A Birth Story- Isla Noelle

I guess the best place to start is Friday afternoon, May 5th. Baby was 5 days late, and I had a doctor appointment at 2:15. Dr. Tashjian checked me and said I was 3 cm and baby’s head was “right there.” She did a membrane sweep and warned me that when labor starts I shouldn’t wait too long before heading to the hospital. I really wish I had taken her advice. Since I was past due, she had me do an NST (nonstress test) to make sure baby was okay. She told me to schedule another NST and an ultrasound for early the following week if I hadn’t delivered yet. I set up appointments for Monday, hoping I wouldn’t actually need them.
That evening I wanted to take a walk to try to get things going. The whole family came, and the kids splashed in puddles along the way. Later that night my stomach kept tightening. It wasn’t painful, but it was consistent. I started timing the tightening and saw it was happening about every 2 minutes. I called my doctor and she said “I usually recommend women wait until they have contractions every 3-4 minutes and they kind of take your breath away. That doesn’t sound like that’s what’s happening here. Sometimes if you lay down it will go away, so you can either try that or you can head in to get checked out.” I decided to lay down and try to get some sleep. Before I knew it, it was morning and nothing had happened. I was slightly disappointment, but I had a feeling it was coming soon. I was right.
As soon as I got out of bed contractions started. This time they were slightly painful and definitely felt different from the night before. I immediately opened my contraction counter app to keep track of how long they lasted and how close together they were. They lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and were about 5-10 minutes apart right off the bat. They were slightly painful, but nothing I couldn’t tolerate. As the morning went on, the contractions were becoming more painful and started getting closer together. Now they were every 1-3 minutes. I still wasn’t 100% convinced this was the real deal (although in hindsight it’s pretty clear it was), but around noon we decided to let Ron’s parents know this might be it and that they should head over to our house to watch the kids.
We got on the road at 12:45. I said, “Well I guess it’s either going to be today or tomorrow. I really hope we get admitted.”

When we walked into triage I said, “Hi, I think I’m in labor.”
The woman replied “But you’re smiling…”
The triage nurses weren’t very friendly this time around and it was obvious they didn’t think I was actually in labor.
By the time we got into the room to get checked out and I got into my hospital gown, it was 1:30. I didn’t call my doctor ahead of time to let him know I was coming in, so he had left for the day. The nurses made sure to let me know that “next time you should really call before you come.”
They had another doctor check me and he said I was 5 cm and definitely in labor. “Wanna stay and have a baby?”
“YES!”
Now it was time for the lovely nurse to get me hooked up to an IV. Getting an IV while you’re having contractions is unpleasant to say the least…especially when the nurse keeps messing up. “Ugh that one infiltrated.”
“That’s ok…”
“No it’s not ok. I’m sorry. I’ll have to try the other arm. I’m usually a really good stick. I’m the one they come to when they can’t get it. It’s these catheters. They’re horrible.”
Whatever lady…just do what you have to do.
So then she tried on my other arm and ruined that vein too. She decided to give up and said someone else will try when we get to the labor and delivery room.
As Ron and I were waiting to switch rooms I had to brace myself to get through each contraction. They were rapidly becoming more and more intense. I said to him “I need an epidural. I feel stupid getting one so soon, but it hurts so bad.” I knew things were progressing quickly.
We finally headed to the delivery room around 2:00. It was during this time things became unbearable. They asked if I needed a wheelchair, but I stupidly declined. I very slowly followed the nurse down the hallway and had to stop every 5 seconds to try to get through the next contraction. They were becoming SO intense and the pain was radiating through my lower back. I’ve never experienced back labor before, but from what I’ve read I knew this meant baby was posterior, and that might make delivery more difficult. Wonderful.
The next hour is a little hazy. Everything seemed to move on fast-forward. I had to sit in the bed so they could attempt an IV for the third time. Failed again. I was becoming really frustrated. “Why do I even need an IV?! Can we just skip it?”
“No because when you have an epidural it can affect your blood pressure, so you really need to have an IV.”
Eventually they got it on the 4th try.
By now I was delirious from the pain. I remember saying, “I think I’m dying” several times. I realize that sounds overly dramatic, but at the time I literally felt like I was going to die. The nurses reassured me that I would be okay and one even said, “at least you’re getting a little break in between contractions.”

I thought to myself, umm… what break are you talking about?

I looked over and saw Ron smiling and promised him I’d punch him in the face if he smiled again. LOL.

Seconds, not minutes, would pass between contractions and I could feel my entire body convulse with the tension – toes twitching, hands clinging to the bedrails … hanging on for dear life. I didn’t know what position to try to get into because nothing made it feel any better. I just stood there on the verge of tears saying “I don’t know what to do.” I was scared. Really scared. The pain was unbearable and it was all happening so quickly that I felt out of control. I asked about the epidural, and they said they were working on it. I knew in the back of my mind I wasn’t going to get it in time.
I asked if I could push or if they could check me. The nurse did and said I was “about an 8. Your waters way down low and is probably causing the pressure you’re feeling. I don’t want to break it.”
2 minutes later there was an unbearable urge to push. I literally couldn’t help it. I was sitting on the edge of the bed and said “I’m pushing!” The nurse told me to lay down and I cried “I can’t!” She said “If you’re telling me you need to push, then you have to lay down.”
I managed to get on the bed and kept yelling “I have to push! I’m pushing!” I could feel my stomach bear down and push involuntarily. I had no control over it. I had an epidural with Chloe and Miles because my biggest fear was pushing. But now that I didn’t have one, pushing actually made it feel better. It finally gave me some control and something I could do to manage the pain.

My doctor still wasn’t back at the hospital, so the nurses called a midwife in to deliver the baby. I gave one big push and my water exploded. That’s when Ron and I both stopped looking lol. She kept telling me to “Slow down! Let your body do the work for you.”

“I’m gonna throw up!” I said.
The nurse told Ron to grab a bucket from the shelf. It took every bit of self-control I had to stop myself from pushing. I braced myself for the “ring of fire” I heard people talk about, but it never came. What I did feel was a TON of pressure, and then a pop.
I heard the midwife say “There’s the head!” She was born with her hand on her face.
Oh my God. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this right now. I’m delivering naturally and there’s no turning back.
She told me I could give a little push, and then the shoulders came out. I don’t remember exactly what it felt like, and I have no idea what I was looking at because I don’t remember seeing the birth at all. Maybe I had my eyes closed? Who knows..
Then I heard her say “Look down! Here’s your baby!”
I yelled “I don’t want to!” lol I felt disconnected at that moment. It was such a traumatic delivery, I guess I forgot I was getting a baby at the end of all of this.
As soon as she was born the pain instantly went away. They put her on my chest and I was sobbing.  I kept saying “I’m so happy that’s over!” Then I felt the need to apologize for anything I might have said to the nurses during my mental breakdown.
They said “Are you kidding? You did better without an epidural than most women do with one!”
The next two hours were complete bliss. Quiet. Peaceful. Just me and the love of my life bonding with our brand new baby girl. The feeling of her warm body against mine made it all worth it.
Welcome to the world, Isla! You sure know how to make a grand entrance.

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Maternity/Family Photo Shoot

BeFunky Collage

With my due date fast approaching, I wanted to have maternity/family photos taken to capture the belly before it’s gone. I reached out to Ashley Halas, our go-to family photographer, to get a date in the books. (She’s also the one who took the photos for my Adult Cake Smash Photo shoot.)

We set a date for March 19, but there was snow in the forecast. A lot of it. Fortunately, we didn’t get as much as expected, so the show went on. The snow actually made the perfect background.

I love how they turned out! I especially love that we were able to recreate some of the photos we took when I was pregnant with Miles.

BeFunky CollageBeFunky Collage

I also took a silhouette photo that I absolutely LOVED when I was pregnant with Miles, so I decided to do it again. I found the directions here.

BeFunky Collage

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Bridal Shower Gift with Free Printable!

bridal shower gift

A good friend of mine got hitched last month, and all of the bridesmaids wanted to go in on a joint gift for the shower. Now I do have to disclaim this wasn’t my idea. It took 7 brains to iron out all the details, but in the end we had a gift we were so proud to give our bride and she absolutely LOVED it!!

So what is this amazing gift? You and your team of bridesmaids plan 12 dates for the newlywed’s first year of marriage- one for each month! This gift is meant to be given by a group of people, because it would get very expensive to do on your own.

Step 1: Brainstorm. Think about what your couple likes to do, what their interests are, and start making a list of possible dates.

Just to give you a few ideas, here’s what we decided on: Couple’s massage, Philly date night, honeyfund certificate, brunch, mini golf, fall fun date, dine-in theatre, NYC date night, ice skating, pizza place, bowling, and bed and breakfast. You could also do sports games, concerts, amusement parks, etc. Whatever your couple likes!

It’s a good idea, if you’re doing this as a group, to determine the amount of money everyone is willing to spend ahead of time. Of course some dates will cost more than others, but if you decide on a budget in advance, it makes things easier.

Step 2: Divvy up the responsibilities. Decide who will be in charge of which dates and work on collecting all of your gift cards. You may want to set a deadline to keep everyone on track. bridal shower gift 2

Step 3: Make a scrapbook to pull it all together. One of the bridesmaids came up with this really cute poem to display on the opening page. Feel free to use it! Click here to print. Then, the maid of honor designed and put together the pages. She arranged the gift cards on the left side, leaving the right side of the spread open for them to add pictures after the date. Here’s the great part- by the end of the year, they’ll have a completed scrapbook of their whole first year of marriage! How cute is that?!


Optional- you could also write a little poem for each date to help fill up the page in the scrapbook. If you need some inspiration, here are ours:

Couple’s Massage- The last few months have been hectic for you, so enjoy a relaxing massage for two!

Philly Date Night- It’s a hop, skip, and a jump away. You should go to Philly for a day! Take a picture in LOVE park, or a walk down the street. Then off to one of your faves, for a bite to eat!

Honeyfund- Your honeymoon to Greece will be magical, no doubt. You will see many sights being out and about. Here is our gift, a dinner for two. Just a reminder that we’re thinking of you!

Brunch- Summer’s almost over, the leaves will start to crunch. Enjoy the last few days of sun, with mimosas and brunch!

Mini Golf- A day of golf and fun in the sun, I wonder which of you will get a hole in one!

Fall Fun Date- The leaves are all brown, and the air has a chill. A haunted hayride is surely a thrill. Whatever you do, beware of the night. The shadows and sounds will give you a fright!

Dine-In Theatre- Dinner, movie, and drinks, oh my! You couldn’t beat it if you tried. So sit back and enjoy the show, Movie Tavern is the place to go.

NYC Date Night- Time to head to the city and be of good cheer, to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve arranged for you to have dinner for two, at a place that is both exciting and new. Then, enjoy shopping or visit the tree, the place where he got down on one knee. Whatever you do is sure to be fun, New York at Christmas can’t be outdone!

Ice Skating- The hustle and bustle had come to an end. You’ve sent your love to every family and friend. So take some time for just you two, but be careful you don’t end up black and blue! Just tighten your laces and grab a drink, hold onto each other and head to the rink!

Pizza Place- Roses are red, violets are blue. Pizza tastes better when you eat with your boo.

Bowling- Knock down some pins and stay in your lane, this makes for one fun little game!

B&B- Well that was fast! It’s been a year. Your anniversary is already here! In order to celebrate your special day, this Bed and Breakfast is where you will stay.

Hope this has inspired you! If you like the idea please pin and share!!

xo

 

 

 

 

 

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Bunch O Balloons

Have you heard of Bunch O Balloons? You guys…this thing is seriously cool. You can fill and tie 100 water balloons in just 60 seconds! 60 seconds!!! That’s insanity. Doing it the old-fashioned way takes SO much longer, and when you have little kids who smash two at a time, you can’t possibly keep up with them. Well now you can. With summer fast approaching, I’m always looking for new, fun things to do with the kids. This one’s a winner.

My hubby and Chloe picked these up for about $9 at Toys R’ Us. We had so much fun with them I ended up going out and buying more the very next day haha. Each pack has 3 bunches of balloons. All you have to do is connect it to your hose, fill them up, and then pull the hose off to release the balloons. I wish we had this thing when we were growing up. Sigh.

The downside? At $9 a bag, they’re not exactly cheap entertainment. Especially when you blow through them like my kids do. You know what is though? A shallow plastic storage container, water, and cups/watering cans. I got that idea here and absolutely loved it! I didn’t use food coloring, but you could to make it even more fun! A flower sprinkler is always awesome too 😉

What are some things you like to do to keep the kids busy during the summer?

xo

Note- ZURU did not sponsor this post and these opinions are my own.

 

 

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Adult Cake Smash Photo shoot

Adult Cake Smash Photo Shoot
30…I guess it had to happen eventually. I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about such a big milestone. I mean, I don’t feel 30. Maybe it’s a mistake? I’ll have to check my birth certificate just to make sure. Nope. April 28, 1986. I really am THIRTY.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. A year and some change ago, my husband faced the same situation. I still remember the gift I gave him- a candy card. Pretty sweet, huh?

Anyway, I guess the biggest question in my mind is how can my thirties possibly compete with my twenties? After all, my twenties were filled with such monumental, life-changing events; I graduated college and began my teaching career, bought a house, married my best friend, and had two beautiful babies- a girl and a boy. Everything about my twenties was perfect, so why would I be excited about closing that chapter?

Then something happened; I actually did get excited! I have the opportunity to start fresh and dive head first into new adventures. I decided to reach out to a local photographer and schedule an adult cake smash to celebrate my big birthday. This was a first for me. I’m used to setting up photo shoots for my children or my family, but I’ve never done one solo. You know what? It was SO much fun, and the pictures will serve as a permanent reminder that growing older doesn’t have to suck. So what if I’m getting some wrinkles around my eyes? At least that means I’ve been smiling!!

In light of my newfound excitement, MyPinkSparkles.com was born! I’ve always wanted to write a blog, but I didn’t know where to begin. After reading countless other blogs and articles online I decided to take the leap. What’s the worst that could happen? I fail? Wouldn’t be the first time, but at least I could say I tried.

I wanted my blog to be about being a mommy, gift ideas, crafts, and home décor, but first I had to come up with a name. Why MyPinkSparkles, you ask? I racked my brain trying to think of a cute and clever name but nothing seemed right. Then I looked next to me at my daughter, Chloe, who was snuggling with her two favorite blankets, Pinky and Sparkly, and it hit me. That’s it! I could think of nothing more perfect.

I’m really excited to share my life with you, and I hope you come along for the ride!!

xo

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