Labor of Love…

FelixBirthSP-3IMG_6246 copyIMG_6248 copyFelixBirthSPFelixBirthSP-14FelixBirthSP-13FelixBirthSP-11FelixBirthSP-9FelixBirthSP-8FelixBirthSP-7FelixBirthSP-5FelixBirthSP-4 copy 2FelixBirthSP-2So I’m just gonna say it, I’m birth obsessed. I love watching births, reading about births, yes yes YES. I love it. I follow dozens of birth photographers on Instagram and I can only say that I am in love with birth. So much so that I truly believe one day I will become a doula… What a difference a few years makes… So maybe you are equally birth obsessed or maybe you couldn’t care less, but I’m gonna tell my story for anyone who wants to hear it. I promise, it’s pretty entertaining.

I was really unsure how to approach writing this post… I think labor is literally the most beautiful thing on the planet and I had many different, more serious versions of this post in the works, but what it really came down to was that my labor was NOTHING like my first and on top of that, nothing like how I envisioned it. Seriously, it was so far from my plan of “silent and calm” that we just had to laugh because it still ended with the most wonderful gift. Now on to the good stuff.

I was having just a terrible night’s sleep, up to pee ever hour or so and feeling crampy. Nothing alarming, but bleh nonetheless.

[4am] Cramps [Pain Level] .0025

So at 4 I woke up with more intense cramping. My mind started to race. My inner dialogue sounded a bit like this, “Noooooo… No way… Impossible… Definitely Not… Go back to sleep.” There would be no sleep in my immediate, or distant, future.

[5:30am] Consistent Mild Contractions [Pain Level] .050

I was still in a pretty good state of denial when, apologies for the frankness, the poops arrived. I started to have to get up to use the bathroom every 15 – 20 minutes. I knew what was happening, but still hadn’t had any major signs that it was labor, no water breaking, no bloody show… I still thought that there was a possibility it would stop. I decided to time my contractions before I alarmed The Captain or my Midwife, Jenny. Sure enough every 5-10 minutes I had a contraction. I woke up The Captain and asked him what I should do. We decided to text Jenny and get her opinion. I should note, I LOVE my midwife… like, LOVE HER, LOVE HER. I am so grateful we found her during the move. I can’t stress how amazing it is to have a caretaker who’s completely and utterly on your side. LOVE.

[6:45am] Regular Mild Contractions + Poo [Pain Level] .25

Jenny suggested that we give it 30 minutes and see, then meet at the hospital to get checked, she would be in her office at 8:15. So I continued to time the contractions which at this point were like dull period cramps. We called in our babysitting squad to watch Mohawk who was still fast asleep. I showered. Shaved my legs. Put on some makeup. Felt super cute. Our savior, Regen, showed up shortly after. Leaving the house was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… Saying “I love you” and hugging my son, for possibly the last time as my only child, choked hard in my throat. I didn’t want to put him down. Cue tears.

[8:45] Regular Moderate Contractions + less than 2cm dilated [Pain Level] .75

I continued having contractions while we drove. Once to the hospital, they got us into a triage room where they monitored and checked me. I was barely 2 cm and while my cervix was in the right position I was only 70% effaced. Same as I had been two weeks prior at my visit. Talk about disappointed. But I was indeed having consistent contractions. So I was sentenced to walk. And walk. And walk. I was monitored again and they sent to walk yet again. The Captain and I just strolled the unit floor, held hands, laughed… Now that I’m reflecting on the day, I’m so glad we had this time.

[12:30pm] Regular Contractions + 2.5cm dilated [Pain Level] 4

Around 12:30 I was checked again. This time 2.5 cm. I was epically bummed. My contractions were pretty uncomfortable, but manageable. So I just couldn’t believe that things were moving so slowly, but I was trying to remain positive and praising The Lord for each contraction because it was bringing me closer to meeting my boy. By this time I was joined by Doula Amber who was helping me through contractions and giving me my options of what I could ask, etc. She was absolutely instrumental in keeping both of us calm and relaxed throughout the day. I talked to Jenny from her office and she suggested going to walk the mall or grabbing a light lunch, but because of our drive she would prefer we didn’t go all the way home. I wanted bread and there was a Panera at the mall. Sure. I’d try it. So The Captain, Amber, and I made our way to the mall… Yes, the mall.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_1yes, you are seeing this right… 

[1:15pm] Active Labor [Pain Level] 5-8

We arrived to Cordova Mall around 1pm. I made my way to the Panera bathroom where my contractions took a big leap in intensity. I scared an employee half to death, but assured her I wouldn’t deliver my baby on the bathroom floor. We headed next to Victoria’s Secret because I had not packed undies, nor even wore them to the hospital [they were super unnecessary last time, oops] and if my water broke we didn’t want to leave a puddle. So picture it, if you can, mama swaying back-n-forth picking out undies and eating bread while having pretty intense active labor pains. I made The Captain take pics because, ya know, you can’t make this shit up. With undies in hand we started walking towards a department store and the restrooms. This walk seemed to take 10 years. By time I had my new skivvies on I was certain I was going to give birth in the mall bathroom. I informed my crew that I had to get the hell out of there. As we made our way out, Amber mentioned trying out a reflexology massage place near our exit. Couldn’t hurt to try, right?! So for 20 minutes a lovely Chinese woman rubbed my legs. She was very concerned about my due date and assured me she could help. Well, for the first half I swear I was in heaven. I didn’t have any contractions for nearly 10 minutes. But then they started back… Oh Lord, did they start back.

So we paid and on the way out to the parking lot every contraction was just as intense. I was moaning and thrashing in the mall parking lot. The car ride back to the hospital was the worst. I started feeling like I was going to throw up and somehow just kept thinking about how badly I wanted to hold Mohawk. I was realizing that never again would I only have my first baby. I couldn’t control the tears. Full blown ugly crying. I continued to bawl, dry heave, and painfully contract. The combo of the 3 made for a dramatic hospital parking lot show. Amber got me a wheelchair and we proceeded to make our way to labor and delivery.

[2:45pm] Intense Active Labor + 9cm dilated with bulging bag of waters [Pain Level] 9.

When we arrived at the nurses’ desk the women looked concerned and in a tone I didn’t appreciate said, “well honey, we are gonna have to find ya a room.” I remember smiling at her and thinking, “bitch, I will cut you.” That’s possibly the only negative thing I could say about my entire hospital labor. Luckily. They had saved me a room. So by 3:15 I was in my room. A nurse checked me and things had changed dramatically, she put in a call to Jenny immediately. I had dilated 7.5cm during my time at the mall. The Captain was so amazing, putting my chapstick on, rubbing my back, making all kinds of funny sounds with me… Having him home and there was just amazing. so for roughly 30 minutes, I labored in the quite, peaceful room.

[3:45pm] Pushing [Pain Level] 10.

Jenny arrived and after remarking, that she knew I was going to pull this kinda move, she said “let’s push and meet your baby!” Ummm come again?! She just got there. Shouldn’t she buy me a drink first?! I began pushing on my side. I had the most amazing group of women, Jenny, Amber, amazing nurses, and most importantly, The Captain, cheering me on. But let me just say it, the side push wasn’t registering with me. I was not understanding or connecting the pushing, but to my excitement Felix was still in his bag of waters. So my dream of an en caul birth was nearly realized and the side push is apparently more gentle on baby and mama, but it was NOT working. I ended up scooting on my back and with 2 pushes to go, my water broke.

[4pm-ish] Water Breaks [Pain level] 7 hundred million billion.

But I just absorbed that pain and used it to power my final 2 pushes.

[4:05pm] Baby Felix is born [Pain Level] Non-existent due to state of oxytocin induced euphoria.

And like that, I had a baby. Praise The Lord! After 8 hours of early labor. 3.5 of active labor. And 20 some odd minutes of pushing. Baby Felix was born with zero interventions, not even so much as a heplock or monitor. He was placed immediately on my chest and we all had a good cry!! I still cannot believe he’s here. Even staring at him right now. I just can’t believe. Already a one upper, he was 11 days early, beating out Mohawk’s 10 days early record…

I’m so grateful for everyone that helped welcome F-guy earth side. It wasn’t what I was planning, but it was beautiful none the less. Happy Birthday Felix!!

+A huge thanks to Ashley of Against the Grain Photography for our amazing photos!+

Nursery Rhymes

FelixNursery-3FelixNursery-4FelixNursery-5FelixNursery-6FelixNursery-9FelixNursery-12FelixNursery-13FelixNursery-14FelixNursery-15FelixNursery-16FelixNursery-17FelixNursery-21FelixNursery-22FelixNursery-24FelixNursery-25FelixNursery-26FelixNursery-27FelixNursery-29images via Against the Grain Photography

Despite the fact that it won’t be used for at least 3 or 4 months, decorating and finishing the nursery was important to me… Mostly because I knew it would never get done if we didn’t finish or mostly finish the room before Felix’s arrival. #FACT The desire to decorate decreases 2 billion percent once you are sleep deprived and covered in poo and breastmilk. So with a month or so to go, The Captain and I threw it into high gear and decorated the room from the comfort of our sofa whilest watching Justified [our latest tv obsession]. Excited to share some of my online finds with you.

[Sucre Dreamers] I found Hannah’s shop back when I first found out I was pregnant!! I was in LOVE with her sweet mobiles! This was the first piece I bought for the room after finding out we were having another boy. The custom colors were the jumping off point for the rest of the room. I love love love her AND her shop. I want felt garland ERRY WHERE!

[Bright Lab Lights] OBSESSED with these lights. I knew I was going to get these for the nursery the first time I ever laid eyes on them! With tons of colors to pick from, you can literally spend hours working out the perfect strand!!

[Aspen and Oak] Love Shelli and her adorbs shop! Had her whip up this custom “explore” banner a few weeks ago and I love it!!! I can’t wait to buy more goodies for the boys rooms!

[Watercolor Journey] We bought Baby Burrito a Rhino from the San Diego Zoo before moved and I absolutely HAD to use it in the room. I found this shop and fell in love the baby rhino print! I purchased a driftwood frame and had a stunning textured mat designed. Boom. Easy art work that looks custom and like a million bucks, all for about 55 dollars.

[Mini Learners] Adorable prints. Great Prices.

[Amy West Designs] [Oja Design] not pictured More great prints at killer prices.

[crib] ikea [sheets] land of nod [rocker] nurseryworks sleepytime rocker [animal knobs] anthropologie [zebra head] target

I’m in love with this chill little room, I’m excited to see how the space evolves as Mister F grows and acquires toys and books, etc. He and Mohawk are gonna have major fun times in here!

Pregnant, again…

DSC_0519 DSC_0617 DSC_0606[Soooooooo this post was supposed to go up today with my maternity photos that were supposed to be taken Tuesday… well, I had a baby Tuesday afternoon… Cause ya know, honey badger don’t give a— you get it. More details to follow soon!!! But for funsies, you can go ahead and read this post]

Oh hi there, how ya doing!? I just sneezed and had to change my underwear, so yeah. I’m great.

I was obnoxiously vocal about how much I loved being pregnant the first go around… Like SHUT. UP. This second time, I would love to say that it has been the most fun ever, but in reality it has not been my favorite time. I’m super excited and grateful to BE pregnant and we are so thrilled for baby, but as far as “enjoying” my time being pregnant… meh, not so much. With my first, I was able to exercise throughout and rest whenever I wanted. I got achy towards the very end, but with numero dos I’ve been pretty uncomfortable from the start.

I had constant nausea which never manifested in throwing up, I just couldn’t eat like I needed or wanted to and had super low energy. We started our cross country move towards the beginning of the second trimester so during the time when energy was supposed to return. Yeah. Nah. Not this time. I was maybe 16-17 weeks before I got that energy back. I tried not to let that discourage me. I did my Tracy Anderson and Ballet Beautiful workouts pretty consistently. Walked almost every morning until the crotch pain. Yep that’s right, crotch pain. My pelvic pain started getting out of control. My midwife informed me that due to shifting pelvic bone [yeahhhhh they aren’t supposed to move, except when ya get ready to birth a baby] that I could try a number of things, but unfortunately it would probably only make it marginally better. So I couldn’t really work out my lower half. Suck. Then Florida turned into a freaking sauna, so even at 7 am it’s 90 degrees outside so there’s no good time to walk. I miss Cali. I started seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist and that helped a TON. Well, it hasn’t helped our bank account, but I’ve been much more comfortable.

So with all that said I thought it would be fun to do the same little BumpDate I did with Rocco last time as the end drew near!!

[How many weeks?] 39 weeks tomorrow. I was in labor with Rocco at this point, as he was 10 days early, but ready to go into overtime with this guy.

DSC_0601 DSC_0624[Gender?] Boy

[Name?] Felix

[Weight Gain?] More than last time, but still within the “healthy suggested amount.” I feel huge and am very much looking forward to getting my post-baby fitness on. I would actually love to know your favorite work outs to get your sexy back!! Please comment with details.

[What foods have you been craving?] This time around my wants have been pretty basic. Veggie dogs with coleslaw and mustard. LOTS AND LOTSA mustard. I also have been devouring Alexia frozen onion rings, cooked until they are nearly burnt. Yum. Much like last time, I crave avocado sushi rolls and veggie tempura, as it is also Rocco’s favorite meal we eat this A TON. I get uncomfortably full very fast, so I don’t get to eat as much as I would like.

[How has your sleep been?] Pretty great actually! Rocco is a solid sleeper now, so I maybe wake up once a night to go pee. The only thing that keeps me from a great night sleep is heart burn, so I’ve been avoiding spicy which seems to have to most effect on it… I drink a ton of Earth Mama Angel Baby heartburn tea with almond milk and honey!!

[How are your emotions?] I am highly emotional, but different than last time… Possibly because The Captain is home… I’m very emotional about Mohawk becoming a big brother. I’m so obsessed with that kid and I worry about still being the best Mama I can be for him whilst distracted with a new nugget. I’ve also been sensitive to all the struggles and troubles in the world. I cry thinking about all the hate… I just want my sons to be full of love for others. That makes me emotional.

[Have you been nesting?] FOR SURE. This started much, much, much later than last time. All I want to do is clean, make freezer meals, and get the house/nursery ready, but alas, I’m also so freaking tired… It’s coming along very slowly.

[What’s on my nightstand?] My Rocco + Norah social media calendars, Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Foods [I’m making black bean mushroom burgers to freeze], After You, and about 30 journals.

DSC_0597I’m so HOT! 

[What am I super over!?] It’s so funny because I said “the heat” last time, but my delicate Cali heart didn’t know the meaning of the word heat. Panhandle summer = DEATH. It’s the worst thing in the world. Like ever. But honestly, I’m more over it being too hot to take Rocco on a walk or go to the park.

[Any guesses when you will go into labor?] I’m not sure. Mohawk surprised us, but I have a feeling Felix is gonna stay true to his due date. I say a few days after his due date [August 5] or tomorrow, who knows!?

[What I’m looking forward to?] Holding my sweet boy and watching Rocco interact with his baby brother. Also, I am dying, I mean DYING, to see what he looks like.

All my bags are packed…

IMG_6056My favorite Target travel bag is all set to go… With baby due in a week and change and knowing that it really could be any time, I decided to go ahead and get my bag ready. I had a pretty expedient first labor and with my [AMAZING] midwife urging me to not dilly-dally this time around, especially with a 45 minute drive ahead of us, I decided that I should get my shit together and make this happen. So over the past month I have slowly put together my Hospital Go Bag. I keep it and our iPad at the ready, just in case we have to bounce quickly! Here’s what I have going on!

IMG_6057[Oils & Diffuser] I love my oils. I wouldn’t have survived my first labor without Peppermint oil which aided me not vomiting every single time I had a contraction. Huge Fan. I also had an oil concoction diffusing and I tell you what, that made a difference. I remember nurses walking in and commenting about how lovely it smelt. It did. It really did. I plan on diffusing Valor this time around because it smells like heaven and I am a freaking warrior. So I think it’s fitting. Now, I’m not going to sit here and explain my use of oils, preggo or not. There is plenty of good info out there by far more qualified folks. I would love for you to check out my buddy, The Oil Boss, and do your own research! I fully believe that there are other trustworthy and quality brands of oils out there, but I personally like Young Living and would definitely recommend them. I don’t sell them, so it’s not a sales pitch.

[Robe] I suggest a lightweight cotton robe in a dark color! Mines from Gap and I love it.

[Rocco + Norah Turban] Pictured Mama ain’t doing her hair, possibly ever again, so my adorable and comfy turban is most definitely in my bag!

[Nursing Tanks] I have majorly raved about the Felicity Slimming Nursing Tanks before and I will again. I love love love them. Buy them, be happy. That is all.

[Belly Bandit & Hip Bandit] Pictured So I was a huge fan of my Original Belly Bandit last pregnancy and am even more excited this go around, I have a medium and a small… I am so pumped to regain control of my body again! I love that this company isn’t just trying to make you “skinny” and it’s in no way a waist trainer. These products are gentle and not only help your stomach muscles remember their former glory, they also help with posture while breastfeeding which is HUGE for me as I am a major slumper. They can also help with c-section recovery and so much more. I opted for a Hip Bandit as well because it definitely took my hips a long time to get with the program last time. So while my body is still pumping Relaxin, I will be compressing and taking advantage of that rad hormone!

[iPad & Charger] For music [I’ve been working on an iHeartRadio playlist, free and no commercials] and for FaceTiming.

[Cell Phone Charger] Self-explanatory.

[Cooling Towel] Okay, these things are BOMB. I had one with Mohawk that I’ve used throughout both pregnancies. Summer baby boys, killing me. You submerge them in water and they stay cool for, like, ages. It’s amazing. During my labor with Rocco I went from freezing to hot flashes in an instant, so I loved my cooling towel when I was feeling toasty.

[Belly Oil & Claraderm] MORE OILS! So to use with my Belly Bandit, I will continue to use a mixture of Mother’s Special Blend oil and Young Living Gentle Baby oil. It smells so good and helps keep skin moisturized and toned. Young Living Claraderm Spray is a magical mixture of oils [tea tree, lavender, myrrh, and frankincense to name a few] you spray on your who-ha before and after labor to help with irritation, itching, and all the cray things that happens to your lady palace before, during, and after giving birth.

[Lip Balm] Insert your favorite brand here. My lips were so so so chapped last time and I ended up using the hospitals gross thick sample thing they give out, it worked, but I’m going to be prepared this time.

[Grippy Socks] pictured These are lifesavers on slick hospital floors! You can find various brands on Amazon, but I personally love my TDM ones!

[Snacks] pictured Snacks, snacks, snacks, I love snacks. So unlike my Cali Hospital, I’m not going to be able to order a 3 course meal off of a completely vegan menu… You guys. Scripps La Jolla’s vegan menu is AH-mazing. I ate like a champ. So while there are a few surrounding restaurants that I will send The Captain to for mealtime, I’m relying on bars to keep me from chewing off a limb in-between.

[Face Wipes] pictured Cause they are just SO easy!

[Loose Clothing] Seriously, baggy loose trousers, baggy loose dresses are a life saver… Paired with your nursing tanks you’ll be golden until you are discharged!

[For the Nugget] I have a few onesies in various sizes, lavender soap for his bath, my trusty Ollie Swaddle, and a few Aden and Anais blankets for mister man. The rest of his goodies will be eagerly awaiting him at home!!!

So that’s all she wrote!! What do you think? Pretty good? Am I missing anything you HAD to have in your bag? Tell me in the comments below!!!

Get pregnancy shapewear at BellyBandit.com

Green Chef Review

FullSizeRender[The goodies. I was amazed by all the food they sent]

So I haven’t been much for standing on my feet these days, more on that next week. Cooking a whole meal of food is literally torturous. Doing dishes. Ohh my lord no. So when I saw that Green Chef was offering a vegan meal plan with 4 free meals on your first order, I had to try it. So for 3 nights we had dinner for 2 for only 26 dollars. And let me tell you, definitely worth it.

FullSizeRender_2[cauliflower shawarma]

I have been tempted to try Blue Apron and the slew of other dinner kit meals, but alas, none offered vegan dinners, so when I saw Green Chef had added a vegan option, my mind was BLOWN. I ordered it 2 weeks ago and have to say I was monumentally impressed.

FullSizeRender_4[seared tempeh with potato and green bean salad and slaw with red pepper aioli. This meal was BOMB]

We received our giant box of goodies on Friday, I picked Friday because I was unsure of how “easy” cooking these fancy meals would be without a guaranteed child wrangler. Well, we have since changed our delivery day to Wednesday because I’m happy to report each meal took less than 30 minutes and each one was super easy to make. Two using one pot or less. While you have to do some chopping, having everything portioned out and all of the yummy sauces prepared is an amazing time saver. I actually had more fun making dinner than I’ve had in a long time because I’m #LAZY. Both The Captain and I were throughly impressed by each meal. The first was a cauliflower shawarma with a salad, it was delicious and took no time at all to prepare. The second, pan seared tempeh with potato salad and slaw was so so so simple and while it wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea, was both of our favorite meal! Like I want to eat it again. Now. We ate every last bit of it. The third, a mushroom tostada with black beans and a salad, was definitely the most work, but again fairly simple and also delicious. We really enjoyed all 3 meals.

FullSizeRender_5[mushroom tostadas with black beans and a cashew lime creama]

Breakdown:

Time: All meals were 30 minutes or less.

Taste: Seriously, impressed. I mean even the prepared sauces were fresh and delicious. Every time we sat down to dinner we were like, “DAMNNNNN, THAT’S FANCY.”

Serving Size: While they claim to be 2 servings, they are large portions. I would say they are more like 3 servings, but we are fat kids, so we had no problem polishing the extra serving…

Dishes: Having all the sauces and dressings prepared really cut down on dishes, with the exception of the tostadas we only had to use one pan to cook, plus a mixing bowl or two.

Price: The price varies per plan, these prices reflect the vegan option. At 26 bucks the first week was a steal, the regular price is 80.94 for 3 organic meals for 2[3] people. Now, that’s steep, yes, but honestly we will probably do Green Chef twice a month and the reason is 3 fold. 1. It’s easy 2. We actually cooked instead of going out for sushi saving us a TON of money 3. We wasted ZERO food, something I hate and something we do quite often in our house, see reason 2.

So you have nothing to lose, I would highly suggest a trial run with Green Chef!! Click here to get started! I’d love to hear your experiences with dinner kits? Which have you liked? Did you continue to order them!?

[Note: This is in NO WAY a sponsored post, just my own hungry, humble opinion.]

Mama & Little Giveaway!

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You guys! More FREE stuff!!!!! I’m so super excited about this giveaway!!! Like so so so excited! My ginger bestie introduced me to Mama & Little and I have to say I was obsessed! So to host a giveaway is making me cray happy!!

There are a few brands offering teething “fashion” necklaces out there, but in my humble opinion, Mama & Little are the only ones who get it right. I am OBSESSED with their Alexa necklace, it’s so chic! Made from food grade silicone, their products are free of nasty chemicals making them the perfect accessory for your little nugget to chomp on!

Mama & Little is giving away a 50 dollar credit to shop on their site!! That’s a lot of goodies!!! To enter is super simple, head over to our Instagram for all the details!!!

And if that weren’t enough, they are also offering 20% off all teething necklaces to BH readers until 7/15!!! Be sure to enter the code Blissful Happenings at check out!!!!