I Wish…

I could be having more fun right now. Geo and I are on vacation in California by ourselves for a WHOLE week. Yep, no Lucy. My wonderful MIL offered to watch Lucy so Geo and I could enjoy a week of travel without the hassles and inconveniences of toting a toddler around (something we did A LOT of while living in Europe last year). We both have been looking forward to this trip so much but now that we’re here there’s something that isn’t clicking fore me. I can’t seem to quite transition into vaca mode.

Without the distractions of life, (work, Lucy, family, etc) I keep thinking about our little one who isn’t with us anymore. At the risk of sounding callous, I wish I could just turn it off. The sadness of it is always right there. Right at the surface and the barrier, or thing that keeps me from crying all the time is the business of life and now that barrier isn’t there. Don’t get me wrong, we have seen so much the last couple days and have had a wonderful time with our hosts but the sight of a pregnant woman, a baby, yesterday being Sunday (the day we measured this last pregnancy with – I would have been 18 weeks), or when I’m not thinking of anything, I always seem to go back to the loss. It’s just always there and I’d really like to turn it off for the next 5 days.

So if you’ve had a similar loss, I’d really love to hear any tips you may have for a struggling mama like me.

Grateful: For having the opportunity to be here with Geo. I know so many couples in our shoes would love the ability to go away without the kiddo(s) for a week so I really do appreciate how thoughtful and giving our family members are.

Advertisements

Not Sure…

where to start. For the past three weeks I’ve thought about writing this post yet every time I sit down to write I’m at a loss for what to say.

There’s no delicate way to share that after finding out your unborn baby has a terminal birth defect you and your husband decide, at 13 weeks, to end the pregnancy.

We found out the news about our baby on a Monday and I had the procedure that following Thursday. The time from that first ultrasound to the procedure life just stopped for us. There was nothing else that mattered. The pain was almost unbearable. I don’t know how we would have gotten through it without Lucy. She was what carried us through that week. She was our only source of happiness and hope.

Since the procedure life has gone on. Between running my business, working with my mom to launch a new one and caring for a 1 year old, the hours never seem like enough and I am scurrying throughout the day trying to fit it all in. It’s the nights, when I get into bed and see our baby’s beautiful footprints on my nightstand that I’m reminded I just recently had a baby inside me, one that should still be there but isn’t. It all feels very unfair. For Geo and I, for Lucy, for my loved ones and most of all, for this baby that was so little but already so loved.

I’ve struggled with whether I wanted to share this online or not. I’ve truly gone back and fourth, but what kept bringing me back to this space is my desire to honor this baby. I want people to know I think of myself as a mother of two babies; the one who after a very busy day of practicing walking is peacefully sleeping in her crib, and the baby who I know will always look over that sleeping baby and who someday I’ll get to meet. This baby meant so much to George and I. This baby deserves to be acknowledged and that’s why I’m overlooking my fear of being judged or ridiculed for sharing such personal information because if I don’t, it’s as if it didn’t happen, and it did.

These are just the most perfect little feet I’ve ever seen.

5CCD2EF4-D2AE-4BEF-AA9B-C1EDD155A65E

Lucy’s Birth Story (Part 2)…

Considering Lucy turned 1 on Saturday I think it’s time I get around to finishing up her birth story πŸ™‚

We left off here.

I remember thinking on the Tuesday prior to Thursday that the slight cramping I was feeling wasn’t all that bad and hey, if this is it then I could totally handle it. Ha. ha. ha. silly me. Thursday was full of pain, laughter, frustration, excitement, and more pain. Labor is no joke. To be honest I don’t remember a lot of what I was thinking during the whole thing, I just remember the intensity of it all. The intensity of each contraction, the intensity of my focus and determination, the intensity of my love for Geo (I felt so comforted to have him by my side), the intensity of my excitement to meet this little person — it all was just very intense. As the day drew on I then started to feel an intense desire to quit, like every woman in labor πŸ™‚

Our midwife, Nicole, was fantastic through it all. It was such a long day, and as the hours went by I got more and more tired (at this point I was going on 48 hrs of no sleep), but Nicole helped keep us going and smiled through it all. I remember cracking jokes in between contractions and being open to anything that might help Lucy descend, which was becoming more and more of a problem as the day progressed.

Here are a couple of beauty shots.. #notmygreatestlook!

After a full day of hard labor 12:30 am on Friday morning rolled around and Nicole and her assistant came up to talk with Geo and I. Nicole was confident we could keep going, and we’d deliver a healthy baby but was also cautious of my exhaustion and honest about the fact that she wasn’t 100% certain why Lucy wasn’t descending more. It was likely she just needed more time but Nicole didn’t pretend to know more than she did and honestly, this is exactly what you want in a midwife – no heroes, just honesty. This slight question mark was enough for me to think it was time to transfer to the hospital. I was so tired and I thought by going to the hospital they could give me something for the pain and I could squeeze in a nap (ha, that was funny of me), but more than that I knew from the get-go if I ever questioned the safety of my baby while birthing at home I would transfer to the hospital. I didn’t think it would ever happen, but sure enough it did.

SO, off we went! Geo and me in one car, my mom (who was called to our house after we made the decision – she’d been staying at the local inn waiting for updates) and Nicole in her own car. We finally got there (I had contractions the whole way), and all I could think about was how lovely it’d be to get into bed and drift off to sleep. Well that didn’t happen because within 20 minutes of being there I was checked by their on-site midwife and sure enough Lucy was crowning… all she needed was that bumpy ride to the hospital!

30 minutes after that our baby was FINALLY here πŸ™‚

And by 5 am she started meeting some of her biggest fans!

Our birth plan clearly didn’t go the way we’d hoped it would but we had a healthy baby girl and that’s all that matters. My prenatal care with Nicole at South Shore MidwiferyΒ was amazing, I honestly cannot say enough wonderful things about the care and support that Nicole provides. And everyone who cared for Lucy and I at the hospital was wonderful as well – we always felt like we were in good hands.

One thing I wish I could go back in time and change is… packing a hospital bag! haha Why oh why did I not do that?! I was so confident everything would go smoothly with the home birth that it didn’t dawn on me to be prepared, just in case. Because we were discharged the very next day (we requested this), no one had time to put together a bag for us, so I went home in Geo’s pajama pants and an oversized men’s button down shirt that my mom bought for me that day (pants and shirt were two VERY different patterns) and Lucy went home in a 0-3 month old onesie that her aunt kiki had bought for her as a gift THAT DAY. I had delicately washed all her new clothes so that nothing would irritate her newborn skin and then her very first full day of life she is put in a brand new, unwashed onesie. And I honestly didn’t really think twice about it… I blame the exhaustion πŸ˜€

IMG_1529

 

Lucy’s Birth Story (Part 1)…

is finally here!

I have been meaning and wanting to write this post for quite a while but finding the time I know it deserves is a bit tricky these days! So it’s 8:30 on a Sunday night, Geo is downstairs strummin’ away on his guitar, Lucy is sleeping and I’m in bed with some HGTV playing in the background – I’m feeling like this is as good a time as ever to write this down.

Lucy’s due date was March 3rd, 2016 and I just knew she wouldn’t make her appearance until after that (mama’s intuition kicked in a littler early, I guess). I had wrapped up most work items by then but had a few things left on my to-do list including renewing my license which I did one day before I went into labor (jeesh do I regret doing that — my face in my license pic is swollen like woah!). And the nursery was ready and welcoming πŸ™‚

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 9.38.29 PM.png

On Wednesday March 9th I woke up around 4 am with some cramping and thought “I know it’s going to get worse than this BUT what if it doesn’t?! I could totally handle this.” ha ha ha. I crept downstairs and knowing it was the beginning, decided to embrace the peace and quiet and watched the chick flick, Serendipity. Geo woke up a few hours later and we called my midwife to let her know we thought this was it. She told us to start timing the contractions and that’s when we realized we were probably still a ways away from delivering little lucy :p

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-9-39-43-pm

We spent the day relaxing (as much as I could anyways) and tried to keep ourselves busy. We went to the driving range where geo hit a bucket of balls, we visited Geo’s mom and took in the beautiful and unseasonably warm winter day. We called my mom and she made her way to the Scituate Harbor Inn, a small hotel just a few streets down from our home. By the time we got home my mom was there, making us dinner πŸ™‚ I remember wanting to eat but really having no appetite (something I wasn’t expecting would happen). I then showered, got comfy and sat on the floor so my mom could braid my hair, which is something she hadn’t done in a very long time – it was perfect. Geo got us some ice cream and I decided it was time to get into bed and get some sleep.

Well, this is a story about labor so it shouldn’t be surprising when I say that I did not get any sleep. EEKs. Labor started to really progress that Wednesday night and by 4 am on Thursday morning I was in active labor. Our amazing midwife from South Shore Midwifery, Nicole, came and checked me and I was about 3 cm dilated. I remember thinking I should have been much farther along and was feeling a little disappointed. Nicole headed home to pack up her stuff and George and I just started to ride it out and realized things would get much more intense before we got to hold our babe πŸ™‚

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-9-41-49-pm

Grateful for: A snowy weekend in Scituate! We had lots of plans that we unfortunately had to cancel but it was kind of nice to stay in, do some cooking, catch up on house stuff AND work on my blog πŸ™‚

Getting Excited…

to head back to the states πŸ™‚ Our flights are booked and we’re getting ready to start packing things up! I know I will miss London (a lot) and we’ll probably go through a withdrawal period but I just can’t wait to be home for the holidays, to be near friends and family and to be back in our home (which I’m planning on repainting over the winter months πŸ˜€ he he he). I also really can’t wait for Lucy to be back in her nursery, a room that I worked on so hard during my pregnancy and we’ve barely gotten to enjoy. London is a wonderful city but Scituate is our home and we’re ready to get back.

I think our excitement to travel back home also has a lot to do with the fact that we just bid farewell to our last visitors – Cullen (my brother) and Julie (his wife). We had such a nice time with them and managed to cram in A LOT (thank you Lucy for being such a good baby through it all!). From the V&A, to Greenwich, to Chartwell, to the play, “The Woman in Black” – we did not waste a minute. We also made it over to the Natural History Museum which is really amazing. Before you even get inside you’re in awe because of the building itself…

nhm

However, something I was not in awe of and was actually a bit pissed with was their main floor handicapped/family bathroom. Not trying to be too nitpicky here but I’m starting to get so frustrated with the lack of parent-friendly bathrooms there are.

Lucy really needed a diaper change so I headed off in search of a bathroom for us. After finally finding it (I found the directions to be a little confusing :/) I realized it was a handicapped bathroom inside of a changing station. We go to open the door and that’s when my first frustration with it kicks in. It’s this big heavy oakwood door that’s beautiful but when you’re trying to get a stroller through that’s loaded with a diaper bag, coats, oh and a baby – it’s not ideal. I was annoyed for myself but even more concerned with how a handicapped person would manage.

I walked directly into the changing room area that was very basic – had countertops with a couple changing stations. Could use a bit of brightening or a touch of warmth I’d say but I don’t want to be too fussy here. What I had a real problem with was the bathroom. While changing Lucy I realized I needed to pee. So I opened the door tho the handicapped facility and was instantly shocked. I’m honestly not being dramatic when I say it looked like something you’d see in a prison (I assume since I’ve never been to one lol). It was dirty, smelly, old and literally had two flies buzzing around the toilet bowl. It was so gross that I took a photo of it, although the picture really doesn’t do it justice.

bathroom

I think this bothered me so much (enough to blog about it!), is because this is a VERY family oriented museum. They should have their baby changing areas and handicapped bathrooms ready to go and it felt extremely half assed. And not to sound self involved but parent’s deserve better, and those with special needs definitely deserve better. Maybe the museum was just having an off day and maybe I was just tired from lugging a baby around the city but opening that bathroom door (barely managing to open it I should say) felt like a mini slap in the face. I remember thinking “great. this will be fun. gross.ugh.” And one final point I’ll make about this is that this isn’t an isolated experience. Yesterday I had to change Lucy on the ground in a restaurant bathroom. It’s just annoying! haha Public places, please get your shit together. In order to stay in business you need people and that only happens when people have babies!

Okay, rant over.

In other news I’m heading to the BabyccinoΒ Shop Up Event in London today and can’t wait! Something tells me their bathroom situation will be spot on πŸ™‚

Grateful: For moments like this… a sleeping baby during a cab ride. Quietness, holiday lights, nothing to do but sit back and relax, it doesn’t get much better πŸ™‚

cab

I Have A Love/Hate Relationship…

with Lucy finding comfort in only my arms, and not her dads. Yes, she loves George but when she’s having a meltdown or isn’t feeling well the only person she wants is me. There are many times when I find pure joy in this (she’s mine, all mine! haha) but when I’ve had to go into her bedroom 3 times in a span of 30 minutes to try to get her to fall asleep, while George gets to just chill on the couch, yea that’s when I start to not love those moments so much. In the same breath, I know this is only a phase and they’ll be lots of times when I wish she would come to me and want me to hold her so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can :p

One thing I do really like is oftentime, when I put her down, she’ll fall asleep and then a few minutes later start to cry. So I’ll go in, pick her up and rock her a little bit – she immediately falls back to sleep. She just wants to fall asleep in my arms opposed to in her crib. There’s something so sweet about it. Sometimes I linger a bit longer than I need to because who doesn’t love a sleeping baby in their arms πŸ™‚

After a couple days housebound because of Lucy’s cold/ear infection, we decided to venture back out into the world and check out Portobello Road. We weren’t disappointed – so cool. I loved walking around and taking in all the commotion; Geo didn’t exactly feel the same way but he lit up when he realized there was a Banksy hidden among the craziness. I lit up when I got my cup of Parmesan and Garlic fries… πŸ˜€ haha Here are some snaps of our adventure!

Our home underground stop πŸ™‚

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 9.46.54 PM.png

Banksy! You can’t tell but its protected by plexi glass.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-9-48-55-pm

The London escalators are never.ending. And so steep!

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-9-50-38-pmΒ Β Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 9.47.45 PM.pngΒ Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 9.47.57 PM.png

I spy a couple of cutie pies!

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 9.48.08 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 9.48.22 PM.png

Grateful: For taking time to go to yoga this morning. The class is intense but it felt so good for my body and mind. Note to self: do that more often.

Another Missed Flight…

this time to Vienna. After our failed attempt to get to Norway last weekend we were very excited (and VERY prepared) for our trip to Vienna. Bags were packed with plenty of time to spare, passports were OUT of the safe the night before (the reason for our Norway fail) and we headed to the airport 3+ hours ahead of our flight. However, it was on the train to Stansted Airport that Lucy started uncontrollably coughing/crying. It was bad. We were those parents that everyone was staring at wondering “who gave these two a kid?” “did they really think taking a sick baby on a train was a good idea?” “that poor baby, they should just hand her over to me” – even thinking back on it makes me cringe. Little did they know Lucy had been cleared by the doctor to travel and had been a little fussy but mostly fine until we stepped on the train. It didn’t help that I, in an attempt to calm her, tried to give her a baby cookie which she then proceeded to choke on. Another mom win…

Anyways, between lots of “omg wtf is going on” glares between Geo and I during the train ride by the time we got to the airport we knew Vienna wasn’t happening. We got to the airport, gave Lucy a bottle and some medicine and turned right back around. Silver lining of that was we didn’t end up paying for our train ride back. I guess we were both looking for a #win and got a little sneaky about it (Geo did, I just nervously followed his lead).

We got home, ordered turkey from Strut and Cluck because it was Thanksgiving, after all. A holiday our family members were blissfully celebrating while we struggled to not simultaneously have mental breakdowns (we made sure to take turns – for the safety of Lucy of course :p).

Two things I learned during this shit show of a day:

  1. When you had a kid, travel insurance is necessary. No. Brainer. Gah.
  2. A cabbage can be eaten whole and raw. I saw it with my own two eyes while feeding Lucy at the airport. It made me smile with awe and slight disgust, which is exactly what I needed in that moment.

Grateful: That even though we aren’t in Vienna right now we made the right decision to stay home because it turns out Lucy has an ear infection 😦 And we now have a weekend at home with NOTHING to do. Which is not something we’ve had in a long time.