Will’s Newborns

What better way to spend an afternoon than with your best friend posing your newborn in various outfits & backgrounds! Will totally took it like a champ & let us get a lot of shots of him & I’m in LOVE with all of them. It was so hard to pair them down. They’re only this little once, so you have to capture it. Needless to say we are so thankful to be home than in the NICU & I must say everyone is adjusting nicely.

William Hayes

At 40weeks & 3 days I was induced after a non stress test showed low amniotic fluid levels. After enduring 36 hours of labor our sweet boy, William Hayes Dorsey, made his debut last Friday 4/27 at 6:34am. We are so in love with our little guy. He was under stress throughout my labor & spent the last week in the NICU, but I am thrilled to report as of Friday we are home with a happy healthy boy!

10 Things to do in your 3rd Trimester

With my due date just a few days away I’ve been thinking a lot about ways I’ve spent the last couple of months & there are a few things that I think every soon to be mama should put on her list.

  1. Prenatal Yoga – the hospital I’m delivering at offered a 6 week prenatal yoga class & it was some of the best $100 I’ve spent this pregnancy. Each Monday I walked to the yoga room & for 90 minutes was able to focus on stretching, breathing & getting to be around other very pregnant soon to be mamas. Since the class ended I’ve been trying to stick with stretching because I know it can only help me with delivery day comes. If your hospital doesn’t offer a class or you don’t want to shell out money just head to YouTube and search for 3rd trimester yoga and see the results pour in. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!
  2. LadyMoon – As much as I talked about how great it is to go on a babymoon with your significant other, I think if you can swing it some kind of Ladymoon with your girlfriends can be just as important! It doesn’t have to be overnight, it doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be as simple as a dinner out somewhere that makes delicious mocktails. There’s nothing being surrounded by some of your favorite women & if you have the opportunity to get pampered why not go for it.IMG_8602img_8606.jpg
  3. REST! Whenever you want, how much you want & don’t feel guilty about it. In the third trimester I revisited the power of an afternoon nap. The last six weeks or so of this trimester my sleep at night really started to be impacted. I know a lot of women who have trouble sleeping much sooner than that, so I certainly count myself lucky, but once I stopped working & could really indulge in the afternoon nap I went for it. Chris typically calls me when he’s leaving work to say he’s on his way home, and more often than not these days that phone call finds me asleep on the couch!
  4. Shower – this might sound odd, but one of my goals this trimester was to shower whenever I felt like it for as long as I wanted, uninterrupted. I’m not always the biggest fan of showers, mostly because I hate washing my hair & having to blow dry it afterward. I’m typically a wash my hair every 3-4 days gal; but this trimester it dawned on me showers will be harder to come by & I know hearing a crying baby will definitely make a shower far less enjoyable. So I decided this is my last chance to be under hot water for as long as I please & not feel any guilt.
  5. Meal Prep – Come up with a handful of meals you can make ahead of time & freeze. A few friends of mine picked a random day & dedicated it to cooking these freeze ahead meals. If that sounds far to daunting then try to cook one meal a week that you can make a double batch of & freeze the second half. Some of the meals we made were: Lasagna, beef chili, chicken teriyaki, squash soup & a jumbalaya. All of these items reheat nicely & I know will be such a lifesaver in the weeks to come. Because we live in an apartment our freezer situation is pretty tight, so I went ahead and sent a couple meals with one of my friends who I know will come visit me in the first few weeks & told her when she comes just to bring one or two of the meals! Whether you’re cooking or your enlisting the help of friends or family, having some meals ready to go that just need to be heated up will take some of the pressure off in the first few weeks.
  6. Go out to dinner – Chris & I made a little list of some of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco & decided to make an effort to go to them one last time before the baby came. I personally tried to pick places that have yummy desserts, now that I’m not indulging in a fancy cocktail or a glass of wine I’ve become quite the dessert connoisseur. It’s been so nice to have a leisurely dinner at some of our favorite places & just relish in this moment of time right before our world gets turned upside down.
  7. Acupuncture – I’ve talked about my love for acupuncture in previous posts & how much it helped in the first trimester with keeping morning sickness at bay & energy levels up. Now in the third trimester I’ve been going more & more frequently. Throughout this trimester I’ve started to experience more pregnancy symptoms, when I was still working my back began to hurt from standing all day. In the final six weeks or so of my pregnancy I began developing significant carpal tunnel & hand swelling & acupuncture really helped alleviate some of the discomfort that went along with it. And as of the past few weeks I’ve been going to try to prepare my body for birth. One of my biggest goals is to try my hardest to avoid induction, I really trust my body & although my doctor is okay with being going to 42 weeks, it honestly sounds a little terrifying to go that far overdue. My acupuncturist specializes in women’s health / fertility & is very confident in her ability to send the right signals to my body to promote labor. As someone who was going to acupuncture long before I was pregnant & saw the results I can’t help but recommend it for almost everyone! Stay tuned for what I think about the “induction” sessions & if they really work to bring about labor!
  8. Take a birth class – no matter what your ideal birth plan is it’s probably a good idea to take some kind of class just in case mother nature has other plans. Often times women can be sent home from the hospital if they are not far enough along in their labor, and having ways to cope with labor before you can be admitted and get an epidural is a smart idea. If you’re in the bay area I highly recommend Bay Area Birth Education. This class was awesome. It was a little daunting when we saw that it was an ALL day class, but we both felt so much more prepared for what is to come afterward. I anticipated a fairly granola approach, with lots of discussion about natural births however I must say I thought they did an amazing job of presenting all the options women are faced with in an incredibly non judgmental way.
  9. Get organized –  As someone who appreciates a good list this was definitely a must for me. Chris & I created a list of things that we had to get done before the baby got here. It included things like getting our cars oil changed & detailed before installing the bases to the carseat, specific tasks to finish up the nursery like hanging shelves, setting up our baby monitor etc. I’ll be sharing our list in case anyone is curious, but I highly recommend sitting down & thinking about the things that must get done & things you would love to have done before baby is here & setting aside a couple tasks each week. By breaking the list up it can make it seem much more manageable. Plus if you have family or friends who want to help you it’s a great way to know what tasks you can ask them to do for you. For instance my parents came to town for a few days & wanted to help me so I had them help me wash the cover for our sectional couch which was something that absolutely needed to be done & is a huge pain in the butt.
  10. Finalize your maternity leave plans – every state has different benefits & amount of time they give to new mothers. Navigating this process can feel very overwhelming so the sooner you start asking your colleagues, researching online & getting things in order the better. California is generous when it comes to time off for both pregnancy & in the weeks following the birth.  & Even though I had a few women at work who could help shed some light about how to navigate the system it was still very confusing & involved me having to calculate out how much vacation time, sick time, holiday time I would be using.
  11. Bonus ENJOY! – As hard as it can be, try your very hardest to enjoy your third trimester. As I sit here writing this post just a few days shy of my due date, I honestly can’t believe it’s already here. It feels both like yesterday & forever ago that we sat in the car in awe with our first ultrasound photos & had this nervous excited energy buzzing in us. Now with the birth upon us it’s so crazy to think that we’re on the brink of a completely new season of life. Chris & I often talk about seasons & we really made it a point to enjoy this season of being married but not having babies. Even though having a family is incredibly important to both of us & was something that we looked forward to & talked at length about even from our first date! We really made it a priority to relish in the season that led up to it because we won’t ever have that time again.  I know we are about to embark on an experience & feel love bigger than we can even imagine right now but I think anytime a season ends it inevitably feels bittersweet. So I’m really trying to just be present & enjoy this time right now.

Did any other mommas feel this end of season bittersweetness I describe? I know that in a week or two I probably won’t even remember I felt this way!

Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal

crib hampermobilerug

Our nursery is finally done!!! It feels so good to have everything wrapped up. Since we are saving the gender of our baby for delivery day we had to opt for a very neutral room. Neither of us were super into some of the generic themes you can find at superstores. When coming up with our plan for designing the nursery we first picked out a paint color & then we chose furniture. Next we decided that we should choose a bright rug & have that kind of lead us. We ended up doing a plant theme & I think it turned out SO cute, I couldn’t be happier. Some of my favorite pieces in the nursery are the sweet mobile that came from an Etsy shop called The Felting Dorcas, I also really love the accent wall above the dresser / changing station. I found some glass hexagon shelves on Etsy & filled them with small river rocks & some artificial greenery & I think it totally ties the room together!

The Final Countdown

This past Sunday I hit 37 weeks & it feels so surreal that this baby is going to make his or her appearance any day now. I’m officially off of work as of last week & am fully in preparation mode. As a nurse I’m used to having random week days off, so at first it just felt like I had a long stretch of days off but now it’s really setting in that I won’t be heading back to work until the fall! Throughout the entirety of Chris & my relationship I have either worked nightshift or for the past 3 years worked swing shifts which meant coming home around 2am. So this is the first time in five years that we’re seeing each other every night & eating dinner / going to bed together like most couples, it’s something we were both very excited about!

As for how I’m spending my final weeks pre baby? Well I’m certainly soaking in taking afternoon naps & just resting whenever I feel like. But I’ve also got a decent list of little projects that I’m trying to tackle, mostly random cleaning or organization tasks. Our baby room is done, our hospital bags are packed & my freezer is already stuffed to the brim with food for once baby is here. My parents are finally back in town, they spent the month of March away so I can breathe easy knowing they are just a few hour drive away if baby decides to come early now. My mom is planning to come next week to help me with some cleaning, which I’m pretty excited about. Aside from cleaning & resting I’m wrapping up some last minute self care items: getting new glasses, getting my hair cut etc. And of course I’m going to acupuncture especially as I get closer & closer. My major goal this week is to finish our 2017 photo book, I make one each year with all our pictures & I’m SO close to finishing last years & I know I absolutely NEED to get it done before this baby gets here otherwise it may never happen so that is a top item this week.

Below is a photo from the last shift I worked. My amazing coworkers threw my the sweetest send off, it was super hero themed on account of me being SUPER pregnant.

Baby Shower

This past weekend we celebrated our little baby. My best friend planned such an incredible shower. It was so much fun, Chris’ mom & some of her closest friend flew all the way from Austin, & my mom & two of my aunts made the trek to San Francisco also. Besides our families, a lot of my nursing school friends, coworkers, & my best childhood friend came. San Francisco really put on a show weather wise, It was high 70’s, I couldn’t believe it. Not only did our little baby get spoiled with so many thoughtful gifts, but I felt so spoiled with how much love was in one room & how many people can’t wait to meet our little baby! It’s so bizarre to think that in just about 10 weeks we’ll get to meet the little person we’ve created & I can’t wait. It feels like it’s seriously just around the corner!

Winter Babymooning

 

Here are some photos from our babymoon this weekend. We rented a little log cabin & stayed outside of Tahoe for two nights. I know most babymoons take place by a pool, with a mocktail in hand but given that we live so close to Tahoe & that my pregnancy is primarily taking place in winter this seemed like a very fun & romantic choice. It was so nice to unplug, be out of cell service & just enjoy each other’s company. I told Chris how happy I was to make once last trip up to the snow before the baby because I know each consequent trip from here on out is going to look a lot different.

The resort we stayed at, Sorenson’s has a little cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They deliver firewood to your porch daily & are dog friendly (pretty much checking all our boxes haha!) We packed some of our own food because our cabin came equipped with a full kitchen. I brought some homemade chili that just needed reheating & I brought some buttermilk pecan sticky buns. The sticky buns turned out SO good, here’s the recipe . Then we grabbed dinner at the cafe our second night.

 Each day we strapped on our snowshoes & went exploring. Even though snow shoeing may sound terribly bland it’s actually a lot of fun. It’s basically snow hiking so you can stay on a trail or off road & climb up the mountain. It’s the perfect, free, activity for people who aren’t into skiing or snowboarding but still want to enjoy the scenery. We had Juno with us so she was off exploring or chasing after her ball & we were able to keep up with her.

We are planning a little warmer of a babymoon next month, but we’ll still be driving there. Chris & I have always loved going on road trips & driving together in the car. We spent a lot of weekends early on in our relationship driving the Pacific Coast Highway, so it seemed appropriate to pick babymoons that we could drive to. Especially since car rides post baby I’m sure will be less leisurely haha.

Hope everyone had a great weekend ❤

Marshall Beach & 10 Things

  1. Sunday morning we woke up early & did a the Batteries to Bluffs trail in the Presidio & went down to Marshall Beach. It was pretty much empty. We maybe saw 15 people the whole time.
  2. We bought a car this weekend!!! We’d been talking about getting a new car, both of us drive sedans & we needed something bigger since baby is coming & we finally did it. It still doesn’t feel real!
  3. In case you can’t tell by these photos, the beach is 100% Juno’s happy place. Whenever she’s home & dreaming I have to imagine she’s dreaming of sprinting down the beach after her orange ball & running through the waves.
  4. I hit the 25 week mark on Sunday, time just feels like it’s flying by now.
  5. This weekend instead of just being hermits & lounging we actually went to two different social events, pretty big deal for this pregnant homebody. We went to a going away dinner for one of my coworkers who is moving to Thailand! & We went to one of my good friends from college, birthday party.
  6. Our baby nursery is finally starting to come together, We assembled the glider chair this weekend & it’s funny how just one more piece of furniture makes the room look like it’s transforming.
  7. It’s supposed to rain a couple days this week & I’m really looking forward to having an excuse to stay inside. When I have days off & the weather is beautiful it’s hard to make myself be productive around the house, but when it’s rainy & gross out I’m motivated to knock some projects off my to-do list.
  8. We started watching Comedians In Cars tonight & I think we may have just found a new show to binge! We restarted Big Little Lies, but it’s so dark that I need something funny to counterbalance.
  9. We are going up to Tahoe in two weeks & are staying in a little cabin that’s dog friendly. We decided to do cold & warm mini baby-moons. So this kicks off the cold one. I’m happy it’s finally storming so hopefully there’ll be fresh snow when we’re up there.
  10. I signed up for a six week prenatal yoga class. Tomorrow night is the first class, I’m excited to have classes on the calendar. Throughout the second trimester pregnancy my exercise routine has mostly consisted of going on long / brisk walks with Juno. So I’m happy to have something else added into the mix. I know I need to be stretching way more than I am, so I think this will be the push I need as I enter the last trimester.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

New Year, Old Traditions

Growing up I spent a handful of New Year’s in Rio de Janiero on Copacabana beach, where my mom is originally from. Brazilian tradition involves wearing all white on New Year’s Eve to symbolize peace and renewal. It also includes putting flowers into the ocean as a gift to the goddess of the sea & to bring good luck into the new year. These traditions date back to the 1500’s. Ever since I’ve lived in San Francisco I’ve made it a point to take advantage of my close proximity to the ocean & walk out into the water on new years. There’s something so peaceful about going to the beach & thinking about the whole year to come.

I’ve spent the past five new years working in the ER. I always choose to work NYE for a few reasons: 1. it’s endlessly entertaining in the ER 2. I love my coworkers & we bring a ton of food & decorations & have lots of fun 3. I want to have Christmas off so I always volunteer to work on NYE.

Turning the page on 2017 & going into 2018 is so exciting. 2017 was filled with so many wonderful memories. We spent an incredible two weeks exploring Spain & Portugal, we enjoyed SF Giants spring training in Scottsdale for my birthday, we saw friends get married, camped in Timber Cove, found out in late summer we’d be having a baby & so much more! I’m excited & anxious for the year to come, I know it will be our biggest one yet! With everything on the horizon, it feels good to lean on old traditions. Even though this past weekend I’ve been combating a terrible head cold while working 11 hour nights I’m so glad we made a point to get to the beach & throw our flowers in the water. I can’t wait to do it next year with our baby in tow.

Happy New Year! I’d love to hear what some of your New Year traditions are, leave them in the comments below.

First Trimester Must Haves

Now that we’ve announced we’re expecting & I’m well out of the first trimester I figured it’s time to post about the things that helped me survive those first few months.

Pregnancy Countdown Book –  This countdown style book has a little blurb for each day. It’s also separated out by weeks & trimester. The weekly sections are short enough that I can read it aloud to my husband in about 5 or 10 minutes & then he feels like he’s well informed for the week to come.  I like that this book isn’t terribly dense, it gives real life advice from real mommas & has a lighthearted feel which makes it fun to read. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be this in depth research project you embark on as soon as the second line appears. I have some knowledge I retained from my nursing school semester of maternity, but otherwise I find this book to be just informative enough & then I save my questions for whenever I see my doctor. I will mention that I do plan to read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth once I hit my 3rd trimester, but for the first few weeks this book was plenty.

Raw Prenatals – These vitamins are a serious must have. They are raw whole food vitamins that are gluten free & don’t have any fillers. Any momma to be knows that one of most important reasons to take prenatals is Folate or Folic Acid so our babies don’t have any neural tube defects. One thing I love about these vitamins is that they have Folate which is the natural form, versus Folic Acid which is synthetic. It can be hard to find prenatals that are made with true Folate, so that was initially what drew me to these vitamins. They also contain ginger which is a game changer during the first trimester. Other vitamins I tried were not easy to swallow, literally. I got vitamins from whole foods & each time I opened the jar I would gag because they smelled so bad, they were also huge tablets which weren’t easy to take when you’re already so nauseated. These Raw Vitamin Code Prenatals are small capsules that don’t have any strong scent. The box even says you can open the capsule and our the powder into some water and drink it, I never did this so I can’t comment on how that would taste but if you struggle to take pills that could intrigue you. Doctors are now recommending that women also take an omega 3 fatty acid supplement, otherwise known as DHA along with their prenatal. I’ve been taking Nordic Naturals

Face Wipes – Do yourself a favor & just buy a pack of your favorite face wipes. Once week 7 hit I was so tired & so nauseated that at the end of the day all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. I couldn’t bring myself to wash my face every night so I lived on these.  I personally love the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths. They’re super gentle & take all your makeup off.

Ovia App – When it comes to pregnancy applications there’s dozens to choose from. I originally used Glow to track fertility but switched over to the Ovia App. It’s easy to use, I like that it gives you little “tid-bits” about your baby each day & there’s a calendar feature which makes seeing how many weeks you are really easy. I also love that they have a feature that shows how big the baby’s hands & feet are versus how big they’ll be at 9 months! At first it seems like the hand is never growing but now I’m at 21 weeks and the hand all of the sudden looks huge! Side note: I try really hard to avoid the online forums, I think they’re more anxiety producing than they are helpful because most of the time it’s just other random people on the internet answering whatever question you pose.

Cool Eye Mask – Originally when I purchased this San Francisco was going through it’s once in a lifetime heatwave & I was just about 6 or 7 weeks pregnant. You put this eye mask in the freezer and then put it on before bed. I became addicted to sleeping with this each night during my first trimester. Something about having the coolness on your eyes when you’re feeling like you’re gonna hurl just made me feel better. I was never able to sleep with it on the whole night, I usually woke up a few hours later and took it off, but I really do think it helped me get to sleep. Added bonus the coolness is supposed to help with any dark circles under your eyes!

Acupuncture: I have been going to acupuncture for over 5 years for various ailments. I started going originally for a pulled hamstring & was sold after I was able to make a full recovery. Since that time I usually would go once every six weeks or so as a preventive measure for my back. Being an ER nurse takes a toll with standing all day, lifting patients, & just other awkward body mechanics. When we started trying to conceive I knew I wanted acupuncture to play a role. After going for one full cycle we were able to conceive the following month! So needless to say after I found out I was pregnant I wanted to keep going especially during those first few weeks when your risk for loss is the highest. Acupuncture helps promote blood flow to the places where you need it the most & can help relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, bloating, constipation etc. I also find it to be meditative. Usually they’ll place the needles and then let you rest in a dark, warm room for about 30 minutes. It’s a great pause in an otherwise hectic day to day life. Usually I find myself in a half sleep state & I walk out more relaxed than any massage has ever made me! I recommend acupuncture to everyone for all sorts of ailments but especially if you’re trying to conceive. If you are in the San Francisco area you should 100% check out Blue Ova they’re honestly the BEST!

Apple Sauce packs – this obviously isn’t a must have for everyone but this was one of the few things I could stomach eating during those first few months. I probably hadn’t eaten apple sauce in at least a decade but I found myself eating a few packs of these day. But honestly my best advice is to eat whatever sounds good and whatever you can stomach! I lived on chicken broth, apple sauce and miso soup probably for a month straight. But take comfort in the fact that feeling really nauseated means your body is producing the hormones it needs for a healthy pregnancy!

What are some your pregnancy must haves?! Comment below I’d love to find out.