Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stinky's Birth Story

With the impending arrival of our caboose I thought I'd share my previous two birth stories (I'm a sucker for birth stories...if you're not then I'm totally not offended if you move on to the next post in your reader). We'll start with Stinky. Apologies for the length!

At my 30 week appointment my doctor got out her tape measure and cocked her head. "It's probably nothing," she probed my belly, "but you're feeling a bit small. I'm going to send you in for an NST and another ultrasound."

30 weeks with Stinky


The first-time-mom in me heard "another ultrasound" and went WOOHOO! The "feeling small" part didn't really register. I went to the hospital straight from my appointment for the non-stress test, which went swimmingly. Because the baby performed so well on the NST they didn't do an ultrasound that day and encouraged me to schedule one that week with my doctor's preferred provider.

Christmas wasn't too far off and I knew if I dragged my feet long enough then my sister would be in town and could come to the ultrasound. I put it off for a week and managed to have both my sister and my mom there. The tech didn't say much but did ask if they measured my fluid levels at the hospital the week before. "Nope! He did great on his NST. They weren't worried." I went back to admiring my baby.

Given the tech's question I shouldn't have been too surprised to get a panicked phone call the next day from my doctor's office ordering me to get to the hospital immediately.

As it turns out, the situation wasn't quite as dire as they originally thought, but my fluid levels were uncomfortably low. They would expect someone around 31 weeks to have fluid measuring in the mid teens but I was below an 8. They put me on modified bed rest and told me to drink water like it was my job.



The next couple weeks saw me going to the hospital twice a week for NSTs and ultrasounds plus regular visits with my doctor. I laid on the couch a lot, read a bunch of books, took naps, and drank a TON of water.

On January 3rd I had an NST, BPP (biophysical profile aka a high level ultrasound), and an appointment with my doctor. My fluid levels had dropped a bit more and I was put on strict bed rest (I was only allowed to get up to pee and take the world's shortest showers). Also, the baby was still breech and, with the drop in fluid, very likely had no room to turn head down. Cord compression began to be a very real fear. We had discussed it before but it finally sunk in that I would be having a c-section. Also, they gave me a steroid shot to speed baby's lung development. I turned to my mom and said, "Any time I've heard of someone getting a steroid shot their baby was born within 24 hours."

They wanted me to come in again the next day for the second steroid shot and another round of testing.

On January 4th my mom drove me to my NST and BPP at the hospital.  He did well on his NST, they gave me the second steroid shot, then wheeled me up for the BPP. Afterward, we waited in triage for over 2 hours for the results. There was some sort of computer issue and my results were stuck in tech limbo. We were hungry, grumpy, and ready to go home. I talked a nurse into bringing me some graham crackers and peanut butter. Finally, 6 hours after we had arrived, a nurse came in. She explained that she needed to start an IV and that my doctor was on her way to talk to me.

My mom called my dad and I called Aaron. He had just gotten home from work so I asked him to grab my hospital bag, just in case. My doctor arrived and told me that my fluids were down into the 2s and the baby was no longer better off inside. I would be having a c-section in 45 minutes.



The next 45 minutes were a blur of consent forms, information about anesthesia, what would happen to my baby, the surgery, etc. By 7:30 I was laying on the table in the freezing OR, numb from the armpits down, with Aaron in full scrubs sitting by my head. He told me I looked beautiful.

I could see them scrubbing my belly in the reflection of the overhead light. I panicked and asked them to move the drape up a bit to block my view. I had no interest in seeing my own insides.

The anesthesiologist told me that my doctor had started and I replied that I didn't want to know, to please tell me when it was over.

Within just a few minutes we heard a tiny cry.



Baby Stinky was born one day shy of 34 weeks and weighed 4 pounds 15 ounces. He had a little head of fuzzy blonde hair and a dent in the back of his skull from where he had been pressed up against my ribs with no fluid to act as a cushion.


He spent 13 days in the NICU learning to breathe and eat on his own and gaining a little bit of weight. My recovery was a piece of cake- I skipped the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and I didn't have a baby to take care of for almost 2 weeks! Still, we were thrilled when he came home.

With my dad in the hospital

He was on an apnea monitor for a few months but by his first birthday he was all caught up!

Since I generally keep my kids off this blog I don't get to brag on them much so I'm going to get a little bit in now! Stinky is tall, handsome, and has his dad's engineering brain. He's the quieter and more contemplative of our kids, which jibes with his laid-back fetal behavior (I didn't feel so much as a wiggle from him until almost 24 weeks and they frequently had to use the buzzer on him at ultrasounds). He's a good soul. Regardless of how he got here, we're happy to have him!



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Arizona Blogger Meetup

A year and a half ago I attended a blogger meetup organized by Camille and Katie. It was right as I was coming out of my thyroid haze and starting to feel better and was thinking about maaaybe getting excited about blogging and leaving my house again. On my way out the door I turned to Camille and said, "Hey, I'd like to help out if you do more of these in the future."


And thus I landed myself on the Arizona Blogger Meetup committee. I even hosted the last meetup at my house (because it was free and has a large backyard. I feel like I still owe some apologies for the ants and patchy grass though. We've conquered those things! Come back, people!)


Anyway, our most recent event was last Saturday at the Shine Space in Phoenix and it was lovely.

I went WAY outside my comfort zone and reached out to some sponsors to provide stuff for swag bags and a raffle table. Much to my relief, people said yes. DownEast Basics (a LONGTIME fav of mine) was amazing and provided gift cards AND a gorgeous display. My mom won a gift basket of Fairytale Brownies years ago and I've never forgotten it...they threw a brownie in each swag bag AND offered a couple gift boxes for the raffle.

Tiny Prints let us do these awesome notebooks. I NEVER have paper around and it's a huge pain because I am a listmaker extraordinaire so this hasn't left my purse! Watercolor background art by Beth Allen and fancy wording by Erin of Strawberry Mommycakes.



Proof Bread provided some super yummy pain au chocolat.

There was lots of iPhone photography. Unfortunately, I was using my phone as a GPS for 2 hours beforehand and by the time I finally arrived in Phoenix my battery was shot. So I obviously planned that well.

The Shine Space was SO cute but it got veeeery hot with all those bodies in there. When 4pm rolled around everyone was like, "Welp, that was fun. SEE YA." When we took the below picture Lydia told me to stop looking so hot. And she didn't mean it in the "attractive" sense.

The committee! And yes, Camille always remembers lipstick and I never do and that's why I am The Undead.



Camille welcoming everyone


Summer and Emily spoke on working with brands. Summer is a model and blogger with LOTS of experience working with companies and Emily is a small business owner. They gave a great presentation that gave helpful info from both sides!

Stephanie taught a roundtable on photo styling. I missed this one but heard it was fantastic!

Reachel talked about figuring out YOUR brand and being your own sweet self rather than trying to be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. It was a shootoff of her fantastic Alt presentation and I loved it.
Ashley taught a roundtable on collaborating with others. I missed it due to running around but heard it was fantastic.


The whole crew!

Team Camayla!

Are you a local blogger interested in coming to our next meetup (or a brand interested in being a sponsor)? The website is under construction but ask to join the FB page to stay up to date with announcements and upcoming events! The next meetup will be in November or December and hopefully will not have an attendance cap (we had to stop this one at 50 due to space constraints) so it will be a great networking opportunity!
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Friday, September 12, 2014

State of the Union

And by "union" I mean me + fetus.

People love to ask how I'm feeling these days. And every single time I think:


This cat gets me, you know?

I've still got a month-ish left and thinking about how LONG that is makes me a little emotional. But that's not super uncommon because the other day in my car I REALLY needed a pen to sign the back of a check so I could deposit it and I couldn't find a pen and I cried about it. Emotional is sort of my natural state right now.

It doesn't help that I've been fighting a cold off and on for a couple weeks. Some days I wake up feeling notsick and then other days I wake up congested and yucky and, hey! Let's throw in middle of the night contractions that are juuust uncomfortable enough to wake me up but not strong enough to MEAN anything.

I'm a total peach to be around right now, as you may imagine.

It's fine, I didn't want to leave the house anyway. Because, as Aaron likes to point out, I have clearly given up on life.


I'm not even attempting to fit into clothing anymore. Too hard. I DID wash my hair and put on mascara, though (and then I had to go take a nap). We take what we can get around here.

On the plus side, the placental issue that required twice weekly monitoring seems to have resolved itself (yay!) so I get to go back to being a normal patient for this final stretch. I'll miss my BFF the ultrasound tech but I know she'll understand.

Baby's carseat arrived this week (our old one is expired and too big to fit between her brothers' boosters anyway in our current car) so, aside from the complete dearth of baby wipes in our house, I'm feeling pretty ready.

And now...we wait*.

*with Pop Tarts. Because I suddenly can't stop eating them.

Plus some new stuff at Babble. Because sometimes I am productive through my grumpiness:

Fall maternity fashion- looks from 7 real moms (including this one. Which is killing me because I am NO WHERE CLOSE to fitting into my faux leather leggings and I am dying to recreate this look)

8 ways I make myself feel pretty during the 3rd trimester (you know, when I'm not being a fat, grumpy, pregnant cat)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nursery Snippet: Gold Dipped Crib

When I first started planning out my nursery I saw this gold dipped dresser on Pinterest and thought, "Yeah, THAT'S gotta happen." And then I kind of took the easy way out with my dresser and a gold dipped effect just wasn't in the cards.

So last week I taped off the crib legs, busted out my gold paint, and went to work. It was super quick and easy and totally worth my 10 minutes.




I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Dang, I wish I had carpet like that!"

I'm still marinating on the prints for over the crib (what you see up there now is a cheap engineer print of a picture we took in North Carolina back in May. Still deciding if that- in color?- is what I want up there) but holy crap I am SO CLOSE to being done with this room. 



That little elephant lovey was my "faith gift" to my baby and myself a week after I got the positive test.


After two losses I was feeling very skeptical about this pregnancy's chances. I was too afraid to let myself get excited and I felt like I was just waiting for the pain to begin. A friend suggested a faith gift, something for my baby that said, "I have faith that someday I will snuggle you." I went to Target and got this little guy. Just the act of buying something for this baby seemed to do the trick- I finally got excited and allowed myself to believe I might get a baby at the end of this pregnancy!

We're almost there!
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mawwiage.


Jen from Nothing Comes of Nothing is a fabulous (and tall!) local friend who I've gotten to know through the Arizona Blogger Meetup group. She doesn't shy away from hard topics and this month she's tackling marriage. She knew Aaron and I have been through a lot this year with the loss of one of our twins early in this pregnancy and me leaving our church and so she invited me to answer some questions over on her blog today.

Hop on over to see my thoughts and advice!
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