Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Baby's First Christmas

This Christmas we stayed at home in The Woodlands to celebrate with my side of the family. As much as I looked forward to Rose's first Christmas, it was very bittersweet. The closer I got to Christmas, the closer we got to her cleft lip repair surgery which was scheduled for the day after Christmas. I am going to write a separate post about that entire experience as I am still going through it (stitches and nose stents come out tomorrow) and haven't really had a chance to process all of it.

We started the Advent season by preparing our home for the excitement of Christmas: putting up the lights on the house (forgot to get a picture and due to a nasty wind storm have already been removed courtesy of Mother Nature), setting up our Christmas tree, advent wreath, and multitude of Christmas nic-nacs. I am one of those freak show people who LOVE decorating for Christmas. Like, I have to control myself or I would COMPLETELY redecorate our entire house during the season. It drives John nuts, but at the same time makes him smile. While I was putting ornaments on the tree, he smiled at me and asked, "How happy are you right now?" To which I responded, "SO HAPPY!!!". I think you get the idea.

This was before everything was done, but you get the idea. Not pictured: the shelves of Xmas nic-nacs :)

Here is the year I'll add lights to the garland.

Rose's favorite part of dinner, she may or may not grow up to be a pyromaniac

My favorite part of dinner = Baby Chub for dessert

Another thing I'm kind of obsessed with is family traditions. My mom made all of our stockings and she wanted to start the tradition of making the grand chillrens too. So I picked one out and apparently picked one with way too much detail or Grammy is a little rusty on her skills because we didn't get it completely finished by Christmas, but it looks AWESOME! I love it so much and know Rose will cherish her stocking made by Grammy-Grams for years to come! 

I can't get the picture to stay upright, so do me a favor and tilt your head to the right when viewing...thanks
Also, right after I took this picture, my Mom instincts kicked in and I realized she could choke on any one of those bazillion sequences. Rookie Mistake.

Christmas Eve we had a yummy meal prepared by Pops with everyone except Auntie KK (Kristen). She was out in the Sonoma Valley with her main squeeze Matt. We missed her! After dinner we went to mass and came back to my parents to open gifts. Christmas Day was full of relaxing and watching football. I hope everyone's holidays were grand!

Classic Family Pic

Auntie H-Town with her favorite niece!

Uncle Steve making Rosebud laugh

Pops loves his Rosie girl! 

Could my parents look any happier?

The sweetest Christmas baby you have ever seen

Uncle Stevie turns into a big softie around this girl!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Family Vay-Cay

Back when we were relishing in the newborn glory phase (aka sleep deprivation had not yet set in), John and I decided we should plan our first family vacation for a WHOLE WEEK. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast, but we pretty much decided we won't be taking any whole week family vacations with little ones for a whilllle.

Rose did awesome on her first 2 flights to get us into Pittsburgh, she fussed slightly on the way down due to ear pressure but I nursed/pacifiered her and she settled down. We were feeling like very accomplished parents. We drove into Steubenville, OH where we stayed for a few days to visit my sister Helen. She is playing basketball up at Franciscan (following her older, awesome sister coughcoughMEcough) and is graduating in May so I wanted to see her play. Plus John had never been to good ol' Steubs before so obviously that had to happen.

And of course, gi-gan-tor winter storm made a nice visit during our stay, so Rose got to be in her first snow storm! We also took a day trip into Pittsburgh which was a lot of fun. Here are a few family highlights:

Franny Bookstore dress up!

Roughly 20-some odd-degrees. Franciscan is so beautiful in the snow!

The ONLY thing that is cute about being in cold weather with a baby: Bundled up babies!

Kelly Hermann my old bball couch @ Steubs.

25, Hellllleeennnn Raaaaiiinnnesssss

We were pretty proud of our creative signs! 

Can't handle the cuteness.

In Pittsburgh eating some Primanti Bros!

I look at this picture just about every day on my phone. To die.

Rose's first time meeting Santa! He was the sweetest Santa I've ever met! He adored Rose, I had to finally take her away because the line was starting to give us bad looks! 

She just stared and smiled at him the whole time he was talking to her. 

Then we made our way up through Ohio on my 29th birthday (YIKES) and had a pit-stop lunch to see the Smith family! They got to meet Rose, gave us some adorable outfits for her and yummy buckeyes (John wasn't too happy) to me for my birthday!

I luh da Smifs.

We also stopped in Ann Arbor, MI to see John's Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin's (The Voss Family) but sadly I didn't take any pictures :(

We spent the rest of our week in Marine City, MI visiting John's family: Grandma and Grandpa McCarthy, Uncle Joey, Great Aunt Marilynn, Great Aunt Gwen, and Great Uncle John. Pretty much the highlight of my week was getting to see Rose in her much anticipated Turkey Hat and making her dance to "Wobble" by V.I.C. a la her "Gobble til you Wobble" outfit. Hahah. BEST MOM AWARD RIGHT HERE.

We also celebrated Joey's 32nd bday and had a blast relaxing with family. Here are some other great pics:

She was excited about it as much as her Mama! 

Daddy and his Turkey!

Aunt Htown. Her favorite.

Celebrating Uncle Joey's b-day!

Worst part about the trip: Rose was teething! At 4 months. Mama no likey teething! But now she does have some pretty cute pearly whites on the bottom. This may be the cutest picture I have of her to date:
Hard to tell but you can see those little white chompers if you look close! 

You don't have to tell me, I KNOW I have the cutest girl God ever made. Have a great week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Rowdy Birth Story You've Been Waiting For...

I thought I would go ahead and start this post off with a picture reminder of "Big Bertha" (my preggo alter-ego's name). Yes, I've posted it before, but it never ceases to amaze me how large I was. Granted I DID allow myself to gain twice as much as you are supposed to, which I am regretting erry day since Rose's birthday. 17 more lbs to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight. Hey, at 4 1/2 months I am feeling pretty good about that! Next pregnancy will hopefully be a whole lot healthier, but hey, I enjoyed all those late night ice cream runs so I'm not going to dwell on it! What's past is past, know what I sayin'?

Anyway, back to the birth story.

I feel like I should give you a little background of my last trimester so you get a feel for the "downward spiral" as I call it that led up to my c-section.

7 months preggo: We decided that we were going to move from Austin, TX to The Woodlands, TX to be closer to my family. It was something we always wanted to do, but the honeymoon baby really accelerated the process. Luckily for me, I work from home so my job was secured no matter where we decided to live. John on the other hand is a high school teacher, so we began the mad-hunt to find him a new job in the Houston area.

We decided that we would buy our first home since we knew we would be there long term and we could get a 3% interest rate secured before they started going up again. (Thanks to the generosity of our awesome parents for help with the down payment!) Well, for those familiar with the Woodlands area, Exxon is building it's corporate headquarters there and needless to say, the available houses on the market are slim to none. You have to JUMP on a house the DAY it goes on the market and bid AT LEAST list price to even have a chance. (Investors are offering more than list price to flip homes) We knew about our home 1 month before it was even on the market, our realtor was able to work out a deal with the home owners to let us get a sneak peak due to "our situation" not living there and being super pregnant. She also allowed us to put in our offer the day before they were going to put it on the market. Well, we offered list price with a long letter of how we wanted to raise our daughter there, etc. and THEY ACCEPTED! Whew.

8 months preggo: Packing. Enough said. Luckily we saved up enough money to hire movers! Because John was still teaching I "over-saw" the move. Which was me sitting on a couch directing the boxes. LOL That part was awesome, see pic below.

9 months preggo: Crazynestingimusthaveeverythingunpacked,setup,andorganizedbeforethisbabycomes. Also started a brand new position within my company (stress). But the nursery sure did look cute! 

At my 38 week appt (I had been 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced since 36 weeks) my BP jumped to 140/76. Which honestly I KNEW deep down was because of stress/anxiety of baby coming. But of course erryone freaks out if your BP jumps in pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia, which I get, but I had no protein in my urine. Anyway, Rose had been measuring @ 80% (a little on the larger side) my whole pregnancy. I honestly wasn't worried about pushing out a big baby as my family has a history of larger children and so did John's side and almost all were delivered vaginally. The OB suggested that we induce due to high BP and a big baby. OK, looking back I am mad at myself for just trusting that the OB was making the best decision for me. I am not saying I shouldn't have done anything, but there ARE ways to help keep BP down if no other signs of pre-e and I really wish I would have tried that first. But honestly, I was stressed, I wanted to meet my baby, and maternity leave was sounding pretty darn good. So I agreed. I was excited and scared and looking back wish I would have trusted my gut more. 

Sunday, July 14th 8pm. I checked into the hospital to start the whole induction process, which included 2 pills of Cytotec inserted behind my cervix to help "ripen her up" a little more. Again, looking back, I wouldn't have allowed this drug after reading about it. It helped to cause INSANE contractions later on. My cervix was already soft. Here is a pic of me super excited to meet my little girl! (ignore floppy-boobs. they wouldn't allow me to wear a bra which I thought was really weird.)

I got close to zero sleep that night because who can sleep knowing you ARE meeting your babe the next day. Around 3am I started having mild contractions, felt like period cramps, about 6-10 minutes apart. I was ready to DO THIS! 

Then July 15th, 7am rolled around. Pitocin, a drug straight from hell, was started. Contractions went straight to serious breathing to get through them. They were 1-2 minutes apart.

7:30-8am my OB showed up wanting to break my water. Again, ANOTHER thing I wish I would have listened to my instincts on. I didn't want it broken, but my RN was complaining it was hard to keep track of baby girl's heart rate (I hate those stupid band things) and was really pushing to get an internal monitor. OB was also saying this should be done and this will really speed up labor. (I was at 2 1/2 cm and 60% effaced at this point) I consented. 

8:30am They had raised my pitocin, and my contractions started "doubling up" where I would have 2 in a row, no break between, then 1 minute break then 2 in a row. They were so intense I could barely breathe through them. I wasn't trying to go all natural, but I knew I wanted to wait until 5-6 cm before getting an epi to help move labor along. 

9am My contractions started a pattern of 5 IN A ROW lasting about 1 minute each, no break between, after the 5th would subside, I got a 1 minute break to start it all over again. I can't even explain how I felt. It just was awful not to get a break to recover from the craziness. And they kept raising my pitocin! I wanted to sucker punch the nurse, but apprently "The only way to get the contractions to become normal instead of multiple in a row is to increase pitocin" Bullshit. I still think that was a load of crock. 

9:30am I couldn't take it anymore. I got the epidural. Which I will not lie to you, was amazing. It completely numbed me from chest down, but I could still move my legs. They warned me of my BP dropping with the epi. 

At about 10:30am-ish am the RN brought me a push mirror to do my makeup in...hahaha, yes I wanted to look good giving birth, and not 5 minutes later I felt like passing out. My BP had dropped pretty low so they had to give me something to bring it back up. 

Less than a minute later, about 5 RNs came running into my room starting to flip me from side to side, then had me flip over onto all 4s. I honestly had NO IDEA what was going on. I thought it had to do with my low BP since we had just treated it. While on all 4s my OB came into the room, then I knew something was going on with the baby. She checked me, I was a 4, no prolapsed cord buy they said baby's HR was dropping into the 60s and not recovering. I am really not sure of the time that went by during this time, but I was remarkably calm. I tend to not freak out during crisis, but go into "get er dun" mode which is why I think I didn't freak. 

One funny side note, my Mom was in the room with me during this whole time and had sent John and my Dad to the gift shop while I got my epidural. They came back and walked into the room right when I was on all 4s, arce in the air, OB's hand up my whoo-ha. Yup, that was cool Haha, I saw my Dad quickly walk out (we haven't spoken of it to this day) and John came around to the front of the bed. One of the RNs told him to hold the oxygen mask on me, and bless his heart he was so nervous he basically flattened the mask to my face. I just about gave him a right hook, yelling that he was suffocating me and he felt so bad. I guess it was a lot to walk into :)

The OB said that she couldn't get Rose's heart rate to come up and stabilize and I needed a csection now. (Which at that point I did, but as you can tell from reading this, I could have made a lot better decisions to my care that may or may not have prevented a csection) I was wheeled into the OR and I'll always remember that they had Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" playing. I was like wait, what's going on. haha I started to sing along out of awkward fear! Then I saw this random 20-something dude just sitting in a chair chillin' and he announces to the OB I'm so excited, I've never seen a C-Section  before! I just about yelled at him to get his dumb ass out of this mother effin OR, but I kept my mouth shut and gave him the look of death. I think he got the hint. (I still have no idea who he was)

The freakiest part of the whole thing was the anesthesiologist determining if I was "numb enough". She wiped a alcohol pad on my chest and asked if I could feel it. I said yes. Then she asked if it was cold, I said yes. Then she wiped the alcohol pad on my stomach and asked if I could feel it. I raised my voice a little, YES! Then she asked if it was cold, I said no. Wait, maybe? I don't know! Then they pulled up the curtain and asked if I could feel anything. Obviously, they were poking me with something sharp so I was like No, I don't think so but I'm not sure! She was smiling and was like you are good. If you feel anything, just let us know. My biggest fear was that I would feel them slicing me open! I didn't but I'll never forget that part. 

John enters the OR and sits right by my face. I tried to start making awkward conversation but he had straight fear written all over his face. It was so weird to just be laying there waiting for your  baby to be born. I was excited to see/meet her though! Then they yelled out here she is! And I could hear her cry, it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. They pulled the curtain down and I got about a 10 second view of my little chunky-monkey. I told John to go be with her and he said "Are you sure, are you OK?" Which was the sweetest thing he could have said to me at that moment then he went to be with Rose. 

About 5 minutes after she was born the OB leaned over to talk to me and tell me that she was born with a cleft lip, but it was very minor and didn't appear to affect her gumline, nose, or palete. At that point I didn't even care! I just wanted to hold me sweet baby girl, the hardest part was hearing her and John and the RNs talk about her and I was just laying behind a curtain. Finally, John came walking over with our sweet girl and us 3 got to snuggle while they finished sewing me up. It was my favorite moment, ever. As soon as they rolled me back onto my wheel-o-bed, they asked if I wanted to hold her on the way back to the room. I yelled YES! I've heard of so many csections were they take the baby out of the room or don't let the Mom's hold them for a while so I was so happy that I got to do that. 

Immediately when we got back to the room I did skin to skin and started to breastfeed. The only thing I was nervous about when they told me she had a cleft was that she may not be able to latch on to breastfeed and I was so looking forward to that experience. Girlfriend latched on like a champ. 

Recovering from the Csection was awful. I hated it. I suffered some post partum depression. I was mad. I was sad. I still mourn not being able to experience birth the way it was meant to be done, but I am very blessed to have such a sweet little babe. I am slowly getting over the negative feelings and am already looking foward to my next pregnancy and hopefully a wonderful VBAC experience. In the meantime, I get to soak up all of the beautifulness of the precious gift of Rose Catherine McCarthy. Born 7/15/13 8 lbs 11oz, 21.5 in long. 

Enjoy the birthday pics! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's a GIRL!!!!

Thought I would pick up where I left off on the blog there with the title, haha. So let's catch ya up real quick.

  1. We moved from Austin to The Woodlands, TX and we bought our first home!!! Note to self: Don't ever move 8 months pregnant ever again.
  2. Rose Catherine McCarthy was born at 11:58am on 7/15/13...don't worry, I'm saving all the juicy birth deets for another time!
  3. Rose is now almost 4 months old and to be honest with you, the first 6 weeks of her life feel like a bad dream where I was tortured without sleep! I mean, don't get me wrong I love the girl but this Mamma does NOT do well without sleep. 
  4. I am now a full time working Mom and time has never gone by so quickly!! I hope to start picking back up on the blog including a revamp on the site! For now, I leave you with pictures...enjoy
Our New Home!

3 Days before I was induced...I call this "Big Bertha"

She's Here!

Rose was born with a micro-cleft lip, we were unaware until she was born. Luckily he gums and palate are not affected! She does have a deviated septum and will have surgery to fix her lip and nose on 12/26.

Our little (aka humungous!) sweet pea! She is consistently measuring in the 90% percentile, that's my girl! 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Am I crazy?!

I just love how everything in life is planned "so perfectly" and then God's plan is "so different" than what you had planned! Ha. I will never learn.

In our dream world of what would happen the first year we were married was this:

  • We would live in our house rental in Kyle, TX (just south of Austin) as happy little newlyweds until our lease was up in July 2013. 
  • After John's school year was over he would start looking for new jobs to either move closer into Austin or in the Houston area.
  • At that point, we would look at moving back to The Woodlands, TX (where I grew up) or into the Austin area depending on where John found a job. 
  • Sometime in the fall of 2013 we would get pregnant and start settling in wherever we ended up and hopefully buying our first home. 
And here is how it has actually gone down:
  • We lived in our rental for approximately 1 month and then found out we were pregnant! 
  • And the baby's due date was conveniently July 21st (the same month as our lease being up)
  • Soooo, what do we freaking do?!
And thus we have come to the place where we are: 19.75 weeks preggo and having no idea what we should do! We have been having a lot of talks the past couple months and coughcoughargumentscough and have finally made a decision. A decision in which I feel will be one I look back on in my life and either think it was one of the best ones we ever made or what were we thinking?! We were crazy!

We have decided to move at the end of John's school year (unless he finds a job sooner) to The Woodlands, which puts me right at 7-8 months preggo. Mmmhmm, in Texas, in the summer, it's going to be soooo much fun. I do have a game plan so that I don't die, but let's be honest, game plans never go according to "plan". 

We are very lucky in that I have a job that I can live wherever I want, so it won't affect anything for me. John  on the other hand is diving into the fun world of job searching, which is always stressful and is probably great timing to go through during the last couple months and birth of your first child! People who know me well are probably assuming that I am freaking out, but I am surprisingly very trusting that this is what God wants us to do (maybe I am learning?!). I know that John will find something, we will find a place to live, and everything will go along happily ever after. So, keep us in your prayers! Oh and if you know of anything in the Houston area job wise...holler at us! 

For now, enjoy my almost 20 week bump. I don't even want to know what I am going to look like at 40 weeks! And for those wondering 1 week from today is our 20 week sono and will keep everyone posted on the BOY or GIRL news!!! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

How am I seriously almost 1/2 way?!

OK, I realize this is probably the worst quality, unattractive picture I could ever post of myself...BUT it is the first one that I feel like I have take where I actually (possibly, maybe, please-say-yes) look pregnant! I am officially 17weeks 6 days so pretty much I'm counting it as my 18 weeks picture...

Oh yah, did I mention I had a turban on my head? I seriously just got dressed and was walking by the mirror and stopped...OMG I look preggo! Snap, enjoy...

Mmmhmmm, enjoy that nice glare from the morning sun. Maybe next time I will actually get all did up in my shiny new maternity clothes and really blow you guys away! 

A little less than 3 weeks until our 20 week ultrasound where we find out if our little cub is a he or she! Until then...I'm trying to keep myself occupied. I've already taken about 10 online "Is it a boy or girl?" quizzes...most of them say boy, but I'm still feeling it's a little mini me in there! We will soon find out!

Monday, February 4, 2013

So it's been 5 months...

Wow. 5 months sure goes by fast! I totally let my "blogosphere" world down and have realized this: I am MUCH better as a stage-5-clinger-blog-stalker than I am at keeping up with my own life on the ol' blog!

In any case, it's a new year so I get a re-do right? Right. So I'll catch up realll quick:

1. Got hitched Oct. 20th, 2012 to the man of my dreams : John Daniel McCarthy

2. Yah, we are THAT couple. July 21st, 2013 (exactly 9 months +1 day) we are expecting our first little babe! After pretty much feeling like a shock wave drowned me, I am now adjusted and am super excited to start our little family! We find out March 7th if we are having a little boy or girl and I CAN NOT WAIT! 

***No, sorry no pics to show you. I mean I could post the a.) sonogram from 8 weeks and let's be honest...if the Dr. hadn't written BABY!!! next to the white mass swimming in the black hole, I wouldn't have believed any case, it's not that exciting. Or I could post b.) a 16 weeks preggo picture which really just looks like I indulged in too many holiday treats (which I did) and don't really want everyone checking THAT out. 

3. Well, that pretty much sums up my life in the past 5 months. haha Pretty exciting right? And I vow to keep you up-to-date at least once a month...I'm going to try and do a short clip once a week with some highlights! 

If you are reading this, thanks for sticking around! Things about to get crazy up in my life!