It was a stormy winter morning in February. Heavy snow was falling, roads were vacant and there was an eery silence on the street. As if something big was about to happen. No, this is not a horror story. It’s the beginning of my birth story; the most tumultuous but rewarding 15 hours of my entire life. My princess Cadence was born at 12:24am on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014. It went a little something like this:
12:00 AM – February 3rd: In the wee early hours of the morning, I got up for my nightly trip to the bathroom (one of many). On this particular trip, I noticed something really strange on my toilet tissue when I went to wipe. I had passed my mucous plug (google it, it’s gross). Grossed out as I was, I got excited. This could only mean one thing – baby girl was on her way very soon.
9:00 AM – February 3rd: I woke up to the smell of my mama’s Cream of Wheat on the stove. My favorite breakfast food. As I headed to the bathroom to wash up before breakfast, I could feel warm liquid start to trickle down my legs. Could this be it? “Mom!! Mom I need help! Water broke! I think…” My mother comes rushing up the stairs. “Well, what did it feel like? Pee?!” she exclaims. “Umm, it was really warm. Maybe even hot. I dunno.” She runs to grab the car keys and my hospital bag. “It’s time!” she exclaims. So we hop in the car in the middle of a winter snow storm and make our way to the hospital.
10:00 AM – February 3rd: After an eventful (and quite scary) ride to the hospital, we finally arrive and check into the Maternity Ward. Not only did we drive through a snowstorm the state had warned people to stay home to avoid, but we also ran into intense traffic and my mother nearly cursed someone out who was blocking the entrance to the ER. This baby was determined to arrive in the most dramatic of circumstances. My mom plays soft classical music in the room and dims the lights just like I requested in my Birth Plan. And the journey begins.
1:00 PM – February 3rd: Cadence’s daddy finally arrives at the hospital after having endured an epic commute in the snow. It seems like she was waiting for him to arrive because just 15 minutes after his arrival, my intense contractions start. I had a copy of my Birth Plan with me. At the top it read “I WANT AN EPIDURAL BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE”. So the anesthesiologist was called but in the mean time, the pain intensified. And I almost squeezed Daddy-to-be’s fingers off his hand.
4:00 PM – February 3rd: Finally after enduring nearly 3 hours of intense contractions, the anesthesiologist made his way to my room. Apparently he was stuck in a C-section. My face when they told me this? If looks could kill. Finally my epidural was administered and the labor pains went from feeling like a truck plowing through my back to a small but strong midget kneeing me in the back. Big difference.
7:00 PM – February 3rd: I’m officially 8cm dilated! Woot! Well I’m cheering now but at the time all I could think was “Cmon let’s get this over with! Get her OUT!” At this point the pressure intensified in my back and in my pelvic area. The epidural made it bareable but that mess STILL hurt. Ladies, don’t be fooled. Epidural doesn’t get rid of all the pain. Even if you have a high tolerance, an epidural works different for different people. So don’t go in with any expectations. Every experience is very unique.
9:00 PM – February 3rd: “Umm, excuse me Mr. Epidural Man, this mess is wearing off! I’m feeling stuff!” At this point, the doctor checks me and I’m at around 8.5 – 9cm. It will be time to push in no time. And I can feel the baby’s head descending into my pelvis. It hurts like hell but thank God it’s almost over.
12:00 AM – February 4th: It’s time to push. The moment of truth. The epidural has been turned down so I officially feel like I can feel E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I can’t feel my legs so my mom and Daddy-to-be have to hold my legs up for me to push. This girl’s head is BIG! My vagina is on fire (pardon my french) but she’s on her way out for sure. The nurse says “PUSH! Push when you feel a contraction!”. One-two-three-four (PUSH) – five-six-seven (BREATHE). Two full pushes later and…
12:24 AM – February 4th: Cadence Elizabeth makes her debut into the world. She is 8 lbs 3 oz and just the most beautiful, most squishy, most amazing little bundle of joy I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I laugh, I cry, I ask the nurses why my va-jay-jay is still on fire. It’s a moment. All is right in the world. Though it was difficult, I wouldn’t trade those 15 hours of labor for the world. My baby girl is finally here and that’s all that matters!
And that’s all folks. I have SO much more to tell. Stay tuned for a post about my Postpartum Recovery and all I went through right after labor & delivery.
Photos by Andrea Friedman Photography
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Last Wednesday evening, I was invited by the Big City Moms to attend their 18th Biggest Baby Shower Event at the Metropolitan Pavillion in NYC. What an amazing event! As someone who is new to the world of baby, I thought it would be a treat for me to check it out considering how many amazing brands would be represented. I couldn’t wait to take it all in.
First of all, as overwhelming as the list of exhibitors was, the event was wildly organized and so much fun. In addition to having a really awesome roster of baby vendors big & small, they also included cool activities like interactive workshops & panel discussions, FOOD (you already know why I put that one in all-caps. Third trimester and I’m always hungry), spa treatments and everything in between.
Phew! I cannot believe how quickly time has FLOWN by. November is already on it’s way out and I feel like I just announced my pregnancy yesterday! This site officially was born in August (when I felt comfortable revealing that I was having a little bundle of joy) during my LoveBrownSugar.com 4 Year Anniversary party and the past 2.5 months have been such an incredible learning experience for me.
Let me say this. Making the decision to bring a child into this world is both one of the most challenging, nerve-wrecking but rewarding experiences you will have ever have in life. This entire experience has been teaching me so much about myself that I truly wouldn’t have discovered if it wasn’t for the treacherous but rewarding experience called pregnancy.
So here’s the lowdown on 4 lessons I’ve learned in my third trimester that I didn’t know before & the major changes I’m making in preparation for #babybrownsugar:
1. Selflessness is a Requirement, Not An Option.
(via @LoveBrownSugar on Instagram) I won’t be taking #selfies once my baby arrives.
Having a child is truly a selfless act. In essence, you are preparing yourself to give up your own wants, needs and/or desires for the betterment of this new being. It requires major sacrifices. This little person takes over your body and makes you do weird things you’ve never done before. I remember in my first trimester having vivid dreams about a stranger breaking into my home, which I believe subconsciously was about my fear of this little unknown thing controlling my life.
Now in my third trimester, I have such a huge awareness of everything I’ll need to sacrifice once my little princess gets here. My mom, who has posted on here before, constantly reminds me that motherhood is essentially a journey that never ends. She has 4 children and undoubtedly spends the majority of her life trying to make sure we’re all okay, all the time. Talk about a full time job?!
2. Nutrition is SO Important.
Image Source: Foodlve.com
Aside from giving up my pinot grigio wine nightcaps, sushi and a few other delicacies, I underestimated how important proper nutrition in pregnancy is beyond the “avoid” food list. You can’t just keep up your old diet of eating only when you’re hungry, downing sodas/coffees, and add in a prenatal pill to the mix for good measure. You have to take a LONG hard look at your diet and make sure you’re paying special attention to the nutritional intricacies that your baby will need most. It’s not about you anymore! Remember that. My little princess currently is only in the 5th percentile bracket in terms of her body weight at the moment and I believe it has to do with my lack of proper nutrition. Mend your ways for the sake of the baby. Consider it a job to give your baby all their nutrients before they get here.
3. Scheduling is Your BEST Friend.
If you weren’t used to living your life on a tight and regulated schedule before, get ready for things to change. My third trimester, what with the extra weight I’m carrying, my excessive nutritional needs and my need to take midday naps here and there, has definitely been a time when scheduling is much needed. Leaving things to chance is not really an option when you’re mere months from the birth of your bundle of joy. And you might as well get used to it! Once baby comes into the world, “schedule” and “routine” should become your middle name.
4. Positivity is Key To Survival (For You & Baby).
Upon my first ultrasound check-up at 20 weeks, I found out that I unfortunately had an unexplained shortening of my cervix which made me a prime candidate for pre-term labor. This meant I needed to go on bedrest immediately and that I would have to start taking medicine daily to help me keep from contracting (my doctor advised me to take Progesterone suppositories).
I was devastated. Until I started to realize, with the progression of my pregnancy, that it wasn’t so bad. I did, after all, need the extra rest provided by my bedrest orders. It gave me time to sit and think about all the preparations I needed to do for the baby.
AND it really made me look forward to my weekly milestones! When you’re constantly reminded that your baby could try to make an early entrance at any point, you become overjoyed by the challenge of surviving another week with baby in the womb. And it makes the pregnancy journey that much more rewarding.
Me at the hospital this past weekend
This past weekend I landed in the hospital with #babybrownsugar trying to make a dramatically early debut. I was sent to Labor & Delivery where they had to give me magnesium to stop my preterm labor contractions and they gave me steroid shots to help develop my baby’s lungs as I’m only 29 weeks and she’s less than 3 lbs. This was an incredibly scary time for me, but I know I didn’t go through it in vain.
My first trimester baby bump!
I’ve endured alot of trials with this pregnancy and I know it’s because some other woman, somewhere in cyber space, is reading this and will take solace in knowing that no matter the current situation – everything is going to be ok. Don’t be scared! I did alot of prayer, meditation and positive thinking while in the hospital this weekend and I have a new outlook on what this journey is all about. Hang in there! I am. And I have full confidence that my little princess will hold off until at least 34-35 weeks when her lungs are developed enough to support her little body. I can’t wait to meet her!
So there’s my third trimester update! I hope someone else found these tips helpful. Have any advice for someone like me? Please feel free to share your tips and personal stories in the comment section below!
Picture taken from LBS Chic: Love Bump In Lace
I dunno about you guys, but I’ve considered it pretty standard practice for family, friends and strangers alike to stare oddly at my baby bump and then inevitable reach out to touch it. It’s like a magnetic field. I imagine once they stare into the bump it draws them in like an uncontrollable energetic force field and (imagine this in slow motion) they have no choice but to reach out their arms and rub it to satisfy their curiosity.
Well the lovely state of Pennsylvania just put an end to that imaginary force field for unassuming strangers who find it necessary to touch pregnant bellies. According to Clutch Magazine, Pennsylvania just amended a law that says touching a pregnant woman’s stomach could be grounds for harassment.
It essentially will make it easier for women to press charges against strangers who excessively harass them to touch their baby bumps. The law was renewed after a Cumberland County man was harassing a pregnant woman to touch her belly. Can you imagine??
Read more of the story here at CLUTCH
Have you ever had a stranger touch your belly? What did you do? Do you think laws like this are needed?
Ever since I could imagine myself as an expectant mom, I’ve always said that I would play music for my baby in the womb. I remember when I was 6 years old seeing my mother play classical music for my little brother who was still in her belly. When he finally made his debut, my mom would play classical music in his nursery to soothe him, and it was like magic – it worked! He remembered those sounds from the belly and responded to them. To this day, any time my little brother (even as an adult) is in a room with classical music playing he falls asleep. Anyway, your baby might not be able to make their own music yet, but they can definitely hear what’s going on and it leaves a lasting impression.
When I first found out I was pregnant back in early June, the first thing that came across my mind was “What am I gonna wear?!” I know this isn’t normally the first thing that pops into one’s mind, but I’m a fashionista – I can’t help it. Thankfully, I happened to be following a few stylish girls on my timeline who were in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters and completely rocking maternity style with a vengeance. In the process, I discovered the glorious hashtags #maternitystyle and #pregnancystyle and therefore stumbled on a few other beautiful mommies-to-be. Here are five I think you should know:
When I first met Caprece of CapreceKnowsFresh, we were both in the beginning stages of our blogging journeys at a blogging conference trying to learn the ropes. She was immaculately dressed with a killer pair of shoes and a glowing smile. We were instant friends. Since then, she’s gone on to have an adorable little baby girl name Mackenzie, and to start her own motherhood blog MommieKnowsFresh therefore serving as my own personal sounding board for everything pregnancy entails. Once I saw Caprece posting on Facebook about “Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mom”, I immediately knew she would be perfect for sharing advice here on BabyBrownSugar.
So get into these 5 things she’s learned since becoming a mom:
1) Things I’ve learned since becoming a mom: Baby talk. Stop it. Your baby thinks you’re crazy.
2) Things I’ve learned since becoming a mom: Baby smell is addictive. Just make sure it’s your own baby your smelling or you could get into a LOT of trouble.
3) Things I’ve learned since becoming a mom: When there’s too much poop I’m nervous. When there’s no poop I’m nervous. Basically poop makes me nervous.
4) Things I’ve learned since becoming a mom: After giving birth your bladder is never the same. Laugh, Sneeze, and Cough at your own risk….
5) Things I’ve learned since becoming a mom: When you’re a mom you thank God for everything. Even that you remembered to shave your legs. Thank. God.
What are some things you’ve learned since becoming a mom?
Check out the Mommie Knows Fresh Blog
Follow MommieKnwsFresh on Twitter | Instagram: capreceknowsfresh
So the anticipation has been steadily building over the past few weeks. Most expectant parents will say that it doesn’t matter what they have – boy or girl. The child will be loved, cared for and appreciated either way. And this is exactly how I felt. Since I was a little girl, I’ve imagined myself as a mother. Naturally, because I had older sisters who used to baby me and of course my own mother, I’ve always wanted a little one to coddle myself. As the youngest girl in the family, when my little brother was born he was basically like my “baby”. I helped change his little diapers, helped put him to sleep, feed him and everything in between. For that reason, even though we’re only 7 years apart, I’ve always felt like I helped raise a little boy myself. My brother will tell you the same, I was always like a Mom #2 instead of a big sis.
Anyway, considering my parents didn’t have another girl underneath me, I got comfortable with being the baby girl of the family. Now, as an expectant mom, I was conflicted over whether I should be rooting for one sex over another. In the end, a healthy and happy child is the goal. Daddy-to-be was adamantly in favor of a little boy. “Girls are hard! You have to protect them like…forever,” he explained. Which is somewhat true. In a father’s mind, boys grow up to be men. Daddy’s little girls are little girls forever. For me, I always felt a stronger connection to women, especially because so much of what I do with LoveBrownSugar is specifically for women. Plus I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a mini-me!
From the day I announced to my friends and family that I was expecting, there has been speculation about what I’d be having. My older sisters (including Tayna who wrote Her Two Cents here) were hoping and praying for a girl considering that each have baby boys of their own with Tayna now expecting her 2nd baby boy in November. “Too many boys! We need a girl,” they chimed.
Another voice adding to the pot of wisdom is my older sister Tayna. Everyone calls her the “mini mom” – not just because she looks just like my mother but because she’s definitely the mother hen of our clan. She plans all the parties, she bosses everyone around (haha, love you Tee), and she was also the first of us girls to get pregnant. Here she shares her two cents on what she hates most about being pregnant:
I’m 36, a mother of a 4 year old and 26 weeks pregnant with my second child. For me being pregnant was and is NOTHING like you see on television and read in books. The experience itself is one filled with awe, bewilderment, frustration, and lots of “WHY ME JESUS?!” My personal Top 4 Pregnancy Frustrations are:
1. SICK SICK SICK
For me, I happen to get every sickness known to pregnancy: hypermesis, excessive spitting, dehydration, morning, afternoon, evening, midnight, and driving sickness, horrible gas, hives, tendinitis, heartburn (need I continue?) Then the Dr. asks how it’s going and responds with a side head-nod and simply says “Yes, that’s normal, nothing you can do about that.” Aint’ nobody got time for that!
2. STOP SHOWING OFF
Watching my friends, who are also pregnant, float through the process like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. No sickness, their hair and nails growing, they’re glowing and look radiant, and they absolutely love the process. UGH – go sit down somewhere…
3. COUNTING SHEEP
I struggle to sleep at night as well. I sleep with about 8 pillows and toss and turn all night, not to mention the 3-4 trips to the toilet. I often get up and look over at my husband who is sleeping like a newborn baby with his thumb in his mouth (ok, he doesn’t really suck his thumb but that’s what it seems like!) I just want to slap him upside the head.
4. NOTHING TO WEAR
I’m no Kardashian, but I do consider myself to be pretty stylish. However, when you are pregnant, finding something cute to wear is SO hard. Why is it that every designer feels that as soon as you are pregnant you automatically revert to flowers, bows, drawstrings, and polka dots? UGH! Whoever you are, STOP making this stuff!
The Brighter Side:
The important thing to note is that pregnancy is different for every woman. The only constant is that with a successful pregnancy, the end result is the most amazing gift from God that will forever change your life and has changed mine. Through it all, I have to say YES it is worth it and while my pregnancy journey is not a “favorable one” it is mine and I am grateful for the blessing and responsibility that God has given me. All in all, I can’t wait to meet my new little baby boy in a few more months.
Spill the beans, ladies. Do you have any pregnancy horror stories? Frustrations? Share with the class…
I have a confession to make. Don’t judge me. I don’t have a baby yet but I’ve been using baby products for years. And I’m not ashamed. Johnson’s Baby Powder on the dresser? Check. Baby Oil to hit the ashy spots in the winter? Check check check. I don’t know why but I tend to enjoy some made-for-baby products better than the made-for-adults ones. Part of it may be that I know they’re safe for my skin and free of harsh ingredients. They also smell like…well, babies. And I love new baby smell.