Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Regular Day Schedule - 2 Toddlers

There are few things I like reading more than schedules of moms in a similar state of life, even though most of them are pretty much the same. So here is mine. For semi-anonymity I am referring to my children by their ages, since they didn't ask to be on the internet 😉. I currently have a 1 year old (14 months ish) and 2 year old (34 months ish). 

Day in the Life

5 AM - This is when I aim to wake up each day. My husband also wakes up at the same time to workout. Depending on how many times the 1YO got up throughout the night sometimes this gets pushed, but the day goes significantly better when I do get up at this time.

I am currently doing the Meg Hunter Kilmer A Year in the Word Bible journal except I do not currently write in the journal (saving it for a future year). I like it a lot more than Bible in a Year because I can read everything and go back and re-read because I'm tired etc. Then I usually do some intercessory prayer and a morning offering. Then I do some online "work" / maybe read until someone wakes up. * 

*As with basically everything, this can get shortened if the 1YO wakes up, but he usually sleeps until 6:30 ish

6:30 AM - I wake up the 2YO, this involves waking up the 1YO too because he is in our bed so for safety reasons my husband or I need to be right near him so he doesn't fall off the bed. Ideally, just the 2YO would be woken at this time to get some 1:1 time with him and because he needs more awake time before his nap than the 1YO does. I wake him up by turning the light on in the hallway and then he says that he is awake if he is up. If he doesn't say this then I usually just open his door so we know right when he wakes up. He sleeps on a floor bed and we don't have stairs to worry about. We all hang out in his room for a bit until it is time to make breakfast

This was previously 7AM before DST. 

7AM - I start making breakfast. 90% of my time inside the 1YO follows me around wanting to be picked up, if he is like that when I need to make breakfast I put him in the high chair and he is usually happy with that. I normally make some variations of eggs, toast, sausage, and fruit (right now grapes). 

I clean up breakfast, the 2YO plays, I might be also holding the 1YO. 

We do morning prayer. This consists of going to our altar table in the family room, me lighting a candle if the 1YO is in his high chair still, if he isn't I've been using a fake one. We have been saying the opening prayer from this book, then I do a free-form morning offering, and intentions

8AM ish - Get everyone dressed for the day, brush teeth

If we go out of the house (spots we frequent are the library, grocery store, MOMs group, playground, daily Mass, Adoration, farm) then we aim to do that in the first "chunk" of the day. The 1YO takes two naps but the first nap is usually pretty "rough" so it is easier if he just takes a quick nap in the car or in the stroller or carrier when out and about. If we aren't going anywhere then he nurses to sleep then I put him down in his room. 

I pack a snack or everyone eats one before we leave depending on where we are going

11:30am - We eat lunch around this time every day. Popular lunch items are leftovers, cheese & crackers, sandwiches, mac & cheese, and always fruit iykyk. I occasionally make my husband's lunch for the next day at this time

12:30pm - I put the 2YO down for his nap. He gets tucked in then I pray, play the "I'm thinking about game", then lay with him for a bit while the 1YO crawls around. 

The 1YO is usually up for 3-4 hours ish at a time, depending on how short his 1st nap was he is usually ready to nurse to sleep shortly after the 2YO goes to bed. I do try and arrange the 1YO's nap so he is asleep at the same time as the 2YO. 

2:30pm /2:45pm ish- I usually wake up the 2YO around now so he can go to bed for the night at a reasonable time. This time was later before DST. He eats a snack after he wakes up and we play something together, usually I-Spy, cars, kinetic sand, or magnatiles

3:30pm - I make sure the 1YO is up around this time (he is normally already awake). We all play something together or sometimes take a walk 

I start making dinner when my husband gets home and we usually eat by 5:15 ish. 

I do laundry every day or every other day during the week and have an ongoing pile usually of clothes that need to be put away. I don't fold the kid's clothes to save time. That and dishes are the only chore-type things that regularly get done during the day due to 1YO mostly always wanting to be held.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Catholic Christmas Gifts for Kids

I thinkkkk I have completed all of my Christmas shopping. I really tried to get it all done before Advent this year so it wouldn't take up time during Advent, but something else will probs come up. We do the something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. The something you need doubles as a "want" usually. I also put little things in stockings. 

Here is a round up of Catholic gifts for kids, I might add more later as I think of things, I might not.

I don't have this, so not sure exactly how large it is in real life but kids love taking things out and putting them back in. Would love to see a little carrying the little Holy Fam around.

Bruno asks to play "Saint puzzle" almost every day. Sometimes I say, "can you find 'X' letter?" or ask him to find the different Saints. There are little quotes or bits of biographical information about each Saint on the back, as well as their feast day. Bruno is really into asking what each Saint's feast day is. 

These blocks are probably my favorite Catholic gift ever. I'm planning on starting a yearly tradition of using the fun Jen Fulwiler Saint of the Year Name Generator  to pick a patron Saint for the year for all members of my family, then buying the Saint block for each of the Saints (assuming a block exists for that Saint), then having the people in my family pick a block out of the hat and claiming that Saint as their patron Saint buddy for the year. I plan on doing this during the calendar New Year, not "Catholic New Year". Anyways, the pictures on these blocks are so lovely and they can be stacked, or put in vehicles for play. We keep ours on our little altar table. 

I got this book for Peter, even though it's kinda for me because he isn't really into toys but it will keep his attention at Mass for a few minutes. 

I don't have this book but it looks super sweet. It is about the Saints and their animal friends! 

We have a different set of Saint magnets but I like these more because they are a little more substantial since they are wood. I like playing "find the Saint" with Bruno and Peter enjoys taking magnets off the fridge where he can reach.

This etsy shop has fleece blankets or the swaddle material swaddles you can get with custom Saint names. You can also request the Saint image or symbols you want too. When P was born, I got a 'Peter Vianney' blanket with images of St. Peter, St. John Vianney, keys, a cross, and a rosary. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

In honor of National Breastfeeding week, JK I just wanted to capture my thoughts on breastfeeding since it takes up a significant amount of my life and because I have time to type this (I quit my job).

I love nursing. It seems kind of odd that I can love something as utilitarian as feeding a child, I do not have the same feelings about baby led weaning or feeding toddlers solid food (this is one of my lesser favorite tasks actually). Before actually having kids I naively thought I would nurse but then have Brendan give the baby 1 bottle at night. I do not think I understood that that would mean I would need to pump while the baby had the bottle. Having a little break sounded nice at first but in reality this meant needing to wash bottles and pump parts and pump which in my mind is a million times more of a hassle than nursing! I realize this is not the case for everyone!

I have been nursing for the last 801 days. It seems like not that big of a deal and it isn't but it does impact a lot like:

What you are able to wear. I wear anything that can be pulled up, pulled down, or with buttons. The actual "nursing" tops are not cute at all but they are super practical and are actually my favorite because of the ease

What you can eat. Idk if I'll go more into this but I didn't have dairy for a few months with my 2nd child which was a BIG deal because 90% of my diet was cheese. Otherwise I am not too restrictive but it is still something I keep in mind, especially when having alcohol or caffeine or broccoli. Also I have never experienced hunger like breastfeeding hunger, especially toddler nursing hunger like I would literally feel dizzy and famished

When you can leave the house. Basically if I want/need to leave the house without a baby I need to leave right after I feed them to have a window where I am comfortable enough leaving them and won't worry about them being hungry. I have been without this 2nd baby for sure less than 10 times. I'm not saying this to complain, if I really wanted to make it happen I could but the advance planning/ pumping is not worth it to me. 

Symbiotic relationship. Idk what else to call this point but before actually living it I don't think I realized that nursing very much so takes the mother and her needs into account not just the baby's. If I go longer without feeding a baby my body is also impacted. I have yet to get mastitis or a clogged duct but especially at the beginning it is also going through my mind, like I don't mind a baby clusterfeeding as much because it is also helping me out 

With the first child, I fed on a schedule and on demand. I did the wake up to feed thing at night and during the day until the Dr. gave the okay to stop. So basically, I didn't let the baby go longer than 3 hours without a nursing session but during the day especially this usually was around 2 hours. After I got the ok to not wake to feed, I didn't wake the baby at night anymore but during the day I'm pretty sure I capped all naps at 2 hours and would feed on average every 2 hours. I think I read this in Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding or something from the La Leche League but it is impossible to overfeed a breastfed baby so basically whenever the baby cried I nursed and that was my go to. I had a planned trip when baby was about a month old or else I probably wouldn't have ever used a pump. I got a Lansinoh one that the insurance covered and I don't have anything to compare it to but it was, fine. I remember being super intimidated by the thing and think I tasked Brendan with figuring out how to set it up. I reached out to the La Leche League for help getting the baby to take a bottle and watched some videos on "paced bottle feeding". I honestly don't know how to give a baby a bottle, Brendan was the only one who did this idk how it went. When my first child was around 10 months he stopped taking a bottle but before that there were no issues. This probably happened because there was a big stretch of time between the first time he had a bottle and the next (like months).

With my first kid I was always worried about my milk supply tanking if I went too long in between feedings. 

Nursing During Pregnancy

My milk supply dropped drastically when I was pregnant with my 2nd child (totally normal) and I continued nursing my first child the whole time. I read Adventures in Tandem Nursing which I recommend. I didn't experience any nursing aversions but if I did it would be helpful to know that that I wasn't going insane. 

Things That Are Different With My 2nd 

I don't remember my milk coming in being as much of a "thing" with my 2nd because I was still nursing another kid while I gave birth (not literally but ya know). I think it is also common for milk to come in faster in general with children after the first. I also didn't experience any pain during nursing (at least none that I recall), I did have some for the first few weeks the first time around. Actually, this is worth mentioning now that I think about it, with my first child, when latching on one side (slacker side) it reallllly hurt like say a bad word hurt for the first week or so. I didn't see a lactation consultant but I always tried to get a good latch. With my 2nd kid, I didn't worry about examining the latch or making sure it was "good" after the first week probably. I also didn't worry as much about my milk supply. In one of my 2nd kids follow up appointments, like the ones that happen the day or so after you are discharged, jaundice was mentioned and after that I realllllllly kicked it into high gear and made a big effort to make sure I nursed all the time, which is really hard with a super sleepy baby who has his days and nights mixed up. I nursed at least every 2 hours (maybe 3 at night) and made sure to do all the massage stuff etc. to keep him awake for a "full feeding". I would nurse for 20 min max each side with my first child, but with the 2nd after he made up his birth weight I would only do 1 side at a time if he felt content unless it was the last feed before bed. Oh in case you are wondering the turn out with the jaundice, at the follow up appointment in 2 days or whenever it was, baby got the all clear and made up his birth weight + some and I texted Bren that I kicked jaundice's a**. Not sure if that is what actually happened but it does feel like SO much pressure for the mom because I really felt like I needed to make it my sole mission those few days to feed the baby as much as possible. I also never bothered introducing a bottle and am more chill on the waking during naps because of frequent night wakings (the former could be the cause for the latter who knows)

The Good

After you make it out of the stressful newborn days when you can be super worried if your baby is getting enough to eat (I empathize so much with this struggle as it really feels like it is all on you) nursing is really quite lovely! I like the ease of not having to worry about amounts, as the baby can just stop when they are content and it is impossible to overfeed according to la leche league or something. You don't have to worry about cleaning, sanitizing, proper temperatures, that stuff realllllly stressed me out. It is nice having a basically guarantee way to calm a baby and knowing that you will never run out of food

cute (imo) baby pic to balance out all the text. also disclaimer, this is obvi not a recommendation or medical advice. this is just my experience!

small baby

Sunday, April 9, 2023

P birth story

 Please forgive the bad grammar and typos I wrote this 1 handed while nursing/ also due to regular me. 

At the beginning of my pregnancy the Dr. said we would be monitoring the baby’s size because of my first child's shoulder dystocia, but for some reason I thought I would most likely be late again and be induced.

At all of the ultrasounds until the 34 week ultrasound, baby was measuring average, 1 week ahead, which was the same as B on his last ultrasound. The 34 week ultrasound, the baby was measuring “huge” 92 percentile overall and 99th percentile for the abdomen which I guess is indicative of shoulder dystocia having a higher risk of occurring again. After hearing this I was like oh dang, my dr. is def going to talk to me about an evacuation plan, but again, for some reason I didn’t think this would mean a c-section. The next day, at my doctor appointment the Dr. said because of the ultrasound on the previous day she would need to schedule a c-section. In retrospect I should’ve expected this but I started crying (think bc of hormones and because of the lifelong implications this would have). The dr thought it was because of the death to the birth I had planned that I was crying, but this wasn’t the case, if this was an isolated event I probably would’ve preferred a c-section (well, maybe if I didn’t also have a toddler to carry). 

I googled stuff about previous shoulder dystocia, c-section recovery, and future pregnancy after c-section stuff. I even called this midwife group to try and switch doctors but it was too late in the pregnancy for another Dr. to accept me. One of my biggest things was feeling like what if that ultrasound was wrong and I was going to have this major life altering surgery because of it? I would feel awfullllll though if something happened to the baby and I denied my doctor’s suggestion to have a c section so I didn’t realistically think I would be able to do that. I also feel like if the Dr. is going to be delivering the baby she can call the shots on the method of delivery that she thinks is safest. 

It took me about a week to get on board with the c-section. It was scheduled for the morning of 1/17, I ordered lots of recovery supplies and even had my bell all set to ring for when I needed something from Bren or my mom.

I was so caught off guard with the c section news at that appointment that I’m not totally aware of what the options were for me not to need a c section, but I think they were me going into labor before 1/17 or the next ultrasound being a lot different which my dr. Made it seem like I shouldn’t count on based on how extreme on the large side the previous one was.

My next and final ultrasound was at 38 weeks on 1/10. The baby was measuring totally average at this one! I’d also like to add that the same ultrasound tech that did my other average ultrasounds did this one. My doctor acted very surprised as well and said there wasn’t a need for a c-section but scheduled me to be induced 1/17! My fundal height was also measuring totally average this time around. I was 3 cm dilated. I had that non stress test or whatever it's called when you sit in a comfy chair all hooked up to things to make sure the baby was all good at this appointment too, just because there was very little growth from the previous ultrasound to this one or something. 

I waited until after the birth to return all my c-section recovery stuff, just in case. 

Actual Birth

I called the hospital the morning of the 17th to see if there were any beds( I think I was scheduled to come in at 4 or 5 am) There weren’t any open and they said they would call me back when there were. Around 6 I called and they told us to come on in. At 7:15 am ish I was started on Pitocin and had a super painful cervical check that caused me to audibly swear. Cervical checks are probs the worst part of pregnancy for me tbh. For my 1st birth, there was a nurse and a training nurse or a new nurse so only having 1 nurse this time made it feel a little less legit and I was pretty skeptical because I realllllly liked the 2 nurses last time but didn't feel that way this time. Bren tried to reassure me that this nurse seemed fine. I had some cranberry juice, at 8:30 am my dr broke my water. This also hurt more than I remembered. I started really feeling contractions after that. I moved to the ball and audibly swore for painful contractions I think, a doula or coach I think would be really helpful to talk you through the pain or being in a tub would probably feel good but moving also feels like a lot of work when you are all hooked up. My only “birth plan” was wanting to def have the epidural before it was too late. I wasn’t doing a good job at offering up my suffering through the contractions and I think Bren was like these are really painful just get the epidural. I got the epidural at 10 am ish. I moved for 1 part I remember, it is pretty scary worrying you’ll get a contraction during it. After the epidural I remember saying a lot, I don’t remember it hurting this much last time. I thought it was maybe because the Pitocin contractions were just that much more than regular ones? Because last time I could feel the contractions but they weren’t painful. This time they were def still painful but not as painful as they would be with 0 medication I’m assuming. Finally, I asked the nurse are you sure nothing is wrong because I can feel a lottttt. Guess what, the epidural wasn’t hooked up or something so I only got the “test dose”! Not really sure how that happened, but then a different anesthesiologist nurse came in and probs gave me like “too much” because then I couldn’t feel anything at all, couldn’t move my legs. Sometime right before or right after realizing my epidural wasn’t working I was at 10 cm. Everything happened really quickly after that but felt super calm. My dr. was there and had a student doctor or something help. I think I reiterated the shoulder dystocia stuff, obvi my doctor knew but I told them to just lmk what I needed to do to get the baby here safely. I kept saying I can’t feel my legs at all good luck having me push but somehow the nurses/ my doctor / Bren telling me when to push was working even though I didn’t feel like I was doing anything.

Baby was born at 11:25 am, think the delivery was only 8 minutes. I didn’t need to worry about the nurse, I was like sobbing thanking everyone and was so happy and like in shock at how easy the delivery was and that the baby was safe. The golden hour stuff that everyone talks about happened, baby latched quickly. I didn’t have the golden hour last time but didn’t really know any different. I was so in love with this baby I can’t describe it in words, I’m also very sleep deprived still because of this baby. 

Baby was 8.11 oz and 21 inches long, so 1 ounce bigger than his brother. If the ultrasound showed his actual weight, I think the c section would’ve still happened. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

2021 Girls Gift Guide


fleece leggings

I have been wearing these for the past 4 days.

sisters nightdress

the nightgown that I got from here over the summer doesn't look like it is available anymore but it is probably the favorite item I purchased this year. I love everything from this brand! most of the dresses are nursing friendly too

no clue if these are actually good knives, but they're pretty

  I keep coming back to these. No clue if I will ever wear non-slip on shoes again

coffee gift subscription

this potentially was on my gift guide last year. subscriptions are the gift that keeps on giving! I got this for my dad because he doesn't really like any gifts, just started drinking coffee a few years ago, and only likes whole bean single-origin coffee. He won't read this

paper bag

I  need to brainstorm about what all I could store in these. I like the ones that are brown on the bottom with gold on top the most.

I am terrible at following directions but these look fun

I don't really even bring anything on trips but I loveee these. Love how they are magnetic and how they  look together

2021 Christmas Gift Guide for Babies

I LOVE baby things. This year the only things on my list were baby things. Here are some of my faves, since Christmas is only however many days away def look into the shipping ETAs if you are actually ordering anything and want it by Dec. 25th.

Baby Ball Pit

Crate & kids also has one but it looks like it doesn't ship until April, there are also a ton on Amazon etc. that  look similar. The one above doesn't have balls (Maisonette also has the ball pit pictured above with balls). I like these because they aren't an eyesore, baby's like throwing balls, and for wobbly sitters this is a nice thing to play in. 

I consider stacking rings or stacking cups a baby must! My mom got different ones for Bruno for his feast day and he loves them! He started playing with them at 4 months and mostly just mouths them but now he is getting more into enjoying knocking them down after they have been stacked. Love a good open-play toy. 

Just thought this was a cute bath toy.

I don't own this toy but I remember my brothers really liked it.

I love all of lovevery's stuff! The play gym is probably my most used baby thing. If there are only specific toys you want from the kits you can look for the same kind of toys on their own. I got one of the "magic tissue" boxes from poshmark and Bruno is super into it (not as into it as me though)

this shop has lots of baby roll neck sweaters and I think they are just the sweetest!

this is probably meant for older than a baby but babies loveee getting things out of  baskets so if you put the foods in low baskets I bet they'd be a fan. I love pretend food and all pretend things SO much lol

    I asked for this for Christmas and someone mighttt be getting it. will report back if he likes it!

a classic

I love the idea of giving different Saints that are special to the child for different occassions. I've given Bruno his first, middle and Confirmation Saint blocks. Young babies can mouth these and bang them together, older babies can stack them, and older kids can pretend play with them. This shop has a TON of different Saints to pick from, there is also a Nativity set which looks cute displayed.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Bruno’s Birth Story

I’m planning on also writing a 3rd trimester recap and my thoughts on Bruno’s first month of life so I won’t include info on that here. If I had to give my birth experience a reddit title it would be “Positive Induction Experience at 40+5, FTM”. 

Birth is one of those unique experiences that everyone who is present and part of the “labor group” that is in the room with you is kinda bonded forever over the shared unique experience. The only thing that it kinda reminds me of is running a  marathon. Similar aspects:

  • You can die in both events
  • A sip of water or snack can give you a much needed boost 
  • You can do a lot to train or you can do nothing
  • A lot of it is mental
  • People who’ve done it love to talk about it
  • People cheering really helps give you a boost

I was scheduled for an induction for May 28th on May 6th if I didn’t go into labor naturally beforehand which spoiler alert I didn’t. I felt pretty neutral about my Dr. recommending I be induced, it was kind of nice to know an “end date” and I trusted her rec even though there wasn’t a specific medical concern. There was some date that the Dr. office I went to basically requires you to be induced so having a planned date a little before that and after my due date didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I want to mention here that I get the need for “due dates” but wish it was more like a due date range that you would get, I did not anticipate the weird mental stuff that would come with going past my due date even though I was well aware of the % of births and FTMs that deliver after their due dates, and I think it is based on a 28 day cycle which mine is on average longer than that. 

The week leading up I pretty much didn’t feel like doing anything besides stalk all of the pregnancy Reddit threads. I worked up until lunchtime on Thursday (the day before the scheduled induction) this might be a good time to mention that all medical things really gross me out, I close my eyes whenever Covid vaccines are shown on TV and the whole pregnancy I was super nervous about labor that I kinda avoided thinking about it. I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (avoided reading the parts about epidurals and anything negative about stuff I maybe would have), I think this book is what made me think I def did not want to have my water broken though. I don’t really remember what was going through my mind the night before, Brendan and I both went to bed early around 9 and I slept super well. I woke up at 4 the next morning and had peanut butter toast for breakfast, knowing it might be the last time I would eat a meal. We were scheduled to be at the hospital by 5AM, I called beforehand to make sure there were still rooms available.

We got to the hospital a minute or so after 5, it felt and I think actually was pretty empty on the labor and delivery floor. Our 1st nurse was super nice and kinda funny/sarcastic. I changed into a hospital gown and kept my sports bra on because it was more comfortable, I don’t remember if I wasn’t thinking of logistics of not being able to take it off or if I thought there would be time before I delivered to take it off. Hope Bruno isn’t reading this but the whole time I def was just worried about making it through the next “thing” and not excited about meeting a baby that day it still didn’t really feel real or something that I was allowed to be excited about because I knew we had to get through lots of other stuff first (induction methods, cervical checks, an epidural, contractions, who knows what else). I think they put an IV thing in me next, I turned the other way and had Brendan hold my hand on the side I was facing and I told them I was a total baby for all things like this.

sally in hospital bed
this is me VERY pregnant in the delivery room

Then the nurse came in to see how dilated I was because that would determine how they would proceed. Judging from the way the check felt I wasn’t too optimistic, I’m assuming I wasn’t more than 2.5 cm (which I was at since they started doing cervical checks at 37 weeks) but she was nice and was just like “you’re gonna need Cervidil”. If I was, I think it was 4cm or more I could’ve started with Pitocin. Getting the Cervidil placed felt the same as a cervical check, it stuck to the nurse’s glove or something at first though so I needed to sit through that twice. Before each thing I would ask the nurse or whoever what will this feel like and would this hurt worse than “X”, and each time they were SOO nice and helpful explaining everything. After that we were supposed to just let the Cervidil do its thing, shortly after my mom showed up YAY. 

The nurses and my Dr. I’m pretty sure was there too, came in to check to see how I was progressing at 9 AM and I don’t remember the #s but whatever it was it was enough to make them think I didn’t need Pitocin. My Dr. was at the hospital at that time and said she would like to break my water and I kinda freaked out because somewhere I read something about that that like worried me but she reassured me it would be fine etc. I had my glasses off intentionally the whole hospital stay and I made sure not to look at whatever she used to break my water. Brendan went to the bathroom right before this but thankfully my mom was there and she held my hand for it so I was okay. I was surprised at how big the gush was and how it just like continuously happens the whole time with the whole water thing it felt pretty gross and warm and I’m sure my mom and Bren appreciated me announcing each time I like felt the water lol. 

A little after 11:30am I got the epidural. The nurse came in before and said the anesthesiologist had an operation at 12:30 or something like that so if I waited longer to get the epidural I would have to wait until he was done with that and I really didn’t want to be like “trapped” in pain waiting for him lol and I felt like I had done enough riding the contractions so it made my decision on when to get it easier. I don’t remember when exactly I felt the first contraction but when it said I had one on the monitor I was like oh I think I have felt one of these before during pregnancy. Contractions do feel like super intense period cramps, I didn’t labor with them too long but it felt like "enough" to me to check the self created box I had for that like, yep I can say I experienced that now. I couldn’t imagine them getting like way stronger than the ones I had up until push time, so def glad I decided to get an epidural. I was on the yoga ball for most of the time until it was time for the epidural and moving around hooked up to all the stuff was kinda annoying to me. I wanted to bite something and pull on a rope, I don’t think I hurt Brendan and there wasn’t a rope in this labor room. I could see why laboring in a tub would be comfortable. The thing with contractions are you do know you’ll get a break when each one ends, it is like that Kimmy Schmidt thing where you can withstand just about anything for 10 seconds (longer in this case but you get it). I still without question knew I wanted an epidural. 

Okay so it is a little after 11:30 am and I think I’m 4cm dilated and the guy comes in to do the epidural, I forget if he and the nurses explained it but whoever did, did an awesome job. I didn’t know that you have to be totally still during one part so I prayed that I wouldn’t have a contraction during that part and yay I didn’t. The scariest part was the staying still the pain wasn’t that bad. It felt kinda like getting a tattoo. Brendan being there with me for everything was immensely helpful.

After I got the epidural I don’t remember it feeling weird, it was hard to move my legs but I still could. I also could tell when I got a contraction but I wouldn’t describe anything I felt from then on as painful like I wouldn’t say “ow” to anything after that which was an ideal experience IMO. I didn't take a nap but I tried to rest but I think Brendan maybe dozed off.  I don't remember what I was thinking about, I didn't watch TV but it was maybe on and I just checked my phone a few times. I don’t think I would’ve minded not being able to feel my legs at all but my mom kept saying how she thought they did a really good job with the ep because of that. I used a peanut ball occasionally and I brought blue Gatorade but it I guess it wasn't considered clear so I couldn't have any but I did have cranberry juice (like right before pushing) and an Italian ice, both REALLY helped and were nice treats. Whenever the nurses checked on my progress they were happy and I forget when the decision was made but they said I wouldn't need Pitocin because I was just moving along fine after my water was broken. The epidural didn't seem to slow down anything at all. Around 1:30pm I was 6cm dilated then by 2:40pm I was 9.5cm dilated which was surprising/cool how stuff can just progress that much and with the epidural it doesn't even hurt! 

I stayed at 9.5 for kinda a while, like the next time the nurse checked me I think I was still there but then the next time which was probably a little before 5pm she said I was ready to push (which at the time I was kinda nervous for because I was thinking how can you have an entire baby and it not really hurt but was assured it would just feel like pressure probably). At first I pushed just maybe not holding onto anything which seems super weird, and then the nurses had me hold onto the handle bar things on the side of the bed, and then the last way was holding onto a towel that the nurse held the other side of like tug of war. I pushed for around an hour I think. Bren kept saying after how I didn't talk at all, I think I just didn't wanna waste my energy and wanted to have the baby. Having my mom and Brendan cheering on either side was absolutely what I needed right then and really helped me keep going. The 2 nurses were amazing and all their cheering really helped too. Someone in there saying the wrong thing woulda been extremely detrimental to me during this time. The only thing it reminded me of was wall sits or something similar to that in a sports practice LOL. Idk why but before I didn't anticipate like a workout portion (probs because I kinda avoided thinking too much about labor), the time for a quick break after each contraction/ push really helps you gear up for the next one. At some point the nurse mentioned me needing to put on an oxygen mask because of the baby's heart rate and idk why I wasn't thinking like "the baby needs you to do this" but I was like I won't be able to do this with a mask on I'm like claustrophobic and she didn't make me but I did try putting the mask on and after a second of like AHH it was fine and didn't bother me much and it did help the baby's heart rate or whatever they were worried about. During the pushing I remember asking all of the "physically strong" Saints I could think of to intercede along with everyone in the room's patron Saints repeatedly. 

At some point they got the doctor. I think this was after they had already said something about seeing the baby's head and hair color which was really encouraging because besides the positive cheers it was hard to tell how much progress or close you were getting, like you really couldn't but when they saw the head it was like omg this is getting close/real. Now idk how long it was really scary because remember I didn't have glasses on and I actually am pretty sure my eyes were mostly closed besides a few times I would look at my mom or Brendan but I guess the baby's cord was wrapped around his neck and the Dr. had to do some smooth maneuver to get his shoulder out. My mom was crying which I knew but I thought it was because like "omg this is so beautiful witnessing a birth and not omg this is super scary he might die". Brendan also said afterwards how scary it was, so I'm SOOO glad I was unaware because I could've freaked out and my pushing coulda been impacted. When I was actually pushing him out I could feel that unlike the other pushes when it didn't feel like I was pushing anything but again, nothing painful! Bruno was born at 6:18pm (ha my mom was mad I left my sports bra on but the nurse skillfully lifted it over the IV somehow and said she had the same kind/ really liked it lol so we could do skin to skin). He was 8lbs. 10 oz. and 21 inches long. This was also a shocker, I expected a 6 or 7 lb. baby but not having any indication before worked in my favor because that woulda just been another thing that worried me! Also shocker, he was conventionally pretty cute, I was expecting him to look like a baby picture I had just seen of Brendan as a newborn. I had to ask Brendan after to check but we didn't attempt nursing until the 2nd room where you sleep and stuff. I kept saying "hi baby" and double checking with the Dr. that he was okay because I was in disbelief that we made it. I obvi cried while holding him, even the nurses were crying after he was born. 

baby B with the eye medicine stuff on

Brendan holding him for possibly the 1st time

I consider my mom and Brendan essential to this whole thing and feel grateful in a way I am having difficulty to describe. The (labor/delivery) nurses were also amazing.

In typical me fashion this is really long and ridden with typos and run on sentences but glad I have it for the mems!