When you’re too busy for social media

You’ve no doubt noticed that my blog posting frequency has dropped dramatically since Stella was born TWO years ago. Well, so has my facebook usage. Really, the only social media I use regularly is twitter and instagram. After some thought, I’ve realized why. Both twitter and instagram take about 30 seconds to post to It’s easy and it’s quick and, best of all, it gives me the illusion that I’m still connected to people. So, if you’re not following me on twitter or instagram, you really should be.

Oh.

Word of warning, my instagram feed is a lot of Stella and my dogs and snow (at least this week). All of this is because earlier this year, I discovered Printsagram. It’s an awesome site that lets you print photo books from your instagram feed. I love doing yearly photo books, but honestly I don’t have time to mess with uploading photos and choosing layouts and editing pictures. With this site you literally just pick which pictures from your instagram feed you want and it arranges them by date and voila, you’re done. It’s basically the best thing ever when you don’t even have time to write a facebook post. And the book was beautiful! All of this to say, I’m posting lots more this year than last so I can have a better book for 2015.

*I feel like I should say here that Prinstagram isn’t paying me anything or even giving me anything for free in return for saying good things about them. I mean, I wouldn’t turn free stuff down, but I really just like the site. 

Stella’s Birth Story

Now that Baby 2 is just weeks (or even days!) from making her appearance, it seems like a good idea to finally finish writing and post Stella’s birth story. I started writing this in March of 2013 when Stella was just a couple of months old. I haven’t finished it because I’m having trouble editing. I want to include everything, but if I did that this post would be roughly 10 pages long. So I’m left with trying to include only the most important parts, which is impossible because it’s all the most important part.

What I really want to say is this: Stella’s birth was the most amazing experience of my life. It was hard and, at times, not the most comfortable thing that’s ever happened tome. But it was worth it. And not just because I got the best baby ever at the end. It was worth it because it taught me that I’m a strong person, mentally and emotionally, and showed me what my body is capable of. 

Here’s the rest of the story… 


 

I’ve been writing this post in my head since Stella was born, but haven’t been able to put in down on paper (or, more accurately, computer screen) until now. It still seems a little unbelievable to me that she’s is really here and that her arrival went even better than I had imagined it would. Well. That’s not quite true. Part of me thought I might have an hour long labor like my mother did with me. That part of me was off by about 10 hours or so… But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I woke on January 23, 2013, Stella’s due date, with a cold. Sore thought, stuffy nose, headache, body aches, but no I’m-going-into-labor-today feeling. That morning I felt bad; I was tired of being pregnant, I was sick and I just wanted to stay in bed. But I knew that I was  going to have a baby sometime within two weeks of that day and I needed to do a couple of things at work before that happened. So I went to work. A few hours and an entire box of Kleenex later (not to mention completing the very last project I needed to complete),  I threw in the towel and decided to go home for the day.

When I got home, I treated my cold with tomato soup and grilled cheese, then decided to take a nap. As I was arranging my pillow nest and settling in for what was going to be the best nap in the history of naps, I felt… something. I froze for a minute, then realized my water had broken. As luck would have it, Sean had just texted me  to see if I was feeling laborey. I told him the situation and he excitedly (anxiously?) called to say he was on his way home.

Needless to say, I was too excited to finish my nap and spent the time until Sean got home excitedly pacing. Once he got home, we went to my midwife’s office, just to be sure that everything was a go for spending lots of time laboring at home. It was and we headed back home to hang out for a few hours. I should add here that being in a car while in labor isn’t super fun. At all.

To speed things up here, let’s just say I spent the next few hours doing things and stuff. Mainly walking, yoga-ing, watching TV, and bouncing on my yoga/birth ball. Around 7 p.m., Sean couldn’t take it anymore and suggested (forcefully) that we go to the hospital. So, we gave our parents and our doula a call, learned the doula had the flu and would have to call in her backup, and we headed to the hospital. Our new doula (who turned out to be awesome!) met us there and my parents showed up about an hour later (despite us telling them not to come yet)…. just in time for us to leave again. Because we were there too early. Which is something I told Sean before we even left the house.

Anyway.

We drove back home. And I cannot stress enough here how uncomfortable it is to be buckled into a moving car unable to move when you’re in labor. So. Uncomfortable.  Ladies, do not, I repeat do not, let your nervous husband talk you into going to the hospital when you know its not time.

Once we got home, I went upstairs to do some hypnobabies in bed and took a bath. Sean kept trying to feed. Pro tip: Your in labor wife isn’t going to eat the leftover tomato soup and grilled cheese she had for lunch. To be honest, though, I wasn’t really that hungry. In the end, I let him feed me a banana and some saltines.

While I was upstairs, relaxing and hanging out, Sean was downstairs convincing my parents to go home. My dad did go home after a bit, but my mom stayed around, cleaned the house, did some laundry, and started reading a book. BEST IN LABOR PRESENT EVER.

After a few hours of this (maybe around 1 a.m.-ish? I don’t know. My sense of time is really skewed here.), I started feeling panicky and nauseated. When I got off the bed to go vomit in the toilet (childbirth is a beautiful and magical time), my water broke. For real. Not just a little leak  like earlier in the day, but like I was suddenly standing in a puddle broke. Of course I took that opportunity to vomit. In the hall. It was fantastic.

And that, ladies and gents, is when you know its time to go to the hospital.

Again, in the interest of speeding things up, Mom and Sean did necessary cleanup, I changed clothes, dogs got walked, doula got called, Mom drove us to the hospital (again, car rides in labor are excruciating), I declined a wheelchair, requested a room with a tub, spent 20 terrible minutes confined to the bed on a fetal monitor, made it to the tub, and decided to never leave the tub. ever. again. Seriously, I was ready to call in a decorator and make that tub my home. I won’t bore you guys with details and honestly, I don’t remember that much of the next several hours (thank you, oxytocin and other birthing hormone cocktail), but around 5:45-ish, Sean and our doula convinced me to get out of the tub to go on the fetal monitor again.

While I was on the monitor, transition happened. This was easily the most difficult part of birth. It happened so suddenly I didn’t have time to prepare and this was the only time during birth that I was convinced I couldn’t do it. I remember thinking “Oh. This is why people schedule c-sections.” I couldn’t focus on my breath. I asked for an epidural and meant it. And then our doula said “It’s too late for an epidural. You’re at 9 cm.” Just as suddenly as I was convinced I couldn’t do it, I knew I could do it. I was almost there.

About an hour later, at 7:00 a.m. exactly, I pulled my daughter onto my chest. Unfortunately, there aren’t any safe for the internet pictures of that, so here’s one taken a  couple of hours later.

 

 

 

Weekend Thoughts

At the end of a long and awesome weekend I feel the need to share some thoughts, but I’m so tired I lack the coherence to actually write a post. So… here we go:

  • Morning yoga is the best. I should do that more. And also become a morning person so I can do that more.

  • Cheescake Factory isn’t worth the wait.
  • Waiting for the Cheescake Factory while shopping in H&M is totally worth it. 

Stella got the cutest sweater of all time at H&M. I got nothing. Because this location doesn’t have a maternity  section. I’m happy-sad about that. My wallet is just happy about it.

  • The mall is a great place to wander around/get exercise when it’s really cold and you have a toddler.
  • I feel super lame for writing that last bullet point.
  • Sticking stickers on your sister’s temporary home is the most fun.

  • Knitting buttonholes is hard. I’ve already ripped that section out and redone it twice. Third times a charm, right?
  • Toddlers love yarn. Much like kittens.

  • Birth planning is exciting. Had a great meeting with my doula tonight and suddenly everything seems very real.
  • Yay winter! We’re likely to get our first winter storm late tonight/early tomorrow morning and I’m so excited!

Pregnancy update: 25 weeks

Last time, I talked about how I finally got a baby bump. I’m still super excited about that, but now I’m starting to worry. Fair warning this is going to sound very very vain/weird. I’m worried that my belly button is going to turn into an outie. This didn’t happen when I was pregnant with Stella and it looks like it might this time and I don’t really know why I’m worried about it. But I am. I like having an innie belly button.

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Not quite a possible outie belly button selfie. 

Anyway… it’s been a big week. I had my last ultrasound of the pregnancy earlier this week and baby is still a girl (and everything else they check for during the ultrasound is good, too). I got some nice ultrasound pictures that look vaguely baby-esque to me but apparently look like an actual baby to other people. And, most importantly of all, I found out my midwife will let me eat a very specific breakfast to do the glucose tolerance test instead of drinking that absolutely disgusting and probably carcinogenic drink.


How far along| 25 weeks. Yikes! We should probably reassemble the crib or pick a name or something.

Baby’s Size| Ultrasound says almost 2 pounds. So maybe almost 2 pounds. 

Weight Gain| Who knows? Not me.

Sleep| Would be better if Stella hadn’t recently decided that she could only sleep when directly on my face.

Clothes| With today’s weather (high of 34 degrees!), all I really want to wear is a Snuggie.

Cravings| Peanut butter. Particularly crunchy peanut butter. This is really weird because I actually hate crunchy peanut butter. It’s like whoever was making the peanut butter was too lazy to finish blending it.

Food Aversions| Good news! Not broccoli anymore. We’ve moved on to cabbage. And chicken, which smells like a dead animal to me (that’s what it is… so…).

Symptoms| None really. Unless you count the terrible calf and foot cramps that showed up yesterday.

Movement| The difference in movement between Garfield and Stella is ridiculous. I not sure if there’s actually a difference or if I’m just noticing the movement more, but whoa. There’s just so much.

Belly Button| In… for now.

Baby’s Position| According to the ultrasound, head down. Which would be awesome and exciting if I was 40 weeks pregnant, not so much at 25 weeks.

Highlight of the Week| Final ultrasound and finding out that I don’t have to drink the neon orange glucose drink.

What I miss|  Not waking up with a terrible calf cramp.

30 day yoga challenge: Day 9

I’m 9 days into the 30 day yoga challenge and I have to say it’s going… well. Kind of. For the first 5 days or so, I was killing the challenge. There was yoga-ing, there was documenting, and then…. Then there was a stomach virus. A really bad stomach virus. I don’t get sick often (other than colds) and I don’t have morning sickness when pregnant (that sound is me knocking on ALL THE WOOD), so having a stomach virus was pretty debilitating for me. I came home from work on Friday mid-morning, got into bed, and basically didn’t get out of bed until Saturday evening.

Needless to say, there was no yoga on Friday or Saturday or Sunday. Really there wasn’t much of anything on those days. Except for self-pity. There was lots of self-pity.

Now the virus is gone, the self pity is (mostly) gone, and the yoga is back. Sean and I have rearranged our evening childcare duties so that I have time for exercise, yoga, and hypnobabies (and sometimes blogging…). It’s been an adjustment, but its working pretty well and we’re both being flexible (yoga pun intended).

Here’s a selfie from tonight’s practice and, if you look closely, you can see my newly gained baby bump!

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Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks

Guys! I finally got a baby bump!

Just when I was starting to be convinced that I was just going to look chubby for this entire pregnancy, a bump appeared. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to have a round belly. Did that sound vain? I feel like that sounded more vain and vapid than I meant for it to. Oh well. Just know that what I meant was I’m super excited that people can finally tell that I’m pregnant by looking at me instead of wondering if I’m pregnant or just had a big lunch.

In case you missed it, here’s my last (also first!) update for this pregnancy.

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Le Bump

And now for the actual update:

How far along| 22 weeks. More than halfway through!

Baby’s Size| According to the interwebz, about the size of a spaghetti squash. According to my back, much much larger than a spaghetti squash.

Weight Gain| 10-ish pounds. This one is hard since I don’t ever weigh myself so I’m not sure how much I weighed pre-pregnancy.

Sleep| Oh, the insomnia. Seriously. Is this normal?

Clothes| All the maternity pants.

Cravings| Orange sherbet. I had a stomach virus this weekend and was reunited with orange sherbet, which I haven’t had since I was about 6, and now I’m obsessed with it.

Food Aversions| Still broccoli.

Symptoms| Back pain. Some heartburn (for the first time ever, btw).

Movement| So so much. Stella has now been getting kicked and she’s not really a fan.

Belly Button| In.

Baby’s Position| Who knows? She moves a lot.

Highlight of the Week| Getting the baby bump!

What I miss|  Still booze. Also sleeping for more than a 2-3 hour stretch at a time.

It’s baaack!

That’s right. My now somewhat annual 30 day yoga challenge has returned! This is when I challenge myself to practice yoga for at least 20 minutes a day and document it in someway. Last time I did the challenge, the documentation was to take a picture of a pose AND blog about each practice. I’m under no illusions that that’s going to happen this time around, so I altered the challenge a bit. Starting today look for semi-regular posts about my yoga practice.

To ease into this (and, yes, I did have a yoga practice today), I wanted to share my home yoga “studio.” It’s in our guest room/office/yoga studio and I kind of love it. So much, in fact, that when Garfield (that’s what we’re calling new baby right now) arrives, she and Stella will be sharing a room just so I don’t have to give up my Martha space. There’s nothing fancy about this space. It’s just tidy and has enough room for me to roll and my mat and practice in peace.

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