Category Archives: Pregnancy

Pregnancy/birth thoughts

A sweet thing happened this morning. Diego was lying on my belly, kind of kicking and punching his arms around.  I looked out the window, and thought, aww, this reminds me of the same little Diego kicks and punches I felt inside my belly, while pregnant.


For a brief breath, I missed that, and missed being pregnant. Every now and then I have those moments, missing pregnancy and all the anticipation of birth. As Diego grows, so does the distance with that life chapter. I realize there’s a few unique pregnancy/birth moments that I want to remember before it all becomes a blur:

The going-to-sleep waiting game

Going to sleep those last few weeks, wondering, would this be the night? As I pulled back the covers, I always thought, is this it? The last night we go to sleep just the two of us? As I mentioned, most TV was off-limits, so we spent most nights in the living room, playing WordswithFriends, running through the same conversation: “Can you believe we’re going to have a BABY soon? This could be it, the last night we just hang out like this? What’s it going to be like when there’s a BABY here with us?” Same convo, night after night after night.


(Took this on our evening walk, Friday before Diego was born)

Last day before Baby

That last day was a sunny, quiet Saturday. We met up with the Dillons for a yummy brunch and on the way home, we stopped by the Bethany Reservoir for a walk. Of course, I wondered, is this the last long walk we’ll take before becoming a family? And, it was! But, I’d had that same thought a zillion times those last few weeks. 


Last belly photo!

After a trip to Target (of course Target factors into this baby story), we made grilled cheese and tomato soup and played a game of Scrabble (wild times!).  After dinner, I called my mom for my daily “nope, no baby yet” update. “So…you might want to try standing under the moon tonight,” she said.  It was a full moon, maybe it would help start labor? Like the child that I apparently still am, first I rolled my eyes, then I decided the advice couldn’t hurt. I walked out to the street to look at the full moon.

3:33 a.m. wake up call

Turns out, Mom is always right. Hours later, my water broke. When a birth class instructor tells you a) it’s rare to go into labor on your due date, b) most women’s water won’t break, and c) it’s nothing like the movies-its rarely that much water…ALL LIES.  

Pretty soon we were in the car, hospital bound, ready to meet the baby!! 

Throughout this whole experience, I’ve wondered how David would react to different situations. In each of them, I’m always reminded how grateful I am for his steady, kind heart.  He was so relaxed throughout the labor; encouraging but not overwhelmingly so, and just his typical, even-keel, loving, David-self. No joke, as we were driving down Harding to the hospital, it kind of felt like our normal, early morning drive to the train station-he kept everything so calm.

Labor, contractions, epidural, yadda, yadda, yadda, C-Section


This photo is clearly from the beginning of the day…

The good news about the whole water breaking thing is it’s basically a L&D Fastpass. There’s no turning away for early labor-it’s the real deal and you’re quickly admitted. The not so great part is the sense of urgency-the baby can’t just linger around for days, patiently waiting for delivery. Long story short, hours later, around 9ish pm, it became clear that my body was not progressing to the transition/delivery phase. Diego was not handling this well and his heartbeat kept dropping when the contractions got intense.  While it was likely clear to EVERYONE that a C-Section was imminent, for some reason, I was in total denial.  When the doctor eventually said, yes, we have to do this now, I was shocked. I cried, David consoled me, Angelica calmly explained everything, I texted my girlfriends who’d had C-sections for encouragement (thank you for the awesome support!!!!), and soon we were off to the OR. David squeezed my hand, and lovingly kept reminding me “we’re going to meet our son, we’re going to meet our son.”

Family gathering 


David likes to joke that he was my publicist throughout the whole thing, and he kind of was.  While I labored/slept, David read me news articles and coordinated with my family (note: sleeping post-epidural, while laboring is bizarre. I’ve never been so calm, yet exhausted, while sleeping). Janou was a ROCK STAR and booked a flight THAT MORNING. She and Max managed to get to Stockton before I delivered. AMAZING. My parents drove up from Irvine, and once they all got word that the C-seciton was happening, they gathered at the hospital. I loved knowing they were all close by.

Bright lights, big room

Everything gets pretty hazy at this point. I couldn’t believe how bright and big the OR was (or it seemed), and how many people were involved. Angelica was amazing, calmly leading all the preparations. I was shaking a lot and David kept trying to help me calm down (very sweet, but the Benadryl really did the trick).

I remember the surgery beginning and pretty soon after hearing the doctor say, “here he is! Yes, there’s the cord (the cord was wrapped around him, another reason for the C-section)” and then…a few seconds….and there it was…Diego’s cry! Our son was here!



Hello, World

I want to acknowledge that it is a bit strange that this chapter of the day doesn’t start with me saying, “And then I cried and it was the most amazing, beautiful moment, ever.” Because, it WAS. Hearing my son (my son!) crying, it was the most absolutely, incredible, literally life altering moment EVER. And rationally, I was filled with gratitude, knowing he was here and healthy. However, at that point, with all the painkillers, exhaustion and hormones, my rational and emotional self were not exactly aligned.  And it took several days to get to that point.  My rational self was filled with joy, relief and wonder at this beautiful, sweet baby boy.  But that rush of love, that overwhelming need to scoop my baby up, wrap him in my arms, gaze at his darling little recessed chin, his snobby upper lip, those husky blue eyes, and just hold on tight….that astounding physical bond with little Diego? It took a few days to kick in.  Again, to clarify, it wasn’t that I didn’t feel love for him right away (I did), or we didn’t connect (we did!), but our intense bond took a few days (/hormone leveling), and I think it’s important to acknowledge and be honest about that.

Thankfully, for David, the bond was totally immediate! So, I’ll share his part of this chapter :) Immediately after Diego was born, David was off to the recovery room with Angelica and the NICU nurses for Diego’s post-delivery procedures.  Diego was in the little bassinet, David just stared at him in awe, put his hand out, and Diego gripped right on to his finger! There he was, all 6 lbs, 10 ounces of wonder, Diego Antonio. David took a photo of his puffy, red little face and texted my family, “Hello, world.”  He asked if he could do skin-to-skin with the baby, and soon Diego was lying on David’s chest, father and son, together.


Sunday morning, family breakfast

There’s obviously many, many more important moments from that night and the week after (holding my baby, introducing Diego to our family, our first night [how did we even sleep??!!], bringing Diego home) all of it. But, when I think about this story, of becoming a family, for some reason, I always think about the following Sunday morning. I’ve always loved weekend breakfasts with David, and often wondered what it would be like when we had kids.  That Sunday morning was the first morning of just the three of us, in our home, with David cooking breakfast.  We didn’t have a swing yet, so we put Diego in his co-sleeper on the table (NOTE: not a good idea, won’t do again), and sat down to breakfast burritos and orange juice, our usual Sunday breakfast. I remember looking at David and Diego, my husband and my son, and thinking, “this is it, the three of us, here we are, together as a family,” and it just felt great.

My first moments holding Diego :) 

Whooo-this ended up being way longer and more personal than I intended. Time to get off the computer and feed my cooing, squirming little baby!

Hanging at home, a few weeks old 
 

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39 weeks

Happy Monday! 6 more days until the due date, and we’re just (semi) patiently waiting…Clueless about the timing for this whole thing, we basically stopped making plans after mid-February, so each weekend has been pleasantly quiet.  On Friday night, we decided now was probably the time to use a gift card to Midgleys and got dressed up for a nice dinner.

Feeling quite large! No idea how big the baby is, but feels….not small.  On Saturday, we walked to brunch at House of Shaw, and I spent the rest of the day relaxing.  In a lucky twist of events, my dad had a conference in Sacramento this weekend, so we got to have dinner together in Stockton! It was so nice to show him our house and catch up before the baby gets here.

Getting a bit anxious about the whole labor and birth process, and trying not to read tooo much, but it’s hard for me to not seek out information.  Of course, there’s only so much that prep and info can tell me-I understand I need to just go with what happens.  Anyway, one piece of advice I keep finding is to get a pedicure. One poster said she couldn’t imagine the annoyance of unpolished toes during labor.  I can’t imagine even noticing that, but with ample time on Sunday, I treated myself to a pedicure and it was delightful.

Also reading about how important it is to walk every day.  Been trying to do that in our neighborhood, and on Sunday afternoon we drove out for a walk around the Wildlife Refuge.  Along the way, we ran into row after row after row of gorgeous, blossoming, almond farms!

Hesitant to trespass, David pulled over and I jumped out for a few quick photos.  They blossoms were at peak bloom and so lovely and springy. 

Thanks to all the rain Saturday night, it was a clear and pretty afternoon.

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And now, Monday!

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March!

Good night/good morning! Hello, from pregnancy-insomnia land. Really shouldn’t complain, only had a few nights this pregnancy where I’m up for hours, and I usually fall back asleep. If not..and early start to the day?

Anyway, as long as I’m up and scrolling through my phone, here’s a few things from this week that I want to remember:

Old photo from our 2015 trip to Rome

It’ll likely be a while before we do any traveling, but that doesn’t mean I’m not constantly daydreaming.  We watched a House Hunters episode in Copenhagen and I found myself searching for Norwegian airline flights and telling myself…..nope! Not happening. Anyway, in the time being, Elizabeth Minchilli’s daily Instragram stories seriously feel like a quick trip to Italy.  Every day she profiles gorgeous food, restaurants, and pretty walks and it is such a nice, pretend vacation!

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Ha! I was looking out the window yesterday when David came home from work and couldn’t stop laughing seeing this scene as he walked up to the door. Getting ready…Can you tell it’s been a quiet week? Anyway, this discovery made my week. For years I’ve been searching for an English Breakfast Tea that came in a bag that tasted as good as loose leaf.  I generally just get the Trader Joe’s Earl Grey (their English Breakfast has no taste!) but even that just tastes like bland mashed up spices. BORING.  Over the weekend, I discovered this and it is delicious! Total game changer. A very pleasant start to the day.

Moving to my new little work corner.  We recently moved my desk from the guest room to the kitchen nook to make room for the baby’s dresser.  Since I worked from home this week, I got settled into the new spot, and it’s so strange how much more I enjoy it. Same house, same desk, but it just feels more productive and cheerier.  Maybe it’s the proximity to the pantry and Girl Scout cookies?

The weather was beautiful this week. It is supposed to rain this weekend, but a much more mild, flood-free rain.  As long as the rain isn’t causing damage, I’m hoping we continue to get more.  Still, it was nice to have a sunny week, go for a walk, and see hints of spring!

 

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Third trimester continued

Greetings from 38 weeks of pregnancy! Now that I’m coming up on the end of the third trimester, basically life is pregnancy and baby prep, and wanted to jot down a few memories of all of it.

We were able to get back into our house two weeks ago–thank goodness–and then the baby prep really began in earnest.  At that point, I was 35 weeks and feeling VERY overwhelmed by all that we still had to do.  So, I called in reinforcements…

Mom kindly flew up to help!! It was such a relief having her here.  We basically had one full day and she got a TON done.  Stocked up on essentials at Costco, put together a bunch of furniture, and she cooked many delicious meals to freeze for post-baby.

That night, I finally began to feel a bit calmer.  I kept thinking about how much I needed help from my mom, and how much I still felt like a child….it is wild to think about being a mother myself.  I just hope I’m as helpful as she is!

Anyway, while washing and folding teeny-tiny clothes that night and feeling a bit more prepared….our washing machine flooded.  Of course! Thankfully, it was just an issue with the pipe and everything is working now.

Wednesday was my last day commuting until I return after leave.  My colleagues were amazing and surprised me with a very festive Cascarones and Martinellis send-off!  I’m so grateful to work for such a supportive organization and work with the kindest people. Working from home full-time for the next two weeks/baby’s arrival.

We were in Sacramento Saturday and took advantage of the proximity to IKEA to pick up some final storage/organization pieces.  Think we have almost everything stored away..and now we wait.  PS-have baskets always been so popular? /the answer to all problems? According to Pinterest (or at least my feed), the secret to happiness seems to be: baskets, gallery walls, brass fixtures and ranunculus.

This photo is from a few days ago.  Grateful that the baby seems to be cozy and content-and thankful for some extra time-though, admittedly, getting more and more anxious about labor and the reality of everything.  Trying to stay calm, hopeful, and go with whatever happens.

While David gave a presentation in Sacramento Saturday morning, and I explored the WAL Public Market and got a coffee and pastry at Temple. It’s strange, I’ve been to Sacramento a bunch of times, but rarely on the weekend.  It was a beautiful day! Yesterday, the Stockton Symphony performed the Music of John Williams.  David’s face when they began playing the theme song from Jurassic Park–priceless.  So much joy. I even got a little emotional and I don’t even really like Jurrassic Park!

Two more days until March!

 

 

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Third trimester-so far

Almost halfway through the third trimester and wanted to jot down a bit about this experience. Keep meaning to keep better track of this experience! Here’s some thoughts: 

I’m 33 weeks and feeling PREGNANT. One thing that used to perplex me about pregnancy is how much time moms-to-be spent thinking about it. Was it always on their mind? Would they forget? While I never forget I’m pregnant, there’s definitely been moments where  it surprises me-mostly in the second trimester. The mirror in our bathroom is pretty high and narrow, so I could go a whole weekend and not really notice any change. Then, one glance in a window or the mirror in our closet and-whoa! A very visual reminder of this growing baby.


All this changed with the third trimester. I’m extremely aware of the pregnancy and it’s on my mind all the time. There must be some evolutionary reason behind all this; the mother’s mental preparation to gradually dedicate more and more mental real estate to her child. Whatever it is, I think about the baby a lot and feel him a lot. Which is great! I’m very thankful. He’s definitely active and verrrrry low. (Apparently, I can thank 30 years of completely neglecting my core for these weak muscles and low hanging baby-ooooops). 


It has certainly been fun getting ready to meet the baby. Janou, Katie and my mom hosted a beautiful lunch with friends and it was so nice to be together and get excited. It was such a lovely surprise! And SO nice of friends to make the trip to celebrate!


Joanne made adorable-and incredibly delicious-cookies.

And always a treat to see baby Isla and Rose. Christie is due in April!




I ate…..a lot….of this chocolate cake.

It was a special afternoon-so, so thankful for everyone’s generosity.

Other pregnancy thoughts…still craving dairy. Cheese, milk, but really all I want is ice cream. We FINALLY jumped on the Halotop bandwagon-thank goodness. Tried the Birthday Cake flavor last night and I LOVE it.

Over the last few days I’ve started to feel much more tired. Always cringe and think of the Mindy Kaling quote (“there’s nothing more boring than someone talking about how tired or busy they are. We’re all tired and busy.”) So true, but oh well. I’m tired! I’m up multiple times at night and the weight just makes it more difficult to stay asleep. The whole pregnancy getting ready for bed routine is totally absurd: take bath, fill up humidifier, slather on coconut oil, set up Snoogle/pillow fortress, and somehow curl in and read. Just following some sage advice: you need a lot of pillows. Gotta rest your greatness. (The David Greene-DJ Khaled interview might be one of my favorite moments so far this year).

Beyond the sleep, just feeling a bit mentally fuzzier and a lot more distracted. The other night I actually put soap instead of toothpaste on my toothbrush-it’s so cliche, but it really happened.  Apparently, this distraction is a legitimate PubMed/NIH verified thing!

This should be a pretty low-key weekend and I’m thinking of splurging and getting another pre-natal massage.  Been having slight sciatic pain on my left side, and supposedly stretching and massage helps. Also-baby is completely on one side-my right-so that might be adding to it. 

Feeling grateful for the progress so far, the support from friends and family, and fun experiences with David. And most grateful for this active, growing baby. Just hoping to do right by him the rest of the pregnancy and beyond!

And…last pregnancy thing for now…in this overwhelmingly bleak and scary week for our world, this tweet made me laugh:


Sending good thoughts for a calming weekend :)

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