Monday, December 27, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome to this big ol' crazy world, Anthony!

AJ and I would like to proudly announce the birth of our new son:



Friday, December 10th, 2010

at 7:55 AM

8lbs. 3oz. & 21 inches

The story...

(kinda long--sorry)

We can't complain how Anthony came into this world...everything went better than expected. The end result was what mattered most..a beautiful, healthy boy in our arms! Here's how it all went down...

Last Thursday was a normal work day for both AJ and I. We were scheduled to check into the hospital at 7PM Thursday evening for our PRE-induction. So after work we decided to go out for dinner then head over to Community North. Over dinner we talked about how we thought the night and next day would pan out. AJ helped calm my nerves. I was such a mix of emotions..scared, anxious, and excited. Our original birth plan was to have a natural birth, but that obviously wasn't going to happen since I was about to be induced. It's possible but pretty uncommon that one can deliver without an epidural when being induced. I told AJ my goal was to make it to 7cm before being given anything for the pain. From what I had read, going from 7 to 10 centimeters (transition) is the most painful part of labor but also the quickest. So that was our plan..7cm..then home free. (Even though you CANNOT plan these things, I'm kind of a control freak I wanted to have something to shoot for). I also knew that the earlier a woman is given an epidural, chances are the labor will be longer. I was not up for a 20 hour labor! However it had to happen, we just wanted little boy (and mama) to be healthy and happy!

So we checked into our room and went over Dr. Ertle's instructions with the nurse: I was to be given three doses of Citatec-one every four hours (a pill inserted behind my cervix which dissolves and helps me dilate and thin). Then the plan was to meet with my doctor around 9AM on Friday to start the induction...break my water, epidural, pitocin drip, etc. The nurse informed me that I may have a little cramping but I needed to get as much rest as possible, since I would really need it for the next day.

Well at 9:15PM I had my first dose. Being hooked up to IVs and monitors made it really hard to sleep, so I pretty much laid there watching TV and staring at the ceiling. Fortunately, AJ was able to get a little rest. My nurse came in at 1:15AM to check on me to see if I had made any progress and give me my second dose. 2 1/2 cm and 75% effaced! Woohoo! She gave me my second dose and said I needed to lay flat for about an hour, but after that I could unhook my monitors and walk around. At 2:15AM I did just that. AJ and I walked up and down the hallways for a couple of hours. I noticed my mild cramping started turning into obvious contractions. I was so excited! This stuff must really be working! When it started getting uncomfortable, we walked down to the nursery to look at the adorable little babies...we needed the motivation and distraction.

I was determined to stay on my feet as much as possible...let the gravity do the work. The contractions started coming on stronger and faster, and by 4AM I didn't want to go out to the halls anymore. I felt too uncomfortable and modest for complete strangers watching me work through a contraction. The contractions were so strong I had to close my eyes and hold on to AJ's shoulders swaying back and forth focusing on deep breathing.

Let's talk about AJ for a minute. Holy moly...he deserves a GOLD MEDAL! He was so supportive. As the pain got worse, I could see in his eyes how helpless he felt. He was by my side the entire time giving me sips of water, massaging my back and shoulders, putting on music, holding my hands, coaching my breathing, etc., etc. I know he was physically and emotionally drained. I could not have done this without him. The best husband ever.

Around 4:30 AM my body made a sudden shift and the pain immediately went to my lower back. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like falling to my knees. I tried to lay down on my side, but that made it worse (not to mention made me almost throw up). So I stood up, paced around, then remembered that I needed to be on my hands and knees. Little boy was putting pressure on my lower spine, and bending over would shift his weight away with the help of gravity. So AJ got me a pillow and I got on the floor and rested on a chair. Every time I had a contraction AJ would massage my back. I would switch from leaning on the bed to the chair. I hit my "self-doubt emotional sign post", and wanted to just give up. I thought I was about to die. Keep in mind our nurse thought we were "resting" this whole time and didn't want to disturb us.

Our nurse finally came in at 5:15 to check me. 5 1/2 cm and fully effaced. Since I was completely thinned she couldn't give me the last dose..didn't matter..didn't need it. She said a good rule of thumb is to plan on dilating one cm per hour. What?! 5 more hours of this!?! I was so exhausted..all I wanted to do was sleep, but the pain was obviously way too intense. My goal was 7cm, but I wanted the epidural now...was running out of steam and wanted to cry thinking about how long this could go on. She called the anesthesiologist,and he said he'd be over in about a half hour after he finished with another patient. Every minute seemed like an hour. I had no concept of time and am sure I was annoying the nurse and AJ asking how long it had been.

An hour had passed and our anesthesiologist had forgot about us. The contractions were back to back, maybe 1 or 2 minutes apart leaving me hardly any time to rest in between. At 6:45am another anesthesiologist came by my room. The nurse did a check: 9 1/2 cm! Had I been thinking clearly I would have said heck with the epidural..I had already made it through the worst part. I'm disappointed now, because I never spoke up. She went ahead and gave me a "light" epidural. :( It was 7am at this point. At 7:30 it started setting in. I could still feel my contractions and move my legs, but it definitely took the edge off. I rested for a few minutes, then pushed for about 20 minutes. This part was easy! I was so determined to meet my little boy. The nurse put a mirror at the end of the bed so that I could see his little head starting to crown. At 7:55am Anthony Charles was born! This also happened to be sunrise to the minute...kinda cool. He's our little sunshine!

I realize now how important focus is when laboring naturally. Next time, I'll definitely try again for a natural birth. I know to be better prepared mentally and stay focused (and hopefully won't have to be induced again). Overall, I am so happy with how the delivery went. Active labor for 6 hours isn't bad. We have welcomed our new son into this big ol' crazy world, and AJ and I couldn't be happier. SO in LOVE!

Jim (AJ's stepfather) was so nice to put a great little BIRTH DAY video together for us:

Monday, December 6, 2010

40 weeks and 3 days

So I'm officially three days past my EDD. After a VERY long weekend of doing nothing but waiting for something to happen, I decided to call my doctor's office this morning. She was nice enough to squeeze me in this afternoon to sweep my membranes again. She said I was a lot softer than last week and now dilated to 2 cm! She also decided to do the NST today. She hooked me up to two monitors for about 30 minutes. One monitored baby boy's heart rate, and the other monitored my contractions. Yes, contractions. Apparently I'm having contractions and had no idea. I tried to pay close attention to how my body was feeling when I could see on the monitor that I was having one. The best way for me to explain it is tightening with a feeling of slight heart rate would go up and I would have a little shortness of breath. But this was very subtle. Baby boy's heart rate was great and everything looked perfect!

After talking it over with AJ and family, we decided to see if moving up our induction date to Friday was an option. Who wants to have a baby on the 13th anyway?! Dr. Ertle said that shouldn't be a problem at all, as long as they could reserve a room for me. She'll let me know for sure tomorrow. We'll check-in Thursday night, and she'll give me something to "ripen" my cervix. The goal would then be to try to get as much rest as possible that night. Then Friday morning, she'll see where we're at, and if necessary, break my water. Hopefully that will be enough to bring on strong enough contractions. If not, she'll start me on Pitocin...which will probably mean an epidural, too. :( I really want to have a natural birth, but I'm keeping an open mind...whatever needs to happen get him here safely. And who knows...he may come on his own before Friday. Say a prayer!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


39 weeks and 6 days and still 1 cm. Absolutely no progress since last week. Really. The only thing that extra spicy dinner did last night was give me terrible heartburn and no sleep. I need to walk on the treadmill tonight, but I'm so tired. I'm tired of getting my hopes up. So here's how things next week's doctors appointment I'll be 41 weeks. She will do an ultrasound to check my level of amniotic fluid. Then she'll do a non-stress test to make sure baby boy is still doing okay. She would normally induce labor at 41 weeks, but since I would like to try to have a natural delivery, she is going to give me until Monday the 13th. The worst part? Two days in a row I've had strangers ask me if I'm having twins. Grrrrr...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

Just got back from the doctor. Disappointingly, still 1 cm. :( The good news...75% effaced! She swept my membranes, which was a little uncomfortable but not nearly as painful as the horror stories I was told. This should release prostaglandins and help "get things going". I'm not getting my hopes up though...still 9 days away from my due date. The pelvic pressure and lower back pain have subsided today, which is why I'm not hopeful about going early. I'll just continue to hurry up and wait. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

38 weeks

Today marks 38 weeks! I'm dilated 1 cm but not really effaced yet. Wish it was more, but I'll take it. Next Wednesday she is going to try to "sweep my membranes." Did any of you moms out there have this done? Did it help get things going? I've been drinking my red raspberry leaf tea and trying to walk on my lunch hour. This week I've been feeling a lot of lower pressure and mild cramping. Maybe we'll have a Thanksgiving baby...

AJ and I are trying to live up the last few days of freedom we have left. I'm going to suggest a date night tonight...maybe dinner and a movie. Tomorrow we're meeting some friends for dinner. Mmmm....Bella Vita....can't wait!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Boy

We had an ultrasound at our doctor's appointment last Thursday, and his head is down like it should be! Hoooo-ray. Now hopefully he'll continue to be a good boy and stay there. He's been pretty well-behaved so far, so I think he will. 2 weeks and 4 days until our due date. And still not packed...working on it. I did get the Christmas tree up over the weekend though!

Monday, November 8, 2010

36 week update

Just a few more weeks to go! Our due date is December 3rd, and I pray I don't go too much over that. I'm getting a little restless at night, which in turn makes me tired during the day. Other than that, I can't complain. We see our doctor weekly now, and next week I think she'll do an ultrasound to make sure he is head down.

AJ and I have been busy trying to get ourselves prepared for parenthood. We've been reading everything we can get our hands on, taking classes--childbirth prep, breastfeeding, and natural childbirth, and soliciting advice. We're so blessed to have such generous friends and family who have showered us with gifts for baby Anthony. We're all set with baby gear. My mom has been especially helpful in getting us ready. I really don't know what I would have done without her help...I would be lost! We have his room almost ready, just some finishing touches and organizing. I still need to wash some more of his clothes. Question for the baby laundry detergent really necessary? I buy laundry detergent that is already free of dyes and fragrances for our clothes, and I would like to think this would be fine for Anthony, too. Trying to do things the right way as a first time mom, I went ahead and bought a couple of huge jugs of baby detergent..but it cost more than twice as much as regular detergent! Just curious what other moms out there do.

Next thing on the to-do list: start packing for the hospital!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

31 Weeks

Here I am with two of my dearest friends, Stacey and Mandy. I look HUGE for just being 31 weeks! If you look closely, you'll see that Stacey also has a little bump. I think she's around 20 weeks here. And Mandy just had lil' Jack 8 weeks ago...she looks amazing! The three of us grew up together, and it makes me happy knowing our kiddos will be so close in age, too! Love you girls! xoxo

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our First Anniversary

It's hard to believe how fast the past year has flown by. The wedding...honeymooning on Singer Island...spending Christmas time in California...New Year's Eve in Chicago...Costa Rica in trip to Petoskey in March...back to Chicago for Sophie's birthday in June..back to Chicago a couple more times...BUSY BUSY BUSY!! Our first year of marriage has been a whirlwind but so much fun. I thank God everyday for the life He has blessed us with. We've had our trying times still learning each other (I don't think that will ever end), but my love for my amazing husband continues to grow stronger each day.

With a baby on the way and such a hectic last few months, we decided to take off for a few days to celebrate our anniversary and have ourselves a little babymoon for some much needed alone time and lots of R&R. It was lovely!

Friday, September 10th, we drove down to Gatlinberg and stayed the night in an adorable little bed & breakfast nestled in the mountains. Here our view from the back porch. We had the most delicious gourmet breakfast the next morning. The Bananas Foster was to die for! We liked it so well that we got the recipe from the chef. The B&B experience was new to both of us. I must say AJ was a little weirded out at first, but I think the breakfast won him over.

The next day we drove in the rain through the smokies slowly and carefully making our way to Asheville. We spent the day exploring the town, had dinner a the Lobster Trap, and stayed at another quaint B&B.

Sunday, Sept. 12 was our anniversary. We began our day with another fabulous gourmet breakfast, got massages, then headed over to visit ol' man George Vanderbilt's home, The Biltmore Estate. Breathtaking.

The last couple of nights in Asheville we stayed at the Grove Park Inn (I highly recommend it). We had a romantic dinner on the Sunset Terrace. It was perfect. Happy anniversary, Honey!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

26 weeks

Me at 26 weeks. Still feeling great!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We're now 18 weeks along, and it's time to decide if we find out if we're having a boy or girl..or do we wait to be surprised?? I'm old-fashioned and really wanted to wait, but AJ on the other hand insisted on finding out so that he could be psychologically and emotionally prepared(whhaawhahh). Since I lost this battle, I decided to plan something a little different. We had our ultrasound tech put the sex in a sealed envelope. Later that evening we met our family for dinner and opened the envelope together....drum roll....It's a BOY! Here is a pic of us opening the envelope. I've never seen AJ so happy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So we have a bun in the oven! Talk about starting a new CHAPTER---whoa!! (I know this isn't news to most of you, but I promise to be better at updating this blog). AJ and I are so very excited to share with the world what's been going on in our lives over the past few months. In the spring--much to our surprise--we found out we were expecting. SURPRISE! You see, we were planning on starting this journey a little later, but the big guy upstairs had bigger plans for us. Once the shock wore off and we had some time to wrap our heads around what was in store for us, we couldn't be happier!

I have been so blessed to have had the "perfect" pregnancy so far. At the beginning, I was in complete denial that I was even pregnant. I kept reading online about all of the early pregnancy signs (which I had none), so after a few weeks I was starting to get concerned. If I was pregnant I thought I should be on a hormonal roller coaster, having morning sickness, severe fatigue, etc. But I felt totally normal. At 8 weeks, we decided to visit the doc to see what was really up. The nurse practitioner recommended an early ultrasound to make sure everything was normal. After all, having pregnancy symptoms (even the not-so-fun ones) is a healthy sign that your body is producing good levels of progesterone to support a little bambino.

Sure enough everything checked out great! Seeing a little teeny tiny baby on the screen and hearing his heart beat for the first time was truly the most amazing thing I've ever wittnessed! I still tear up thinking about the first time I saw him. He looked just like a little gummy bear! Most people don't get to see their babies this early. They change so much every day in the beginning. Here is a pic of the little guy at at 8 weeks. You can see his head and body, and the little buds will soon be his hands and feet. The white circle is the yolk sac (this was pretty cool to see..most people never see this). This is what he feeds off of before the placenta is formed. The black is the amniotic fluid. Right now he's about the size of a kidney bean--so cute!