Friday, November 30, 2012

Can you believe it?! {birth story edition}

I just have to write down all of the crazy things that happened during my hospital stay.  There were lots of mistakes made, in my opinion/experience, and if this was my first birth, I wouldn't have known to speak up.

  • I was never given a hospital gown.  They are ugly as sin, but decidedly more comfortable than laboring and delivering in your underwire bra and husband's t-shirt.  After Poppy was born, the realization that they were never going to give me a gown was sinking in and I asked for one.  
  • I was never offered meds after birth.  No pain relief or any of the other NECESSARY ones...I knew enough to ask for them and was given oxycodone.  Sweet relief!  
  • No squirt bottle.  No pads.  Nothing was offered to me until I spoke up and told the nurses that I was going to shower (hint, hint!).  For real.  
  • The skin-to-skin time had to be demanded.  That Southern nurse had a great accent, but terrible bedside manners.  She, nor any of the other nurses, asked me what my plan was for after the birth.  Although Poppy was swamped by the four specialists at birth, once she was cleared, the l&d nurses kept her and started doing their clerical work/baby measurements before letting me do skin-to-skin with her.  After my mom was like, "Um, you need to have your baby back."  
  • That dang Southern nurse came in TWICE to take my baby.  Once for a bath and then again for the hearing test.  I never just give my babies to the nurses.  Ever.  So Poppy was never bathed and I went with her for (both) of her hearing tests.  
  • The nurse hadn't added the mattress to my bed after the birth.  I didn't have to leave the room after delivery, but there were supposed to be changes made to the room to make it less labor-ish and more recovery-ish.  Didn't happen until that night at the shift change at 7pm after I had asked for a pillow to sit on because my nether regions were so uncomfortable.  
  • This is really just my speculation, but something was up with that just wasn't right!

So there it list of gripes.  If I ever get pregnant again, I'll switch doctors just to avoid that hospital.  I'd do it all over again for little Miss Poppy Ballerina, though!  She really is an angelbaby...probably my payback after my monsterbaby Scarjo!  ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Poppy Ballerina: a birth story

Let me preface this by saying that my birth plan was simple.  I was to be very medicated.  Extremely medicated was even better.  With my first baby, I was induced 5 days late and given my epidural at 2cm dialated.  I felt nothing when she was born.  That was my goal for baby 2's birth...

On November 1 at 2:40am, the contractions were so strong, they woke me up!  They were lasting about one minute and coming ten minutes apart, which was great, but I knew to wait until 5-1-1 (five minutes in between them, lasting one minute, after one hour of contractions) to go to the hospital.  Just when I was about to wake up Tyler, 80 minutes later, the contractions started getting further apart.  Twelve minutes, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes...until I was getting them about once every hour.  This continued for the next day, through the evening.  I was contracting through Alyssa/Grammum visits, getting Scarlett ready, and a trip to the playground.  It made for a very long and uncomfortable day.

That night, we did our normal bedtime routine with Scarlett, but as she slept beside me, I was timing my contractions.  When I think back to this, I'm happy because my contractions were a distraction to the fact that it was the last time I would put Scarlett to bed, just the two of us.  I had been dreading this night since February, but at that moment, I was thinking about getting to the hospital to get my epidural.  No time for me to be sentimental!

By 2:00am, my contractions were coming regularly, so I knew it was time to shave my legs, so I hopped into the shower!  After I was clean and ready to go, I called my mom to have her come stay with Scarjo.

A few minutes later, my mom arrived.  We chitchatted to the background noise of Nashville while Tyler got last minute things packed into the jeep.  Then we were off to the hospital...!

The roads were empty at that hour; it felt surreal that it was finally time to go.  I had envisioned that ride for the past few months, wondering when it would happen and what it would be like.

We pulled into our normal parking lot, parked, and walked the fairly long distance to the doors only to realize too late that they were locked!  (I will say that Tyler offered to drop me off and then park, but I insisted that I could walk.  I didn't want to be a drama queen about my contractions that were now coming every 3 minutes.  I was convinced that I was still in early labor.)  Our hospital closes up shop at 8pm.  After that, you must be buzzed in through the ER entrance.  (This was a different process than what we went through at our last hospital where Scarlett was born.)

When we got off the elevator on the 2nd floor, it was quiet and calm.  I felt a little silly because I was convinced that I was probably only two or three centimeters dilated.  With Scarlett, my labor was forever, so I was prepared to deliver the next night.  Maybe.

Well, we approached the nurses at the front desk, and I said, "I think I'm in labor."  They escorted us to the nearest room, #5, and gave me a cup.  When I was back from the bathroom, the nurse, Tina, told me to lay down and she hooked me up to monitors and took my blood pressure.  Being nervous and still contracting, I asked her if they were going to admit me.  She said, "Honestly, if you were really in labor, you wouldn't be able to talk.  You're smiling and chatting.  You're probably not in labor.  BUT, some people surprise us."  Then she went about her business getting things together around the room.

To say I was crushed would be an understatement.  I had been contracting irregularly since Halloween night and then regularly for a few hours.  I was over it.

Even though she doubted me, Tina had me take off one leg of my jeans to check me.  Much to her surprise, I was SEVEN CENTIMETERS dilated!  Woohoo!!!  Take that!  Well, that's what I thought in my head!  She was so shocked that she had the other nurse, Amanda, come a check to make sure she was right.

Once it was confirmed I was in active labor, they started the process of admitting me.  I was adamant about receiving an epidural, so they started fluids and contacted the anesthesiologist.  The whole thing was going on as I was just focusing through each contraction.  They were really great about stopping their questions and waiting silently for my contractions to end.  Though they also were starting to say things like, "You're doing really great, you could do it without an epidural." and "You're already 7cm, I'm not sure we'll be able to get you the epidural before you're ready to push."  I was not hearing any of it.  I wanted my drugs!

Things started happening really quickly at this point and are sort of jumbled in my memory.  This is how I remember the sequence of events...

My anesthesiologist arrived.  He was a very elderly gentlemen who had rolled out of bed to get to the hospital.  He seemed like it was just a walk in the park for him and was very nonchalant about everything.  My blood pressure dropped way too low, so Tina was pumping me full of something to bring it to normal levels.  There were three nurses and the delivery doctor (not my own or one who I had ever met before -- disappointing) all standing around my bed watching my machines.  Freaky!  But that wasn't the worst part.  After a while of my blood pressure fluctuating from normal to scary low, they decided to turn off my epidural.  I cried.  And then the contractions started coming and I was shaking all over.  Transition.  I cried some more.  Then everyone left except Tyler and the new nurse from the shift change at 7am.  This new nurse was a traveling nurse from down south with a beautiful accent, but not much knowledge about the hospital.  She was there one minute and replaced by yet a different nurse the next minute.  I was 9cm dilated and this strange nurse was telling me to push.  I found out later that they were hoping it would raise my blood pressure, but at the time, I was so frustrated and confused.  I just cried and half-heartedly pushed.  I remember I kept asking why I was pushing and asking them to turn on my epidural.  No one was there and the new nurse had no idea what was going on with me.  Finally, my original nurse came in with a new anesthesiologist who gave me a shot of something magic that made my contractions painless.

I stopped pushing.  My Southern nurse came back (she had had a migraine and needed meds) and the new anesthesiologist came and approved turning back on my epidural.  Then they checked me.  I was ten centimeters, but I had felt them checking me and started to panic.  Dr. Stein came in and reassured me that I was numb, I'd just feel pressure when the baby came out.  This was not very reassuring after she started talking about how she hadn't actually had children, but her friends had kids and they were pretty much her own.  Not. The. Same.

It was time for me to really push at 7:40am.  Everyone left but Tyler and my Southern nurse.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  At about 8:30, Tyler informed me that Mary was in the waiting room and Scarlett was on her way with my mom.  That just made me want the whole ordeal to be over with.

One second, the nurse was telling Dr. Stein that it'd be a little while longer, then she walked to the machines to look at something.  I just kept pushing every time I felt like I had to, but didn't tell anyone.  (It was weird that I was laying alone on the bed with just Tyler...)  Then the nurse came over and saw the baby's head -- she called for the doctor!

It was go time; one push later and head was out!  As the shoulders came out, I stopped pushing, but everyone screamed to keep going.  That dang epidural was not working and I could feel everything!  But a few seconds later, the baby was out!

At the time, I was oblivious to this, but apparently the baby had had a bowel movement during delivery after her head was out.  They were concerned, so as soon as she was born, Poppy was rushed to the heater and four nurses worked on clearing her out and making sure she was okay.

Poppy was fine, but unfortunately, we missed out on those first few moments together.

Poppy Ballerina was born at 9:00 am on November 2, 2012.  She was 7lbs. 11oz. and 20 3/4" long.
No cutting the cord for Tyler -- he was fine with that as long as she was okay!
 Mary came in right after she was born!  Scarlett, Alyssa, and my mom came 20 minutes later.  That whole morning was spent just introducing Poppy to her cousins and skin-to-skin time with me.  Perfect!

Alyssa was fascinated with Poppy from the very beginning!

Poppy brought her big sister gifts!

Alyssa is a fan of baby Poppy!

Big cousin Lulu with Poppy! 

Happy, happy, happiness!!!  I'll save the Negative Nelly things about the hospital and nurses for a different post...!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Letters


Dear Chinese food:  I think not being allowed to eat you while pregnant made you tastier!  Lunch was delicious!

Dear TV Gods:  THANK YOU for putting Michael Strahan on Live! with Kelly.  I just love him!

Dear Poppy:  You rock.  You look a little wonky, but we're hoping you grow out of that (like Scarlett did!)  Your sleep schedule and patience to put up with your big sister's "love" make my life happier.  Let's keep this're making Scarjo look bad!  ;)

Dear Post-baby body:  Please, let's just get this over with and heal already!  How am I supposed to have the skinnies when everything on me still hurts.  SO making baby 3 a distant possibility!

Dear Pumpkinhead:  You are delicious.  You even give pumpkin spice lattes some competition for being my favorite Fall drink.  YUM!

Dear Scarjo:  Thank you for rocking out this whole "big sister" thing!  It was rough at first, but I blame our schedule change the most.  (and the fact that your "Da" was in charge of you...)  Your independence is awesome...even if I get a little sad that you're getting so big!

Dear Black Friday shoppers:  You are all crazy!  Mary and I braved the crowds last year at 10am with toddlers and there were still elbows thrown!  That being said, I'm a smidge jealous that I will miss the excitement; when my babies are older, I'm so there! For now, I'm content to sit here in my jammies with my sleeping baby and hot coffee!

Still full...

Thanksgiving was a success!  We went to my mom's and ate LOTS of delicious turkey!  Mum made a dessert for each family (less arguing that way!), so we all had something that we love.  My choice was a chocolate pecan pie and she didn't disappoint!  We all ate our body weight in dessert...but there was enough leftovers for us all to bring home some for today!  That is one plus over our family tradition of eating out on Thanksgiving...leftovers!

While we all had a fun, happy, argument-free Thanksgiving, the pictures from yesterday were a complete fail! But now we have some of all five girls...even if they're not pretty!

Happy Black Friday!  I'm doing all of my shopping online, and so far, I had some really great deals!  There's nothing better than checking people off the Christmas list while sipping coffee in my jammies!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday
  • I kind of wish we had named Poppy, "Bunny" or "Kitty."  I'm (oddly) loving those names lately!
  • Last weekend, Tyler was sent to the store for my last Hostess Snowball ever.  I was one of those people.  What is way more important are all of the jobs lost by Hostess workers, absolutely, but I'm going to miss those Snoballs!  They were my go-to treat all throughout college -- ahhh, memories!

  • While shopping online, I've started the habit of buying on for them and then one for me!  Not good!
  • Scarlett is especially loving doing "big girl" things lately and honestly, it couldn't have really started at a better time!  Less work for me!
  • I'm cooking/baking nothing for Thanksgiving!  I feel a little guilty, but trust me, we're all better off this way!
  • We are not getting a real tree this year because I don't want to have to clean up all the pine needles.  With the pellet stove in the same room, they fall off constantly. 
  • I did love the Twilight books, but every movie has been such a disappointment.  But after the cheating scandal, I am SO TEMPTED to watch Breaking Dawn 2...
  • It's Michael Strahan's 41st birthday today!!!!  And I'm excited about it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Awesomeness that I find online.

This happens to Scarlett way too often!  
Go see the rest of Buzzfeed's hilarious reasons why kids are actually the worst!  I laughed so hard, I cried!  A horrible mother?  Maybe...

John Legend's girlfriend has a fun, food blog.  It makes me want the skinnies while I read about delicious food; so confusing!

I started following her blog because of her baby 2's birth story.  She is real and FUN!

Pinterest knows me so well.  Oh wait, you can just go follow all my boards!!!  Welcome.

I wish I could pull off red lipstick.  Her tumblr still rocks.
If you read Sandra Boynton to your kids, go here...!  Fifteen Animals is Scarlett's fave at the moment!

I want everything for the little ladies in my life!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just pictures!

The Smith girls!  (It's strange that they're not Beal girls...)    

Poppy wearing Scarlett's home from the hospital outfit

Poppy Ballerina's first bow!

Every time Scarjo holds Poppy, she says, "Take a picture!"  So I do!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Scarlett's thoughts on being a Big Sister

"Why do we have Poppy?"  --Scarlett
Me, unsuccessfully trying to answer what I consider a complex question, "Um...I don't know!  Are you happy we have her?!"
Me, to myself, "Wait, whaaat?!  What do I say?  I thought this whole "sister" thing was going well...ahhh!"  And then to Scarlett, "Do you sometimes wish it was just Mummy and Scarjo still??"
"Um hmm."
Then I answered her honestly, "Me too!  But then I'd miss Poppy, so I'm happy she's here!"

I don't know if I said the right thing; parenting can be tricky!  By the time I was answering her for the last time, Scarlett was half listening and had moved on to re-organizing her baby's diapers, so I don't think having Poppy is ruining her life.  At least not yet...!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday

  • I left my ipod upstairs on purpose because I couldn't stop taking and sharing pictures of my little ones!  It was getting ridiculous and I think my facebook friends appreciate the break from constant updates of yet another baby picture!
  • We call Poppy, "baby 2," 90% of the time.  Still.
  • After having Poppy, it took me 9 days before I ventured out into public, and even then she was strapped to my chest in the moby wrap.
  • Christmas shopping is consuming way too many of my thoughts these days!!!  I'm so excited!!!
  • I don't have a cell phone.  Well, I do, but it's never charged and when I give out the number, I usual get it wrong because it's so rarely used.  Sad.     And Scarlett left it in the fridge for an unknown amount of time.
  • Poppy looks like Frank.  I mean, super old man baby!  Luckily, I had Scarlett, so I know it gets better!
  • It snowed here last week, but I made Tyler close all the blinds, so I could show Scarlett when I woke up instead of her seeing the snow when she went downstairs with Tyler at 6am.  Selfish, much?!
  • Okay, I get to sleep in until 7:30am every day, but I'm up with both little ladies during the night.  I say that's fair!
  • Tyler being home on paternity leave has been super-helpful, but then when I get in my jeep and the sports radio is on and his pocket trash is everywhere and I seriously question my sanity!
  • Still have not read any news books...must get on that!
  • Pinterest makes me happy!  Home decorating tips and yummy things to bake are fine, but the inspirational quotes are my favorites!!!

Okay, and this is just hilarious!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I learned that the hard way after Tyler had been "helping" by doing the dishes.  While I appreciate the thoughtfulness -- I am shocked that he has been living in this house and not even having a clue where anything goes.  For real.  I'm scared to look in his closet after letting him have his way with his laundry for the past 10 days...!

Trusting my instincts...

As a mother, it is your job to defend your kids.  I've always known this as a fact and have done my fair share of glaring when people smoke too close to the playground and rolling my eyes when someone's child is not playing safe near Scarlett, but I've never had to take the initiative to actually stand up for my babies.

My mom set the perfect example of always sticking up for my siblings and me.  My third grade teacher allowed our class to watch the movie, Roots.  Well, I started having nightmares, so my mom marched into school and got me out of watching a movie that she felt was inappropriate for an eight year old.  I could give a million more examples of my mom sticking up for me or protecting me.  It was what she does did, but now that I have my own babies, I knew that it was my job to protect them.  I never had to actually do anything to protect them, until last weekend...

Tyler's family was coming into town to visit and meet Poppy.  That was fine...until Tuesday.  Tyler's sister started posting facebook updates about how sick she was with tonsillitis and strep throat.  When I read that, I assumed that she would not be meeting Poppy at this time,  but she lives 15 minutes away, so no biggie.  I didn't hear another thing about it until Saturday when his sister posted about how the amoxicillin was working and how excited she was to meet baby 2.  ALL IN THE SAME POST.  Um, no, you are not going to be breathing my 9 day old baby's air when you've been on meds for a few days.  Strep is contagious.  No.  

While I had made up my mind, Tyler's family had other plans.  After phone call after phone call about her illness and his entire family convinced that she was fine to meet an infant and Tyler not saying anything to dissuade their decision, I soon realized that it was up to me.  I was going to have to protect my newborn, therefore becoming the bad guy in their opinions.  (yet, again!)

So I did it.  At first, I called my mom and my sister to ask their advice, but when they didn't answer, I knew what I had to do.

I called my sister-in-law and told her the bad news.  It went worse than I had expected, but when I hung up the phone, I felt fantastic.  I had done it.  Is that crazy?!  I didn't think I was out of line; I was trusting my instincts.  I had stuck up for what I felt was right for my baby and was not walked all over and taken advantage of.  And Poppy wasn't exposed to strep!  Extra bonus!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My kind of night!

Now that I'm not pregnant, this is so allowed...finally!

I had my first alcoholic beverage since February and it was divine!  Scarlett had fallen asleep while I was reading (girlfriend was exhausted!) and Poppy had nursed during the stories and was sleeping too!  Two babies sleeping at the same time = MAGIC.  It was time to bust out the Pumpkinhead!!! (I had made Tyler keep it in our fridge for just this occasion!)  The Pumpkinhead did not disappoint!  Add in a little Pinterest and I was in heaven...also maybe a little toasty!  ;)

Sunshine & Exercise!

At the middle end of my pregnancy, I was always sore, so walking the loop was really out of the question.  Now that Poppy's here, it's time to get back to exercising, but we're starting slow here, friends!!!

I bundled us all up and headed out for a walk around the neighborhood with my little sidekick on her tricycle!  The fresh air and sunshine were just what I needed!  (I'm trying to mentally stay on top of my emotions, so the baby blues stay away!  That, along with St. John's Wort {approved by the lactation consultant}, and I'm hoping to stay happy!  Sunshine made a huuuuge difference, too!)

It was amazing just get out of the house!!!

This is her new favorite thing to do!  Turns out, she's really good at it, she just needed a little air in her tires!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just checking in!

Things here are going very well!  The whole recovery thing is WAY easier this time around -- thank goodness because Tyler worked yesterday and he's there again today!  I dreaded the day that he would leave me, but honestly, as much as it's more work by myself, it's easier in lots of ways, too.  Scarlett and I have our thing down, so when she is being entertained watched mostly by Tyler, it throws her for a loop and her behavior disintegrates and her manners disappear.  Not fun.

I'm not gonna lie -- it was terrifying to watch Tyler drive out of the driveway -- but it made for an even better day!  I had been missing my Scarjo so much.  All last week, Tyler had maintained our regular schedule to keep Scarlett in her activities, but being away from her so much was really difficult for me.  I just kept trying to remember to appreciate my time with Poppy.

So staying home with two little ones is not much different than being home with one, but I think that's because Poppy is still so little.  She requires very little work other than time to just sit and nurse.  She's awake maybe an hour or two, but each day, she becomes more alert!  She looks at me and follows my voice.  Scarlett loves to get close and talk to her -- she freaks when Poppy "holds her hand," AKA baby wiggles when her hand happens to land on Scarlett's hand.  I love that Scarlett loves Poppy.  So far, there seems to be no jealousy issues!!!  Phew!

Tyler's home again all next week and we're going to try to all continue our regular routine together, so that I'll be used to going out and about with two babies!  Honestly, the most difficult part of this whole "more than one baby" thing is just trying to get ready.  I can clean (kind of!) and get both girls fed, cleaned, and dressed, but when it comes to putting on make up and straightening my hair, forget it!  I think it's because both girls can be involved/there when I get the other one ready, but to get myself ready, they're on their own!  Laundry is pretty tricky, too!  I guess I should just be using the moby wrap...!

iPod photo dump:

PS--Am I the only one on modg baby watch?!  I'm dying to hear what she names her little girl!

PPS--I need Lulu and Poppy pictures, apparently!  She's always around, but Poppy seems to be sleeping/nursing when she's here!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday

  • I have been listening to Christmas music since a week before Halloween.
  • There is lots of baby weight going on and I am not stressed about it at all.  I'll really worry about it after the holidays...!  Yay for yoga pants!
  • Lighting my home fragrance makes me feel like I really have things together.  
  • Most of my days are spent dressing Poppy in Scarlett's baby clothes, taking pictures, and then comparing them.  
  • Naming baby 2, "Poppy," pretty much makes me Kate Middleton's bestie.  (Names with two syllables ending with the -ee sound are all the rage in England!) 
  • I'm not pregnant anymore, so now I can drink way more coffee than the mandatory one cup a day; what a long nine months!!!!
  • When I'm not snapping pictures, I'm sniffing Poppy's head.  Babies smell so yummy! 
  • I had a moby wrap with my first baby, sold it at a consignment shop, then bought another one with my second baby.  Never should have sold it; one of the only times Tyler was right about something...!
  • This SWW is pretty much all about babies...sorry 'bout that!  It's what's going on in these parts!  Next week should be more fun!!!
Comparison pictures!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Deliriously Happy!

I have so much that I want to blog about, but when I get a free second, I'd rather brush my teeth! blog is a little lonely lately!  To spruce things up, I am adding some pictures of my favorite ladies!!!

Happy Voting Day!!!