Our First Trip with Baby

I’m so sorry for my absence this past month! As baby Gio gets bigger, he requires more play time with mommy and less sleep during the day…which I’m not complaining about 😉

He’s been sleeping through the night for over a month now. In the beginning, I was doing a late evening feed around 9 or 9:30pm, and then he would sleep until 7:30am or 8! Recently he’s been wanting his last feed earlier around 7:30pm or 8, in which case he’ll wake up earlier around 6 or 6:30am. We’re not on any sort of set schedule, but depending when his last feed is, he’s pretty consistent in sleeping 8-10 hours after that.

We transitioned him to his own room when he turned 3 months. We had my in-laws in town the beginning of March, so I figured it would be the opportune time to do it. Kendrick and I slept in his room on an air mattress (he was in the bassinet), and after they left, we put him in his crib and he slept through! His room is caddy corner to ours and we share a vent, so I knew I would hear him if he woke up.

In other news, this past weekend was our first family getaway!

Kendrick and I have been going up to Lake Tahoe every winter for the past 3 years. Now that baby Gio is here, we were even more excited to share our love for this place with him. It has become a special place for us because it was one of the few places Kendrick hadn’t been to in California before I moved here. We went for the first time a month before our wedding, and have been back almost a dozen times since.

A friend asked me what it was like packing for him, and I told her it was more fun than packing for myself! Naturally I overpacked for him, and under packed for myself, classic mom move! We decided to forgo bringing his bassinet (mainly just to save space), and let him sleep in the bed with us. The only other item I brought besides his stroller was this Fisher Price seat, which was foldable!

What I packed for Gio: (3 night trip)

  • 5 long-sleeve pajamas
  • 4 long-sleeve onesies
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 short sleeve onesies
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 hat
  • 3 bibs
  • 2 Aden and Anais swaddle blankets
  • 3 burp cloths
  • 1 lightweight thermal blanket
  • 2 fleece blankets
  • 1 fleece bear suit( didn’t use because it was so warm!)
  • 1 washcloth
  • Baby shampoo
  • Bath squirt bottle (instead of bringing his bathtub we just brought a squirt bottle to rinse him off in the sink)
  • 1 fleece hooded jacket
  • 40 diapers
  • 1 package of wipes
  • Baby Einstein music box
  • 2 rattles
  • Infantino teething rings
  • 2 changing table liners
  • Diaper bag
  • Skip-Hop Changing station
  • 1 bottle
  • Pump
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • 2 pacifiers
  • Gas relief drops
  • Baby tylenol
  • nasal aspirator

..I think that’s it!

He was super fussy our last night there and kept crying which is unusual for him (the last time we saw him that upset was after his shots), so we decided to give him a little Tylenol assuming that the altitude may have been bothering his ears.

Other than that last night, Gio was a perfect angel! We hit the slopes on Friday, and even though it was St. Patty’s Day, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t crowded. Diamond Peak has an interchangeable parent pass ($74 all day) which was so convenient for us! Kendrick and I both got a chance to ski twice.

We rented a house in Incline Village (north Lake Tahoe), which gave us plenty of space to spread out. My sister came with us and was a HUGE help – she sat in the back of the car with Gio on the way up and entertained him (thanks sis!). We only had to stop once on the way up to feed him, and opted for a Starbucks. When I went to change him in the restroom I couldn’t believe they didn’t have a changing table! The sinks were too close together to change him on the counter, so thank goodness for my Skip-Hop station, because we had to change him on the floor! So not ideal.

A life-saver on the trip was my UnderCover baby breast cover! Initially I tried the Bebe au Lait cover after Gio was born, but didn’t like how bulky it was and that it didn’t have full coverage around my sides. I decided to return it and instead bought this cover online. Another mom I follow on Instagram recommended it and I’m so glad she did! It’s lightweight, has 360 degree coverage, and also doubles as a scarf, carseat cover and shopping cart cover. I feel way more comfortable nursing now in public, which is good because we have more trips ahead 🙂

Here are some photos from our weekend!

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Happy baby during our long car ride
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We made it just in time for sunset at Kings Beach

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Incline Beach
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Happy St. Patty’s Day from Tahoe!

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Skiing is exhausting 😉

 

 

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We stopped by The Ritz at Northstar for some s’mores

Practicing tummy time

 

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Burnt Cedar Beach

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Momma bear and her cub 🙂

 

Until next time…<3

A Newlywed’s Top 10 Tips on Building a Better Marriage

*Today’s post is brought to you by my friend Alli Hoff Kosik, the blogger behind Finding Plan A. Alli lives in Brooklyn and is a freelance writer for media companies such as Brit+Co., Refinery29, and Bustle (SO cool!). We both went to the same high school, and re-connected on social media after college. Her husband, Matt, also attended our high school and they were married last June! 

It’s been one year since starting my blog, so, in honor of my very first post  AND Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I reached out to Alli to have her share with us her own tips for a healthy marriage 😉 

 

Hi, everyone! It’s great to be spending some time with you today on Mrs K-Fit! I feel super lucky to have gotten to know Angela so well over the last few months… I only wish we’d known back at our 2,000-student high school that we should find each other and be friends 🙂

When Angela invited me to share some thoughts on a successful marriage with you, I felt a tiny bit unqualified, since my amazing husband Matt (seriously, how cute is he?) and I got married just six months ago — but then I remembered that we’ve been together for nearly eight years! In that time, we’ve definitely learned a lot about what works for us and how to keep our relationship happy and thriving. Here are my ten (newlywed) tips for marriage!

    1. Be silly! One of the distinguishing characteristics of our marriage is a little playful weirdness. I think my maid of honor said it perfectly in her speech at our wedding: “The three of us were sitting on the couch chatting, and then there were a few silent moments, and you just looked at each other and made a few faces and burst out laughing.” Matt and I never cease to crack each other up, and sometimes we spend weeknights just sitting around sending each other into fits of giggles with the most random jokes and comments. It’s important to keep that kind of fun and lightness in a marriage!
    2. Know the right time to step away from a difficult conversation. I’ll be honest — this one doesn’t come easily to me. My instinct is to talk all. the. way. through a challenging discussion. As I become more emotional, I tend to talk more, while Matt tends to get quieter. You can probably imagine that this combination can often lead us to an impasse! What’s been working well for us instead is to agree to take a break (usually at the point when one of us can sense that we’re no longer being productive) and to set a time (usually about 30 minutes later) to come back and talk more calmly. It gives each of us a chance to organize our thoughts so we can redirect in a more positive, less emotional way.
    3. Find passion in your personal pursuits that you can share with your spouse. Matt and I find that we are most likely to bring our best selves home to each other when we are each fulfilled in our individual jobs and activities. When I was miserable in my corporate career, I wasn’t able to be the kind of wife I wanted to be, and it was hard for me to even have a conversation with my husband after work because there was so little from my day that I actually wanted to share. Now that I’m writing full-time, I can’t wait for him to come home so I can fill him in on what I’ve been working on. Since I’m happier, I also have the emotional energy I need in order to go above and beyond and be the type of wife I want to be. Additionally, I carve out time for exercise and dates with my girl friends, too, both of which help me be the best version of myself. Matt and I both like that version better 🙂
    4. Be intentional with your words and your tone. While we are not perfect, Matt and I are very thoughtful about the way we talk to and about each other. Your spouse should be your biggest cheerleader! We notice that there are couples who use teasing and subtle jabs at the other’s expense as a common pattern of conversation. We firmly believe that this should not be part of our rapport. Of course, we’re only human, so sometimes we slip up, but for us, this is usually a symptom of a larger tension that needs to be worked through and not a casual, offhand comment.
    5. Sometimes, it’s easier to let things go. Let me tell you about something that we call “The Zone.” The Zone is an L-shaped area of our bedroom that starts on Matt’s side of the bed and extends across one wall and into his closet (the doors of which are never closed). Within one week of moving into our apartment, I realized that Matt had very efficiently covered The Zone with t-shirts, clothes hangers, scrap paper, and other random items. I am extremely clean and neat, and at first, I fought against The Zone. Fast forward a few months, and I’d decided that it really didn’t matter. Matt has given me total license to keep the rest of our apartment just the way I like it, and he happily cleans The Zone whenever we have visitors — so what’s the point in constantly arguing about something so silly? It’s important to really think about the battles you want to fight — and for me, it was OK to let The Zone go.
    6. Be comfortable with quiet. One of the first things I noticed about my relationship with Matt was that silences never felt awkward. Very early in our dating life, Matt offered to drive me from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, where I went to college. A four-hour road trip is bound to include a few quiet moments, and I was worried that all of that time in the car would be uncomfortable. It actually felt very natural! Day-to-day life can be pretty low-key and uneventful, so it’s important that you and your spouse can relax into quiet time without feeling awkward. For newlyweds, it’s also important to be comfortable in the post-wedding calm, which can be a strange adjustment after months of chaotic planning!
    7. Find great “couple friends.” We are so lucky to have jointly befriended a few pretty incredible couples over the last few years, and I wouldn’t trade those relationships for anything. Having great couples to hang out with makes for lots of fun double dates, but it has also given us a chance to learn from other relationships.
    8. Check in regularly about long-term plans. Matt and I try to talk about big picture topics (money, kids, where we want to live, etc.) approximately every three months (sometimes we even schedule it on the calendar!). We never want to get into a situation where those conversations feel more stressful than necessary because one of us feels like they are up against a deadline, so regular chats help keep things casual and authentic. To make it a fun date night, we splurge on our favorite take-out and buy a bottle of wine!
    9. No-phone time. Just like most other twenty-somethings living in 2017, Matt and I are both guilty of getting a little caught up in our phones. While we were on our honeymoon, we started implementing “no-phone time.” Any time either he or I feels that we’re both a little too distracted by our Apple-branded friends, we are allowed to invoke the no-phone rule. We also try to leave our phones at home when we go out on a date.
    10. Don’t forget the importance of being best friends. Naturally, marriage comes with perks (wink, wink) and responsibilities (budgeting, anyone?) that fall outside the realm of typical friendships, but Matt and I really do try to keep our best friend relationship at the core of our life together. Ultimately, there’s no one in the world that I would rather do anything with than Matt, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make him happy. When all the other stuff gets stripped away, it’s important that the integrity of those feelings stay intact so you can remember what’s really most valuable.

 

Thanks so much for reading! You can find more of my thoughts on marriage, life, work, etc. at Finding Plan A and on my Instagram! xo

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Photography credit: Bri Cibene 

February’s Healthy Heart Challenge

As January comes to a close, our New Year’s resolutions may be winding down as well. To keep the momentum going, I have a challenge for you that will keep you moving through February!

For those who are new here, I am 8 weeks postpartum and announced in my last post that I have set a goal for myself to lose my baby weight by April 6. To help keep me accountable, I will be tracking my cardio weekly…and you can join me!

Here’s the challenge:

WHAT: 4 hours of cardio each week (16 hours total for the month) with 1 cardio session to be done with family, friends, spouse or dog each week. Studies shows this helps improve heart health even more! If you participate in classes at our studio, these count toward your cardio count. You can add the time in small segments as well; ex: dog walks of 20 minutes everyday would add up to 2 hours 20 minutes of cardio for the week assuming you do it every day.

Since February starts mid-week, your goal will be to log 3 hours of cardio this week (breaks down to about 35 minutes per day).

Since it’s hard for me to get in an uninterrupted 1-hour workout these days, my personal goal is getting outside for a 20-30 minute walk daily. Instead of setting lofty goals for myself, I’ve concentrated on smaller, more realistic goals; like, completing 10 push-ups a day. When I can check something off my list, I feel more accomplished and that motivates me to continue pushing forward.

The best thing you can do when setting small goals for yourself is attach the action to something you already do. For example, I complete my push-ups before taking a shower each night. My husband Kendrick wrote a great blog post about creating positive changes without motivation. Read more here.

 

I’m super excited for what February has in store! If you missed the announcement in my last post, I will be publishing an exclusive newsletter bi-weekly for those who are subscribed to my blog. The first newsletter will be released this Wednesday, February 1st.

 

I’d love to hear if you’re joining me for this month’s Challenge! Feel free to comment and let me know if you’re participating below! 🙂

 

Back to Body: Postpartum Series

Last Friday I had my 6 week checkup post-baby. I tried not to psych myself out for that fateful moment when I would step on the scale. Over the course of my pregnancy I gained 42 pounds. More than I had expected, but since this was my first pregnancy, I wasn’t as worried about weight gain as I was about staying healthy and doing what was best for my body. I was very active for most of my pregnancy and my OB wasn’t at all concerned about my weight, so that reassured me that everything was going smoothly.

Truth be told, when I saw that number on the scale, I panicked a little.  I’ve never had to intentionally try to lose weight. I’ve maintained a healthy balance between exercise and nutrition so that I can eat what I want without feeling guilty.

The first 22 pounds have come off seemingly easy. I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding and walking daily. After week 3, when I started finally feeling like myself again, I hit the gym for some higher intensity cardio. My favorite machines have been the water rower, the ski erg, and the Airdyne bike. I like to rotate between all three during my workouts and add strength training  in between. Then, I usually finish with a core set.

(NOTE FOR NURSING MOMSBe wary when feeding your baby after a high-intensity workout! I learned this the hard way.  I had no idea that the lactic acid could affect the composition of my breast milk. Recent studies claim that moderate exercise has no effect on breastmilk, only “exhaustive” exercise…this may be the case, but I can only account for my own experience. I spent an hour working out, rotating high intensity cardio with strength training; and when I fed my baby a half hour after, he ended up spitting it all back up. I must also note that my milk smelled sour, something that has never happened before. Since he showed no other signs of sickness, and didn’t have a fever, it made sense that the reason he spit up was due to the composition of the breastmilk. Every body is different and what happened to me might just be a fluke, but I don’t want to risk putting my poor babe through that again so I will be sure to feed him BEFORE working out next time.)

Anyway, I still have 18 pounds to lose to return to my pre-baby weight…however, I can’t deny that having a baby changes your body, and chances are my body is never going to look the same as it did before…and that’s OK. It took over 9 months to grow a baby, so it may just take another 9 months for my body to return to its NEW normal.  I am not going to stress over the scale. I am going to give myself a 5 pound buffer to account for the changes my body’s been through (these new boobs weigh at least a couple pounds each) 😉

I’ve set a goal for myself to lose between 13-18 lbs by April 6, 2017…a little more than 3 months from today. Since this is a first time journey for me, I’ll be documenting my progress along the way. If I don’t reach my goal by this specified period, I will not give up. This process is about the journey, not the destination; my number one priority is my new baby and taking care of his needs first. If that means I carry around some extra weight for a little while, then so be it!

I’ll be posting  on Instagram (@mrskfit), Facebook (Mrs K-Fit page), and Snapchat (@acn1228), in addition to my blog…so be sure to follow along on these social media outlets as well.

I’ll also be releasing a newsletter twice a month filled with exclusive content; such as workout videos, delicious (and easy!) recipes, monthly challenges, tips and inspiration, and of course – baby photos! 🙂

To receive the newsletter, be sure to subscribe to my blog!

 

Here’s a quickie core set to start your week off strong:

20 crunches

15 butt lifts

15 toe touches

10 sit-ups (* I only did one set of sit-ups, but if you feel good, go for two!)

1 minute plank

REPEAT

 

Let’s do this!!

 

 

 

Giovanni: One Month

We’ve made it to the one month mark! I think with all the holiday celebrations, it made time go by even faster.

The past month has been nothing short of amazing. Gio’s been such a great baby, and even when I moan about getting up in the middle of the night, I take one look at that face and can’t help but smile.

He is eating like a champ (takes after his father) and now weighs 10 lb. 12 oz, and is 22 1/2 inches long. His hair is lighter than what I thought it would be, and I’m curious what the coloring will be as he gets older. So far here’s what we’ve learned about our little guy.

  1. He sleeps with his mouth open (like me)
  2. He purses his lips when he poops (and also will turn red)
  3. He has started grabbing onto things (especially shiny things like my necklace)
  4. He has started to track with his eyes (if Kendrick puts him down and walks away, he’ll follow him)
  5. He doesn’t like baths
  6. He likes being carried in the Ergobaby
  7. He loves his Rock-n-Play (and has slept mostly in this)
  8. He smiles right after he’s had his milk (aka when he’s in a milk coma!)
  9. His lips and nose resemble mine and Kendrick’s
  10. His eyes are like Kendrick’s
  11. He loves the camera! 😉

 

Here’s some pictures from his newborn shoot when he was nine days old. Thank you to the talented Jessie Salas Photography. I absolutely loved doing an in-home shoot!

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model status…he was totally posing for the camera!

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These next few are my absolute favorite!! It makes my heart melt seeing my handsome husband hold our beautiful boy ❤

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Sneak peek of the little man’s room…we spend lots of time changing diapers in here 😉

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Happy 1 Month Giovanni!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

 

 

 

 

My Baby Must-Haves + 3 Week Recap

So, I must preface this post by saying I had started writing a 2 week update last week, but never got around to finishing it; SO…this will now be a 3 week update. The beginning is what I meant to post last week, and even though Christmas is over, I want to share my reflections on my first Christmas as a mother 🙂

 

It’s been 2 (now 3) weeks since Giovanni came into the World and as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, it’s been so special to have him here with us. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and you may remember me saying that before we got pregnant, I was secretly hoping his birthday would fall around this time of year. My own birthday is just three days after Christmas, and it’s been beautiful to reflect on my own mother carrying me almost 27 years ago, and also Mary carrying the baby Jesus.

After giving birth, I am amazed at what Mary had to go through over 2,000 years ago. Even with modern medicine, giving birth is dangerous, and it is a complete miracle to give birth to a healthy baby and also have a healthy mommy.  I can’t imagine not having the team of nurses and midwives by my side, and having to labor and give birth in a cold, damp, smelly and unsanitary stable like Mary. Not to mention what her recovery process was like; giving birth is messy!  Remember…she was only 12 or 13 years old!! What a scary thing to go through at such a young age. It makes me appreciate the cost of my salvation so much more.

A beautiful song that reflects the humble birth of Christ is Michael W. Smith’s “Welcome to our World”. I look at my own son, and can’t believe that our Savior came into the world in the same way…a helpless little baby. He had tiny fingers and toes, and was dependent on his mother, just like Giovanni is dependent on me.

Kendrick and I have learned a lot these past 3 weeks, and have settled into a schedule (somewhat), and have gotten a lot more comfortable changing diapers (Kendrick has done most of the brunt work in this department). For some reason Gio has the messiest diapers in the early morning hours when Kendrick changes him. (He’s already gotten peed on numerous times.)

Our love for him grows each day, as we find ourselves laughing at his funny faces or admiring his beautiful features. As he slept in our bed yesterday, I found myself telling my sister, “I just can’t believe he’s my child.”

Up until you have children your whole life is centered around yourself. Then, you have a child and this new human becomes the center of your world…it still amazes me that my body was able to grow and give birth to such a perfect being. Kendrick has been saying it is a true miracle when a baby comes out healthy. So much has to go right to have a healthy baby, and the fact that Gio came into this world with 10 fingers and 10 toes, a heart that beats and eyes that can see is a complete miracle. 

Here’s a little update on what’s been happening these past few weeks:

  1. My milk coming in. This happened 2 days after coming home and let me tell you…no one warned me how painful it would be!! I took a nap that afternoon, and when I woke up, my boobs had turned to two rocks on my chest!! I’ve had small boobs my entire life, so this new change has been very uncomfortable for me. I qualified for a free breast pump through my insurance, and thank the LORD it arrived the very same day! I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise. I am very thankful that I’ve been able to breastfeed successfully, and know there are many other mothers who struggle with this. In those late night hours, when I struggle with whether to sleep or pump, I’m reminded that it’s a blessing to be able to feed this boy on my own.
  2. Night sweats. They started the night after I gave birth, but I didn’t realize it was normal. When we got home, Kendrick was concerned I was running a fever, but after a friend came over to visit, she told me these were normal and it’s your body trying to get rid of the excess water you stored up during pregnancy. Whew! I was glad to hear that.

5 Baby Must-Haves:

  1. Fisher Price Rock-n-Play. This thing has been a life saver! We ended up registering for this instead of a bulky swing, and I’m so glad we did!! Gio has actually been sleeping in this instead of his bassinet. It’s small, cozy, and foldable which makes it easy to move and transport. It also plays music, rocks, and vibrates. The rocking and vibrating is really soothing for him especially if he’s a little fussy. I HIGHLY recommend this to any mom.
  2. Kiinde Twist Bags. When my milk came in and I had to start pumping, I was SO glad that I had bought a box of these. I love the twist top for easy pouring, and the measurements on the bag.
  3. Dr. Brown’s Preemie Nipples. My sister-in-law recommended I buy the smallest size nipple so that when I started bottle feeding, Gio wouldn’t get lazy and stop taking the breast. Since my milk came in quickly and I had to start feeding some milk from the bottle, I’m glad I had these on hand.
  4. Pampers diapers with the color changing line! I didn’t know the diapers had this until I read a blog post late in my pregnancy and the blogger mentioned that Pampers (and also Huggies) have a yellow line down the middle that changes to blue when the baby wets himself. What a genius invention! Although The Honest Co. diapers are cute, I’d rather have practical!
  5. Nursing tank. This is technically for momma but I count it as something for baby too because it helps you nurse so much easier! I’ve lived in these Pea in the Pod tank tops for the past 3 weeks..I even wear them to bed! I have a couple nursing bras, but these are much more practical because you don’t have to worry about wearing another shirt.  These are another item my sister-in-law recommended and I stocked up and bought four before Gio was born.

 

Mommas out there- what are your must-haves?? Feel free to comment and link your favorites down below!

To my readers– thank you for your loyalty this year and for sharing my posts with your family and friends. My hope for the new year is to get back to posting regularly…and also to share my postpartum fitness journey!

 

Family photo by: Jessie Salas

Welcoming Giovanni!

As I write this, my little babe is fast asleep and I can’t believe he is here! A week ago today I was laboring at the hospital, a few hours away from meeting my little boy.

This past week has flown by, and I’ve quickly learned that life with a newborn is very busy! Between the feedings, changings, and pumping…the hours in the day seem to disappear. I’ve been lucky to have my mom in town from the east coast, and thanks to her I actually get a chance to eat. I’ve also been able to shower and nap, which are huge accomplishments in and of themselves.

It’s funny how quickly you adapt to ‘mom life’ when your newborn arrives. My focus has shifted completely and I’m 100% devoted to my child and his needs. Breastfeeding has been going well for me, and Gio certainly takes after his dad in the eating department. He has no problem latching on, although he does prefer the right breast. (To compensate, I’ve been pumping my left often.) He is healthy and happy, and even tempered. He slept straight through his circumcision without crying (what baby does that??) and slept through getting his blood taken a few days later. Kendrick joked with the nurse that he is better at getting his blood taken than his momma.

Well, before the little one wakes up I want to try and share what I can from his birth story.

So, here goes!

I was laying in bed on Monday morning, December 5 when my water broke. At first, I wasn’t totally sure that’s what it was. When they portray your water breaking in the movies they make it seem like it’s this big event when everything comes gushing out of you. Well, that wasn’t the case. It was more like a slow trickle that I couldn’t control. Kendrick had just left for work, and so I called him to tell him the news. “Call the hospital!” he said. “I’m coming straight home.”

I called and they told me it sounded like all the signs were there, but they wanted to come in and check me to make sure. They said if my water did break, I would be admitted, so to come prepared. My heart started racing hearing this, and I quickly got changed and cleaned myself up. All our bags had already been packed, so we were ready to go! I wasn’t sure if I would experience this big rush of waters on the way to the hospital so I put a towel down on the front seat just in case.

The drive to the hospital was surreal; I kept looking over at Kendrick and he would turn and smile back at me. We couldn’t believe it was happening! Kendrick called his parents to let them know the news; they had flown in over the weekend from South Carolina and were staying close by. We arrived at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City at 10:19 am. My midwife confirmed that my water had indeed broken, and so I was admitted. Because my blood type is 0-, I had to have a RhoGam shot during my pregnancy and after getting admitted, they had to give me antibiotics (penicillin through my IV) so that I wouldn’t infect the baby when our blood mixed. I’ve never been good with needles, and after getting my IV put in my blood pressure started to drop. I could feel myself getting faint and losing consciousness. Kendrick said the baby’s heartbeat dropped significantly and all of a sudden 5 other nurses were in the room. They put an oxygen mask over me and told me to lay on my side to help increase blood flow. I kept taking deep breaths and tried to stay calm so that his heart rate would come back up. It started to come back up, and after a couple minutes the nurses said that he was doing better. They left the oxygen mask on me though and continued to monitor for a little longer.

After that extravaganza, I continued a slow labor process into the afternoon. By 2:30 pm the nurses wanted to give me citotec to help move the contractions along. Citotec is a more mild form of pitocin, that I was able to take orally.  It only took half a pill to get the contractions started. However, they were still not close enough together so four hours later they gave me a full dose.  That made the contractions really strong, so much so that by 10 pm I decided to get an epidural. This time I did not pass out…thank goodness!

My contractions slowed and I was able to sleep for a few hours. Then, I woke up and started feeling them again. The anesthesiologist came in the morning to give me a stronger dose  and I ended up throwing up all over myself. From then on, it was hard to keep fluids down- I was nauseous and dehydrated. I was also taking a bag of penicillin every few hours through my IV.

My mom arrived around 11 am. (She flew in straight from Pennsylvania!) She wasn’t supposed to arrive until the 10th, but I had called her late Sunday night (the day before my water broke) and told her I wanted her to come out earlier. Who knew I would start laboring the next day!? It all worked out perfectly.

I continued laboring through the morning and still felt strong contractions; my epidural wasn’t giving me any relief. Finally, by the afternoon, they decided to give me pitocin to speed up contractions so I would have the “urge to push”. By this point, I was in lots of pain, dehydrated and exhausted. I had been throwing up liquids and juices I was trying to keep down.

Kendrick was so worried I wasn’t going to make it through the pushing phase, and even called my midwife aside asking if I should have a C-section…I could barely open my mouth to suck on ice chips.

But then..something strange happened. After they gave me pitocin and decreased my epidural (they decided to do this because an epidural often slows down the labor and dilation progress and I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they wanted me too) so… after they did this, instead of being in more pain I just fell asleep! I passed out but they were monitoring my contractions on the screen and saw that I was having really strong contractions but not waking up. It was very strange!

However, the nurses said not to wake me, because I would need my strength for the last and final phase.  I slept for an hour or so and after waking up I felt much better. When my midwife Terri came in she said they weren’t going to give me more epidural; instead they just wanted me to push! It was time to get this baby out. I started pushing at 5:10 pm and had Kendrick, his mom, my sister, and my mom with me in the room. Kendrick was holding my left leg, a nurse was holding my right leg, and I was instructed to grab behind my knees and pull both legs back. While pushing, there were always two people holding my head up (my sister, Kendrick’s mom and my mom rotated).

At 7:45 pm, on Tuesday, December 6th Giovanni Natiello Ribeiro made his entrance into the world!

My midwife Terri immediately handed him to me and I watched while Kendrick cut the cord. They let me hold him until Terri finished stitching me up and cleaning me and then after that the nurses took Gio to clean him up. (I’m glad they let me hold him during that time it was a nice distraction from what she was doing!) They weighed and measured him (8 lbs, 12.9 oz. and 21 inches long) and then gave him back to me to nurse. He latched on at 8:45 pm- an hour after coming out, and nursed until 9:30 pm- 45 minutes!!

 
After that my sister and mom left and Kendrick’s parents helped move our bags over to the other room we’d be staying in post delivery. My legs were still numb from the epidural so the nurse helped transfer me onto the other bed. They wheeled me and baby over to the other room. That night there were a bunch of nurses in and out checking on me and baby. By that point I was so exhausted and just wanted to sleep through the night, but I knew I had this little thing to take care of and that it would be a long time before I was able to get an 8 hour stretch of sleep again. It’s such a strange feeling after giving birth; you wait 9+ months to meet your babe, and then they come and it’s like meeting a stranger. I did not recognize his face, his features, his expressions, or his sounds yet. Now, a week later, when I look back at his birth photos I see HIM- Gio. But at the time, it was all so foreign to me.

***This post has been interrupted by a projectile pooping incident…OH the joys of parenthood!!

Well, before something else interrupts me I will end this post here. This past week has been a wonderful, crazy ride that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Each day brings a new adventure and a new laugh.

Happy 1 Week birthday little man!!

Here are some photos for you to enjoy 😉

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Last belly shot before leaving for the hospital!

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After getting admitted at the hospital

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Carbo-loading! 😉

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Putting on a brave face before I started pushing

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Gio is born!

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Our precious little nugget 🙂

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Heading home 🙂

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No longer two…but three ❤