Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A year ago today - a birth story - part 3 / the big finale

read part 1 here and part 2 here

just born

At 7.30 in the morning I was fully dilated and the most important and final part of the delivery was about to start.

The pain medication flowing into my veins was turned off, 
I was on some sort of morphine drip and wasn't allowed to use it during the final moments to make sure the baby wouldn't get it in his system, 
from there on out I suffered through all the primal pain a woman giving birth feels.

^ ^ ^ ^

During my preparation for the delivery I had read about the benefits of using a birth stool, 
so I asked if I could give that a try. 
I sat on it through two pushes but I felt so uncomfortable I begged to lie down on the bed again.
The next thirty minutes went by in blur, I remember pushing whenever I was allowed, 
and holding back when I was asked to.
The nurses and doctor and B. were all so encouraging and kept telling me how great I was doing but I kept thinking to myself  'there's no way I can do this, he will never come out'.

^ ^ ^ ^

After quite some time pushing I sensed B. and the doctor glancing towards the monitor that was attached to the baby's head, they had worried looks on their faces.

'The baby is in distress, his heart rate is dropping' our doctor told us. 'He needs to come out soon'.
She told B. and I that our baby was stuck behind a ridge and for him to come out I would need an episiotomy and that for the birth of our son a vacuum pump would be needed.

And so it happened, the incision was made, the pump inserted and with all of her might the doctor pulled out our boy. I was so full of adrenaline and excitement to meet our long awaited son I hardly felt any pain.

^ ^ ^ ^

At 8.47 on a sunny summer morning Micha came into this world, screaming and with a head full of hair.
He was placed onto my chest and I cried and laughed while I softly touched his head.
He was the most perfect thing I had ever layed eyes on.

B. kissed me with tears in his eyes and an exhausted yet ecstatic look on his face. 
We made it, we finally had our son!

^ ^ ^ ^

We spent a few minutes as a brand new family taking each other in, 
Micha looked at us with big curious eyes, he was so alert.

After a while the nurse took him and checked if everything was okay, 
she clothed him and brought him back to me.

And there we were, me and my men. 
The biggest adventure of our lives had finally begun.

it's been a good year

Love, Maria

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A year ago today- a birth story- part 2

read part 1 here

before pain medication

after, much happier!

Almost twenty-four hours had passed since my water broke, and despite the painful contractions I wasn't progressing fast enough to have a safe home birth.
We would meet our baby boy in the hospital.

Luckily there was no reason to rush to the hospital 
and I was able to spend the next few hours laboring at home. 
I spent most of them in the shower, the warm water easing the pain.

^ ^ ^ ^

The midwife had told us to check in at the hospital at 4 a.m. 
So at 3.30 we decided we should head to the hospital. 
I got dressed, B. grabbed my hospital bag I had prepared just in case, 
and we headed out the door, took the elevator down 
and crossed the parking lot to our car pausing every two minutes due to contractions.
The ten minute drive to the hospital was almost the worst part of the whole delivery. 
Every little bump in the road felt like a mountain even though B.was driving so carefully.

When we arrived at the hospital it was so quiet and dark. 
We found our way to the delivery ward and checked in.
I was brought to a room, assisted onto a bed and hooked up to a million monitors.
This was not how I had imagined our birth experience to be.

^ ^ ^ ^

The contractions kept on rolling in and as best as I could I concentrated on my breathing, 
trying to get in some sort of relaxed mode. 
But the pain became unbearable. 
I was tired, sore, disappointed and just wanted to meet my baby.
I wanted something to relieve the pain, even though it felt like giving up.
I shared my thoughts with our nurse and she sternly but lovingly told me to ease up on myself.
And that was what I needed to hear.

I happily accepted some pain medication and finally I was able to relax.
The medication I was on made me a bit woozy and so the following hours flew by like a dream.
And then it was time. I was fully dilated and it was time to push.

to be continued...

Love, Maria

read the big finale tomorrow!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A year ago today - a birth story - part 1

very pregnant, but still in wedges to church!

Exactly a year ago, two days before my due date, my water broke.

It was a Sunday and that morning we had been to church. 
After church my, also very pregnant, friend and her husband over for coffee.
We talked about going into labor and I was certain I would be at least a week overdue.
But that night, right after B. and I had gone to bed, it all started. 

^ ^ ^ ^

I had gotten up to use the bathroom and on the way back to bed my water broke.
We were so excited and couldn't believe we were actually going to have our baby so soon already.
We called our midwife and asked what we should do.
'Just stay calm, wait until the contractions are at least a minute long and are coming every two to three minutes, than call me again and I'll come and deliver the baby.' 
(We were planning on having a home birth, like most women in Holland do.)

So we waited and waited and waited some more. 
Surely we would be parents the next day.
And then they came, first one contraction and then a few minutes later the next one. 
We were so excited, it was happening, we would definitely be holding our baby soon.
But then after a few contractions nothing happened anymore, 
we waited all night and all day the following day.

^ ^ ^ ^

When the midwife checked in that afternoon still nothing was happening. 
I hadn't progressed at all and she told us that if the contractions weren't regular by one a.m. that night (twenty-four hours after my water breaking) I would have to go to the hospital to deliver the baby and would probably be induced as well. 
I was devastated, I wanted so bad to have our baby at home, in a warm and loving environment. 
And I definitely didn't want to be induced. 
I was hoping for and counting on an all-natural delivery without any drugs.

^ ^ ^ ^

Our deadline for having the birth experience we wanted was coming closer and closer.
We hoped and prayed that contractions would come and then at eleven p.m. they finally started up again.
We couldn't believe it, we would have our home birth after all!

At midnight my contractions were so regular and painful that the midwife came to check how far along I was.
I was in so much pain and I was certain I would be at least half way there. 

I was only one centimeter dilated.
We would be going to the hospital that night.
No home birth for us.

At that point I really didn't care anymore, I just wanted to meet my boy.
And secretly I was thinking of the option of using some pain relief, 
something I thought I would never do.
So much for a birth plan!

To be continued....

Love, Maria

read part 2 tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

our summer so far

For the last week or so we've been spending time at my parents house. 
They currently live in Africa, 
and their beautiful cottage with enormous yard was sitting all sad and empty, 
and so we thought we'd cheer it up by inhabiting it this summer.

We've been enjoying every moment of our time here.
We explored the area,
played in the yard,
visited a petting zoo,
had a beach day with friends who visited for the weekend,
barbecued with my brother, his wife and my nephews and nieces,
swam in a nearby lake,
and spent almost every evening in front of a fire roasting marshmallows.

Life is good!

^ ^ ^ ^

details of my parents home: 

Exploring the area:

At the petting zoo:

Someone turned 50 weeks old: 

Beach day with friends:

Obsessing over wheels:  

Having fun at my brothers house: 

Lake days:

Okay, I'm off again.

Hope your summer is fun too!

Love, Maria

Friday, July 12, 2013

taking a break


To my lovely friends,

The next few weeks this blog will be a bit quieter.
I'm taking a break from blogging on a (almost) daily basis.

Don't worry, I'll be checking in from time to time to share our summer adventures.
But my main goal this summer will be to rest, relax and enjoy my favorites boys.

You can always follow me on Instagram, my user name is: maria_n_stagram

I hope to see you in a few weeks!

Have a great summer!

Love, Maria

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On breastfeeding

In a few short weeks Micha will be a year old, and I will be celebrating my one year breastfeeding anniversary. 
Before Micha was born I planned on nursing him for at least a year.
I thought it would be so easy and natural and 'why don't all mothers do this?' 
And yes, almost a year later, I'm still nursing Micha, 
but I can't say it was easy and I totally get why other mama's choose to quit. 

^ ^ ^ ^

This is my recap of a year of breastfeeding my baby.

Day 1: 
Wow, this is going so well. 
He's latching on like a natural and it doesn't hurt at all. 
I knew it would be easy...

Day 2:  
*%#$!!!! Does he have teeth or something? 
Is it supposed to hurt this much?
This is kind of hard...

Week 3: 
He's doing really great, growing like a weed, but I feel like a milk machine. 
I have other talents too, you know...

Month: 2: 
I'm so proud of my body for providing nutrition for my little guy, 
but why is he so squirmy and distracted while he nurses, isn't he enjoying it?

Month 4: 
It's so hard sometimes, but so beautiful.

Month 7: 
I'm not sure how long I can still do this, I'm about to give up...

Month 8: 
Wait a minute, am I actually enjoying this?

Month 10: 
I am, I am enjoying this! Nursing finally isn't a struggle anymore!

Nursing Micha those three times a day are now my favorite moments with him. 
We sit together and I stroke his hair or sing him a song without him getting distracted. 
He twirls his hair or plays with my shirt. 
And instead of looking forward to weaning him, I'm actually dreading it.
I'm finally enjoying breastfeeding and I don't want it to stop anytime soon!

^ ^ ^ ^

Our breastfeeding journey has been one with ups and many downs. 
It wasn't as easy or peaceful as I imagined it to be.
But I'm so glad I've made it this far.

I'm so thankful for a supportive husband by my side who cheered me on and cheered me up when I thought I couldn't do it anymore.

If there's one breastfeeding tip I would want to share with a future mama it's this: 
Make sure you have support, whether it's your husband or best friend or mother. 
Get support, it will be so valuable. 

Any other breastfeeding mama's out there? How was/is your experience? 
Do share!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Color Run

Three weeks ago I posted this photo on Instagram:

It's a photo of my first day of training for a 5k Color Run which I ran last Sunday. 

^ ^ ^ ^

I hadn't worked out since pregnant with Micha, 
and I had left myself only three weeks to train my lazy bum for a 5k. 
Eek! I was scared!

But I trained, every other morning I made myself head out the door with Micha in the stroller and run. 
Every day I ran a little farther and a little faster.

And on Sunday I put all my hard work into practice, it was such an awesome experience.

I loved participating in The Color Run because while it was a 5k, it was a fun run too. 
The pressure to run within a certain time was off. 
But my friend and I did time our run and we finished in 35 minutes, 
and that includes the all 'traffic jams' at the Color Zones. 
Pretty okay, I think!

^ ^ ^ ^

I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking:

before the run
'we made it!'
after the massive 'Color Toss'

The whole 'Color Run' experience was just so much fun, I can't wait to participate again next year!

Have you ever done a 'Color Run'? 
If not, do it!

Love , Maria

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

49 weeks


Only three more weeks and you'll be a one-year-old. 
I cannot believe it!

We're loving your cheeky personality and happy disposition.
You love to play peek-a-boo. 
You're sleeping like a champ.
I still nurse you three times a day.
You love all the summer fruit, Strawberry is your favorite.
You love having your papa home for the summer.
(So do I)

We love you, little monkey!

Love, Mama

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Funnies

It's Friday! Time for some comic relief don't you think?

I thought I'd share some of my favorite 'funnies' on the internet.

^ ^ ^ ^

Have you seen this yet? They have five episodes, and counting. So funny!
This first episode is the best one in my opinion, but they're all good!

^ ^ ^ ^

I just discovered this blog this week. I spent a whole evening reading through the posts.
It's a little snarky, but oh so hilarious. 
It's definitely going to be a guilty pleasure of mine for the time being.

^ ^ ^ ^

Another favorite of mine in the 'funny blogs dept.'is Cake Wrecks
I can't believe how many ugly cakes are made by professionals.
But the captions are what really makes the blog, seriously pee-in-your-pants hilarious!

^ ^ ^ ^

Well, that was it for today!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

p.s. Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' 

linking up with Falling for Friday today

Thursday, July 4, 2013

One more day!

Yep, only one more day left and then we'll have B. all to ourselves for six weeks, we can't wait!
Oh, the life of teachers! (but the long vacations are WELL deserved!)

Love, Maria

Oh, to all of my American friends,
Happy Fourth of July!! 
Have a fun one!

And to my Canadian friends, sorry I forgot about Canada Day. 
How could I, eh? :) 
You know I love you!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A meal to share

I'm always on the lookout for easy, healthy dinner recipes for Micha, but that are equally tasty for us. 

Usually I end up making Micha a version of our dinner, but salt-less and in bit sized pieces, 
that means that I mostly cook his food separately. 
It would be nice though to have more recipes in my repertoire that we can share. 
I mean, less pots and pans to wash up is always good, yes?

^ ^ ^ ^

Enter the fritatta. I saw this recipe on The Daybook and I thought it was a fabulous idea.

Who doesn't like a cheesy, eggy dish for dinner?

I tweaked the recipe to make it more to my liking, more veggies, no meat (but, if added, yum!) and no salt.
I though it might be bland without the salt, but it really isn't that bad.
The cheese gives it a bit of a salty flavor and I added a grinding of salt to my slice of fritatta and it was perfect!

It was such an easy recipe and Micha ate every last little crumb on his tray.

^ ^ ^ ^

So, without further ado, my Baby Friendly Fritatta recipe:

Preheat the oven to 190c or 375F

You will need:
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 small, cooked and diced potatoes
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked (until just wilted), drained and finely(!) chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- a handful of fresh basil, chopped
- a few sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- a little grinding of fresh pepper

Whisk the eggs and the milk together, add the rest of the ingredients except the potatoes. Stir until evenly mixed.
Grease an ovenproof dish, put the diced potatoes on the bottom, pour the egg/veggie mixture over top.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

 Enjoy!( eating with bib optional)

Love, Maria

                   p.s. Are you following me on Bloglovin' yet? See side bar!