I’m still participating in the March Photo a Day Challenge,but because my Instagram photos feed into the blog widget about 1/3 of the way down the page for your viewing convenience, I’ve decided to post a weekly recap of photos instead of trying to post them here every day. So here are days 2-8 for this year’s challenge, and then below those are the same days for my challenge last year that I never did share on Nikki by example or on NBE’s instagram.
It has rained for almost two straight weeks in my world. Rain isn’t terrible, and I know we need it, and sometimes I even like it. Sometimes, the rain feels right. But not when it rains continuously for days on end. Luckily the sun came out this weekend and the earth is starting to dry up, but I just saw the weather forecast for this coming weekend and, guess what? It just might snow again!
The birth of my son was pretty uneventful. Everything went so smoothly thanks to the amazing work of my medical care team, from all of the information and preparation I received from my midwives leading up to childbirth to the care we received from the labor and delivery nurses in the hospital. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. So, if you’re in need of a happy, positive story to ease your own nerves about labor and delivery, I gladly offer up mine. Just keep in mind that every person’s experience will be different.
March 24 was the magical date that my son was expected to enter the world. I knew from the very beginning that he wouldn’t be born on his estimated due date, as only about 5% of babies are, and I really did believe he wouldn’t be here until April based on more recent research for predicting when babies to first-time moms would be born. Nonetheless, I still felt a little disappointed when we watched March 24 come and go.
And then another week passed and the doctor’s appointments started to double up: two per week to check amniotic fluid and to perform non-stress tests to make sure the baby was doing all right. When the thought of my complication-free pregnancy turning into an emergency situation entered my mind and my midwives started talking about induction, I got really nervous and was even more ready for the baby to get here. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too much longer.
Saturday night, April 1, I started having light contractions around 11:30 pm. I had experienced some mild contractions the previous week but they eventually faded away, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up this time around. However, when 4 AM rolled around and they weren’t going away, I knew it was the real thing. We alerted the family that it had begun. Although the contractions were getting slightly stronger, they were still few and far between. I labored at home for the rest of the day on Sunday, April 2, until almost 7 PM when we decided to head on the hospital. When we checked in and the midwife measured me, I was already dilated almost 6 cm! I labored at the hospital for another 5 hours until my contractions were lasting about 2 minutes and coming every 3-4 minutes apart.
At this point, I had been contracting for more than 24 hours and I was completely exhausted. The contractions felt so much more painful when I was sitting or lying down so I stayed on my feet almost this whole time, walking around, swaying, and breathing through each one. Every time I would feel it coming on, I would grab Nick’s wrists and we would sway together while I breathed deeper than I had ever breathed in my life. I could tell he was getting tired, too, because he had to stand there and sway with me through each 2-minute long contraction and then do it again less than 3 minutes later. I was seriously so tired that all I wanted to do was sit down, rest, and even sleep. The only way to do that was to get an epidural, which I had been against the entire 41 weeks I was pregnant.
But exhaustion is a powerful thing. It will make you do things you never thought you would do, which, for me, was agreeing to get the epidural. I’m not sure I would have had the energy or strength to bring my son into the world if I hadn’t. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle with the decision because I certainly did.
For hours I struggled with whether I wanted it or not. I was tired and I wanted to sleep but I was also scared of the procedure and I thought it would make me feel like I had lost control of the situation. In the end, the exhaustion won and around midnight on April 3rd, I asked for the epidural. And I have to admit to you now that this was the best decision I could have made for myself. Sure, I lost all the feeling in my legs but I was able to sleep for about 6 hours and when the time came, I was more than ready to give birth.
The only real downside to the epidural was that it made me a little nauseated and it slowed my contractions while I slept. I threw up once and the nurses gave me some anti-nausea medicine, which also helped me sleep. In the morning, they gave me a tiny bit of Pitocin to get the contractions back up to speed. Around 8 AM, the midwife checked me again and could actually see my son’s head starting to make its way down! Everyone in the room – my care team, my parents, Nick, and I – started to get ready for delivery. Amazingly, I only had to push for about 20 minutes or so and, at 8:50 in the morning, he came right out.
Sebastian Armando was born on April 3, 2017, weighting 6 lbs 11 oz and measuring 21 inches, and sporting a full head of hair. His eyes were open and he was completely alert when they laid him on my chest. He looked up at me and I cried. Nick kissed his little head and I cried some more. It was the most breathtaking moment I think I’ve ever experienced in my life.
He’s the most perfect little being in the whole world and I’m already so in love with him that it hurts. I love his hair, his smell, all of his adorable little sounds, and even his angry little cries when he feels he isn’t being fed quickly enough. He’s mostly chill like his father but can get very feisty like me. He’s the absolute best! And I’m very excited to see where this journey is going to take us.
Stay tuned for more of my adventures in mommy hood.
Happy Sunday! Welcome back to my weekend series where I attempt to put you in a good mood and set a positive note to the coming week by serenading you with songs I can’t get out of my head and showing some happy highlights from the past week.
This Sunday’s serenade is Addicted by Morgan Page featuring Greg Laswell. I don’t really know much about either artist except that Greg Laswell has collaborated with Sara Bareilles (my #2 favorite female artist of all time) on a song called Come Back Down (google it!). Anyway, I was checking out some of the curated playlists on Spotify when I came across this song and recognized the artist. I really like the beat of this one so I listen to it a lot while I’m editing documents at work. I dare you to listen to it without humming along.
Top 5 Awesome Things:
1. Voting. The NC primary is March 15, but Nick and I voted early so we missed the lines and the crowd. When I was younger, I didn’t care for or understand politics but as I’ve gotten older I realize how important it is to elect representatives that will make policies for your state (and our nation) that will lift people up instead of tearing them down. If you’re 18 or over, register and vote! It’s your civic responsibility.
2. Spring. I’m so excited for Spring! Since I’ve been trying to put more effort into my health, I started taking 15-minute walks around the block where I work each day. Not only is it good for your body to get up and walk around, but it helps clear my head so I can regain focus on my work when I get back to my desk. The weather has been gorgeous for my walks this past week, and I snapped this one because of the beautiful sky and bright daffodils. Yay, spring!
3. Date night. Spring weather means patio dinners on date night. This was a newer restaurant that we’re just now getting around to trying called Juju Asian Tapas, and as you might have guessed, they serve small plates of asian-style food. It was really good but we were more excited about sitting outside on the patio by the fire. I love date nights!
4. Chico. I love this baby boy and this picture looks like it could be a painting so I wanted to share. <3
5. Selfie. Nothing wrong with a little self-love and a cute picture!
That’s it. I hope enjoyed my serenade and have a lovely week!
Hi, I’m Nikki. This is where I blog about my life and style. I’m a wife, a new mother, sushi lover, coffee drinker, and a social justice warrior. Welcome to my little corner of the world where I try to lead by example!