Emmie's Birth Story

2017 had just ended and I was still pregnant. My due date was December 31st and I thought for sure that she was going to be born early. I mean I could feel as though she was going to fall out of me for weeks when I went on my walks! While I was sad she had not arrived yet, I was happy that she was full term and healthy.

 Ready to pop!

Ready to pop!

New years morning I couldn't fall asleep even though I had spent the day cleaning. The entire day I had an amazing surge of energy and deep cleaned the house. Yes, even behind the couch and all the baseboards! Nesting was at its peak! I stayed up to see my husband come new years eve since he had to work a late shift. We watched some shows for a few hours and went to bed. At around 4 am I felt a cramp. It was not like my braxton hicks, it was like a period cramp but just a bit more uncomfortable. 

With my first birth, I never felt the contractions in the beginning. While I was hooked up to a monitor the nurse asked me if I felt anything. I looked at her strangely because I honestly felt nothing. She said I was having very strong contractions and she just couldn't understand why I was just laying there not in pain! Only until they had given me pitocin a few hours later is when I understood what a true contraction felt like. The only idea of a contraction I had was that they were very hard, close and extremely painful thanks to pitocin. The contractions I was having new years morning were slightly uncomfortable but they kept coming back. I used my handy dandy app to count the minutes in between and sure enough, they were each about 5 minutes a part. 

I wanted to wake my husband up but I knew he had to get up early to go to work. My goal this birth was to labor as long as possible at home so that I wouldn't need to get any unneeded procedures or drugs at the hospital like my first birth.

The hours went by, I watched youtube videos in bed as the contractions grew stronger. My husband woke up to go to work and I told him I had been having contractions all morning long. He began freaking out and wanted to call into work sick. I told him I'd be fine and I could possibly be in labor for the entire day so he may as well go in. He only works 15 minutes away so if he did have to leave it wouldn't be that long of a drive back.

I got up and made myself a sandwich because I knew it'll probably be my last meal for a while. Hubs went off to work and I got cozy on the couch after having a nice hot shower.

By 8:30 am the contractions started to get very intense and much more painful where it was hard to talk. I now regretted sending my husband off to work. Should I just ask my neighbor to take me to the hospital?! I called my husband and he insisted he come home and we all go down to labor and delivery together. I make a quick phone call to the hospital to let them know I was on my way. Luckily I live 8 minutes away from the hospital!

By 10 am we were checked in and I was trying my best to answer the nurses questions as the contractions came on stronger. She checked me and I was at 6 cm which meant I was allowed to stay! The last thing I wanted was to be told to go home!

I transferred to my birth room and was so happy my midwife was there. It was not her day to be delivering and it was a holiday, but she came in anyway! I was so thankful! After getting hooked up to the IV and monitors I labored for a few hours. By 1 pm I was at 8 cm and my midwife broke my water.

I was hoping that it would move things along a bit but it took a while. After my water broke the contractions were almost unbearable. I was experiencing back labor and let me tell you, it is the worse thing ever! I mean nothing about labor is easy, but add back labor and all hell just broke loose. Did I mention I had a cold so I couldn't breathe well. All the nurses were telling me to breathe as I was sobbing, "I can't! My nose is plugged!!"

I honestly felt like I was going to pass out half and hour into the back labor. My midwife kept asking if I felt pressure but I didn't know what was happening, it was a blur. My body was spazing out and my mind was slowly failing me. I screamed for my husband to tell them to get me the epidural. Of course he tried to convince me otherwise. 

I finally convinced everyone that I needed the epidural unless they all wanted me to pass out. They said they would get the anesthesiologist but they didn't know how long it would be.

Well, my body was having other plans at this point. The pressure that my midwife kept asking me about came on suddenly. I screamed at my husband to get the nurses but before he could leave the room they already knew and were running in. 

My midwife quickly broke me the news that the epidural was going to be a no go. I was too far along now and baby was coming out any moment! I was more relieved than upset that I couldn't get the epidural because I knew it would all be over soon.

Three pushes later our little Emmie was born. They put her on my chest and the first thing I said was "She's so tiny!" I forgotten how small newborn babies are. She was perfect and I couldn't believe what just happened. My husband kept telling me I was a "champ" and he could never do what I just did. I honestly never thought I could do what I just did. 

 Hello baby! The moment they put her in my arms.

Hello baby! The moment they put her in my arms.

While I didn't have the birth I wanted, when does anyone really? Birth stories are awesome and amazing to read because they can be so spontaneous and crazy. If you are a first time mom reading this, just know that everything will happen for a reason. You got this, and even if you don't, there are such amazing nurses, midwives and doctors who will help you through it. Each time I've given birth I've been so lucky to have such supportive people in the delivery room with me.
 

All Hope Is Not Lost, Finding Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2

The birth of my first daughter traumatized me. For years I swore I would never have another child. I had a 3rd degree tear with my first and the recovery took months. From her birth to her eczema and allergies, I didn't think I'd have enough in me for another baby. 

Fast forward a few years after Maia's birth and I felt like something was missing in our family. I grew up with a sibling and wanted the same for her. However, I didn't want to bring into the world another little one for the sake of my daughter having a playmate. Then it happened. The same feeling that I had felt when I knew that I wanted to get pregnant the first time came over me again. Something felt missing in our family and I knew it was time to try for another baby. 

Getting pregnant with my first took almost a year, so I expected it to take some time this time around. We tried for a year and I still was not pregnant. I was charting and actually putting effort into it since my biological clock was ticking. A few more months rolled by and nothing. Each pregnancy test I took, I was slowly losing hope. I finally told myself that it just wasn't in the cards for me. I told my husband let's just get a dog and stop trying. I didn't want to be pregnant after this year because I wanted to concentrate on my business since Maia would be going to Kindergarten soon. If it was meant to be it would have but it just wasn't happening, so I gave up. I cried for days to myself alone over the whole situation.

A few weeks after the talk I had with my husband I was just feeling "off." No throwing up, nothing really. I just didn't feel like myself so I decided to take one more pregnancy test. I had a ton that I had ordered off Amazon so I figured, why not? 

A few minutes after taking the test there were 2 pink lines. Is it possible!? I took 2 more and they each told me I was pregnant. I didn't know what to feel. We had already adopted a dog and I had come to terms with never giving Maia a sibling. Doesn't the world work in such strange ways? Thrill finally filled me and happiness followed. I couldn't wait to tell Maia and my husband!

 The actual tests. Of course I had to document this moment!

The actual tests. Of course I had to document this moment!

I ran out to the living room and told her that I had a secret. She was so excited when I told her she squealed, "I always wanted to be a sister mommy!" We planned to tell my husband with a card made by her. It was sweet, he came home from work and she handed him her card. He opened it in shock. We all screamed in excitement as a family.  I'll never forget that day when all hope was not lost. I guess sometimes this world knows what is best for you even when you may not.

 That awkward part of pregnancy where you just look like you ate too much and have a food baby.

That awkward part of pregnancy where you just look like you ate too much and have a food baby.

Moving from Hawaii to the Mainland: Part One

When I think about Hawaii, only happy memories flood my mind. To me, Hawaii is the most amazing place to grow up. You truly get both worlds. There is an amazing city life with a small town feel where you are only 3 degrees separated from the person standing in front of you in the grocery store. Anywhere you go, you are usually less than 30 minutes from dipping your toes in the pacific ocean or a hiking to a breathtaking view.  Not to mention, the food is incredible and so diverse. I still can't stop thinking about all the food! 

The decision to move away was an extremely difficult decision for our family. We just couldn't imagine leaving everything we knew. From our family and friends, to the security of our home. Many people ask us, how could we ever leave and why would we?

As amazing as island life is, there is the reality of daily life. The cost of living in Hawaii is very high. The average cost for a gallon of milk is about 5 to 6 dollars. Rent for a one bedroom is approximately 1200 to 1500 and trust me there are no amenities included with that price and it is a very SMALL one bedroom. While there are many cities with a high cost of living, most people will make significantly more in their salary to pay for the higher cost of their city. Not so in Hawaii. Here is a great article about the cost of living in Hawaii in more detail: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/02/living-hawaii-warning-signs-many-people-can-earn-more-elsewhere/

That being said, the culture in Hawaii is to live with your parents until you can afford to buy your own place. Many are never able to afford to move out and many opt to simply build onto their family's existing home or wait to inherit a home or piece of land. It is typical to find more than just the immediate family living under one household. Without family, many struggle to pay the bills. There is a large growing homeless population because while many do work, they just cannot afford a home.

We are lucky enough to have very supportive family but even while we both were working and living at home. It just wasn't enough to buy a home. To us, the ability to afford a home was a big part for our move. Many people who move away wish they didn't have to, but you can only go for so long just surviving before you start to look for other options.

Besides a cheaper cost of living, the ability to travel cheaply and easily is a big bonus. I love the fact that we can drive a few hours and visit a place we have never been to! While we no longer have easy access to the ocean, it is just a few hours away. Living on the mainland, we get to experience seasons and snow!! I didn't know how much I LOVE wearing boots! I didn't own a single pair until we moved here. I am now addicted and my collection is slowly growing. 

 Maia and her great grandma. 

Maia and her great grandma. 

Being away from our family has been extremely difficult. We have discovered that sometimes the distance brings together your family more than you ever thought.  When we visit Hawaii, it's like we never left and we truly cherish our time with everyone so much more. We soak in the sun just a little longer and hug our family for just a few seconds more since we don't know when we will be back. Luckily we live in a day and age where there is Skype, social media and airplanes to keep us all connected. I try to look at all the positives because it is so easy to get homesick. 

While it has definitely been a transition for all of us, we know that this adventure is far from over and one day we may find ourselves back living in Hawaii. Luckily we have made new friends and are slowly finding our place here. We plan to purchase our first home soon, my daughter is able to go to preschool (She was very behind socially so it's amazing to see the growth preschool has given her) and I am able to finally have a space of my own for my business. We have been able to save while being able to almost finish paying our student loan as well. 

Moving to the mainland has made me appreciate the rich culture that Hawaii provided us growing up. I realize that it is something lacking in this young town and something I long for more than the ocean. I hope that I am still able to share pieces of Hawaii with my daughter with yearly visits back but I know it will never be the same. It is a sacrifice that I hope she understands we've made so that she can experience other amazing opportunities I feel she will be able to have here.