Lyra’s Birth Story

I can’t believe Lyra is almost two months old! I’ve been horrible at blogging and will probably continue to get worse but I will try, scout’s honor, to blog more. I’ll begin with her birth story since people have been asking how it happened.

I knew our baby girl would come early because 1) all of my mom’s kids came early, 2) some of my pre-pregnancy ailments were coming back like my horrible toothache, and 3) my spidey senses said so. On Sunday morning, the day before she was born, I woke up and told Chris that I was ready to have her be here (true story) but I couldn’t have predicted that she was ready too! That morning I had bloody show – I’ll leave it up to those who don’t know what that is to google it – and from all the books, it seems labor could start within 24 hours to a few days. But I didn’t think much of it.

Chris and I went out for breakfast along the water and then hung out the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, we headed to Golden Gate park for Outside Lands where we were helping out a friend sell pies. We got to hear Nate Ruess perform and walked around the concert a bit before going to our friends booth where we settled for the evening. I did get to sneak out and hear Sam Smith perform and I joined Chris to see Elton John. Looking back, I honestly didn’t feel like the day was super strenuous – especially not compared to a day of running a summer camp!

That night, a little after 2am I felt a weird abdominal cramp. I didn’t have any Braxton Hicks contractions during my pregnancy so I didn’t know what contractions would feel like. At first I shrugged it off but after it kept happening I woke Chris up and told him I may be having contractions. It was kind of freaky! The first thing we did was cover up all the clocks. It sounds silly but it was our attempt to not be ruled by the clock and focus on what was presently happening. I’m so glad because it truly made laboring a lot easier. I wasn’t looking at the time constantly and thinking about what would happen next. The contractions were irregular initially and varying in intensity. I found having Chris apply pressure on my lower back lessened the pain of each contraction so that’s what we did. At some point I decided to take a shower and told Chris to sleep so he can rest up. Who knew how long this would take? The shower was a god send. I stood in the water for a good amount of time- maybe an hour – and it felt awesome. (Droughts do not apply to pregnant ladies!) I attempted to then lay down and sleep but it was not happening. I read stories of women sleeping in between their contractions. Who the heck are these women??? Anyways, when the contractions were 4 minutes apart for over an hour we decided to go to the hospital.

My last bump photo before going to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 9:30 am. They hooked me up to a fetal monitor and my contractions slowed down considerably. It was hella frustrating! (Yes, I use that word sometimes.) I was barely a centimeter dilated and was already thinking we would be sent home. The nurse suggested we take a walk and come back in an hour to see if I made any progress. It’s funny because as soon as I started moving around the contractions came back. I was holding on to the walls as we walked around the hospital each time a contraction came, surely freaking people out. We got back to triage at 11:30am and I was 4 centimeters dilated this time! This earned me an admission to labor and deliver – woo hoo! We didn’t get up to the room until 1pm and at that point I felt like my insides were turning inside out. I was 6/7 centimeters dilated by the time they drew some blood and hooked me up to a saline IV to help with my dehydration. It was hard to keep anything down. I was in pain at that point but not enough to ask for an epidural. Chris and I decided beforehand that if I wanted an epidural, it wouldn’t be enough to just say, “I want an epidural,” but I had to say our code word which was “Shasta.” (I stole this code word from a woman in our birthing class.) I never quite got to that point of using our code word.

Around 2:35pm, I asked to take a shower because I knew the water would help with the contractions. After about five minutes in the shower, a sudden urge came to push. The best way I can describe the feeling is like having this incredible, monumental, overwhelming pressure pushing down on your insides wanting to get out. You basically feel like you’re going to poop out a watermelon (sorry for the image) and you’re bursting at the seams to do it. The nurses came in right away and said I was ready to push BUT I couldn’t push until the doctor came. It’s probably the most single-handedly cruel thing you can say to a woman in labor. Chris felt really bad because he could see I was struggling. Every time a contraction came, I told the nurse that I need to push and she kept telling me that I had to wait and that I could breathe through the contraction. After about 15 minutes of this back and forth, my doctor finally came and my water broke! You know in movies, when the woman is screaming, “Get this baby out of me!” – that was me.

I’m not going to lie, the pushing part was the hardest part of labor for me. I was able to talk in between contractions still and make jokes though so the pain wasn’t completely insufferable. Pushing did take all of my concentration and focus. I was so exhausted and could barely hold my head up after about 10 minutes that I had to ask the nurse to help me hold my head up. I was getting a little discourage when another nurse told me to get really angry and push like I really wanted this baby out. It helped because in about five minutes, she was out! And Chris and I were so happy.

All the staff at the hospital were really amazing in helping us through everything. I truly couldn’t have done it without them! Here are some photos from her first two months:


35 weeks

I’m in my last two weeks of summer camp. The kids this week are super adorable and made me this flower crown from the garden. They could have a business going! 

How far along are you? 35 weeks and 5 days

Weight gain? About 17 pounds. I’m thinking I’ll reach 20 pounds when all is said and done. 

Cravings? I noticed I want to eat more ice cream. Maybe it’s because San Francisco is actually hot! Maybe it’s because I am always sweating…

Generally feeling? Really tired these days and super winded all the time. It’s like I’m catching my breath. I’m also feeling lots of movement! This baby is partying like it’s 1999 in there.

Looking forward to? Not being pregnant! I mostly miss my old clothes. I’m also excited to meet this baby! 

Fears? Last week it was giving birth which was a total 180 from a month ago. I went down a bad rabbit hole online so now I’m avoiding Google like the plague. This week, I’m worried about how our small 1-bedroom apartment is going to contain all three of us. I also panicked because I realized we literally had nothing for the baby so I went on a shopping spree online after sending out a frantic email to all the mommas I know for their advice. 

What I’ve been loving? I have really enjoyed slowing down. It’s nice to just take it easy and really savor the last few weeks of pre-baby time.

Maternity clothes? I started to wear my non-maternity clothes, especially the bigger sweaters and tees. I just like my old clothes better. 

Gender? Still a secret until August!

29 weeks

We’re in the third trimester! Chris says it seems like I’ve been pregnant forever, which sounds horrible  by the way, but I beg to differ. When we first found out, I had oodles of time on my hands and it did feel like the days were dragging on especially because I was feeling nauseous. But now, between consulting and Bay Leaf, I’m working about 10 hours a day so time is really flying.

On our babymoon trip to Cabo

How far along are you? 29 weeks.

Weight gain? I think close to 12 or 13 pounds. People keep on saying how “small” I look but here’s the thing people, the weight is seriously all in my thighs. I feel the weight gain there more than anywhere else. Plus we just saw the doctor two days ago and she said that the baby is growing normally and is at the right weight!
Cravings? I don’t think I have any to be honest. I know some women who absolutely need to have something but I have been eating pretty much the same.

Generally feeling? Great most of the time! Though lately I’ve dreaded getting out of bed in the morning, but that’s probably a normal non-pregnant thing. And the baby is so active now! At first, it was like awww, the baby’s moving. Now it’s like, baby, stop moving! It hurts the most when the baby steps on my organs such as my bladder- which is P-A-I-N-F-U-L. Sometimes the baby punches or kicks me so hard, it literally knocks me out of my seat. This baby will probably grow up to be a UFC Champion or a ninja.

Looking forward to? Honestly, probably giving birth at this point as weird as that sounds. Lets do this! (But in 10 or 11 weeks.)

Fears? Killing my husband. Things are gonna be harry in the beginning so let’s be real. I just don’t want to kill each other. 
What I’ve been loving? Imagining what our baby will look like! I like to think the baby could get Chris’ blue eyes – how cool would that be?!

Maternity clothes? I bought a couple more items from Target such as a basic tee and a basic tank dress. I don’t think I’ll buy any more clothes at this point even if I do get bigger. I can still pull off some of my bigger non-maternity tees so that should tie me over.

Gender? Still a secret until August!

23 Weeks

Two days away from the 6 month mark and time is flying by. I am looking more “pregnant” these days though some people I have met lately could not have guessed it – like this guy I met on Monday at a bar who offered me a beer. No, it’s not what you think! It was at a happy hour fundraiser for Bay Leaf Kitchen and the guy was the craft beer supplier who donated beer for the event. It seems all the flowy tops I own cover up my bump a little too well.

How far along are you? 23 weeks and 5 days.

Weight gain? About 10 pounds. 4 pounds up from my last weigh-in! I definitely feel it in my thighs more than anything. 
Cravings? I’ve been eating lots of fruit. Mango with some sea salt is my latest thing which Chris finds absolutely appalling! I’ve been salting fruit my whole life, can’t stop now! Is that weird?

Generally feeling? Really good. I don’t feel sick anymore and I am able to keep up with my busy schedule. I stopped taking naps in the afternoon too.

Looking forward to? Going home to see my family in a couple weeks! This is the first real time I am seeing them after telling everyone the news. 

Fears? Getting bigger. It’s not really a fear but it just feels strange how much my body is changing. I am ecstatic for this baby but some days, and only some days, I feel like I’m staging an alien hostile takeover inside of me and there’s nothing I can do about it. 
What I’ve been loving? Making some fun stuff for the baby such as a DIY baby mobile. I kind of forgot how much I love going to craft stores.

Maternity clothes? Still the same. I wear a lot of my pre-pregnancy tops or Chris’ shirts, hehe. Mostly because I don’t have a lot of maternity tops and I am trying not to buy anymore. Though I pretty much live in my maternity leggings.

Gender? Still keeping it a secret until August!

20 Weeks

Holy moly, we are half way there! I can’t really imagine having a BABY in 20 weeks. I know, I should have thought about that before. I guess what I mean is that I can’t believe this is actually happening. As for showing, it totally depends on what I’m wearing. Oddly enough, when I wear maternity clothes I look more pregnant.

How far along are you? 20 weeks and 1 day.

Weight gain? About 6 pounds. 
Cravings? I don’t have any particular strong cravings and pretty much eat the same way I was eating pre-pregnancy. I do tend to make more comfort meals now like pasta or chicken and biscuits. I also am eating red meat again which I do crave from time to time.

Generally feeling? Not too bad now. I have more energy and my cold is slowly going away.

Looking forward to? Signing up for birthing classes so I can stop googling things like, “what hurts more – appendicitis or childbirth,” and “how to not kill my husband in the delivery room.” 

Fears? I have so many right now. One of them is not being able to stay fit throughout pregnancy. I workout about five times a week rotating between Barre and Pilates. It’s gotten tougher because I get so easily out of breath. Luckily both Barre and Pilates are low impact. I definitely can’t do any of the plyo circuit training I was doing before which is totally OK with me. 
What I’ve been loving? Clearing out our shoebox to make room for the baby. It feels good to get rid of a lot of stuff we’ve been hanging on to. I laugh when people tell me it’s okay if you don’t have the nursery decorated by the time the baby arrives. If only they knew the “nursery” is going to be a corner in our bedroom…

Maternity clothes? Most of my pre-pregnancy clothes still fit but I am now wearing maternity bottoms almost exclusively. Those stretchy panels are great! 

Gender? Keeping it a secret until August! We did create a registry though and you can check it out here. And yes, we are cloth diapering! No, we’re not crazy. And yes, we know about the poop. 

Apples and Carrots, Oh My

Apples and carrots, carrots and apples. We are up to our eyeballs in apples and carrots.

This past Sunday, Bay Leaf Kitchen participated in Sunday Streets, a fun outdoor street festival in SF that promotes health and well-being. Capay Organic was generous in donating all the produce we needed that day…and then some.

Look at our fridge!

It’s bananas people. Or carrots more accurately. Our fridge was filled to the brim with carrots. We used up about half so now the remainder of the carrots are in the fridge, or in a crate in our kitchen where the leftover apples are also taking over prime real estate making it a fun, little maze. I’ve been handing out carrots and apples left and right to everyone I’ve seen this week. I even tipped our delivery guy tonight with two bundles of carrots. He said it was the best tip he’s gotten all week. Great! I think?

We are totally stepping it up with the antioxidants and vitamin A. I just hope I don’t turn orange. Orange and pregnant. Cats out of the bag now!

My ultrasound from 11 weeks. You can see an arm!
It was hard to keep it a secret. It seems the norm is to not spill the beans until the second trimester but we ended up telling our friends and family much earlier. We had a rough start to the pregnancy and it felt good to have a support system. 
I was able to get an appointment with the OB the day before we were to fly out to NY for the holidays. We went from the highest high to the lowest low in seconds after the very eager nurse practitioner declared in such a gung ho manner that our pregnancy was not viable. I think a revisit to patient care wouldn’t be a bad idea for her. I’m not a doctor but after binge watching 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in two and a half months, I think you try and deliver bad news a little less enthusiastically. Anyways, we left the doctor’s office thinking I had to prepare for surgery because the pregnancy looked ectopic. We cancelled our flights home and waited for two days for the test results. It was not fun. 
It was nerve-wracking waiting. I hated the idea of surgery, more so than losing the baby truthfully. I was told this surgery would require general anesthesia which really freaked me out and I was absolutely dreading it. 
Thankfully, we heard good news. It was major relief. I was monitored over the next few weeks and we started to tell more people. I am still waiting for that glowing pregnant feeling. So far, I feel very tired all the time and I get agitated very quickly. Sorry Chris!

I’ve also done a fair amount of googling things I can and cannot eat. Here’s a sample of my recent searches:

“pregnancy anchovies”
“pregnancy pea shoots”
“pregnancy fish sauce”
“pregnancy fontina”
“pregnancy lobster”

P.S. all okay things to eat. Yay!

The thing I miss the most surprisingly is eating things made out of raw egg. More specifically, aioli, pudding, and Cesar dressing. And SALAMI! For some weird reason, I am craving salami. Deli meat is a big no because of blah, blah, blah. It’s all the same to me.

So if I am being a bitch, its because I just really want a salami sandwich smothered in aioli.
I’m making a human being! 🙂 Forgive me?