Devin, my second born, my sweet, little cave man. Just like with Drake, this birth story started with an appointment to be induced. I was almost 40 weeks, showing no signs that labor would come any time soon, and according to my ultrasound, I was going to have another big baby. My appointment was for 5 o’clock on a Wednesday so that they could let the medicines do their work overnight, and I would be able to labor more intensely during the day after a good night’s sleep. They called Wednesday morning, however, to move my appointment to the next night because the birth center was full. Although I was disappointed, it was no problem. What’s one day?
Well, as fate would have it, the next morning I woke up around 6 am with strong cramping in my lower stomach. I thought I needed to use the bathroom, but when that didn’t help stop the cramps, I figured out that I was having contractions. For about three hours, they were consistent, getting stronger, and becoming closer together, and then they stopped. I would have one every 20 minutes or less. They were very painful and at some point during the day, they began causing excruciating pain in my lower back. But, I wasn’t sure if I was really in labor at all because they were so sporadic. Everything you read and your doctor tells you about labor contractions is that they get stronger and closer together, and that wasn’t happening for me.
Our original plan was that Damian would drop me off at the hospital and return home to be with Drake once I settled in, but since we thought I might be in labor, we decided he would wait until they checked in on me.
Damian’s mom came over to watch Drake shortly before our appointment. We stopped at the Panera Bread drive thru, and I remember the contractions picking up as I gripped the door handle. I enjoyed my soup and sandwich despite them. Then we stopped at Damian’s work to drop off some (late) FMLA paperwork, and headed to the hospital.
We were a little early, so we waited in the car and snapped this picture. As we were about to go in, I crossed my fingers that I didn’t have a contraction as I walked in through the door because I wasn’t sure I could continue standing. The back pain was amping up! The belly part of the contraction was completely bearable, but the back pain was not.
We walked in and they brought us to a room. Thankfully, I didn’t have a contraction until I was in the safety of my room! I informed the person checking me in I thought I was having contractions, but they weren’t getting closer together. I changed into my gown, went to the bathroom, and collapsed into the bed. People were trying to talk to me, but my contractions were serious, and I wasn’t about the talking. I kept wondering how the expected me to answer, and why they kept pestering me.
Finally around 6pm the midwife came in, and I promptly announced I would like some pain medicine as soon as possible. She smiled and said it was a good sign because people don’t usually ask for pain meds unless they are in labor. I barely heard her. I just wanted her to go fetch the nurse for my IV.
She checked me, laughed again, and said, “You’re 7 centimeters dilated! You’re having a baby tonight!” Poor Damian was in the middle of a horrible cold.. He grabbed an energy drink and a sudafed and geared up for the big moment.
A nurse came in and gave me my IV with the pain medication, and I felt my whole body relax. The medicine doesn’t stop the pain all that well, but helped me relax, and in that moment, I needed to relax. About an hour after that, they broke my water, and I dilated the rest of the way soon after.
At 9pm, after 15 minutes or so of pushing, my precious little Devin was born. Only he wasn’t little! At 22 inches long and 11 pounds and 3 ounces, he was the biggest baby my doctor had ever delivered without a c-section! He was perfect! Unlike Drake, Devin screamed and cried! He wasn’t too happy about being out in the world, but we were happy to have him.
The Reading Nook is a series of posts that feature my kids’ favorite books! These are the books my kids love. They are not intended to be full reviews. Instead, they give my general impressions and my kids’ reactions so you can decide if your little one would like it too. This post likely contain affiliate links.
I’ve already told you how my kids love If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Pig a Pancake written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, so it isn’t a huge surprise that they love It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by the same author and illustrator.
It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse! is a short book about the lovable Mouse’s pumpkin painting fun. He paints pumpkin faces with different emotions and Dog (from If You Give a Dog a Donut) shows up too. As always, the illustrations are attractive, and the animals are full of toddler comedy.
We bought this book last Halloween when Drake still called pumpkins “hogums” and knew only a few words, but after reading this book a few times, he introduced some feeling words into his vocabulary, which we were very excited about! He adores this book, and we leave it out all year round because of that. It’s a great book to start your Halloween library.
Paint a Pumpkin!
Make a construction paper pumpkin with different faces
Put a Pumpkin Coloring page in a transparent sleeve to make a play doh mat
This is my third time packing a hospital bag, and each time, I’ve brought less and less to the hospital with me.
With Drake, my first time packing a hospital bag, I had four bags! It was overkill for sure! The lists you find online for what you should bring are long because there are a lot of thing you might want, but everyone is different. Those lists aren’t all that helpful!
With Devin, my second time packing a hospital bag, I had one large bag with everything I needed, and if I remember correctly, a spare technology bag with things like my computer. Damian didn’t plan to stay the whole time because he had to be home with Drake, so we only packed a couple of things for him.
This time around, as I prepare for the birth of Miss Maddie, I have been trying my best to keep everything as simple as possible. With two littles already running around in my life, Damian’s crazy work and school schedule, and a potential move on the way, simple is really appealing right now.
The fact is that you don’t need much. There is a lot you can bring to make yourself more comfortable, but there’s no escaping the fact that you’re at a hospital and you just pushed a watermelon out of your body. Not having a bunch of stuff is liberating, and before you know it, you’re home!
There are a few things that factor into my packing so lightly.
So what did I pack?
A newborn size outfit
A 0-3 months size outfit (my babies are big)
A snuggly blanket
A soft toy that I’m want to encourage her to take to
2 pajama pants
2 nursing bras
1 pair of socks
3 pairs of underwear
2 hair ties
Snacks -- Veggie Straws, Doritos, and Twix
Travel size toiletries -- Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash
A picture of my Grandma who passed away
Last Minute Grabs:
Interesting in taking a peek into the bag? Here’s the video!
I love sharing my birth stories for my children! As my due date for Maddie approaches, I find myself thinking more about the births of my sons. So I thought I would share their stories in the weeks leading up to my next baby's arrival.
With Drake, it started with an induction at 40+ weeks. His heart rate kept fluctuating, so we decided it was time to force him out of his comfortable nest. I was in the hospital two nights as they used different methods to get things moving. First they dried Cervidil, which did nothing for a whole night, and then they tried Cytotec. I didn’t like the idea of using Cytotec, but it did get me a handful of contractions that second night.
By 9am the next morning, I hadn’t made much progress. I was only 1 cm dilated when they broke my water and started me on Pitocin. My doctor said if this didn’t work, they’d have to do a c-section, and I lost my mind with anxiety. I cried, and I was scared. My doctor said I was being difficult, and I almost ripped his eyes out. Luckily, the nurses and residents who helped me through this tough moment were amazing. (That doctor is the reason I changed hospitals for Devin’s birth.)
My contractions were immediately painful. Only an hour into this stage of the induction, I started requesting pain medication. Anything. The nurses checked my contraction monitor, and they kept insisting that the contractions were not that strong, which made me feel like a big wimp.
Around noon, I got them to give me the good stuff! I didn’t get an epidural, but they slipped something nice in my IV, and I became relaxed. I almost fell asleep even though I could still feel the contractions.
It must have been about 2pm, when the nurse decided she should check my cervix as I was having serious pain. After a moment, she said she’d be right back, and scurried out of the room. This is never a good sign. I didn’t think much about it at the time because I was… well, preoccupied. She brought in the resident on shift, a young woman who I’d grown to trust in my stay at the hospital. She checked me and informed me that I was fullt dilated. It shocked everyone. I don’t think anyone expected it to happen that quickly.
I was so uncomfortable, and I kept getting up and sitting on the toilet because it was the most comfortable place to sit while feeling the need to push, and I was feeling the need! I wasn’t actively pushing as I didn’t want to have my baby in the toilet, but everyone was in a mad dash to prepare for my baby to come. They brought in an instrument table and called in the doctors.
It seemed like forever before they were ready for me, but, just in time, they made me get off the toilet and onto the bed. I pushed two times, and Drake quite literally shot out into the arms of the resident waiting there. They lay Drake on my chest and the doctor hurried in (late to the party!) to handle my stitches. He was born at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I’d been in labor a whole 6 hours.
Drake didn’t cry much. He looked around at the world with wide blue eyes full of wonder. He had a head full of dark hair, and that pink newborn skin. He was perfect.
I remember saying how tiny he seemed, and the meeting nothing but silence from the room. After quality snuggle time with me, they measured and weighed him and checked him out. Everything came back great, but I soon realized why no one agreed with my comment about his size. He weighed in at 9 pounds and 10 ounces, and we’d had no idea!
There’s nothing like that first night with your new baby. Your brain is telling you to sleep, but you can’t stop looking at him. You worry, you love, you hold him tight. It is a special time, and one of those memories that sees you through the hard times.
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Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids! We might not trick or treat, but we have a ton of fun on Halloween itself and in the week or two leading up to it. I try to make it fun and memorable because we are all about making memories!
To celebrate Halloween this year, we plan to enjoy some good books, crafts, and the great fall weather at a local farm where we will pick pumpkins. I always prepare for holidays with a flexible plan so that I’m not caught at the last minute wondering what activity we should do. Some of the activities I planned are more appropriate for the preschool age than the toddler age child, but I have found that my youngest is up for a challenge when his big brother is modeling how to do the activity for him!
Here’s Our Plan!
I always start with a handful of books…
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus
Room on the Broom
Happy Halloween Daniel Tiger!
Then with the help of Pinterest, I add in some crafts...
Tissue Paper Pumpkin
Construction Paper Pumpkins
Pumpkin Themed Sensory Bin with rice base
Invitation to create monsters
Pumpkin Painting and Carving
Pumpkin Potato Stamp
Cotton Ball Ghost
As I mentioned before, we will also be doing a farm visit! One of our local farms has a great Halloween and harvest themed event every weekend. It is always a blast.We might not do everything on this list, especially since Madeleine is due to arrive the first week of November, but we will do as much as we can!
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 700 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.