January 26, 2015

Life With Charlie | First Month

Wow, I have been meaning to blog for weeks now but as any of you with children know, it's just not that easy anymore.  Life has been crazy beautiful and so I wanted to pop in and jot down some thoughts on life this first month.

* Let me start with the real deal folks: Healing from a vaginal delivery is not what I expected.  Now I did not have your average delivery as they had to use forceps to get Charlie out so they had to, as Joe likes to say, "Get Baghdad ready for the Olympics".  Here I am 4 weeks from giving birth and I am still recovering.  The first week was absolute hell and even worse than actual childbirth (seeing as I had double the epidural meds I did not feel one thing so not a hard statement to make). 

* Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I have ever done.  There has been nipple shields, formula given in moments of pure panic, screaming and crying (from baby and I), loss of supply, gain of supply, pills taken, cookies eaten and so on.   At 3 weeks I decided I could not do it any longer and made the switch to pumping.  Now I pump every 3 or so hours and feed Charlie from a bottle.  This decision has saved my sanity and my marriage.  Joe was feeling helpless not able to assist me with feedings and I was so exhausted so now he can take over and it is SO much easier.  I don't love being hooked up to a pump all the time and feel like a cow but it's worth it to me.  I try and do one boob feeding session at night to keep that bond and lull Charlie to sleep.  

* Surprisingly, I am not tired during the day.  Once I have my cup of coffee and some breakfast I feel totally fine and ready to take on the day.  I may get a little tired in the afternoon but it's nothing worse than when I was just pregnant and not sleeping much.  I rarely nap and spend Charlie's nap time cleaning up, watching Parenthood on Netflix (OMG so good) or just holding her. 

* On the contrary, I DREAD the nighttime.  Even though my Mom and Joe can help with feedings, the nights just feel really lonely.  While I like having bonding quiet time in the dark with Charlie, it just always feels like the nights are so long.  

* Charlie didn't get back up to her birth weight right away and at our appointment last week was just under 8 pounds. We have a little peanut on our hands! Thank goodness my good friend Kate advised me to buy a few extra newborn onesies because Charlie only fits into 5 or so items still.  We are hoping she grows out of them soon so I can dress her in some fun new things for a change. 

* Charlie is a pretty great baby.  So far she is pretty even tempered for the most part. She has been dealing with either acid reflux or painful gas or something else I am not supposed to google and therefore has trouble calming down after feedings.  She is not a fan of baths or being changed.  She does though LOVE to be held and rocked and talked to.  We have started putting her down in her pack n play with a mirror and she loves to talk to herself. 

* The older she gets, the more people say she looks like her Daddy.  I have no clue who she looks like and I can't wait to see as she continues to fill out and grow. Each week it's different. 

* Speaking of Daddy,  watching Joe become a Dad has been really special for me.  He constantly tells me what a great job I am doing, when I am questioning everything.  He holds our daughter and talks to her and I melt.   I know it's different for Dads as they don't have that instant connection to babies so seeing Joe and Charlie form their special Daddy/Daughter relationship moves me.  I try not to wish away these first weeks but I am so excited for Charlie to get a little older as she has the best Dad and playmate to look forward to. 

Finally, motherhood is not at all and exactly like I thought it would be.  There is a lot of self doubt as you and your baby learn this whole new world and I wasn't expecting that.  But, as everyone tells you, the love you feel for your child the moment you lay eyes on them is indescribable.  Each day I fall more and more in love with my daughter.  My daughter; it took me a few weeks to actually realize that I am a Mom now.  I feel so blessed to be her Mom.  

January 5, 2015

She's Arrived | Charlie's Birth Story

Hello World! Let me introduce you to Charlotte Jane Hawley.

Date: 12/30/2014
Time: 11:24pm
Weight: 7lbs 0.25 oz
Length: 21 inches

Here is Charlie's birth story (this will be super long for my own memory's sake so bear with me).

At 5:00am on December 30th (8 days before my due date)  I woke up to use the restroom. This was the second time that night which never happened.  I got back into bed and started scrolling through Instagram and felt leaking.  I got up, went back to bathroom and started leaking even more.  Joe was awake when I came to tell him the news, my water broke.  I called the triage nurses line and asked for instruction on what to do next.  Since I was not having contractions they told me to go ahead and labor at home for awhile and wait and see if any contractions start.  If nothing had happened by 7:30am then to head on into the hospital. 

I hopped in the shower while Joe called my Mom to tell her to start making the journey here.  I straightened my hair, put on make-up, logged into work and put up a maternity out of office, did the last little bit of dishes in the sink and tidied up knowing we would not be home for a few days.  By 7:30am we were packing the car and making our calls to family and friends that today was the day our little girl would make her arrival. 

The journey up to Labor and Delivery was very surreal.  In the movies you see the husband speeding up to the main entrance and hospital staff rushing with wheelchairs to get the Mom up to L&D.  Since I was still not having many contractions we parked in a normal space, walked casually into the main entrance and took ourselves up to the L&D floor and checked in. 

Once there the midwife checked me to see where I was in the process.  I was 80% effaced and 2 cm dilated.  Since I was already dilated and my water broke they had my walk the halls for an hour to see if I could get the contractions to start naturally before we would look into inducing me.  I took to those halls like a champion.  Loop after loop, the nurses would give me little pep calls as I rounded the corners.  Family members of other new Moms gave me encouraging smiles as I passed them several times.  Within an hour the contractions started getting really strong so I went ahead and ordered an epidural.  11:15am epidural was in place and at 11:45am I was checked and had progressed to 4-5 cm dilated.  

I was feeling good from the epidural, my Mom had arrived and now we just needed our girl to be here.  Only problem was Charlie was not ready to make her debut.  We listened to Hall & Oats Pandora station, chatted up all the nurses and spent lots of time texting and talking on the phone to provide updates to everyone who was anxiously awaiting news. 

Finally around 9pm I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. Since it was so late Joe quickly ordered a few pizzas (my first non-diabetes diet request) and had them delivered for us and the nurses for after delivery.  I pushed for 2 straight hours with very little progress. The nurse could feel Charlie's head but she was not making it past the pelvic bone.  They called Dr. V in to assess the situation. I was starting to run a fever and was running out of steam so they had to determine next steps before I continued. 

Dr. V checked me at 11:15pm and discovered that our little girl was face up with her forehead getting stuck on my pelvic bone.  At this point I only had 2 options: She could try getting her out with forceps or we could go right to a C-section.  She told me she is good with forceps and she thought there was a 60-70% chance she could get her out.  But, in order for that to happen I would only have 1 chance through 1 contraction, which equalled 3 very strong effective pushes.  I didn't know if I was strong enough after 2 hours of pushing and starting labor at 5am.  My nurse looked me in the eye and said "I would only trust 2 people to try this and Dr. V is one of them.  You got this".   With those words I agreed to try.  They brought in NICU nurses and the anesthesiologist in case this didn't work and they had to rush me to a c-section. 

The time came for me to give the performance of a lifetime. The contraction started and I gave my all to those 3 sets of pushing.  My eyes were closed and all I could focus on was getting my baby out.  The whole time everyone in the room was cheering me on " Come on Maran"  "Harder" "Push Push Push".  Since I was numb I could not tell if I was making any progress but just kept pushing.  Next thing I knew they were congratulating me and put my daughter right on my chest.  I looked at Joe and we both started crying.  She was here! Our girl was finally here. 

Her face was swollen and puffy from the forceps and she wasn't making any noise.  They took her to the warming table to start checking her.  We yelled over to ask if she was ok and they said she was perfect.  She was just taking everything in.  While Dr. V did clean up on me they got Charlie cleaned up and brought her back for some skin to skin.   Ready to meet Daddy and my Mom they wrapped her up and handed her to her proud Daddy. 

Dr. V- the woman who saved me from a c-section with our little angel

My Mom was able to come in and finally meet her granddaughter a little after midnight.  It was the longest and best day of my life.  

December 15, 2014

36 Week Update

Don't mind my saggy ass. Only gaining weight in my belly, wouldn't mind some junk in my trunk finally.

This post is coming to you a little late as I was struck with a cold that knocked me out the end of last week. 

Size:  At my 36 week appointment the doc felt baby girl and said they believe she is of average size and probably right around 6 lbs.  How accurate that is only time will tell. 

Weight gain:  Up now 28 pounds. Steadily climbing up the scale.  Even with being sick I still had a major appetite and had to eat for my gestational diabetes so I assume at my 37 week appointment tomorrow that I will be up another pound.  Belly measuring right on the appropriate week.  

Maternity clothes:   Still lucky enough to fit into non-maternity items, leggings and only wearing a few tops and pants. 

Stretch marks:  No new marks!! Hooray!

Sleep:  Improving a little bit. We put our memory foam topper back on the bed and that has seemed to help on the achy legs front.  Only getting up once a night to pee.  

Gender:  Charlotte Jane!

Movement:  Still an active girl. Mostly in the AM and after dinner. Joe got to witness her soccer skills this weekend much more defined now that she is running out of room. 

Best moment this week:   Starting to pack the hospital bag. Shits getting real.  Other than that I felt like poo dollar and spent 4 days on my couch so not a whole lot of great moments unless you count getting through 5 seasons of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. 

Looking forward to:  Feeling 100% better and some holiday fun this coming week. 

Food Cravings:  Orange juice and cold cereal. 

Food Aversions:  Eggs, peanut butter, bread. oh wait, that's all I eat. 

Labor Signs:  definitely googled to see if I was in labor yesterday. Strong back pain came on suddenly, nausea, cramping.  I went grocery shopping and tried to organize some things and I think it was my body's wall of telling me to slow down since I have been so sick. 

What I miss:  Eating like a normal person  

Symptoms:  back pain, cramping, nausea, waddling, overall running on fumes it feels.  

Mood:  Excited the holidays are here!!! Can't wait to see when Miss Charlie decides to make her debut!

November 28, 2014

34 Week Update

Size:  She is beefing up and is the size of a pineapple this week! I asked the doctor if they could tell how big she was but they weren't too sure at this appointment because she was moving around too much.  They said at my 36 week appointment they should be able to tell more. 

Weight gain:  Up now 26 pounds.  Belly is measuring right on track. Out the window is my hope for a 20-25 lb weight gain.  Guessing I will be closer to 35 around delivery. 

Maternity clothes:   Still a mixture of regular leggings, dresses and tops paired with some maternity pieces. 

Stretch marks:  No new marks!!

Sleep:  Slipping back into my 1st trimester habits where I fall asleep on the couch around 7:30pm and then go up to bed whenever Joe wakes me.  Get into bed and do the toss and turn game all night.  

Gender:  Why do they even put this one on here? She's still a she. 

Movement:  Little Miss is very active still. Except now her movements hit an organ or something and they are painful. I am happy to report she has migrated and is now head down and she has dropped. Getting into position!

Best moment this week:   Thanksgiving for sure. Normally we are up in Ohio and rushing between families but this year we woke up and had a relaxing brunch, took the dogs on a long walk on our greenway, cooked together and then ate when we were ready.  It was so nice! 

On another Thanksgiving note, I allowed myself to eat pretty much whatever I wanted (minus cranberries because of the sugar) and my glucose numbers were right on track! I was so worried about having high numbers even though the doctor said it was ok.  All of that for nothing! 

Looking forward to:  Watching Ohio State beat Michigan on Saturday. 

Food Cravings:  Orange juice and cold cereal. 

Food Aversions:  Eh nothing really. I could probably eat a bell pepper these days with how hungry I always am.  

Labor Signs:  a few Braxton Hicks contractions and pelvic pressure

What I miss:  Not eating on a schedule and not counting carbs. This is the first diet I have ever been on. Don't know how you girls do it on purpose.  

Symptoms:  Now that Charlie has dropped some of my shortness of breath and back pain has gone away, hooray!  Now it is replaced with pelvic pain and pressure. Oh and I about died trying to steam mop the floors. 

Mood:  Thankful for getting to 34 weeks with minor complications.  Anxious for what the next 6 weeks holds in store. Ecstatic thinking about finally meeting our daughter. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Now it's time to decorate for Christmas and get our brains wrapped around another holiday and the end of this pregnancy.  

November 21, 2014

If you really knew me

Taking a page out of Kate's book since I loved her post so much!


I clearly am judging you if you put up Christmas decorations early

But, I am a hypocrite because I condone listening to Christmas music at any time of the year (Mariah Carey's All I Want For Xmas was played at my wedding…. in May).

I am afraid of unmelted cheese.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and when it gets hurt, I take a long time to heal.

I love to dance and while I am not good at it, if there is music on then I am dancing.

I was the lead in 2 high school musicals and to this day wish I would have kept up with singing in some way (outside of my shower and car of course).

I was a pescatarian for 2 years and even though I eat meat again I have a hard time eating it more than once a day.

I avoid confrontation like the plague.

I am an over sharer.  Not much in my life is private.  

I have been going grey since the age of 25. 

I will always been scared to be home alone.

I have never been skiing or snowboarding.

I am a worry wart and while I am an upbeat person, I always look to the worst case scenario.

People think I'm stuck up when they first meet me but it's only because I am super shy around new people and am very bad at small talk.  Once we find some common ground I will warm right up. 

I have always been a Mom at heart and assume the role of caretaker with my family and friends. As we say, "I can't take off my mom pants". 

Avocados are my favorite food, cheeseburgers come in a close 2nd.

I get really uncomfortable being given compliments.

I am very sarcastic, swear like a sailor and have a sick sense of humor. 

I hate feeling left out.

I can quote every line from Dumb & Dumber.

I love Elvis Presley and named my first dog after him.  RIP sweet girl. 

November 19, 2014

I'm Judging You

I am a pretty open person.  I have my faults and tend to not look down on others for theirs. I don't like when comments are made about strangers whether it be about looks or life choices or anything.

But there are a few things you can do where I will totally be judging you.

* Putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving-  obviously this is the first thing as my instagram and Facebook has been blown up this past weekend with people decorating.  Their tree is up, mantles are decorated and their house is now "oh so cozy".  It is too early friends! Did ya'll forget about Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving decor is completely different from Christmas.  And maybe I am more sensitive to this this year as Christmas is only 2 weeks before Charlie's due date.  While part of me wants to speed up the next few weeks, I also like to enjoy the holidays and savor them.

* Giving up your dog because of your chosen lifestyle changes -  When I see the posts or hear stories about people having to surrender their dog to a shelter because they moved where dogs aren't allowed OR they had a baby and the dog needs more attention OR someone else could give them more time… I go mad.  YOU chose to get a dog and now they are inconveniencing you?  These people clearly have no heart and are horrible horrible people. This topic honestly I could go on for days and will raise my blood pressure through the roof so that is all.

* If I hold open a door for you and you don't say thank you.  Who raised you? Is this not common courtesy 101?

* This goes out to my neighbors- people who knowingly leave their dog barking outside all the live long day.  First, it's cold now so bring that poor baby inside.  Second, your dog is annoying as shit and everyone on our street can hear them non stop bark/howling so don't you maybe think you should spare our poor ears and our dogs ears and bring them inside?

At the end of the day, be a good human, treat your animals right, have some common courtesy and for goodness sake take a minute to enjoy Thanksgiving.  Because honestly, we have a lot to be thankful for.

November 14, 2014

32 Weeks | 2 Months To Go!

Pregnant with my best girl Kate. This was supposed to be "bellies kissing" but clearly the only thing my belly wanted to kiss were her boobies. 

Size:  Baby girl is the size of a squash and apparently almost 4 lbs! 

Weight gain:  Staying strong at 23 pounds.  Belly is measuring right on track.

Maternity clothes:   Still a mixture of regular leggings, dresses and tops paired with some maternity pieces. 

Stretch marks:  No new marks!!

Sleep:  What's sleep?  

Gender:  My little girlie girl <3  

Movement:  She is still pretty active. Mostly feeling her in the early morning hours (yes, while I am not sleeping) and in the evenings after a long work day. 

Best moment this week:  Received Charlie's personalized pottery barn stocking and it is precious and I can't wait to decorate and hang hers next to ours.  But not before Thanksgiving. I am NOT one of those people.  

Looking forward to: Nursery is 98% done so hopefully this weekend we can get all the pictures hung and have it ready. 

Food Cravings:  Even this category seems mean. I crave everything because I can't eat it. 

Food Aversions:  Bread because I have to eat so damn much of it. Not really an aversion, just wanted to complain about bread, ha! 

Labor Signs:  a few Braxton Hicks contractions but nothing major. 

What I miss:  While planning our Thanksgiving menu I am already missing the Stuffing, Cranberries, Mashed Potatoes and copious amounts of pumpkin pie.  I will be cheating a little but it just will not be the same.  

Symptoms:  Back pain, hard to breathe, sciatic pain, slowing down in general.  

Nursery:  Almost there friends. 

Mood:  Overall pretty good. I love the holidays and am so excited they are almost here. I get down on my diet but I know it's keeping baby girl healthy so I just keep on swimming.  Only 8 weeks left and I know they are going to go even faster than I think.