3 Week Update 


Man oh man, where to begin??

Things were going so good too. I was so happy we were making this transition as smoothly as possible. Then Week 3 came around and knocked us on our butts. It started with Romy getting sick yet again, and progressed to her being sicker than I had a ever seen. She literally napped for 6 hours one day and did nothing but lay around. We did everything we could to keep them separate, keeping Angelos upstairs and her down, but soon enough he started to cough and it was all down hill from there. 

The real low point was when we took Angelos to the ER at 4:00 AM and he was admitted for 4 nights to CHOC for RSV. It was heart breaking to see my tiny guy on oxygen and in his little hospital bassinet. On Friday we were released back home keeping a close eye on him.  

How He’s Doing:


Today was his 2nd follow up appointment and his oxygen levels were a little lower than they have been. They gave him a breathing treatment and sent him home with an inhaler. We go back Friday to see if he has made any progress. I am praying he does because I don’t know if I can handle another hospital stay. 

Through this entire ordeal this little man has been such a trooper. He is such a sweet and calm baby, I can not even imagine how much more difficult this cold have been had he not been that way. Even when they x-rayed his lungs he just sat there as Bobby pinned his arms down and I held his legs. Sharing a hospital room with another baby was fine too. He never even woke up when the other baby cried. 

How She’s Doing:


Romy is nearly back to normal thank God. She literally was so sick it was heartbreaking. Giving her breathing treatments at the emergency was one of the hardest things I’ve experienced as a mother. She was so scared she put up such a fight. She screamed bloody murder until she was too exhausted to fight any longer. 

After a few days on antibiotics and using an at home inhaler she was pretty much back to her sassy self. 

How I’m Doing: 


Where do I even begin? The entire week was such a whirlwind I forgot I was even recovering from major surgery myself. My mindset this entire time has been to just get through the week. In a week things would be so much better. And they are better, but Angelos’ recovery is definitely going to be longer than I had originally expected. So now I’m looking forward to spring. The day I can take both kids to the nursery to pick some new flowers to plant will be a good day. 

Through this all we have been overwhelmed with well wishes from so many people. If definitely feels good to know that so many people have us in their thoughts and prayers. Here’s to Week 4.

Angelos Roy One Week Update 

How I’m doing: 

A week in and I’m doing much better all around than I had expected. I braced myself for a super hard recovery and I think that helped my situation. When I had Romy I had expectations of bouncing back and being ready to get back to normal life by now and was basically slapped in the face. 

I think I had an unusually difficult vaginal recovery with Romy and this has actually been easier on me both physically and mentally. Before the idea of stitches freaked me out and things like using the bathroom and sitting normally were stressful. There is a certain relief this time that my incision is on my stomach. My pregnancy was so tough on me that at this point there is a certain amount of relief that it’s all over. 

While I am not my best self with little sleep, I feel like this time I am more aware of how quickly time will pass so my patience is better. The idea that this may be my last newborn makes me hold on a little tighter to these moments. 

How He’s Doing:


This little guy is the polar opposite of Romy when she was first born. Being that he was born at 36.5 weeks he is considered Late Pre Term. This makes it hard for him to nurse long enough to get all the milk he needs, as he becomes exhausted pretty quickly. This means waking him every 2 hours to nurse for 10 minutes, giving him 1 oz of breastmilk from a bottle, then pumping. While it is exhausting, it is so much better than Romys constant nursing. And crying. I feel like he is constantly sleeping. 

How She’s Doing:


I am so proud of what a good big sister Romy has been. She calls him Baby Boy, and loves to kiss and hug him. She has been ultra sensitive lately, on the verge of tears for things that normally wouldn’t upset her, but I am so relieved she loves him.  I know she will have an adjustment period, and I’m looking forward to recovering and having some one on one time with her. 

Newborn Essentials

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As the arrival of Angelos has been creeping up on us, I made a short list of the necessary things I needed to get.  These were the bottom of the barrel essentials, as in, if I went into labor tomorrow these things at the very least needed to be at home when we returned. These are all items I either depended on with Romy or wished I would have had. As fun as it is to get every last baby gadget before the baby arrives, the truth of the matter is, newborns don’t need much so if you are looking for a short list of essentials these are what I recommend. (Below are my descriptions of items but above are links to wear you can actually buy these items.
A Place to Sleep: We were sleep failures with Romy. I am pretty much starting fresh with the sleep baby gear this time, trying to keep in my things that did and mostly didn’t work with Romy.  This is really where we spent most of our money. Ideally he would be an easy sleeper and I could just put him on his back, swaddled, flat, in his crib. HA! We didn’t want to buy another crib since we are hoping Romy will make the transition out of hers soon, and I didn’t want to invest in a super pricy bassinet that we could only use for a few months.  We had never bought a travel crib for Romy, so we figured we might as well go that route so that we will have one for overnights away with both kids. Here’s what we decided on:
The Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib: We bought the bassinet attachment, which is where (fingers crossed he will sleep for the first few months).  We chose this particular one because it’s super light (around 14 lbs), packs up super small (you can carry it as a backpack), and it has a cool little side door that might come in handy (Reminds me of Lola’s kennel, lol).
DockAtot: Romy couldn’t be in a wide open space without screaming, so in the event that this baby needs to feel snuggled we also bough the DockAtot. This can go in the bed with us (hoping to avoid), and easy to move all around the house.
Rock N Play: This was the only thing Romy would sleep in.  I am really hoping to avoid it, because not only are they snuggled, the are inclined, and I felt like it was one more thing to have to transition her out of when she got too big.  But I still bought one, because when you need sleep you need sleep and this is thing was a lifesaver. We can also just keep it as a place to set her downstairs.
Diapers and Wipes: Obviously. Romy has super sensitive skin and would get a rash with anything except Water Wipes.  They are literally just wipes, water and a tiny bit of grapefruit extract. A product you can feel safe using. As for diapers, as much as I love how cute Honest ones are Pampers have that yellow line that tells you when they pee, they are soft, and way more affordable.
Bottles and Pacifiers: Its a total first time parent move to go out and decide which bottle you will use and buy the entire kit. Seriously, buy one or two of a few different kinds. Romy wouldn’t really take any of them, but there was one brand she would sometimes take.  This go around I have a few Tommee Tippee left from Romy, one Doctor Browns, and I picked up one of these Comotomo Silicone Bottles.  They look super cool.  Hopefully Angelos thinks so too.  Same goes with Pacifiers.  I have soothies, nuks, and a handful of other ones Romy never used and I ordered these cool swedish ones to try this time. The Natursutten’s look awesome because they are totally eco friendly, bpa free, I don’t think they are even made out of actual plastic. Hoping he likes these.
Nursing: Nipple cream from word one is my plan of attack this time.  Hoping to avoid bleeding nipples, but when they did bleed last time, my nipple shield became my best friend.
Swaddles and burp cloths: Its all about the super soft bamboo swaddles.  Last time I used Aden and Anais, but this time Little Unicorns prints got me.  So far from what I have felt they are amazing. I am sticking with the Aden and Anais burp cloths this go around because once you are done with the burping stage they make the best bibs. They literally wrap all the way around them and have saved so many of Romy’s clothes.
Baby Carrier: This was one of the only items I really got a lot of use out of with Romy. Last time I had three different ones for different stages, that were gifts or hand me downs.  This time I invested in one that does it all. The Lilliebaby was great reviews and I love that it doesn’t need a newborn insert, which was super sweaty the last time.
Clothing: As fun as getting a ton of cute outfits is, I knew all I really need to survive the beginning were these two items. A sleeper gown.  In the middle of the night when having to change a million diapers the last thing you want to deal with is buttons.  Romy slept in her gowns every night, and I was happy to find a more gender neutral one. Kimono style t-shirts were also my life saver.  When they are so tiny and floppy it was a little intimidating having to pull shirts over their necks.  I always felt like I was going to break Romy. The kimono snaps make it so much easier for baby and mommy.

2016 In Review

I know in general 2016 has gotten a bad wrap, but bedrest aside I feel pretty blessed to have had a pretty good year. We celebrated Romy’s first birthday and baptism, she accomplished her first new years resolution of learning to sleep through the night, we have gone on some fun vacations, saw Adele live, had our first complete year in our new home, had successes at the restaurant,  and the most exciting thing -we have found out we are adding a baby boy to our family. Overall it was a year of fun and adventure with our little family, and although 2017 will be much different,  I am really excited and hopeful for what it will bring.

RAMONA BETH: Maternity photos

When deciding if I was going to do maternity photos I kept going back and forth. I really didn’t feel amazing, I’m not one of those women who feel extra empowered or sexy while pregnant. After talking to lots of other moms they all agreed that even though I might not be into it now, I would want the photos later. I decided to have my sister snap some shots, just so I could file them for later, when Romy asks to see photos while pregnant with her. Surprisingly, I ended up really liking how they turned out.  I may even frame a few!

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My tips for mommas doing maternity shoots?

Do what feels most comfortable and authentic to you.  For me that was around my home (my happy place), in comfy clothes, with my favorite people (and animals). If you are more of a sexy momma, go for it.  A beach bum head to the sand. A fashionista, do something fun and stylized.  Just do you and have fun with it. You’ll never be able to go back to this time so you might as well embrace it!

Ramona’s Birth Story

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I once heard that some women have some sort of hormone in their body that makes them forget child birth, otherwise they would never be able to do it again.  I definitely think I am one of those women. From the days following delivery there are many parts of the process that I don’t remember. As time has gone on things have started to become even more fuzzy, which is why I think it’s about time I write this story.  It is a day I want to remember.

Ramona’s story starts on March 2, 2015. I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  As I was getting ready in the morning, I noticed some spotting.  In the past this meant bedrest but since I was nearly full term this time there was no stress or urgency associated with it. After a quick google search I learned that it was probably the start of labor, but could be another day 0r weeks before anything happened.

Almost everything was ready. The nursery was put together, her clothes were washed, the hospital bag was packed.  There was just one last thing.  My spring garden had not yet been planted. With the feeling that it could be any moment our day was spent at the nursery. I found all the plants my garden was lacking and found myself in the garage at 9:00 at night frantically potting all my flowers. Hindsight– I was crazy nesting.  Only half way done but beyond exhausted I decided to call it a night and finish in the morning.

It was now 10:00 PM and I am laying beside Bobby in bed.  He is sleeping and I start to feel light cramps.  Are these contractions? Is this what I’m supposed to be feeling for? I honestly have no idea.  I then start to feel Romy hiccuping, which she did often but this time they are more intense than ever.  I wake Bobby so he can feel them as well.  As his hand is on my belly I hear a strange pop and suddenly become warm. I instantly knew what had just happened. “My water just broke!” I yelled as I ran to the bathroom.  I was suddenly frozen by fear and didn’t know what to do. I literally started to cry “I don’t want to do this!” I told bobby.

We arrived at the hospital at about 10:30 PM.  By the time I had arrived I went from light cramping to OUCH-OK this is definitely labor! I was 3 CM dilated and the pain was really starting to set in. This is the point where things start to become a bit hazy. I almost feel as though it were an out of body experience, like I could look down and see myself clinging to the side of the bed in pain. When I should have gotten my epidural the anesthesiologist was in an emergency surgery and  I had to wait.  The wait was painful, my husband says he had never seen me in that kind of pain before.  I know it was bad in the moment, but looking back it doesn’t really seem that terrible. Bobby looks at me like I’m crazy every time I tell him that.

I am terrified of needles.  My biggest fear about childbirth was getting the epidural.  By the time I was finally able to get it, (1:30 AM and 4 CM dilated) I was so excited for some relief I didn’t think twice. Here’s the kicker- I was still in pain. 15 minutes later, 30 minutes later, 45 minutes later.  I felt as if my nurse wasn’t taking me seriously- I have an epidural and my contractions were getting worse! Finally an hour later I asked her to please check me because the pain is sooooo bad. In the hour since getting my epidural I went from 4 CM to 10.  She was in shock.  “Oh my god, no wonder you are in so much pain!  You are complete!” With that she called the anesthesiologist back to up my dosage.

By  now it is 3:00 AM and I am FINALLY free of pain.  The epidural has begun to work and my Dr. arrives to check up on me.  I can’t tell you how relieved I was to see her familiar face walk through the door.  At this point I assume it’s time to push. She informs me that while I am 10 CM dilated the baby is still sitting high, so I would be given Oxytocin and would rest until the baby moved down.  This would prevent hours of pushing for me. She told me to try and get some rest and I when I started to feel constant pressure down low, to call my nurse.

Over the next few hours Bobby and my mom slept, I of course was not able to.  The crazy thing though is I felt like every time I looked at the clock an hour had passed. Time was flying by. About an hour in I start to feel my contractions again.  They aren’t super painful, but I feel them.  I tell my nurse. “But do you feel constant pressure?” she asks. I didn’t feel pressure per say so off she went.  Another hour passes and the contractions have become super painful again. I call my nurse.  She asks the same question.  Still no pressure, just pain. I ask her to check me, because the pain is so bad. She looks, and what do you know, I’m ready to go.

It is nearly 6:00 AM and in walks my doctor. I tell her that the pain is really bad, assuming they would up my epidural again. Nope- it’s time to push! My first thought was that if my contractions are painful now, pushing is going to kill.  My second thought is- I have to do this quick then.  Before we start she has bobby take a look- Romy’s head is already there and we can see her little head of dark hair. Bobby looks, then looks at me “There is so much blood.” Thanks Bobby! We push through two contractions and she is out!  It was so quick, and surprisingly once we began to push the pain disappeared.

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The  moment she was born I nervously awaited her first cry.  It took a while and the way the doctor was holding her below me I could not see her. It felt like a very long time- she was finally here and I just wanted to see her. A moment later she is placed on my chest where she laid skin to skin.  She let out a little wimper that was such a soft little cry.  I hold her, telling her it was okay and I stared at her little face for the first time.  She looked like my sister to me.

The whole thing was so surreal, I felt as if it was a dream.  This tiny baby was inside of my belly literally 5 minutes ago. I survived. I faced my biggest fear in life. I am a mom. Life is pretty crazy.

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