Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mm


See my entire 52 ABCs series here!

Look at what others posted this week on Facebook.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Let's Talk About Poop (Baby)

Specifically, Harry's poop. Until recently he's always been a very consistent pooper. He averaged one number two a day, sometimes every other day. The consistency had always been about the same (I'll spare you the details).

But ever since Harry's last round of vaccines almost two weeks ago he's been having diarrhea. The nurse who administered his shots told me that watery stools were a common side effect and was nothing to worry about. Then he got sick and I read online that diarrhea can be a side effect of a cold in babies.

But here we are, however many days later and he's still having this problem. And it's getting worse. For the first week it was about once a day. And then twice a day. Today we've had three episodes, one of which was a "poopsplosion." Poor kiddo.

After round two yesterday we called our pediatrician's office. The nurse we spoke with wasn't too concerned because he's not in any pain when he poops and there's no blood or mucus in it. She wasn't too sure what could be causing it (since the vaccine was so long ago it's a highly unlikely culprit), but she did recommend we pick up some Florastor.


Florastor is a probiotic that's supposed to help regulate people. According to their website it's approved for infants as young as two months old. They do make a flavored kid's kind, but the website said you could just open a regular capsule and pour the powder in to a bottle.

The stuff is expensive ($50 for that little jar!), so it better work. You can find it cheaper online, but we bought it at CVS since we needed it right away.

I gave Harry one capsule already and he drank it without any problems. I'll give him one more before he goes to bed tonight. You can take up to four a day, but we'll try two a day for now to see if that makes any improvements. I'll be sure to update you guys on Harry's situation.

If any mom's out there have given their babies Florastor (or any probiotic) I'd love to hear how it went for you!

And here's a cute picture of Harry sleeping last night.


His finger was like that for a while, I kept going back in to check on it :).

Our First Picture


Since we recently celebrated our sixth dating anniversary, I thought I'd share the first picture Ant and I ever took together.


This was taken on our one month anniversary, so April, 2006. We went to dinner at The Pasta Factory (which seems to have moved locations since we were there) and then went back to my apartment in the dorms (I was the Resident Director of a residence hall so I had a nice little two-room unit).

I've always been a picture taker, and Ant made it very clear early on in our relationship that he hated pictures. That was almost a deal breaker, ladies! He's since come around a little and will begrudgingly let me take pictures, thank goodness!

Check out my other Flashback Friday posts here!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Harry's Newest Tricks

Harry is at such a fun age; he's still not mobile and is learning new things every day.

His new favorite thing to do is stand.



Baby boy just loves it! We've been doing it for a couple weeks now, but just in the last few days has he really started to enjoy it. He's perfectly content just standing for like 20 minutes at a time. I kind of have a feeling he'll be one of those kids that skips crawling all together and will just start walking one day. We shall see!

He is also now smiling on command, which is very convenient for this (aspiring) momtographer.


When ever I'm taking pictures of him I'll say, "Harry, smile!" And he will! He won't do it if I'm not using my DSLR, so I'm pretty convinced he knows what I'm talking about. MY BABY'S A GENIUS!

Annnnd, obviously I changed my header last night. I went around our neighborhood and snapped a few pictures yesterday. Not sure if I love it, so I might change it again. I also need to change my post dividers. Advanced apologies if it changes a bagillion times over the next few days.

Oh, and here's a random thought for you. What year is the new American Pie movie taking place in? The first movie came out in 1999 (!!!), and now their  class reunion is taking place in 2012? Odd. I wonder if the movie is actually going to take place in 2009, which would make more sense with the timeline of the series. If you see the movie, let me know. I doubt we'll see it until it comes out on DVD.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Healthy Taco Salad

Hello bloggy friends! My last two posts were (for the most part) pre-written, so I haven't updated on how H-man and I are feeling. Yesterday morning I finally started to feel like myself again. I think Harry did too, although he never seemed to feel as sick as I did, thank goodness. It'll take a couple days to get back in to the swing of things, but I'm so glad we're over that nasty bug!

Today I want to share another recipe with you guys. Taco salads aren't the most original idea, but I came up with this one all by myself, yay! Taco salads are notoriously unhealthy, and while mine isn't what you would call health food, it's way better than many of the other ones out there because it doesn't include sour cream or dressings, yet still tastes great!

Healthy Taco Salad
Serves 2



Ingredients
- 1 cup cubed chicken breast
- 1/4 packet chicken taco seasoning
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 crunchy taco shells (may be substituted with tortilla chips)
- 1 cup black beans (I used the Old El Paso seasoned black beans)
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Directions
- Prepare chicken according to directions on seasoning packet.
- Heat black beans according to directions on package.
- Put 1 cup of shredded lettuce in each of 2 bowls.
- Break taco shells in to small pieces and mix  in with lettuce.
- Divide up remaining ingredients and layer on to salads equally.

Enjoy!

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago tonight I was complaining to Ant that I felt a little nauseous while eating dinner. The three nights prior I was in bed by eight o’clock, which is very out of character for me. Ant told me to take a pregnancy test, but I didn’t think there was any way I could be pregnant. With Ant working crazy hours at his new job, we… ummmm… hadn't spend a whole lot of time together that month.

I told him that my period was bound to show up any day; I was never very good of keeping track of that thing. But he kept persisting throughout dinner that I take the test. I finally gave in and peed on a stick.

The three minutes we had to wait for the results were nothing short of agonizing. We talked about anything and everything except babies. When the longest three minutes of my life were over I went to the bathroom alone. For some reason I didn’t want Ant to see the results with me. But there it was, a big.fat.positive.


HOLY SHIT. Those were the only two words I could think to say at that time. And for the next 45 minutes. We hugged and we cried. And then we thought, “HOLY SHIT, what did we do?” I will never forget that night. It was one of the best ever. 

I was four weeks and two days pregnant when we found out about our baby.

And now here we are a year later. Here we are a year later with an almost five month old. I truly believe we were blessed with the most amazing little boy. I wouldn’t trade anything about him; not even his goofy little ears that don’t match. He is perfect in every way and I could not be more in love with him.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I didn’t know how much I would love it. I was made for this job! Seeing my Harry grow and develop is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I made him. But he is making me, too. He is making me a better person. My priorities are different and I am more compassionate now. I also want to learn. I want to learn a lot about everything so I can teach him.

I want to teach him the fundamentals and silly little facts I learned on Wikipedia. I want to teach him manners, right from wrong and what I think should be important in his life. Most importantly, I want to teach him that I will love him always and support him with every decision he makes.

I could go on and on about how much I love my son, but I won’t. I think you guys get the idea.

If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading. I usually try to keep my blog posts fun, tongue-in-cheek and sprinkled with sarcasm every now and then, so this type of post is different for me. I’m not the sappiest, most sentimental person in the world, but when it comes to Harry, that’s all I am!

Here is a picture of my sweet baby from yesterday, playing on his new excersaucer.


He's drooling so much these days, I have a feeling some little toothies will be making their appearance soon!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Great Toys For 3-6 Months



I thought I'd do a post about some of Harry's favorite toys right now. This isn't everything, but these are the ones he plays with the most.

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes


This little "iPod" type toy is really fun for babies. When the music note button is pushed little lights flash to the tune of the music. Lately when we've been playing with the toy I'll take Harry's hand and make him turn it on, after a few times of doing that he'll put his hand on the button all on his own! He can't quite push it yet, but he's getting the right idea.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Love To Play Puppy

Harry also really enjoys playing with burp cloths!

 The Puppy is actually recommended for six months +, but Harry has been enjoying it for a couple weeks now. See where his foot is in the picture? There's a heart underneath his foot and he kept kicking it, which makes the Puppy talk and sing songs. As he gets older he'll be able to play with the Puppy more and really benefit from it.

Haba Wooden Toys


These toys have the Kourtney Kardashian seal of approval, hehe! In all seriousness, these are great toys for babies. Again, the packaging said for six months + but Harry can play with them just fine at four months. I love all the different colors and the fact that they are made out of a renewable resource is pretty nifty IMO.

Nuby Links


Links like these are a classic baby toy. Not only can your baby play with them and discover the different textures they have, but they can also be used to secure other toys to play mats or excersaucers.

Sassy Rattle


We keep this rattle at our changing table to distract Harry. We always cover him up with a paper towel so he doesn't spray us, and lately he's been wanting to play with it (the towel, not his peep, yet). Giving him a rattle makes changing him a bit easier on mom and dad!

Sophie Giraffe


Ohhhh, Sophie. You're like Mercedes of infant toys. If you're pregnant or have a young child and don't have a Sophie, order one. NOW. You won't regret it! She is expensive, considering she's basically just a glorified dog toy (beware, she does squeak), but your babe will love her. She's made of natural rubber and painted with food paint, so no need to worry about any chemicals.

Manhattan Toy Winkel


This is one of the first toys Harry would hold. It's perfect for teeny tiny fingers because the little tubes are so small compared to other toys. Plus, the colors are so vibrant it is really fun for Harry to look at. There's a little rattle in it, too.

So basically, anything Harry can put in his mouth is his favorite toy!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for reviewing these products. My son loves them and I figured other parents of infants might want to know about them, too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harry Loves Being Sick

Who is this happy when they're wheezing and have a stuffy nose?


My kid, apparently! I on the other hand, woke up with a terrible sore throat and needed an extra two hour nap this afternoon to start feeling somewhat like myself again. Harry took a nap in his crib this morning with one of his best friends.


We gave him his Sophie Giraffe as he was trying to fall asleep since he was being a bit fussy and this is how she ended up, we didn't stage this at all!

I'm gonna hop in the shower here in a bit, too. There's just something about taking a shower when I'm sick that always makes me feel 10 times better!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Six Years

Hello from the Z infirmary! Harry and I are still sick. He's taking it very well though, just sleeping a lot. I on the other hand, am whining like a little baby because that's way more fun than sleep. I am feeling better this afternoon so hopefully that means that I'm on the mend and the worst of it is over.

Yesterday was our six year dating anniversary. We started dating at the beginning of March during our junior year of college and made it Facebook official right before spring break.


Aren't these roses gorgeous? I love the little flowers too, much prettier than baby's breath! He got them from Roselle Flowers, which is a great local flower shop Ant's used many times. And lucky for him, they also served as a get well present, ha! And did you guys notice how "Harry" miswrote one of the R's in his name? Ant thought that was pretty clever.... mmmmkay.

I revamped the My Pregnancy page yesterday. It was something fun to do while I was sick. Be sure to check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mrs. Typhoid Mary

So I'm sick. Gross. It started yesterday morning with a sore throat. By six o'clock last night I was feeling really achy, and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. Soooo, we got McDonald's. FAIL. OH WELL. I don't even want to tell you about the exorbitant amount of ice cream I had for dessert. BUT YOU GUYSSSS, IT MADE MY THROAT FEEL BETTER. Clearly I'm delusional at this point. And wearing a surgical mask. Around eleven last night I started to feel stuffed up. Great...

But at least this time I can take drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Last time I was sick I was seven weeks pregnant. I hadn't been to the doctor yet and didn't feel comfortable taking anything but Tylenol, which doesn't help at all. Drinking Coca Cola helped way more with the headaches because of the caffeine. Even with the drugs I might be out of the blogosphere for a few days. Oh, and today is Flashback Friday. FAIL PART DEUX.

Harry is kinda sick right now, too. Which sucks so hard because I can't pump his body full of drugs like I can mine. I feel so bad for the kiddo, but it didn't really seem to bother him until bedtime last night. We'll see how he holds up today.

But here is Harry wearing the cutest outfit yesterday.


Adorable, right? Ant actually picked this one out at Target last month. It's by Carter's. The romper is still kind of big on Harry so he'll be able to wear it for a while.

And now I'm gonna curl up on the couch all day and watch Parks and Rec on Netflix :).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Garlic Chicken Stuffed Shells

Okay, I am going to try my hand at recipe writing today! I've been wanting to do this for a while, and am finally going to take the plunge.

This isn't a completely original recipe, it is adapted from the Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups recipe from iVillage. I found rolling the lasagna noodles to be tricky and time consuming, so I thought of using pasta shells instead.

Garlic Chicken Stuffed Shells
Serves 2-3

 

Ingredients 
- 12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. freeze-dried garlic (I use Litehouse brand, found in the produce section at Super Target)
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Splash of water
- Jar of pasta sauce

Directions
- Preheat oven to 350  degrees.
- Combine chicken, cheeses, garlic, oregano and black pepper in bowl. Add a splash of water to thin filling.
- Coat the bottom of a large glass baking dish with pasta sauce.
- Stuff cooked shells with chicken mixture and place in baking dish.
- Top with more pasta sauce.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with additional pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!



Sweet Mandy B's

Where was this baby two nights ago?

Harry's cute tiger onesie is from Old Navy, but we picked it up at Once Upon A Child

It was so nice to have my happy baby back last night! He was a little fussy right before I put him to bed but fell asleep pretty fast. Poor Harry has been congested since yesterday, too, which majorly sucks. I used my NoseFrida (don't judge, it works great!) to help him out a bit, but can't get everything. Cross your fingers his stuffy nose gets better soon!

Kiddo also woke up at 7:30 this morning. Totally out of character for him, he always sleeps until at least 8:30. So that was... fun?? It's definitely a two-cup o' joe kinda morning!

Sweet Mandy B's
With the rough night we had on Tuesday, Ant thought we were due for a treat yesterday. Bring on the Sweet Mandy B's!

Clockwise from top left: red velvet, banana chocolate chip, Snickerdoodle and yellow w/ chocolate frosting

I'd never heard of this bakery before, but I'm glad Ant found it! I had the red velvet (obvi) and the Snickerdoodle. Both were delish, but the Snickerdoodle was outta this world amazing! Ant thought there was a bit too much frosting on his, while I thought the ratio of cake to frosting was just right. Which is weird because I don't like a lot of frosting on my cuppycakes, whereas Ant usually does.

I'd have to say Sweet Mandy B's is one of my favorite Chicago bakeries. Sprinkles' red velvet is my all time favorite, but Sweet Mandy B's definitely gave the famous cupcakery a run for its money!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Save The Dates

I mentioned a while back that I was working on some Save the Date cards for a friend of mine from college. I wanted to wait until she sent them out to post a picture, and here they are!

Love the color scheme they picked out!

I think they turned out awesome, if I do say so myself ;). I used my Cricut and the Calligraphy Collection cartridge to cut out the banners and numbers. That cartridge is so versatile, probably one of the ones I've used the most! The thread is just cream embroidery floss and I used pop dots to adhere them to the card.

I really prefer Save the Date cards that don't have pictures on them. Everyone you're inviting already knows what you look like! One picture can look nice, but more than that is definitely overkill, in my opinion anyways.

Thanks for thinking of me for your Save the Dates, Amy and Shannon!

The Most Stressful Night Ever

Oh.Em.Gee. Last night was awful. Sometimes Harry will get fussy in the evenings but that's nothing compared to what we experienced last night. He was a little fussy all afternoon but all hell broke loose around six o'clock.

Poor baby was just screaming his head off. He's screamed before, but never like that. It was so pitiful! At one point I started crying a little, too. I tried everything I could think of to calm him down. Three different kinds of formula, Tylenol, gas drops, gripe water and then I put him my infant carrier and finally got him to nap for about 15 minutes.


At some point we managed to get him to drink four ounces of premixed Similac, but that's all he ate all night. Around ten o'clock we decided to call our pediatrician. We were out of ideas and Harry was still screaming his head off. The nurse on-call ran through a list of symptoms like swollen thighs, hard distended belly and elevated temperature. Everything was normal so she suggested I get in the bath with him. Best.Advice.Ever.

We hopped in the bath and he calmed down right away. He's always loved baths so I'm not surprised. We keep to a pretty strict bath schedule so I didn't even think to give him one since he's not due for one until tonight. Harry and I stayed in the bath for over an hour; our fingers were really pruney when we got out!

He ended dozing off in the tub and thankfully getting him to his crib wasn't too big of a deal. He was sound asleep 15 minutes after I put him to bed and slept through the night like nothing was wrong. He woke up at his normal time this morning, a little after nine o'clock.

I will say, if that is what colic is like, we've been spoiled. I think I was a colicky baby, and I don't think I could handle Harry screaming for hours and hours every day. I'm thinking he might be in the early stages of teething or that he just had a bad reaction to the shots from the other day, like maybe he had a headache or something. Or, with Ant being sick the past couple days (he did go to work today, though), Harry could be coming down with something.

Okay, time to clean the condo. I majorly slacked off over the weekend and with everything going on last night I didn't get anything done. We also threw our dinner plans out the window and just got Panera last night. Normally I'd be mad since we'd been doing so well, but there was no way I could have cooked anything last night!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ll


See my entire 52 ABCs series here!

Look at what others posted this week on Facebook

4 Month Check Up

Yesterday was Harry's 4.5 month doctor's visit. Ant didn't end up going with us.  A+'s all around! He weighs exactly 15 pounds (50th percentile), is 26.25 inches tall (90th percentile) and his head circumference is in the 50th percentile (they didn't tell me the exact measurements). We also had to endure a round of vaccines. Another oral medication and two shots. My little trooper only cried for about 10 seconds after each shot! I did end up giving him two doses of Tylenol yesterday instead of just one because he seemed extra fussy around dinner time.


He was feelin' fine right after we got home from the doctor's and ended up rolling over three times in a row! By the fourth time he had worn himself out so he wasn't able to get all the way over.



Poor Antie-poo is still feeling really sick and called in to work again today. Hopefully he starts feeling better soon! I know he misses being able to interact with Harry.

I have quite a few post ideas for this week, so be sure to check back often, should be a fun time!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mr. Typhoid Mary

This might be a little over board, but look what I've been making Ant wear for the past 24 hours.


Haha! Whatever we can do to make sure Harry doesn't get sick. Ant ended up calling in sick from work today, his first time ever. I'm glad he took the day off so he can rest. With his funky schedule he doesn't get nearly enough sleep, which never helps in recovering from an illness.

We have Harry's four month pediatrician's visit later this morning, I'm not sure if Ant's coming or not. My bets for this month are that Harry will weigh right around 15 pounds and be 26 inches long. I'm sure he'll be getting a shot or two as well.

Before we head out, I have to share the most amazing ice cream!


Ben & Jerry's new Peanut Butter World! It is exclusive to Target and is so worth a trip to the store just for the ice cream! I picked it up on Friday while grocery shopping but didn't try it until last night. Holy moly. That shiz is ahhh-mazing! And I'm not usually a fan of chocolate ice cream. The swirls are what really make it so delish, they have such a unique, crunchy texture! It took a lot of will power to not eat more than I did :).

Alright, gotta run!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meal Planning

Dinner at our house used to look a lot like this.

Me: "What do you want for dinner?"
Ant: "Ohhh I don't know, maybe spaghetti?"
Me: "Okay, but we don't have any sauce. Can you go get some while I start the pasta?'
Ant "Uggh, if I have to go out I might as well pick up Qdoba instead."

We're not always prepared for dinner. Which is one of the reasons we were eating out so much at the beginning of the year. We did well with limiting ourselves to once a week for a while, but slowly we were getting back to our old habits.

About a month ago I Pinned this meal planner I found and got to work on my own.

Pin It

It's completely different from the one I saw originally, but the idea is the same. I thought to use a chalkboard (the same one from our DIY maternity photo shoot) so I don't have to make little tags every time I come up with a new entree.

For our meal planning board I just painted the chalkboard blue, varnished it and then added flowers and metal jewelry findings I had in my craft supplies. I adhered the ribbon with my glue gun and hung it on a 3M hook. A super easy and useful craft!

We've had the meal planner up for about three weeks now and we've stuck to it. It has also really helped with our grocery shopping so we get enough food for the week and don't have to go out.

And speaking of spaghetti, look what was on the meal planner for last night, before I updated it with this week's meals.


Last night was the first time I roasted cauliflower. I've only made it once before, and that time I steamed it. Before putting the cauliflower in the oven I tossed it in a bowl with a few spritzes of PAM Olive Oil (love that stuff!), garlic, oregano black pepper and Parmesan cheese. I put it in the oven at 450° for 15 minutes and then turned the broiler on for another couple minutes. Yum!

And just for fun I want to share a picture that I didn't know was on my camera until I uploaded the other two pictures in this post.


Ant does this to me all the time. He takes pictures with my camera and doesn't tell me. I like getting these little surprises on my camera! He had to have taken this picture right after his morning bottle since I slept through it yesterday. Cute :).

With Harry drinking six bottles a day Ant will usually feed him one or two, which helps me a lot. But, Ant is sick right now so I'll be doing all the feedings for the next couple days. With minimizing their contact hopefully Harry won't get sick. I hope I don't either! I felt a little sick last week but it didn't turn in to anything, thank goodness.

Oh, and I just wanted to make note (mainly for my records) that I switched out all Harry's three month clothes yesterday, ahhh! The six month onesies and pants are still a little big on him, but we've got so much stuff in that size I want to make sure he wears it all before outgrowing it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Don't forget to wear green today!

Rolling Over

Yesterday we took Harry out on three different outings. First to Target for some grocery shopping, then to Hobby Lobby to pick up a fleur de lis wall hanging I saw a couple weeks back and then to Japan 77 for dinner. There was a Groupon for the restaurant yesterday and since we hadn't been since I was pregnant we thought it'd be nice to go back.

We always have to take pictures before going out somewhere :)

I love polo onesies on little boys! This one is by Carters.

A funny thing that happened at dinner. I ordered my Shirley Temple as I always do at the restaurant. The waitress didn't have any idea what I was talking about, so I said, "a Shirley Temple. They'll make it at the bar. It's Sprite and cherry." Sigh, I ended up with a Sprite and some maraschino cherries. I suppose it's partly my fault since I should have said Sprite and grenadine, but whatevs.

And guess who rolled over for the first second time yesterday! He rolled over once when he was about six weeks old but hasn't done it since. While we were watching the horrible end to the Mizzou basketball game yesterday I put Harry on his tummy. By the time I stood up he was on his back! He was just so nonchalant about it.

We were so excited that he did it and of course put him back on his tummy to see if he'd do it again. No such luck unfortunately. He was trying to do it again but couldn't quite figure it out. I really hope this wasn't another fluke, but we shall see.

We also got a couple really cute, little giggles out of him last night as I was putting him in his jammies. I can't wait until he gives us a full on belly laugh! A lot of the mom's in the online group I'm a part of and some of my YouTube friends have posted videos about their babies laughing, and they're all younger than Harry. I know I shouldn't compare him to other babies, but it's hard not to.

Anyways, Happy St. Pats! We did a fun little photo shoot the other day and I'll post those pictures on the blog in a bit.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Harry's Birth Story (LONG!!)

So here we are, four months postpartum and I never posted my birth story. To me, it was such a personal experience that I wasn't sure if I wanted to share it. I had it completely written except for one or two paragraphs by the time Harry was a month and a half old. It was about two pages long. I thought I saved it. In fact, I'm still fairly positive I did. However, I can't find it anywhere on my computer. I've spent a lot of time searching for it. I'm afraid it's gone. I'm devastated. I was really proud of how it turned out.

Fortunately I still have the notes that Ant kept while we were in the hospital. I decided I will share Harry's story on my blog so I don't risk losing it again. So here's version 2.0 of how my amazing son entered the world.

On Sunday, November 6, 2011 I took my blood pressure and it was crazy high.


After that reading I called my OB's on-call service and spoke with one of the doctors, who told me just to wait it out until my appointment the next morning. That night I kept saying 11-7-11 over and over, I was sure that would be Harry's birthday.

The next morning as Ant and I were getting ready for our 36 week appointment I got our hospital bags ready. They were mostly packed, but I got some last minute items together just in case we'd have to run back home to get them. In hindsight we probably should have brought them with us, but our doctor's office and hospital are just 10 minutes from our house.

As we walked to the doctor's that morning Ant commented that I was "waddling more than usual." I don't remember what my blood pressure was at the appointment, but it was bad enough as to where both doctors who were working came in and talked with us. After they talked to each other it was decided we needed to get Harry out that day. Even though I had an inkling they would say that, it was still a shock to hear that my baby was going to be a preemie.

Since I was still four weeks out from my due date my doctor told me I'd probably have to have a c-section because the stress of inducing me without being dilated at all would be too much for me and the baby. But, she thought she'd check me just in case. Much to everyone's surprise, I was already five centimeters dilated! That my friends, is active labor. No wonder I was waddling more that morning! The doctor stripped my membranes, which really kick started my contractions.

I have a really high pain tolerance and just thought the contractions I had been having were Braxton Hicks, not real ones! I asked the doctor if we could go home to get our bags and she said Ant could, but I was making my third, and final trip to labor & delivery.

So at 11:00am one of the nurses walked us down and we immediately got put in a labor room. Everyone down there was very impressed that I was five centimeters already. I was immediately hooked up to an IV and my blood was drawn. No one has ever had troubles giving me an IV before, but the nurse blew a vein in my right arm (my preferred IV arm since I'm left handed) and left me with a bruise the size of a DVD.

Around noon my doctor came in started me on a magnesium sulfate drip. The mag was to prevent me from having a seizure since they weren't sure if I had pre-e or not. It made me a little sleepy, but I didn't experience most of the nasty side effects I was warned about.

Because I had to be on the mag sulfate, I wouldn't be allowed to leave my bed for 24 hours after giving birth. So, I had to have a catheter put in. Ouch! One of the nurses started prepping me for it when my doctor asked if I was planning on getting an epidural.

I had always planned on getting an epidural, but at that point I really didn't need one. I was working through the contractions with no problems and one of the nurses even asked me if I knew I was having a contraction when a rather large one showed up on the monitor. I told her it was no big deal.

Inserting the catheter was a different story. I opted to get the epidural just so I wouldn't feel the catheter go in. BIG MISTAKE. HUGE. My epidural didn't work for the first few hours. It actually made my pain 100 times worse! My legs and abdomen were numb but I felt the catheter go in, and holy moly was that painful! And every contraction from there on out was excruciatingly painful in my cervix area. I could no longer talk through them like nothing was wrong. The contractions I experienced after getting my epidural were the most painful moments of my life, no question.

The anesthesiologist had to come back twice to fix my epidural. He ended up giving me enough medication for a c-section! I was finally pain free by 3:30p.m.

Backing up a little... by 1:00p.m. my contractions were four minutes apart and my doctor broke my water at 2:15p.m. Soon after my contractions sped up to three and a half minutes apart and I was started on pitocin around 2:30p.m.

The last picture of me pregnant!

Even though I was progressing at a good rate, I was put on pitocin to take the stress off my body and the baby. I think it's just protocol at my hospital to put all mag sulfate patients on pitocin, since the anti-seizure meds can slow the whole process down.

Around 4:15p.m. I had to be put on oxygen because baby's heart rate dropped during each contraction. And at 5:30p.m. a new doctor, whom I'd never met, came in to check my progress. I was sad my doctor was no longer on call and would not be delivering my baby, but this new doctor was really nice and I trusted him right away. He checked me and I was eight centimeters and 90% effaced.

At 6:30p.m. my pitocin was increased and my contractions were coming every three minutes. Sometime around 7:30p.m. my nurse, Chrissy, turned off my epidural. QUE FREAK OUT! I'd read enough birth stories to know that turning off the epidural meant that pushing was the next step. No way was I ready to do that! I think I might have started crying a little at that point and I was definitely having a minor panic attack. I hadn't planned on feeling the birth of my son and I was scared that I was going to.

Around 7:45p.m. I started doing some practice pushes as my room was prepped for delivery. Since I was delivering pre-term with pre-eclamptic/PIH symptoms, there was a large NICU team ready and waiting for Harry's arrival. The doctor arrived not long after and it was officially go-time! My memory's a  little hazy at this point, and Ant didn't write anything down since he was coaching me, but let's see what I can remember.

My epidural didn't completely wear off so all I felt was some mild pressure during the contractions to alert me when to push. My contractions were right on top of each other so I didn't have much time to rest in between them. When he started to crown Ant looked down and told me he had a full head of hair!

During one of my short breaks in between contractions Harry slid out. Yep! Little bugger caught everyone off guard and the doctor didn't catch him, he just landed on the bed. Harry was 5 pounds 11 ounces, 19 inches long and he was born at 8:12p.m., less than a half hour after I started pushing.

As soon as he was born I started sobbing and was so out of it I thought it took the doctor five minutes to lay him on my chest, but Ant told me they did it right away. I only had him in my arms for a minute or so before Ant cut the cord and he was evaluated by the NICU team.

15 minutes after he was born, I delivered my placenta and then the doctor stitched me up. Even with Harry being so small I managed to get a second degree tear. A medical student assisted with my delivery and got a very hands on lesson on stitches! 

My family came to the hospital about an hour after he was born but weren't allowed to stay long since the nurses were still taking care of Harry. Just after they left he was given his first bottle and bath.


We were finally able to spend some time as a family of three around 10:30p.m. A half hour later Harry was taken to the nursery because I wasn't allowed to be alone with the baby while on the mag sulfate and Ant wanted go home to sleep. I know. I was livid that he left.

So there I was all alone in my hospital room just hours after giving birth. Not something I'd ever wish on anybody, I felt so empty. A little after 2:00a.m. I begged the nurse to bring me my baby. I had called Ant at that point and he had agreed to come back to the hospital. Since I didn't react to the mag sulfate like most patients the nurse agreed to bring Harry. We had about 20 minutes of snuggle time before Ant returned. Probably the best 20 minutes ever.

Our first picture together

Even though Ant was there, Harry wasn't allowed to spend the night with us because they needed to monitor him closely in the nursery.

So, that's basically it! The story of how Harry was born. After all these months and just a crappy list of notes I'm surprised how much I remembered!

He was transferred to the NICU the morning after he was born and immediately had to get an IV put in his arm to help regulate his blood sugars.


I wasn't allowed to see him again until 9:00p.m. that night because I was tied to the bed with a mag drip. Such a loooong, lonely day without my baby!

With Harry staying in the NICU he was not allowed to stay with us in the postpartum room, something I had a really hard time with. I knew it was for the best, but I just wanted to be like one of the "normal moms" and have him with is.

Because I was on the mag drip our insurance approved an extra night's stay at the hospital, which we gladly accepted. We were discharged on Thursday afternoon and Harry moved in with us Sunday evening, when he was six days old.

And now here we are, four months later.

4 months, 1 week and 1 day old

If you read this whole thing, thank you! I know it was long, but I wanted to write the story for myself so I can always remember it.

I LOVE YOU, HARRY DESMOND!

ETA: I found the first birth story I wrote right after I finished this one. Typical, right? It was saved in a temporary folder, weird. I didn't leave anything out in the version you just read so I'm going to leave it as is.
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