Aubrey’s Birth Story

To be honest, I really didn’t know how Aubrey’s birth was going to play out – do we ever? From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was scared. Scared that I was going to have a bad laceration like I did with Trent. Scared I wouldn’t have my doctor for the delivery again. Scared I would have blood pressure issues after the birth and pass out with the nurse screaming for Brett to push the red emergency button. Scared of having a newborn AND a toddler at home.

But being scared is part of most pregnancies I suppose…there’s just so many unknowns. I toyed with the idea of an elective c-section because of all the things I was scared of. My doctor wasn’t a big fan when I mentioned it very early on, but he was willing to discuss all options with me and I think he knew that deep down, I didn’t really want a c-section either. I love my doctor. But so does half the city and that’s why I wait in the waiting room for an hour every time I go for an appointment.

This pregnancy, I had high blood pressure from the beginning and was on medication for that, and I also had diet-controlled gestational diabetes. Those two things combined put me into a high-risk category. When I went in for my 39 week appointment on a Monday morning, they took my blood pressure 3 times…including my doctor once just to be certain. Seeing my doctor fumble with the blood pressure cuff – and even having one of the springs pop out – made me really want to joke about when the last time he had to actually use one of those things was, but I figured now wasn’t the time for jokes. It was high, so my doctor wanted to schedule an induction. After the first BP check, he gave me some options: either come back for a recheck in a few days or schedule an induction. At that point, I opted to wait it out and hoped that it would go down or Aubrey would come on her own by then. But after the 2nd and 3rd high BP checks, he felt I shouldn’t wait and should be induced.

I hadn’t really given that option much thought, but I found myself disappointed and sad. We’ve had two friends in the past couple of years get induced and they were in the hospital for a few days just waiting for something to happen and then ended up with c-sections anyway. I certainly did not want to be sitting in a hospital for longer than necessary, especially with a toddler at home to coordinate babysitters for.

I won’t go into explaining the ridiculous process for scheduling an induction at the hospital, but we were scheduled to go in the following night. The hospital would be calling us between 10pm-12midnight on Tuesday to let us know when they were ready for us to come in. We had Nana & Papa come over around 8pm to stay the night and watch Trent…his first overnight experience without us (FYI – he did AMAZING!).

The hospital ended up calling a little early, at 9:15 while I was giving Trent a bath. It was weird how even though I knew the call was coming, the fact that the call came early while I was with Trent kind of threw me off-guard. Having to stop doing what I was doing with Trent to go do something else made me sad and wondered if that’s what life was going to be like now with 2 kids. Silly pregnancy hormones!

We arrived at the hospital around 9:45 to an empty lobby, which was nice. I filled out some paperwork and then we waited just a few minutes before being brought right back to the delivery room. Thank goodness I got to skip Triage.

I changed, put away my belongings, got hooked up to everything and prepared to be there for a while.

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After I was hooked up to everything, they wanted to monitor me for about 30 minutes to get a baseline for how everything was going.

Thank goodness for hospital wifi.

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Then, around midnight, I received Cervidil, which is a tampon-looking string with medicine at the end that is put in the cervix to help with dilation. This is given before Pitocin. I was only 1cm, so the Cervidil was supposed to be a better start for the process. Then, I had to pick a side to lay on and not move for 2 hours so the medicine could do it’s job. I chose to lay on my right side and then immediately regretted it once I as there and couldn’t move. The funny thing is that I almost always lay on my right side, but when you are told you can’t move, that’s all you want to do!

Wow – that was a very long 2 hours. I was so uncomfortable and could not sleep. I kept looking at the clock, which I know is not a good thing to do, but I was counting down the minutes to when I could move.

Once the 2 hours were up, I got up because I felt like I needed to use the restroom. In fact, I felt that way every 20-30 minutes for the next several hours. So uncomfortable, in pain, restless. I even asked the nurse if I could lay in the whirlpool tub they have there just so I wouldn’t have to lay back down on the hospital bed. I wasn’t allowed to because that would mess with the Cervidil, but she did offer pain medication. The first medicine she gave me didnt do anything, so she gave me a pill to take…I don’t even remember what it was. It helped a little, but it was such a long and uncomfortable night.

Since it was nighttime, I don’t have many photos. There wasn’t much to take photos of anyway.

Early in the morning, I happily received my Epidural and felt so much better afterward. I wish I could have gotten it sooner, but they aren’t typically given until you are around 4-6 cm dilated.

I don’t really remember the timing of everything exactly, but not long after the Epidural, the nurse came in and gave me an oxygen mask to wear because she said that the Cervidil was causing constant contractions and not giving Aubrey a break, causing her heart rate to change. Not long after that, my doctor came in and took out the Cervidil and ordered that they give me a shot to STOP contractions (what they give moms in preterm labor).

I’m not sure how much time passed, but it wasn’t long before I started feeling sever pain and pressure down there. My first reaction was “WTF! I have an Epidural for a reason!” So I paged the nurse and just said “Can I have a nurse please?”

Then, I felt the weirdest thing…I felt like I peed myself…which to me, must have meant my catheter came out since I had one because you aren’t allowed to get up and move around with the Epidural. My main nurse was with another patient, so her assistant came in. While she was in there, I felt even more like I peed myself and then Brett told me my water must have broken! I would have laughed at myself if I wasn’t in so much pain. That nurse ended up calling in the main nurse asap, and in that short time period, I was holding onto the bed rails and almost screaming. The nurse said “It’s time – tell the Doctor to hurry!”

They actually told me to STOP pushing…but I had never started to begin with. Aubrey was coming and there was nothing I could do. In fact, the doctor was rushing to put his gloves and everything on as quickly as he could and nurses were rushing with tables and equipment. The nurse even had to put her hand down there to make sure Aubrey didn’t come out before the doctor was ready. Once he was ready and after barely a push, Aubrey made her arrival at 9:40am.

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After all that worry of how long it would take, she came faster than I could have ever imagined. Surely that meant I had a bad tear right? NOPE! No tear…hallelujah!

With Trent, I started the skin to skin time immediately, but had to have him taken by someone because I started to get dizzy with blurred vision because of the blood pressure issues. This time, I had her for so long, I started to wonder when they were going to bathe her! But I wasn’t complaining. I was so happy with everything. I was able to have MY doctor. It happened quickly with no lacerations. And of course, she was beautiful.

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Almost a pound bigger than Trent when he was born!

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After her bath and some follow-up necessities, I was able to stand up, so they could get me in the wheelchair and transfer us to my recovery room. We pushed the button to play a lullaby and let everyone know that she was born!

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She looks so cute with her little bow hat.

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After a couple of hours, Nana & Poppa brought Trent to see us. It was a moment I was looking forward to for so long. First, I got a hug from my little man in his big brother shirt.

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Then he met his sister.

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He just looked at her and even though he didn’t say much, you could tell he was trying to process what it all meant.

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We gave him a present from Aubrey, which was something I read was a good idea to get him excited.

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Of course, the toy (which Brett picked out), was the loudest toy ever. But he loved it and played with it the entire rest of the time he was there.

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Everyone took turns loving on Aubrey.

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We even had a beautiful rainbow outside of our window! :)

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Brett couldn’t resist taking a photo of our princess…he did this right on the hospital bed. He can make a studio anywhere!

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That night, Brett went home around 9pm. Since I didn’t have a tear, I was able to get up and walk around without any pain, so I was ok with being alone with Aubrey. Plus, I know the nurses there would help if I needed anything. Brett brought Trent by the next day, but didn’t stay for long since Trent wanted to press every button and pull every wire in the room…that place is like Chuck E Cheese for a toddler!

Brett came back a few hours that night and then slept at home with Trent.

I was able to leave the next day, so Brett brought Trent to the hospital for when I would be able to leave, then we left the hospital as a family of 4. :)

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This was us waiting in the parking lot while Daddy picked up lunch at Jersey Mike’s, so her straps were loosened a bit for comfort, so please don’t leave comments about how I’m a bad mother for not having the straps tight enough. :-/

It definitely was a much different experience than with Trent, but I am so glad to have been able to have two normal deliveries and two happy, healthy babies.

You can also read Trent’s birth story here and watch his arrival video here. :)

 

 

PINCHme New York Fashion Week Sample Box

I was recently introduced to a free sample box service called PINCHme and I am immediately in love. I am definitely a fan of being able to try products/samples for free! Many of the items I use in my daily routine are from being able to try/test them out previously and then fell in love with them.

What is PINCHme?

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It’s simple – you choose a product from one of their leading brands, and they then deliver it to your home or workplace for free. But be quick, they’ll reserve the products in your box for a limited time, to ensure that everyone has a chance of receiving the available products. Once you’ve tried, tasted or touched the exciting products they offer, you can leave your feedback.

Sounds fun, right?!

New York Fashion Week just finished up and I was excited to receive a PINCHme box full of products from NYFW sponsors.

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Just look at all this amazing stuff! I couldn’t wait to start trying everything.

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First up, some guilt-free snacks: Skinny Pop Popcorn, Skinny Cow Chocolate and Pure Via Stevia Sweetener.

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These came at the perfect time! The Skinny Pop Popcorn was 100 calories for the bag and was very light and tasty.

The Skinny Cow Chocolate was 110 calories and although I don’t typically like chocolate and fruit mixed together in candies like this, this was quite tasty, especially since it reminded me of those chocolate wafers I used to eat as a kid.

I didn’t get to use the Pure Via Sweetener yet, because I am going to save it for when I go back to work and want to sweeten drinks without going to the vending machine for a soda.

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I am trying to have a better makeup brush collection, so I am excited to add this real Techniques brush to my arsenal.

As often as I do my nails to try to correct the damage I’ve done, I go through nail files often. This Revlon nail file lets you peel away layers to have a new one when they get worn down. So awesome!

When I first saw the No. 7 Lip Pencil, I thought it looked a little too orange, but after applying it, I really like the light shade of coral that it came out to be.

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Two of these products I’ve reviewed before and was so happy to get more!!! (The ecoTools Pure Complexion Sponge and the RenewYou Spleep Spa Mask – yay!)

Also included were some skin care products I haven’t been able to fully test yet, but definitely will once I finish with the products I have now: ROC Retinol Correction Eye Cream & vbeaute anti-aging product samples.

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These Band-Aid Blister bandages are PERFECT for those sore feet you get from walking around Disney Parks all day! We ALWAYS pack a box with us on every trip – they help prevent blisters from appearing, getting worse, or causing you pain while you walk.

I have never used Tom’s deodorant, but the Wild Lavendar scent is pretty strong. It says it lasts 24 hours, so I will see if that is true!

The box also included a purse-sized container of tissues! I’ll be ready when I inevitably get sick 10 times during the Winter…

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We really like these babble bottles, because it has a built-in filtration system. These are perfect to bring on cruises or anywhere that you want to make sure you are drinking clean water.

Last, but not least, was this Essenza Rosemary Mint hand soap. It smells so good that I may keep it in our personal bathroom and not the guest bathroom!

 

You can sign up to PINCHme for FREE by going to this link and submitting your info. Then, keep an eye out for notifications of when new samples are available…Be quick! Samples go fast (after all, they are free!), so you’ll want to get your hands on them before everyone else does.

I also recommend liking them on Facebook to be notified of new samples!

 

Aubrey’s Nursery

For Aubrey’s nursery, we decided to keep it fairly simple and chose a general color theme: purple, gray and white. Our reasoning was similar to why we chose a general colorful theme for Trent’s room…it’s easier to decorate and add in extras along the way without clashing. Since this room was full of stuff, we definitely procrastinated in getting it cleared out and ready and then decorated. As you’ll see, we also added in some some other colors (the brown dresser and futon), but stuck with the main pieces being either purple, gray or white. We really love how light and airy this room feels.

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Purple Crib sheet from Target
Gray area rug from IKEA
Purple & white curtains from IKEA (love these!)
Photos are Brett’s and available on his website

 

Contrary to the many craft projects that went into Trent’s room, we did one craft project for Aubrey’s room, and that was her name display over her crib.

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The letters and paint were from Hobby Lobby. I just painted her name in alternate colors and then hot glued them and the crown onto a wooden board. For the rest of it, we got the shelf and sheer curtains from IKEA.

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We removed the closet doors and put up sheer curtains instead. The closet is so large that we wanted it to be a part of the room and an area for toys that can be quickly grabbed. There is an additional storage area behind the closet, which is that small door which we painted purple and glued a little castle in the center. You can see some of her Disney Princess outfits hanging and ready to be worn! Expect photos of her in those!

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Bookshelves are from IKEA.
Princess Growth chart is from Etsy.
 

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Gray chevron changing pad cover from Amazon.
Purple blanket, purple heart pillow and gray pillow: all from IKEA.

 

Show Off Your Photos with Posterjack {Review}

With a photographer in the house, it’s no secret that we take a lot of photos. I’ve also said before that the majority of those photos remain in the computer or hard drive. However, when we do print them, we prefer to do more with them than just printing a regular photo. We prefer unique methods of printing, like on canvas, metal or acrylic. Plus, sometimes we just don’t feel like buying frames!

There are many photo-printing companies out there, so we do love trying new-to-us companies to see the quality that is delivered. When we needed a very large photo for Aubrey’s nursery (we had a very blank wall to fill), we turned to Posterjack!

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We had never tried Posterjack before, and after being introduced to them, we chose to get one of our favorite Cinderella Castle photos from Brett as a metal print. We initially wanted it to be an acrylic print, to give it a more glossy and vibrant look, but chose to get a bigger size in the metal print for 2 reasons: 1) it’s a little cheaper and 2) it offered a unique look that we thought would be great in her room.

I will admit, we had an issue with our initial print. Mr. Photographer noticed something that needed correcting, so I contacted the company and they rushed a brand new print out to us. I was pleased with how they handled it.

Once we got the 2nd print, we were very pleased with how it came out and how it looks in her room.

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Printing on metal has several benefits:

- The colors are extraordinarily vibrant and the depth of the coating gives photos a luminous quality that no paper print can achieve.

- Less costly than having to buy a frame and matting. Also, no glare from being covered in glass.

- Provides a modern look and several hanging options.

- Lightweight, but rigid.

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We chose one of their hanging kits to come with the print (stand-off kit). It looks ultra flat and almost like it is floating off the wall.

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Depending on how you look at the photo, the image seems to have a 3D effect, with various things in the picture “popping” out at you.

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We really like how the deep purples and blues are displayed…perfect for her purple and gray room! A large print like this is a great focal point for any room!

All prints are available in a variety of sizes, from 8×12 to 36×48 to panorama to fit your decor style.

Ordering from Posterjack is easy! Simply go to Posterjack.co, upload a photo, choose your print and size, then sit back as it gets delivered straight to your door!

If you can’t find a photo, you can visit Posterjack’s art shop and choose from 1 million photos to create a piece that’s perfect for your home.

Which ever you choose, the end result will always be the same: a stunning piece of photo art that’s unique to your home.

 

To learn more and buy, visit the Posterjack website.

Get social with Posterjack:
Facebook
Twitter

 

I received a credit to go towards this purchase, but I paid a portion of the total. All opinions are my own and honest. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Aubrey’s Newborn Photos

Newborn photo sessions can be tough. You want the baby to be asleep because that’s when you can pose them however you want and they won’t be crying/eating/pooping. The benefit to having a live-in photographer is that of instead of trying to get all the photos in one session, we can just try to get one or two photos during random naps over the course of a few days.

Of course, us being the Disney fans we are, we had to get a photo of her in a Minnie Outfit! (Crocheted Minnie Mouse outfit from Etsy)

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The little mouse tail kills me!

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And don’t even get me started on those booties….adorable!

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We also couldn’t resist a newborn princess crown (newborn princess crown on Amazon!)

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I love the contrast of the bright yellow on the gray in these next photos. We also gave up on keeping her asleep for these photos, since she was wrapped up and couldn’t move around anyway!

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We also started her weekly progress photos. (Baby Age Blocks from Pretty in Polka Dots)

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We also got monthly progress stickers just like we did for Trent! (Disney Princess Monthly Progress Stickers from Etsy)

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We originally thought her hair was brown (we even asked her doctor and my boss what they thought because we were unsure!) but these photos and how it’s looked in recent days make us think she will have blonde hair! Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned red like Trent’s hair?!

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I started a “See Aubrey Grow Page” to keep all of her milestone posts on one page, just like we have for our “See Trent Grow” page.

Stay tuned for posts/photos of her birth story and nursery…coming soon!