Caroline turns 2!

Two months ago, our little family moved into our new rent house. (And we LOVE it! Thanks so much, Stewarts!) And for some reason, i had the crazy idea that we could completely move our entire lives out of our apartment into our new rent house, all while caring for a toddler and a baby, and still manage to host Caroline's birthday party the VERY NEXT WEEKEND.

i don't recommend that.

Needless to say, J and i didn't sleep much at all that week. But thanks to a helpful husband who completely cleaned our old apartment all by himself, we were able to do it!

We had family and good friends over to our new place, grilled out hot dogs in the backyard, and celebrated the cutest little girl turning 2 years old.

Opening her presents. She was way more into this for this birthday.

Thanking Cousin A for her present. :)

At the end of presents when everyone clapped, Caroline clapped too.

Cousin Carter came to help celebrate too!

Aunt Dana and Cousin Charlie..................................getting ready to sing "Happy Birthday!"

She requested chocolate cake.
She's her mother's daughter for sure.

Cousin Dean enjoying his cupcake.

A few days later, on her actual birthday, we had Caroline and Mommy's Day of Fun! (Friend's reference alert!) i tried to think of all the things Caroline loves, and crammed them all into one day. At the end of the day, i was exhausted. But i know she had the best day.

Better at blowing out her birthday candle after some practice.

Swinging at the park is one of her favorite things in the world.
i seriously think she would spend her entire time on the swings at the park.

Trying out the splash pad for the first time.
She loved it.

After drying off, we went to the dollar store to get her a birthday balloon.
Balloons are another favorite thing.

She picked out the purple star balloon.

And of course, she had to have another cupcake.
In fact, she will sometimes sing the happy birthday song when sitting in her high chair in order to get another cupcake. i think she thinks one will magically appear whenever she sings that song.

i can't believe i have a 2 year old now. It's crazy how fast time moves when you have littles.


Maggie's Birth Story - part 2

Check out the first part of Maggie's birth story here.

Let's see, where was i? Oh yes, J and i had our bags packed and were heading towards the hospital.

i found myself once again having to ride in a car and walk into a hospital, all the while having my water broken. If you've never experienced that sensation, imagine walking around in public peeing your pants every few minutes. It's real awkward. i read somewhere, probably in What To Expect When You're Expecting, that very few women have their water break before being in the hospital. i guess i beat the odds, twice.

We get to the check in room in Labor and Delivery, a smaller version of a delivery room where the nurse checks to make sure you are actually in labor. My nurse, Dawn, checks me over and realizes pretty quickly that my water has obviously broken. She hooks me up to a machine that will monitor my contractions, and begins to ask me all sorts of questions. The timeline of what's happened so far? Do i plan to breastfeed? Am i going to be a stay-at-home mom or work? Will the baby be exposed to cigarette smoke in the home? All the while i'm laying on a bed, continuing to feel like i'm wetting my pants. Then she asks the most important question, the question that i have been dreading because i know my answer is going to determine what happens in the next few hours.

Am i experiencing any contractions?

Now, having given birth before, i knew what contractions felt like. And honestly, i wasn't having anything like that. But i really didn't want to be hooked up to Pitocin again. So when she asked i said, "Maybe."

See, every now and then, i felt a little cramping in my stomach and i thought maybe that was the beginning of contractions. So i told Dawn that i was having some cramping that seemed like maybe contractions. Just then, i felt some cramping and told her so. Sweet Dawn checked the monitor and said, "Nope. Not a contraction." The machine wasn't registering a thing.


So i was ushered down the hall, trying to walk without getting the floor all wet, with Dawn leading the way to my room and J following behind, carrying all of our stuff. i got the IV, and since Dawn thought my body would kick into gear soon, she put me on one of the lowest doses of Pitocin possible.

Then she left and we all waited for contractions to start...

Special note to readers:
i know some of you may be thinking (or even tempted to comment), "Melaina, you should have just waited! You didn't need to go to the hospital right away. Your body would have started having contractions on its own, i'm sure. You have 24 hours after your water breaks before they should start giving you Pitocin. Etc, etc, etc."

And in a normal case, i would agree with you.

But just like when i was pregnant with Caroline, i tested positive for Group B strep in my birth canal this pregnancy too. This meant that there was bacteria for sure in the birth canal, and the ruptured membrane of my water breaking now meant that little Maggie was exposed to this bacteria. So you don't want to mess around with that.

Also, because i had Group B strep, i had to have at least 4 hours for antibiotics to be given to me through an IV before i had Maggie to ensure that i didn't pass on the bacteria to Maggie during her birth. Since this was my second baby and my OB was pretty certain i would have a quick labor and delivery (remember how i was already dilated to 4 cm?), she told me that i needed to get to the hospital pretty soon after my water broke, if it did before i started contractions again, so that i could get the antibiotics started.

So, that's why we went to the hospital so quickly. And that's why, even though i hated it, i didn't refuse the Pitocin.


FOTO FRIDAY - a picture update

Life with a 2 year old and a 3 month old is never dull.

And the fact that they love each other makes it so much more fun.


The past 2 years

On this day two years ago, i had my first baby girl.
And in the past two years she has filled my life with joy EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Happy birthday, Caroline!
i'm so glad God put us together.


Maggie's Birth Story

i wrote in my planner last month that i needed to blog Maggie's birth story. Then i didn't, and didn't look at that page again in my planner. And now here we are, 2 1/2 months later.

Better late than never, right?

Maggie's big sister, Caroline, was born at 37 weeks and 6 days. So the most i had ever been pregnant was 37 weeks and 6 days. As with Caroline, my body was already beginning the early stages of labor around 36 weeks, so i figured i'd have Maggie about 2 weeks early too.

Then 37 weeks passed....38 weeks passed...39 weeks passed...and nothing. For those of you in the know about the birthing process, i was walking around at 4 cm dilated, about 70% effaced and Maggie was already moving down the birth canal...and nothing. For those of you not in the know, just understand that at that point in labor, some women are already signing up for epidurals and getting ready to have their baby in the next few hours. But it was business as usual for me, though i was very weary. i had never been this pregnant, and the second time around i felt really achy and uncomfortable. J was really helpful and got me a prenatal massage, which helped tremendously. But i was still ready to have this baby and be done with pregnancy. So much so that on March 3rd, i wrote a prayer to God in my journal and asked Him to help me "go into labor in the next day or two..."

Never underestimate the power of prayer.

On March 5th at around 2:45, i was laying on the couch watching an episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Caroline had just started making noise, and i looked on her monitor to see that nap time was coming to a close. i got up to go get her and felt a pop and then my water breaking. At first i wondered if i was peeing my pants, but then i remembered how it felt very similar to when my water broke with Caroline. i hustled down the hall and opened Caroline's door, telling her that i had to go to the bathroom but she could get out of bed. Then i ran in the bathroom to confirm it was indeed my water breaking.

i called J, who had joked with me that morning that he really wanted to go to his work lunch that day so i shouldn't go into labor that morning. i told him that my water broke, and we laughed about how he had at least got to attend his work lunch. Then i called my mom, who was to be on Caroline duty while i had Maggie. i knew she had an hour drive to get here, so i then called my sister and brother to find someone to come sit with Caroline until Nonnie got here. My brother, sister-in-law and 5 day old nephew came over to watch Caroline (thanks so much Katy, i'm sure that's not how you planned to spend a day after just having a baby yourself). J came home and threw some stuff together for his bag and loaded the car, and then we were off to the hospital.

Stay tuned for the rest of Maggie's birth story.

Full disclosure - i still haven't figured out time management with 2 kiddos under 2. And we're packing our apartment and moving to a rent house this week. So it may be a little bit until i get back with the rest of the story. Please accept this cute picture of Maggie as something to hold you over.

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