Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nolan's Birth Story

Dearest Nolan, 
Thank you for giving me the second happiest day of my life.
Love, Mom

Nolan's original due date was July 31st. I elected to be induced on Monday, July 25th due to debilitating pelvic pain. I had been suffering from severe pain since around 18 weeks and I couldn't get this bundle of joy out of me fast enough. When you can't walk, it's time to evict! I really wanted to go into labor on my own and have the hurried dash to the hospital and all the chaos that comes with it, but I just couldn't deal with crawling to the bathroom 20x a day one moment longer.

We were supposed to arrive at the hospital by 8 am, but as usual, we were on Cuban time and we were late. I had preregistered with the hospital, so we only spent a few moments checking in before we were showed to our room. The room was huge, with lots of luxuries that we hadn't experienced with our first born. We were assigned a labor nurse that would be with me the entire birth and I fell fast in love with her. It was about 9:30 am when my OB first arrived to break my water. He asked if I had a birth plan, but my only plan was to avoid a c-section and pooping on the table.  I had managed both of these with almost an hour of pushing with my first, so I didn't consider these lofty goals.

I had been having Braxton Hicks for weeks, and contractions started almost immediately after my OB broke my water. Victor was starving, so I sent him down to breakfast before it ended at 10 am. While he was gone, I was resting peacefully and enjoying the labor pains. I knew this birth would most likely be our last and I wanted to savor and enjoy every moment...even the contractions. Moments later, the room started beeping, the intercom was buzzing with calls for my nurse, and the door burst open to a hurried nurse asking me to roll over and breathe deeply. I knew instantly that something was wrong and burst into tears. The baby was in distress and my blood pressure had dropped. Victor arrived back at the room just as things calmed down and my tears were starting to dry. My nurse did a wonderful job explaining what happened and that everything was back to normal.

Around 10:30 am I was contracting pretty regularly with my pain level at a 3 and only dilated to a 3-4. My husband was pushing for an epidural every 10 minutes, but I wanted to wait, for fear that it would slow down labor. I plugged in my headphones and listened to a recorded book and settled in for the long haul. Around 11:30 my OB came to check on me. My pain level was about a 4-5, and dilation was close to 4, but not much had changed. Things were pretty peaceful at this point. My mom and husband were working, the news was on tv, and I was silently bearing the pain with my recorded book.

Around noon is when the pain level increased to a 6. My nurse declared me dilated at a 5 and Victor was begging me to get an epidural. Apparently the pain was just too much for him to bear. I said I could wait and my labor nursed was very encouraging that I do so. At 12:30 I asked my husband to play some music. At 12:32 the pain suddenly shot to an 8 and I demanded he stop the music. After a few minutes at an 8, I caved and asked for the epidural. My nurse called for it and said she would administer pain meds to take the edge off until my epidural arrived in roughly 30 minutes. Those pain meds were a joke! It was like putting a bandaid on an amputee and expecting the bleeding to stop. I was now curled up on the side of the bed whimpering like a kicked dog and cursing the genius who decided that one anesthesiologist for two local hospitals was sufficient coverage. All the while, my supportive husband is repeating I told so's while holding my hand and shaking his head. Fuck you dude!

I looked at the clock at 12:45 and saw the red epidural cart in my room. Praise the modern medicine gods! Relief was near! Then, as suddenly as the pain shot to an 8, it was at a HOLY SHIT I'M DYING level. This must be what death feels like. I was screaming in pain, begging Victor to just let me go, as clearly this birth would be the end. I was sure I was dying. I kept looking at Victor through my tears while adamantly proclaiming that I was in fact dying. This pain will kill me, I promised him.  I was holding on to those bed rails like it was the edge of the Grand Canyon and I just lost footing.

I remember my nurse checking my dilation and within minutes the room was swarming with scrubs and I heard my OB's voice. I looked up at Victor with sad resolution, and said, "I'm not getting that epidural, am I?" -"Nope, sure not. You waited too long. And I don't want to scare you, but the doc is putting on a plastic face guard..." WTF! LIE TO ME! THIS IS WHEN YOU LIE TO ME! I looked over at my nurse and very calmly said, "Laurie, I've decided I'm okay with a c-section. Let's go ahead and prep me for surgery." Her laughter was unwelcome.

At this point, I felt the most incredible pain of my life rip through me and all birth plans were forgotten. Fuck it, I decided. I'm just going to let this pain happen. I'm going to give in to the feeling of shitting myself for half the hospital staff to see. I remember the OB lifting up my gown and me unapologetically saying to all, "this is it. I'm pooping. And I'm peeing. I'm doing it. I can't stop it and you're all going to see it!" Screams of THAT'S THE BABY provided me with the only relief I had felt in what seemed like hours. My OB threw my legs up and guided me through my one and only push. Nolan was born at 1:15 pm. The room became quiet and it seemed like the perfect time to clarify, "Soooo...I didn't poop?"

At this point the nurse was asking for a middle name. Hell, we had just decided on the first and I panicked. I wanted Nash, but Victor had taken a liking to bestowing him his namesake. I had never taken my husband for the 'junior' type and didn't really care for it. Quite frankly, I never liked that his name was Victor so I had called him Vicki for the first six years we spent as friends. However, fighting that fight seemed trivial when my pelvis had just separated from birth. Demanding morphine seemed like a better use of my time. The next 10 to 12 hours were very painful. My pelvis throbbed with pain from the separation and I spent most of the first night clicking that morphine drip. Luckily, Nolan was a peaceful newborn and slept the entire time we were in the hospital.

This birth was so different from Isla's. We had a wonderful hospital experience with 24 hour room service, extremely helpful nursing staff, and a giant bathtub for bubble baths. Introducing Isla to her little brother for the first time was magical. She had waited 9 long months to meet this baby and I couldn't wait to see her face light up at the sight of him.

Nolan Victor Fernandez
6 lb 8 oz 18.5" long
1:15 PM
July 25, 2016

Thursday, September 17, 2015

For the love of blankets...and saving dollars

Our linen closet could be a mini showroom for aden + anais. I have been purchasing their cotton muslin everything since before Isla was born. We even have two of the adult sized blankets that I snuggle with every night. Isla is now sleeping in a queen sized bed, but she still wants "Isla's blanket." We have a ton of swaddles, but those are becoming too small to keep up with her ninja night moves. They also don't provide a ton of warmth in our 68 degree house at night. This means I have been stocking up on the dream blankets as they are much thicker and extremely soft + cozy. At $49.50 a pop, this is getting to be quite an investment. 

I recently started following Little Unicorn on Instagram and absolutely love the prints on their version of the dream blanket. Best yet? They are available at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $39.99 after 20% online coupon. I just received Poppy on my doorstep and am in love. I also used Ebates to receive cash back. If you're an online shopper and not using Ebates, then you're missing out on hundreds of dollars a year. You live in crazy town if you don't take two minutes to sign up and use it for every online purchase.  

I will never stop loving aden + anais, but I have found a new love that is $10 cheaper with the same quality and packaging so luxe you'd think the blanket cost twice as much. We often gift aden + anais products as baby gifts, but these are going to replace them. I'm picturing a complete woodland friends gift basket for either a boy or girl with this quilt as the hero. I would include a few themed extras like these: wooden fox teether + jellycat bunny + this book and this book

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

I often struggle when gift shopping for my Baby Daddy. He has hobbies, but none that really lend themselves to creative gift giving. This year, I went searching and was delightfully surprised that I was able to put together the above options.

We live in Florida and it is already hot hot hot! We saw these Always Cool Towels at Costco recently and laughed over the absurdity of owning one....then we were at Disney the following weekend. Enough said.

I have recently fallen in love with Tegu brand magnetic blocks. I ordered a couple kits for my nephew so when I saw this new desk accessory I knew it would be a perfect addition to Victor's office.

Why have I never thought to buy the man some headphones?! He typically uses mine or the cheap and uncomfortable set that comes with the iPhone. He would never buy these for himself, but I know he'll be happy to have them.

The book appeared in my recommended items email from Amazon. I saw it, dropped my jaw, and scooped it up. I have serious concerns about Victor and his promise to give Isla everything she wants, needs, and perhaps doesn't deserve. Don't get me wrong, I never want my child to go without or feel the crushing weight of credit card debt that I felt after college. BUT, I also want her to learn the importance of hard work and learn to appreciate everything she is given or has earned. I don't want to just hand her a car, a degree, an iPhone 200... I want her to understand the value of these things and know what it takes to be able to afford them and care for them. I'm hoping this book will help us with these future decisions.

The Birchbox Man subscription is the perfect gift for someone like my brother. I think his Sephora Beauty Insider status rivals that of mine and my SIL's combined. I have tried for years to push my love of fancy products on Victor, but he still leaves the Art of Shaving tube under the sink and reaches for his crusty Gillette pump. I have come to accept this and appreciate the surplus funds going towards my French skincare addiction.

Have you had a Moscow Mule? No? You're welcome!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review // Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup

I am shakin' my tail feather over here! I have finally found a spill proof, easily cleaned, modern designed training cup that Miss Isla will actually drink out of - milk too!

When it comes to parenting, everyone has an opinion, even those without children of their own. As parents, we are already judging every decision we make and if you're like me, your main goal is to keep these tiny humans alive at all costs. Tips + tricks are always welcome, but I will roll my eyes and "whatever" you under my breath every time you say "I ought to // I should do // she's too old for a paci // Ice cream before dinner?" Well, this will blow your almost 2 1/2 year old still drinks from a bottle. I know. Your mind has been blown. You want to shake me and warn me of oral problems and future ortho estimates in an amortized (and laminated) schedule. My response? It's not a battle I'm willing to fight. She drinks out of a straw at restaurants, bottled water at the pool, regular cups at school, but insists on having her milk and water at home in a bottle.

Believe me, we have tried every cup out there. I have sat on the floor and cried along with her after she threw every single cup on the floor. I have gone through a gallon of milk in 30 minutes trying one cup after the other; all ended up cracked and spilling on the floor around us. Isla is one tenacious little shit when she wants something.

However, I always hit up the feeding aisle when shopping to see if there's any new miracle cup that will get this punk off the bottle. Enter the Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup. Miracle. Ha! No pun intended.

They make one with handles for younger tots too!

I offered this to her and not only did she drink the entire cup of milk that first time, but she has since requested it!! I am in sippy cup love!! I think she likes it for two reasons 1. You have to kinda suck or sip to get the liquid to flow. 2. She calls it her mommy cup because it resembles the Tervis Tumblers I always use. This cup is also completely spill and leak proof. There is a seal that only opens when you put your mouth to it and sip. I highly recommend this cup for every picky tot out there! They are kinda pricey - one for $7, but worth it. I will never buy another transition cup again.

Anyone need a box of 20+ random sippy cups?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You never know, until you know

My husband and I recently went away on a much anticipated trip of Munich and Prague. It was truly the best trip we have shared together in the past five years. I plan to post the deets of that trip very soon (I'm still editing photos).

I looked at my iperiod app (yes, there's an app for that) and saw that my monthly cycle was set to start the day we arrived in Europe - oh for eff's sake, really?! That's what I get for not checking dates prior to booking the flights... I stocked up on the necessary arsenal and off we went.

On the last day of our trip, we found ourselves outside of a pharmacy with an extra 2 Euro to burn, so I plucked it down for an I-know-I'm-not-but-we-got-this-extra-2-euro pregnancy test, took my change (yes, it was that cheap!), and headed to the hotel to grab our luggage.

My husband was off downing some free booze before our car arrived and I made haste to the nearest public bathroom - fun fact: I find myself armed with pregnancy tests in more public bathrooms than I do in my own at home.

The test said negative. Anyone who has ever peed on a stick will tell you that even when hoping for a negative result, the sight of one still stings and makes you wonder if you wasted all your good eggs on college and birth control.

The test was a twofer, so when I hadn't started a few days later (now 9 days late) I took the second test. Negative. Well shit! I guess I should call the doctor because I obviously have cancer!

Later that night: "why is there a pregnancy test in the bathroom? Are you still late?" asked my husband
"Ew, sorry, I'll just go throw that away."

Ummm, my previously negative result was now positive. Now, had this not happened one other time I would have thrown it away per package instructions, but I knew. I just knew it was right.

Pregnancy confirmed. Bank account less $14 - the Europeans know what's up with $1.50 price point! $14?! 

We were scared shitless! I had started to rethink my want of a second child due to the horrific attitude of my first - a girl can only get smacked in the face and screamed at so many times before she starts to empathize with China's one kid policy.

First thing out of Victor's mouth? "Is it mine?"
What the eff effity eff?! Did he just ask me that?!?! I swear he loves me... I swear we're happy... I just laughed and told him to get his wishful thinking in check.

Fast forward a week - I started what I knew in my heart of hearts was a miscarriage. I knew because I'd been down that road before and it ain't pretty. All of a sudden I knew. I knew we wanted this baby and we were meant to turn our threesome into a foursome. Unfortunately, it just wouldn't be with this baby at this time.

I had just went through one of the worst weeks in my professional career and came out of that stressful week with a face of acne and a miscarriage. A month went by and I no longer work for Chloe + Isabel. On my last day there, my husband left work early to be with me and console me. We spent the day talking, laughing, and eating candy in bed. As we were on our way to pick up Isla from school, he looked over at me and said, "this may be the first day of the rest of our lives." 
Wink wink ;)

As much as the loss hurt, I was so incredibly happy + grateful that I already had one back-talking, shin-kicking, hair-pulling monster of my own. I love you, Islaboo, and I am so happy I'm your mother and you're my daughter. You were the light of those dark days and I am forever grateful that I had you to snuggle and smooch on as I came to terms with the loss of another Fernandez baby. 

My heart goes out to all of you who have lost a child or never had the chance to. 


Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine's Day Shopping @ J Crew

Oh man, my J Crew shopping cart runneth over... Here are my top picks for Islaboo and moi for Valentine's Day.

Victor has said multiple times that he wants to get me a locket. I've never really had a want for one until I saw this beauty. Now I agree - I want him to want to get me a locket :) And that baseball tee? Isla needs it. She neeeeeeeeeds it! Being the DIY enthusiast that I am, I'm hoping Isla will be one as well. I can't wait to build a snow globe with her with this DIY Kit. She is going to love it!

The diaper cover is from PB Baby and it is sheer perfection! I love baby butts and I would love a baby butt with a big 'ol heart on it! I eat it - nom nom nom :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Questionable Parenting


Isla has become an absolute mess during her tantrums. There are times when I have to walk into the garage and let out a primal scream just to keep from effing losing it. You don't do that? Oh. Well, gold star for you.

Isla has an insanely wild and curly mullet. I use a spray bottle with water to mist her curls in the morning so she doesn't go to school looking like a hot mess. A couple nights ago she lost her shit because I wouldn't let her wipe her nose with the same tissue she just used to wipe her ass! I'm pretty carefree on most helicopter momisms, but HERE is where I draw the line! We've had too many cases of pink eye in the last two years to go willingly wiping our faces with feces! She was screaming, thrashing, hitting me, throwing everything she could reach...and then. I. Snapped. I silently snatched up that water bottle and sprayed that little monster right in her grill - yup, I did it. I sprayed my sweet baby in the face with a light mist of water. I think we were both shocked. She stopped crying and just looked at me - and then she laughed.

Fast forward to this morning. Victor was trying to wrestle her into her socks and she wasn't having it. Enter complete meltdown. I grabbed the spray bottle and pumped a nice dose of shut the eff up at her and...she laughed. Victor looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Maybe I have, or maybe I've found that water training my toddler will instantly stop manic meltdowns - time will tell...however, after screaming "I potty" for 30 minutes tonight during dinner, my husband looked at me and said. "Where's the water bottle?" Welcome to the dark side my love.