My Birth Story, squared. 

Alright Kiddos, settle in. 
Some of you remember my birth story with my oldest son, James. After reading this, you will truly understand how every birth is different. 

Let start from the top, shall we? My pregnancies were the same until 30 weeks and then this one went left. I had pain galore that, of course, I couldn’t do much about as it was intestinal (in opposition to the back pain and nausea I had with James). I was also way over pregnancy. Way. Over. 

Stupidly, I believed lies and utter deceit like “all second babies comes faster and have a shorter labor.” Lies and deceit I tell you. At 39 weeks, I hadn’t even dropped. No dilation was taking place and this kid was literally hugging my placenta with no intent to vacate. So, instead of being passive I did everything I could… everything…

-Massaging and diffusing Clary Sage Oil

-Walking

-Sex

-Squats

-Bouncing on that stupid ball

-Eggplant Parmesan 

-Pineapple (an entire produce lot)

-Spicy Food

-Castor Oil (3 disgusting doses)

And guess what I got? Nothing. A bunch of nothing…until…

Contractions!!!! Hard, fast and regular contractions. #babyontheway They lasted for an hour or two.  Then they went away…after I called my husband and called a sitter…just great. 

Then, much later that night, could it be? Would it be? Yes!!!! Sweet Lord, YES! More contractions. Consistent, close together (4 mins a part) contractions and I lost my mucus plug! Woohooo! My contractions were never that close with James so off to triage we went with hope and expectation in our hearts only to find out I was only 1.5 cm dilated. We walked like our lives depended on it for 2 hours. I even beared down and pushed with contractions and then… nothing. “No change unfortunately” according to the nurse. I’ve never felt defeat like that. I cried a quiet, whole-body-shake sob while my husband held me and told me it was going to be ok. I did get one victory out of that night-muscle relaxers because ain’t nobody got time for meaningless contractions. 

So, basically any time I moved contractions would ramp up in intensity and in quantity. If I laid on my side I could keep them 10-20 minutes apart. For 2 days this was my life. It was miserable. I was miserable. Fast forward to Christmas morning-a contraction woke me up at 6 a.m. that made me wake up my husband. Laying down couldn’t stop the contractions or keep them as far apart. Moving made them way more intense and close together. I laid down as much as I could. Around 7 p.m., they had a mind of their own. They just kept coming, anywhere from 4 to 15 minutes apart. Then, just one hour later, a contraction came that I couldn’t just breathe through and had to moan. Then, another one, same thing, except a gush of fluid I wasn’t familiar with came and kept coming. My water broke. 

My gut told me I need to leave now. With James, my water broke about 20 minutes before I was crowning and I live about 20 minutes from the hospital. My mind, always one for tricks, said “it’s ok. You’ve got time. You’ve got this.” I listened to my mind. 

10 minutes later when I couldn’t even walk because the contractions were so close together and I felt all the pressure, I listened to my gut. In the same 10 minutes, my husband somehow got James ready for bed and asleep as well himself dressed. Then, he got me dressed, gave the neighbors watching James (on the monitor) the run down and we were off. I couldn’t sit in the seat. I said to my husband, “Babe, turn on the hazards. This is your NASCAR moment.” I still don’t know how many lights he ran. 

As if that wasn’t enough, now, let’s cue in some drama. Again, contractions on contractions on contractions, y’all. I couldn’t walk so a nurse had to come get me in a wheel chair. I couldn’t talk. Just screams. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t focus. Then, she checked me and I was only 3.5 cm. Then, I could talk. “Give me IV drugs. I want the drugs!” 

Some minutes later, I’m in a room in L&D and get checked again, I’m 7.5-8 cm and wouldn’t ya know it, moving too fast to get drugs. Now, I move too fast??? 3 days of labor and now we move fast. So, naturally, I assume this is the end and I’m going to die. No one can make it through this. Something is gravely wrong the medical staff just hasn’t discovered it yet, I think. I felt like this was moving so quick to save it’s own life. Knowing my fate, I then throw up. Bless Nurse Chelsi who caught it just in the nick of time. 

PAUSE: Let’s talk about how I wanted this birth to be so freaking zen. I had my essential oils and diffuser packed, a wonderful playlist and my affirmations ready to go. I was going to be a happy patient the nurses delighted with. The one they didn’t have to worry about. Y’all…

PLAY: The nurse checks me again…”She’s at 9.5. Do you feel pressure, Tenikca?” That question was posed at the start of another 4-5 minute contraction. I wanted to say something really smart like “You can’t tell that I feel a lot of things right now with a freaking freight train moving at full speed through me?” but all I could get out was “WHY WONT IT STOP?” 
PAUSE: Can y’all imagine contractions lasting 4-5 minutes?? I can’t and I went through it. Also, they were literally off the charts. I knew death was chasing me and closing the gap. 

PLAY: Then I felt a different pressure. I’d already pushed 3 times without permission. The nurses said I could push with the next contraction, that, of course, was on the heels of the last one so I did and then HOLY RING OF FIRE!!! Somehow, because this contraction won’t stop neither do I and I keep pushing. Then, I push again. I feel like everyone is telling me to stop. They keep calling my name and trying to get me to look at them-the nurses, my husband, they are all trying to tell me to stop but there was no way. If I’m gonna die it needs to happen sooner rather than later, I thought. My husband gets my attention and says very clearly, “Pull him out!” Ohhhhhhh. That’s why everyone was calling my name. 

On Christmas night, at 9:54 p.m., less than 1 hour after we got to the hospital, less than 2 hours after my water broke, with ‘Make You Feel My Love’ playing, I delivered Jude Lawrence. 

Then, I engaged in casual banter with the nurses. I apologized. They were full of grace. The doctor doesn’t know it but we are homies. He was super cool and calm and was real “whatevs” but super professional and efficient at the same time. I saw him out of the corner of my eye during one of those “contractions” (we can all agree that what I endured should be called something else) and yelled, “I want to pull him out.” I’m pretty sure his response was “cool”. 

In case you were wondering, I didn’t die. Didn’t even come close. My health was actually stellar. We had another intimate birth-just me and The Mr. No one else’s opinions or interjections. We didn’t have as many tender moments as we did the first time around but there was a tether-an unearthly connection driving us to be far greater and endure far more than we ever imagined. It was almost visible it was so strong. Again, my birth coach surpassed all expectations and was a fabulous punching bag, literally. #clutch

That, my friends, was a merry Christmas night indeed. 

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Circle Time Wall Update

Hey Loves!

So, if at first you don’t succeed, try again, right?
Well, that’s what happened. Two weeks into school and I realized James had a hard time changing the calendar information. So, off to many stores I went. 
Finally, at Walmart found some cork tiles and wall mounting tape. 
Then, the Internet didn’t let me down and found these printables to describe the calendar information for the peg board. I broke my laminator so I couldn’t laminate them. Let’s have a moment of silence. 
I’m still in mourning. 
Then I got 3 push pins because my son can do that-he can push the pin into the cork tile. 

(That’s why it isn’t straight…my OCD is being tamed y’all.)


That’s it. That’s all it took. It’s ok if something doesn’t work out. It’s not ok if we just don’t try to make it work taking another route. Happy teaching

Dresser Labels

Hey loves!

So, remember my nursery for two post? Well, I can’t stop “improving it”. 
To help a certain dad know where both kids clothes are and to help a certain toddler get himself dressed, I thought labels with the words and photos of the items on the drawers would solve both questions. 
I found these labels online, printed, cut, laminated and cut again. Then I found some vibrant green washi tape from the dollar spot at Target and made a frame around each label. 
They came out pretty cute and nifty as well!


P.s- I also found a black-out curtain on clearest target that matches their room. It’s made nap time so easy. Not to mention, decreased the heat in there significantly. I highly recommend them.  

Mini Masterpieces Art Display

Hey Hey!

So, we are homeschooling, if you couldn’t tell by the 8 million post on the subject and we needed something. It was critical. We couldn’t make it without it. Well, we could but what’s life without some fun drama? 😜
We needed something to display artwork because… I’m not sentimental. I wouldn’t keep it. I may take a picture of it and trash it. Horrible. I know. Feed me to the wolves. I’m not worthy. 
Anywho, I came across this via Pintrest during my middle-of-the-night pregnancy insomnia searches and went to Home Depot 4 hours after I found it. Talk about being inspired, right?
I grabbed a yardstick that 3 people had to help me find for a whopping $.98. 


Now, the paint…I couldn’t decide on a color until I realized I had to go dark to mask the neon orange writing on the yard stick. So, I applied 3 coats of grey acrylic paint. 


I already had clothes pins that I painted white last December but I went over them with two coats of white acrylic paint. I attached the clothes pins with super-strength super glue. Be careful. My phone was stuck to my hands, literally, for a little bit. As for the clothespin locations, I followed the tutorial, I started at 2 inches and then added a clothespin every 4 inches. 
I attached it to the wall with wall mounting tape also following the tutorials instructions. 


Viola! $.98 and about 12 mini. Cheers to more art projects!

Dipes and Wipes Pouch

Hey Loves!
 

Got a super quick craft for ya! So, you know when I told you about out our toddler bag situation? Well, it occurred to me that sometimes we won’t even need that, just maybe the diapers or wipes. So, I made a cute clutch they can go in and be easily removed if necessary.

 

This seriously took maybe 20 minutes and very easy to do. I followed this tutorial to the T using some cute alphabet fabric that was given to me. That’s it. It was super easy and came out super cute!

Bathroom Update!

Hey loves!
 

As many of you know, I’m expecting our second baby due in December. So, along with re-doing the nursery, I decided to give the hall bathroom, where all the kids toiletries and bath items are, an update. This will still be the bathroom for guest, so I didn’t want it to be kid-central but just something they could enjoy.

 

I started by making personalized towel hooks. These are way easier than they sound. I bought two large wooden letters for the first letter of their name, maybe 8-10 inches, and then I bought a pack of small wooden letters to spell out their name. I also purchased a pack of coat hooks. All these items were from Walmart and totaled less than $8. I then painted the larger letters the base neutral color (chocolate brown) and painted the letters alternating accent colors (white and lime). These were already the colors of the bathroom. I had no intention of updating the entire space, just adding accents. Then I super glued the small painted letters on top of the larger initial letter. Sorry for the lack of photos. Nap time crafts don’t lend themselves to properly documenting.

 

I got the Hubs involved and he found and marked of the studs for me. I attached them to the wall with a nail and wall hanging hooks 

 

Then, for some extra flare, I found these super cute printables. I still have to find fun frames for them. I want to do them justice! I’ll share more pictures when it is complete!

 

Toddler Bag Chronicles

Hey Loves!
 

So, being pregnant has made me realize that my first baby is growing up. Not that I didn’t know before, but it just hits harder now. Anywho, this big boy didn’t need 80% of the stuff I had in our baby bag. I came to this conclusion when I was thinking about the reality of two kids, under two, stroller, carriers and then 2 bags…yeah, no.

So, we pulled out the cutest small back pack we got as a gift. James was so excited about it. We put in the essentials:

 

1. Germ fighters: Thieves spray, disinfect spray and hand sanitizer. I don’t play about germs.

2. Summer necessities: Sun screen and bug spray. (Two words: Florida, Zika)

3. Butt shields: Diapers and wipes

4. Just in case: change of clothes

5. Fuel: Snacks

I also used a gift card and ordered a coordinating lunch box for days when we need more snacks or even a lunch.

 

What’s in your toddler bag?

Nursery for Two

Note: We completed this way before we knew the gender of our baby, so don’t think that had an effect, or should have an effect on our decision. Also, excuse the laundry and non-vacuumed floors in the photo. This is true life y’all. 
Hey Loves!
 

So, this may not be your cup of tea-but when we found out we were expecting another, we decided to make the nursery for both of them. Yes, sharing a room. Here’s the thing, our kids only sleep and get dressed or changed in there. They have a play/learning room, a play area downstairs and outside activities. They don’t need much in the actual bedroom quarters.

 

So, in my true fashion, I stalked Facebook FSOT sites and craigslist for a toddler bed for James. We were blessed because a friend was selling her’s that was put together and was never used!!!! Score!!!!

 

We put the crib by the window (James needs zero distractions or items to break) and the toddler bed on the opposing wall. We also purchased a changing table (no, we didn’t have one before) that was in excellent used condition, with great storage, and that shares the wall with the crib. We separated the room with the glider I re-did for nursery in 2014. We kept the dressers that were in there (still waiting on my wall mounts, IKEA) just consolidated items for both kids. Above the dresser, will be an accent wall of photos of the kids.

 

For the closet, we decided to get this organizational system and add another shelf so each kid will have two hanging sections. Viola, $80 and very little time later, we’ve got a nursery for 2.

 

DIY Halloween Costumes Tips

Hey loves!
 

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins, parties and treats GALORE! For those of you who maybe wanted to make your own costumes, that’s great! You can save money, customize them to your family and improve your crafting skills. However, there is a steep rabbit hole that’s very easy to fall in. I want to help you avoid that.

 

First, research. You know me, I always start with a recon mission. For example, I knew I would be very pregnant and probably huge so I looked up pregnancy costume ideas. You research what appeals to you and what will fit your family. Maybe your kids are into a certain show or movie and you could start there?

 

Then, I found it! Eureka! I’m not in love but it works, ya know. Well then, I ran it by the primary stakeholder-the hubs. This is serious. I don’t like irritated character portrayal on Halloween. Everyone must be all-in or a really good sport.

 

Lastly, and this is very crucial, the feasibility of it all. Are we going to wear these again? How much time will have? Do I really want to be that detailed? How much will this cost? What props will I need? Will I use those again? Seriously people, if you are gonna make a costume, make it worth not buying one. Got it? Ok. Great.

 

For the drama factor, I can’t share the costumes we chose but, it is limited sewing (again I’ll be very pregnant and huge, works well with my big belly, James will be super cute and my husband is excited about it. That’s a WIN-WIN-WIN in my book.

 

You can win too. Just don’t go down the rabbit hole.

 

Happy crafting and Happy Halloween!