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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Pregnancy Essentials

My baby girl is 8 weeks already! Where has the time gone?

I wanted to write down things that helped me throughout my pregnancy. Luckily, I had a very easy, stress-free pregnancy...even the first trimester was a breeze; no morning sickness, no nausea, no nothing.

But, of course, there were things that helped me feel more "comfortable" during pregnancy, so I thought I'd share.


  • Water and Belvita bars. Before I ever got pregnant, I had stomach issues. I'd have to eat throughout the day, like every 2 or 3 hours I had to eat a little something. Most of the time, it was a banana or apple or sometimes, even a bag of chips. Now, when I became pregnant, it intensified. I literally had to eat almost every hour or two. This became a problem during the school year because us teachers only get so many "breaks". So, I bought a whole Costco size box of Belvita bars and a extra large water tumbler to keep in my classroom. It saved me! All I needed was a little something in my belly, to hold me over until lunch time.
  • Pregnancy pants. Get a pair of either maternity yoga pants or maternity jeans. I got mine from Stitch Fix and I love them! I even wore them the first few days after delivery. Yes, they're expensive, but they're so worth it!
  • Pregnancy pillow. I have this one  and it was so nice to have when I was 7, 8 and 9 months pregnant. Once I started to have a belly, it was hard to toss and turn to get comfortable at night. I would just lay my belly on this pillow and it elevated the weight of my belly.
  • Belly Butter. I never got any stretch marks during my pregnancy, but my belly was always itchy. I loved this belly butter by Burt's Bees. 



What helped you during pregnancy?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What no one tells you...


My baby girl is one month old as of the 16th. I think now is a good time to write some things no one tells you about labor and delivery...well, no one told me at least.

WARNING: this post might have TMI, but I'm just being honest about my first experience giving birth. 

*This is my experience as a first time mom. Everyone's birth experience is different. 

  • Your water can "break" multiple times. 
    • I got admitted after my water broke at home. The doctor came in to check me and he questioned me asking, "are you sure your water broke? because I feel it's still there between the cervix and the baby".... So, yes...my water broke at home and the doctor broke it again.
  • Contractions feel like constant period cramps that won't go away, well, for those few seconds/minutes. They aren't stabbing pains or unbearable, just uncomfortable and annoying. At least that's the experience I had with contractions. 

  • Getting the epidural didn't hurt at all. Some women, I know, are scared of needles or pain, but this hurt less than when the nurse put the IV needle in my arm. 
    • Side note about the epidural: they send your partner outside while the anesthesiologist puts the epidural in. I guess too many partners have passed out while watching this being done, so they just send all husbands out of the room (at least my hospital did).

  • Once your epidural is in, your contractions and your progress might stall or go backwards.
    • This was the case with me. Once my epidural was in, my contractions weren't progressing like the nurse and doctor wanted to.

  • The nurses do way more work than the doctor. 
    • I was in the same labor and delivery room for around 30 hours. The doctor was maybe in my room for a total of one hour throughout my whole stay. He came in to check on me every few hours. But, it was the nurse and my husband who stayed with me, helped me push, gave me ice chips and everything else that goes along with labor and delivery. I tell everyone that Mike and the nurse, Katie, delivered our baby. The doctor was in the room to actually deliver our baby and that whole time was probably 10 minutes. And then I never saw him again.
  • It is true what everyone says, "once you see your baby and they're here, you'll forget about all the pain you went through just minutes and hours before." It's weird, but it's true. 

  • After you have your baby, they have to press down on your stomach to make sure everything is out of your uterus...or something like that. 
    • This process hurts. And the nurses have to push on your stomach multiple times a day to check.....something. I'm not really sure why they do this, but I do know it hurts. 
  • You will bleed more than you ever thought was medically normal during the whole process.



The moment you see your baby, your heart will experience a love that you never knew existed. I love you, my baby girl!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It's a...GIRL!

She's here!

Our little Addison made her grand entrance ten days early on July 16th, 2017 at 5:44 pm. We couldn't be more blessed. I'm going to try to retell my birth story while it's still semi-fresh in my head. I wanted to do it right after she was born, but you know...life at home with a newborn is anything but "down time". Now that she's 4-weeks and I she's a bit more predictable, I want to write it down.
In labor... 

It all started on Saturday, July 15th. I was 38 weeks pregnant. Mike woke up bright and early and was at work by his 7 am shift. I woke up around 8 to feed the dogs. When I got up, my water broke; or so I thought. Side note: when I was 32 weeks pregnant, my doctor told me I had "excess amniotic fluid" so I had to be monitored every week to make sure everything was ok. So, my doctor told me that if my water ever broke, that I shouldn't wait for my contractions at home and that I should go straight to the hospital. This was to prevent anything bad that COULD happen. Luckily, nothing 'bad' happened.
...still in labor

Anyways, I got to the hospital and the doctor checked me and said, "you're still only 1 cm and I still feel a sack of water. Are you sure your water broke at home?" which to I responded, "well I know it's not urine and I had to put all my sheets in the wash, so I think so". He ended up breaking 'the rest of my water bag' and that's officially when my labor started.
Holding her for the first time!

So, after walking the hallways, starting IVs and pitocin, I still wasn't making progress on my own. So, they upped my pitocin and gave me an epidural. I got my epidural Saturday night. My labor technically started on Saturday around 10 am, when the doctor broke my water. On Sunday around 2 pm, I started pushing. Too many hours later, at 5:44 pm, Addison was born! We didn't know the sex of our baby, so this was so so exciting!


Our beautiful family of 3!

We love you to the moon and beyond. We now can't even imagine life before you were born...other than we faintly remember what it's like to sleep through the night :) Love you baby girl!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Kristen's Series of Unfortunate Events 2017

I mainly want to document this so I can remember this terrible week. I'm glad everything has worked out and all is alright now. :) Here it goes...

Monday, March 6th -
Morning: Driving to work and I get rear ended. I was stopped for a school bus on the other side of the street and the girl behind me didn't see me stop. She rear ended me going 35-40 mph. Luckily, no one was hurt. I was freaking out because at this point I'm 20 weeks pregnant. I told the paramedics I didn't need to go to the hospital because coincidentally, I had my 20-week ultrasound that afternoon.

Afternoon: The police officer that wrote up the report dropped it off at my school, which was so nice of him. On my way to my OB, I called the girl's insurance company and did all that...not fun.
I get to my OB appointment, everything looks fine, except there's some arrhythmia in the baby's heart and my OB wants me to go see a high-risk doctor in the city. She gives me the number and I call the next day.

Tuesday, March 7th -
During school that day, I was on the phone with the insurance people, the high-risk doctor and my regular OB. My OB wanted me to go sometime this week. Well, the only appointment they could "fit me in" to was Wednesday (the next day) all the way in Evanston, about an hour and a half away from my school. So, I make it. After all, it's not all about me anymore.
I get home Tuesday and my mom has the flu. I call my doctor back and asked her what I should do. She just said, 'stay away from her because you already got the flu shot, just don't risk it.' Fine, I can do that.
So, I go to the store and get my mom some soup. I come home and unpack everything. I also opened the windows and lit a candle to get some fresh air and smells in the house. Well, somehow one of my grocery bags fell into the candle from the wind and my kitchen almost went up in flames. This was the last of the bag after I poured water all over it.


Wednesday, March 8th -
I leave school an hour early to head to Evanston. I make it in time and meet with the high-risk doctor. Thankfully, the doctor didn't hear or see any arrhythmia! I was strapped to an ultrasound monitor for like 45 minutes and they didn't see anything wrong at all. She said it could have been from the accident or the heart just wasn't fully developed yet. Either way, Baby V is healthy as can be, which makes this new mama very happy!!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

First comes love, then comes marriage...

...then comes a baby in a baby carriage.

To add to this busy year for us, we also bought a house and will be moving. We close on our new house March 27th!

I'll do more of a detailed update later. This mama-to-be is exhausted.

Thank goodness tomorrow is President's Day and I don't have to work tomorrow! YES!