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THEO’S BIRTH STORY

Theo's Birth StoryAfter 41 weeks and two days, 24 hours of labor and a looming emergency C-section, our sweet Theo finally made us a family of four. His birth was incredible. It was exciting, terrifying, tiring, a little bit scary at the end and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I’ve mentioned several times that the goal was to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section). To say there were a lot of opinions surrounding my choice for delivery is an understatement, but I had the full support of my doctor (she excitedly high-fived me when she saw me two nights later in the hospital! — she wasn’t on-call to deliver me) and husband so I tried not to listen or let it bother me when others questioned my choice. The fact is there are risks associated with repeat C-sections as well as VBACs. The point is to weigh them and decide what’s best for you. That’s what we did and we decided a VBAC was the best approach, knowing full well things don’t always go as planned. In all honesty, my C-section with Isla really wasn’t bad. Yes, recovery is difficult and can be painful for the first few days, but my body bounced back quickly and I’m proud of my scar. It’s a tiny reminder of one of the best days of my life. I’d have gladly had another C-section had it been the safest way to deliver Theo. A healthy baby is the goal after all.

That being said …

I wanted desperately to try to deliver Theo with a VBAC. If it didn’t work out then so be it, but I wanted to TRY. Since my C-section was the result of a frank breech baby, I was the best possible candidate. Then there was the fact that Theo was riding low (as in L O W !) and I was dilated for several weeks before my due date. Always a good sign. But as we passed the 41-week mark and after postponing my “just in case” C-section several times, it wasn’t looking good.

Then in the wee hours one morning I was jolted awake by a searing pain. The “ring of fire” my sister called it. She wasn’t kidding. I had never been so happy to be in such excruciating pain.

I labored at home for roughly 12 hours before heading to the hospital after contractions suddenly went from 15 to four minutes apart. Upon arrival, I literally collapsed from the pain between the sliding doors of the emergency room and had to be wheeled in tears to the PETU. About an hour later I got an epidural. That sweet, sweet medicine that made the pain completely disappear but also claimed the feeling in and use of my right leg. To be paralyzed on one side was not exactly comfortable, especially while trying to push a baby out, but the contraction pain was more than I could bear.

Nine hours passed before it was finally time to push. That surprised me a little. I had no idea there’d be so much down time. I tried to nap — doctor’s orders — but that wasn’t happening, so instead I thought about my sweet girl at home. It was my very first night away from her and I missed her terribly. I wondered excitedly what her brother would be like and if I could really love another baby as much as I love my Isla. (Spoiler: I could. I do.)

We had an amazing nurse and midwife. Our nurse was with us every second. It was just the three us for most of the night actually, with the midwife coming in and out to check on me.

Without getting into too many details since they are very personal and also TMI … I pushed for a total of three hours. T H R E E H O U R S.

It was at the two-and-a-half hour mark that my midwife relayed a message to me from the on-call doctor, “Tell her she has 30 minutes to get that baby out or we’re giving her a C-section.” Game on, doc. She had called him to notify him about a few minor complications I was facing and to keep him in the loop. It was at this point she also explained to me that I had another option. If pushing alone failed, the doctor could use a suction, or “vacuum extraction,” and help pull him out. This sounded terrifying to me. There are risks, of course.

Just 15 minutes later the midwife decided things weren’t getting better and that the baby had had enough. My time was up.

Suddenly about 20 people came barreling into the delivery room — okay fine, probably not 20, but that’s what it felt like. Nurses, the OB, pediatricians, residents and probably the janitor. We decided to go with the vacuum. I was scared and really worried about Theo at that point but there was no time for second guessing.

A contraction came on and I pushed for longer and harder than I had in nearly three hours. I was determined. If the vacuum extraction failed, a C-section would’ve been even riskier, and after three hours of pushing the last thing I wanted was surgery. The next thing I heard was “Open your eyes, Risa!”

There he was. A healthy baby boy. My beautiful Theo. He was perfect.

They took him away immediately to check on a few things but within a few minutes he was curled up on my chest nursing with ease, just like his sister did. After all those hours and final minutes of chaos the whole thing seemed surreal. Surreal and amazing. And really, aside from a few hours of firey contraction pain, the whole thing was much easier than I expected. It was exhausting and sometimes scary, but with the epidural and a supportive nursing staff, not to mention having my amazing husband by my side, the whole thing was a piece of cake! Okay, slight exaggeration. But really I feel very lucky and every minute was worth it for my little guy.

It turns out Theo was born just five minutes shy of my deadline. Five minutes later and you would be reading about an emergency C-section right now. What a relief.

By the time Isla arrived to meet her new brother I was so tired I could barely function, until I saw her sweet little face. She carefully and slowly walked into the room and I could see how confused she was when she saw me. I was afraid the hospital room, the fact that I was confined to the bed (I was still numb on one side) and all the machines and needles would scare her. Instead, she climbed into bed with me and hugged me for so long I thought she’d never let go. She missed me as much as I missed her. My little love.

Then she saw her brother and fell in love with him just like we did. She wanted to touch his eyes and ears and nose and hair. I’m certain she was making sure all vital body parts were accounted for. And just like that my heart melted into mush and I forgot all about those brutal 24 hours. Now I know why women keep going back for more.

Welcome to the world, my darling Theo. We can’t imagine life without you. We love you to the moon!

(And because I’m feeling emotional: Isla’s birth story)

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Style

POSTPARTUM STYLE

Post Partum StyleI forgot how much I love normal clothes! I’m still mostly wearing maternity jeans, except these because they’re stretchy and forgiving, but it feels good to be back in tops that button and actually cover my stomach! It’s been so long it almost feels like I have a whole new wardrobe. Bonus. I bought this sweatshirt while I was pregnant knowing it wouldn’t fit until after Theo was born and now I’m living in it. The slit on the one side makes it fun but also functional for nursing, and it’s incredibly comfortable. All-in-all, I’m just thrilled to be dressed.

We celebrated Theo’s first Thanksgiving down the shore with my family last week and experienced our first overnight trip with two kids. I love my family and you know how much we love the beach house, but sharing a room with two kids was … interesting, to put it mildly. Theo’s up every three to four hours to nurse and Isla’s not used to having us in the room with her so she was up at the very first sign of daylight wanting out of the pack ‘n’ play so she could lay in bed with us with her feet in our faces. Needless to say, not much sleep was enjoyed by any of us and we are thrilled to be home in our own beds and rooms. Co-sleeping is officially not going to work out for the Page family.

Before I go, lets talk about these necklaces. The initial charm was a gift from my college roommate after Isla was born (it has the letter “I” on it). You’ve seen it dozens of times on here because I’m in love with it and never, ever take it off. Naturally, I needed one for Theo, too, so I got a bar necklace (it says “THEO” in tiny letters) in hopes that I could layer the two. I mean, I can’t be expected to choose which one to wear on a daily basis, right? They’re made by two different small shops (James Michelle Jewelry and Made By Mary, respectively) and both are absolutely gorgeous. If you’re still Christmas shopping, these make great gifts for moms everywhere!

Post Partum StylePostpartum StyleIsla BeePost Partum Style Post Partum StylePost Partum Style{Zara sweatshirt + jeans (similar here, here, here) + parka (similar); J.Crew top; Madewell booties (similar); ASOS hat; Made By Mary bar necklace; gifted James Michelle Jewelry charm necklace}

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Maternity Style

MY FAVORITE MATERNITY JEANS

My Favorite Maternity JeansEvery single time I post a picture on Instagram or elsewhere wearing these jeans someone asks me where I got them. Since they’re by far my favorite maternity jeans I decided I dedicate a post to them.

Let me start by saying they’re not cheap. I justified the expense by telling myself I needed jeans that had side panels because the ones from my last pregnancy with the elastic waistband got so stretched out I couldn’t wear them again until very late in this pregnancy (without showing some serious bum and pulling them up every second). I also promised myself they would be the only pair I’d buy the whole pregnancy, and I stuck to that. I bought them in my regular size and they fit like a glove, though they are incredibly long on my 4’11” legs, hence the rolling. I will say, this big baby of mine was riding LOW toward the end and that made ALL jeans and pants uncomfortable, but I still preferred these jeans over my others. And now, at nearly two weeks postpartum, I wear these every single day. (The picture in the bottom right corner was taken just a few days ago.) They are super comfortable and make me feel pulled together like a real person. I’m even wondering if I can just keep wearing them forever and ever!

So there you have it. These are my favorite maternity jeans from pregnancy no. 2 (shown above during all stages of pregnancy and beyond).

Baby, Life

WELCOME THEO!

Welcome TheoTheo Jon joined our family nearly one week ago and we are absolutely smitten. He was nine days late (and much bigger than we expected!) but he was worth the wait. He has his sister’s chubby cheeks, his parents’ butt chin and huge, beautiful eyes. We are in love and relishing life as a family of four.

Isla is adjusting to life as a big sister far better than we expected. She was a little confused when she first arrived at the hospital to see us and clung to me like she wasn’t sure she would ever see me again. But it didn’t take long for her to fall head over heels. She kept counting Theo’s ears and looking for (read: poking) his eyes and nose and all other body parts to make sure he was intact. When she finally held him on her lap she refused to let us take him away, and when the nurse wheeled him for a few minutes on the second day, Isla sobbed as he left the room and cried for “BABY!!” My little bee is the sweetest big sister. I am so proud of her.

As for me, I got what I wanted … a successful VBAC! I’ll probably share his birth story later (minus the gory details), but I’ll just say how relieved I am to have been able to avoid the repeat C-section. My recovery is already 100 times easier and I’m on my way to feeling like myself again. My labor was long (about 24 hours) with many hours of pushing, but I got this guy out with just five minutes to spare before they were going to have to perform an emergency C-section. Willpower and adrenaline are powerful things! I’d also like to give a shout-out to my epidural. Thank you sweet, sweet medicine. It’s not the most pleasant feeling, being semi paralyzed and itchy, but the pain from those contractions, holy mother of …

Thank you for all of your love on social media since we announced Theo’s arrival. We’re feeling incredibly loved this week! Now I’m off to stare at my little guy as he sleeps soundly next to me and prepare for the week ahead with my TWO babies. I’ll be back soon. 

p.s. In case you’re up for a trip down memory lane, here’s Isla’s birth announcement and birth storyFamily of Four

Maternity Style

I’M STILL PREGNANT! | 41 WEEKS

Maternity Style: 41 WeeksGuess what? I’M STILL PREGNANT! At least while I’m typing this on Sunday, which marks 41 weeks! You’re wondering why I got dressed aren’t you? I knew it. It’s a fair question. I need some reason to get out of bed, don’t I? Besides my loving husband, beautiful daughter and all that Halloween candy she collected with my name on it, of course. Showers are my savior guys. And real clothes. Just let me have this, okay?

Now look, I’m aware I’m not the first person to go over my due date. I know plenty of people who went 10 days or even two weeks past, but since I’m going for a VBAC, my options are a little more limited. This simply means we’re really hoping baby boy will move things along all on his own before my scheduled C-section. Here’s hoping!

On the bright side, look at this sweet girl of mine? Besides the fact that she’s been such a brutal monster lately that I’m wondering if she’s scared her brother into never wanting to come out, she’s the most amazing little creature. That toothy smile makes every ache, tear-inducing pain and frustration melt away. Thank you sweet Bee for being mine.

Little Girl Fall FashionMaternity Style: 41 WeeksMaternity Style: 41 WeeksMaternity Style: 41 WeeksLittle Girl Fall FashionMaternity Style: 41 WeeksLittle Girl Fall FashionMaternity Style: 41 Weeks{ON ME: Zara blazer (old, but I love this one), Motherhood Maternity top (old, but I love this one); Citizens of Humanity maternity jeans; Nena & Co “Lucia” bag; Topshop hat; Halogen shoes (similar) // ON ISLA: Gap jacket (similar); H&M sweater; Old Navy skinny jeans; Zara shoes}
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