Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Birth Story: The Best Laid (Birth) Plans of Mice and Men

Alternate title: When we plan, God laughs

For those who don't want to read the long drawn out birth story, the jist is: Pretty much everything happened the opposite of how I planned. But each step of the way I was able to remain calm and happy and accept God's plan. I'm proud of myself for not breaking down as my plans broke down. At the end of it all, I have been blessed to be the mother to the most beautiful healthy little girl and I know that everything happened how it was meant to happen. 

I knew when I wrote my birth plan that everything was subject to change and that labor and delivery could not be bent to my will. I decided early on in pregnancy that whatever would happen, would happen, but I would have my preference for how things would go in a perfect world. I wanted: 

Breastfeeding Only
NO episiotomy 
Delayed cord clamping 
Little to no intervention
Ability to move around freely during labor
Limited cervical checks

Well, things pretty much went the EXACT OPPOSITE! 

It all started with being a week past my due date. My OB decided it would be best if I was induced. I went in for my induction on Wednesday October 8th. Induction meant: Intervention, multiple cervical checks, and being on monitors for both my contractions and the baby's heartbeat, which meant mostly being confined to the hospital bed. So just that easy, 3 of my hopes went out the window.

While I woke up early on the morning of the 8th, around 3am, with contractions, I wasn't in active labor so the induction was still on the schedule. I received a dose of Misoprostol (drug that encourages the cervix to dilate) approximately every 4 hours beginning at 3pm. Being stuck in the bed the most I could do for coping techniques was breathing and visualizations. I had planned to be able to use my birthing ball, have Hubs administer counter pressure, and be able to walk around. But as you can see, my plans were not what was happening here.

After the third dose of Misiprostol, in the wee hours of the morning, things were starting to get REALLY REAL. The contractions were harder to breath through, and the immobility was starting to kill me. At this point I'm sure I started driving the nurses crazy because I began getting up and walking, sitting in a chair or on the side of the bed, and doing lunges, all of which made the monitors disconnect, but I HAD to move. Then around 5:30am my water broke, and things got REALLY REALLY REAL. The pain was more than I could manage any longer. The majority of it was pressure in my back. I requested an epidural. Shortly after the epidural my cervix was checked and I had gone from 3cm to 7cm in about a HALF HOUR.

At this point I figured pushing shouldn't be too far off, just 3cm to go. Then nurses started gathering around my monitors. They had me move from one side to the other. They weren't happy with how the baby was tolerating the contractions. My blood pressure went low. Her heart rate went high. Fifteen, that is not an exaggeration, FIFTEEN nurses, doctors and surgeons rushed into the room and said I needed to have a c-section. As they were telling me this they were simultaneously cleaning off my stomach and handing Hubs a set of scrubs to change into. I felt like I was in the Twilight zone. Within minutes I was in the operating room, and shortly after that, Sage was HERE. Our beautiful Sage with a head full of hair. 8lb 15 ounces, 20 3/4 inches long, born at 8:45am on October 9, 2014.



It took them only a matter of minutes to get her out. Closing me up took much longer, mostly because the surgeon was pretty much teaching a C-section class, explaining things step by step to a student or maybe more than one student, I couldn't see. Delayed cord clamping with a c-section just isn't feasible, as you don't want your abdomen sitting open for longer than it has to. So that was another hope dashed.

But absolutely none of these things mattered because we had our baby!  All of her testing came back with her passing with flying colors except her blood sugar. Her blood sugar numbers were not what the pediatricians wanted to see. So after we'd already been comfortable in our room, getting use to our family of three, she was taken to the NICU, having her blood sugar tested every hour. Every hour she was also given formula. So that effectively crossed off every item on my birth plan list. Technically, I didn't have an episiotomy, but I didn't have a vaginal birth so that doesn't count.

She was returned to our room the next morning, with her numbers much improved, and we only had to supplement with formula for that day and she's been all breast since then. She had her first doctor's appointment yesterday and is doing GREAT. She is a happy, healthy, wonderful, beautiful baby and I just can't get enough of her. Everything happens for a reason, and we both came out of labor and delivery as healthy beings, which is all that matters.




Friday, October 10, 2014



Insurance is extremely important. It doesn’t seem like it when you’re healthy and everything is going right, but in the unfortunate chance that you do need medical care, the difference between the bill you pay after insurance, and the bill you would pay before insurance are HUGELY different. This year Hubs has ended up in Urgent Care or the ER twice for random ailments. He’s also had two major dental surgeries. You can’t plan for those things, that’s where insurance comes in.

And of course there’s me, having just had a baby. If you’ve never been pregnant let me let you in on little secret: pregnancy brings a LOT of OBGYN appointments, and ultrasounds, and testing. Even more of these things if anything becomes abnormal during your pregnancy. Then of course there is the hospital stay for your actual labor and delivery. Then, you have a new member of the family, who also needs medical care. Insurance is imperative to cover all these things.



Of course, insurance isn’t free. It takes financial planning and saving for health care to make it work, but I feel you have to make healthcare a priority in your budgeting, like gas, electric or water. Millennials especially have to make health care a priority as we find ourselves aging out of our parent’s insurance policies and having families of our own.

According to the Aflac and their WorkForces Report on millennial workers 72% at least somewhat agree that they regularly underestimate the total cost of an injury or illness and 46% are not at all/not very prepared to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with a serious injury or illness. Don’t find yourself “One Emergency Away From Financial Disaster.” Make room in your budget! Not just for health care, but also for emergencies like home repair and car repair. Savings are essential.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

38 Week Pregnancy Emotions



I am 38 weeks pregnant. Her nursery is done. My breast pump should be waiting at my door when I get home tonight. Her cloth diapers and clothes are prewashed and put away by size. Everything is purchased. We're as ready as we're going to be. I have SO MANY emotions throughout a single day it's ridiculous. It goes something like this: 

  • My body hurts I can't be pregnant anymore.
  • I just want to hold her and kiss her little face.
  • OMG I'm going to have a baby what am I thinking?!
  • Am I going to go into labor today?
  • I hope I go into labor today.
  • I hope I don't go into labor today because .
  • If I went into labor right now what would I do?
  • What's it going to feel like to go into labor?
  • Am I in labor?

  • A whole human is going to come out of me. 
  • I have to push a whole human out of me. 
  • She'll come when she's ready. 
  • I'm not rushing. I'm not rushing. 
  • How will we take care of a baby?!
  • I can't wait to have my baby. 
  • I can't wait to feel normal again. 
  • Is that a Braxton Hicks contraction?
  • Is that a real contraction?
  • What will contractions feel like?
  • What if this is the last thing I eat before I go into labor?
...and so on lol

I hope this is my last pregnancy update and the next thing you will be seeing is the adorable little face of Baby Sage. I'm also proud of myself with pretty much keeping up with pregnancy updates every two weeks. I did a lot better with this than my ABCs of Fall/Winter series which seems to be taking me FOUR YEARS to complete lol. That's pretty bad since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet. I can't make any promises, but I'm going to try to finish this year ;-)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Turtle Invaders App


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zyrobotics, LLC. All opinions are 100% mine.

Devices and content on those devices is something that parents have to manage for their children. As Tim and I are very much into games, we're pretty sure Sage will be a little gamer when the time comes as well. There are so many apps out there, weeding through and finding quality games made specifically for kids can be a challenge. 

I was asked to try out a new game, Turtle Invaders, and share my opinion.

Turtle Invaders is available on iTunes and Google Play and is built to help younger children and children with special needs improve their motor skills. The premise is the turtles have decided to take over the underwater Aqua world and the player, playing as Octoremus, is fighting back! The game focuses on building attention, timing, coordination, and control. 

Even though the game is made for ages 6-8, I played it on the easiest level and still found it entertaining. The expert level offers a bit more a challenge for the older player. Huge kudos to the developers for making a FREE app that also doesn't have any ads or in-app purchases. There's no chance your little one will accidently download or buy something while trying to play.

If you have a child you've been looking for a new game for that is both fun and educational, try it out:   iTunes Download Link | Google Play Link
Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

36 Weeks Pregnancy Update



36 weeks. According to what app/book you go by, I'll be full term in one week! That is pretty crazy to think about. 

Preparation: 

I think we've bought everything we need to buy. If it isn't already in our house, it's on its way. Quite frankly, I am TIRED OF SHOPPING. If I don't have to buy another thing for a while it'll be too soon lol. Once we get the crib and set it up I'll share some pictures of the whole nursery. We've completed childbirth classes so I think we're as ready as we're gonna be for labor and delivery. 

Symptoms: 

I had to take my wedding rings off last week. I'm glad Hubs recommended I do it when he did because it was a bit painful getting them off so I did it before they would have gotten stuck on these swollen fingers! So now I'm wearing this costume jewelry ring that does the job of signifying I'm a married woman lol. Speaking of swelling, ankles and feet are in on the swelling party as well. I'm pretty much as uncomfortable as you would expect a woman to be who is going to have a baby some time in the next  four weeks, but I've had no pains that are signs of labor. 

Feelings: 

I seem to always be in some state of flux between "OMG so excited gonna have a baby!" and "Who in the world told me I could take care of another human?!"

How's life treating YOU?
Is the Fall bringing you anything exciting?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Looking Forward: Fall 2014 TV

It's September 1st! Despite the weatherman predicting 90 degree temps for this upcoming week, we are indeed moving into fall. With the change in the seasons comes a change in TV. Here's what I'm excited for: 

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX) - October 8th


I absolutely love American Horror Story. I'd venture to say it might be my favorite show. I love the format of the series. Every season is a completely different story, even though some of the actors repeatedly appear each season. I'm excited to see Michael Chiklis joining the already phenomenal cast of Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, and others. This show has a really unique ability to get into my subconscious. If I watch the show before bed, without any sort of buffer, I will absolutely have dreams related to the show...which isn't great lol


Ensemble Comedies


Selfie (ABC) - September 30th

I am a sucker for a good ensemble comedy. I'm still lamenting the fact that Happy Endings was cancelled. The fall brings the return of four of my favorite ensemble comedies: 

  • New Girl (FOX) - September 16th 
  • The Mindy Project (FOX) - September 16th 
  • Modern Family (ABC) - September 24th 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) - September 28th
A new comedy I'm excited to see is Selfie. Not only am I excited to see Karen Gillan in something after her departure from Doctor Who. I'm also ecstatic to see Da'Vine Joy Randolph in the show, who I actually went to college with.  

Boardwalk Empire (HBO) - September 7th


Sadly this is the final season of Boardwalk Empire, but I'm excited to see where the story goes, especially because the premier is going to pick up SEVEN YEARS after where the finale left off. Boardwalk Empire is a period drama series that takes place primarily in Atlantic City in the 1920s and 1930s. So we're talking prohibition, bootlegging, the original Atlantic City boardwalk, etc. Drama ensues, and it's juicy! 

The Blacklist (NBC) - September 22nd


The first season of The Blacklist definitely captured my attention and I'm excited for it's return. It's a basic crime series that will have you on the edge of your seat and counting down the hours until the next episode airs when the credits roll. 

Grimm (NBC) - October 24th 


Grimm is my current watch on the weekends when nothing else is on show. I've made it up to the third season, so I want to catch up completely before the fourth season starts in October. If you've never seen Grimm, it's a fantasy police drama in which the characters from the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales (Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, etc.) are actual people living in the in the world, specifically, in Portland, Oregon.

What Fall TV shows are you looking forward to?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mini Blogs: Thoughts on Blackness

This week I wrote two short entries that I didn't feel were complete blogs worth posting alone, but I figured since I have them both, I'd put them together to share some thoughts I've had this week regarding Blackness. 

Entry 1

I feel like I want to step away from all the Ferguson coverage. I ignored it for three days because I didn't feel I had the emotional volume at the time to handle it. Now that I’m in it I want to forget it all and pretend it’s not happening. But I also feel like I need to keep it in my face. To remind me how things are. To make me do something. 

Being Black feels so hopeless sometimes. Walking around with a reputation that was never really true, and a history that comes as a result of kidnapping, oppression and discrimination. 

If this baby inside me was a little boy I don’t think I’d be able to stop crying. I’d be inconsolable thinking about the fragility of his life. 

---
Entry 2

I saw the preview for the 2014 version of Annie this past weekend in theaters when I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. I was surprised at how much it affected me. I was SO HAPPY to see a little Black Annie whose curls weren't ringlets but kinky tight curls. I know inclusion of Black faces in the media, in all their varieties,is important, but it hadn’t struck me until I saw the preview that I was so touched by it, that somewhere inside I needed a little Black Annie. Kudos to Overbrook Entertainment and Will Smith for making this happen.

Happy Friday!