Feeling Momguilt Because I Didn’t Take a Photo of a First

It has always been really important for me to capture photos of my kids’ first everything. Aside from wanting to be able to look back on these “firsts” photos in the future, there is also a faint but persistent voice in the back of my head that whispers things like “if you don’t take a picture documenting this milestone, your kids will think you are a horrible mother,” or “you took a picture of Lily’s first ___, if you don’t take a picture of Eva’s first time doing it then Eva will think you love Lily more and will hate you when she grows up.” Which I know isn’t true…but maybe it could be?

On the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, I realized that I hadn’t done anything to prepare for Adrian’s first Thanksgiving. Oh no! David was working the next day so I couldn’t go to the store to buy anything (no way was I taking all three kids anywhere), and there wasn’t enough time to get anything sent from Amazon. So I decided to crochet Adrian a little turkey hat and use the letterboard sign I got for Lily’s first day of school to make a “my first thanksgiving” picture. Whew, problem solved.

It didn’t quite work out as planned. I made the hat base on Tuesday night and made all the extra bits on Wednesday night. I planned to assemble the hat on Thursday morning before we went to my in-laws’ house for thanksgiving lunch. But David didn’t get home until after 9 am because of a fire (he’s usually home by 7:30), so there was no time for me to finish the hat. Okay, no big deal, I could finish it up after we got home and snap a pic then.

Which of course didn’t happen, because LIFE. And KIDS. And TIRED.

I spent a few days mad at myself for not “memorializing” Adrian’s first Thanksgiving. Then I realized that I was being silly. I take tons of pictures of my kids. In fact, I even took tons of pictures of Adrian ON Thanksgiving. Does it really make me a bad mom because I didn’t caption one of those photos “my first thanksgiving”? No, of course not.

So I finished up the hat and redid the letterboard and on Monday, four days after the actual day, I took a picture for Adrian’s first Thanksgiving. And the world didn’t end because I took the picture late.

Posted in Baby, Blog, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Personal, Photography, Photos, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Feeling Momguilt Because I Didn’t Take a Photo of a First

40 days til Forty

It’s been awhile and I have lots of things I plan to post about (Eva’s birth story is an important one, before I completely forget it), but I’m going to be 40 in forty days, and this seems significant enough that I should write about it NOW, and not weeks or months after the fact.

And yes, I’m actually counting down the days. My friend gave me a little sleigh chalkboard that I was using to count down the days to Christmas (for the kids), and I decided to leave it up and use it to count down the days until my birthday. Not because I’m so excited! can’t wait! until my birthday, but because I have a weight loss goal that I want to achieve by my birthday and I thought that seeing the countdown of days from New Year’s Day to my birthday might keep me on track. So far, so good.

As far as my current weight loss goal, I’d like to lose 10 pounds before my birthday. That would be the last little bit of weight that I gained while I was pregnant. I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with Lily. Like 70+ pounds. I just didn’t give a f and ate whatever I wanted. I really enjoyed that pregnancy to be honest – until around 8 months when a pelvic girdle disorder made it very difficult to get up and walk around.

By the time I got pregnant with Eva, I was still 20 pounds up from Lily. With Eva I didn’t go crazy and only gained 35 pounds. I lost all of that weight within a few months, plus an additional 10 pounds soon after. So now it’s just these last 10 pounds that need to go!

While I’d like to lose the weight before my birthday, I’m not stressing it. I’m pretty focused now, so if it’s not all gone within the next six or seven weeks, it will be gone shortly thereafter. Honestly, what I really want to do is get into a better PHYSICAL condition. Stronger. Because ever since the end of my pregnancy with Lily, my body has felt broken and worn down. I wake up most mornings with a headache and my body feeling sore, as if I had an intense workout the day before.

I don’t know why my body hurts SO much. It could be the weight gain. Or maybe just the physical act of carrying and delivering two babies. Or maybe it’s because I haven’t had a good nights’ sleep in almost three years and haven’t been able to recover. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had babies climbing all over me and sleeping on me day and night (I’m into my third year of breastfeeding). Or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m getting older. People always talk about all the aches and pains that come along with it. Maybe this is just a natural part of the aging process? (God, I hope not. I hope it’s fixable.)

I’m sure that it’s a combination of all of the above.

Anyway…this post wasn’t really meant to be about diets and weight loss or complaining about how hard motherhood is. Although diets do make up the majority of my posts, so why should this one be any different? No, my intention was to talk about turning 40 and all the changes that happened in my life during my thirties and so on. I guess I’ll have to save that for my next post. Good thing I’ve still got 39 days left!

Posted in Baby, Blog, DIet, Dieting, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Pregnancy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lily’s first haircut

When Lily was about a year old, a piece of the front of her hair got caught in the wheel of Xavi’s toy car, and Dave had to cut it out. This summer, that piece of hair FINALLY reached the length of bangs, which led me to the decision that I would give Lily bangs (“If not now, when?”).

That didn’t work out very well. The first piece I cut (with no preparation at all, literally just “hey, I have scissors in my hand, let me cut some bangs”) bounced up after I cut it and was wayyy too short. Over the next few weeks, I’d snip a little here, a little there, but no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to get them even.

Finally, a month ago, I decided to bite the bullet and let a “professional” handle it (yes, professional is in quotes for a reason). We took her to a cute little place that all the moms in the Facebook moms group recommended to go get her first “big girl haircut” (just the bangs).

That also ended up being a fail. It was all going well until the end. For some reason the lady used one of those brush scissor things to thin it out, and all of the sudden it went from cute straight bangs to “what the damn hell?” in a matter of seconds. Then, to make it worse, she gave her this weird deep side part.

I was freaking out on the inside, but Lily was having behaving so well despite being nervous, so of course I didn’t want to do or say anything that would give her negative feelings about getting a haircut. So I bit my tongue. (Besides, what could I say? The damage was done.)

As soon as we got in the car, I fixed her part and brushed her bangs to the side, and behold, my little cutie pie was back. I definitely hadn’t gotten the bangs I’d envisioned, but other than $10 down the drain, no harm was done.

Now it’s one month later. So far I have resisted the temptation to even her bangs out. But now they are as long as they were before we took her to the kiddie salon, and I’m debating whether I should grab the scissors or just say fuck it and let them grow them out…

Posted in Baby, Blog, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Personal, Toddlers, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New Year, New Sh*t (and yes, I’m literally talking about sh*t)

There is shit on the comforter, on her pajamas, on the bed, and in the diaper on the floor in the living room. Just a heads up so you don’t step in any of it. We’re taking a shower now.

That was the text I sent to Dave this morning. And it’s actually a much better text than the series of texts I sent him yesterday morning (he was working the last 48 hours):

She woke me up at five to eat. I got my period yesterday, and when I woke up I felt really wet. I had to take her with me into the bathroom and put her on the floor while I cleaned up what looked like a crime scene. I swear there has never been so much blood.

Then I had to go into the other bathroom for a tampon, and she crawled into the living room behind me, crying all the way. It was so sad lol. 

I bring her back into the bedroom and I see blood on the sheet. OK, no big deal. We get back into bed and I start feeding her. But then she has to poop. So she’s grunting away and I just let her be. She finally pooped and oh my god did it stink. But she immediately closed her eyes and fell asleep, so I was just going to leave her. Plus I didn’t have a diaper in the bedroom.

But the poop stunk SO bad, after two minutes I couldn’t take it. So I got up again to go into the other room and get some diapers, and she woke up and started crying again. I grabbed her to lay her down so I could change her diaper, and her pajamas were soaking wet. I was so confused, why were they wet? I turned on the light. 

Well, it’s because they were covered in shit. There was shit all over her pajamas, all over her legs and stomach, and the sheets and my hands were “wet” with diarrhea. 

So yeah, it was a very messy night LOL.

Happy new year y’all! As you can see, 2017 has been pretty focused on poop. Poop, feeding Lily, and trying to get her to sleep – it seems like that’s all I’ve been thinking about for the past 10 months. 

My breastfeeding journey is a whole nother post, but I will say that almost ten months in I am still pretty much exclusively breastfeeding (which means just boob, no bottle). This wasn’t necessarily by choice. She started refusing a bottle from Dave around four months, and since I’m home with her all day I don’t see the point of struggling to get her back on the bottle. But it can be QUITE inconvenient when we’re out and she gets hungry. And I can’t leave her with anyone for more than two hours at a time because she eats so often. Lucky for her I don’t have anywhere else that I need to be.

Sleep…I guess that could be it’s own post as well. Lily was the best sleeper you could possibly have. She was sleeping 8, 9 hours straight every night! Until she hit 6 months and began teething, that is. Then everything changed. She started rolling over and outgrew the Rock and Play we were using at night, and she hated her crib, so we moved her in the bed with us. And she started waking up every two hours. It was awful! 

Lately it’s gotten a little better – she’s “only” been waking up two or three times a night. Sleep training is somewhere in our future, I think, but like with the breastfeeding, I do not see the point of struggling with sleep training when I’m working from home (and I’m using the term “working” very loosely – I haven’t worked at all the last two months, and my hours since Lily was born have been very minimal). I can’t stand to hear her cry, which is what she does the second I put her in that crib anytime after 8 pm. So right now I’m just taking it one night at a time. We’ll see what happens. 

As for poop, well, you see above what I am dealing with. Ever since we started giving her people food at six months, I am constantly thinking about her poop – mainly the texture and frequency. (And color, apparently. Dave just changed a BLUE poop diaper as I wrote this.) At one point she was really constipated and we had to give her a suppository. That wasn’t fun. Now we seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. And so it goes.

This post may sound like I’m complaining. I’m not. No, I didn’t like having shit in my bed the past two mornings. Who would?! But I love my life with Lily, and even though I am tired as f*ck, I am so grateful for it. I remember before she was born I was really worried that I wouldn’t like being a mom. Thankfully, that has not been the case. She brings me so much joy that even when it’s really hard, it’s still really good. 

Posted in Baby, Blog, Life, Love, Marriage, Motherhood, Personal, Pregnancy, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Month of Anniversaries

I probably wouldn’t have realized it without Facebook, but June has been chock full of anniversaries! It’s the five-year anniversary of my impromptu trip to New Orleans where Dave and I met, the three-year anniversary of when we reunited in New York and fell in love (aww), and the one-year anniversary of when we got married (that was yesterday). It’s also the one-year anniversary of when Lily was conceived, and it’s been a year since I’ve had a period. Here’s to another year! Lol.

I managed to finally upload my wedding photos to Facebook. As I was going through them I felt happy and sad. Happy because it was a beautiful day and everything went pretty perfectly. Sad because although we wanted it to be a small wedding, in hindsight there are some family and friends that I wish we could/would have invited. It was such a special day, and I wish they had been there with us. But it is what it is, nothing we can do about it now. 

I also got “sad” looking at how “thin” I was compared to now. It’s funny – the first few times I looked at those pictures, all I could think was “damn, why didn’t I lose more weight before the wedding?!” But now, now that I’m about 25 pounds heavier, I’m like “shit, I looked pretty good back then!” Lol I guess it’s all about perception. I also wish I’d gotten my hair professionally done. Oh well!

Dave and I on a random drunken night five years ago:

Dave and I on our wedding day (my three favorite pics…couldn’t decide which to pick so I’m posting all three!):

Posted in Baby, Blog, DIet, Dieting, Life, Love, Marriage, Photography, Photos, Pregnant, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“It’s a girl!” – Lily’s birth story

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two months since Lily was born. I started writing this blog post when she was only THREE WEEKS OLD. Yesterday she was eleven weeks old!

The days and weeks following Lily’s birth were a blur of highs and lows. At first it was really hard for me to come out of the fog long enough to gather my wits and write anything. I was really just trying to make it through the day. The past few weeks have been better, but my “free time” (a.k.a. the few minutes a day that Lily isn’t attached to my boob) is still very limited, and writing this blog post was pretty far down on my to do list. However, I did want to write it all down, before I forget.

And so, here is the story about the birth of my daughter, Lily Grace, who was born on March 9. I’m positive that it’s way too much information for some people who will read it…but what can I say? Childbirth is a very beautiful and gross thing.

My water broke at 5:30 am on March 8. It was the weirdest thing – I was sound asleep, then all of the sudden I was jolted awake. I woke up sputtering, as if I had been underwater. “That was odd,” I thought. “Well, I’m up, might as well go to the bathroom.” As soon as I stood up, I felt some moisture trickling down my leg.

You might think that would have been a clear indicator that my water broke, but I wasn’t sure. Dave and I had had sex the night before, and one of the weird and gross things that happened during my pregnancy was that I couldn’t quite “empty out” when I went to the bathroom after sex. The result? Liquid trickling down my legs when I got out of bed the next morning.

After I peed, I sat on the toilet for a minute or two. Liquid continued to trickle out. “Okay, this is different,” I thought. I wiped and looked at the toilet paper, and it was clear, and I gave it a quick sniff. No smell.

I went back into the bedroom. Dave had to work that day, and his alarm had just gone off. “I think my water broke. But I’m not sure,” I told him. We decided that he would go to work and we would see what happened over the next few hours. I had a mini panic attack as he was leaving. “Don’t go! I don’t know what to do! What if something happens?!” But he talked me off the ledge. He would only be a few blocks away, and it’s not like I was having contractions. We still weren’t positive that my water had broken in the first place!

Now, let me pause to say that I did NOT want my water to have broken. Things at work had just gotten really busy, and I was looking forward to clocking as many hours as possible before my due date, which was March 16. Going into labor would really throw a wrench in my plans. Also, I had JUST bought one of those belly casts! And I still hadn’t taken any of those pretty bump pictures!

But obviously it didn’t matter what I wanted. Although I was hopeful that it hadn’t (only 15% of women actually have their water break before labor, so I had pretty good odds), deep down I was pretty sure my water HAD broken, and I needed to proceed as such. So I packed my hospital bag, had a bowl of cereal, washed the dishes, did laundry, tidied up the house, and then sat down to wrap up all the stuff I’d been doing for work. It was a very busy morning, now that I think about it.

After several trips to the bathroom, I was convinced that my water had definitely broken, because there was still liquid coming out. I also thought I might be having contractions, because I was feeling these waves of mild discomfort that were like really light period cramps, which is what I read that contractions felt like. But they were really sporadic – there’d be like a 20 minute gap, then an hour gap, etc.

At around 10:30 I FINALLY decided to call my doctor. His nurse gave me a 1 pm appointment. Which was perfect – that gave me time to finish up my work, write a blog post, take a shower, flat iron my hair, and put on some makeup – you know, all the important things.

I texted Dave and told him I was going to the doctor at 1. He asked if I wanted him to meet me there, but I said no, we could wait and see what the doctor said. I also texted my two friends to let them know what was going on, since they would be keeping me company at the hospital.

When I got to the doctor I told him that I thought my water had broken but wasn’t sure. I was up on the exam table, and the second I spread my legs he laughed and said, “Oh yeah, your water totally broke. No question. Are you ready for a March 8th baby?!” I still can’t figure out how he knew so fast – maybe I had leaked on the paper on his exam table?


One of the last shots of my baby bump, taken right before my doctor came in to examine me.

After giving me a quick pelvic exam and determining that I was less than 2 centimeters dilated, my doctor (who is located in the hospital I delivered at) told his nurse call over to labor and delivery and tell them I would be getting there in a few minutes. Even though I was hardly dilated, the fact that my water had broken over 8 hours earlier meant that I needed to be admitted. It would be bad for the baby if too much time passed without any amniotic fluid in there.

“Okay. Can I eat something? I’m starving.” I asked him. When my doctor, who had been ridiculously easygoing about everything my entire pregnancy, actually told me “No,” I couldn’t eat anything because my stomach needed to be empty in case I needed a c section – well, that’s when shit suddenly got real.

Over the course of my pregnancy, my doctor had said “yes” to everything I had ever asked him. Can I eat lox? Sure, no problem. Can I fly to NY at 8 months? Yeah, just make sure to get up and walk around on the flight. Etc. So for him to actually tell me “no” to something was kind of a reality check – like, this thing is actually happening! I’m really about to have a baby! Holy crap! I’m not ready!

But of course there was nothing I could do (although I did sneak a granola bar when no one was around. #badass). His nurse ordered up a wheelchair for me, and a few minutes later she wheeled me over to labor and delivery. I updated Dave and my friends to let them know they could head on over.

The first really painful thing that happened that day was when one of the L&D nurses tried to put in my IV. She had gone on and on about how big and awesome my veins were, but when she stuck the needle in my left hand it didn’t work, so she had to take it out and put it in my right hand. A big knot swelled up on my left hand where she had stuck me, and for the rest of the day, every time the blood pressure machine squeezed around my left arm, I felt like I was being stabbed in the hand where she had stuck me with that needle.

And in case you’re wondering, that happened about 100 times over the course of the day. It was the worst! Fortunately, another nurse took over and was able to successfully put the IV in my right hand.

Then she gave me Pitocen to induce labor (puh-TOE-sin, not PIE-toe-kin as I’d been saying in my head for months). At that point my contractions were still weak and spread out, and because we were now going on over 10 hours since my water had broken, we needed to get them going.

My friend Ximena arrived while that was happening, and Dave followed soon after with my hospital bag. My other friend Rowan arrived about a half hour later, and for the next hour or two it was just general silliness among the four of us and the L&D nurses.

Dave trying his hardest to keep himself entertained. 🙂

This little thing provided us with soooo many laughs. It was monitoring the baby's heart rate, so the entire time I was there, I was hearing the baby's heartbeat, which was awesome. But whenever I laughed, the monitor would amplify that sound as well. It kidk of sounded like a DJ scratching a record.

This little thing provided us with soooo many laughs. It was monitoring the baby’s heart rate, so the entire time I was there, I was hearing the baby’s heartbeat, which was awesome! But whenever I laughed, the monitor would amplify that sound as well. It sounded like a DJ scratching a record. I kept getting fits of giggles, which would set off the monitor, which would make me laugh harder, which made everyone else crack up!

me ximena rowan

I wish I could remember what we were laughing at – looks like it was pretty funny!

me and dave

Awww ❤

So yeah, all was going well for a little while. Until the Pitocen kicked in. Then things really got real.

I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently Pitocen contractions are like 1,000 times worse than regular labor contractions. Over the next hour or so, my contractions went from “weak and spread out” to “strong and constant.” And painful. Oh so painful.

Right after I was given the Pitocen, a male nurse had come in to see if I wanted an epidural. I’d always planned on getting one. “Don’t be a hero – get the epidural!” my friend told me. “Would you go to the dentist without Novocaine?” asked my mother in law. But I was a little scared of the needle and the possible side effects. And my mom had told me that when she got an epidural with my brother, it caused her labor to last longer. So with all those things in mind, I signed the necessary forms but told him that I wanted to wait until I was a bit more dilated. At that point it was around 3 pm, and I was only 3 cm dilated.

That proved to be the wrong decision. When my nurse came back in at 5 pm to check on me, my contractions were like five minutes apart and getting more and more painful, but I was still only 3 cm dilated! I suddenly realized that I might be having these contractions for the next 8 hours!

F*ck that! I immediately told her I wanted the epidural. She told me she would notify the male nurse, since he’s the one who would be doing it.

Then I told her that I needed to pee. When she told me I would need to use a bedpan because she couldn’t unhook me from the machines that were monitoring the baby’s reaction to the Pitocen, I started to freak out. And when she followed that up by saying that once the epidural kicked in, she would have to insert a catheter, I had a full-on melt down. I started crying and told Rowan and Ximena to get out. They scurried out, and then Dave and the nurse tried to calm me down while I was bawling.

Having to use a bedpan was bad enough. (My bathroom was only 20 feet away! Why hadn’t she told me about the bedpan before she gave me the Pitocen?) But her sticking a catheter in me? Forget it. I felt like it was going to be painful, and visualizing it had sent me over the ledge. “I don’t want a catheter!” I cried. But they managed to calm me down. The nurse reminded me that I would be numb from the epidural and I wouldn’t even feel it. Dave just kept saying that it would be okay.

Finally I got myself together. I peed in the bedpan, and then the male nurse and another female nurse came to do the epidural.

Yes, the epidural hurt. Not a ton, but there was a significant amount of pain while it was happening – aside from the needle, they had to take my blood pressure every two minutes while they were doing it and for the half hour after, which meant every two minutes I was feeling that stabbing pain because of the messed up IV attempt. PLUS I was still having contractions, and I had to stay completely still so they could do the epidural. It was a rough hour.

But with that said, all of that hurt wayyyy less than the last few contractions I’d had! And once the epidural kicked in? Well, not to brag, but from then on my labor was pretty much smooth sailing! There was hardly any more pain after that, and whenever I felt the epidural wearing off and the contractions getting a little stronger, I just hit a little button and gave myself a dose of…whatever it is, and boom, the pain was gone.

If anyone asks me, I will always recommend an epidural.

Dave’s parents came at some point, I can’t really remember when. It might have been before the epidural, because I remember Dave’s father offering everyone cookies, and I barked out, “No, there’s no eating in here! If I can’t eat, no one can!” That was my only diva moment lol.

Anyway, the epidural kicked in around 6:30 pm, and from then on we were just playing the waiting game. Over the next few hours we did origami, watched tv, played games, and I even took a nap. We took guesses on what time the baby would come, and how much it would weigh (I said 11:28 pm, and 8 pounds 10 ounces).

The nurses came in every so often to check how dilated I was. I was 4 cm dilated when they gave me the epidural. At 7:30 pm, I was almost 6 cm. So when they checked again at 8 pm and I was 9.5 cm dilated, I was shocked! It was such a huge jump! Holy sh*t, this baby is coming now!

Or so I thought. But it was a very busy night in the labor and delivery ward. They checked on me at around 9:30 pm, and then I didn’t see any nurses again until after midnight! There was this one Indian guy who was a medical student, who had asked me early in the afternoon if I would be okay with him watching the delivery. Sure, no problem. He kept coming in every so often to check on me, and when he came in at 11 pm I asked him if he could get one of the nurses to come see how dilated I was. I didn’t want to bother them directly, but I felt like I must be ready to go.

Finally at 12:30 am, the nurse came back. She took a quick look and said “Oh, it’s time. Are you ready to have this baby?!” If I hadn’t been so nervous, I probably would have said “Yeah, I was ready two hours ago!” At around 12:45, a team of people swarmed in with equipment, and Dave’s parents and my friends went to the waiting room.

And then it began. There were four nurses at the foot of my bed, and the Indian med student was right next to them. My doctor was about five feet away, “observing” (I was surprised by how much the nurses did and how little the doctor did), and there were some other people in the background. The nurses raised my bed so it was inclined, and told me that when my next contraction started, I needed to start pushing. So I did.

It was such a surreal experience. I was doing something I had seen on tv a thousand times, and I felt I was watching the scene on tv while living it at the same time. When I would start pushing, the nurses and med student would start cheering me on wildly: “Push push push push push, yeah, you’re doing great, keep pushing, push, push!!!!” All five of them at once. When the contractions stopped and I would stop pushing, they’d be like “Yeah! that was great! Just a few more times!” It was endearing and bizarre at the same time. The pushing itself was kind of difficult, mainly because I couldn’t feel anything below the waist.

That went on for about 10 minutes. Then the nurses said that they could see the baby, but it was stuck under my pelvic bone. So they got the vacuum and stuck the suction cup on the baby’s head. Then they told me to push again. I bore down with everything I had and pushed, and Dave held my hand and started cheering me on along with everyone else. A minute or so later, the baby’s head popped out. It took one more push to get the body out, and then, at 1 am,  it was over.

“It’s a girl!” the nurse said.

“What? Are you sure?!” I asked frantically. I had convinced myself that I was having a boy.

They all laughed. Dave and I started crying. They clamped the cord and Dave cut it. Then they cleaned her up a little and laid her on my chest. I’m so happy that Dave took a picture of what ended up being my first look at our daughter.

Welcome to my world, Lily!

Welcome to the world, Lily!

And a minute later:

Lily laying on my stomach. I had to crop my boob out of this pic!

Lily laying on my stomach. I had to crop my boob out of these pics!

I’m happy to report that when I looked at Lily, I fell completely in love with her. I was worried that I might not feel the connection, but that was definitely not the case.

About 10 minutes after she was born, Dave went out to tell everyone that it was a girl. According to Ximena, everyone started crying and hugging. I swear, not finding out the gender was one of the best experiences ever! At around 1:30 am, I let them come in to see her.

So there it is. Lily’s birth story. All in all it was a pretty good experience. Not TOO much pain, and only 15 minutes of pushing. My recovery? Well, that’s another story, soon to be told. 🙂

Posted in Baby, Blog, Fitness, Health, Life, Love, Marriage, Personal, Pregnancy, Pregnant, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Week 38: The Name Game

I tell you, it has NOT been easy deciding what we will name this baby if it ends up being a boy.

I’ve had my girl name picked out since before I was even pregnant: Lily, named for my grandma Lillian, who passed away in November 2014. I decided right around that time that my first daughter would be named after my grandma. Fortunately Dave really liked the name too! After considering a few options, we decided the middle name will be Grace. So, Lily Grace. Easy peasy.

But of course there is the possibility that I could have a boy! For some reason, every single name that Dave and I liked was either ruined by a past association (either I dated someone with that name, or Dave disliked someone with that name), OR the name was already “taken.”

For awhile our top choices were James and Lucas. But these names were taken by the sons of two of my lifelong friends (who are sisters, actually, so using those names as a first and middle name would be extra weird!). When I was in NY back in November for my baby shower, I asked the sisters if they would mind if I used those names, and they said no, of course not! So for a good month or two, the boy name was going to be James Lucas.

But then it was like ehh, I’m not really feeling that anymore. We started to really like the name Alexander. Alexander James. The problem was that “Alex” is the ex-boyfriend of my sister in law. “She won’t care,” Dave said. I don’t know…if his sister told me she planned to use Dave’s ex’s name for her baby, I’d probably punch her in the face. Although that’s not quite an apt comparison…I guess it would be more like if she wanted to use the name of MY ex, would it bother Dave?

ANYWAY…we left the subject alone for awhile until my New Orleans baby shower, which was on Feb 20. I told his sister we were thinking about Alexander, and she was also totally fine with it. But by that time, just like with James Lucas, we were already feeling kind of meh about Alexander.

Then finally, when I was in NY last week, the name came to me. What had happened was…I was feeling all nostalgic about being in NY and being from NY, and wishing that I could think of a name that was a subtle nod to growing up in NYC. But I didn’t want it to be trendy or anything, like Brooklyn or Hudson. Plus those places don’t have any meaning to me. If only I could think of a name to represent where I’m from but that was also a “normal” name.

Then I had a simultaneous lightbulb over my head/duh moment. I’m from Jackson Heights…so duhh, Jackson would be the perfect boy name!

I had briefly considered Jackson in the beginning, but ruled it out because that’s my friend’s fiance’s name. And then another blogger I know had a baby two weeks ago, and SHE named her baby Jackson James! So even though I really liked it, I had ruled it out as taken. But now here I was nearing the final hour, and “Jackson” just seemed like the most perfect name.

And once again, lucky for me, Dave was on board. Hurray!

So there you have it…at 38 weeks, 6 days pregnant, we finally know what we will name our child if it’s a boy. And just in time, because I’m pretty sure my water broke this morning! I have an appointment in an hour to see, so I’m just killing time and getting one last post in before the baby comes!

Posted in Health, Life, Love, Marriage, Personal, Pregnancy, Pregnant, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Week 38: To nursery, or not to nursery? That was the question.

Of all the things that needed to get done before the baby comes, the most important was figuring out where the baby will sleep when it gets here. It took me quite awhile to make that decision.

My problem is that I waver between what I want, and what is practical (and by practical, I mean financially sound). For example, Dave’s parents had an old brown crib and a wooden bassinet that I could use. I wanted a white crib for the nursery and one of those frilly-type bassinets for our bedroom, but it didn’t seem practical for me to buy those things when they were being offered freely. And did I even need a bassinet? My cousin bought us a pack-n-play that has a bassinet thing on top – couldn’t I just use that?

For that matter, did we even need to set up a nursery? We don’t plan to be living in our current apartment for that much longer, so why go through the hassle of buying new things and clearing things out and switching things around now when we’re just gonna have to do it again after we move?

“Clearing things out” may not sound like a big deal, but over the past few months, our extra room – my office/Dave’s toolroom & workspace – had turned into a dumping ground. If we did do a nursery, it would have to be combined with my office, which meant that Dave’s tools and stuff would have to go! I felt bad about that.

cluttered office


cluttered office2

So yeah, that was the practical part of my brain speaking. But the other part of my brain, the “selfish” side, was saying “I am a grown ass woman…I waited until I was financial stable to have a baby…so why the hell shouldn’t I have a nursery and a bassinet if I can afford it?!”

When my friends came over for dinner one night in January, I told them about my internal debate, and they convinced me to listen to the “selfish” side. One of them pointed out that, based on what she had observed when we were planning my wedding, I have a tendency to settle for less in my quest to be “practical.” But when I allow myself the things I truly want, I end up much happier.

Originally our wedding was going to be VERY small and casual. We’d invite maybe 10 people, I’d wear an inexpensive knee-length white dress, and afterwards we would have an informal dinner. But then I allowed myself to try on a more expensive dress…which I fell in love with and allowed myself to buy even though it was more than I wanted to spend ($750 instead of $200). This led to a fancier reception dinner with more of our family and friends (30 people). While we still had the small wedding that we had originally wanted,  it ended up being a much more beautiful and memorable experience that it would have been if I’d insisted on being “practical.”

So yeah, her pointing that out was kind of a reality check. I wanted a nursery for my baby. I wanted a white crib. And I wanted a bassinet. And I would have them, practicality be damned.

For his part, Dave was fine with whatever I decided. So I told him that he needed to get rid of all his tools so we could convert that part of the room into the nursery. “I don’t care where you put them, but they can’t stay here.” He only protested a little bit. 🙂

I’ll follow up with a nursery update soon.

Posted in Blog, Life, Love, Marriage, Personal, Pregnancy, Pregnant, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Week 37: My Unexpected Trip to NY

I wasn’t planning to fly to NY at 37 weeks pregnant, but that’s exactly what happened.

Last month I wrote about how I wished we could have bought a house before the baby came, but I had to wrap up some property stuff with my ex before I could even think about buying something in New Orleans. Well, seemingly out of nowhere (but not really – it’s been over a year of back and forth with the bank, buyers, etc.), my ex called me up at the beginning of February and said that I would probably have to fly to NY before the end of the month to attend the closing of the property we were getting rid of.

I was so excited when he told me this. This property has been a thorn in our side for many, many years, and was one of the final remaining things that needed to be dealt with after our divorce. The thought that it could all be over by the end of the month was beyond thrilling! I was also happy that I might be able to get in a visit with family and friends before the baby came.

Of course, there WAS a tiny part of me that was wary about flying during my third trimester. I knew it was allowed, since I had looked it up when I was thinking about a “last vacation before baby,” but that was back when I was only 28 weeks pregnant. Now I was already 34 weeks! And by the end of the month, I would be almost 38 weeks pregnant – wayyyy too close to my due date to be traveling!

Ultimately, however, I knew that if they needed me to attend the closing, I would be there. There was too much to lose if I didn’t go. I asked my ex to find out if the bank would be okay with doing a power of attorney thing so I wouldn’t have to go, or if not, then to at least schedule the closing for as soon as possible (and NOT wait until the end of the month!).

Neither of those things ended up happening. I spent several weeks wondering wtf was going to happen, until finally, last Thursday, I got the confirmation that (1) the closing was scheduled for the following Monday (February 29th – gee, thanks for not waiting until the end of the month) and (2) I had to be there in person. So I booked myself a ticket to NY for the next day. I figured I’d go up on Friday, spend the weekend seeing people, go to the closing on Monday, and then fly home on Tuesday.

My flight up was the worst. It was a small plane, and the guy sitting next to me was like 6’5 and 250 pounds. It was such a tight fit! I couldn’t reach any of the stuff I’d put under the seat in front of me, and bending over to put my shoes back on when I had to go to the bathroom was both comical and painful.

(I had chosen not to upgrade to a bigger seat when I booked the ticket, because I was really pissed about how much it cost. When I had checked the price in the morning, the flight was only $610, but when I came back a few hours later to book it had jumped to $860! Dafuq!?! I was really bitter about that, and “refused” to give Delta any more money. That turned out to be a mistake.)

As soon as the plane took off, I had one of those – “Oh f*ck, what am I doing!?” moments. What if I went into labor while I was in NY!? Obviously I had thought about that beforehand, but I’d kept telling my myself “I’ll be fine” and “No way will I go into labor THAT early.” But once the plane was in the air, it suddenly became a very real possibility. I didn’t wanna have my baby in NY!! I wanted to be home, with Dave, when it happened!! If I had the baby in NY, how long would I be stuck up there?? I might not be able to come home for a month!! Why had I agreed to this!?

At that point it was obviously too late lol. I decided that the only thing I could do to keep myself from going into labor early was move as little as possible while I was in NY. I hadn’t planned on doing TOO much while I was up there – just dinner with friends and stopping by the office to say hi – but I nixed those plans pretty quickly. Once I landed I texted my friends and told them they were welcome to come visit me at my mom’s house, but I wasn’t going into the city.

All in all, it was a really low key trip. My aunt and one friend came over on Saturday, and another friend came over on Sunday.  I also got to see my brother and father, which was nice since I didn’t get to see them when I was here for Thanksgiving. I was pretty sad not to be able to see some of my friends and coworkers (who I love!) when they were so nearby, but I couldn’t justify the risk. Maybe nothing would have happened, who knows…but in the end I’m happy I made that decision.

As for the closing, it took place on Monday as planned. I can’t even express how happy I am that it is over! Every time I signed my name, it was like a weight was being lifted from my shoulders, little by little until the last signature, when I was completely unburdened. I was practically skipping out of the closing…okay, I was waddling, not skipping. But with a huge smile on my face! A huge pain in the ass has now been removed from my life. It was totally worth all the labor fear and paranoia I suffered through for four days.

And now I’m on my flight going home. It’s been so much better than the flight up! I upgraded to the bigger seat, and this time no one is sitting next to me, so I have plenty of room to move around. I spent most of the day worried that my water would break and I wouldn’t be able to fly home, but that never happened, and now I’m only 20 minutes away from landing, so if I were to go into labor right now, it wouldn’t even matter…

Yikes, shouldn’t have said that, I don’t want to jinx it!

Posted in Blog, Health, Life, Marriage, Personal, Pregnancy, Pregnant, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Week 35: Valentine’s Day and Birthday Recap

This year’s Valentine’s Day/birthday experience ended up being pretty awesome. Valentine’s Day was nice and chill. I got Dave a card and a piece of Whole Foods carrot cake (his favorite), and I left it on the kitchen table so he saw it when he came home from work in the morning. When he got home, he read my card and then brought me his card and two boxes of Raisinettes (my current favorite) while I was in bed.


I got such a kick out of the fact that the cards we got each other are so similar! The hearts, the side ribbon thing, the “to my (spouse)” on the front – I mean, they’re practically the same card! Even funnier was the fact that we basically said the same thing on the inside too – love you, can’t wait for baby to come, looking forward to growing old together. Yeah, I guess it’s a generic sentiment that most newlyweds who are expecting a baby would say, but still, the similarities made me smile.

vday flowers

When I got out of bed I saw the flowers on the kitchen table. Not a surprise, because Dave is always good about getting me flowers, but these were particularly pretty. He usually cuts them and puts them in a vase for me, but this year I decided to watch a two-minute Youtube video and arrange them myself. I think I did a pretty good job! I really want to take a flower arranging class…one day.

The rest of the day was nice. We went to breakfast, then I worked a bit. His parents came by in the afternoon to pick up his son so that we could go to dinner just the two of us. But that didn’t end up happening, because by the time 5 pm rolled around, my body was so tired and sore that I didn’t want to move. (These days I’m sore from doing nothing but sitting in a chair. It’s ridiculous!) So we just ordered a buttload of sushi and ate at the house. It was perfect.

On Monday I still had a lot of work to do, so I woke up early. While I was working, Dave came into the office to ask what I wanted for breakfast, and if I wanted to open my present. He ended up making the most delicious omelet EVER! While he was cooking it, I opened my gift. And was shocked!

bday pres

At first I was like “Ooh, a Coach bag, awesome!” Then I noticed the pink wallet, and the pink and blue baby theme. THEN he said the blue bag was actually for me to use as a DIAPER bag. And then I turned to mush lol. I was really surprised by the thoughtfulness of this gift.

The rest of my birthday was nice. We went out with friends to dinner at Primitivo and shared a 26 oz. rib eye (omgggg so delicious – there’s nothing better than a perfectly cooked steak!), and then to Sucre for dessert (I bought macaroons in every flavor so I could finally decide which was my favorite. The verdict? It was a tie between the raspberry white chocolate and the bananas foster.) Then we went to a bar for a few drinks (or soda in my case) before calling it a night. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as being braggy. The truth is, in the past,Valentine’s Day and my birthday have usually been treated as nothing special. Since my birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day, the two have a tendency to be merged into one: one dinner, one gift, one card, etc. (Except for that one year when this guy I was dating pulled the slow fade a week or so beforehand so he wouldn’t have to get me anything…and then reappeared two weeks later like nothing happened. Are you kidding me? Lol.)

To be clear, an amazing V Day/b-day experience has NOTHING to do with presents. I’m an adult, I work, and if I want something, I can buy it for myself. It’s about being made to feel special and loved, a little more so than usual. So when V Day and your b-day are back to back and you don’t get that “special” feeling, that’s TWO days of thinking “wtf?! Am I not worthy of a little extra love?”

So yeah, after many lackluster V Days and b-days and a particularly un-amazing 2015 birthday that I don’t want to get into right now, I went into this weekend with ZERO expectations (negative expectations, actually). And thus I was beyond surprised and happy at the thoughtfulness that Dave put into this year’s gift. He really hit it out of the park, to the point that I think I may just be able to let go of the “February disappointment” that has built up over the years.

And just one final, unrelated note – this post talks about what hapened during Week 35 of pregnancy – but as of today I am actually 36 weeks pregnant! Only four weeks left!

Posted in Blog, Life, Love, Marriage, Personal, Pregnancy, Pregnant, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment