Best Feeling In the World

Note to self:  Remember to live each day by each second.  Soak it in.

I find myself getting anxious (I’m talking serious anxiety) about returning to work.  How can I leave my little baby boy?  I look into his sweet face and think to myself, “this is exactly where he belongs, in my arms.”  But, reality is, my husband and I are a dual income family.  I need to return to work.  So instead I’m trying to think, “God this is amazing, this moment right now.”

The best moments of my life so far… look like this

And it is.  I honestly have never been happier.  I know I’m still young, but nothing sounds more perfect to me right now than cuddling with my sweet baby as he peacefully sleeps on my chest wrapped close to me in the Moby… As he hears my heartbeat and we listen to Jewel lullaby together.  No glass of wine, or night out could ever top these moments and I hope I hold onto this feeling forever, because it is amazing.

baby limbs <3

Today my sweet baby is five weeks old.  My heart flutters with happiness and sadness at this.  It means that my world has been complete for 5 weeks, but it also means I’m that much closer to returning to work.  I just need to remember all the things I can give my baby when I return to work, but sometimes I like to dream about all him needing is me, and that I can stay home with him forever. <3

What else am I grateful for today?  I know I say this in every post, but my gratitude to my friends (or extended family) and family knows no bounds.  This journey wouldn’t be the same without them.  Although I don’t wish away these early moments, the future looks bright for my little guy. Especially with his cousin Jack, who will teach him all about the sharks, cars and how to work remotes <3

Happy Saturday Friends.  Soak up every single moment… Stop trying to live in the future.  Living in the present is SO MUCH better.  It is so much HAPPIER and a lot easier to enjoy today’s moments than tomorrows maybe (not guaranteed) bad moments.  This is just another wonderful lesson my sweet baby has taught me, who would have thought he would teach ME so much, I thought I was supposed to be teaching him ;-)Turn on the Jewel lullaby CD and smell some flowers, haha.

Off to the farmer’s market this AM and looking forward to sharing it with my little man!  Any fun plans for your weekend?!

One Month Letter to My Son

Dear Evan:

Even though I have known you for well over 10 months, today you have been in my arms for one whole month.  In that month, I have loved like never before, worried about things I never thought I’d worry about (I’ll spare you the details ;-) ), cried more happy tears than I have ever cried in my life (that is saying something, I’m a crier), and I have never been happier..  This is all because of you.  You and your baby breath, your sweet smell, your cooing noises, your waking grunts.  You are amazing.  Each day, I look forward to waking up and seeing your sweet baby face.  As much as I want you to stay a newborn forever, the days are quickly passing us by.  I’m promised that it only becomes more fun, which is hard for me to believe because I’m enjoying you so much already.

Daddy will rarely write you letters, because it isn’t very much like him to do that.  I promise I’ll make him scribble a few (and when he does, he will be thanking me he did).  But for now, I’ll tell you what he is thinking.  He is thinking that there is nothing he loves more than being a father, being YOUR father.  Unlike me, he wishes away the days.  He looks forward to holding your hand and walking you to your first baseball game.  He wants to share his love of bugs and boy stuff, and he can’t wait to get his pretty little hands dirty with you (trust me, only for you my little love).  He comes home from work and glows in your presence.  He loves you, so much (he is cuddling with you right now so mommy can write this).

Thank you for the past month my sweet angel.  It has been the start of what I feel is going to be such an amazing adventure.  We are going to do big things kiddo, grandpa already is calling you Mr. President.

So I don’t want to get all mushy and I’ll keep this what it is… Short and sweet.

Love,
Mom

Being Honest

I always wanted to be the person who decided with my husband the perfect time to have a baby.  I wanted to be excited to stop whatever form of birth control, and look forward to a missed period.  I wanted to cry tears of happiness when the result came back positive.  I wanted to come up with a cute way to share it with friends and family and I wanted to be “ready” or as “ready” as you can be to have a baby…

 

That was not reality for me.  My husband and I got pregnant immediately after getting married, and completely by accident.  It had been an insane month, I was job hunting, preparing for the Chicago Marathon, getting a part time job and lululemon, getting MARRIED, planning that wedding in like two weeks, and working a whole bunch of hours at my full-time job.  As things died down, I ran a short 5k with my sister in November and started feeling no-so myself. I figured it was because I had such a crazy October and working full-time and part time that November.  Then, a week before Thanksgiving (how ironic) I realized I was quite a few days late with my period.  I knew the exact date of my last one October 8th, because it was Marathon time, and I was pissed.  I was always very regular and new something was “off” with me.  So I told my husband who was beyond surprised at this.  Sure enough, we came home and took two tests…  They were positive, and the sad thing?  Neither of us were happy.

I know that sounds terrible, but it is reality.  I look back and want to cry because I was so upset over the news, and didn’t stop to think nearly enough how much of a blessing it was.  I cried countless hours in the beginning.  I wasn’t ready.  We JUST got married.  We had plans to travel first, buy a home, and enjoy married life, just us.  Funny how life throws you curve balls, huh?

It didn’t help that I had a pretty awful first trimester (tons of morning-noon-night sickness until about 17-18 weeks) and for some reason was embarrassed to be pregnant.  Why?  I have no clue.  I work with a bunch of people whose opinions matter a ton to me and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  The people I work with, my parents… myself.  I felt disappointed in myself.  Why?  Because I wanted to have a career, and be successful.  I wanted to have kids on my time, to be able to give them everything they wanted.

Looking back, getting pregnant was exactly what I needed.  I feel I cut short so much of my pregnancy not liking how my body was changing, and worrying about how it would bounce back.  Vain, right?  Looking at my son, even if I had stretch marks and morning sickness until the day I gave birth… It was all worth it.  He is SO worth everything.  I’m glad I took some time nearing the end of my pregnancy to enjoy it a bit, because my little love was in there… growing, developing, and learning my voice.

I feel so INCREDIBLY lucky to have such a wonderful little baby.  I have gotten so lucky my whole life, granted I work hard for a lot of things, but I have also simply gotten lucky with others.  Like friends, I have incredible friends and luck brought them to me.  It isn’t easy to find good friends, but mine have fallen into my lap and I feel so blessed.  My family, is amazing.  My husband, is fabulous.  And my baby, he is such a good baby.  I’m not trying to flaunt it, but I’m really just trying to say how lucky I am.  He is mellow, much like his father (thank god!) and just loving.  He likes to cuddle, he looks for me when I talk and he isn’t in my arms.  He is perfect.  Really, in every way.

Sometimes, when I find myself complaining about something (like my weight right now) I really try to look at the bigger picture.  I have a happy healthy family, wonderful friends, a roof over my head, a puppy who craves my love and affection… I mean, really what else could a girl want.  I’m just so grateful.

Today marks my son’s one month birthday.  The past month has taught me so much.  I never thought I could love something as much as I love him.  Each day my love for him grows.

So, although I missed out on some serious pregnancy moments from being sad… I’m embracing each day and finding the positive in everything I can.  Mostly because, I’m a mom now.  I want Evan to live in a positive world with happy parents.  Everyone has their off days, but I have so much to be grateful for, that I need to make sure I live like I have lived for the past month, with far less of those days than in the past.

My little love bug is making those “Mommy, I need you” noises… <3

Happy One Month Birthday my little angel.

 

Lists and Lesson Plans?

Why hello.

Since having Evan I have written about 12 blogs, all unfinished ;-)

I have made hundreds of mental lists, not one fulfilled.

Whats more?  I’m OK with that.

Cuddle time this morning… he looked so cute when I took him off my chest and placed him down (it was too hard to get a picture of him in my arms. He looks like he partied last night ;)

However, now that we have together a loose routine I do want to try and add stuff to my day.  After all, I plan on working full-time, taking care of my little man, getting back into shape (me time!), meeting up with friends and family, and blogging!  Even if no one really reads my blogs it is nice to go back and read what I thought about things.  I realized after having Evan you will stare at him and say “I hope I remember this for the rest of my life” but with a bit of sleep deprivation and lots on the to-do list, much of it gets lost.  Thus, baby books, blogs and notes, are a great tool.

So what is my new “plan” – I want to make loose plans for my day/week.  Set up some goals, meal plans and shopping lists.  I’ll wrap Evan in the Moby and go to town on getting some of these things done (but I won’t feel bad when I want to just cuddle and nap with my cutie, like we did today for an hour and half).  I have found a big part of being a mom is you start something because it hits the brain, the baby cries you of course tend to him, and then when you are done you have forgotten what you started.  Or you have spit up somewhere, have to change yourself, the baby and then you don’t have the energy to return the project.  Oops. NBD.  But if I had a list, those started projects or projects you would have liked to have started… at least you don’t totally forget about them.  I’ve found lots of laundry sits too long and I have to rewash it, totally not environmentally friendly and what a wast of detergent.  Seriously.

Oh Hey!

For some reason, motherhood has totally mellowed me out.  I go with the flow and haven’t been too hard on myself.  When I meet little goals like washing the floor, or dishes I consider those big wins… If I happen to fold and put away laundry, I almost feel like Gabby Douglas (I wanted to say Michael Phelps, but that is a strech, I’ll say that on a day when I do a workout, spend time with the baby, work and manage to eat, HAHA).

So today Hector gets home kind of early and we are going to grocery shopping.  As soon as I’m done typing this I’m making a list of ingrediants for a couple meals I hope to cook this week and a couple quick eat ideas (making sure I have stuff for quick smoothies, and stuff to add to my oatmeal like nuts, dried fruit, etc.).

I have always been a pretty organized person, but suddenly I feel very unorganized and need to put stuff in order, because I think every night is going to be party night when I start back at work and knowing where things are, knowing what I need to get… Will be one less worry of mine.

Wish me luck!

Any of you have tips on how to stay organized?  Do you meal plan for the week?  How about prep?  Like cook extra chicken for ease of use the next couple days (salads, snack?)?

 

Back at it

Since my little man has arrived I have been doing a lot of the following:

Snuggling, cuddling, kissing, holding, staring, loving, cuddling, hugging, changing diapers, breast feeding and cuddling.

I mean, with a face like this… what else would I be doing?

He is such a wonderful little baby that takes up a great deal of my day.  I’m just now learning to put him down (or secure him in the Moby) for a little bit so I can do work around the house, drum up ideas for new blog posts, day dream about workouts and try to catch up with all the things I used to get done in a day.  I have learned that this is NOT an easy task with a little one.  In fact, most days it is impossible to finish the list but it is totally worth it.  Evan has taught me more about staying calm and collected in the 3 weeks he has been there than I have taught myself in a lifetime.  I truly cannot remember a time when I was more content and confident about what I was doing.

However… My body on the other hand, is NOT where I want it to be.  Of course that is to be expected but I have been getting anxious about working out once again.  I plan on doing a one month post partum update, and tracking my progress, so stay tuned.  I have already signed up for my first 5k of the season and hope that I can get through it with a decent time.  I may use a simple couch to 5k running plan to get me started. I also have already started light workouts.  At about two weeks post-partum I just needed to get in something so brisk walking and light lifting has made its way back into my life, along with gentle stretching.  I do what I can and stop when I get uncomfortable, as I haven’t been OK’d by my doctor yet and don’t want to hurt myself to prevent me to getting back into more vigorous workouts in the future.  PLUS, I make sure to make my me time short as I still want to enjoy my little baby as much as I can.  He is growing EXTREMELY fast (in fact his newborn clothes are already tight and he will be moving into 0-3 months AND newborn diapers are not being bought anymore we are in size 1).

He is so much bigger than this already… I really might cry. I do this a lot – cry that he is getting bigger and bigger so fast.

So how am I getting back at it?  Well, I have taken a break from my gym.  Per my doctor, I wanted to make sure I had time to get the breast feeding established and work on getting some endurance back so I could run a few fall races.  My gym is located very close to my work and pretty close to my mother’s house but is not at all convenient from my home and by the time I got there I would need to have a really short workout in order to get back in time to feed my son OR need to bring the breast pump with me to pump while I’m there to not hurt any supply (not something I want to do right now).  So with that said, I’m focusing on at home DVDs (my sister has the ultimate collection and will let me borrow what I want), free weights (I have enough to keep me busy for a few months), and running.  I even have money on the side to treat myself to a new pair of shoes once I accomplish some miles.  I’m starting slow but EXTREMELY excited.

How else am I getting back at it?  The diet area. No I’m not going on a diet.  I’m just focusing on cleaner eats once again.  Like I said earlier I am breast feeding, and making sure I do not cut back on calories and hurt my supply, I will not be focusing on calories but be focusing on the quality of the foods I eat.  The first couple weeks Evan was here we definitely ate whatever was easy. I’d have a baby attached to me pretty much at all times so snacks included store bought granola bars, peanut butter and banana sandwiches with a little been of blackberry jam, lots of watermelon, walnuts, almond milk, cereal and was very vegetable light (the thought of CUTTING up veggies… get real).  Although the options above are not terrible they are not me. When I would visit my mom’s house I’d find my hand in the pop chips bag, and searching for sweets.  I have no idea where my sweet tooth came from (I had not had one while pregnant) but boy has it hit me hard.  So I’m coming up with alternatives to my sweet tooth.  One of the things I’m finding hardest to cope with is life without coffee.  My baby sleeps quiet well and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that so I’ve stayed away from it.  During pregnancy the smell of coffee made me sick, now?  It makes my mouth water.  So I keep telling myself that it is ok to have a little dark chocolate here and there but I’m trying to only eat things that have value.  For me and for my little guy.  My new splurge?  1/4th cup oatmeal (NOT instant, good old fashioned rolled oats), a few dark chocolate chips, a table spoon protein powder, and a splash of almond milk – it is to die for and satisfies my sweet tooth without me having to eat a whole chocolate bar haha.

How did you start getting back at daily tasks after adding to the family?  Last night I found myself unable to sleep because I was trying to figure out how to make everything work in a day… This was obviously super counter productive because I woke up later and feel more exhausted.  So I try to just do what I can and let everything else (as best I can) go.

Birth Story – Part II

The second part of Evan’s Birth Story – you can find the first one here.

I got back to my bed and decided to try to get some rest because I knew the following day was going to be a long exhausting one.  I pulled out the laptop and even started writing the first part of this birth story (I figured it was so fresh in my head I mine as well).  I only got a paragraph in and then Hector and I decided to chat a bit (I think we was feeling a little anxious).  While we were chatting I started to notice that my contractions were actually starting to hurt a little.  I could feel them coming and going whereas before I could tune them out when they were just that tightening braxtion hicks that I was so used to.

About an hour later, around 8:30 the Erica walked in again and re-positioned my fetal monitors because there was some interference with my own heart beat (it was picking up my heart beat and his).  As she did that she asked how I was feeling and I told her that honestly, I was feeling a little uncomfortable.  She said well that sounds like progress, that’s good.  She stepped out and fifteen minutes later she walked in again and called Dr. Martinez and said “Hello I have your patient here, the one with the Cervidil, and she has contractions coming every two minutes and some pretty good variables, do you want me to check her or do you want to come check her?”

I didn’t think anything of it.  I thought that this was perfectly normal and that nothing was really going on.  Dr Martinez walked in just before 9:00 p.m. his usual joval self and said very nicely that he was going to check me.  He pulled out the medicine to which in my head I thought “why are you doing that if you have to put it back in (putting it in was rather uncomfortable).”  He then said, “well, you are 1-2 and 100% effaced, that is great!” – The shock that came across my face was probably pretty priceless.  1-2?! that is great! I thought.  I mean, I hadn’t progressed at all in 41 weeks and in 3 hours I was progressing, I thought that was very cool!  Suddenly I wasn’t tired at all.  In fact, I felt quite energized (and relieved as I was feeling something… and it wasn’t comfortable for no reason).  Dr. Martinez still assured me we had a long way to go and to rest up.

Well, I couldn’t rest and I asked Erica if I could get up and walk around.  She said, for sure and that she rather patients get up and walk because they progress faster.  So Hector and I got up and walked… And walked.  At one point he even told me “do you want to go lie down yet?” and I told him no and he said “Babe, I’m tired” – ha this as I am walking the halls and every time I get a contraction I have to slow to a crawl (eventually I needed to use the labor bars in the hallway).  So I nicely told him “whatever, we are walking” and then I gave him the whole “this is totally unfair for the woman pregnancy and delivery speech” he wasn’t a fan of this conversation.

Anyway, as I had been walking my nurses changed again.  Our new nurse was Barb, who had a thick polish accent (it reminded me of my grandma’s caretaker).  She was very nice and introduced herself.  I went back to my room and sat down as it was about 10:15 I really thought I should try to get some rest.  As I laid in bed I realized how uncomfortable the contractions were and told the nurse (as there was no way I’d be sleeping with these).  She came in and asked if I wanted to be checked, I thought there is no way I have progressed much in an hour and so I said no that I’d call her.  Fifteen minutes later, I was really uncomfortable every 1-1 1/2 minutes so I asked her to come in and check me.  Sure enough I was 3-4!!  I was told at 4 I could get an epidural and from all the reading I had done I knew labor could go from bearable to unbearable rather quickly so I asked for the epidural.  Good thing I did because I needed A LOT more fluid before I could get the epidural.  So she hooked me up to another IV bag and told me I had to wait about 20 minutes.  So as the contractions sucked so much in bed, I got up and told Hector we were going to need to walk again.

So we got up at 10:45 and started walking, again.  Barb, our nice nurse, told me it would only take 20 minutes for the IV bag to be low enough for me to be able to have the epidural.  So I thought this would be a short 20 minute walk.  It wasn’t.  It took about an hour for the bag to get to wear it needed to be and my contractions were so strong as I was walking that I needed to stop and hold on to things and breathe through them I knew that this was doable as far as the pain scale but I also knew I would get NO rest with these.  But the walking helped a ton.  At about 12:45 a.m. I was able to get my epidural I walked slowly into my room and got prepped for the procedure.  By this time, I was quite tired (my bed time was usually 10:00, and I’d be in bed around 9:30 lol) and sitting in bed again sucked.  The contractions were not as easy for my to labor through while sitting and I would shake as I got some of the stronger ones and even shiver at some points.  The doctor who have me the epidural was amazing and did a great job.  After the procedure where my husband got to hold me down, I felt almost instant relief and REALLY felt exhausted.  As if I could fall asleep while sitting.

The nurse shut off the lights, Hector tried to get comfy on the pull down bed and I laid on my side and daydreamed about my baby.  I could hear his heartbeat on the monitor and still (even with the epidural) feel his movements.  The whole process up to and including this point, I was so relaxed and just went with the flow.  I was amazed at how the little jump start triggered my body into doing what it needed to do.  Although the NST (non-stress test) made me sorta anxious about his heartbeat the whole time so I never really fell asleep.  I closed my eyes and rested but listed to every little heart variation and all the late night sounds in the hospital (nurses at the nurses station, Hector snoring on the couch) and just couldn’t believe that this was my life right at that moment and all the waiting was almost over and I was about to have a baby.

Around 4 a.m. I started to feel pressure every couple minutes.  It wasn’t painful at all but that feeling was obvious as before I was very numb and couldn’t feel anything.  I ignored it for about 20 minutes until I felt a small gush down there and was nervous that my water may have broken.  I called out to Hector and asked him to get the nurse.  When Barb walked in she asked me what was wrong and I explained.  She said, “Oh Honey, press the epidural button, I’m sure there is nothing going on but you can get another dose” – So I did as I was told and pressed the button I didn’t even know existed.  Right after she said she wanted to check me since I was up.  She checked me and said you are 8 cm!  The look on my face was probably once again PRICELESS.  I had just started active labor at 1-2 at 9:00 p.m. and by 4:30 I was 8 cm.  Crazy.  She left the room and a few minutes later in walked Dr. Martinez.  He told me he wanted to break my water (that small gush wasn’t my water but part of my mucus plug).  He did (and because of my crazy recent dose of the epidural I didn’t feel any pain at all just a gush as he did it).  He then said he was going to check me because sometimes breaking the water will have you dilate further, and sure enough he said I was at 10!  So by 4:35 I was FULLY dilated and ready to push.

See we even had time to take pictures… LOL

I quickly sent text messages to my mom and sister.  I had sent messages earlier in the morning saying I was 3-4 but didn’t want to call for fear to wake people.  You see, my mom had the intention of making her way to the hospital as 6 a.m. because according to the doctor at 6 p.m. on 7/20 I should have only (hopefully) been 1 cm at 6 a.m. on 7/21 but instead an hour and a half before 6 a.m. I was fully dilated and ready to meet my little Evan.

I could not believe it and neither could Hector.  I also thought that when this happened there was a frantic running around to get the pushing started, not so.  In fact, they took their time and chit chatted with me until about 5:00 a.m.  Around 5:10-5:15 I started to push. Up until this point I had no pitocin.  My body had figured out how to labor all on its own.  Also, I was SO NUMB!  I couldn’t feel my left leg AT ALL because of the dose of epidural I had just gotten.  This made me nervous because I was afraid of how effective my pushes would be because I couldn’t feel contractions AT ALL or really any part of my lower body.  The doctor would tell me when I was having a contraction and I would push when he told me to.  There was a lot of rest time between because my contractions were coupling (so instead of one very large contraction, I’d have two smaller ones right on top of one another, not effective for pushing).  So after about 20 minutes of pushing he decided on some pitocin to make my contractions come together.  So that worked well!  Hector, Dr. Martinez and Barb would cheer me on at each contraction and I’d use my arms for leverage.  As I couldn’t feel anything in my lower body I used my upper body as I guide and pulled the hell out of the grip bars at the side of my bed.  It was the best bicep, tricep and chest workout I have ever done.  I thanked God as I did this because my workout background really helped prepare me for labor.

Hector would get so excited at every contraction when I would push and had genuine “wow, go go go go go, push push push push push” words of encouragement.  He told me how good I was doing and would rub my forehead and gave me some ice chips.  He was so supportive and my doctor was simply amazing.  God works in mysterious ways because had Evan decided to come even a couple hours later, I would have had a nightmare doctor (the one who I cried to at my 39.6 week appointment).  I was so glad to be having the experience with this doctor and my husband.

—–

The sunset the night before and we really couldn’t believe that our little guy was going to greet us as the sun rose that morning.  The beautiful sky lit our room for his delivery (lights were off in the room) it was such a perfect setting.

—-

Before I knew it the doctor was preparing for my little guy (putting on a gown and pulling apart the bed).  Then, it happened.  A strong push followed by the doctor saying “stop pushing” (which I knew Evan’s head was out) followed by ok another good push and poof my baby was on my chest.  The doctor had exclaimed that he was surprised at what a big boy Evan was and that I indeed was “all baby.”  My baby was perfect.  7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long.  The most beautiful person I have ever seen.  I couldn’t believe how much I loved him and we had only just touched.  I sobbed with happiness.  He was here, after what felt like forever, my perfect little angel was here.

Words cannot express the feelings I had at that moment.  Honestly.  Tears were shed and I was so in love.  I asked for him to be placed directly on my chest (to keep him warm) and his soft cries just warmed my heart.  He was here.  My baby was here.  My husband and I were now parents.

 

He has truly made my world complete.  He is loved more than he could possibly imagine.