So, I had a baby.

It has been forever since I’ve blogged. So much has been happening and it’s been hard to keep up. But I happen to have a few minutes to spare between chasing my toddler and nursing my newborn, so I figured I’d share the birth story.

If you don’t like words like “cervix” or “vaginal” I suggest just skipping this post. Cause birth is all about the privates.

Also, just a side note, this baby has been measuring big this whole pregnancy. Like, 95th percentile big. Thank you, gestational diabetes!

We went to the doctor a few days before the birth for my weekly check up with my OBGYN, and after checking my cervix, she told me I was 80% effaced and 3 cm dilated. She gave us two options. Either we could induce her ASAP, at 37 weeks, and try for a vaginal delivery, or we could plan on a c-section for 39 weeks. She explained that trying vaginally was risky since she was measuring so big; babies of mothers with gestational diabetes tend to have bigger tummys, which means their shoulders can get stuck and cause complications. But after talking and praying about what to do, we decided the best option was to induce. So we spent the next three days cleaning and prepping and cooking like mad people to get ready for her early arrival.

Tuesday, October 18, at 5:00am, we went to the hospital. I put on that sexy gown and those hospital socks, got pricked and poked with IV needles, got pitocin all up in me, and when the contractions really picked up, I got the epidural.

Funny story: Right after I got the epi, but before they put in the catheter, I started feeling like I needed to pee. I was too numb to do anything, so I naturally started freaking out, yelling at Mark “I’m about to pee the bed! How do I stop it?!” And before I knew it, I was peeing. All over the hospital bed. Which made me laugh uncontrollably, probably because of the drugs I was on, but also because of how crazy the whole situation was. I called a nurse in to tell them the embarrassing news, and continued laughing, but then realized the more I laughed, the more I peed. And the pee wasn’t stopping. The nurse checked, and sure enough, I wasn’t actually peeing. My water had broken. Ha! 

I took a few cat naps, watched movies, and just laid there while the nurse came and checked my progress periodically.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t dilating much at all. So they put weird pillows between my legs and twisted and turned me around into weird pretzel positions, hoping that it would help get things moving. But it didn’t.

Finally, after 12 hours of labor, my doctor checked me, saw I hadn’t made progress, and told me the baby was too big to come down any further. It was time to go to plan B: C-Section.

I knew this was a possibility, but I was still pretty shocked at what was happening. I was about to have surgery. What the heck?!

They turned the epi WAY up, making me numb from my chest to my toes. I started shaking from the drugs and my anxiety as they wheeled me down the hall and into the operating room.

Mark was whisked away to go change into one of those surgical outfits, while they moved me to the operating table to prep me. I stared at a spot on the ceiling, trying to stop shaking, but it was impossible.

I told them about my fear of throwing up, especially during a surgery, and they “reassured me” by saying “Don’t worry, it happens all the time!”

GREAT. THANKS. THAT HELPS.

I was in full on panic mode when Mark came back in. Holding his hand so hard I could have broken it, and staring into his reassuring eyes, I felt a small flicker of peace. I still couldn’t stop shaking, but our baby was about to be born. Well, sort of? I guess born is still the right term.

The whole procedure sucked. They tell you that you won’t feel any pain, and you don’t. But what you don’t know is that you can feel things pushing and pulling all up in your insides. Like, your organs get smooshed around and you can feel everything and it’s a pretty creepy feeling. I forgot about it momentarily when they pulled her out and I heard her sweet cry and saw her sweet little (well, kind of little) body. They all gasped and muttered “Wow. That’s a big baby.” And they were right. She weight 9 lbs 2 oz. Whew!

And then I got back to shaking and feeling my insides smooshing and sloshing.

And then it was over and they were wheeling me back into a recovery room and the pain began.

The next two days were hell. I couldn’t stop shaking, was in so much pain, and kept having panic attacks. Turns out that anxiety is a side effect from narcotics, and since I already suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, those drugs really messed me up. But as soon as I figured that out, I refused any more, switched to milder pain meds, and slowly but surely stopped shaking and stopped freaking out over everything. I was able to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The first time I got out of bed it literally took 3 hours, and then I had to hold on to Mark and the nurse for dear life while I slowly hobbled like a broken dinosaur. But eventually I was able to get up and move around by myself, without clinging to walls or anything. What felt so helpless at first was quickly turning out to be an experience that taught me that I am capable of more than I knew.

Side note: You know your husband really loves you when he helps you change your pads, get dressed, shower, and basically takes care of you like you’re 95 years old. At one point I broke down crying because I felt so “un-lady-like.” I mean, he saw me at my absolute worst, in all my sweaty, vulnerable, gross, bloody, stretched out, stitched up, flabby glory, and you just never think your husband is going to see you like that. When you’re dating you think you’ll always be attractive and sexy to each other, and I just wasn’t feeling like that at all. But he sweetly told me that he thought this was the most lady-like he’d ever seen me… That I had just brought a child into this world, his daughter, and that none of those superficial, physical things mattered. We were growing our family, and he was my partner in this. And then he made me laugh about something, which was the worst. Have you ever laughed with a new c-section incision? Or coughed? Or sneezed? Don’t do it. 

Amy Lynn McCann has been here over three weeks, and we are loving every minute (except for the minutes we could be sleeping). We had Mark’s mother out for the first two weeks to help with Jacob and the house, and it basically saved us. Jacob has been in love with Amy since he first met her in the hospital. He’s been so helpful and sweet and I just love that little boy. Things are stressful and crazy, but so good.

We are capable of doing incredible things. And I am so grateful to have our sweet little girl here.

And being able to eat carbs again is a MAJOR plus.

Here’s to the next chapter: Life with a Newborn and a Toddler and Three Cats.

 

 

Last Hurrah!

This Thursday (8/25/16) will be my last gig for a while. I LOVE playing live, especially at Fralo’s. But i’m coming to a new chapter of my life.

This next chapter will be about an ever-expanding uterus, the disappearance of my ankles, and even more consistent Braxton Hicks contractions. I will be focusing more on nesting and resting than my music.

And then I will have a needy newborn and a needy toddler and the holidays will be here and life will be wonderfully nuts for a few months. I probably won’t perform again until next spring. Hopefully sooner, but let’s be honest. It’s hard to breast feed and play piano at the same time.

So come on out to Fralo’s this Thursday! I’d love to see some familiar faces there for my last hurrah before my life changes like crazy. 6:30-9pm ish. Fralo’s has the best pizza, is kid friendly, pet friendly, outdoors and super fun. It’s up past the Rim/La Cantera a little ways, but totally worth the drive! Come check it out! And be serenaded by a large pregnant woman who will be eyeing all of you with envy as you eat your carb-loaded pizza.

And on that note, I just want to say I can’t WAIT till I don’t have Gestational Diabetes anymore. Cauliflower pizza crust just isn’t the same, folks.

Let’s Pretend I’m a DIY Blogger.

So, here’s the story.

I got fed up with not having enough drawer space in our kitchen. So I started googling ideas for more kitchen storage. And the thought popped up in my head, “I wonder if I can make a kitchen island… like, a rolling kitchen island that has more storage and counter space…”

So I googled. And low and behold, I saw these:

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So naturally I started Craigslist hunting. And Goodwill hunting. And stalking sketchy neighborhoods for thrown out pieces of furniture. And finally, I found this:

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I brought it home and told my terrified husband that “it would only be a weekend project.”

Unfortunately, it ended up having a couple flaws I didn’t realize until I brought it home. The bottom legs would not really support wheels to make it how I wanted, and it was a tad wobbly.

So Mark ended up having to help, as he presumed he would. He sawed off the unusable legs, got plywood, evened everything out, and made it happen.

After that it took a lot of sanding, stripping, and sweating, and then I got to do the fun part: Painting.

 

Mark plopped wheels onto the bottom, and here it is!

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It’s perfect for our kitchen storage needs.

Cutting boards and stuff…

Measuring stuff…
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TUPPERWARE STORAGE, PRAISE THE HEAVENS!

IMG_5998 IMG_5999 A kid stuff drawer…
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A cat stuff drawer…
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You get the point. It’s awesome.

Anyway. I’m totes not a DIY-er blogger, but in case anyone else wanted inspiration for a storage solution, here you go! It’s hard work, but it is already paying off.

 

 

Pregnancy Projects.

For some reason, when I’m pregnant, I get the DIY itch. I start googling furniture restoration ideas and before I know it, I’ve located a piece that needs loving on Craigslist, spend too much money on supplies to make it perfect, and spend days in the garage sweating and wishing I had just not started this huge mess.

But you know what? There’s nothing like seeing something in your home that YOU made. Or helped make. Or refinished or changed or covered. It’s hard sweaty work, especially when pregnant, but I can’t help myself.

I’ve come a long way from when we first got married. I used to paint antique shutters on grass in our yard, leaving nice window pane streaks of white on the green. I used to plop a piece of furniture on our kitchen floor and paint, assuming I could just clean up the paint off the floor later. I used to think I could use ceiling paint as primer.

Lots of trial and error. But I’m learning so much and I love doing it.

I just spent lots of today painting coats on drawers, stripping the finish off the wood on top, staining the wood, sanding, and doing all sorts of stuff. And I am so exhausted. But it’s coming along. And I can’t wait to show ya’ll how it turns out!

[I’m turning an antique desk into a rolling kitchen island.]

Maybe after this project I’ll take a break and just be pregnant.

But then there’s so many cute things I could paint for baby girl’s room….

Live at Fralo’s Tonight

Hey! If you feel like eating pizza in the sweltering San Antonio sun tonight, I’ll be playing at Fralo’s! Should be fun! Hopefully my large pregnant belly won’t get in the way as I lug my equipment around.

I love playing live. It’s one of my favorite things ever. And this place is so much fun. It’s pet friendly and family friendly and their pizza is seriously awesome.

Hope to see you there!

Fatherhood.

Remember me? How I used to blog and stuff? My website was down for like, a month. And things have been absolutely nuts and we haven’t had time to fix it. Till yesterday.

So hi!

First off, it’s Father’s Day.

I am so grateful for my own daddy, cause I never ever doubted how much he loved me. He worked so hard to provide for us and be there for everything we needed, and made our stomachs hurt from laughing too hard. He’s a wonderful man and helped me know what kind of man I should marry.

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And yes, I was a massive baby.

Which leads me to my baby daddy. I am so grateful for my husband and for the wonderful father he has become. I almost had my doubts when I was pregnant with Jake cause he always said that babies were gross and that he wouldn’t even touch ours till he turned 3 and was fun to play with. But the second Jacob was born all those teases and jokes vanished and he became a different person. He frequently refers to Jake as his “best friend,” and they really do have an incredible relationship. I look forward to seeing him grow with and love each of our children.

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And speaking of children, we found out that we are having a GIRL.

Like. A female human.

It’s crazy. I’m FINALLY not going to be completely outnumbered any more (considering all three of our kitties are guys, too).

We really didn’t see that coming. We always thought we were gonna just have a house full of boys. And I have no idea how to french braid. And sassy little attitudes terrify me. But we will figure this out! And we are beyond thrilled. Jake’s getting a baby sister :) And he will teach her all sorts of potty talk.

Family is everything. Life is good. And only 20 more weeks till we get to meet our sweet girl.

Oh, and let me just wrap up this past month in a nutshell:

We spent two weeks in Portland watching our niece and nephews while the parents took the trip of a lifetime to Europe. It was wonderful and challenging and definitely a learning/growing experience for us. And Jake LOVED playing with his cousins for two weeks straight.

I started my gestational diabetes deal. I feel like all I eat is rabbit food.

Our car died a violent death. So we got a new car. Well, new to us. It’s amazing. RIP Subaru Outback, you were a trooper!

I’ve written new songs. But there’s a tiny human sitting on my organs making it hard to breathe let alone sing. So… eventually I will get videos up. I keep beating myself up for not doing more with my music, but really, this is life. Life has seasons to it. And right now, my life is in the sweaty, pregnant, huge, sweaty season of Texas Summer whilst pregnant. And it’s only gonna get sweatier. So I’m cutting myself some slack.

Happy Daddy Day!

 

Motherhood.

So, I feel super lame. I announced that we are pregnant with baby #2 last Sunday, and I didn’t realize how soon Mothers Day was. That would have been such a fun day to announce it! Oh well.

I am 14 weeks along, and so relieved to have survived the first trimester. Pregnancy is hard, and it’s definitely not my favorite part of motherhood (at least not those first few months where you just feel yucky and tired all the time). But things are getting better, and we are so excited to have a new spirit join our family.

(Side note: Soon we will have to get a 4th cat, so that every human accounted for also has a feline friend.)

(P.S. I’m mostly kidding. We’re already one cat away from crazy.)

I feel a little bad for complaining about anything pregnancy related, because I know so many people struggle with getting pregnant at all. I had a miscarriage last October, which I talked about pretty publicly, but we had another one in January that we were more private about. Both were so hard, but we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test the very next month. Pregnancy is challenging in so many ways, but we are so grateful that it’s happening.

Also, I have gestational diabetes again. Bummer. But it’s probably for the best; I need to get control of these carb cravings, and being forced to definitely helps my will power. Heh.

Jake is turning TWO this week! They say these first years are short and precious, and they are right. He’s such a big boy now and brings us so much joy sometimes we just want to scream. Is that weird?

As far as music goes, I just wrote a new song that I’m excited to share. I started writing it because I was hating morning sickness so much, which sounds super lame. But the song ended up with a message that I think can relate to lots of difficult things in life. So yeah! Now that I’m getting some energy back I’m going to get back to recording.

Anyway! Happy Mothers Day. I’m so grateful for my own mom, as well as all the maternal figures in my life. And I am so grateful that I get to be a mommy, too.

Also, if you want to cry and feel feelings, watch this.

 

Favorite Song of the Week: Part 2

Have you heard of Troye Sivan? He’s a fairly new name in pop music, and has an incredible voice. I don’t listen to all of his stuff, cause it is uncensored and some of it has language I don’t want to listen to. But he’s got a few great songs out that I’ve been addicted to.

This one is my favorite. It’s a duet between him and Alex Hope, and it’s just beautiful music. Check it out!

Pure Childhood.

Remember those sunny days when your parents let you get all messy and muddy? When the little plastic pool was filled up with water (which quickly turned into a grassy swamp land) and everyone just jumped in, clothes or whatever?

I got to watch Jake have his first real day like that.

We have amazing next door neighbors. It’s awesome. We have never really been friends with our neighbors before, cause apartment complexes are kinda private and awkward and nobody wants to know who the humans are next door who always vacuum at the worst times and make noise.

But ever since our neighbors moved in, we spend a ton of time outside letting our kids play together. It’s so much fun to watch them all.

Saturday was especially nostalgic for me. Mark started washing the car, and before we knew it all the kids wanted to be hosed down, and we were filling up the pool, and kids were stripping down to panties and jumping in. And Jake was just delighted to watch all the fun happening. He wasn’t quite into getting soaked, but got plenty dirty anyway. Mud pies were made, children had to be hosed down, it was just completely reminiscent of a perfect day in childhood.

Pretty sure I’m gonna end up writing a song about this. It was perfect.

Life is good. There are hard times and bad days, but childhood is this amazing thing, and I’m so grateful I get to relive those days vicariously through my son.

 

Strangers and Mommy Melt-downs.

So today was fantastic. Jake let me sleep in this morning, the sun was shining all day, I got a ton of cleaning done, and even got in a good workout. Plus me and Jake had good vibes like, all day. Lately that has been a little harder to come by, since he pushes my buttons to no end.

But today was good. I felt like a good mom.

Then as I was loading groceries into our car, a stranger pulled up next to me and started lecturing me about letting my son walk too far away from me in the parking lot. Said that it scared the bleep out of him, said that rear view mirrors don’t see little kids. Said I needed to keep him closer and be more careful.

So much for being a good mom.

And what sucked more than his critique was that honestly, he was right. Just like the guy who snapped at me at Costco because I had Jake in the main part of the shopping cart. And he happened to catch him standing up. And I was once again reminded of how little I actually know about parenting properly.

People have good intentions. I know that. But it’s hard when you’re doing the best you can and then someone who doesn’t even know you corrects you. And they’re right.

Needless to say, my mood changed. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I found myself getting really stressed out while trying to make dinner, snapping at Mark and Jake to just leave me alone and let me cook.

And out of nowhere, the waterworks started. I just started crying. I honestly don’t know why. I just broke down. Probably a build-up of negative feelings built up from that stranger in the parking lot and guilt for not being a better mom.

Mark came into the kitchen, found me crying, walked over and put his arms around me.

Then, Jake came in. He just walked over and put his little arms around as much of me as he could.

I looked at his little face, and he puckered his lips for a kiss. And then continued hugging me long after Mark had let go. And was incredibly loving and sweet to me the rest of the night.

I’m still emotional just thinking about that sweet boy and his compassion and love and it’s hard to believe that someone so young can be so intuitive and know just how to make me feel better. He is literally an angel and I love him more than I can hold in my heart.

Parenting is hard. We make mistakes. We make careless choices sometimes that risk our child’s safety or feelings or whatever.

But children are little blessings that are watched over by guardian angels to help catch our mistakes and protect them from harm. And thank goodness.

Parenting is a pretty thankless job. But tonight, in his own little way, he showed me that he loves me.

I’m not perfect. But that boy loves me.