Friday, May 19, 2017

The 3rd and Final Act....



Thank Heaven for Little Boys

So this is the labor story of my third child and only boy. If you would like to familiarize yourself with my “background” lol you can check out my post Movie Poster Pregnancy Announcement” post . Since making that announcement we found out at 12 weeks that I was carrying a baby BOY! Since I was considered high risk (developed Preeclampsia at 39 weeks with my middle daughter) I was given the option to have the Harmony Prenatal testing done. The harmony testing is a DNA blood-test that measures the risk of Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. The test also offers the ability to reveal the gender of the baby. We received the results about 4 days after my blood work was completed and we were able to reveal to our girls lol. Since the reveal Khloe has absolutely fallen in love with the idea of having a little brother, but it took a few months! I left the name choice up to my husband. We had always talked about baby being a third as my husband was a junior and I had actually fallen in love with “Tre” as a nickname. As always my husband threw me for a total loop when he decided against naming his first (and hopefully only) son after him. We ended up agreeing on the name Carter Jaxon “CJ”. Knowing the gender and having a name all before 18 weeks was a major win for my anxiety lol.

Smooth Sailing

I honestly had a good pregnancy. I felt pretty good most days and my OB would always praise me on my weight and BP each visit. I gained a total of 28 lbs throughout my pregnancy and many people would say that I didn’t even look pregnant until about 38/39 weeks……I guess that is when I “popped”.  After recently having lost 160+ lbs in the months leading up to conception the weight gain during pregnancy was an emotional battle for me. I ended up stopping my normal gym routine in the second trimester due to pain/pressure associated with vulva varicose veins. I came to terms with the fact that I would probably gain 25-35lbs, but I would work hard to lose it once baby was born. Easier said than done…...I know I drove my husband, sisters, and friends insane constantly talking about my weight gain lol. Anyway, Preeclampsia did not rear its ugly head with this pregnancy and I am forever grateful for that.
Officially on Maternity Leave
I started maternity leave on a Monday May 15th, 2017 at 39 weeks exactly. The following Tuesday my OB swept my membranes as I was dilated to 2 ½ cm, was 70% effaced, and Carter’s head was at a -2 station. She also gave me an induction date of May 31st (41 weeks & 2 days or 40+2) if I happened to go that far overdue. As a result of the sweep I started having cramps and became very uncomfortable that evening. I was so glad I was no longer working as I couldn't imagine feeling this bad at work.
Wednesday morning I woke up to “bloody show” around 6am. I was nervous and excited as I thought it was a sign that labor was near….clearly it was not though lol. Around 5:30pm I started experiencing mild contractions as I prepared food to grill out with my family for dinner. I was able to finish helping my husband grill and sit down with my family to eat even though the contractions and pressure were present. I ended up excusing myself from the table early as I began to feel real uncomfortable from the contractions.
Prodromal labor…..don’t nobody go time for that!
Upon excusing myself from the dinner table I went into my bedroom and began to use the contraction timer on my cell phone. I pulled out my birthing ball and sat on it while resting on the edge of my bed. After having two inductions and two failed epidurals I decided I would try to labor at home this go round as long as I could to prevent the need from having to get potocin to help progress labor. Anyway, I am sitting in my room with the blinds closed thinking “This is it…..Carter is coming tonight!” At this point the contractions were coming about every 8 minutes and lasted about 30 seconds. They were about a 4 on a pain scale of 1-10. In between contractions I started doing little things to “set the mood” for what I though was the beginning of my labor. I made the room really dark, lit candles, and powered on my “Nature Sounds” station on Pandora. I was really relaxed and calm (which is rare since I actually have a medical diagnosis of anxiety). I sat on my ball timing my contractions until about 10 pm. At this point they were getting further and further apart (approximately every 15 mins). I decided to get in bed to get some rest just in case I ended up at the hospital at some point through the night. I woke up around midnight and realized the contractions had completely stopped. I was confused and a little embarrassed. I had updated my sisters, mom, and a few close friends about what was going on. John had also called his mom. At this point I was worried ppl would think I was a hypochondriac lol. Anyway, I went back to sleep.

Thursday morning (39+4) I woke up to more bloody show. I was encouraged all over again and was certain Carter would come at some point throughout the day. John decided to work from home and I got the kids off to school/daycare as if it were any other normal day. I decided to Google “consistent contractions stop after a few hours” and blog posts/articles/web thread about “prodromal labor” took over my screen. The term wasn't totally new to me as I had seen other expecting moms from my May 2017 Facebook group post about it. Of course I knew it was real…..I just didn't think it would happen to me. Reading up on this annoying phenomenon made me feel better about what had happened…..I confirmed I was not indeed going crazy lol. The day came and went and all I experienced were irregular contractions accompanied by annoying pressure. Midday I received a random call from my OB office. It was a nurse calling to tell me that my scheduled induction needed to be push back a day (June 1st/41+3) due to a more dire case at the hospital. While I had her on the phone I shared with her my experience from last night and how I was currently feeling. She gave me a few suggestions to get contractions going again (walking, sex, etc) and joked that it didn't look like I would even need my induction date. She also told me that if I had more bloody show I should call back as they would want to check me or send me to L&D to get checked. I ended Thursday still pregnant lol.
Each wave has a purpose 🖤
I woke up Friday May 19th (39+4) around 2am still very pregnant and with no contractions in sight. Carter had been very active through the night (as normal) but now his movement caused me occasional pain and discomfort. With 3 days until my due date I began to question why the hell I was still pregnant lol. Maybe he would be a due date baby…..bc after all I knew exactly when I conceived (down to an 18-24 hour window lol). Based on conception date he was due May 23rd and based on LMP he was due May 22nd. After seeing so many moms in my fb group who were due around the same time as me, on the same date as me, and even after me post that their babies had arrived I will admit I began to become a little bummed. I began to wonder if something was wrong with my body. Having 2 previous 39 week inductions with my girls this go round made for the longest I'd ever been pregnant…...BLAH! As usual around 3am I was browsing social media on my cell phone as John snored. At about 3:35 am I had a mild contraction. I told myself I would time the next one. Then around 3:47 am  I experienced another one but missed timing it due to browsing social media on my phone lol. At this point I opened up my contraction timer app and waited. Another one came 9 mins later and lasted about 40 seconds. After about 27 minutes of no action I put my phone down and attempted to get some rest before Alasia’s alarm would go off at 6am…..I had 1 hour and 30 mins.
Happy Birthday Carter!

So Alasia’s alarm went off at 6am and I got up to use the bathroom. I started tracking the contractions again and they were coming like every 6-8 minutes but were only lasting about 30 seconds. I woke John up and told him what was going on and how I wasn't sure if this was real this time.  I proceeded with getting Khloe ready for daycare (put out her outfit, packed her lunch, and prepared her oatmeal for breakfast). John left around 7:15 am to take the the girls to school and daycare. While he was gone I “labored” in that jetted tub of mine that I love soooooo much lol. I will admit that I started  to get concerned bc at one point the contractions were coming every 2 mins but were only lasting 30-40 seconds. John got home around 8:15 am as I was getting dressed. The contractions were still coming frequent but the duration was still very short. I made the decision to head to the hospital. En route I was silently crying bc the contractions were so painful and I was also anxious about being sent home (if I was indeed experiencing prodromal labor again). We arrived at the hospital around 8:45 am and the nurse checked me in triage. I was 6cm dilated and my bag was bulging. I was admitted and moved to a room. Apparently the hospital was busting at the seams as I took the very last L&D room. I told the nurse I was planning to have a natural delivery but an epidural was not completely off the table. She went ahead and gave me an IV in case things headed in that direction and to give me fluids. Around 10:00 am she took me off the monitors so I could labor on the birthing ball and said she would come back at 10:30 am to check on me. Once she left I had about 3 extremely painful contractions and I told John that I didn't think I could do it anymore. He pressed the call button and the nurse came in. When she came in I was in tears and told her I think I needed an epidural. She said let's check you first and maybe that will help you make a decision. She checked me and I was fully dilated and my bag was still bulging. She frantically called for the doctor and began to prep the room. She told me that there was no time for an epidural as the baby was coming NOW and I was totally fine with that…...in fact that is what I wanted to hear lol. The doctor came in and had John help her pull down the light etc. She broke my water and told me to start pushing. I pushed one time for like 45 seconds and she told me to grab my legs and do it again. After the second push Carter just popped out. Carter is perfect (I think he looks like me) and I feel great. I definitely avoided Preeclampsia and my BP post delivery is great.  My L&D nurse told me she was truly amazed at how composed I was during labor. She said she has seen a lot of births and mine was definitely special…….that really means a lot to me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Movie Poster Pregnancy Annoucment



The Idea
So my husband and I knew as some point we would have another child. He came into our marriage an automatic father as I had a 9 year old daughter and our youngest was literally baking in the oven as we said our vows lol. Around our 2 year anniversary we began to discuss when we would try for our next bundle of joy. I was very adamant about not having 2 children in daycare and he didn't want a huge age gap between the baby and our youngest. The spring of 2015 my husband was given orders to go to Korea for a year. As you can imagine that put a huge wrench in our plans. He was stationed in South Korea from August 2015 until August 2016. When he returned this past August Baby #3 became a reality. This pregnancy has been very special as it was the first one of my pregnancies that was planned. Although I love my 3 year old and soon to be 13 year old they were surprise blessings. Anyway, this summer before my husband returned to the states I began to search Pinterest to get ideas on how I would announce when we finally got pregnant. I immediately ran across these movie posters and fell in LOVE (links embedded in the images)! They were creative and hilarious....... and I knew I had to do one!

Our Facebook Pregnancy Announcement for Baby #4! Movie Poster Pregnancy Announcement, 4th Baby, Funny Pregnancy Announcement | Printable Announcement | Contact me on my website and I can design a similar movie announcement for you! www.dazzleexpressions.com | Photo Credit and Design Collaboration to http://www.denniswebberphotography.com/ (An amazing photographer located in Montana!):        Pregnancy announcement with a movie poster:

The Process
After reading a few blog post I found out that the key to achieving this look was to have a good quality photo. I turned to Groupon to find a photographer that was reasonably priced and had good reviews. There I found Eddie and Patty Photography.  The morning before our appointment with the photographer I had my family practice our pose a few times using the self-timer feature on our Cannon DSL. I printed off a copy of our best pose along with the two pinterest examples above to show the photographers. Eddie and Patty came to our home and took several shots of us in our bedroom. They were super friendly and I knew right then that my vision would come to light. Once I received the digital images I worked with my husband to chose the "best" image. It was tough as the BEST one didn't capture my oldest daughter's face bc of how she angled her body. Anyway, we selected the second best and I move on to create the movie poster in Photoshop. I started off by blending the image with a white background. After that I created the text on the poster layer by layer. I am not very proficient in Photoshop so I had my husband by my side to help guide me and give me all the Photoshop short cuts.. I was very please with the finished product.

The Final Product

Those that know me and my family will instantly get the humor here. However, for those that don't really know our little family well......you may need a little explanation lol. As I mentioned earlier this will be my first planned child (fertile myrtle apparently). The last time this happened my husband and I went to Vegas to celebrate my 29th birthday and brought a little something back lol. Anyway, let's start with me in the movie poster! For starters, I am obsessed with cakes made by the wholesaler "Sam's Club", so yes that is a Sam's club cake I had made especially for our photo lol. Sour cream and cheddar Ruffles are by far my favorite chip and I also love dill pickles. Simply put....I love food and that has not changed with this pregnancy. I can't say that I've really gravitated to particular foods, but I do have weird and random cravings at times. Now on to Alasia, my soon to be teenage daughter. Alasia also loves food also (what can I say?....she got it honest from her mom). Alasia repeatedly gets caught sneaking food to her room or eating the last of my favorite snacks around the house. So that should explain her portion of the photo. Moving on to Khloe.....my beloved 3 1/2 year old preschooler. Khloe is a HANDFUL, period end of story! She is extremely smart and her language often compares to a child well beyond her age..........BUT she often works my last nerves. She is full of energy and I swear she never slows down. I can count on Khloe to get into some type of mischievous pretty much daily. This movie poster captures her personality perfectly!  Then there is my dear husband John. John is by far one of the sweetest, happiest, and laid back individuals I've ever met in my life. I'm still not certain how he puts up with me as a wife lol. The shirt he is wearing probably is exactly how he has felt since the day I told him I was pregnant. He also lets our children get away with high way robbery (-_-). Lastly, we started the process for building a house in May of 2016 and we are scheduled to move in early December which explains the boxes. Originally, we were going to have a guest room on both the second level of our home and in the basement. Now with the baby we will only have one guest room and turn the other extra room on the second level into the nursery. So there is our movie poster announcement in a nutshell :-)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lot Sold Picture!


So the girls didn't know about until we got our official loan approval! My oldest probably thought I was having an affair after the countless "appointments" I had over the past 2 weeks where she has been left to babysit her sister lol. Anyway, I thought it would be cute to take them to the homesite and having them flip over these signs (that I made) would be a nice way to break the news to them. picture!

I created these posters using Word! I used a black chalkboard background and various fonts on Pinterest. I sent the images to Staples and ordered  16x20 colored engineering prints. Then I backed them onto black foam board. Lastly, I took regular white chalk and smudge it over the front to give it more of a chalkboard effect.



The memory of the picture will last a life time though. I just wish my husband was here to be in the

Monday, May 2, 2016

Simply Lemonade Teacher Appreciation Gift


As I mentioned in my previous 
post I am doing a little gift each day for my girls' teachers this year. Tuesday's gift is a little thank you that just may quench the thirst of any over worked and underpaid teacher. It's not much, but I thought the idea was super cute. I was able to get the lemonades for $1 at the commissary and I found the cute tags already made on Pinterest. I've seen others add a cute paper straw for a nice finishing touch!! 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Extra Gum Teacher Appreciation Tag

This year I decided on doing small thoughtful gifts each day for Teacher Appreciation Week. I saw the extra gum idea on Pinterest. I decided to go with the fruity flavor instead which required me to make my own tags to keep the color scheme thing going. I made two different versions: one ideal for teachers of younger students and the other geared more for older students!!!




Monday, October 12, 2015

Safari Diaper Cake

I made this super cute 3 tier safari themed diaper cake for my cousin's shower. Of course I scored the Huggies diapers at a good deal using coupons and CVS extrabucks etc. I picked up the ribbon and wooden animals from JoAnn's and Micheal's. I think this one is my favorite :-)
 

Deployment Wall

So my husband left on August 8, 2015 for a 12 month tour in Korea. After 2 months I finally finished the wall dedicated to him. I ordered the poster from an Etsy shop and then used a Groupon for PrinterPix to have it printed. I purchased the two clocks from Target and ended up painting the blue one bc it was originally teal. The AM and PM tags will be swapped daily as they are on hooks! Although my 11 year old loves it, I think my 2 year old needed a constant visual of her daddy :)