Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Birth Story

"Don't get wrapped up in others' birth story. You will create your own."

These were the words spoken to me by the head nurse when I took the labor and delivery tour at the hospital over the summer. For the most part, I stuck to it. Throughout my pregnancy, I listened as women would share all of their stomach-turning details of their birth experience…and I listened to it all with a smile on my face as not to show how I was panicking on the inside.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to share my personal birth story but after much thought, I decided to do it anyway. Sure, there were a lot of tense moments but also some funny ones as well; I wouldn't be true to myself if there wasn't a comical element present throughout my birth experience and thought someone out there might get a laugh out of it…or two.

At 41 weeks and 4 days, I was late. My midwife had me check in to the hospital at 8pm on 10/29 to get the party started. It was eerily quiet down the labor and delivery wing as I was lead down the hallway to room #12 all the way at the end. From there, the nurse (let's call her "R") checked us into the room. No sooner did we get into the room, the complaining started…and it wasn't from me! It was R complaining OUT LOUD that it was a new maternity wing and she did not know where anything was, the computer wasn't working properly and she couldn't find where the linens were stored. I could feel my face getting hot and that is when hubby stepped right in without me even saying a word. As I excused myself to use the bathroom, hubby pulled R aside and politely (but very direct) said to hear to KNOCK IT OFF. "My wife does not need this right now. Stop complaining about what is not here and let's focus on what is."

WOW. I love this guy even more now.

Things seemed to have calmed down immediately so the next step was the Misoprostol pill up my hoohaa to induce labor. Ok, here we go. As R suited up with rubber gloves, I told her to treat this like a first date. Don't shove your fingers up in there forcefully…go easy. Lube up. Buy me a drink at least first! There, I broke the ice after hubby's tongue-lashing of R a few minutes earlier. The last thing I need is for anyone on this floor to be ticked off at me!

Flash forward several hours to where my labor actually started. Holy Mother of God…labor ain't no freakin' joke. My cervix softened up a bit but not a whole heck of a lot. I made it to 4cm dilated and thought I was going to lose it. I tried a warm shower to ease the pain. I tried walking and sitting on the toilet…to no avail. The only position that I could even stand to be in was the hospital bed raised all the way up and my hunching over it grabbing onto a pillow. As a contraction would come on, the sounds that came out of my mouth were something from a sci-fi movie. Grunting, groaning, growling…I scared the shit out of my dear husband and Mom.

At 4cm dilated, I was done. Time for the epidural; I was not trying to be a hero. It was less than a half an hour but seemed like an eternity until the anesthesiologist got there with the meds. Thank God. Her name was Natalie or something with an "N" but I insisted on calling her Stacey because at that moment, it was the only name I could remember. As I sat back as tall as I could on the bed, she told me not to move. Well, try not moving when a contraction hits…almost impossible but I was able to get through two very strong ones and the epidural procedure started. The first pinch was nothing at all…less severe than a bee sting. Next came the epidural. As I could feel my bottom half start to go numb, it was only on the right side. Oh God…I heard stories about this type of thing. Epidurals don't work for every woman and I am praying I am not one of them. I told Stacey that I could still feel my left side and she quickly determined that my hips were not level and she had to re-adjust me. As I re-positioned myself, the rest of the epidural made its was to the left side. Sweet relief is what came in the next 20 minutes...

Moving up to several hours later and a few internal exams, I wasn't progressing. My water did break though and I made it to almost 5cm but then stopped. On my last exam, my midwife said it was like I was moving backwards and we needed to make some decisions. There was also some blood in my urine and the baby's heartbeat was dropping. My decision? Cut me open…let's do this! I want to meet my baby NOW.

After the decision was made, one of the nurses came in to unhook a few things and to shave me down south. I told her it had been a long time since there was any grooming activity down there and it was like the Amazon jungle…so whack away! She was doing me a favor.

As the doc came in to talk to hubby and I about what happens with a c-section, I could feel hubby getting nervous. He is the most even-keeled person I know and does not get excited about many things but I could see the panic on his face and hear the nervousness in his voice. I had to keep him calm and reassure him that a c-section is something that many women get, is routine and we have our trust and faith in God and the people around us. I also think he was worried that he would pass out (but I wouldn't tell him that)!

Within an hour, I was in the OR ready to meet my daughter. As they gave hubby his official OR gown and hat, the staff wheeled me into the OR where a group of people, and possibly the janitor, were there to greet us. My lower half of my body felt like it weighed 400lbs and all I could think of was 1- how comical would it be if they dropped me on the floor and 2- I am glad my hoohah is all trimmed up because the doctor is quite a cute one. I began to shake uncontrollably from the anesthesia but the staff told me it was a normal reaction and not to fight it. It was time for the blue paper curtain to go up…

Before the curtain went up, I told the lead nurse (the one who shaved me) that I was pleased with the job she did and if this whole nursing thing did not work out for her, she had a future in Vajazzling. They began to count off all the medical tools they were using and procedures they were about to perform. I heard them ask "where is Daddy?" as someone lead hubby into the room and sat him down on the stool next to me. He whispered softly to me, with a crackle in his voice, that we are going to meet our daughter soon. Cue the tears…

A little tugging and a little pulling and I hear it. Her first sound. WAAA! Oh my God, I am a Mom! As they lifted her up above the blue paper curtain, I first noticed her hair was dark and she was purple. OMG, where did the dark hair come from? Hubby and I were both super blonde when we were born? Did I get the right sample? Whose kid is this? Shortly thereafter as they were cleaning her up and taking care of all the routine tests etc, I heard her sneeze multiple times in a row. A trait that my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and hubby all have.

I knew she was ours.

Eva Marie
8lbs 4oz
21.5" long
Born 10/30/14 at 5:42pm
Thanks for reading…more to come on being a first time Mom!
Kara

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Baby Update: I am late!

I am late…like 4 days late. With tears welling up in my eyes for each of the past 4 mornings, I wander down the hall into my daughter's room and just stand in there. Sometimes in the dark, sometimes by the light of the rising sun. I am anxious, excited as only one thought pops into my mind:

Eva, when will you be here?

 Handmade artwork from Grandpa and butterflies from Grandma.
 Bed is all ready…just need to fill it!
 This was my Grandma's bedroom furniture from the 70's that we reused. She would be so happy! 
 DIY lamp by me.
 Changing area ready to go. Uncle Bryan made the changing table frame.
 Mirror picked out by Mommy and Grandpa from Old Time Pottery.
 I saw this in Hobby Lobby last week. I started crying in the aisle and new I had to buy it!
 Shelf built and decorated by Cousin Chris.
 Another bedroom piece from my Grandma…they just don't make furniture like they used too!
 If you saw my closet, you would expect nothing less from my baby's closet!
 Mommy and Daddy's diaper bags.
 LOTS of "formal wear."
 This is the first outfit I bought her.
Even Fritz is waiting!

Thanks for reading,
Kara

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Recipe: Easy Sunday Casserole

This is a super easy casserole made with only eggs, shredded cheese, hash browns and milk. If you have 40 minutes, go for it!

Sunday Casserole
6 eggs
1.5 cups of milk +/-
hash browns or tater tots
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. I like to bake in glassware; spray an 8x8 baking dish with canola or olive oil spray.  Line the baking dish with your favorite frozen potatoes; we like the tater tots but you can also use the shredded potatoes as well. Sprinkle a generous layer of shredded cheese over the tots. Blend together the 6 eggs and 1.5 cups of milk (sometimes I use a little more than 1.5 cups to make it extra light and fluffy). Pour over the tots and bake at 350 for 40 minutes depending how golden brown and crispy you like your casserole!





Thanks for reading,
Kara

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baby Room DIY: Flower and Crystal Lamp

I wanted a crystal and "something" lamp for my baby's room in the worst way but was not going to pay a few hundred $ for it. I had an old brass desk lamp that I was going to toss into the Goodwill pile but thought "let me try and see how this could come out." If it did not work out, I am really not losing any money!
I took the old brass lamp and stuffed a piece of paper towel in the bulb area so I would not get any paint in there.
 I took a damp paper towel and wiped down the lamp base to remove any dust or dirt.
After 3 coats of Krylon glossy white spray paint...
VIOLA!
I bought a bunch of mixed blooms from Old Time Pottery...
 …and popped of their heads and trimmed down to the base of the flower.
Armed with my hot glue gun, I started gluing the blooms to the lampshade. If you are not a patient person, this is not the project for you! The lampshade took me several days to complete...
 This is the final product and I could not be happier!
I wired 6 strands of clear crystal together to hang from the lampshade.
3 strands straight down and then 3 linking each strand together.

I used a 15 watt bulb so if I needed to have the light on for a while, the glue holding the flowers on would not melt.
Thanks for reading,
Kara

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Baby Room DIY: Flower Door Knobs

We are finally putting the finishing touches on the baby's room…8 weeks to go! My Dad did a beautiful job on the paint and chair rail for the room and also freshened up the old accordion style doors on the closet. They had some old brass flat round knobs on them that I thought I could do a little DIY project on:








A couple of stems from Old Time Pottery and a hot glue gun and VIOLA! Super cute and easy!

Thanks for reading,
Kara

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Anniversary and Babymoon

Hubby and I recently celebrated 11 years of marriage...wow did time fly by! We also thought it would be a good time for a "last hurrah" before baby gets here in 9 weeks. We decided to check out Naples, FL and we could not be more pleased with our choice. We used the TripAdvisor app to find the hotel and all of the places to eat. It was super helpful and 100% on the money when it came to the feedback!

Bellasera Hotel, Naples FL
Front Entrance
Main Lobby
View from the Cabana
Naples Pier
Beautiful Sunset

This was a sweet little place on Highway 41 called Blueberry's. TripAdvisor rated it one of the best in Naples to we gave it a try...
Fruit French Toast - I wish I was able to finish more than 1 piece but I had no more room left!
Bokamper's is a great place to watch sports and indulge in "bar food." Good stuff behind these doors!
I cannot believe it took me such a long time to discover that I love mahi mahi! The waiter and hubby coaxed me into a mahi mahi sandwich...YUM. I am still thinking about it!
For our anniversary, we wanted to check out an Italian place. TripAdvisor ranked this one a favorite for 2014 and the user reviews rated it one of the best in the area. They were 100% right! The fettuccine was to DIE for. These people are from the Rosedale section of Queens NYC and know what they are doing!
Naples has a TON of shopping and designer resale stores seems to be all over. Of course, I had to pop in...and I am so glad I did. Amongst the LV's, Chanels and other designer brands, I came across the Michael Kors display...
...and scored this little gem for $29! Yep, $29. 

Overall, it was a great little getaway. We will definitely be back!

Thanks for reading,
Kara
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