Adeline’s Birth Story

I was due with our second baby girl on June 6, 2015.  Now, her sister was 10 days over due, so even though I was REALLY hoping  she would make an early appearance I knew in my heart of hearts that it would not be the case.

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Large and in charge at 38 weeks

Her due date came and went and still no baby.  I was doing everything in my power to get things moving.  Yoga, walking, spicy food, sex, EVERYTHING.

On the morning of Sunday June 7th we woke up and, after a few text messages back and forth with some friends, decided to go out for a picnic lunch at 1230.  Spoiler alert: we never made it on our picnic.

I felt my first contraction at 10AM.  It was not much, but it was something and it was much more intense than the braxton hicks contractions I had been feeling.  Stephen immediately asked if he could go mow the lawn (this is SO a second kid birth story, right?!) in case we went to the hospital later.

I told him to go ahead while Ella and I got suited up to take a walk.  We went for a short walk and this was when things really started to pick up.  My contractions started becoming really hard and intense, but they were still between 15-20 minutes apart.  I texted Stephen’s mom to come get Ella when she had a chance, and started getting her things together.

Around 11:30 Ella was picked up, and Stephen and I were in the house laboring.  I asked if we could head to his parents house and labor there since it was 10 minutes closer to the hospital and I really wanted one final picture with Ella as a family of 3.

As soon as we arrived at Stephen’s parents house my contractions came on fast and furious.  I got through each one by leaning my head into Stephen and swaying my hips back and forth while humming.  We had a great thing going and really fell into a nice rhythm.  Just like the first time around , Stephen was an incredible coach and I do not think I could have gotten through it without him!

After about an hour of laboring in Stephen’s old bedroom we took our last picture as a family of three and headed to the hospital.

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One of my favorite pictures of all time.  I am so glad we took it between mind numbing contractions.

This is where things get hairy.  I had no idea that the Puerto Rican Day Parade was happening in Hartford that day, but it turns out that most of the city was shut down for the parade and after party.  Every where we turned streets were either closed or so full of people that we could not get through.  Meanwhile, I was getting slammed by contractions every 3 minutes that were lasting 45 seconds.  I finally cried to Stephen that I absolutely could not have this child on the side of the road during the parade. He immediately pulled over to ask a police officer what was the fasted way to the hospital around the parade route.  This officer, aka: my new best friend, dropped road barriers and radioed to his colleagues to let us through all closed roads on the way to the hospital.

Everything started to go REALLY fast as this point.  We got to the hospital at 3PM, we were checked at triage and checked in by 4PM .  At this point I was already 5 cm.

We labored in the hallway, in the room, on the birthing ball, everywhere!  Since the epidural all but stopped my labor last time, I was trying to wait as long as possible before getting one administered this time around.

At some point my contractions were coming on so hard and fast that I could not catch my breath in between and I started to alternately hold my breath and hyperventilate during the contractions.  At this point, I knew it was time for the drugs.

I had the epidural administered at 7CM.  Immediately after I closed my eyes to sleep and my water broke.  Within a half hour I was checked again and was 10 cm.  I started to push and less than 20 minutes later our baby girl was born.  Seriously, it happened that fast.

I was so shocked when she was born and even uttered the words “Wait?  That was it?”.  It was such a different experience than with Ella.  The epidural was still in full effect and the only thing I felt was intense pressure as Addy moved down in the birth canal.

Immediately 7 pounds and 7 oz of pure perfection were placed on my chest.  I got her to latch immediately as the placenta was delivered and I was sewn up.  Again, this was so different.  I did not feel the placenta being delivered and only needed 2 stitches as opposed to 15 last time.

She was so calm, and so wide eyed.  Every worry I had about not being able to love another child as much as Ella immediately vanished.  This baby proved to me that love truly grows, it does not divide .  She was my second born, my Addy, and I was so in love with her.

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I was able to walk within an hour, and had a turkey sandwich in my hand within two!  I could not believe how great I felt despite having just given birth!  It just goes to show that each pregnancy, delivery, and baby can be so different.

The next day is one I will never forget.  Ella was able to meet her new baby sister and I thought my heart would literally explode.  She was obsessed with this new baby and I honestly felt like Addy had always been a part of our family, and had not just been born within the last 24 hours

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We really tried to enjoy our time in the hospital.  We rested and nursed and took full advantage of the nursing staff and lactation consultants.

Eventually we made our way home to begin our journey as a family of four. As we were leaving the hospital I was reminded of what it was like to drive home with Ella as a newborn.  I was so scared, so nervous, and felt like I was in way over my head.  This time I was scared and nervous but also eerily calm.  I was armed with the knowledge that everything about babies is so fleeting.  The hard times pass just as fast as the good, and you do EVENTUALLY find your footing in everything.

As we drove home that day I decided to simply surrender to this season of life and take it as it came.  I knew I would be tired, I knew I would be overwhelmed.  But what I did not know was the amazing love I would feel for my girls and the calm I would feel walking into our home.  I could not wait to see what would come, and I could not wait to see Addy evolve into her own little person .

The Dark Cloud Descends: Prenatal Depression

I am so sad to be writing this post, but the time has come to really lay it out there.

For as long as I can remember I have battled some sort of depression or anxiety. I have always said that my natural state of being is just slightly depressed, and I have combatted it with medication over the years and then eventually figured out how to overcome this slight depression with physical activity, yoga, and eating well.

In the years before having children , my depression and anxiety were completely in check.  Anytime I would feel myself slipping back into that state I would battle it the best way I knew how, with a good run or a few days of good clean eating.  It worked every time.  Then I had Ella and battled baby blues, and eventually went on medication for Postpartum Depression (PPD).  The medication gave me the boost I needed and the better I felt, the more I did, so the better I felt.  I am not ashamed of my battle with PPD anymore ,  and only wish I had recognized and accepted it earlier in my motherhood journey so I did not lose that time with Ella.  I feel that it took me 11 months to truly fall in love with her, and I have come to accept and honor that.

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When I became pregnant with Addy, I had a plan.  I would go on medication the minute she was born.  I wanted to completely avoid the debilitating feeling of PPD.  I kept trucking along throughout my pregnancy, encountering major morning sickness, kidney stones, and everything else that comes a long with pregnancy.  For the most part I was incredibly excited to be pregnant again and could not wait to welcome my new little girl into the world.   I kept up my physical activity and ate really well, only gaining about 1/3 of the weight I gained when I was pregnant with Ella.

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About two weeks ago I felt what I call the “dark cloud” descend on me.  I was irrationally angry and sad ALL THE TIME.  I cried and yelled.  I was so tired during the day, only craving my bed, and then when I would finally get to fall into bed, I could never fall asleep.  I would toss and turn for hours, getting mere minutes of sleep at a time and then Ella would wake up at 5:30 AM and the entire cycle would start again.

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I felt exactly like I had when the dark cloud of PPD had descended on me.  I knew what I was feeling was beyond the realms of what is normal, and decided to do some research.  I had never even heard of Prenatal Depression before, and had no idea it was something that could be an issue.  As I learned more I realized this was exactly what I was battling, and I needed to take action.

I combatted this depression the exact opposite way I did PPD.  I really cleaned up my eating, I committed to getting on the elliptical at least twice a week.  I told Stephen right away, I told my closest friends, at my next doctors appointment I will tell my doctor.  I will not hide this, and I will not shy away from it.  I will completely embrace it and battle it head on.  There will be no telling myself it is normal and I will be ok, and just put one foot in front of the other, and tomorrow will be better, and all the jazz.

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This is my reality.  I will be forgiving with myself, and I will TALK about it.  As soon as Addy is born I will start medication, and for the first time ever I will not worry about how long I am staying on it.  Eventually when I am done breastfeeding and my hormones regulate, maybe I will be able to wean myself off and go back to physical activity and organic foods as a solution to this problem, but if I cannot I will not worry about it.  I need to be the best me I can be for my family and for my girls.  And if that includes being on antidepressants for the rest of my life, then so be it.  It is only a small part of who I am, it does not define my entire being.  It has taken me 15 years to finally come to this place, but man, it feels good.

Did you battle PPD or prenatal depression?  Tell me about your experience!

Winter Has Come + A Treadmill Workout

Ok, it is really really cold out.  Like cannot feel your face or your hands and the air literally hurts your skin. Why do I live in New England again?  I always question this decision in the winter.  But every year, without fail, Connecticut quickly regains its wonderful charm in the form of beautiful springs, summers, and falls.  You cannot appreciate the good without some bad, right?  We are braving it by staying home and eating pancakes and drinking copious amounts of coffee.  Life is hard, right?

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Today I come to you with my new go-to treadmill workout!  We re-joined the YMCA before Christmas and I am SO happy about this decision.  This membership comes with 2 free hours of child care each time you go.  Even though Ella struggled at first, she now loves going to the child care room.  Yesterday she even ran into the child care room shouting “Bye Mama!  Hi Kids!” .  Jack pot.

Going into this pregnancy I was not in as good of shape as last time.  When I became pregnant with Ella, I was fresh out of marathon training and my body was in tip top shape.  This time around?  Not so much.  I am trying to stick with a run/walk routine that ends up having a pace of 12 minutes / mile.  Not speedy by any means.  But I still get a nice sweat from this, and some wonderful endorphins.

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If I have the energy and the time (and there is something good on the treadmill TV), I can usually convince myself to walk until I hit 4 miles.  I try to do this workout 3-4 times a week and for now that feels really good.

On days I am not running I am walking and doing some weight training.  I am working on a post that features my pregnancy weight training routine.

Do you have any go-to treadmill work outs?  Any tips for battling boredom on the treadmill?

Its a…

GIRL!!!

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Adeline Taylor Peters

You were a wiggly little thing during the ultrasound yesterday.  You made the technician work extra hard for the right picture to know your gender, and kept Mommy and Daddy on our toes the entire appointment.  You looked perfect, and are developing just as you should.

I cannot wait to meet you, little one

Pregnancy #2- Everything (and I mean everything) through 18 Weeks

Time for a pregnancy update!  Very wordy post below !  Here are all the nitty gritty details about this pregnancy so far!

As a form of birth control I was using the Mirena IUD, which I had implanted about 8 weeks after giving birth to Ella.  I had this device removed on August 19th, and was told it would probably take my body a few cycles to regulate and not to expect to get pregnant right away.  I began to spot right away, but never really got what I would consider a full period.

We started to try without really trying.  With my doctor telling me that it could take a few cycles, I felt no need to start to track my temperature or pull out the ovulation test strips.  We became pregnant with Ella so easily that I figured it would just happen again.  I was really flying blind.  I had no true cycle start date to go by and the IUD had been implanted for nearly two years, so I had no idea of a possible ovulation point in my cycle.  I had no real idea of when a test could possibly be positive.

We continued to live our lives, and even had an amazing long weekend in Rehobeth Beach for the wedding of a very dear friend the weekend of September 20th.  Having no idea when a test could be positive and knowing that this wedding with college friends would have the beer and wine flowing, I decided to bring three different tests.  One to take the morning we got there, one before the rehearsal dinner, and one before the wedding itself.  All three were negative, I had the time of my life , and I figured we just didn’t get pregnant this cycle and it would work out before the end of the year.

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On the morning of September 30th I woke up at 2AM and literally SPRINTED to the bathroom.  Barely making it before getting sick.  I was sick and dry heaving for the next 3 hours .  It suddenly dawned on me about an hour into this horrid affair, “Wait.  I must be pregnant.”  So I got dressed, went to work, and taught what will go down in history as the worst yoga class EVER.  After class I high tailed it to the CVS around the corner, bought two EPT’s and walked as fast as I could back to my yoga studio.

Less than 5 minutes later I was greeted with a thick , dark second line.  I was genuinely shocked.  When I took my first test with Ella I had to squint to see the very vague second line.  But here it was, glaring back at me, irrefutable evidence that I was pregnant.  I. WAS. SHOCKED.

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I immediately called Stephen, who did not answer.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays at that time I was out of the house by 5:15AM and he was in charge of the morning.  Getting himself ready for work and Ella ready for her 7:30 pick up from Grandma.  So to say he is busy on those mornings is really an understatement.  Eventually he called me back, I told him the wonderful news, and he could not have been more thrilled.  We were going to be PARENTS again!  To a new BABY!  Truly amazing.

At that point I was 5 weeks along, and showing a due date (according to Baby Center) of June 6th.  I immediately was having symptoms that I simply did not experience with Ella.  Immediate weight gain and bloating, and EXTREME nausea to go along with it.  I expected to show sooner than I had with Ella since this was my second baby, but the constant all day nausea was a total and complete shock.

I ended up being incredibly sick through the entire first trimester.  I vomited at least 10-15 times a day, I ended up losing weight, I cried from pure exhaustion everyday.  I could not believe how different this pregnancy was than the one I experienced with Ella.

I ended up getting a prescription for Zofran and this was a total game changer.  If I ate something before lifting my head off the pillow in the morning, took a magic little pill, and then drank a bunch of water ALL before getting out of bed in the morning then I could usually manage.  I had to eat something bland every two hours or else the nausea would come back and once that happened it was like I entered a dark hole of vomit and dizziness and nausea that I could not escape.  I lived on Eggo waffles and was truly surviving hour to hour.

Somewhere around the 11 or 12 week mark the dark cloud lifted and I was able to function again.  My energy came back, my appetite returned, and I started to feel like myself again.

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My last day of truly terrible sickness was the day before Thanksgiving when I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania.  Luckily it ended by Turkey Day, and I was able to celebrate with friends and family.

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Once my energy returned the weeks really started to fly by.  I am running again, going to regular prenatal yoga classes, and trying to embrace this time in pregnancy where I am not yet uncomfortable but I still have a glorious belly to rub.

Running has been wonderful.  I am even trying to sneak in walks on my off days.  Finding my old “The O.C.” DVDs has made the treadmill that much more bearable.  Does anyone else remember that show from high school?!  One of my all time favorites.

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So far I have gained 8 lbs, which is less than half of what I gained at this point with Ella.  I am trying my hardest to not gain 50 pounds this time around.  Last time that made everything harder.  It took over a year to lose the baby weight, and it took me a long and sad time to get back into running shape. I have lived and I have learned, and this time I plan on doing things differently!

So here I sit, 18 weeks and counting.  I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by.  I am trying to enjoy this lovely second trimester feeling for as long as possible!