Hadley’s Birth Story

On Monday, November 6 I was still very pregnant – and very over it. My OB and I had discussed induction once I hit 39 weeks because I was so uncomfortable, but she warned me that other pregnant women past forty weeks had priority for induction. My official and “final” due date was 11/11, so even though I was still a week to go, I wanted that baby OUT. I decided to send my doctor an email asking her to let me know if we could set a date, knowing it had to be scheduled a few days out. Initially I didn’t want a baby to be born via induction on Holly’s birthday (11/9), so that Holly could have her own day, but I knew baby could very well come on her own if she wanted to on that day. So, imagine my surprise on Wednesday morning when I got a call from the hospital labor and deliver department, letting me know I was scheduled for induction at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 9. After talking it over with Matt, we decided we should move forward, as I was swelling like crazy, sick of having fake contractions, and I was getting restless (After all, there’s only so much Netflix binging and Oreo eating one can do.) They’d be birthday twins, and that was that! I didn’t sleep much that night with excited anticipation, and woke up at 5:30 the next morning to shower. While I was in the shower I got a voicemail that I should wait a few hours and go back to sleep, since L&D was packed. I went back to bed, and we got the call at 8:30 that we could come in around 10.

Right before we headed to the hospital! 39 weeks and six days.

I checked in, donned my hideous hospital gown, and met my first two nurses, Harley and Nicole. I felt relieved because I gave them the “Full Alyssa” personality and we all jived well, which was important to me as these women would be getting up close and personal. I got hooked up to the IV and belly monitors, and once it was confirmed that Hadley was doing great, they checked me for dilation. Happily, the amount of contractions I was showing confirmed that I was already in early labor, which I had suspected the night before, but wasn’t getting my hopes up due to the days of false starts I’d been having. At first check I was dilated to a four, so we agreed to use Pitocin to get things moving, with me having naïve hopes that Pitocin would mean I’d be snuggling a newborn in the early afternoon. I call Pitocin the Pit Viper, because it amplified the contractions with Holly from bearable to massive pain very quickly – but maybe that wasn’t the Pitocin and was just labor. Basically, they slowly increased my Pitocin every couple hours, and at this point, I was waiting to get the epidural as the pain wasn’t that bad. This part of labor was pretty boring, and I chitchatted with Matt, texted friends, browsed Facebook, and even shopped on my Groupon app at one point.

One great difference between this labor and Holly’s was that I was allowed to have “clears” this time. It helped so much to have a full belly.

At 2:00, they started cranking the Pitocin faster, and I was bummed that I hadn’t had the baby yet. I had hoped that since this was my second rodeo, I’d basically lift my legs and shoot out a baby. Once the Pitocin was cranked, the contractions started intensifying. At 3:45 I requested my epidural, and I didn’t receive it until 5:00 p.m., and by then, I was ready. They made Matt leave the room which I wasn’t thrilled about, and my anxiety soared as the anesthesiologist fiddled with my back and laced me up. It showed in my blood pressure, which rose to about 160/90, but as soon as the anesthesiologist was done, I instantly felt giddy and calm. I asked if it kicked in that fast, and the anesthesiologist explained it was actually my dopamine levels returning to normal since I had been so nervous. Whew! They gave me a quick hit button to dose myself with more epidural drug, and I didn’t end up using it much until later on.

The next few hours were slow and relaxed, with my birth playlist in the background (lots of Fleet Foxes, Smoke Fairies, Father John Misty, and the occasional electropop song by peeps like St. Vincent.). At 7:00, we had a shift change, and my new nurse, Tiffany, came in. At 9:30, I decided to try to nap, since I had only progressed to a six. I dozed on and off, and at 11:40, I was finally ready to try some “test” pushes. I had accepted at this point that Hadley wanted her own birthday, as we were 20 minutes away from the 10th. The contractions were certainly more intense, but my nurse had warned me to start laying off the quick hit button as that could delay my progress. I wasn’t happy to hear that but agreed to reduce my reliance on the joy juice, and I was impressed how much easier pushing was than with Holly – my body knew what to do, and Tiffany was an excellent coach in guiding me how to breathe.

After a few test pushes, Tiffany gave me a choice – they could call the doctor in now (about midnight) and have me start pushing, but she warned because baby wasn’t exactly in “station” (the lowest position in pelvis), I would probably have to push longer – or, I could try and nap for a bit and baby would likely descend lower into the pelvis, and it would be less pushing.  I always prefer to embrace the lazy way when it comes to physical activity, so I agreed to try and nap, and miraculously, I did. At 12:45, the nurse told me the doctor was on her way, and at that point, I went from calm to “IT’S GO TIME!”. I was having a very hard time holding the baby in at this point – and it sounds weird to type it like that, but they actually had to take my legs out of the stirrups and tell me not to push because she was ready to come out.

Honestly, this was the hardest part of labor – feeling more than anything that I needed to push, but not being able to, and being told not to. At one point I told Matt he better get a glove on and get down there because the baby was coming whether my doctor was there or not. It was actually only 20 minutes between this point and when the doctor arrived, but it felt like eternity as the pressure on my lower back and legs was making me tremble all over.

Finally, my awesome doctor rushed in, threw on her scrubs and booties, and got into position. I took a deep breath, and PUSHED. Lord almighty, did I push – and I pushed HARD and with gusto, and boom – just like that, I felt the baby’s head come out, and summoned all my strength, breathed through the pressure … and felt Hadley descend through me, arriving at 1:14 am, after just one push.

The doctor lifted her up and I had two instant thoughts “Look at all that hair!” and “She’s big!” They put her on my chest, and the medical team noted she wasn’t crying – just looking around, calm and pink. Her tiny hand joined mine and I looked into her eyes for the first time, hers full of wonder, mine full of joy. I was overcome with relief and happiness, and we spent the next 30 minutes snuggling as my doctor delivered my placenta and checked me out. Hadley was 9.2 pounds and 21 inches of rosy-cheeked perfection, delightful little leg rolls, velvety feet, and wispy dark hair.

Happy birthday, Hadley Joy – we’re so happy you’re here.

 

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 39/40 weeks

Spoiler alert: NO BABY! Haha. I get texts and messages all day and sadly, I’ve always had to say “Nope. Nothin’.”

Despite plenty of false starts and hopes of promised inductions, here we are, just a mere four days from my official and “final” due date of 11/11, and we have no baby. (PS, Baby 2 – Holly was here by this time. Just sayin’.)

Baby’s Size: American Shorthair Cat or Watermelon
Weight Gain: 43 pounds. Lost a pound this week because baby is so big I can’t cram as much in my gullet.
Maternity clothes? All day every day.

Best moment the past few weeks: We went to Teppenyaki (the Japanese steakhouse where they cook your food at the table) with my parents and Holly for an early Holly birthday dinner. It was super fun even though she was kind of freaked out by all the fire and lights mere feet from her face! Also, my parents took Holly for a few days this week and Matt and I got to go have a really nice Italian dinner last night. It was deeeeelicious! And despite being anxious about somebody’s pending arrival, I’ve really enjoyed being so lazy and resting on maternity leave, and doing small projects and chores here and there.
Miss anything?
Not waking up to pee every hour and a half, not thinking every twinge is my imminent labor, and HEARTBURN.
Movement: Definitely less this week as she’s out of space in there.
Food cravings: I’ve been craving classic coke, which I’m limiting because sugar, and who needs it; and then prosciutto, and jazz apples. I got some at Trader Joe’s and they are SO GOOD!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: Sore lower back, waddling, massive belly, fire-breathing-dragon heartburn, tired, crampy with practice contractions.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy though quick to be annoyed. You should hear my verbal expletives when I read the news. I also have a tendency to delay answering some of the “Anything yet?” texts until I feel more chipper (and sometimes, I just ditch my phone for a few hours because I caaaaan and it’s nice.) It’s nothing personal, but it’s difficult to have to say “No” and share disappointing news that the same old is the same old. This of course, backfires on me, because the longer I take to respond, more people assume I’m in labor. Haha. I know people are just excited, but I can’t win until I can text a photo of a fresh baby!

Image result for have you had that baby yet
Labor signs: What’s so frustrating about being so close is I’ll have several contractions that slowly start to pick up, get more painful, and then… gone. Silence. My OB confirms I’ve been in “prodromal labor” which is basically practice labor and super common for second-time moms. She asked me to call on Monday to see about getting me in for induction, but I haven’t heard back (annoying) and I know it’s because I’m not a priority as all is well and healthy (thankfully), and I’m not quite yet past that official due date mark (C’MOOOOOON Saturday). My next appt is Thursday morning and I’m not leaving until they schedule me a few days out for an induction, just in case. I’m the perfect candidate for induction since my body already has so many signs of being ready for labor – so if it doesn’t happen naturally, we’re gonna MAKE it happen. Boom.

Looking forward to: meeting this kid. One day. It will happen one day… right? Also, my Hollydolly turns 2 on Thursday. Chances are good she’ll have a baby sister as a birthday gift… maybe even the same day?

Allright, citizens of the Internet… send collective thoughts, energy, juju, prayers, and vibes that this kid MOVES ALONG safely, happily, and healthily into the world! I do NOT want to share a bump update next week! Bye! 🙂

Baby #2 Bumpdate: Week 38/39

For Halloween, I’m a pregnant lady. Yup, still! Despite doctors’ estimates I’d go around Halloween (and hey, I guess I still COULD), here I sit with a bouncing, kicking baby bump. But! I’m on maternity leave now, and it’s been awesome to do little projects here and there and rest and prepare mentally for the upcoming newborn days. I slept awfully last night – waking up twice in a sweat (so uncomfortable), having weird dreams, and peeing constantly. But – I remember in the few days before Holly was born, I barely slept at night, so I’ll take it. Just preparation for my upcoming late nights with lil gal. My doctor said I can choose to set an induction date for anytime after this Thursday, so we’ll see how I’m feeling and what I want to do.

Baby’s Size: A Pomeranian
Weight Gain: 44 pounds. I’m not thrilled about it, but I also am not making many efforts to keep it under control. I’ll deal with it after the baby – and I’m actively pursuing the sleeve weight loss surgery later this year, so I know I have work to do, but for now, I’m enjoying just being.
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment the past few weeks: It’s been really fun experiencing Halloween with a near two year old – because she kind of “gets it” this year. We decorated a pumpkin with stickers yesterday and she was so delighted and proud of her creation. Then, this morning, we drove to daycare slowly and looked at all the decorations outside. One advantage of this baby not arriving today is I can’t wait to take Holly trick or treating tonight. She’s going to be a gnome! Also, my work surprised me with a virtual baby shower and were incredibly generous with gifts and advice, and we’ve been receiving gifts here and there. It’s heartwarming to be the recipient of so much kindness and happiness, so that’s awesome 🙂

Miss anything?
Solid sleep, and not having heartburn. Also, the back pain and slowness is getting old. I’ve never been an athlete but I’ve always prided myself on being fairly active, so it’s hard to be a slug.
Movement: Still a fair amount, but not as intense since she’s so big now.

Food cravings: I made Matt go get me some chicken salad over the weekend, and then I’m still craving red meat and ice cubes (Anemia!). We had some epic steaks last night!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, fire-breathing-dragon heartburn, EXHAUSTED, crampy with practice contractions.
Happy or moody most of the time: My mood has been really even-keeled and positive.
Labor signs: I’m 3 CM dilated and fully effaced, so at this point, it’s just waiting for steady contractions or water breaking. I hope my water breaks because with Holly that was so easy to be like “Oh! It’s time.” My doctor has given me the go-ahead to labor at home for several hours after my water breaks (assuming I feel mostly fine), so I’m looking forward to having a few hours to kind of gather my stuff and try and relax at home while the grandparents head over for Holly duty. I’ve been having a lot of practice contractions which are mostly just annoying to me because they don’t stay steady.

Looking forward to: Trick or treating, seeing my sweet squishy lil babeh, Holly turning 2 on Nov. 9th (we’re not doing anything but will do cake and presents for her), the holidays, and giving birth! (Yeah, I know, it’s odd – but my Labor and Delivery with Holly was great, other than long, so I’m not super nervous, and if anything, it’s empowering and you get the best gift at the end!)

 

Allrighty – let’s hope the next update I make is a “Welcome, baby!” announcement!

Week 36 Bumpdate with Kiddo #2: Are we there yet?

How far along? 36 weeks, measuring 37.5.

Baby’s Size: A Chihuahua!
Weight Gain: 40 pounds. No weight gain the last two weeks and then BOOM! TEN POUNDS! I’m an excellent gainer of weight. I finally have Flintstone feet, so I know I’m swelling a bit. 
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment the past few weeks: We saw Father John Misty on Friday night who is one of my fav musicians. The stadium seating was killer and we left before the encore, but I loved getting to hear some of my fav tunes under the stars at the Greek Theatre. Also, being dismissed by the perinatologist as a “graduate” with a healthy pregnancy. My OB has a perinatologist monitor the pregnancy in addition to appointments with her, and the peri is the guy who would be the problem-finder, so it felt good to get the “Good job! Go have a baby!” send off from him. Also, we’ve been doing some home improvements with the help of my Dad, and I’m enjoying our new recessed lighting and ceiling fans, and I also love the maternity pix my mom took (scattered throughout this post).

Miss anything?
Solid sleep. I was up EIGHT times last night to pee. I’m also really sick right now with a cold, so I know that’s part of it, but dear lord, stick a fork in me, I’m done.

Photo by Lynnette Joy Photography

 

 

Movement: Less kicking, more subtle rolling since she’s out of space in there.
Food cravings: Ice cubes, oreos with milk, sprite.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Having a cold with some chest stuff has trigged my barfiness, so that’s been fun, but that should pass pretty soon.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, fire-breathing-dragon heartburn, EXHAUSTED, crampy with practice contractions.
Happy or moody most of the time: I’m in good spirits and ready to meet my second lil’ gal.
Labor signs: I’m 2 CM dilated and 50% effaced, and doctor seems confident I’m going to go around Halloween. I sure hope so!

Looking forward to: Having this baby! And getting over the cold I have. You can’t take much when preggers, so I took the day off work and slept most of it, and am just taking it easy. Also looking forward to starting maternity leave after 10/27, and hopefully having a few days to get some last minute details in order before the babeh arrives.

I like to call this photo “Holly’s realization that she will soon no longer be the center of the universe.” 😉

And one of my little Holls just cuz she’s so darn cute.

Week 35 with Baby Girl #2: Bumpdate

How far along? 35 weeks, or 36 weeks if we stick with the 11/4 adjusted due date.
Baby’s Size: A tennis racket or a Quoka.

This is a ridiculously cute animal called a Quoka.

Weight Gain: 31 pounds, and I didn’t gain anything in the past two weeks. Whew.
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment the past few weeks: Matt started a great new job, so we’ve been having lunch together weekly. It’s nice to have “dates” with my husband again. It also means he’s home earlier in the evenings, which is a huge help since I’m so slow and waddle-some with Holly. We also saw Beachhouse recently, and that was awesome, even though sitting on a concrete bench was killer for prego hips.

It’s the final countdown! New prego update at LaLaLyssa.com. #Hadley_Gram #plussizepregnancy #PCOS #pcospregnancy

A post shared by Alyssa Curran (@lyssacurran) on


Miss anything? 

Sleeping peacefully. I’m at the point where I’m up to pee at least twice each night, and then it takes me a good 15-30 mins to fall back asleep. I’m also frequently rolling around to adjust since I have a beach ball on my abdomen!

I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but I miss working out. I’m looking forward to good, sweaty cardio sessions once I’m healed up. My body feels so stiff and achey right now that getting back into a good, limber, feeling is going to be awesome.

Movement: Lots of kicking.
Food cravings:  Chinese food, Melon Hi-Chews, Carnitas Tacos (of course) and ice cubes. I’ve totally been crunching ice cubes like crazy, especially soaked in water with a slice of lemon. I know that’s partially the anemia I have, because I’ve also been craving a lot of red meat.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not too bad the last few weeks. If I go too long without snacking I’ll get barfy feeling, but the new RX heartburn meds I’m on seem to be helping a lot.
Gender:  Girl!

Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, heartburn, EXHAUSTED, crampy with practice contractions.
Happy or moody most of the time: My mood has been upbeat and sunny, with the occasional flash of snappiness. (Poor Matt.) Usually at the end of the day I’m exhausted and achey and that’s when Mean Mommy comes out.

 

Labor signs: I’m having lots of practice contractions, and a few nights ago I was almost mildly worried because I felt similar to how I did at the beginning of labor with Holly. I feel HUGE and can feel my hips starting to loosen, so I know my body is gearing up. I really will be surprised if I make it until 11/4, but doctor has said I am free to set an induction for anytime after 11/3.

Looking forward to: This weekend my mama is doing my maternity photos, and I’m also looking forward to just relaxing as much as I possibly can with a wild toddler running around. Work has been really busy, and even though I work from home, I’m wiped – so I’m looking forward to some chill time.

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 31/32 Weeks

How far along? 31.5 weeks or 32.5 weeks, depending on which due date my doctor feels like using!
Baby’s Size: A large head of Romaine lettuce or a small otter. Her estimated weight at this point is 4.5 pounds.
Weight Gain: 27 pounds, and trying to slow that down now with less gratuitous junk food eating!
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment this week:  Probably seeing IT with Matt and my dad (Fantastically creepy!), or how Holly’s face lit up when I came home from a cooking class. She ran up to me with a huge smile, shouted MAMA! and gave me a big hug. Warms my heart!

Miss anything? 

  • I really miss bending over freely this week. My mobility is definitely limited with a big old bump, and I just move slower in general. Looking forward to being able to get back to my usual movement.
  • I have to take Prilosec daily now, in addition to Tums, even though I’m not eating anything particularly heartburn-ish.

Movement: Future soccer star for sure!
Food cravings:  Pickles over the weekend, chicken soup today, carnitas tacos last week.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Sadly, yes. Over the weekend I started feeling nauseous again, and I went to bed at eight last night because of the smell of the roast I made was making me green. I didn’t even eat any! 🙁 Hoping that goes away soon. I also took a cooking class and we had to handle a lot of raw chicken, and the smell of the chicken was definitely making me wish I had smelling salts nearby. Holly has had a cold the past few days and I feel like I’m getting it as of today, so I took a nap on my lunch break and am drinking a ton of water.
Gender:  Girl!

Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, heartburn, some nausea, tired.
Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy, though losing my dear friend has been a challenge.

Labor signs: I’m starting to feel like there’s no way this kid is waiting to come out until 11/11, my “latest” due date. I’ve been adjusted to 11/4 with no promises, but at my last detailed scan, they could tell my body is already contracting and she’s in position ready to go. So I personally don’t feel like I’ll make it much past Halloween, but it all depends how these last few weeks go. The doctor has asked me to eat less sugar because my amniotic fluid is high, and apparently sugar contributes to that. The risk of high amniotic fluid could mean early/pre-term labor, which I’m not quite ready for (I want her at 37 weeks at the earliest), so I’m trying to lessen simple starches and sugar I take in.
Looking forward to: sleep. I always look forward to sleep. And, ticking off these last few weeks so I can cuddle a sweet newborn and bend over freely to retrieve things that fall on the floor 🙂 I also want to start putting together her nursery now that we have the room painted. We ordered her changing table and since she’ll be in a bassinet the first few months, we won’t have a crib in that room, but I can get lots of other things together like with her dresser, hanging the pictures, etc.

In memory of Jason Kovall

On August 16, I lost one of my best friends after a tough battle with stomach cancer. I was honored to read this today at his euology — and while I’m deeply regretful I even had to write something like this, I am proud and grateful for the chance to share a piece of a friend whom I so dearly loved with you. Please continue to DO SOMETHING in the fight against cancer, of all kinds. We must never give up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s not every day that somebody tells you they drink pickle juice. It was at this moment that I fell head over heels in non-romantic love with Jason – because he whispered it to me while standing at my cubicle, a vision with his tattooed arms and wonderful aura, so different, so unique from the drab cube farm we spent our days. Jason was a Customer Service Manager at the toy company where I wrote instruction manuals, and from the day I started and was introduced to him, I knew we’d be friends. We were the youngest in the department and immediately bonded over our shared sense of sarcasm and dark humor, and it wasn’t long before we were spending our lunch hours laughing and eating crappy fast food. What developed over the next nine years was a beautiful friendship; not just between he and I, but between our partners as well – and we became a fantastic foursome, Alyssa, Matt, Jason, and Juan, spending holiday weekends drinking wine and having overly-indulgent dinners. We knew deep secrets about each other, and we went through hard times — the types of life things that bond you to somebody. I’ve thought a lot about what I have wanted to say about Jason, and I think that Jason’s legacy and lasting message to us is that we need to live the life we WANT to live.

If you knew Jason, you knew that his career path was varied and unique – from attending mortician school to massage therapy, to customer service to nursing. He ultimately ended up working his ASS off and becoming a RN, the career he recently held and adored. Jason didn’t accept status quo. Jason didn’t accept taking on life with a B- or even an A- attitude. Jason got done what he wanted to get done, and nothing would stand in his way. A staunch and sometimes insufferable perfectionist, Jason kept going, kept persevering, through the nail biting and the agony, and studied his ass off – and in return his work was the business of saving lives. How did he propel himself through this, and what can we learn from him? We can remember that hard work is best accompanied by passion. Jason loved and lived in music. From his “oontz oontz” techno music born from his days as a raver, to the new and rising hipster melodies in Los Angeles, Jason allowed music to soothe his soul and rise him up.

He loved deeply, and authentically – finding his rock in Juan, a man so in touch with the human spirit and soul that he too, is impossible not to love. He made a giant cross country move from his hometown in Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, enamored by beaches just like this one; eventually fulfilling a goal and making one his home. All of these amazing achievements – an incredible, giving career, finding a respected partner, and moving across the country, were not enough for Jason, and he signed up for the AIDS life cycle, raising over $3,700 and committing to bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles – quite simply, because it helped other people – and he could.

All of these moments in Jason’s life were always enveloped in the most incredible sense of humor – witty, sarcastic, biting at times, but always true to the dual beauty and horror of humanity. In these painful few weeks after Jason’s death, his Facebook page has been aglow in memories, almost all of them involving laughter. His child-like playfulness, his quick wit, his infectious giggle – these were the things that made us drawn to Jason, and so we clung to him because he just made you feel good, and he was FUN. In meeting some of Jason’s close friends the past few weeks, something his close friend Renee said stuck with me. He made all of us feel so special, as if we were the “one”, his one true best friend. But the truth was, he had room for us all. We all loved Jason so sincerely, so deeply, and so intensely, that I know that even though he’s not here in physical form today, he IS here with us – and I see that in the blue sky, the wispy clouds, the small little symbols or signs we will receive in this lifetime that remind us of our laughing friend.

Jason loved us all authentically, as we loved him. He wasn’t shy about his gratitude or his emotion, and that alone is a huge lesson we can take from our dear friend and apply to our daily lives. Go about your day to day with a spirit of kindness, of gratitude, of defending what is right, of humor and health. Attack your work with passion. Speak up for the injustices of others. Lose yourself in your hobbies with sincerity, and if you don’t know what your passions in life are, fight until you find them. What we can all take from Jason’s legacy is finding the thing in ourselves that Jason saw and loved – the spark of the person that makes you YOU, the part of yourself that made him love you. Find it, hold it, nourish it, fight for it and carry it forward – in memory of our unforgettable friend, Jason.

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 27 Weeks!

How far along? 27 weeks
Baby’s Size: A bunch of bananas
Weight Gain: 21 pounds. Whoopsies! I’m hungry all day long and even though I’m eating plenty of veggies, baby demands treats.
Maternity clothes? All day every day! I had to wear my event uniform for work last week and I kept having to pull the shirt over my belly as my panel on my pants kept showing! In fact, I just ordered a bunch more maternity shorts and tank tops, because it’s hot hot hot here in Santa Clarita.
Best moment this week:  I had a blast working at the 3-Day in Michigan, and got to see all my coworkers, whom I consider friends. I felt really good all weekend other than tired, and am so excited for our 2017 season to be kicking off – and kicking cancer’s ass! I also did my glucose test and DO NOT have gestational diabetes, which is awesome.

Miss anything? 

  • Lambic or sour beer.
  • Pants with buttons or zippers
  • Eating prosciutto, salami, or lunch meat with careless abandon (it has to be nitratre free and all that jazz.)
  • Not waddling like a stuffed turkey 
  • Not feeling exhausted and having to go to bed at 9:30 pm
  • Not having heartburn

Movement: This kid rocks and rolls all day long! She especially is active between 6 and 10 pm.
Food cravings:  Strawberries, soft pretzels, cheese, and milk.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I started feeling barfy again about week 24, so I’m back on the nausea meds, which is keeping everything at bay. Walking by the fish case at the grocery store had me feeling green for a couple minutes.
Gender:  Girl!

In heaven in the freezing air conditioned produce room at Costco

Labor signs: Nope, but had my first Braxton Hicks (practice) contraction last week! Ouch!
Symptoms: Increased appetite, waddling, general achiness and stiffness, exhaustion. Oh and prego brain. I’m a space cadet!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! I’ve been really even-keeled in terms of emotions and am so much more relaxed this pregnancy, because I know what to expect.
Looking forward to: Sleep, an upcoming 3 day weekend, celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary with Matt, and getting some time to pull weeds in my backyard. It’s the small things! Also, we got Holly a toddler bed and will be getting started on this baby’s nursery, which we kinda need to do given I’m about 12-14 weeks out from the big day. Time is just flying by! We’re also going to have a small Baby-q/House-warming/Matt birthday party, so we started thinking about a date for that and working on a small registry at people’s request, which is fun.

 

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 16 weeks!

Oh you poor second child, you. It’s 16 weeks and I’ve taken like, one bump photo, haven’t blogged once, and more often than not when people ask how far along I am I go, “Uh… let me think.” Or, someone at work asks how I’m feeling and I go “I’m good! Why?” and then I remember that I am with child 😀 Let’s hope my laissez-faire attitude regarding your appearance is just proof pudding that you will be a calm, laidback child with an easy-breezy attitude. Right? Right!

So – some of you didn’t know and now you do  — I’m preggers! Well, surprise! Long story short: I was well within progress to have weight loss surgery… and then I found out I was pregnant. This is a big surprise because it was, well, a surprise – wasn’t planned, and definitely wasn’t something that happened easily with Holly. But, here we are, and life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, and baby girl #2, who also has a name that starts with H, is very well-loved and anticipated already.

How far along? 16 weeks
Baby’s Size: A large avocado or an old school blackberry phone.
Weight Gain: As of 13 weeks, only two pounds. Nausea kept me down and out for a solid 13 weeks but I’m guessing now that my appetite is back and craving everything under the sun that is greasy and calorie-laden, probably a good five/six pounds.
Maternity clothes? About 50/50. I use the belly band over my unbuttoned jeans, but I love wearing dresses so there’s no restriction in the bump.
Best moment this week:  I laid on my stomach and felt a solid “HEY! Get off me!” type kick, and that made me laugh!

Miss anything?

  • The ability to not smell every foul smell within a five mile radius.
  • Lambic or sour beer.
  • Eating prosciutto, salami, or lunch meat with careless abandon (it has to be nitratre free and all that jazz.)
  • Not having to take a nausea medication every night to make it through the day!

Movement: It just started! It’s still fairly mild, but it’s much earlier than I felt kicks with Holly. I also have a normally-placed placenta this time, so that could be why I’m feeling her flutters and movement sooner than usual.
Food cravings:  Cherries, and JUNK FOOD! Oreos, chips, coca-cola… whoops. Now that my appetite is back, I could mow through a convenience store with ease. Trying to keep it in check though.
Anything making you queasy or sick: The thought of chicken (same as with Holly – Matt loves chicken, and always wants it for dinner, and I always reply with one word: Barf.) The smell of the litterbox.
Gender:  Girl!
Labor signs: Heck no
Symptoms: Increased appetite, congestion, a little bit of nausea if I don’t remember my nausea meds… and tired!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! I am sad this week as our kitty has been missing for four days, but I feel good, mentally. I’m starting to get a little nervous about how the heck I’m going to handle TWO tiny humans, but, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Looking forward to: Seeing my sister and parents this weekend, taking Holly swimming, and continuing to set up our house! We’ve also picked out a cute aqua paint color for H’s room, and I’m decorating their bathroom too, so that will be fun!

So that’s that – I’ll try to blog with some sort of regularity, but let’s be real, the baby will probably be six years old before I’m back on the blog, so, see ya in six years! I jest. Kind of.

Have a wonderful day 🙂

 

Skin Authority Daily Exfoliator: The Perfect Face Scrub for Acne Prone Skin

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Skin Authority in October of last year, when my bestie Katelyn and I visited the Oaks Spa in Ojai. We had an amazingly relaxing weekend full of healthy eating and awesome body wraps; and then, the cherry on top, was that I had a customized skin care gift set sent to my own home.

My skin is pretty good, but I’ve battled hormonal cystic acne on my chin in particular, for most of my teen and adult life. I’ve also recently developed small bumpy acne on the lower sides of my cheeks, which I hate, because I tend to pick at it (which my dermatologist hates!). So while I can’t say I have bad skin, it’s definitely not great, and in the past, I’ve been treated with Tetracycline, which is an antibiotic pill, and also, Accutane. I’m also a fan of a good glycolic peel, even though it feels like someone rubbed jalapenos all over your face when you first put it on.
This was the Skin Authority kit I received, and I can honestly say I loved all of it. The ultra rich moisturizing cream I tend to forget to use, but I feel like the Vitamin C serum in particular leaves a nice, dewy finish on my skin. I use the daily cleanser which has a little bit of glycolic, and overall, I saw my skin improve in texture and less acne. Even though I loved the regimen kit I received, I did feel overall I was missing one thing – a grainy exfoliator, even though the Vitamin E cream helps with resurfacing. I reached out to Skin Authority and was gifted their exfoliating cleanser in exchange for this review — and now you get a chance to win it, too!
What’s great about it is that it has no flowery, perfumey smell, and the grain is very subtle. It’s not like you’re rubbing your face with a handful of sharp pebbles; instead, it’s a delicate sand type feeling that gently pushes away dry skin and impurities. I like to put it on at the beginning of my shower, forget about it for a bit, and then gently scrub scrub scrub in a circular motion.
My skin WAS looking spotless and clean, and then I went and got pregnant; haha, but I have hopes that once my hormones settle down, I’ll be back to my dewy, acne-free skin in no time, thanks to Skin Authority!
Want to win a full-size tube of your own Skin Authority Exfoliating Cleanser (retail value $42)? Of course you do! Please use the rafflecopter widget for your chance to win. Contest ends Wednesday, 5/31 at 11:55 p.m. CT. Lower continental 48 only, and ages 18+ please.

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