Hello Sweet Cheer: June 2016

6.23.2016

A Birth Story | The Day I Became Mama

Hi friends!

     I am finally finding the time and head space to sit down and write out Titus' birth story! It has been ten days since he was born and a lot has happened in that time. I've felt every emotion known to man, we've had family in town, friends in and out bringing us meals, countless phone calls and text messages checking on us, and we've even enjoyed a little down time as a family of three! In the last ten days we've gotten to know our little guy and his needs, mama has been in a lot of physical pain, Ryan has been there for every tear, and we've been learning how to love our baby well while still putting our marriage first. 


If you can imagine, or if you've had a baby before, you know that it's a lot to take in and is a huge life adjustment but it comes with so much joy! So, without further adieu, here is how Titus made his grand entrance into the world...

**I was in labor for almost 100 hours. This is a very long birth story. If you'd rather just hear about the day he was born skip down to June 13th!**

Thursday, June 9th | 40 weeks 2 days

     Around 7am, I lost a small amount of blood. It was most likely a little bit of my mucus plug. I continued to have a tiny amount of that each time I used the restroom throughout the day. Around 3pm I started to feel different. I was still having tons of Braxton Hicks contractions, but I started to feel a few here and there that were different. By 7pm, I knew I was having real labor contractions, they were very mild but real. And I was able to time them. They were pretty sporadic, mostly 15 minutes apart but constantly fluctuating to being closer together than that and further apart than that. At this point I knew something was happening in my body, but I figured we had a ways to go. That evening I let my mom know what was going on but told her not to come quite yet, since things were still vey irregular. I also texted my midwife to let her know the process was starting.

Friday, June 10th | 40 weeks 3 days

     I only slept about 3 hours and it wasn't restful sleep, just dozing in between contractions from 2:30am - 5:30am. When I decided to get up for the day around 6am, I realized my contractions had gotten as close as 6 minutes apart. They still weren't staying that close or feeling as painful as I knew they would get, but they weren't stopping. I updated my mom and both her and my dad had that day off work so they decided to head our way since it seemed we would be having a baby over the weekend! And Ryan stayed home from work to be with me. I labored all day at home, timed contractions and watched as they would get closer together, last longer and then they would spread back out. It was such a discouraging day. I felt like my body was doing a lot of work, but feared little to no progress. I continued to update my midwife and we decided to go in and get checked that evening. Around 6:30pm we met her at the birth center and found out I was a "fingertip" dilated. And my cervix was "starting to soften". Both of those things are basically code for nothing is happening. I was so frustrated and felt like a fool for thinking I was progressing. For context, a lot of women are already 1-2cm dilated at 38 weeks, and usually already effacing (softening). I was OVERDUE and was much further behind where a lot of people are before their due date. We also found out that Titus was malpositioned. He was posterior, some people may know this as "sunny side up". It means his back was on my back instead of his back being on my belly. This makes labor much more difficult and sometimes makes vaginal delivery impossible for first time moms. So, we were told to do a lot of pelvic rocks, try to relax and stay hydrated because it looked like this was going to be a long road. Not what I was hoping to hear!

Saturday, June 11th | 40 weeks 4 days

     I didn't sleep at all the night before. I laid in bed and grabbed Ryan's hand and breathed through contractions every time they came. I wasn't timing them at this point because I was already so exhausted and it was discouraging to see that they weren't getting longer, stronger or closer together. I got up that morning and tried to eat a good breakfast, drink a lot of water and just relax. I still didn't time my contractions. I used my breast pump a little bit to see if that would help move things along. Turns out all that does is cause false contractions..they sped way up but slowed down again after about an hour. Eventually I started having 30-45 minute breaks with no contractions which just made me more confused about what was happening. The longer I didn't progress, the more stressed I became. My family was already in town, Ryan's mom was in town, and that just made me feel like I needed to have this baby quick. That afternoon I took a warm (not hot) bath to try to calm my mind and body. Ryan prayed with me multiple times, asking the Lord to bring comfort and peace but also to make this process move along so we could meet our baby. The rest of the day was the same, working through pain, but nothing becoming more consistent. By the evening I had been in what is called "prodromal labor" for 48 hours and I was ready for things to pick up.


Sunday, June 12th | 40 weeks 5 days

     Again, no sleep, I just laid in bed working through contractions all night. My sweet husband just let me moan and squeeze his hand every 15-20 minutes. He was a champ through everything. So we got out of bed around 8am, and I decided to start timing my contractions again because they seemed to be slightly more consistent. They were now consistently 8-10 minutes apart lasting around 45 seconds and they stayed this way for about 2 hours. I let my midwife know, ate some protein and carbs for breakfast and kept chugging that H2O. She said it was good that they were more consistent and getting closer together so I felt encouraged that I might be making some progress. The rest of the day I spent again trying to relax, working through contractions and praying. We prayed so much that the Lord would just help us in such a confusing time. That afternoon I decided to ask my midwife if she could go ahead and check me again. I had been doing a lot of pelvic rocks to try to reposition the baby, since he was posterior, and my contractions had been consistent for multiple hours. She told us to come to her house and bring our swimsuits so I could rock my hips in the pool and maybe help with baby's position! So we did that. It was so relaxing to be in the pool! I just kicked back and forth and rocked my hips as I went to try and position the babe in the best way possible! After some time in the pool, my midwife checked me. The good news was that Titus was in the best position! He was on the left, anterior (back on my belly) ready for delivery. I was also 90% effaced, which was good. But I was only about 1cm dilated. So that was a little hard to hear. By this point I had been in pre-labor, or prodromal labor, for 72 hours and I had hoped my body was making more progress than that. But, it was still good news. 

     After that we headed back home, had steak, veggies and potatoes for dinner and then things REALLY picked up. After I ate I planned to lay down, try to ignore as much of the pain as possible and just rest because I knew I would be having him somewhat soon but it might still be several days. And I was already exhausted from the previous three days. Well, my body had other plans. After dinner (around 6:30pm) my contractions got a lot stronger. I was feeling them in my back and they were getting pretty unbearable. I tried to work through as many as I could on my own, knowing they were only going to get much worse. Around 8pm, I needed Ryan for every single one. They were getting really intense. Ryan started timing them because I couldn't at this point. They were consistently 3-4 minutes apart, lasting at least 1 minute (some lasting 2 minutes). This went on for about an hour and a half before Ryan called my midwife. I was really having to breath through each one and felt like my body was working so hard. We got to the birth center around 10:30pm that night and immediately got checked. I was 2cm dilated. Knowing I was only 1cm just 5 hours before made this news not so surprising but still very disappointing. I had been working so hard. 

Monday, June 13th | 40 weeks 6 days

     We labored for the next 12 hours. We were up all night, working through contractions every 1-2 minutes. And they were getting so incredibly painful. I was going from sitting on the yoga ball to standing in the shower, to being on hands and knees on the bed to sitting in the tub to walking around, etc. I just had to keep switching to new positions based on how my pain was increasing, seemingly by the second! Around 2am they checked me again and I was at 4cm. I was progressing but very very slowly. We continued to labor for what seemed like ages. Ryan was pushing my hips together or putting pressure on my lower back through each contraction. He was there for me the entire night, every moment. And I needed him. I would hang off of him to take pressure off of my back and I know that wasn't easy! He was my rock.

     It was about 5am by this point - and I felt confident I was getting close. I just felt it. I had Ryan tell our families I thought I was close so they could start heading to the birth center. They checked me at 5:30am and I was at 6cm. Talk about discouragement. I had been working for hours at this point and seeing little progress. Our families got there around 7am and stayed with us for the rest of the time. My mom said she never remembers feeling the way it seemed like I felt when she had her babies. I remember hearing her cringe through one of my contractions. 

     Around 8:30am I was still at 6cm so they broke my water. I thought I would feel huge relief because I had so much fluid but I didn't. The contractions were front and center. At 10:30am they checked me again and I was STILL at 6cm. Between 5:30am and 10:30am I was having long, painful contractions and I was not dilating. I was stuck. It was pretty disheartening to know I had worked so hard and now I was at a point where I couldn't go any further. My midwife basically told me, we can give you an IV here (I was very dehydrated by this time) and see if that helps, or we can go to the hospital. The moment she said the word "hospital" I knew I wanted to go. She said a lot more things about what would happen and what the process would be, but my decision was already made. She said everyone would step out so Ryan and I could talk and the moment she shut the door I had my shoes on and I told Ryan, "I want to go." I was so ready for help. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and I needed to rest. I was so confident in that decision, I knew it was time to get medical attention.


     We got to the hospital around 11am, I got into a gown, and told them I wanted the epidural as fast as they could possibly get it to me. Once I had the epidural and was a little more calm (I was having terrible contractions throughout the time he was placing it) they checked me. It was probably close to noon by now and I was STILL at 6cm. That confirmed to me even more that we had made the right decision. My body needed help to finish this process. So they started Pitocin. The doctor told me that even though I was having contractions, and they were painful and happening often, they weren't efficient. They weren't doing the job they needed to do to cause my cervix to continue to dilate. I was fine with all of that because I was just ready to meet my baby and I knew my body needed an extra boost. Having the epidural to allow me to rest was the best part of the whole situation. I was finally able to relax and sleep after days of getting none and one really long night of active labor! 

So we rested. For as long as we could.



     I got checked a few more times after the Pitocin... I was an 8, then an 8.5, then a 9 and then a 9.5! And this all happened within about 4-5 hours. Amazing! I was so happy. I was still feeling a lot of the pain of the contractions but it was nothing compared to what I had been feeling before!





     I finally got to a 10 and we were able to start some practice pushing around 7pm. I pushed for about 30 minutes. At this point they felt like he was still posterior so they had me lay on one side for 30 minutes with a peanut ball between my legs, then on the other for 30 minutes to try to get him to turn over. 


     After that we practice pushed for another hour. They said my pushes were really good and it wasn't for lack of good pushing but his head was just not moving low enough. They told me we could keep pushing and see how far I could get or I could go ahead and choose to do a Cesarean...which I believe would have been inevitable eventually.

     The doctors stepped out and Ryan and I discussed it with our moms. We came to the conclusion that if my pushes weren't going to move him low enough, we might as well do the c-section now before it becomes an emergency. So we opted for the c-section and they immediately started prepping everything! My sweet friend Elise, and photographer, was allowed to go into the OR to take pictures! It was amazing! I am so so thankful. 


     They wheeled me back and got me all prepped and ready to go. Then Ryan and Elise came in and I knew it was go time. Ryan sat next my head and we just looked at each other with the biggest smiles. After the longest five days of our lives we were FINALLY about to meet our son. 


     And when that moment came, 10:50pm, they lifted him out and we heard his small newborn cry...and we both started bawling. We looked at each other in disbelief that he was finally here! I'll never forget that moment or how I felt. We just cried and laughed and smiled and cried!


     They cleaned him up and all the doctors were placing bets on his weight. Everyone was convinced he was 9 pounds or more! It turned out he was 8 pounds 7 ounces and 22 1/4 inches long!



     They brought him over to my chest so I could have skin to skin time with him and he even nursed for a few minutes. 



     After what seemed like the shortest moments of my life, I started to feel pretty sleepy because of the medicine so I handed Titus to Ryan and he went to the nursery with him. And I fell right to sleep.



I will never forget the moment I laid eyes on my precious son. It was the most incredible feeling. And  I'm so grateful that we have photos to remember it by, as well! So sorry for how long this was, but it was a LONG five days. I am so glad he's healthy and finally in our arms!




I'll share more of my thoughts on natural birth vs medicated, birth center vs hospital, why we made the decisions we made, what we plan to do for baby #2, etc. in a separate post because this one probably took you an hour to read. If you even made it this far ;) Thank you for reading! This wasn't easy for me to write, as Titus' birth didn't go in any way I thought it would. 

I have so much more to say on this and much more to process, but for now this is how it happened. And the Lord knew all along, and had this story written long before I could have imagined it.

xoxo || meredith holguin

*edit*

     One thing I forgot to mention is how thankful we are to both of our families, all our precious friends and our photographer and friend, Elise (Elise Hurst Photography), for being there for us through this crazy journey and supporting us every step of the way. We love you all so much and are so grateful for your encouragement and help in such a crazy time in our lives! <3

6.21.2016

Titus Matthew | 1 Week

*had this post ready to go yesterday when he turned one week old but... #newmomlife 

ONE WEEK


Our baby boy is already one week old! We can hardly even believe he's really here and he's ours! We are just in love.

A G E: One week

W E I G H T: As of Friday, 6/17 he weighed 8 pounds 4.6 ounces!

L E N G T H: At birth, 22 1/4 inches

S I Z E: NB diapers, NB clothes but he can fit into some 0-3m onesies!

E Y E S: Dark brown, so beautiful!

H A I R: Dark brown!

S L E E P I N G: Titus sleeps for 2 hours at a time during the daytime hours (from 10am - 10pm ish) and usually goes about 3-4 hours at night! And Mom is so appreciative of that :) So our nighttime nursing schedule is around 1am, 4-5am, and 7-8am!

E A T I N G: Mama's milk! Every 2-3 hours around the clock.

M I L E S T O N E S: He conquered his first week of life!

O U T I N G S: We took Titus to church for the first time yesterday! He did really great. I had him wrapped to me in my boba wrap and he slept all the way until the last 2 minutes of service! He was a champ, we even went to lunch after church and he sat wide eyed in his car seat the whole time!

F A V  T O Y S/A C T I V I T I E S: Sleeping and eating!

W O R D S/S O U N D S: Coos, screams and cries!

N I C K N A M E S: Titus boy, Sir squishy face, Titus Almightus, Sweet boy, Professor poopy pants

F U N N Y  M O M E N T S: Ryan and I giggle every time we hear him pushing out a LOUD toot...usually the beginnings of a nice sized diaper ;)

*Birth story in progress...coming very soon*

6.19.2016

Introducing Titus Matthew

He's here!

Titus Matthew Holguin arrived June 13, 2016 at 10:50pm
weighing 8 pounds 7 ounces and measuring 22 1/4 inches long!


We are so in love with our boy! Birth story coming soon!

xoxo || meredith holguin








6.08.2016

What's in My Birth Bag?! (Pre-Delivery)

     Happy Wednesday, friends! Today I want to share what I have packed and ready to go in my birth bag (more commonly known as a hospital bag). I've had everything all packed and sitting in the nursery since about 36 weeks! So I went through and photographed and wrote down everything so I can share with all you mamas out there who have already had babies and might have some advice for me or maybe those who are pregnant and need some guidance on what to pack! Obviously I haven't had my baby yet so I'll update y'all after delivery on what I'm glad I had, what I wished I had and what I didn't need!


     Now, before you go on you must know that I am delivering at a birth center, not a hospital. So my bag might be packed a little differently based on the fact that the birth center doesn't provide a lot of the things the hospital might and we won't be staying there multiple nights like a typical hospital birth. Alright, here we go!

I'll start with what I have packed in the diaper bag for the sweet babe!

Diapers (NB x 4, size one x 4)
Honest Company Organic Healing Balm
Travel pack of wipes
Clothing: Onesie w/ shorts, sleeper, pair of socks
Muslin swaddling blankets x 2
Monogrammed burp cloth
Boppy



     I have the Skip Hop Duo Special Edition diaper bag in French Stripe. I love it so far, but we'll see how it functions when the babe arrives! I'm bringing two different sizes of diapers because well...I want to be prepared if he comes out nine pounds... ;) We definitely won't need all four of them, but I'd rather be safe than sorry! The healing balm I most likely won't need because again, we won't stay there too long after he's born, but it's something I plan to keep in my diaper bag so I just left it in there for the birth. If you're having a boy and plan to have him circumcised in the hospital just after he's born, you may want to include petroleum jelly to help with his recovery! Our babe won't have that done immediately so I'm not worried about it quite yet. In the picture you'll see some nursing pads. Those are samples I've gotten that I thought would be great to keep in the diaper bag since they are nicely and individually wrapped. So again I just left them in there for the birth, not expecting to need them!

     Wipes and blankets are self explanatory, I'm bringing two different blankets because I can't decide which one I'll want to use! I threw one of his burp cloths in there because it's adorable and has his name on it, and I'm thinking it would be fun to have some photos of him with it right after he's born! As for what he is wearing home, I'm bringing two identical onesies that I was given at my showers, one is a newborn and one is 0-3 months. Again, preparing for size, just in case! I also have a sweet pair of gray shorts for him to wear over his onesie, a pair of socks for his little toesies and then I threw in a sleeper in case I would rather have him in that. You always have to have options, am I right?!




Okay, onto what I packed for Daddy...

Plain white t-shirt
Extra t-shirt to wear home
Athletic shorts
Swim trunks
Underwear
Socks
Deodorant


     We packed a few different options for Ryan too, as the plan will be for him to be right there with me and potentially catch the baby! So we need to be prepared with a change of clothes if his get dirty and honestly he may want to change regardless just based on how long we're there laboring and all of that. We also have his swim trunks in there in the event of a water birth, and if I end up wanting him in the tub with me at any point. I also have more toiletries for him that I'll list in that section - there are a few things we will be sharing!

Everything else is for Mama!

Clothing

Extra sports bra/nursing bra
2 pairs of underwear
2 nursing tanks
Cotton skirt

     I didn't photograph any of this but I have two sports bras that are really comfortable for me right now so I plan to wear one to labor in and have the other in my bag for after he's born. I'll list my "Pack Last Minute" items at the end! I also have a lightweight cotton skirt that I got at Target thinking I may want to labor in that. It's stretchy, comfy and I can move around in it easily! I've talked before about the nursing tanks I purchased off Amazon, you can find them here if you missed that post! They are super comfy so I'm bringing them both and will likely wear one of them home. I plan to wear a pair of Nike shorts home but that's on my last minute list!

Recovery

Dermoplast
Witch hazel
New Mama Bottom Spray
New Mama Bottom Balm
New Mama Nipple Butter
Hibiclens
Hemorrhoid Cream
Adult diapers (x 4)
Kotex pads (x 4)
Pampers Sensitive Wipes
Paper towels
Medical grade underpads



     I'm bringing all of these things for my own recovery :) I have friends who have had babies recently and all these things were recommended to me! A lot of it is "just in case" but I'm bringing it all to the birth center so that I have it if I need it. If you're birthing in a hospital you may not need any of these things! You might want some of them, but I know the hospital provides a lot of these items. The birth center will provide me with a peri bottle, which I'm sure is standard at every hospital too, so I don't have to worry about that! Also, I know the hospital provides mesh underwear for after delivery but I've heard from many sources that adult diapers (Depends) are the way to go!! Awkward, but I'm sure very helpful :) The paper towels and under pads are specifically things I have to bring to the birth center and they provide everything else they'll need for the mess of delivering a baby! 

Toiletries

Hairbrush
Toothbrush/toothpaste
Face wipes
Hair ties & hair clip
Q-tips
Bag of travel sized shower items
Body wash
Gum


Snacks

Trail Mix (x 2)
Granola bars
Protein bars
Meat/cheese packs
Red raspberry leaf tea


     I'm bringing lots of snacks for me and for daddy! Depending on how long I labor these will definitely come in handy. If you are birthing in a hospital you may or may not be allowed to eat once they admit you, so I would suggest eating something protein and fast carb dense before you get there! I'm told you'll want and need the energy those things will provide!

     Lastly, here is my list of things to throw in the bag when labor starts and we know baby is on his way! Phone chargers, camera, battery charger, tripod, Nike shorts, water cup with straw, black maternity shirt (that I wear every other day so I can't pack yet :P), my deodorant (Ryan has an extra stick already packed).

So that's about it! I had a sweet friend gift an entire basket full of a ton of the things I packed! She was so sweet and went out and bought tons of different travel sized items, all the snacks, extra toiletries, etc. She got me all set! I am so so thankful for her. Let me know if I missed anything, if I have something here you don't think I need, etc. I hope this was helpful! Happy Birth Bag Packing!!!!

xoxo || meredith holguin

ps please pray my baby arrives soon :)

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6.07.2016

40 week bumpdate

I have officially reached my due date! This is exciting because it means this baby is coming soon! We can't even describe how ready we are to hold our sweet baby boy.

How far along: 40 weeks - AKA time to have a baby!


Size of babe: Anywhere between 7 and 9 pounds, between 18 and 22 inches! The size of a small pumpkin... yikes! My guess is that he will weigh around 8 pounds at birth! 


Gender: IT'S A BOY!! We can't wait to meet our son, Titus Matthew!

Husband: Words can't accurately describe how wonderful he is. I have had some really tough days in the last two weeks and he is always there, ready to comfort me, reassure me, tell me I'm beautiful, and more often than not just let me cry in his arms. Don't get me wrong, this is such an exciting time, but have you ever experienced pregnancy hormones!? Sheesh..... Read this post if you missed it last week, where I spilled all about it!

Maternity Clothes: Same stuff... nike shorts, shirts that don't fully cover my belly, maxi dresses, etc.

Loving: He still moves a lot! And it's so fun to feel his kicks knowing it won't be much longer before I'll miss those little thuds inside my belly. But I really can't to see him kick his little feet and squirm around OUTSIDE my belly :) Also loving popsicles, chocolate milk (story of my entire pregnancy), and thinking about the day I get to meet my baby!!

Loathing: The MYSTERY of when labor will finally start! The West Texas heat, anytime I have to be outside for an extended amount of time, etc.

Belly Button: Out!

Movement: Still tons!

Symptoms: Lots of contractions, cramps, insomnia, getting up to potty, etc.

Best Part of the Week: This weekend Ryan treated me to getting my hair done and a mani pedi! I hadn't had a haircut in almost 18 months...yikes, so it was much needed! And the mani/pedi I got a few weeks ago was already chipping so I got that re-done so I'll be all pretty when I meet my baby!!!

Worst Part of the Week: The unknown, just waiting for those labor pains to begin!

Missing Most: Still missing my ability to move freely. I feel so restricted by this big ole belly! I will be so happy to have my normal body back - even with all the scary changes after pregnancy!

Can't wait for: The day the Lord has chosen for Titus to come into this world. So so so ready!



xoxo || meredith holguin

Stay tuned for a birth announcement! Hopefully so so soon! :)