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Labor & Delivery Story // Baby Leon Is Here!

She's Charmed

Photo By: Omo Photography

As most know, my pregnancy went pretty smoothly. I was so grateful that I could enjoy my first pregnancy. I loved feeling baby kick. I was so amazed that my body was growing a life and I was excited to be starting a family.

There’s this note on my phone that I wrote that I want to share. Little did we know Leon would be arriving in just 48 hours.

Dear Leon, 

I’m sitting in your nursery and folding some of your baby clothes. I’m just so excited to meet you, see you, and show you our world. God has given me another sign that everything is going to be okay. I just got an overwhelming feeling of joy and calm thinking about you and it has brought me to tears. I can hear your dad cleaning in the kitchen. He is SO excited, I can see it in his eyes. I think he’s in nesting mode too.  I know it will be a little chaotic in less than a month with your arrival. But we can’t wait to start this journey with you. 
Written July 11
Started having contractions this exact night. You were born 2 days later. 

Here’s my Labor & Delivery Story:

Beginning of my 37th week of pregnancy, I think my belly dropped. I started to have more discomfort and pressure on my pelvic bone. Other than wobbling a bit more, I felt completely fine. On the evening of July 11, 2017, I started having cramping pain and had trouble sleeping. I remember tossing and turning in bed and wondering if these were actual contractions or Braxton-Hicks. I had my weekly OB appointment the following morning, so I waited. By morning, I knew I was having contractions. It felt different. I had more pain in my lower abdomen and it radiated straight toward my back. The pain was still tolerable and contractions were not regular. I knew at the least I was in early, early labor. My OB checked me and to my surprise I was already 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. I asked if I could still go to work later that day and the doc told me yes as it may help distract me from the pain. She told me that many women are in this phase for several days and if things progressed to call.

So I went home and tried to take another nap. I was too uncomfortable. I still went into work that afternoon. The pain continued to gradually get a little worse and contraction were happening anywhere from 45 minutes to 30 minutes apart in no pattern. I knew this wasn’t a reason to panic just yet. I saw my patients and by the end of the day the pain became more and more intense to the point where I had to stop talking and breathe through them. Timing starting to be around 15 minutes to 20 minutes apart. I drove home (I know bad idea!) and had contractions in the car. I called Roger and told him I think we need to pack the hospital bag and charge the camera. I don’t think he was ready either as he was too worried about making dinner for us. I think a part of me thought I still had some time and this couldn’t happen so quickly. This being my first baby a lot of mothers don’t go this early. So our hospital bags were not packed, camera wasn’t ready, nursery was not done. The house wasn’t prepped for baby to come yet. Thank goodness we set up the car seat a few days prior. So, when I got home I started throwing things in the hospital bag and spitting out directions to Roger. At this point the pain this pain was unbearable. Contractions were happening 5-7 minutes apart. I called the OB who told me to go ahead and go to triage.

I remember getting to the hospital and asking Roger to get a wheel chair, the pain was so bad I couldn’t walk. He had some trouble with the valet guy and I thought this baby is going to come out right in front of the hospital. We walked into triage and the front desk had trouble with our long last name and getting us checked it (I wasn’t surprised). By the time I got to triage and was checked by the doctor I was already 5cm dilated. Roger and I were watching the monitor as each contraction came and I breathed through it. I don’t know how women do this naturally! I said YES to the epidural. I never passed a mucous plug and my water didn’t break. This was happening, Leon was coming. 

They finally got me into my labor and delivery room. The anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. Thank the Lord for modern medicine! After the epidural I was more relaxed and finally was able to take a nap. I could still feel some of the strong contractions but was able to tolerate it. 2 hours later, I was 8.5cm dilated. The OB came in to break my water and speed up labor. This was around 3am. My parents finally arrived to be with us. 1.5 hours later I was fully dilated and ready to go. My nurse came in to coach me through pushing. We did some practice pushes and Leon was already coming out! The first thing the nurses saw was a full head of hair! The OB rushed in and 15 minutes of pushing later he was out!

Everyone always talks about it, but to experience that moment you get to see and hold your baby that you’ve been carrying for 9 months is hands down the most incredible feeling in the world. There was a sense of familiar; by just holding him and the sound of my voice he already knew I was his mother. It was an overwhelming feeling of joy and love. This little human was a part of me and will always will be. My life flashed forward and I could imagine all the adventures we we were going to have. I looked over at Roger and he was smiling so big. I look at him differently now and love him more than I possibly thought I could. He has come into his role as a father so endearingly that it inspires me everyday.

Leon’s Stats:
Born July 13, 2017
7 lbs and 2 oz
20 inches
So Leon now that you’re here. I am overjoyed you wanted to hang out with mom and dad sooner than later.
I can’t wait to show you our world.

Baby Bump Update: 36 weeks

I’m at the point of counting down weeks till our little one arrives! It’s hard to believe that in 4 short weeks we could be taking him home. I am in full nesting mode cleaning the house and preparing his nursery. Not too nervous yet about labor and delivery (though I’m sure that will come) but more so the challenges of breast feeding and adjusting to this new addition to our family. I cannot wait to start this journey of motherhood!

Pregnancy Symptoms

  • Swollen feet. I am hanging in there and working as long as I until my due date. Unfortunelty, this means I’m on my feet 24/7 and can’t avoid the swelling in my feet. It is worse on my right too!
  • Fatigue. Some days I have full energy and others I can lay down all day. I’m still listening to my body and resting when needed.
  • Stretch marks! I got my first one in the last 2 weeks on my lower abdomen. I’m using vitamin E, shea butter, and coconut oil everyday.
  • HOT. They weren’t joking about being pregnant in the summer, let alone in Florida! I am usually cold but being pregnant has me sweating even in the AC.
  • Migraines. They are back! I did so well in the 2nd trimester and now I am getting them every other day. It’s torture that I am so limited in what I can take to treat them.

I’ll be working hard to get his nursery prepared and start packing for the hospital in the next few weeks! So many emotions all at once. Excited to meet our little boy soon <3


Pregnancy Journaling & Maternity Pants

I knew I wanted to write down my thoughts and keep track of how I was feeling throughout my pregnancy. I found this beautiful journal and have fallen in love with it: Expecting You – A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal. It has prompts every month of your pregnancy as well as a lot of space for free writing. Writing down how I’m feeling, what I’m feeling, and keeping track of baby’s progress has kept be grounded!

Buying maternity pants is like a rite of passage into motherhood. I finally gave in. I gave in and bought maternity pants and it feels amazing! At the start of my pregnancy, I thought I could get away with wearing the belly band and dresses. And the thought of buying maternity pants and wearing them for only a short period of time annoyed me.  But as baby grows and as my belly grows, my regular pants were simply not comfortable!

My second trimester has been smooth and I am embracing pregnancy as much as I can. I am grateful that baby is growing and healthy. No food aversions, no morning sickness, and I am definitely eating for two! I am allowing myself to be present in this pregnancy and enjoying all the changes and challenges.

Pregnancy has taught me:

  • To listen to my body. When I’m tired I rest or nap. Sounds like common sense, but I’m on constant productivity mode that it makes it hard for me to relax.
  • To spend QT with my husband. There’s going to be a big change in the house soon and we are soon going to be a family of three! Quiet nights alone with my husband will soon be no more!
  • Be present & enjoy my pregnancy. Those baby kicks, I just can’t get enough! I love knowing that he is growing in my belly. I love knowing that he’s so close to me. I can’t wait to meet him but I want to soak in the pregnancy experience as much as I can (including the back pain and heartburn!).
  • That being a mother is going to be the ultimate life change. This feels different than past life events like starting my career, getting married, buying a house. I have never wanted anything so bad than to start a family and at the same time I am a nervous wreck on the inside!

Pregnancy Skin Care Routine + Favorites 

I hit 24 weeks this week and so grateful my pregnancy has been pretty smooth! The nausea has gone away and I am certainly eating for two! Nonetheless, I am enjoying the changes my body is going through. It brings me so much joy to feel baby boy move. It’s a constant reminder to me that my life is going to change. That we’re about to start this new life chapter. When I am having a bad day his little kicks and movements comfort me that everything will be okay.

My body is changing and so is my skin. My skin type is normally oily/combination, but pregnancy has made my skin more on the dry side. I’ve had to find new products to keep my skin more hydrated. Here are some of the products I have been reaching for and a few pregnancy favorites!

  • Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser. I am enjoying this cleanser as it uses French and Moroccan clay to remove makeup and oil. It’s gentle on my skin and the calming oils and vitamin C make my skin brighter.
  • Derma-e Overnight Peel. I had to ditch my retinol cream (a no no during pregnancy) and be consistent with something that would keep my skin smooth and clear. This overnight peel with alpha-hydroxy acids helps exfoliate my skin overnight and remove dead skin cells.
  • Caudalie Micellar Cleanser Water. Love using this to remove makeup. It’s oil free so I am able to use around my lash extensions. It’s effective, gentle, and does not dry out my skin.
  • Embryolisse Lait-Creme Moisturizer. This is my holy grail moisturizer and I continue to use it because it really is that good. It the perfect consistency and keep me moisturized without being oily.
  • Shea Moisture Mommy Stretch Mark Body Butter. My favorite belly butter! No matter what the product claims… you cannot prevent stretch marks by using topical lotions. But I love the natural ingredients in this product to keep my growing belly moisturized. The scent does not seem to bother me either.
  • Belly Band by Ingrid & Isabel. This belly band has been a life saver! I have been able to wear most of my regular pants open with the belly band holding it place. You can wear it throughout your pregnancy.

Hope you all enjoy my recent favorites. I really love doing these! Share below your must have products!

Gender Reveal Recap

Gender Reveal

As soon to be new parents, we knew we had to have a fun gender reveal party to share our excitement with family and friends. I know back in the day they did not know the gender of the baby until he/she was born. Now these parties are all the rave. I believe it is important to celebrate life as much as you can!

It’s A Boy!

My sister thought of the creative idea to do something that would also be a keepsake. Roger and I did two separate canvases of our handprints in pink and blue. My sister was the only one who knew the gender of the baby. While we head up a sheet and counted down, my sister changed the canvas to Baby Chan’s gender! We hope to add his little hand-print or foot-print at his arrival. Roger was especially excited as he thought baby was a girl the entire time!

Pregnancy Announcement & First Trimester Updates

She's Charmed

If you missed our most exciting news yet… here it is. Roger and I are expecting this July 2017! I always knew I wanted to be a mother. It was a moment I prayed for, that in God’s timing we would start a family.

Pregnancy announcement

How did I tell my husband?

I am the worse when keeping things from my husband. I told him right away that I felt like I should take a pregnancy test. He was overjoyed when that test was positive! I was in a bit of a shock that I took 2 more the next day.

How did we announce the news to our family?

The first person I told was my sister! We quickly made a plan to announce the news to our parents. My creative sister decorated 2 Christmas ornaments that said Lola and Lolo on it (means grandmother and grandfather in the Filipino language). A few weeks before Christmas we told our parents that we had gifts they could use to decorate their tree. They were so surprised and we got the whole thing on video. For Roger’s parents, we wrapped a gift of newborn baby boots and they were both excited too. This will be the first grandchild on both sides! So little Baby Chan will surely be spoiled.

We announced to the rest of our family on New Years Eve at our home. We were not planning to tell everyone yet but thought it would be fun to announce right at midnight!

First Trimester symptoms

  • Nausea. Shortly after learning I was pregnant, I noticed my nausea was worse on an empty stomach.
  • Always hungry. I noticed my appetite increased and I always had to have something in my stomach. Luckily, I had no food aversions! I especially craved fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Fatigue. I was more tired than usual and taking naps. I was never a nap person but I listened to my body when it needed more rest.
  • I did not gain any weight during my first trimester. This was a big concern to me but my OB reassured that it can be normal.

First Ultrasound

She's Charmed

I had my first ultrasound at 10 weeks. The feeling of going into your doctor’s office for your first appointment is one emotional roller coaster. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat and seeing our baby move around was the best feeling in the world. It really hit us that day that it is not going to be just be the two of us any longer!