; World of Dennifer: October 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

So this is what happens when you make plans...my birth story

I had so many plans. Plans to have final lunch dates with girlfriends & co-workers. Plans to do some final baby shopping & some final tidying up around the house. Plans to enjoy the final few weeks of my pregnancy with my hubby. Plans to attend a close friend's bachlorette party on October 16th (they went on a wine tour earlier in the day & were gonna do pizza & movies at the bride's house, so I was gonna attend that part). We also had a final baby shower being thrown for us by the hubb's co-workers on October 21st. And I even volunteered to act as team leader for my boss who is going out of town for the last couple of weeks in October...we had just talked about it on the morning of Wednesday, October 13th & he asked if I was sure since the time I was volunteering to act on his behalf was only literally days from my due date. I was SO sure I told him..."there's no way Amaya is coming before the end of October," I said. And that very same night my water broke & the next day, our little girl arrived!

Now that I've been a mommy for 2 weeks now & things are starting to settle down just a little bit, I decided to finally sit down & write out my full birth story. This is gonna be LONG & very detailed {reader discretion is advised} because I want to have this documented for me to be able to come back & read later on, so bear with me.

I went to work on October 13th & everything seemed normal enough. I was 36 weeks & 4 days pregnant...the hubbs & I had started carpooling so just in case I went into labor at work, then my husband would be able to pick me up & drive me to our hospital. But that day, I rode the metro (the DC Metro Area's public transit rail - my job subsidizes the cost of it) because Dennis stayed home to telework (I switched my telework day that week due to a mandatory meeting). Now if you aren't from the DC Metro Area or other highly populated city, then it's important for me to note that everyone walks FAST to get on & off the trains & up & down the escalators, etc. So I got a decent amount of exercise in that day because I power walked in the morning & afternoon while commuting...not sure if that is important to my story or not, just my hypothesis, LOL. Anywho, I had a normal day at work, no real contractions to speak of. I had been having a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions the weekend before & that day as well. Not enough to be alarmed or call the doctor or anything, maybe 3-4 a day since the previous Saturday. I got home at my normal time - around 6pm & changed into more comfortable clothes. It was a really nice evening, so we planned to grill some pork chops that night. The hubbs was out on the deck getting the grill ready & I was relaxing on the couch in my normal spot. :) Then, as I was watching TV, waiting to get started cooking, I felt this pop & gush around 6:45pm'ish. And I immediately stood up to get off the couch. I hadn't sneezed or coughed or anything, but I was in denial that my water had broke, so I just figured I lost control of my bladder randomly for some odd reason. Well, that was NOT the case at all, lol.

I went to our powder room to try & pee & just see if that's what was going on. I said to Dennis, "The weirdest thing just happened to me..." He said, "What?" And I said, "I think my water just broke." Then he said, "Stop playing!!?!" So I told him I wasn't kidding & I made him come in the bathroom to check where the "water" was coming from (I had peed & then when I was done the gushing had not stopped - it would gush then stop, then gush again & I could feel that it wasn't coming from the same place pee comes from, haha). He checked & said, "Ummm, yeah that's definitely not pee!" So then he started getting excited & frantic at the same time, saying let's go to the hospital...NOW! I told him to calm down & then I remembered what my OB said at my 36 week appointment - she said if 1 of 3 things happened, then to call the Dr.'s office before heading to the hospital. One of those 3 things was my water breaking, so I had him call my OB instead while I cleaned up in the bathroom & then I put on a heavy pad & went upstairs to finish packing my bag for the hospital. I had never finished doing it! I planned to finish the following weekend, but clearly that was too late! It was after office hours, so we left a voice mail for my Dr. & finished throwing stuff in my bag while waiting on the Dr. to call back. The baby's bag was packed already at least. :)  It's important to note here for all you other 1st time moms, I had NEVER lost my mucus plug or had a bloody show that I read so much about while pregnant.  My water just broke while I was resting on the couch with no warning. I did notice a light amount of blood on my pad that I changed once more before heading to the hospital, but otherwise, I didn't have any of the other labor warning signs. When my Dr. called back, she asked me a bunch of questions to try & ascertain if my water had broken & she agreed that it probably had, so she told me to come to the hospital to get checked out - not to rush because it was not an emergency since we had 24 hours to deliver the baby after my water broke to prevent infection.  So the hubbs walked the dog & I put some food down for him. We got everything together, the hubbs packed up my SUV & we headed out. I wish I had eaten something because once I got to the hospital, they didn't allow me to eat ANYTHING but ice chips. And I was SO hungry after a while.

On the way to the hospital I called my sister, dad, mom, the hubbs called his mom & I texted a few close friends to let them know what was going on. I'll never forget that car ride. I think I was still in denial that it was happening right then. The hubbs & I talked about how we felt about the baby coming so soon - excited, nervous, scared, happy...just a flood of a lot of emotions. So we got to the hospital & went up to labor & delivery (L&D) & they were ready for me because my Dr. had already told them I'd be coming in. They put me in a triage room (which was empty) to check me in, ask me some questions & I think the original plan was to do a test to ensure my water had, in fact, broken, but all the nurse checking me in did was take one look & she knew that it had. I wasn't in triage for long - they moved me to my labor, delivery & recovery (LDR) room shortly after (around 8:30pm), which was big & spacious. My Dr. came in shortly after to check in on me & we discussed my wishes during the birth. I told her I wanted an epidural, but not until I was at least 4-5 cm dilated. Since my water had broken, we had 24 hours to deliver the baby to avoid infection.  She checked my cervix & I was only 1 cm dialated, and since I wasn't really having any good contractions on my own, she said she wanted to give me a low dose of pitocin to see if it would help me progress. Here I am right after getting into my LDR room, still doing good - just nervously excited:

So anywho - the pitocin started working & it was rough - I mean ROUGH! Like the worst pain I ever remember feeling in my life. I was literally loosing my effing MIND. When I was about 2-3 cm dilated, I asked for a narcotic pain killer to help me manage the pain for a while longer before asking for the epidural. I was scared the epidural would slow down my labor, so I tried to wait it out. The pain killer they gave me in my IV (forgot the name) helped for like a minute, lol. It made me feel nice...between contractions, which were coming about every 5 minutes or so at this point, so I took little cat naps between them. The pain killer didn't work for long though. My contractions started to get more & more painful & closer together. I'm talking nobody touch me, grabbing on the bed rails, shaking all over, moaning in agony pain. When my Dr. came to check me again, I was close to 4 cm dilated & she asked if she could talk me into the epidural now & I said YES PLEASE. I had previously told the hubbs not to let me get a epidural until I was at least 4-5 cm, so he innocently reminded me about that & I told him I literally didn't care what I said before, I needed this epidural! So the Dr. ordered it & it took the anesthesiologist an hour & a half to get to me. Apparently it was a really busy night for births, but sheesh I thought I was gonna loose my mind waiting on him! I was having contractions so closely together - about 1.5-2 minutes apart, so they kept coming while the anesthesiologist was placing the epi. I had to stay SO still, which was hard with all the pain I was in. Anywho, I got my epi around 4am & could only feel it in my right side at first & I thought I was gonna be one of those people you read about that still feel labor in one side after getting the epi. But my nurse told me to lay on my left side for a little while & see if that helped...it did, thank goodness. :)

It took about 10-15 minutes for the full effect of the epi to kick in, then I was all good. Numb from the waist down, so I didn't feel much by way of contractions after that. It was so nice to get a break from those contractions, whew. After that I went to sleep for a couple of hours & woke up around 6:30 am or so. My {new} nurse (they had changed shifts in the middle of the night) checked me & I was 9 cm! She called my Dr. who came in & told me that I'd probably start pushing in about an hour or two, so she told me to call my mom & sister, who were going to be in the room while I was pushing. I called them both & told them when to be at the hospital. By 7:30 am my sister had arrived, but my mother decided to go run an errand before coming to the hospital, lol. Just like my mom!! Ugh. Well by that time I could literally feel the baby's head on my pelvic bone. I told the nurse that I felt like her head was about to literally fall out of me, so she checked me & she was like "oh yeah, she's right there & your 10cm, 100% effaced!" So she called my Dr. & told me to do a practice push, which I did & she told me to stop & not to push anymore until my Dr. arrived. She said that the baby was right there & ready to come with just a few pushes. By the time my Dr. arrived my mom was STILL not there, so she asked if I wanted to wait for her. My sister had just called to see where she was & she said she was turning into the hospital campus, so I said that I didn't want to wait any longer. I figured by the time she got there the baby wouldn't be out anyways. After a few pushes {about 5 min.}, my mom finally arrived & by that time I had gotten the hang of pushing. I pushed for maybe 10 more minutes for 10 seconds each time & she slid right out @ 8:10 am! They laid her right on my tummy & the hubbs cut the umbilical cord. I cuddled her for a few seconds until they took her over to get cleaned up, measured, weighed, etc. She was so beautiful & cried right away! She got APGARs of 8 & then 9 & weighed in at 4 pounds 13 ounces & was 17.5 inches long. A teeny tiny little miracle - our sweet little baby girl!

And while they worked on her, my Dr. delivered the placenta, which I asked to see - [TMI ALERT] looked kinda like a redish purplish octopus, and sewed me up - I had a minor tear. The placenta was sorta gross & amazing all at the same time...my child had received everything she needed from me through that thing while growing away inside of me? The miracle of childbirth & God. Simply amazing.

After I got all cleaned up, my dad & little sister came by to visit & see the babe before I was moved to my post-partum room. And the Dennifers took our very first family picture with our newest edition {minus Dizz}:

And that's my birth story! Although she was small & technically pre-term, she was really healthy, but had a little trouble maintaining a normal body temp & she had some jaundice. Due to her bilirubin levels/jaundice, she had to stay in the hospital one additional day for photo-therapy, which was scary for me & made me sad, but was best for her in the end. And I think it looked much worse than it actually was - I think she liked the warm lights & she did excellent sleeping under them:

My poor baby! It looks worse than it was, she was pretty calm under the lamps (the nurse told me it was 85 degrees & comfy under the lights). It's just scary seeing your 3 day old baby with those "sunshades" on in that big incubator.

We are still adjusting to being parents & caring for a newborn is much more hectic than we both expected, but we are loving every minute of it! I promise my blog will be back to it's regularly scheduled programming soon, but for now I'll just post when I get a free second & free hand!

And for kicks, here are my final two sets of bump shots @ 35 & 36 weeks:

35 weeks - clothed & bare:

36 weeks - clothed & bare:

Hope you enjoyed my birth story! 'Till next time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our perfect baby girl is here!

And we are so in love! Please welcome our teeny little cutie:

Amaya Jade
Born Thursday, October 14, 2010
4 lbs. 13 oz.
17.5 inches

We are both doing well...more pics & birth story coming soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Looks like Baby J didn't wanna wait...

OMG you guys...my water broke at 6:45pm EST. I got admitted to the hospital around 8pm'ish. Looks like the babe will be here even sooner than we expected!!! This is a major  shocker for us - I am 36 weeks & 4 almost 5 days, so please just pray that me & the babe will continue to do well. We are doing good so far. Will update when I can!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Project Nursery - the BIG reveal!!

Well it's done. It's finally done! As most of you know, I love D&R and DIY'ing stuff, but I never had more fun doing a room & DIY decor for a room than I have getting Baby J's room together. I don't know if it's because I'm just so stinkin' excited to meet this baby girl or if it's just that I have been itching to do a cute nursery since we bought this house back in 2007 & I got the D&R itch {I suspect it's a little of both}?! This post will be very picture heavy, but I'll also give source info & also link to tutorials for DIY projects...so without further adieu, here is our precious little girl's loosely owl themed nursery!

Here's the entry door to her room with the diaper wreath my girlfriend made as a gift hung up:

Come in & take a look...

View from entry to room:

View from the other side of the room:

And the front wall of the room where her {teeny tiny} closet & bookcase are located:

And now all the deets! Quick overall side note - the paint color is Valspar's Ocean Whisper in their Satin Finish, not sure if I ever posted that info. I think we'll start with the back wall first:

And some closeup details....
 {reading corner}

{wall shelf}

If you remember all the way back to my master plan for the nursery, this wall was slated for the dresser/changer combo & glider/ottoman, which will serve as our little reading & rocking corner. Both the dresser/changer combo & crib are a part of the Baby Cache Oxford Collection - $569.99 {dresser} & $469.99 {crib} (we bought it during a 20% off all nursery furniture promotion). The glider & ottoman are both the Newco brand from Baby Depot. We got them both for a little less than $350 because the color we wanted {chocolate} was being discontinued - just fine for me & you know I love a deal! The pillow on the glider is a part of the Brooke Collection from PBK - $19 (not including the cost of the pillow insert, but I believe it was on sale when I bought it & I had a one-time 10% off coupon). The wall decal is a mirror image of this one sold by Designed Designer on Etsy - $68. The wall shelf is the Shelf Silverstein from Land of Nod - $45. The diaper caddy is by Sara Bear from Target - $30 (got it while it was $5 off). The night light on the far right corner of the shelf is a Spoka Night Light from Ikea ($13) & the owl bookend is from I Sew Lucky on Etsy ($24'ish each - I got two during a BOGO promotion for $40 total I believe).  The changing pad was from CSN & I got it for FREE by winning a blog contest....my fave price of course! The ribbon mobile & bow holder are both DIY. Everything else you see was a gift or will be covered in another section of the room.

Next, let's move on to the crib wall:

And some closeup details....

 {DREAM banner}

{DIY Martha Stewart Poms}

Since the back wall has so much going on & because the PBK Coco Dot crib bedding ($248 & I used a one-time 10% off coupon I had for PBK) is so pretty & bright, I wanted to keep this wall relatively simple. The vintage DREAM banner is from the Crepe Confectionary on Etsy - $24 & I got the inspiration for the banner from Holly's cute nursery for her little girl Wren over at Life in the Fun Lane. And finally, the poms are DIY - there are lots of tutorials on the web for these poms, but I used the one on Imperfectly Beautiful & I used tissue paper from Target...they have such cute colors & they always have a great selection on clearance.

As for the bookshelf/closet wall:

{photo/art wall}

{canvas toy bucket}

{closet + DIY dividers}

{wall art made by my little sister's BFF}

The bookshelf is the Bentley Kid's Cubby Bookcase from Target - $99 (with free shipping). The wall frames are from Amazon, Target & WalMart - they are all a similar style, but I just bought them from the different places based on costs/needs. The ABC and Sunshine art are from Pretty Smitten on Etsy (sorry no prices because the shop is temporarily closed due to the shop owner going out on maternity leave so she can prepare to welcome her newest bundle of joy). The frames filled with the cutesy patterned paper will eventually be filled with Baby J & family photos, but I filled them with cute paper for now so they looked nice up on the wall. The shadowbox owl art was DIY. The toy bucket is from the Girls' Canvas Bucket collection at PBK - $35 + $6.50 for personalization (used my PBK 10% off on this too). The closet dividers are DIY.

And finally the wall where the room's two windows are:
And details...
{DIY owl lamp}

 {framed art hung between windows}

The window treatments are Vivan Panels from Ikea - $13 for a pair of two, so $26 total. I am SO proud of those curtains, lol...I hemmed them myself & I think I did a pretty darn good job, but let me tell you - that was so time consuming! I was so happy to be done! I forgot to take a closeup picture of the window hardware we waited on forever, but it's the Pink Bubble Rod hardware from JCP - $15 each. The matching "beautiful" & "miracle" art are from [ReDeemed] Unique Art - one piece I won in a blog contest & the other I purchased, but I can't remember the exact price. They are each one of a kind, but I believe if you ocntact Noel from ReDeemed, she can do something similar if you are interested. And of course, the lamp is a DIY makeover from Salvation Army.
So that's it! What do you think?! The room has been done since this past Friday, but I knew it would take a while to write out this post, so I have been procrastinating. It was worth the wait right?! I absolutely L-O-V-E her nursery - turned out just the way I imagined it & I'm so happy we put all the effort into it that we did {speacial thanks to my husband for putting up with me & all my decision changes [as if he had a choice ;oP] & for doing all the manual labor, lol}. Now all we're missing is our little Baby J...but she'll be here so soon! Thanks for following the chronicle of Baby J's nursery progress & I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Wanna see our little one's nursery progress from the beginning?! Check out the master plan for the room, the first set of DIY goodies I made for our little girl, the major furniture all put together, my cute owl accent finds & my decision to do a understated owl theme in her nursery, my "owl" bean bag score turned FAIL, how we "planted" a tree behind the glider to read books to our sweet baby girl under, my easy peasy DIY owl wall art that I made using recycled greeting cards, the finished dresser/changer combo & crib walls plus a simple & cute DIY bow holder, her cute bargain bookshelf & the plans for the wall it's up against plus a simple DIY framed monogram, the DIY Salvation Army reading lamp makeover I did to go next to her glider, and our bedding selection! 'Till next time!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Fall Decor!

So this year I wanted to keep our fall decor relatively simple being that I am over 30 weeks pregnant & I'll be having this little one during the mid to later part of the fall. If you remember from my inspiration post, most of the things I wanted to do are pretty simple DIY-wise & low maintenance. I showed you my DIY wreath from last year, which is up again, but now I want to show off everything else I did to decorate for my favorite season of the year!

Here's our living room:

From front entry door:

From powder room:

For this room, I just switched out the throw pillows with the burnt orange ones I already owned & the brown button pillows were already there. Then, I added my new PB Essential Throw (which is quite comfy ;o) & a new shag area rug ($75 from Walmart..I LOVE this rug, it's so soft on my toes). I am lovin' how simple, but pretty it is! I forgot to take a photo of the wall with the entertainment center, but it's decorate with fall colored candles, which I'll switch out for Christmas colors in the winter.

And for the entryway table:

Please excuse the dog bowls, lol...this is the entry between the LR & DR/kitchen area since we don't have a formal front entryway.

Some close ups...
family name sign

...and my little pumpkins inspired by this PBK treat basket.

We already owned all of the candles & the faux fall leaves, I just arranged them around our family name sign. I got the large glass vase from HomeGoods & added some more of the faux leaves & my DIY ribbon pumpkins. They were so easy to make that I didn't even do a tutorial! Just grab some small faux pumpkins form your local craft store & some fall colored ribbon. Then, just hot glue the ribbon on to the pumpkins & wha-lah...pretty fall pumpkins! These are, by far, my favorite fall decor for this year - thanks to Pottery Barn for the inspiration!

And the final area I decorated, the dining room table, which was also kept very simple:

Close ups...

I got all the supplies for the centerpiece from Save On Crafts, which I discovered during my wedding planning...they have really cool, unique stuff & great prices. The little guys I used as filling for the vintage wood box are called dried puka pods - they are so cute, they look just like mini pumpkins, don't they?! So perfect.

And that's my fall decor! I wanted to do some mums out on the font porch & I still may, but I just haven't found a nice enough planter to put them in. We'll also carve a couple pumpkins closer to Halloween & that'll be it for this year. Simple & low maintenance - just how I wanted it. :)

Sorry this took so long to get up - I have been so busy lately - either that or tired, so I have been slacking on cleaning up my house & taking these pics. How are all of you doing on your fall decor this year? Did you do something simple like me or did you go all out?! Please share your links, I'd love to check it out. 'Till next time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Baby J to do list update - 10.08.10

29. That's the number of days until Baby J's due date...you read that right, twenty nine! OMG, I can't believe how soon that is. I have totally been slacking on updating my Baby J to do list, but I have been continuing to tackle the items, so I figure better late than never, right?! I looked back through my posts & saw that the last time I updated this was on September 17th! Definitely time do another one...time is running short & we still have a lot left to do. Here are the latest updates:

House Related:

  • Buy new area rug for living room. 
  • Find (or make) & install valance over sliding glass door (not so sure this one will get done - depends on how much the valance I like will cost).
  • Mop hardwoods in all areas.
  • Clean base boards throughout house.
  • Scrub walls where Dizz grease spots are --> LOL, yes my dog leaves grease marks in the areas where he always leans against the walls! What? Your dog doesn't?! Hahahaha. Who knows WTH is up with that..my dog is a weirdo - he gets bathed/groomed like every other month...promise!
  • Buy & have the hubbs put together Billy bookcase from Ikea in basement office area.
  • Clean out basement utility storage closet. -- I wish I took before & afters...my husband seriously did an AMAZING job cleaning out this area. 
  • Buy iPod Clock/Radio for MB.
  • Find & buy *small* entertainment system for MB TV (this is a DH added to do, lol).
  • Do the fall decorating! -- post showing all of this year's fall decor sometime next week!
  • Steam clean Dizz grease spots where he lays on the carpet - just like on the walls for the stairs, if he lays in one spot a lot, the grease from his coat makes that spot on the carpet dirty...eww!  
  • ADDED: Buy & install new storm door. -- Because of the specific one we wanted, we had to get it special ordered, so we did that last weekend & are now waiting on it to come in!

Baby J/Nursery Related: 
Baby J Stuff (in no particular order)- 

  • Take childbirth class - scheduled for September 26, 2010!
  • Buy a few nursing tanks, sports bras & lounge pants. -- I got a these nursing bras the other day from Motherhood Maternity:
I plan to use these along with sports bras I already have. I also picked up a couple pairs of lounge pants from Old Navy in one size larger than my pre-pregnancy size for comfort & will use those along with lounge pants I already own. I decided against nursing tops altogether & will just stick with the bras & comfy regular t-shirts &tank tops. I didn't want to buy a whole bunch of nursing wear when I'm not sure how long I'll nurse &/or not sure how long I'll wear the stuff even if I nurse for a long time.
  • Return any stuff we get duplicates of; freecycle/donate {hand-me-down} clothes we won't use. 
  • ADDED: Buy any items not received as gifts that we will need immediately. -- Babies 'R Us has a pretty great sale this weekend, so I'll likely tackle this one today or tomorrow. We don't need much, mainly just the monitor, maybe a couple blankets (I surprisingly didn't get many as gifts, but my mom did give me several hand me down blankets) & several burp cloths (again, didn't get many as gifts, but I plan to buy two packs of the Gerber Cloth Diaper inserts & use those...I hear they are awesome to use as burp cloths).
  • Pack hospital bag. -- Yeah, ummm...I need to get on this one. Hoping to tackle it this weekend!
  • Install car seat in my SUV & get installation inspected.
Nursery Stuff -

  • Hang curtains (on hold until we get the hardware in early Oct. :o( ).
  • Put up remaining leaves/berries on tree & "blow" them around windows (also on hold until curtains are put up).
  • Hang framed "Beautiful" & "Miracle" [ReDeemed] Unique wall art (also on hold until curtains are put up).
  • Buy remaining frames for photo wall. 
  • Wash all clothes & blankets; put away in drawers.-- I did one round of washing already, plan to do the rest this weekend.

Financial Related:
  • Make 529 (college savings) plan choice & get/read enrollment info. -- Read all the info - just need to make a final decision now.
  • Look into life insurance coverage & discuss/make any necessary adjustments. 

M'wah Related:

  • Change name with electric company, school loans & long-term savings bank account (no, I still haven't done the name changes on a few accounts). 
  • Finalize maternity leave plan, type it up & submit it to my supervisor & team leader; put leave requests in time tracking system.
  • Get hair cut & straightened before due date. LOL, for some reason I want my hair straight when the baby's born (it's more manageable that way than in its natural CURLY state), so if I have time, I'm gonna try & keep it straight for the few weeks leading up to my due date. 
  • Pick out design for birth announcements (so that I can order them soon after she arrives); make address labels for envelopes. 
  • ADDED: Write & send out all thank you notes. -- I got all of them done for the gifts from Baby J's first shower, now I need to write & send the ones for shower #2!
So that's my update, we have gotten a whole lot done & still have a decent amount of work to do! The good thing is most of the labor intensive & major stuff is out of the way. And, if you look closely at the nursery to do's, we are all D-O-N-E with the nursery, woooooot! I'm so excited to show it off - big reveal coming up on Tuesday (since Monday's a holiday)!!! Last day of work in the office - October 29 - only 21 days to go! And only 4 weeks left till Baby J's due date - please come on time little one, mommy & dad can't wait to meet you. Gotta run now so I can work on tackling some more of this list. I'll be back later this weekend or sometime next week with my 35-36 week pregnancy update, to show off my fall decor & of course, Tuesday's BIG reveal of the nursery! Hope everyone has a wonderful Columbus Day weekend!! 'Till next time!