Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2 days old!

We're home and Philomena is now six days old and kind of a dreamboat of a baby. I had to get my her birth story down quick before I forgot any here it is.

On Tuesday, December 22nd I had a checkup appointment and a stress test since I was a week overdue. I was feeling really crappy and cranky and in lot's of pain. My sciatica at that point was out of control and I had been experiencing contractions for over a week. It was literally to the point where when I felt consistent contractions, we were just whatever about it. 

5 cm dilated!

Me, my husband and Penelope all headed to my appointment and I went in alone to do my stress test. They hook you up to all this stuff and monitor the baby's heartbeat as well as your contractions. Funny story, while in there talking to my nurse she asked if my husband plays for the NFL and I laughed and said no, but we get that all the time. The funny part is she wasn't convinced I was being honest and actually said "Are you sure? Because our VIPs many times use aliases so the press doesn't know they are here" and then proceeded to ask me more questions about it. I thought it was hilarious she didn't believe me. Anyway, at the end of the stress test I asked her how it looked and she hesitated while looking at the paper then told me it looked great. But right after, she said she had to go have a doctor look at it. Immediately I got concerned, because the doctor looked at it and said he was going to run over and talk to my regular NP. Then my NP walked in about five minutes letter and walked me over to her office at which point I was kind of freaking out. She said that they found that Philomena's heart rate was irregular and dropping sometimes so they were going to induce me.

After squeezing me into their induction schedule my husband and Penelope came with me into labor and delivery. The nurses were super sweet to Penelope and she was so curious about all of the tools and gadgets, and as always talking talking talking! After my best friend came and picked up Penelope it was already around 6pm and the nurses hooked me up to Petocin. Ornan and I sat there waiting overnight and while we were in one room, his best friend was waiting on their baby to come in another room a few doors down. I thought it was pretty amazing that they got to be each others support while we waited our new little babies out. Sometime in the early morning they checked me and I was six centimeters, a few hours later I was eight centimeters. After I was 8cm for awhile the nurses suggested I break my water. I did the same with Penelope's birth so I was comfortable with it but SO scared of the pain. So they broke it and from there it's kind of a blur.

After they broke my water I started feeling really intense contractions and I was terrified of the transition stage. Since I went without drugs before I knew what that felt like. I finally decided to get the epidural and I was super scared that it would paralyze I don't even know where I heard that from. So I stayed rock still until it was in and let me tell you...that stuff is LIFE CHANGING. Holy crap! After that it was only about another two hours and I was ready to push...with no pain whatsoever. I could not get over the fact that I needed to push and I was just laughing and talking with everyone. I pushed for a really short period of time... I wanna say 20 minutes if that, and then Philomena came out. I remember in one of my last pushes the nurses called Ornan over and said "Look at all that hair!". She came out eyes wide open and they immediately put her on my chest. It was exhilarating and a moment full of joy to have my husband next to me and our newest addition to our family. I wished Penelope could be there in that moment but I knew that seeing the labor might have not been the best idea.

Weighing her and measuring
Daddy and Philomena

I was able to breastfeed her and snuggle her for a long time and then Ornan got to hold her for the first time. It was so cute when the nurses tried to take her for a second, she immediately started crying so they gave her back to me and she stopped right away. I ended up confirming her name right after she was placed on my chest, which I joked with my friends would happen. We weren't sure all the way up until that point, but literally when she was laying on my chest I just knew her name was Philomena. 

Ornan left the hospital and took Penelope home so she could get back to her regular schedule and sleep at home. I stayed overnight with Philomena and I had such a difficult time with learning how to breastfeed correctly. I had multiple lactation nurses coming in and trying to teach me different things, but it kinda left me more confused then the beginning. I remember at one point in the night specifically, I couldn't sleep and I got really sad when I thought about me and Penelope's bond being changed forever. I started crying and getting nostalgic about everything us two have been through together. Even though I obviously loved Philomena, I felt like my dynamic with Penelope was going to be ruined forever. I even felt a little guilty like having another baby was selfish of us. But after my good cry, I told myself that this new little girl is a blessing for not just us but also for Penelope. It's normal to have these feelings and I'm sure I'll have them again at some point but it hit me full force specifically at that moment.

My two girls :)

We got our little girl's name from an amazing movie called "Philomena". It's about an old woman who had horrible injustices done to her. You see through the entire movie though that she never wavers in her faith, she is kind to everyone and her positivity inspires people around her. I thought the name was beautiful and told Ornan a couple of years back that I wanted to name our girl that. Her name means "loved" and was very popular way back in the old days but kind of non-existent now. 

When I was pregnant her name went from Olivia, to Philomena, to Rose to Delilah. We just couldn't it was pretty amazing that the certainty came right after I gave birth to her. 

My recovery was only overnight and I was able to go home the next day. Such an easy labor compared to Penelope and so happy to be home with my family for the next three weeks. Philomena so far has been an absolute dream and my husband has been superman of the year with helping out with everything. Honestly, so blessed!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

As you get older I think you start to really reflect on what you do in life and most importantly, WHY you do it. Since we've had Penelope I've been really conscious about not wanting to her to have too much "stuff". Mostly toys, but in everything else I really am conscious of simplifying everything in our household so that there is an appreciation for what we do have. That brings me to Christmas.

Christmas is my favorite holiday by far. And it used to be when I was a kid because of the presents, but now it's just the spirit of it. It's the hot drinks and fires in our fireplace and how everyone seems to be in better spirits. It's seeing little kids iceskating, wearing their big puff jackets, or couples snuggling up together to keep warm. The spirit of giving is thick in the air and I love that this time of year more then ever, people are so selfless. It's awesome.

This year though as I go further into becoming a Christian and what that means, I can't help but feel a little dissatisfied with what's been forgotten. Along the way it seems that Christmas has brought a sense of entitlement, lots of stress, lots of debt and most importantly forgetting the fact that it's the day Jesus was born. So in asking my self regularly why we as a family do the things we do, I asked myself "how will Christmas be celebrated this year...and why?"

This year is going to be so different because their isn't a huge budget for presents. It's not about getting the presents and I want to make that clear to our kids. You will get presents, somehow we'll work in who Santa is, but I don't want them to consider Christmas only a holiday in which they come to expect masses of crap under the tree. I want to teach them that the spirit of giving is just as awesome as the spirit of receiving. How are we going to do that with them so young right now? Baking cookies, taking time to decorate them and handing them out to loved ones. Plating leftovers from Christmas and handing them out to homeless people.

It's not about the stress that comes with "will this person like this" or "oh gosh, we have run our credit cards dry". I want to teach them to save a couple months ahead for the holiday and keep the budget low. It's not about the price of the gifts or how many your giving. It's simply about the thought that went into it. Even in picking a tree, every year normally I'm so crazy about getting the EXACT one. This year I really didn't care and we got a random one from Costco because I realized, it's not about the right tree. It's about decorating the tree together as a family and drinking our hot chocolate and playing Christmas music. The spirit of family and spending time together.

And what is Christmas? It's the day Jesus was born. I want my kids to know and understand that. To honor and be aware of that. This year we'll be going to the Christmas Eve church service and I'm also going to be purchasing some children's books about the story of when Jesus was born. When the kids get a little older, I want to delve into a daily advent reading of the bible and what that means. It's funny because I never considered myself super religious (whatever that even means), but I do want the kids to be raised in a Christian household. I do want them to know why Christmas even exists and the true meaning of it. One of the things I admired most about my husband when I first met him was his faith and his dedication to it.

So this year we're doing everything a little different. Not emphasizing the perfect tree, or giving tons of gifts to the kids. We're taking pleasure in the simple moments, like having Penelope help me wrap a present even though it could look a lot better. Or decorating the tree together (and me not going back and fixing the ornaments lol).  Baking gingerbread cookies together and talking about how much her friends will love them. Beginning to explain who Jesus is and what Christmas is. Just simplifying the materialistic aspect and really slowing down to capture the spirit. I want our memories to be ones of great company and great food.

In the meantime, I have a little more time to figure out some fun traditions my husband and I get to start as a family. What are some traditions you guys do?


Wednesday, December 2, 2015


How you start off your morning I promise you will set the tone for the rest of the day. Both in how the day goes and in how you respond to it. Getting some sort of morning routine down has been probably the most important aspect of having a great day as a stay at home mom. I've read tons of information on what the most successful business people do in the morning, I've also read what SAHMs do in the morning. It's pretty much the same. So I decided to adopt their methods and it really is life changing!


As in earlier than your little. I wake up at 5:30am every morning and I get Penelope out of bed at 7:00. I always get brushing, flossing and breakfast out the way immediately. I absolutely love having a hot cup of tea by myself when it's quiet. I know we are all wishing for a little more sleep, but I've found that by not rushing through the morning it really leaves me so much more happy and patient throughout the day.


Trust me guys. Do it for five days straight and tell me it's not life changing. I do it after breakfast, before I plan my day. It's only ten minutes and just sitting and noticing what's going on in my brain in silence is amazing. I use the app Headspace which is free the first ten days, ten minutes a day. Then I just re-use the first ten days over and over. If you want more then that, you can pay like $8.00 a month.


Speaking of planning your day, plan it early! I plan my week in advance, but I always grab my planner in the morning and look at what I got going on for the day. Usually, I add last minute stuff and I marinate on the events I've scheduled. This is the intention setting part of the day, I set my intentions on what's going to happen and also how I wish to act emotionally.


Tidy up your room and make your bed. It'll take you five minutes and you'll get that feeling of accomplishment. Works every time. It's so nice that by the time Penelope wakes up, our room is clutter free and my bed is made.


About 10 minutes before Penelope wakes up, I go and make her breakfast. Usually it's oatmeal. I use almond milk, sprinkle in some cinnamon, raisins, chia seeds and honey. It's super easy and by the time she wakes up and I've changed her diaper, it's cooled down so she can eat it.