Health, Love & Fire: August 2015

Harper's Birth Story

Monday, August 24, 2015

Well it's finally time to share Harper's birth story. It's honestly more for me to remember than anything else, but in my last few weeks of pregnancy I found comfort in reading other's stories so maybe this will do the same for other people.

Throughout my pregnancy we had talked with my doctor and had known that she would induce me if my blood pressure became an issue or If I had gotten to 39 weeks and Harper still wasn't here. So the week before she arrived I started to feel like my blood pressure was running higher. Each time Dan checked it, I found I was right in what I was concerned might be happening. By Friday the 7th after two doctors appointments that week, we finally decided it was better for me and the baby to go ahead and induce me that Sunday. I would be about 37 and a half weeks at that point and if I was induced then, there was a good chance my doctor would get to take care of me, which is something I was really hoping for all along. 

So after leaving the doctors office in a complete haze and taking the next day and a half to get the final things ready, we went to hospital on Sunday night at 7pm to be induced. I cried the whole way to the hospital from home, all 5 minutes of the drive, just feeling scared and nervous for what was about to happen and excited to finally meet our little girl. My mom happens to work in labor and delivery at the same hospital where we were delivering so we arrived to familiar faces and a decorated room which immediately helped calm down some of my nerves. 

After getting me all checked in they put me on monitor, got an IV started and ran some labs. A few minutes later my nurse came in to tell me I was actually having 6-8 contractions in a 10 minute span so unless they could slow those down, they couldn't give me the medication they were planning on using to induce labor and prepare my cervix. So in an effort to calm down my body and slow down my contractions they started giving me fluids at around 8:30pm. Even after an hour and a half, the fluids weren't slowing down my contractions so they decided to start me on pitocin at 10 and have me try to rest to get things progressing. Both Dan and I were honestly shocked that I was having so many contractions and weren't expecting for that to be an issue for my induction. My parents stopped by that evening to make sure I was all settled and check on both dan and I before we tried to get some rest.

By 4:30am I was too uncomfortable between the bed making my back hurt and my contractions that I decided to move to the recliner in the room and get comfortable there until my doctor came to do rounds around 8. When she came by and checked me, I was still only 1cm and 60% effaced so she decided to put in something called a folie bulb that would be filled with fluid and slowly pulled downward to help ripen and prepare my cervix over the next few hours and increase my dosage of pitocin. By this point I was tired from not getting any sleep and just wanted to do something to get my labor progressing. After they put in the bulb or balloon which is what it was really like, I started to feel a lot more contractions and be in much more pain. I labored in the chair and even took a break and sat in a bath to hopefully pass the time and ease the pain.  

My doctor came back around 12:30pm to check me and take the bulb out if it hadn't fallen out. Thankfully it had done it's job and I was now 4cm and 80% effaced. I was so happy that things were finally progressing. At that point she gave me the option of either continuing to just increase the pitocin and let me labor or to increase the pitocin and break my water which would help speed things along. I decided that I wanted to get things going as much as possible so we decided to have her break my water after I had gotten an epidural. The anesthesiologist came to my room around 1 to give me my epidural and my doctor came back at 3 to break my water. At that point I was 5 cm, so she had my nurse increase the pitocin and said she'd check back with me in a little while. My parents and brother had stopped by around this time and chatted with us for a while helping to pass the time. 

My doctor checked back with me at 530, and I had only progressed to 6cm. I was frustrated that we had been trying things for close to 24 hours and I was progressing so slowly. The monitor was showing that I was still having contractions every few minutes but my doctor wanted to be able to check to see how strong they were to see if they were actually getting stronger. So in order to track that they started me on an internal monitor and increased my piton and fluids. After a couple hours, they checked me at 8:30 and I had made it to 7cm. This was right around change of shift and we were getting the same night nurse we had the night before. I was sad that we hadn't had our baby yet, but happy to have the same nurse again. Dan and I  took the opportunity after shift change to take some time to rest and take a short nap to pass the time and save some energy for hopefully pushing soon. I was so happy to wake up from my nap around 11 and find out that I was almost 10cm and fully effaced. Finally something had worked to get me closer to the end and it was almost time to meet our little girl. 

Our nurse let my doctor know and started prepping the room for the delivery and showed me how to push. In the moment it felt like we had been there for days and like even though we were so close to having our little girl here, that we still had so far to go. I was so thankful to have Dan by my side and such an amazing nurse and my doctor there to help me through pushing. I started pushing at 11:30pm and Harper was born at 1:54 am. Pushing was such an exhausting but empowering experience. My epidural had worn off a bit, but I didn't want to press my button for more medicine because I was worried I wouldn't be able to feel everything as well and that pushing would be more difficult. I was definitely not expecting to be in labor for over 30 hours before Harper joined our family or the fact that I would have to push for over 2 hours, but once she was here, none of that really mattered. She was here, all 6 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches of her! 

Harper ended up having the cord wrapped around her neck so she needed some oxygen after a short period of skin to skin with me. Having her placed on my chest was the most surreal moment of my life. The nurses checked her out to make sure her breathing returned to normal and the rest of her health was good while my doctor did my stitches and finished cleaning me up. The couple hours after her birth were really a blur. At 2am after 31 hours of labor I was exhausted and overwhelmed and so happy to finally have her here! Our parents and my brother and his girlfriend all came in the room to meet her around 4am and then they gave us all a few hours to rest a bit. We spent another day and a half in the hospital and were so happy to finally be able to head home! We brought Harper home in the same outfit I wore on my first day home and arrived to our garage door all decorated. Now nearly two weeks later, I can't imagine Harper not being a part of our family! 

Bumpdate 36 & 37 Weeks!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Since I didn't get these bump dates up before I had our little girl, I decided to still post my 36 & 37 week bump dates to finish out my pregnancy weekly posts! 

Week: 36

Symptoms: More swelling in my feet and ankles, my blood pressure has been a bit higher lately, crazy dreams, and overall just tired at the end of the day. I am definitely enjoying taking some relaxing baths and propping my feet up on the couch in the evenings! 

Cravings: Nothing new . . . still loving all the fresh fruit available right now and as always some ice cream most evenings

Sleep: Definitely better after Dan installed the ceiling fan! I was just getting so overheated at night that I couldn't rest well. Ever since he put the fan in, I've been sleeping a lot better. Unless I have some of the crazy dreams I've been having, then my nights consist of a little less rest. 

Clothes: All maternity all the time! Getting a little tired of rotating the same couple pieces every day and already looking forward to doing some post baby shopping before I go back to work. 

Workout: Getting walks in, and even participated in Relay For Life this last weekend where I took a 3 hour shift of walking - Don't worry, I took breaks during that time frame! 

Nursery: Pretty much finished, just need her and then I can finally hang her name on the wall! 

Movement: Still getting lots of movement, which is actually making me have contractions at the same time. 

Best Moment This Week: Every week I look forward to our Drs Appointments now to hear how she's doing and if I've progressed at all! 

Missing: Having a larger wardrobe to choose from! 

Week: 37

Symptoms: Tired, my blood pressure keeps increasing, and starting to get nervous/excited for our little girl to be here. 

Cravings: Nothing new . . . still not really craving anything specific and having a tough time even finding things that sound good

Sleep: Depends on the night. A little better this week, but waking up feeling pretty uncomfortable from laying in the same position for too long. 

Clothes: Anything that fits and is somewhat comfortable is what I'm wearing! 

Workout: Fairly nonexistent this week 

Nursery: Almost all finished, just waiting on the mobile! 

Movement: Lots! Little girl loves to move and squirm all around! 

Best Moment This Week: Finding out that we are going to be induced this sunday and this will be my last week of being pregnant! 

Missing: With all of the excitement and nerves of the upcoming induction, I'm missing some wine to calm my nerves! 

She's Here!

Monday, August 17, 2015

In case you missed it on Instagram, Harper Robin Boyes was born on Tuesday August 11th at 1:54am! We are absolutely in love and are soaking up every minute with her!

I will be back more this week to share some of the bump dates I missed and her birth story! Thanks to everyone who sent their congratulations and love! We are feeling so so blessed!

Hey Hey It's Friday!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Happy Friday! This could officially be the last weekend that it's just Dan and I in the house which is absolutely crazy! So bare with me while my mind is all over the place today!

If you haven't already seen these amazing bracelets on blogger or instagram, then I'm glad you stopped by today! One of my favorite bloggers and someone who I've leaned on a ton throughout my pregnancy Katie had her baby Charlotte almost two weeks ago now. During delivery, Charlotte inhaled meconion and is now suffering from Meonium Aspiration Syndrome and several very serious side affects from that. Katie has been posting daily updates on her Instagram and posted a bit about it on her blog. Throughout this entire process, Katie has shown so much strength and faith and  I'm thankful that one of her friend's Emily has created a way that we can help her and her husband throughout Charlotte's recovery.

If you're interested in helping, all you have to do is go to this specific post on Emily's Instagram and leave your email address. Emily will then contact you and send you a paypal invoice and for just $10 you can not only get these sweet pink bracelets but you can also help Katie and Ethan at the same time. All the proceeds go directly to their family to help with the medical bills they are incurring, and at the same time will be a great reminder to all of us to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. You can also help them out by donating on their Go Fund Me page. Every little bit helps, so please if you can, help out this sweet couple and their little Charlotte.

As I mentioned, this could be our last weekend just the two of us. Because of my history of high blood pressure, I've been monitored by my doctor more closely throughout my entire pregnancy. Now that I'm 37 weeks, my blood pressure seems to be starting to increase even while on my normal medication for it so my doctor is thinking the baby may come sooner than my scheduled induction on the 20th. She told us on Wednesday at our appointment that she could end up inducing me as early as this weekend, and I'm not gonna lie, that freaked me out a little! No matter what happens, our little girl will be here in no more than 13 days! Cue me freaking out now!

I have seen a few other bloggers post some of their weekly favorite blog posts on their blogs and I decided to jump on that train so that some of you can check out my favorites from the week.

- 8 Tips For Shooting Outfit Pictures from Samantha at The Samantha Show - I don't know about you but I am nervous to attempt a fashion or outfit post, but the tips Samantha shares make me feel like trying one out!

- 3 Ways Businesses Can Work with Local Bloggers from Meredith Noelle - She shares some awesome ideas on how to partner with local shops and businesses to help your blog grow along with helping the business grow.

- Baby Shower Gift Ideas from Casual Claire - It seems like all over blogland and in my everyday life, all my friends are having babies (including me) so Claire's ideas for what to get people as baby shower gifts came at the perfect time!

- DIY Starburst Mirrior from Erika at This Crazy Thing Called Life - I love everything about this diy tutorial and love how it added color and the perfect accent to her living room!

As one of our last date nights, Dan and I made our annual trip to the Portland Street of Dreams this week. I always love touring the houses, getting decor ideas and dreaming about all the things I would put in our dream house. This is probably the 6th or 7th year we've gone and I hope we will continue to make this a yearly tradition. Cause I mean, who wouldn't want to have this outdoor living space?

I've been horrible about posting my bump dates on time. Thankfully I actually took a 36 week picture so I won't completely miss out on that like I did with week 34, but in getting all off track with my updates I messed everyone up, so to set the record straight . . . I am just over 37 weeks now, and I promise to try to get my 36 & 37 week bumpdate up early next week! (unless I have the baby this weekend, in that case, no promises).

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Week 34 & 35 Bumpdate

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week: 34 - Technically I'm 35 weeks today but it seems that as the weeks go by, I get lazier and these bump dates get put off longer and longer.

Total Weight Gain: I think I'm just ready to get rid of this category . . . I'm sort of over keeping track of it or caring too much about the number on the scale :)

Symptoms: I know I said this last week, but this week I definitely feel like I have hit the waddle stage or just the stage where everything is tough to do! My brother asked me the other day if walking was difficult. And sadly, at times it is. This week my heartburn and acid reflux has been bothering me more and I am definitely noticing more swelling in my feet and ankles!

Cravings: Nothing specific this week. Anything cold is still always sounding good, but a lot of times I have a hard time deciding what food sounds good.

Sleep: Getting up more frequently to use the bathroom, which is getting more difficult to do. I'm also waking up a lot just because it's getting uncomfortable to only be able to sleep on my sides. I wake up with my hips and back hurting and have a tough time finding a comfortable position to sleep in.

Clothes: All maternity all the time - basically anything that currently fits I'll wear!

Workout: Feeling like I need to walk at least once a day to keep the swelling in my ankles and feet down a little which is good motivation to get out and get some steps in!

Nursery: Pretty much finished. Just need to get the mobile and get the hangers put up for her name and then will share the final reveal once she's here and we've revealed her name.

Movement: This is getting less frequent since she is definitely running out of room in there!

Best Moment This Week: Getting to see our little girl at our ultrasound this week! She weighing in at right around 5 pounds and the dr thinks she will be between 6-7 pounds when she's born!

Missing: Not feeling uncomfortable all the time!

Our Announcement ::  Weeks 4-12  ::   Weeks 13-14  ::  Weeks 15-16  ::  Week 18  ::  Week 19  ::
It's A Girl!    ::   Week 20  ::  Weeks 21-22  ::   Week 23  ::  Week 24  ::  Week 25  ::  Week 26  ::  Week 27  ::
Week 28  ::  Week 29  ::  Week 30  ::  Weeks 31 & 32  ::  

Week: 35 - baby girl is the size of a honeydew melon

Symptoms: More hip and back pain and just overall more tired than usual.

Cravings: Nothing specific this week. Still eating lots of watermelon and any other fruit I can get my hands on!

Sleep: Still getting up to use the bathroom at least 2 times a night and finding myself switching sleeping positions often in order to get comfortable and stay comfortable.

Clothes: Anything that currently fits I'll wear!

Workout: Still walking several times a week, but not hitting my 10,000 steps as consistently.

Nursery: Pretty much finished & can't wait to share it with everyone!

Movement: With her getting bigger and my torso running out of room to expand, her movements are definitely getting more uncomfortable!

Best Moment This Week: Having the entire weekend with Dan & getting lots of stuff done for her arrival! Plus we will officially be in her birth month in just a couple days and will find out today how much longer they think before she makes her arrival!

Missing: Not feeling uncomfortable all the time. . . . and wine!

Our Announcement ::  Weeks 4-12  ::   Weeks 13-14  ::  Weeks 15-16  ::  Week 18  ::  Week 19  ::
It's A Girl!    ::   Week 20  ::  Weeks 21-22  ::   Week 23  ::  Week 24  ::  Week 25  ::  Week 26  ::  Week 27  ::
Week 28  ::  Week 29  ::  Week 30  ::  Weeks 31 & 32  ::