The Princess Has Arrived! Birth Story

When I last left off, I had just been in a minor car accident on the way to the Specialist’s office at the Fetal and Maternal Office in order to get a biophysical of Baby Girl due to having pregnancy hypertension the last month of my pregnancy. 
We were eventually scheduled to be induced on Monday December 9, 2013 and we were told to report at 11:45pm in order to begin the process around midnight. 
There was a winter storm on the way, so we called my parents and suggested that they get a hotel near the hospital versus trying to make the 45 min trip once I was ready to have the baby (best idea ever!). Although there wasn’t a lot of accumulation, there was enough for it to be slippery and to get stuck in holiday traffic since my hospital is right next to one of the largest malls in the area. 
We repacked our bags and headed out Monday Night around 6pm to meet my parents for an early dinner. 
This is my last pregnancy bump picture – 39 weeks 3 days. 
Gained a total of 17 lbs. 
(Aww just looking at this picture, I miss being pregnant just a little bit – but looking at my princess – I love her more)
On the way to the hospital, my husband told me to check my online medical chart because he saw an email pop up in our joint account that I had a message from my doctor. It’s exactly why I send my medical information to our joint account because two eyes are better than one – the message was that our induction had been pushed to 8pm and not 12am. We would have to rush through dinner and then go straight to the hospital. 
We get there and they tell me that they just had a huge rush of persons in labor and that I would have to wait about an hour before I would be seen to get started. Fine by me! Took that hour to get settled in my labor room and really just calm my nerves and prepare myself for what was about to happen and how it would change my life. 

They came in and hooked me up to the IV and pumped me full of electrolytes. My doctor called me about two times with two different directives to kind of talk through what she wanted to do to induce since she wasn’t the on-call doctor at the time (but she REALLY wanted to be my delivery doctor) and called the charge nurses about 4 times. I got the impression that they were about over her calling so much especially since it was really busy. 
I am not sure what it was, but maybe it was that I was in the hospital finally that my body said “oh we SHOULD have this baby now”. My doctor first said that I would be given something to ripen the cervix to take in pill form before I would be given pitocin because I hadn’t progressed much since my last visit. I was about 1cm dilated and still about 75% effaced. However, when they left to get all the medications and came back to take my blood pressure and had me connected to the monitors to get a baseline of baby girl’s heart rate, they noticed that I was actually contracting way too much on my own at the time to even begin induction. 
Then my little girl’s heart rate was measuring so much all over the place that they couldn’t get a good baseline for her heart rate and I needed to be monitored a bit longer before induction. 
So . We. Waited. 
Contractions started becoming uncomfortable enough that I had to ask for some kind of pain medicine in order to be able to sleep. I think my husband was having sympathy pains. I had to ask him was he the one in labor. LOL. He said his stomach hurt really badly. Honestly, the whole time he made me laugh while in the hospital because of his dramatics. 
To regulate the contractions I was having, they decided to put me on a low dose of Pitocin and gave me some pain meds via IV – I can’t remember the name of it but the nurse said as she gave it to me, “This will make you feel like you are drunk almost immediately” In my mind, I was thinking “yeah right!”.. umm she was right. Got loopy immediately but it was just enough for me to want to roll over and close my eyes. 
During the night, baby’s heart rate was not doing so good. It was dipping really low but not enough to be considered critical just yet. From what I remember even though I was some of the good stuff – my nurse came to check on me so much through the night. So much so that she even called to check on me once her shift was over. She would have me roll from my right side, to my left side, to my back and just try to keep moving to get baby’s heart rate back up while I was sleeping. 
About 7 am, I woke up and noticed that in the middle of the night, they had actually turned off the Pitocin, probably worried about how it was affecting the baby while I was on the pain meds – baby didn’t like them too much apparently, however, I LOVED THEM! LOL. 
Either way, around 7am we got started on the second attempt at inducing. I was checked and still at a 1 -2cm dilated and was started on a low dose of Pitocin. My blood pressure was checked almost every 15 min and each “high” reading, the nurses would run in and check – as well as when the baby would move from the monitor. 
Around 10 am is when they started increasing the dosage of Pitocin to get the party started. Contractions started but were not really progressing just yet. Doctor came in and broke my water – something that I was afraid was going to hurt tremendously from hearing crazy stories – yeah it wasn’t that bad. 
Well, the morning nurse told me that it may take me about 16 hours to get ready to push and was basically saying get comfortable because thats the average time that it takes, which is pretty close to how long my mother was in labor with me. 
My family went and got breakfast, we sat around just talking and eventually was checked on the hour.  Surprisingly, I went from 1-2cm to 6 cm within 2 hours. I got my epidural somewhere around 4 cm and the contractions really weren’t hurting when I asked for it, but I knew I would want one to push so I just asked for it since the anesthesiologist was available. Another myth busted: getting an epidural does not hurt as bad as people make it seem – either that or I had some really good doctors. I told him to be gentle. He had me sit on the edge of the bed, put everyone out of the room except my husband and told me to be still. He talked me through each step so that I would not be startled. He prepped my back and said that it would feel like a bee sting, which it did. Once pricked, I didn’t feel the other part of the process. He taped my back up and I was given a button to push when I needed it and was done. 
Two more hours pass, and my OB came in to check me yet again. I was saying, it would probably be a while because its only been about 3 1/2 hours at this point. But she reminded me that I was already at 6cm last she checked. This time I was at a 9 1/2 and 100% effaced. So this is about 12:30pm. She said to me that there was a little more to go and didn’t want to rush it although she had me practice push just to see if maybe it would go ahead and be a good time to deliver. 
She had a 1pm scheduled c-section and said that she would be back afterwards and by that time, it should be time to have this baby! 
Talk about fast – I thought I was going to deliver that night and here it is barely afternoon and we are talking about delivering the baby. 
So, eventually my nurse came in at 2pm and checked me, she said I was at 10cm finally and began to prep my room for labor. I could feel contractions but they didn’t hurt. They felt more like when you have to go to the bathroom after eating a really heavy meal. 
She called my OB and she was still in surgery. 
We spent the next few minutes, calling my sister and telling her that the baby was on the way and we all made prediction about size, weight and height before the baby arrived. 
She checked me again and had me practice push to get her head to come down. 
Well by 2:30, this baby was ready to come and doctor still was not back – she called her and had her paged and told her to run! 
I was clueless that the baby was THAT ready to come. 
So, the doctor comes in and they take a look – remember baby girl was in a occiput posterior position and they were not sure if I would be able to push her past the bone. Combine that with her heart rate dips during contractions and my blood pressure, they prepared for everything all at once. They even brought in scrubs in case we had to be rushed for a c-section. I never made a birth plan because I thought it was laughable that I would have any control, clearly I could not have planned for any part of this labor. 
She started me pushing at 2:45pm. Baby was born at 3:35pm. 
I was able to deliver her vaginally. 
My husband was on one leg and my mother was on the other. 
I told my husband he may want to not look and to stay up by my head in order to not pass out or be traumatized. He got so curious that he eventually watched the whole thing. 
It was funny because they said my baby would have no hair based on the sonogram – well she had hair and that was the first thing I heard about as she came out. 
The doctor had come in once the nurse had gotten me started to push. I didn’t think that I was being successful because I was not grasping where I needed to push from. Basically its as if you are constipated and you push from that muscle, not like you have to pee really hard (as I had to ask what am I supposed to be doing?!)
My doctor put up these hand rails for me because I was having some really bad back pain at the last minute and we couldn’t figure out where it came from. Told me to push throughout the contractions. Two to Three Contractions later and she came out faced sideways and I was able to push her head out. My doctor said “Don’t push, Don’t Push!” as I felt the worse part of the pressure. I screamed back “I’m not!” I had no idea what she was doing but it sounded like she was running around… 
Little did I know that she didn’t have the chance to glove up when she came in because she came in at the middle of me starting to push. There I was saying “I am not pushing” and in pain with pressure and she said to me “I am going to have to cut you.” My mother surprisingly said to her, “will you be able to sew her back up?!” I am laughing at the thoughts in my head as it played out – but I couldn’t speak – I wasn’t pushing but baby girl came sliding right on out anyways. And I heard my OB laugh like “oh well” – it was sweet relief. It was literally about 45 secs from her saying don’t push to when she came rushing into this world. 
My OB said “This is the first birth in a LONG time that I didn’t get the chance to glove up for.” 
She gave her to me immediately and even I was surprised that I was now holding a baby. In my mind, I was like “its over?!” and at the same time looking at her like “wow you are finally here”  of course with my mom and her iPad camera in my face asking me how I felt. I was in shock. 
It was NOTHING like what I have heard or what I have seen on TV. No dramatic screaming pain fits where I would curse my husband out and turn into a witch. It was mostly normal, we had conversations, laughed and then I would have to tell them when I felt a contraction coming and I only knew because it felt like my stomach was being filled like a helium balloon with pressure in my booty.
Either way, I am very happy with the experience that I had and despite the scares in the beginning with all the unknowns with why her heart rate was dropping (at one point they thought the umbilical cord was around her neck and even asked if maybe she would have to go to the NICU. I was even told that it appeared like the placenta was dying prematurely – I took it in stride and said “well I am already in the right place if any of those things happen and was ok with it”) but once she arrived, she was perfect! No cord issues and now knowing her love for her hands and holding things, I am convinced that she was either laying on it or squeezing it with her hands for dear life!)

The only downside to my labor experience was post-labor. 
She was such in a rush to get here that she ripped me up on the way out. 
I had a second degree tear which isn’t bad but she also shredded a vein as well. I was being stitched up for two hours – honestly while it was happening, I didn’t realize that it was that long. It was that long before I was able to hold her again and it took less time to get her to come out. 
My doctor basically told me that she had never had to do so much surgery on a vaginal delivery – it was more like a c-section with as much sutras and what not that I had to get. 
I am just glad that I hit the epidural button right before pushing, so I didn’t feel any of it.
They were worried about hemorrhaging and was even concerned because I had lost a lot of blood and said that I may have to have a blood transfusion – but you know I that I was prayed up. None of those things happened and actually in recovery they were surprised that I was actually bleeding less than normal than a regular vaginally deliver in spire of the fact that I had a pretty severe one. 
The other part of the post labor that was horrific was that I basically threw my back out! I slept in the weirdest ways the night before and then I when I started pushing, I think I had so much tension built up in my neck and shoulders that I could not move. They wanted to move me back on the bed now that delivery was over. The surgical nurse had the bright idea to lay me back to pull me up on the bed. I told her, that was not a good idea because it hurts too bad to lay flat. I needed to be sat straight up and my husband can lift me back to where I needed to be. She ignored me and started laying that bed back and I let her have it. I was in so much pain that I cried so hard and screamed and they thought they did something wrong. They first thought it was epidural related, they thought it may have been accident related but I think it could’ve also been from the baby being in a posterior position. 
I am thankful that all is well – I am no longer in pain and that recovery is going great. 
She was worth it!
My Princess, my first born (because we do want more) is the apple of my eye. 
Vashti-Gracia
Born December 10, 2013
3:35pm
6lbs 11oz
19″ long

My Dad won the guess of time being born  (he couldn’t handle being in the room and was waiting outside for it to be over)
My sister won the guess of her length
Nobody won the weight guess – we were all over but Hubby was the closest. 
She looked just like she did on her 3D sonogram

From birth she was with us the whole time in the hospital except for when she had her tests done for Jaundice, etc and her shots. The swelling is coming down and the Pediatrician came to check on her twice while in the hospital and said she was doing great. We get to see her on Monday. 

Gracia already has the most hilarious personality. We are still learning each other and she has to figure out a better schedule for mommy and daddy to get sleep. 
If she eats well she will sleep at least 3 hours. Our bassinet was a little too big for her comfort and she sleeps so silently that I can’t really get a deep sleep. Also swaddling is great and all, but does not work for my baby – she LOVES her hands. She WILL find a way to get those hands out and will actually cry more to get to them, then it is for me to just leave her hands out. 
She got the chance to meet her Godfather at the hospital. 

and has already melted Daddy’s heart – 

and has her grandparents wrapped around her fingers. 

We love HER!

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What’s in a Name?

I mentioned before that I was on the fence about taking Maternity Photos – 
Reason being (and no judgement to anyone else) but I can’t stand the Maternity Photos where my belly would be out and I would be wrapped in some strange fabric. All I kept thinking to myself was “who in the world would I show my stomach to?” and “where would I even hang that in my house?”
Not to mention, my stomach is the least bit flattering.
I went for a long time without stretch marks – not so much anymore. 
Thankfully, pre-baby I never wore bikinis because I would be devastated right about now.
I wanted however, to take pictures that felt more like “us”. 
We have always done things a tad different from the norm. 
We had a photographer friend of ours, Gary Williams (@masterwilliams on IG),  come to our Baby Shower to capture a lot of fun moments : additional moments that I will share with you for nostalgia in a separate post. 
But during the shower, while everyone was eating, we went outside really fast near this soccer field and playground and said, “can you snap some quick photos for us?”
It was perfect!
The joy and love you see was exactly how we felt on the day where we were being showered with love by our family and friends. Most importantly, because it wasn’t planned there was no over thinking it. It took 10 minutes and most of the shots were literally just us being us versus him saying “now do this” and “pose like this”
This may seem quite cheesy, but I have heard so many stories of pregnancies and children “trying” marriages. I can honestly say that this pregnancy at best has tried his patience with me since my constant getting up and uncomfortable sleep has kept him up but my husband, thankfully, has taken it all in stride. We shall see how our parenting changes our marriage. However, we have prayed that our being able to start a family was God’s way of confirming that we were ready and up for the challenge.
This man really makes me feel like he loves me as much as he says he does. 
Sometimes his affection is overwhelming. Literally. I have to push him and all that gooeyness away. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so glad that he never listens to me in that regard. 
I truly believe that he will take care of his girls as best as he can.

And now for her name… 
Our families are quite traditional. Both my husband and I are named after our parents. Our families have names that have been passed down for generations. 
Therefore, when it came to naming our first born, her name came extremely easy. Literally the morning or so after we found out that we were expecting, we had breakfast at Panera Bread. Before they even called our number we said “If its a girl…” and “If its a Boy…” and had names picked out without much discussion or debate.
So without further adieu, our first born daughter’s name is: 
Vashti-Gracia
Vashti (pronounced Vash-TIE) means Beautiful. It comes from the Bible, as Vashti was a Queen in the book of Esther. In my family the name Vashti has been handed down since my Great-Grandmother. My full first name is Vashti-Jasmine. My daughter will be the 6th Vashti in our family as I have a cousin in my generation that also has the name. 
Gracia (pronounced Gra-CEE-uh) means Grace and Favor. It has a spanish origin. My husband’s mother was Dominican, as she was born in the Dominican Republic. Her name was Altagracia (she passed away in 1999). So to honor her we will name her Gracia. 
We think it is so fitting that our first born has a name that means Beautiful Favor. It is exactly what we truly believe that God has granted us with entrusting her life to us.
We call her Gracie…
She will be our wonderful Haitian Dominican African American Princess!
… 
and here’s a sneak peak of the little bundle of joy that we are patiently awaiting

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Baby Boom

Some of my favorite bloggers have recently announced that they are pregnant.
 I don’t know why but when I tell you I get so thoroughly excited to hear such news!
Well I can guess reasons why..
1. because after reading their blogs, I feel like I know a little bit about them and wish that I lived closer to them so I could know them in real life because they seem like awesome people
2. because I can’t wait to be able to make that announcement myself I guess- yes, yes, I’ll admit. But I think just excited because its something that my husband and I both want. We LOVE children!
But don’t get it twisted…Despite the random cases of baby fever here and there due to my planning-type personality and wanting to know WHEN…  I am about as calm and “go with the flow” as I possibly can be. Excited for this whole journey nonetheless… and its been very eye opening.
I am pretty sure that I am not the ONLY newlywed who has given thought as to when the right time to have a child is…and although some plan and some have not, I think our story is unique enough that it may just help someone else.
See… for us.. we are not infertile.
We have seen a specialist and have taken various blood tests, had dye SHOVED through my tubes, ultrasounds of my eggs… everything!
And..
We have received a clean bill of health on every front…
and yet, still face the possibility of having to get an IUI according to our specialist.
It makes you think twice about all the stories that you hear growing up about how pregnancy just happens.
Even for a healthy couple that chance of happening is 20% per month.
With ALL the things that life throws at you and more specifically us: We both started new stressful jobs, purchased a new construction home, husband lost his father, I lost a co-worker… emotional things happen that can really throw you off your game.
So yes, there may come a time where it seems like when you are not “trying” it wil happen… and other times where when you want it to happen, it seems like its taking way too long.
ANYWHO!
HUGE Congrats to :
Megan, whom I link up with for Sometimes and Always!
and to:
Courtney  love her FOOD pics! That pizza looked so yummy…

And to:

And to:
And to:
And to:
And to:
Katie… one day I am going to tackle decorating my house like she does!
 Photo: Yay for not dying! http://instagr.am/p/MjOqXAFz5C/
And to my homegirl from Canada:
Congrats on Baby Luca!
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So you see… its not really my fault.. I try not to think about it, but there are some great bloggers who just keep bringing it up.. and I have a sense that their may be a few more out there soon with the same announcement.
At least I will live vicariously through them for a bit.
Congrats Ladies!

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Happy Hour Wednesday

It’s humpday fun day!!!
Oftentimes on Wednesday, it feels like the slump of the week. Getting to this day may have been so mentally draining and yet Friday is still not yet close enough.
And so here we are … another Wednesday. There is so much for me to be Happy about this week.
So here’s my midweek Sunshine:
1. My little roadrunner is treating me very nicely! I consider it an early Birthday present from the hubs.
2. Wife Life Sunshine: I think the Spaghetti Argument may have finally come to a compromise. The other day I said that I would be making spaghetti again, but realistically that didn’t happen until last night. We both arrived home from work within about five minutes of each other. The meat had already been thawed out with hopes of being consumed a day prior… so when Hubby asked me to make spaghetti, I must’ve given this look of “now?” … OR he may have read my blog lately.. I don’t know.
But, as I got the pots and pans ready… here he came.. my help-mate, cooked the meat for me while all I did was watch noodles boil. We did it TOGETHER! Major step! Not so much about the fact that we don’t know how to cook spaghetti without having WW3 in our home. It’s just simply the fact that when we both go to work, and we both come home hungry, if one appears to be tired, will the other step in and at least take care of half the load versus sitting on your bum and waiting to be served. It was great!
3. I said I didn’t want a full-time pet in the new home with all the new carpet and the tendency for pets to mark their territory, but this one is SOOOOO cute.. may make me reconsider. Hmm…
 dapple
4. Lastly, Baby Sunshine!
Jessica Simpson gave birth to her daughter, Maxwell Drew Johnson… Now I know that she has been criticized for how much she has gained during pregnancy and also signed a MAJOR contract with one of those diets Weight Watchers/ Jenny Craig to lose it using them post-baby…but, when I look back to this and count down the months… just to think that she was only two months here when she announced…

all you can say is… WOW (two months really?).. Baby Maxwell weighed in at 9 lbs 13oz. 21 3/4 inches.
Honestly, I can’t talk.. being one who is already thicker then I want to be.. if anything this is motivation for this Run/Walk that I am participating in today because God knows.. if I ever post a pregnancy announcement at two months and you think that I am five months, then we have a serious problem!
What’s your Sunshine for the week? Link up anything that makes you smile!
Have a wonderful Happy Hour Wednesday!

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Spreading Some BABY Sunshine!

One of my favorite bloggers, Kristin from Project Bebe, announced that today was her birthday and that she is expecting baby number 2! Kristin writes a wonderful blog about her life and raising baby with her husband and daughter, Tinsley. They decided to move to France temporarily to enjoy life! (wouldn’t that be wonderful if I could do the same).
Congrats goes out to Kristin! I am spreading a little sunshine on her Baby Announcement! Go and visit her blog- tell her Jasmine sent you.. Look in my Blog Roll for some more of her most recent posts.

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