Update: #2

September 5, 2013

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve written, but here’s an update:

Rachel is now 19 months old and thriving. It’s been fun and so fascinating to observe her growing. Some of her latest milestones: dancing to songs, anticipating the ending of a song she knows, “obeying” our requests such as “bring me Elmo”, and kicking and throwing a ball.

I’m also expecting our second daughter in just over a month. It’s been challenging to be this pregnant with an active toddler, but I’m trying to remain upbeat and remember that it’s only temporary. I recently read that a lot of moms found that being pregnant with a toddler is much harder than having a toddler and a newborn, which gives me much hope and a feeling of relief. 

Although I didn’t expect to work so soon after having Rachel, I found a freelance gig at an online company which I’ve been doing for over a year now. Now I’m winding that job down as I take the last few weeks of pregnancy for myself, but it’s been a great experience where I can say I’ve tried something new, been good at it, and learned useful skills.

A few months ago, I joined Golden Gate Mothers Group which is a large online community of moms in San Francisco. I should have joined earlier. I’ve gone to a few of the events and between that and the online forums, it’s been pretty handy. Makes me think that I should have joined earlier. One of the most illuminating aspects of GGMG is the Mompreneurs (mom-entrepreneur) subgroups. I don’t have my own business per se, but it’s been eye-opening and inspiring to see and talk to moms who have their own businesses. I’d love to work for myself one day and have been trying to take active steps to figure out what my niche could be.

Birth

March 7, 2012

This is so long overdue, but our little pirate, Rachel, was born on February 1, 2012 at 1:03 p.m., at a little over 7 lbs. The birth was actually pretty traumatic and painful for me, and the pain is still fresh, 6 weeks later. Here’s what happened:

I started to feel contractions the day before around 2 p.m., but they weren’t too bad, so I waited until about 4-5 p.m. to call the hospital (they were 5 minutes apart at that time). However, the hospital told me to call back when they were closer to 2-3 minutes. The contractions began to slow down as night approached, so I just rested and waited. I woke up around 2 a.m. in pain, but they were still somewhat bearable, so I decided to continue waiting by watching an episode of Millionaire Matchmaker (hardly the type of thing to prep oneself for birth but at least it got my mind off the pain!). Around 4 a.m., the contractions were getting really painful and I really wanted my epidural, so I called the hospital. They could tell by my panicked voice and my heavy breathing that it was time for me to come in, so I woke up the hubby, and off we went.

I got admitted around 5 a.m., and I immediately asked for my epidural, but they told me that the anesthesiologist was busy administering another epidural so I’d have to wait 30 minutes. Well, 30 minutes turned into an hour, and then 2 hours, and then finally, 3 hours later, he was available. By then, I was in excruciating pain. I was also really pissed because I had been ready for my epidural (and desperately needing it) since 5 a.m. Little did I know that it would just get worse. After they put in the epidural (which is pretty complicated and takes awhile, plus the epidural itself is PAINFUL, but still only a fraction of the pain from the contractions), the nurses kept telling me that I’d feel so much better in a few minutes. Well, that didn’t happen. I was still feeling everything, and not to sound dramatic, but I was so scared. Scared that I’d have to go natural, scared of having to endure another contraction without any relief, and I really didn’t think I was going to make it. During the epidural session, my mom was out of the room since we couldn’t fit everyone, so only my hubby was present for my panic session, and I pretty much traumatized him. I couldn’t look at anyone, I was in so much pain. At some point, they called another doctor in to try to figure out what was going on with my epidural. The doctor thought that I needed a stronger dose of the drugs because I was tall. I didn’t want to hear any explanations, I was like, JUST DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. They finally gave me more of the anesthesia, and it kicked in. I felt a gazillion times better after things were numbed up. Needless to say, I was also much more pleasant after the epidural. Like for many women, it was the worst physical pain I’d ever felt in my life.

I just rested and waited to fully dilate so I could start pushing after that horrendous experience. The rest of the birth was smooth and even enjoyable. I was joking around with my mom and the hubby, and even ate some jello 10 minutes before I had to start pushing. I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t even want to start pushing. I was like, can I just stay like this for another day or so? I began pushing a little after noon, and Rachel came out really fast. I think God wanted to make up for my horrible epidural experience by allowing me an, dare I say, easy pushing experience. I was surprised when they plopped her purple, taro milk tea-colored body onto my belly. I thought, surely it’d take longer than an hour to push, since this was my first child. The doctors and nurses were all surprised at how easy and fast it took.

I stayed in the maternity ward to recover for the next 2 nights. The pain wasn’t that bad because I had some pretty good painkillers. But yes, there was a lot of blood, and using the bathroom was not pleasant. Also, I was nervous because I didn’t feel this immediate lovey dovey connection to the baby. I was also exhausted, so that probably had something to do with it. The baby, including all of the tasks involved in taking care of her, felt foreign. I felt super awkward changing her diaper or holding her. Overall, I think my head was just in a haze.

Anyways, not to scare anyone, but I still can’t fathom how people have natural births and how millions of women had babies that way for centuries. I’m still miffed at what happened with my epidural because I should have gotten it way earlier, which would have avoided all of the unpleasant pain. It wasn’t like I was trying to go natural, I knew I’d get the epidural. So next time, if there ever is a next time, I’m definitely getting to the hospital earlier and getting the epidural as soon as I can. Even if it means that labor will slow down, I’d rather have a long, tiring labor than an extremely painful one.

Anyways, I didn’t cover everything, but that pretty much sums up my birth story. Sorry, it’s definitely not a feel-good one!

Overdue, late, bleh

January 30, 2012

My due date was the 28th and today is the 30th. Nothing seems to be happening. We’ve tried all sorts of the so-called natural labor inducing techniques, such as accupressure points, ginger, licorice, pineapple, and tons of walking. I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks and some light cramping, but nothing else. I know I just have to be patient, but it’s hard! I also wanted a January baby for some inexplicable reason, but chances are, she’ll make her debut in February. Oh well, at least no matter what, she’ll still be a dragon baby (according to the Lunar New Year), which apparently is really important to the hubby. Well, health comes first, so if she’s healthy, that’s all I could ask for, late or not!

Pinterest Goodies

January 24, 2012

I’ve been on pinterest for awhile now and looove it. It’s just an easy and convenient way to note everything you love online. If you wanna check out my boards, they’re at:

http://pinterest.com/missbean/

Anyways, I just wanted to share a few of my favorite cute or DIY kiddie projects.

Easy and adorable DIY hair accessories holder:

$4 IKEA spice racks as forward facing bookshelves, so clever!

A great, unique tree bookcase, but way out of my price range ($850, gulp):

Half-homemade desserts for a party or any get together:

Baby Gap Haul

January 24, 2012

I’ve been fortunate enough to receive enough hand me downs that I think I haven’t bought a single article of clothing for the baby. (By the way, obviously, she’s not here yet, but I’m getting antsy as my expected due date is this Saturday.) Anyways, with the last 30% gap code, I bought these goodies (some in larger sizes for her to wear later) at a great price. Luckily for me, it’s starting to get pretty chilly here in San Francisco and will stay that way for awhile (who am I kidding, pretty much all year), so I know these warmer items will be useful even when she gets big enough to fit them properly.

I got all of these for around $40! Everything but the blanket (which is from Old Navy) is from Baby Gap.

Up All Night

January 14, 2012

That’s been the story of my life as of late. As an aside, I do love the tv show as well – Christina Applegate, “Job” and Maya Rudolph are hilarious in it. Well, I’m up again past 2am. I had a bad snack actually, no, it was a good tasting snack, but one that is bad for you… I’d been craving a kimchi ramen bowl, and we had a bunch leftover from camping season (one of our food essentials for camping), so I dug one out to enjoy right now. I know it’s loaded with sodium and msg, but hopefully it won’t affect the baby too much – isn’t she mostly all developed already anyways? Fingers crossed.

I’m feeling really weird tonight and I hope it’s not related to pregnancy/labor, because I don’t want to have this baby too early. I’m right at 38 weeks, and the perfect time for her to arrive would be around 39.5-40ish weeks (after the lunar new year). I’ve been tired since around 11pm, and I think I actually fell asleep and napped for a little bit, and then woke up because I kept on having to pee and the baby kept moving and waking me up. I also felt a little dizzy and sick, like I’m coming down with something. I hope it’s nothing serious, and that I can get some really good rest tonight.

I’ve been pretty bored (again) lately. I’ve read a good number of books and have caught up with all of the tv shows that I like to watch on hulu, and I’m running out of stuff to look at online. My hubby keeps telling me to just enjoy the quiet and clear my head, but I don’t really feel like it’s fogged up to begin with, so I’m not sure what that would mean for me. I’ve actually been getting more excited about the baby (finally right?) because I wonder if I will find it super fun and enjoyable to have her around. I’m also really curious about whether I’ll fall in love with her right away, or if it’ll take some time. As a first time mom, I don’t know what to expect and have absolutely no idea how it’s going to feel. But hopefully, everything will be alright and this will be the beginning of a very sweet and special relationship.

Not that ambitious…

January 12, 2012

I’m normally not that ambitious, but today I’ve been thinking a lot about what projects (personally and professionally) I can work on this year since my tentative plan is to stay at home with the baby. I’ve heard that being a stay at home is a full time job, but I’m still hoping to be able to do something to keep my sanity. I’ve even been feeling odd the past 2 weeks, being on maternity leave, since I don’t have that much to do. Well, I still have baby stuff to get ready for, but for some reason, I’ve been feeling lazy and thinking that so long as I have the essentials, I could wing the rest of it when the baby arrives.

Anyways, I’m not sure whether I should try to pursue something in the legal field which is my background, or something new. I’ve kind of been thinking about trying to start my own mommy group in San Francisco. I know that the Golden Gate Mothers Group is a popular one here in San Francisco, but I’ve read some negative reviews on Yelp and it sounds like people are finding that it’s not worth the $75 annual fee and that it’s not as welcoming of those who are on a tighter budget (such as me). I’ve actually been toying with the idea of starting a faith-based mommy group and wondering if I could find interested moms at various churches here in the city (such as Reality, City Church, Cornerstone, etc.). I think a more targeted group of moms would be better conducive to finding a people that I get along with and trust. Opening up the group to just any random mom seems like it’d be too tough – you could potentially end up with all sorts of crazies and other bad apples. I’ll keep you guys posted on where this idea goes, if anywhere…

On a tangent, I’ve fallen into this schedule of getting ready for bed around 10pm, reading in bed until about midnight, getting up to get something to eat around midnight, and then staying up online until 2-3am. I don’t know why, but I feel guilty – it sounds crazy but I’ve had to wake up pretty early for school and work for most of my life so perhaps my guilt is stemming from feeling like this is too luxurious (for me to sleep and be awake as I please). My hubby says that I should just do whatever I feel like doing, to listen to my body, even if it’s an atypical schedule. I guess I’ll try it out… what’s the harm? It’s not like my schedule will remotely resemble my previous work schedule anyways.