it is for me to write them into a book for some reason.

Kyle, Dean and I are enjoying James! There are many ways he is the same as Dean (looks being one of them), but he is also different as all babies are. He is a MUCH better sleeper than Dean ever was, he also seems to eat more ;-)

Here’s an update on James’ first month!

Length: 21.75 inches – 48th percentile

Weight: 9 pounds, 14 ounces – 38th percentile (<– This is exactly the same weight as Dean was at this age!)

Likes:

  • Eating
  • Being held by Mama and pretty much only Mama
  • Baby art cards/Contrasting colors
  • Bathtime
  • Sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play and DockATot
  • Scratching my face… Mom makes me wear socks on my hands even though I look silly.
  • Being close to Mama in the Baby Bjorn
  • Tummy time

Dislikes:

  • Car rides/Car seat – Oh the SCREAMING!
  • Diaper changes
  • Being hungry – I have a really good hangry scream, you should hear it sometime.
  • Gas bubbles
  • Swaddles (I think we’ve turned the corner on this one as he’s been okay with the swaddle the past few nights!)
  • Pacifiers

Visitors:

  • Grandma Joyce
  • Aunt Laura and Uncle Tyler
  • Ms. Emily and Andy

Places I’ve been… I’m obviously a bit more relaxed about taking him places than I was with Dean at this age:

  • Target
  • Costco
  • My pediatrician’s office
  • The beach/Gulf of Mexico
  • YMCA
  • Riptide Brewery
  • Quite a few restaurants

Nicknames:

  • James-y
  • Milk hound

We don’t have as many nicknames for James as we did for Dean.

Overall, everything is going well. On some things he is a much more chill baby than Dean was but on others he is proving to be a bit more challenging. All kids are different, right?

He’s a great sleeper (knock on wood) so far. We don’t have a bedtime routine quite yet, but he gets a bath every other night and his last feed is somewhere between 8-9pm. He wakes up between 1-2am and then again around 4:30/5am and after he eats for 15-20 minutes, he goes back down fairly easily. Dean HAD to have a paci to sleep when he was a baby but James hasn’t taken to them yet. He tends to just spit them out. Oh well!

James is a good little eater as well. He’s taken to a bottle and has 3-4 without any issue over the past couple of weeks. We had a “fun” battle with Thrush but *I THINK* that is finally resolved. Thank goodness – Talk about painful!! It can linger foreverrrrr so I’m still being overly cautious about it. I plan on writing a post about it in the near future.

Here’s to Month TWO!

Dean’s One Month Update, if you’re interested, is here.

DockATot Review

This is not a sponsored post. I purchased our DockATot Deluxe+ and was not provided any discount from DockATot.

If you’re a new parent, you’ve most likely heard the hype surrounding the newest magic sleeping bullet for babies.

The DockATot boasts some pretty impressive online reviews – Babies sleeping through the night (like 12 hours through the night!) after being introduced to the DockATot, colicky babies being soothed, long naptimes, and cosleeping parents feeling less anxiety by placing their infant in a DockATot, just to name a few.

For the exhausted new parent, reading these reviews is enough to have you clicking “SEND ME ALLLLL THE DockATots” when you’ve been awake comforting your newborn from 2-4am. No, my purchase wasn’t made on impulse in the middle of the night ;-)

After chatting with a new of my fellow new mama friends who have used the DockATot, I decided to take the leap and purchase the miracle worker for James. The price tag is steep – $165-185 USD for the Deluxe+ model, but thankfully, Target now sells the DockATot and I was able to use a coupon to save myself a few dollars.

I wouldn’t say James is a bad sleeper. He is actually MUCH better in the sleep department than Dean ever was at his age. He typically wakes twice per night to eat and goes back down fairly easily. (KNOCK ON WOOD…) The only issue we had been facing is that he does not like the bassinet we used for Dean. He could also “halfway” rollover in his swaddle from birth so we were nervous to place him in a crib or bassinet while swaddled. The DockATot seemed like it would be a good alternative as it keeps babies cozy and warm as if they are swaddled.

I was slightly concerned about safety as there are sides on the DockATot, but the fabric is breathable (I tested it when it arrived) and it has been tested for that specific safety feature. It also claims to not harbor heat, but I’m not sure this is entirely true. James doesn’t get super warm while sleeping in the DockATot but I do think it keeps him warmer than if he were just in a bassinet or crib. The DockATot is also harmful substance-free, machine washable (yasssss!), and easy to travel with in either a car or a plane <– Nice for families that are on-the-go as baby always has a familiar place to sleep.

So, is the DockATot a magic sleeping solution?

Eh, I’m not convinced. It is a nice baby gadget? Yes, for sure! Kyle and I both feel much less anxious if we place the DockATot in our bed as a cosleeper than if we were to not use it. (Also FYI, we have a king sized bed… It would be a tight fit if you have any smaller of a bed size with the DockATot). I don’t think James sleeps any longer when sleeping in his DockATot vs. our Rock ‘n Play or in a baby wrap/carrier. There are also MUCH cheaper (and just as safe in my opinion) options for infant cosleepers on the market.

That being said, we will continue to use the DockATot. It is soft, safe, and easy to use which I appreciate.

As all parents know, there isn’t a single solution for all babies whether it be for sleep or feeding or fussiness. Each baby is different and for every parent that claims the newest baby gadget is a miracle worker, there will be another parent that says it is didn’t do squat.

My suggestion? Before purchasing, find a friend with a DockATot and borrow it for a night or two to see if it works magic on your new baby before spending the big bucks!

Have you tried the DockATot? If so, did it work nighttime magic on your infant?

Time for a change!

Tomorrow, July 8th, marks ONE month since James arrived in our world. Where does the time go?!

I would say that I had a fairly easy pregnancy… actually, I take that back. No pregnancy is EASY, but I had zero health complications and for that I am grateful. I was pretty nauseous until midway through my pregnancy however. For me, nausea = ONLY consuming carb- and fat-filled foods like pizza, quesadillas, cheese, pizza, and more pizza. Did I mention pizza? Ha! I was on the carb-loading pregnancy train, and to be honest, I haven’t yet jumped off yet.

My eating is a bit better these days (by a bit I mean I don’t eat pizza once per day…) and I have more self-control now that my body isn’t being ravaged by crazy pregnancy hormones <– read: I don’t give into every. single. craving. my body throws my way these days. Thank goodness because with James, my cravings were NOT healthy, haha! But my eating still needs a major shift back to the healthy side.

I am *slowly* dropping some of my baby weight, or so I assume based on photos of myself. I won’t weigh myself again until my 6 week appointment in a few weeks. I’m thankful that breastfeeding helps me get back to my non-pregnancy normal. BUT I must say that I am more than ready to kick this postpartum booty into gear and get rid of the rest of my baby weight!

Here are my 2 week postpartum photos:

And my 4 week postpartum photos:

In case you’re wondering, nope, I definitely do NOT like these images of myself but these “before” photos are going to make my “after” photos even more rewarding!

Some may say that 2 months postpartum is far too early to focus on weight loss. I say to each their own! I feel good, James is already a much better sleeper than Dean ever was (knock on wood…), and I’m getting back into my fitness routine next week (Eek! Join me for BODYPUMP, Naples friends!). Eating well and losing the extra weight will only give me more energy to be a better mom and teach better classes!

On August 1st (yes, I know it is a Tuesday – I like starting with the number 1, LOL), I will be kicking off my postpartum 24 Day Challenge! I am ridiculously excited for it if you couldn’t tell ;-)

I know I’ve raved about AdvoCare often on this little blog of mine, but I absolutely believe in this program. It works if you work. Nope, it’s not a quick fix or a crash diet. You don’t starve your body. It is a real food program that teaches us how to incorporate healthy habits into a lifestyle. It is sustainable and you will see results if you follow the plan.

You can find my “Dean postpartum” AdvoCare results here.

Whole, healthy foods + supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps = A healthy, more energized YOU!

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, find more energy, feel fantastic, or you just want to kickstart a healthy lifestyle, I’d LOVE to have you join me.

The products are safe and effective and my supportive and motivating AdvoCare community is the best! If 24 days isn’t your thang, there are plenty of other options – You can shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com) for details or to join me.

I am super excited to start feeling healthy and energetic again and can’t wait for you to feel the same – Let’s do this together!

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Do your stress levels rise when your house is a mess? Personally, I hate chaos in my home (I am learning to adjust with two little boys!) and I feel much more relaxed and happy when my house is in order. Is my home always spotless? Hahahahahahah <– Sorry, I got a good laugh out of the question. My house is definitely not spotless, but I do like to make sure I am keeping up with the mess with a quality cleaning schedule.

Now that I’m home full-time caring for my two little nuggets, I’ve put together a cleaning schedule to help keep me feeling sane and in control of the everyday chaos. And yes, the feeling of sanity is all an illusion ;-)

  • Monday: “Mindless Tasks Monday” – Dust + Vacuum
  • Tuesday: “Toilet Tuesday” – Clean bathrooms
  • Wednesday: “Windex Wednesday”- Wipe down all kitchen appliances, lanai doors and mirrors
  • Thursday: “Linens Thursday” – Wash sheets and bathroom towels
  • Friday: “Freedom Friday” – Vacuum

Note that laundry (clothing) and kitchen duties (run dishwasher, wipe counters, etc.) are not included on this schedule. Kyle and I have to do those every. single. day. to keep up! My weekly cleaning schedule includes more the “big item” cleaning tasks that I try to avoid. We also have larger “monthly” cleaning tasks like keeping the cupboards organized, sweeping the garage, washing the cars, etc. but I don’t plan on creating a schedule for those items… unless we totally start slacking!

Also, yes, I need to vacuum at least twice per week thanks to our furbaby Mitchell. I don’t know how the dog continues to have hair on his body considering how much is scattered over our floors!

Thankfully, our lawn maintenance is taken care of for us by our HOA so we don’t need to include mowing on our list.

Here’s to attempting to maintain my sanity with two little boys at home, one clean room at a time.

Do you follow a weekly cleaning schedule? If so, what do you clean each day?

James Reilly – Newborn Photos

Doesn’t everyone love an adorable collection of newborn baby photos?

Yes?

Because he’s my kid and naturally I think he’s cute, I thought I’d share James’ newborn images from his photo shoot last week.

They were taken when he was 5 days new and our photographer, Rochelle Shucart did an incredible job. She’s taken all of our professional photos since we moved to Naples and I HIGHLY recommend her if you’re searching for a Naples, Florida photographer.

Now, for the cuteness…

Baby James’ Birth Story

I have found myself with a few free minutes as James is getting his newborn glamour shots. Since these moments are a rarity these days, I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity to share his birth story.

As you are all aware, my “estimated” due date was Monday, June 5th. That day had come and gone and I was STILL pregnant. Yay. (Please note the sarcasm, ha!) I am thankful I wasn’t uncomfortable or experiencing any issues with my pregnancy at the end, but it is HOT in Naples this time of year, so my doctor, Kyle and I agreed on an inducement date of June 8th if the little guy hadn’t yet made his appearance.

Fast forward to 5am on June 8th. Whomp, whomp. No baby yet. So at 6am I called the hospital to hold my room, our friend who graciously decided to watch Dean arrived, and we were ready to go! But we had a problem… there was no room at the hospital. We were put on their “hold” list and were told to wait for their call to arrive at the birth center. So we waited and waited and waited some more… Talk about an emotional day! Finally, around 3pm, the hospital called and they were ready for us. We thought we’d already have our baby by that point but were just happy to finally be called in after being a bit anxious throughout the day.

Our friend came back over (we decided she should go back home around 10am as we were all anxious and just waiting around watching the clock tic), we packed up the car and we were off.

I don’t think it hit me that we were going to HAVE A BABY until our L&D nurse was walking us back to our room and she asked me how I felt. I cried. It was a different experience than I had with Dean, I was nervous and I knew what to expect during labor this go round… All cause for an anxious mama!

After completing the initial forms, paperwork and basic medical prep like my IV, I was FINALLY hooked up to pitocin around 5pm. After a few hours, the plan was to have my doctor come in and break my water to speed things up. There was no turning back then!

Per my nurse, my contractions started right away. I could feel them but they weren’t painful in the least so she continued to monitor both myself and baby for any signs of distress and we played the waiting game. I knew I wanted to wait until I was at least 4cm dilated before receiving my epidural – I didn’t want my labor to slow down or to pump too many medications into my body at once. After about an hour, she told me I must have a super high pain tolerance as I still wasn’t overly uncomfortable. Shortly there after however, the pain arrived so I knew something must be happening. I was checked and was 4cm (I arrived at around 1cm). WOOHOO, time for pain meds! I wasn’t about to tough it out last time even though my epidural didn’t full take with Dean. I figure some pain relief is better than zero.

Oh the epidural. I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t have good luck with them! When a student anesthesiologist arrived to administer my epidural and she asked me if we were going to try for a girl in the future (Don’t ask a pregnant woman in labor if she is going to have another baby… she will feel the urge to strangle you in between contractions!), I should have assumed things would no go as planned, ha… She couldn’t get the needle or catheter (not sure which, I tried to block out the conversation so I didn’t faint) in correctly, so after a few tries, her trainer took over and finally got everything administered correctly. I was NOT nice to them, but when you’re shoving a needle into my spinal area multiple times while I’m having painful contractions, they shouldn’t have expected nice ;-)

This time, the epidural DID work so that is a bonus! I was numb basically right away (almost too numb I think because I couldn’t move my legs) which I appreciated after going through the experience. It did give me some nasty shakes and I felt super jittery/uncomfortable, but I didn’t feel pain and my stats were fine. Baby’s heart rate did drop a bit after the epidural was administered so the nurses flipped me to my side and turned off the pitocin for him to adjust. I was mentally panicking and worried we would be sent in for an emergency c-section, but a minute or two later, my water broke and his heart rate returned to normal. PHEW! My nurse told me he probably dropped quickly (causing my water to break) and his heart needed a few minutes to catch up.

It was around 8:30pm at that point and I was now at 5cm. I was told things would probably move quickly at this point based on how I progressed with Dean, so it was a good thing I received my pain meds when I did.

They weren’t kidding!

Around 9:45pm, I felt some pressure so the nurse checked my progress and I was 9cm dilated! Eep – things were getting real. All of the medical staff started prepping for delivery, my doctor was paged, and I was trying not to panic. For some reason, I was very anxious this time around… I am not sure if it was the pitocin (I had it with Dean too though), the epidural experience/shakes, having to wait all day to head to the hospital, or being induced versus going into labor naturally, but I was nervous something would go wrong the entire time. So, although I was anxious, I was happy we were nearing the end.

My doctor arrived a little after 10pm and after a quick exam, told me I could do this in ONE push. I laughed and thought to myself, We will see… I am not a good pusher. Kyle and my nurse had to help a lot with my legs as I couldn’t move/feel them, and although it wasn’t one push, it only took 5 minutes and Baby James arrived at 10:27pm! It took me 45 minutes of pushing for Dean to arrive so I was pleasantly surprised at the shortened time.

James was placed on my chest and screamed nice and loud. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

James did have a bit of meconium at birth so I am very grateful we decided to induce. Everything happens for a reason, right? Thankfully, he had no negative side effects (he didn’t breathe it in) and was given an Apgar score of 9 by the pediatric nurse that examined him. He was placed on my chest after his initial evaluation and latched on almost immediately… and continued to nurse basically all night ;-)

I was in labor for just about 5 1/2 hours and even though I was induced and felt icky from the epidural, I would say I had a positive experience. The nurses were incredible, I love my doctor, and Kyle was a great partner and checked my readings to calm me down whenever I heard an odd beeping sound.

I still attest that the worst parts of birth (for me) are the IV, the dang blood pressure cuff that NEVER STOPS, and the epidural. While I am thankful for all three of them, I hate them the most! I didn’t rip the BP cuff off this labor though, so I would say my tolerance is improving ;-)

I must say that I am much happier with James Reilly on the outside than the inside. I am also happy that I had a great birth experience… and that the whole birthing process is over, ha. I am recovering quite quickly this time and am thrilled to have two sons to love!

In case you’re curious, you can find Dean’s birth story here.

Introducing James Reilly!

We welcomed James Reilly Klapman into the world on June 8, 2017!


He arrived at 10:27pm weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 19 1/2 inches long.

We are all in love with Baby Jamie (<– his nickname), especially Big Brother Dean.


I’ll be back soon with his birth story, but for now I’m enjoying all of his sweet newborn cuddles!

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