Kensington Grace: A Birth Story (Part One)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our itty bitty baby doll. So small, but so long. 

Wednesday May 3rd. I was scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 8pm to begin my induction process. Daniel had a Wednesday night class that didn't let out until 9:50 so we packed up the car with my hospital bag and he took me to my parents house. The plan was for them to take me to the hospital, get me checked in and then Daniel would meet us there when he was done. I tried to stay as calm as possible, knowing that when I left our apartment it would be the last time without a teeny tiny babe. My mom and I watched movies and we went out for Mexican food for dinner. Around 6pm the hospitals charge nurse called to say that they had too many active labors and that they would need to push my induction. She told me to relax, get some sleep and expect a call from them around midnight or 1am to come get the process started. I managed to get about 3 hours of sleep before I was up checking my phone and waiting for the call...

Midnight came...and went. So did 1am, 2am, and 3am.

Finally around 4am I assumed the hospital forgot about me (up to this point they hadn't been the most organized) so I called labor and delivery and they asked me to be at the hospital by 5. This worked out fine for us, as we are just about 15 minutes away from the hospital and it gave me enough time to take a hot shower (best decision I made all morning) and have breakfast (second best decision I made all morning). 

Thursday May 4th. After we arrived at the hospital they admitted me right away and got me started on pitocin. I was only dilated to 1cm but I was 80% effaced so they decided to start the pitocin on a low dose to see where it got us. My doctor came in shortly after that and broke my water (hello, uncomfortable feeling) and I proceeded to get water ALL OVER the labor room floor. Thankful for a husband who doesn't mind cleaning up my messes. 

After that, Daniel decided to sleep a little bit more, and I watched movies while I waited for anything to happen (spoiler: nothing did for a very long time).

Eventually my parents came to the hospital. My mom was planning on being in the delivery room for the birth but until things got up and running my dad hung out with us as well. Daniel, my dad and I played monopoly and I kept getting myself into trouble because every time the nurses walked in to check on me I was laughing a little too much so they kept upping the dosage on my pitocin and by about halfway through monopoly my contractions were strong and consistent enough that I was ready for my epidural.

We called for the nurse, who went to get the anesthesiologist right away. He came in, had me sit on the edge of the bed and I began preparing myself for some pretty bad pain. Surprisingly, I hardly felt a thing. Which was great because I had to be stuck twice. The first time the needle tried going into a blood vessel, which is not the place you want it to be. Luckily, they check before they start administering the medicine and so he removed it and started again. That second time was a little bit more uncomfortable, but still didn't really hurt.

As soon as the epidural started kicking in, I kept asking my mom and Daniel to tell me when I was having contractions because I couldn't feel a thing. It was magical. At this point they checked me again and I was dilated to 4cm, and although we were moving along, I knew we still had a ways to go.

Four hours later, around 3pm or so, the nurse checked me one more time and saw that I was dilated to 9cm! I couldn't believe it, as I had expected it to be a good amount of time longer before we were that close. I couldn't get any rest so I hung out with my mom and Daniel, ate ice chips while we waited for the real fun to begin.

To Be Continued!

I Could Use A Strong Cup of Coffee

Friday, May 19, 2017

If we were meeting for coffee I'd ask you to ignore my messy bun and sweat pants. Coffee is a casual thing, right? I've pretty much been living in the same three pairs of sweat pants and even though I've gotten a nice shower every day I can't seem to find the time to do anything with my hair once it's clean. 

If we were meeting for coffee I'd tell you that I have to order tea, even though I could really, really use a good cup of coffee. I've had to add some iron supplements into my diet after Kensington's birth because of a few complications and caffeine is an iron blocker. It's been juice in the morning for me, and I'd tell you how that just isn't going to cut it for much longer.

If we were meeting for coffee I'd ask you to fill me in on all the things going on in the world lately. Somehow two weeks ago I went in for an induction and suddenly time lost all meaning and I've got absolutely no idea what's going on in the world. Have I missed anything too important?

If we were meeting for coffee I'd show you all the baby pictures. Because I made a perfect, tiny little human and I just want everyone to know. 

If we were meeting for coffee I'd ask you what you were reading lately. Now that we're getting into the swing of things around here, I'm finally looking for a couple of good books to start reading. I'd love any and all suggestions!

What would you want to talk about if we were having coffee? 

Kensington Grace (Weeks 1 & 2)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I can't even begin to wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow we'll already have a two week old. Until I can get a minute to sit down and actually write her birth story, I thought I'd just share baby K's life in pictures over the past couple of weeks.

1// My first morning with you in the hospital. We had plenty of visitors but I managed to soak up as much cuddle time as I could steal away from the rest of the group. You slept through everyone coming to see you, but we've got the pictures as proof for you later. 

2// This was taken right after your first bath, which you HATED. You cried the whole time, but once we got you some skin to skin contact right after you felt much better. 

3// Sweet baby in a dockatot. This thing has been a lifesaver for co-sleeping. You're not the biggest fan of being swaddled but when you're being fussy it does the trick to get you to sleep. 

4// I have so many sweet baby outfits I can't wait to put you in, but you're still just too tiny to fit into most of them. Yesterday we bought a couple of preemie outfits and those are only a little bit better fitting on you. You're just our teeniest tiniest little thing. 

5// I'm just so in love with those big baby eyes. The jury is still out on what color eyes you might have.

6// We had to take you back to the hospital because of your jaundice levels. You spent all night under the UV lights which was like little baby torture for you, and when you were allowed to sleep next to us you were so much more content. 

7// Your little milk drunk baby face makes us laugh every single time. 

8// You got to meet your great, great grandmother for the first time on our very first Mother's Day. You are surrounded by generations of family and I know it'll be quite awhile before you understand how important and wonderful that is. 

9// As soon as we put you in the car you pretty much fall asleep like a little angel baby. Those chubby cheeks just melt my heart. 

Daniel and I are just soaking up every single minute of baby cuddles while we can. Today I introduced baby wearing, and I feel like I just discovered life's greatest creation. We're so happy, so tired and just so in love with our little bird. I think we're going to be pretty great at this parenting thing.

Peralta, Party of 3: Welcoming Kensington Grace

Thursday, May 11, 2017

We're happy, and sleepy and just the most content and cuddly family of three. 

Our sweet little girl has completely wrapped herself around our hearts and we couldn't imagine life without her. 

We love you, precious girl. 

Plenty of stories and pictures to come! 

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This month I'll be having my first Mother's Day with a teeny tiny babe of my very own.

Since I know things are going to get very busy for us in the next couple of weeks, I wanted to get a head start on trying to pick out a gift for my mama so I don't end up waiting until the last minute and miss out on getting her something great.

If you're looking for some suggestions, I recommend starting here.

Happy almost Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

Have you picked out a gift yet? What are you thinking about getting for your mom this year? 

Everything I Remember From Sixth-Grade Home Economics.

Monday, May 08, 2017

I went to middle school in Ohio and in sixth grade I couldn't wait to take home economics. They taught us things like how to cook pancakes, the "correct" way to wash dishes, and how to sew.

Considering the fact that I can only cook pancakes from a box mix, Daniel always gets mad at me for the way I do the dishes and I have absolutely no idea how to sew, I started reflecting back on some of the other skills that I learned from that class that at some point or another I've probably let go to waste.

The one thing that I remember from that class above all else was a project that we did where we were given one of those mechanical baby dolls to take home for a weekend.

Do you know the ones I'm talking about? They look scarily similar to real life babies and when they send you home with them they give you outfits, a car seat, a diaper bag and everything else you might need to care for your little crying, eating, sleeping pretend child. I've never seen anyone else do one of those projects outside of my middle school and I'm not positive that they even do them anymore.

It's supposed to act as a form of birth control, reminding your little middle-schooler self that you absolutely cannot take care of a baby. At the time I couldn't have been more excited to bring mine home, and my parents were more then happy to sign the permission slip for me, so my naive self went to class on a Friday and packed up my baby as happy as could be.

My mom decided to take full advantage of the project. She decided we would use that weekend to do everything. She prepared a full list of errands for us to run and we spent all day out with this baby that looked real enough that I was getting pointed at and whispered about pretty much everywhere we went. Considering even today I get weird looks when people see my pregnant belly and try to guess if I could possibly be over 15, I can only imagine how I must have looked at 12 carrying a full diaper bag and baby.

At the time I thought that my mechanical baby was broken considering the fact that she cried in every store and restaurant we went to. By the time we got home, 12 year old me was discouraged and tired and ready to hand the baby over to my parents or even my 8 year old sister, but I had no takers. We went to bed that night and the baby woke me up over and over. I got to the point where I was so exhausted that I slept on the floor next to the mechanical baby with it's bottle and blankets and diapers and sensor so I would be prepared for anything and everything that it might throw at me.

I remember being close to tears when I didn't guess on the first try what they baby needed, and all I wanted to do was take it back to school.

Needless to say the baby project did it's job. I didn't have a baby in my teenage years and as I sit here just days away from meeting my baby in real life I'm hoping that my 25 year old self will pick up things on a quicker learning curve than middle school me.

I'm only slightly nervous that I'll have flashbacks of not knowing how to care for my pretend child, while I'm begging my baby to tell me what she needs. However I'd like to believe that I'll have picked up a few more natural mother instincts by now. And if not, I can only hope that my mom will be much more willing to help me out now than she was for my project :)

Did you ever take home economics? What do you remember from those days? 

Today is Baby Day

Thursday, May 04, 2017

To our littlest love,

Today your dad and I welcome you into the world with open arms. After nine months of anticipation, wondering and planning it's finally time for you to make your debut and I can only imagine that you will far surpass any amount of perfect that we've already imagined you will be.

We've spent the last nine months planning for your arrival. Your baby clothes are hung, your bedroom is ready for you (although I can't ever imagine you sleeping anywhere far away from me) and both physically and emotionally we couldn't be more ready to meet you.

We've dreamt about what you'll look like, who's eyes you'll have and what color. Whether you'll have my ears, or your dad's nose. Speaking of your dad, I'm much more nervous about your arrival than he is, although he's had much less experience with babies. The two of us know we have a lot to learn but we hope you'll be patient with us while we figure it out along the way.

For you, I hope that you'll enter this world in wonderment. That you'll dream big, fight for the things you believe in and never stop searching for the thing that makes you most happy in life. When you find that thing, whatever it may be, I hope you'll hold on to it. I haven't met you yet, not officially, but I think for me that thing is you.

I hope you always dance when you're given the chance and knowing your dad I know he'll give you that chance as often as possible. I hope you'll meet new people, try things and never be afraid to experience life.

You're entering the world into a family that loves you beyond your wildest beliefs. Upon finding out about you, you quickly became the family favorite and I know that theres nothing you could ever do that could change that in the eyes of anyone waiting here for you. You've got aunt's, uncles, grandparents, even great grandparents who are anticipating meeting you.

You are so, so loved little girl.

I hope you're kind and thoughtful. I hope you're curious and that you strive to learn new things. I hope you're a reader (and coming from our family, I'm not sure how you couldn't be). I want your imagination to run free. I want you to feel confident in everything that you do, and I want you to take every opportunity that life offers you.

You are so special, I knew it the first time I felt your little flutter inside my belly. I hope that you'll give me the chance to be the best mom for you and that you'll forgive me as we go through the inevitable trial and errors of a mom and daughter kind of love.

No matter what I hope you never forget that as soon as I found out about you, you became the most important thing in my entire life and I love you more than all the stars in the sky.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.


Your mom

Last night at 8pm Daniel and I checked into the hospital for an elective induction to welcome our sweet baby girl. By the time any of you are reading this we are either still waiting for her to arrive, or just welcoming her into the world. I can only imagine we are exhausted, overwhelmed with emotion and so, so in love. I'll check in soon with updates and pictures. Happy baby day to us, and happy Thursday to all of you! 

Garlic Broccoli Soup

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

One thing I really wanted to do prior to Kensington's arrival was to have some meals prepped and ready to go in the freezer.

At least for her first couple of weeks I knew we'd have a lot of people in and out that would help make sure we were eating well, but once it was time for everyone to go back home I didn't want to be left without quick and easy (and healthy) meals that we could just re-heat and have ready to go.

Unfortunately I got to the point where the thought of standing all day in the kitchen to do any type of meal prepping sounded like the last thing I wanted to do, and I started thinking of what I could go pick up from Trader Joe's to fill the freezer that would still be as easy to make.

Luckily for us when I told Daniels grandma about it she was sweet enough to offer to come spend the day cooking in my kitchen and made us enough meals that our freezer is now completely full. She made us three types of enchiladas, a couple of casseroles, some breakfast quiches, a turkey that we sliced for sandwiches, red chile beef, some grilled chicken and a few other things. I also made myself some cheese potatoes (which have been a comfort staple since I was a little girl) and soup.

I love soup no matter what time of year it is. I especially love to have soup in little baggies in the freezer because they're so quick to reheat and always taste better after the first time they're cooked. I don't love cheese soups or anything overly heavy like that but I do like broccoli soup and when someone told me this recipe for a garlic broccoli soup, I knew I had to try it. It has literally everything I love, garlic, butter and veggies and it comes out so creamy and delicious. With some homemade croutons or a baguette it's such an easy meal. It also only takes about a half hour with prep and cook time which I am all about.

3 Heads of Broccoli (roughly chopped) 
1 Tbs Flour
3 Tbs Butter
Garlic (amount based on taste preference)
1 Large Container Chicken Broth
1 Carrot 
Water (to balance out some of the broth)

Melt butter in a deep soup pan.  
Add garlic and brown the garlic in the butter. 
When garlic is fragrant (but not burned) add chopped broccoli and carrot. 
Cook the vegetables until they are somewhat softened. 
Add the flour on top of the vegetables and cook for a minute or two. 
Add your container of chicken broth and a cup or two of water, depending on how much space you have. 
Raise your heat and let cook for 15 minutes. 
Blend vegetables and broth in blender or food processor until soup is smooth. 
Add salt and pepper to taste. 

I put the soup in individual baggies and put them directly in the freezer. Let me know if you try out this recipe!

What are some of your favorite freezer recipes? 

More or Less in May

Monday, May 01, 2017

More baby... Less pregnancy. Kensington's due date is May 10th but we've scheduled an induction for this week and I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified.

More family time... Less work.

More eating at home... Less spending money out.

More reading... Less Netflix.

More coffee on our front porch... Less being bedridden. 

More Spring flowers.

More baby cuddles.

More budgeting.

More happiness.

Less anticipation.

Less worry.

Less wondering.

Less waiting.

What are you hoping for more or less of this month? 

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