The day you came

The day before you were born (your due date) I was driving home and noticed five cars with Christmas trees tied to their roofs. I was smiling. How amazing I thought that you could be born in this magical season to celebrate another very significant birth. I worked a ten hour shift on your due date. I had been feeling nauseated and crampy but hadn't noticed any strong contractions. Still, something was different, and I had a strong feeling that you were coming very soon. I tied up a few loose ends at work and said my good-byes. I made dinner and sterilized bottles and pacifiers when I got home. Nesting was in high gear.

We went to sleep about 11pm. I woke up at 1am with distinct pain that I hadn't experienced before. I knew they had to be contractions. They came every ten to fifteen minutes and were painful enough that I couldn't sleep through them. At 3 am I noticed a very strong contraction and timed the next one less than a minute later. I turned over in bed to wake up your Daddy and felt a pop and then a gush of fluid. My water broke and suddenly I knew it was really happening. We were finally going to meet you! We headed to the hospital shortly after. At the hospital we were admitted to triage. I was dilated to 4 and the nurse confirmed for sure that my water broke. We waited in triage about two hours before being admitted to labor and delivery. I kept thinking "I am so grateful my water broke". I didn't want to come to triage and be sent home like so many other women I knew. In fact when we brought in all our belongings everyone
assumed I was being induced. "Nope," I thought. You're just not sending me home. The pain became more intense by the time we left triage. I couldn't talk through the contractions and was finding myself annoyed when the nurse kept asking me questions. I never thought I would have a completely natural drug free delivery. I thought that it would be an incredible feat but my motto was, I'm not going to try and be a hero. I met with a nurse from anesthesia and went over all my pain control options. I decided to get a "walking" epidural. It allowed me to move, walk and even bounce on the exercise ball. It took the edge off and kept the epidural in so that I could convert to a regular epidural at any time. I am still really happy that I chose that initially. I did not want to be stuck in bed all day completely immobile. I walked in the halls with my family. Gabe was so amazing the entire time I labored. He would massage my back and offer water or juice. I kept throwing up and he never became squeamish. My family came throughout the day. In and out each visitor would take their turn. They were all so excited. It was so helpful having their support and encouragement.

I was contracting on my own all morning and most of the afternoon. After several hours of walking and bouncing I was dilated to six. At that point they chose to start Pitocin, to help further my progression. That was when things got intense. The contractions became more and more unbearable. I cried and had a very difficult time deciding if I should convert the epidural or work through the pain. I was still terrified of being stuck in bed. I was crying and overwhelmed with each contraction. The anesthesia nurse came in and admitted that in her 6 years there she had only seen one person deliver a baby with a walking epidural. All other women usually convert to the mainstream epidural if they get the epidural in the first place. It was getting late. I was getting so tired. I really hadn't slept much the night before and I did not want to be there all night. I converted the epidural and soon I was dilated to 8cm. The nurses turned me in several different positions every 15 minutes or so in hopes that the baby would descend more. At 9pm I had been ruptured for 18 hrs. In lay terms that means your waters been broke too long. Let's get this show on the road. So we did. I was finally dilated to 10cm. I cried when the nurse told me I was complete. Mostly because I was excited to meet you but also because I was so scared. My worst fear all along was that I would labor and then not be able to deliver naturally. I was determined to be a "good pusher." In my years as a baby nurse I had heard countless labor and delivery nurses describe patients as lazy pushers. People that attempted to push but could not deliver babies. The team rushed around the room and sweet Dr. Lewis came in and eased my fears and just chatted with us in between pushes. Each time you didn't come I could feel the frustration building up, not sure if I was being effective. An hour later the NICU team came because you had passed a little meconium. Having an additional three people in the room compounded with your meconium gave me the added might to see you. The doctor asked if I wanted to touch your head or use the mirror and I never wanted to do that. Your dad was so great at encouraging me and it was so amazing hearing the excitement in his voice when you were almost here. Just a few more attempts and you came in to the world at 10:21pm. They placed you in my arms and I was overcome. After all the waiting and wanting you were finally here. Our sweet little boy. We loved you instantly. You were bright eyed and alert. We did it. I couldn't believe that you were actually mine. All 7 pounds and 15 ounces of you. You were more perfect than I could have dreamed. Being pregnant with you was one thing but actually meeting you and looking at your face was remarkable. I am so grateful that you are here, Grayson. Mommy and Daddy love you so much.


Belly talk

I have not been great about posting or taking belly pics regularly but these definitely show a change. I went to the doctor about a week and a half ago and my total weight gain had doubled in about 5 weeks! I was in shock but not shocked. I have certainly been growing. The doctor could tell I was concerned and she said "you no worry about Mommy. You worry about baby!" I'm slightly anemic now so I've started iron supplements. Otherwise, I've been feeling great! Slightly more uncomfortable and my back hurts at the end of a ten hour work day, but I'm feeling really grateful for a healthy pregnancy. I'm not really craving anything consistent. Potato chips sometimes, sweets occasionally and pickles this week. The baby likes food, any kind of food apparently. Just like his Daddy already :) we are so excited to meet him in a few months. He has been kicking like crazy! My whole stomach bounces around. I think I'll miss that the most after he's here. I love feeling his sweet kicks even when I'm jolted by them. Love you so much Peanut!


It's a...

Boy for us and girls for my sister and Kris!


That one time when I turned thirty...

I found out I was pregnant March 28, 2013. Gabe was home and I was grateful to find out together. We slowly started telling our families but the numbers were small. I had no idea what to expect with this pregnancy. I called to schedule my fist Obgyn appt and they said you'll be 7 weeks on April 17 let's schedule you then. Little did they know I had a very big birthday just one day earlier. I kind of begged to be seen on my birthday and she obliged. I was so excited for that appt. seeing that tiny little peanut in my belly made everything real and it became my very best birthday.

Later that week my family threw me a surprise birthday with my extended family and friends. It was so amazing! I was only 7 weeks pregnant but felt like it would be so awesome to tell everyone! So after snacks and drinks and gabbing we gathered everyone around and told them we were pregnant. Everyone was screaming and so happy. I'm so glad we spilled the beans. That will always be a great memory for me.



This week we had an exciting development...KICKING! I was so anxious to feel the baby move recently. On a Sunday drive to church I felt a thump right in my midline and just KNEW it was the baby! I screamed! Truth be told I think I felt the baby sooner but I generally had to push on my belly to feel anything. Not anymore. I feel those sweet tender thumps at all times of the day and night now. It is so incredible! A few nights ago I was nearly in tears about my scrubs getting too small and not having enough clothes and feeling chubby and all these silly things. I sat down with my iPad to forget things for a while and stumbled upon this blog post about someone's miscarriage. My heart ached for her. I felt the baby move the whole time I read it...I realized I had been give a dose of perspective. Clothes do not matter. My body at this point in my life should only be appreciated and respected for this beautiful gift it is able to grow and protect. I am so grateful for that lesson.

I can't believe I'm already half way through this pregnancy. We have been so blessed with a healthy pregnancy so far. I am feeling better and getting nausea less and less and getting sick even more infrequently. I'm able to tolerate different kinds of food and have a bit more energy. I love anything cold and fruity so Popsicles and slurpees are a favorite! I still have an intolerance to eggs mostly and guacamole which I usually love. I'm sure the Chipolte employees miss me.

Next on the agenda prenatal massage on Saturday! Can't wait!


Dear little one,
 Your Daddy started calling you peanut around week 7. We read somewhere that you were about that size. We also think you are a boy so we frequently call you "he" and "him." If we're wrong, I apologize in advance. We still have quite a few weeks until we find out your gender. You want to just nudge me with the answer? Sometimes at night when everything is quiet and still I put my hand over my tummy and hope I feel you under my fingers. Are you okay baby? I hope I feel you soon. I am so excited for that. We both are so excited you're coming. Not only us but many people. You will be so well loved and nurtured little one.

Daddy has been out of town for awhile.
"How's peanut?" he asks.
 A few nights ago we were texting before bed...
"I love you" I wrote.
 "Love you two" he replied.

My cup runneth over. Love for that man is expounding. Love for you is sweet.

Love you,


New things

We have been keeping a little secret for the last few months...


I'm here.

One day I'm going to look back at this break in blogging and be sad. How many things will I have forgotten. Events or conversations. Pictures that weren't captured or memories left behind. I look back in time at this blog and I'm so grateful for all the moments written down that have already slipped my mind. I get so caught up with life. I'm very happy in Orlando. Work is busy. Gabe is singing all over the place. I'll be blogging more frequently soon even if its the last thing I do. :)


Vegetarian or not...

Lately Gabe has been out of town a lot. He's working so that's awesome but I miss him bad. I try to sometimes focus on the perks of being pseudo single like making anything I want for dinner or eating Chipolte multiple times a week. Sad but true. It makes the time go by faster when he's not here.

Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian recipes...

P.S. their pictures are better than mine.

Great Sandwich

Great lettuce wraps. All hail Ree Drummond.

Now onto my latest attempt. I found this recipe on buzzfeed.com. Do you know about this website? It's freaking hysterical but also no holds bar. Turns out they also write about food. White bean and kale stew sounded like just the thing Gabe wouldn't want to eat. Turns out it was pretty tasty. They suggested serving it on toast with a poached egg on top. Did you ever see that scene in Julie and Julia where Julie tries making a poached egg with multiple failed attempts? I was scared of trying a poached egg. So the first night I fried an egg. Then tonight I was eating the stew for leftovers and I got brave. The recipe gives very strict instructions about temperature, vinegar and time. It said cook for three minutes exactly. I cooked about thirty seconds longer because I HATE RUNNY EGG WHITES. First attempt was a complete success. Poached egg checked off the ole cooking basics list. Yummy!


I'll try and catch up on posts soon. Like I should probably tell you about the time the New York Times gave Gabe a good review. Like whhhaaaaaaaaaaaat!


Have some chocolate

I recently was invited to a birthday party with friends from church. We went to a place called Farris and Fosters in Baldwin Park. They teach you how to make different chocolate goodies to take home. So much fun. In other news someone needs to save me from the full pound of chocolate I brought home. :/


Happy twenty thirteen

As a new year begins and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.
-Jeffrey R. Holland