Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bodie's Birth Story


The day started with denial. As much as I had hoped our son would arrive early (mostly to assuage my own discomfort), I was very surprised to be having contractions.

I didn't sleep much between 2:30 and 6:30am. It wasn't that unusual from the previous three weeks of my pregnancy to have spent half the night tossing and turning. When my husband woke up around 6:30, I remember telling him I wasn't sure what I was feeling, but something seemed unusual.

By 8am, I was confident I was having contractions. I remember sending a text "I'm not ready to admit I'm in labor, but I am having contractions." I used an app to record the contractions, which was much easier than remembering to write down the time.

That morning, I was half annoyed and half relieved once I realized I was in labor. I had planned to go into the office to tie up some loose ends that morning. My last day was supposed to be the previous Friday, but we had snow days on both Friday and Monday, then I had doctor's appointments on Tuesday, so I had made plans to go in and say some goodbyes and finish up a few things. But... someone had other plans.

I called my OB's office and they advised me to head to the hospital.

Then we called a friend who would watch Maggie and soon after 9am we were headed to the hospital. It was snowing lightly when we left and I remember pausing to take this photo of the lightly falling snow.


I remember thinking how fun it would be if this was 'for real' (meaning I was in fact in labor) to remember driving to the hospital in the snow. I've always loved winter, so having a winter baby I was real happy it actually felt like winter in New England since things have been mild this year.

My contractions were varying between 8-9 minutes apart by the time we arrived at the hospital. The OB on call, Dr. V, confirmed I was in labor and "progressing." I remember her saying "you're having this baby today." After she left the room, I breathed a sigh of relief and told Brandon "now we can let our family know."

They moved me into the L+D room and we met the nurse, Melissa, that would be with us through the birth. She had returned from maternity leave the previous week and we quickly learned her two children were the same age difference as ours.

The thing that stood out to me about Melissa was that she knew my birth plan when she first met me. I breathed a sigh of relief after she recited parts of it back to me (apparently it was in my file) during our first meeting.

I labored at the hospital for about five more hours. I was able to walk around the labor and delivery floor and use a birthing ball in hopes of continuing to progress, but the contractions only got about 4-5 minutes apart in that time.

At about 4pm, Dr. V came in and told me I was progressing, but since my contractions weren't getting stronger/closer together, she probably wouldn't be able to deliver me since her shift ended at 5pm. She asked if I wanted to "speed things up," by allowing her to break my water but cautioned me "things would get intense really quickly."

Oh, I was ready. Why would I spend another 3-5 hours of not eating and just trying to move things along?

Dr. V knew exactly what she was talking about. She broke my water a little after 4pm and in about 15 minutes it was time to push. I didn't know it at the time, but the doctor had to stop me from pushing briefly because his umbilical chord was wrapped around his neck (my husband later told me about this). All in all, it took three sets of three pushes and was a fairly quick process once my water broke. He was born at 4:33pm.

They placed Bodie immediately on my chest and let him stay there for an hour before they even weighed or measured him. I kept wondering how big he was since the doctor told me to expect a nine pound baby this time around.


I'm grateful I didn't find myself comparing the two situations very much in the moment, but of course I look back and see the differences and similarities.  

Having had an unmedicated birth with Maggie two and a half years earlier, I felt better prepared for the second time around. I remembered reading Birthing From Within days before I had Maggie and how it allowed me to see childbirth in a new way. Even though I don't relate to much of the spiritual way the book is written, I checked it out of the library a few weeks before Bodie came so I could refresh my memory. 

I ended up reading a good portion of it one night when I couldn't sleep about a week before Bodie arrived. The funny thing about reading Birthing From Within this time around was that it didn't seem enlightening at all. I think having been through childbirth previously was the best preparation I needed for Bodie's birth; while I knew it would unfold differently I had a general idea of what to expect especially in terms of pain management. 

Since Bodie and Maggie were born at different hospitals, I can say Bodie's birth was much more private. Maggie was born at a teaching hospital and there were a number of interns in and out of the delivery room, which was rather distracting. 


I remembered my calendar that morning was drawn by a friend I've known though the blog world for several years, Lindsey of Pen + Paint. I loved the saying and thought it was quite fitting for the day our little boy arrived. I'm still thinking of how I'll preserve this page from the calendar. Shadow box collage? Frame? Scrapbook?

The hospital did newborn photos the last day of our stay. Isn't he handsome? I'm so grateful Bodie  arrived eight days early, but most of all that he is healthy!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thoughts on my Winter Pregnancy


Disclaimer: I wrote most of this post before Bodie arrived, but I am quite thankful to not be pregnant in winter anymore. 

To be honest, I've struggled with being pregnant in winter. In general, I tried not to compare this pregnancy to my first one with Maggie (for several reasons). But as the end of pregnancy drew closer, I found myself longing for the ease of wearing flip flops and maxi dresses as I did in June and July 2013.

The things I believe are challenges of a winter pregnancy:

1- Wearing so many layers! Living in the Northeast doesn't help. Although we've had a relatively "mild" winter thus far, I still had to wear layers and a winter coat. There has been just enough snow around to warrant wearing snow boots. I do have to say H and M's MAMA line is rather cute and for the price, there is nothing to complain with the Parka I bought from them (similar).


1b- Getting dressed the last month of pregnancy can be a challenge and the additional challenge of wearing so many layers is not my favorite. I had two pairs of work appropriate pants that fit me comfortably in the last month or so (and I'm not counting my fleece-lined leggings). I was able to get away with wearing jeans to work on Fridays (yay). But I had about 4 outfits to rotate/mix and match.

2- Footwear and the elements. Aside from what I wear, there was the challenge of walking on snowy and often icy/partially icy sidewalks. My walking route from the car to my office took me through the science and math academic building even though it's longer because walking inside means I won't have to contend with as much snow and ice. My favorite shoes were my Merrell Jungle Mocs. I've had them for nearly ten years and they are far from trendy, but they have a reliable tread and they're easy to get off/on. Getting boots on/off was a struggle...and so were socks!

The things I believe are benefits of a winter pregnancy:

1- A husband who clears the snow off the car for me. On more than one occasion, my husband cleared the snow off my car and even warmed it up some mornings before I left for work. I don't take for granted that he looks out for me. Thanks, hon!

2- It's a good excuse for consuming A LOT of hot beverages. I should have counted how many cups of hot chocolate I drank from December 1st until I had the baby. In early January, I got serious about drinking raspberry leaf tea (in preparation for labor) and I drank at least one, but often 2-3 cups per day.

3- Hibernating after baby arrives. I am a home body and have enjoyed staying at home most of the time. We've gone out only a few times, but I'm grateful to not have to go out much. I also think staying home has kept us fairly healthy. On the other hand, I am looking forward to taking walks as it warms up into spring.

What did I miss? Tell me what you loved/hated about the time of year you were pregnant. Maybe it's just that the end of pregnancy is uncomfortable no matter what?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meet Bodie


Our son arrived on Wednesday, February 10th and all THREE of us are so in love with him.


His name is Bodie Samuel. We chose the name Bodie (pronounced bow-dee) because it honors the names of two very influential people in our lives, Brandon's grandfather, Bob, and my mother, Dede. It's a German name that means 'messenger.'


He arrived at 4:33pm on February 10, weighing 8 lbs 9 oz. and was 22 inches long.


I will share his birth story in the coming week, but wanted to share some photos while I'm getting to know our sweet son. He's already fitting in with the family so well and his big sis loves him to pieces!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

38 Weeks


I was really good about blogging my first pregnancy, but haven't blogged much about this pregnancy and I've taken so few photos to document the bump. So why not record a few things at 38 weeks? This is in no way a "style post" since I have a very limited wardrobe at this stage of the game.


A current pregnancy update: 
  • How far along: 38 weeks 
  • How big is the baby: as long as a leek (19.5 in., 7+ lbs) This makes me laugh because three weeks ago I had an ultrasound that estimated the baby was already over 7 lbs. And they say babies gain 1/2-1 lb per week in the last 4-5 weeks of pregnancy. Oy.
  • How I'm feeling: I'm just excited about how mild of a winter we're having. Wearing coats and so many layers is one thing, but being pregnant in winter is another. I would say, I'm firmly in the uncomfortable phase of pregnancy. 
  • Sleeping: I wake up a few times per night. Getting back to sleep seems to be getting more challenging.
  • Food cravings: Sweets. I am loving this recipe for cookie dough but I don't go to the trouble of dipping them in the chocolate (don't worry there's no egg in it). I've also been on a soup kick...I guess it's a comfort food thing. 
  • Food aversions: Not really. 
  • Doctor's appointment: I had one on Tuesday and she said I'm "progressing."
  • Movement: Lots of movement! He's been pretty active, especially in the evenings.
  • What I'm looking forward to: Introducing Maggie to her little brother.
  • What I did / got for baby: I picked up the boring stuff last weekend at Target (wipes and diapers). I've also done several loads of baby laundry (clothes, sheets, blankets).
  • What I'm wearing: I have about 2-3 pairs of pants that are work worthy and I rotate them with a few tops and sweaters. My favorite combo is a long cardigan with leggings and boots. 
  • What I learned this week: There's no surefire way to get baby to cooperate for a non-stress test (NST). I was told to eat a little snack on my way to each appointment and I've done that, trying various things, but it doesn't always he'll pass the NST. On Monday, I had my first one that called for more tests. Thankfully, the further tests showed he's doing well.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February Goals


Monthly goal-setting is one of my favorite things. I love goals that are short-term and monthly seems like just the right amount of time to accomplish a lot of smaller tasks. Also, I promise they're not all last minute things to do before baby comes (but two are).

Before I get into my goals for a new month, I'll hold myself accountable with a brief update from my January Goals.

1- Blog two to three times per week. I can't believe I actually did this. I wasn't sure I'd have enough to say to get back into a blogging rhythm of doing it two to three times per week, but I did. I am a big believer in consistency. 

2- Get the nursery ready. I am pretty ready as far as having a space setup and functional for the baby boy.

3- Get to bed by 10pm. I did pretty well with this one too. 

4- Rest. I napped some weekends and did not schedule much, so I feel like this was also accomplished.

5- Keep up with First 5. I discovered the app through an Instagram ad, which seems odd but I love it. It's a Bible study from Proverbs 31 Ministries that looks at one chapter of the Bible per day. I love that it's concise enough I can read/digest it for about 30 minutes before my daughter gets up, but also has some video content sprinkled throughout.



February Goals

1- Post a picture on Instagram every morning. For the last two years, I posted a picture capturing some portion of my routine or aspect of my morning with the #goadabodemornings. It is a fun way to look back on a short period of time (one month) and see what has changed and remained constant over the past two years. I'm really excited to do it this year since we expect to add another child to our family!

2- Sort, wash and put away all baby boy clothes. We have gotten a bunch of baby boy clothes from friends and family, which I am so grateful for. I need to take time to sort through them and get organized a bit before he arrives. Hopefully that nesting instinct will kick in soon!

3- Finish strong in the office. I am not so concerned with sticking to a date on the calendar (that says when my maternity leave begins), as I want to complete projects I've been working on. I've made a good amount of progress this week already, so I think I'll be able to go on maternity leave with peace of mind.

4- Read/listen to two books. I am so bad at finishing books unless they are in an audio format I can listen to. 

5- Create a labor playlist. I've been unintentionally putting this one off. I keep thinking of songs I want to include on the playlist, but I have yet to actually sit down and create the playlist.