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

Advertisements

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

 

Finally Getting Around…

to posting about our trip to Norway, my favorite of all our European getaways this past fall. It was our last trip before we headed home to the states and it was the perfect way to end our European adventure. After a few not-so-smooth getaways, we were thrilled to finally experience an almost hiccup-free weekend!

We flew out of London (I think it was Gatwick airport?) on Friday morning and arrived early afternoon; giving us plenty of time to find our Airbnb and explore the wonderful coastal city of Bergen. Whenever anyone asks how our trip to Norway was I start out by saying, “as soon as we started to descend and saw the scattering of quaint islands, we both knew we were going to love Norway” and it’s true – we really did!

It was foggy and drizzly as we cabbed it to our apartment for the weekend, but it didn’t hide the beauty of the landscape. Our cab driver went on and on about how this time of year was REALLY not a good time to travel to the country because of the weather, to the point where Geo and I were exchanging looks, saying to ourselves “dude, we get it but we’re here and there’s no going back… its our SECOND time buying flights to Bergen!” (yes, the first time we tried to go we missed our flight – #travelfail). Even with him being somewhat negative we were looking out our windows already so excited with what we were seeing.

Our Airbnb was perfectly cozy and centrally located. Once we got settled we bundled Lucy up and headed out to explore.

After an afternoon out and about we went back to the apartment and tried to get to bed early to prepare for Saturday’s Norway in A Nutshell adventure! (Note: that night was not so great, Lucy was fussy and sick meaning Geo and I maybe got a whole of 4 hours of sleep? It wasn’t pretty.).

Our tour started at 8 am so we were up and out of the apartment by 7:15 am to give us plenty of time to get to the train, the first leg of the trip. We were tired but also in awe of what we were seeing. The fog was heavy in some areas but parting in others and everywhere we looked, from the land to the water was just beautiful. The scenery is very drastic, going from serene and flat to mountainous and rocky, quickly and seamlessly. Geo and I kept looking from left and right on the train – we didn’t know which side to sit on because there was so much to see on both! Once we were off the train we hopped on a bus, which took us to the boat that cruised through theΒ Aurlandsfjord fjord πŸ™‚

I’ll say this, throughout the entire day we kept pinching ourselves saying “is this real?!” because it just felt that majestic, and I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a bit of traveling, BUT by the time we were half way through the cruise I was getting pretty tired… I may have closed my eyes for a few minutes! The reality of traveling with a baby is it’s freaking exhausting and both Geo and I were feeling the affects.

Once off the boat, and yes, the fjord was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, the one word that comes to mind is peaceful. The experience was quiet, serene and very calming – which may have had something to do with my sleepiness!

We got off the boat in Flam which is where we then got onto the Flam railroad, another wonderfully scenic route that started our journey back to Bergen. And yep, once in Flam we all of a sudden felt like we were in the Arctic! Snow covered peaks everywhere we looked.

We got back to Bergen a little after 6 pm that night… Β nearly 12 hours out and about with a 8 month old – I’d be lying if I said we weren’t thrilled to get home and put her to bed. But we also looked back on the day and thought “wow, that was amazing.” We both realized that day tours like that are tiring but they are the best way travel when you’re visiting someplace for a short amount of time. Too often we spent our weekend trips walking from place to place wondering what we should do next. Never. again. lol

The next morning, we strolled through the very quiet city (hardly anything was open at 8 am and the streets were empty. haha clearly not a lot of young families living in Bergen!). We found a statue of Haakon IV, a Norwegian King who my great-grandfather was named after. So, obviously we had to snag a photo of me with it πŸ™‚

ewt_0605

There is something about this country that everyone should experience, its hard to explain but its there and I promise, you won’t regret it. Geo and I plan on going back someday and can’t wait to explore it more πŸ™‚

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™‚

Why Is It That…

everything can be thrown to complete shit but as long as I’ve done a load of laundry I feel like I’ve had a successful day?

There is literally no better feeling than putting a load of laundry into the washer… pure happiness.

And yes, this is truly what my hair has looked like all afternoon. Thank god for my non-judging neighbor and for a daughter who’s not old enough to roll her eyes at me (yet!).

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-10-02-14-pm

One other thing I need to make note of is… George is watching The Bachelor with me! Yep. It’s happening and it totally made my day (that and getting some laundry done :p). Today was a busy, tiring and stressful day for me but it was really nice to end it watching stupid tv with Geo and being silly – I’m thinking we need more of these nights!

Grateful for: A quiet and sweet moment with Lucy this morning. Early day snuggles are the best!

Oh So Funny…

kind of.

Lucy toots.

Geo and I both laugh.

Geo – “when do you think Lucy will realize its funny when she farts?”

Me – “haha, I don’t know…”

Geo – “hmm its really important to me to know when she’ll think thats as funny as I do (insert: boy chuckles)”

And then I write about it because what is it with boys and toots?!

a100b-geo
Such a baby here! Must be about 6 years ago… yikes!

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