WELCOME TO THE WORLD BABY TEDDY!

July 19th. The day that completed our family and brought us the greatest bundle of joy. Although ten days early, we welcomed Theodore “Teddy” Robert Solt with open arms on the morning of the 19th and have been living in newborn bliss ever since.

Teddy’s actual due date was July 29, or the 27th, or the 24th. At one point we had three different due dates so we just told everyone the last week of July. I knew by six months he was going to be early (I literally felt so huge) and that was confirmed at our 34 week appointment when he was already weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces (Lilly was 6 pounds 14 ounces at 39 weeks!!). We actually thought he would be a week earlier than the 19th, but T wasn’t ready yet.

I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks for weeks (probably since the middle of the second trimester). For a few days leading up the 19th I knew they were starting to change, but I also knew they weren’t quite labor contractions yet. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. on the 19th with what I thought were pretty significant Braxton Hicks. By 4:00 a.m. the contractions were becoming slightly more intense and lasting 15-20 minutes apart. I woke up Rob around 4:15 and told him what was going on. Within an hour my contractions were pretty severe and coming every 5-10 minutes.

The plan once we went into active labor was to have my parents (who luckily live a mile from us) come pick up Lilly.  For about two weeks prior to this my parents had been sleeping with their phones on in the event we went in the middle of the night.  Well, in the wee hours on the morning of the 19th when we knew it was go time, we called my parents 15 times with no answer.  Rob had to drive over and bang on their bedroom window to wake them up! We laugh about it now, but when my contractions were coming five minutes apart, I was not so amused!

Rob was gone a total of 15 minutes getting my parents but I knew once he got back we would need to jet out the door. Apparently Gryff, our 90 pound labradoodle, felt the frenetic energy and as Rob and I were leaving, bounded out the door and right into the front seat of the Jeep. Again, not so amused while having significant contractions, but we had a great laugh about it after T was born.

Thankfully there wasn’t any traffic on the road since it was still early and we rolled into the Toledo Hospital around 6:00 a.m.  We parked in the wrong parking garage (in our defense it was the parking garage where we parked when we had Lilly, but the hospital had changed the parking garage to employee parking only).  Luckily a very nice healthcare worker was entering the hospital at the entrance (of which you needed an employee pass in order to enter) at the same time and took pity on us (I was in A LOT of discomfort by this point) and helped us to labor and delivery. 

By this point my contractions were lasting about a minute and coming every two-five minutes.  We checked in at triage and I barely made it through all the questions and check up.  And at this point I was already 7 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced (I had actually been 3-4 cm dilated for about two weeks prior to this).  Rob on the other hand, in all the excitement of the morning, became rather queasy watching them insert the IV in me (which took them about 15 times) and he decided to take an unplanned nap!  Good thing that they keep juice and crackers at the ready!

We were in triage for about an hour to an hour and a half and it was the longest moments of my life.  I was begging for the epidural at this point.  My labor did not progress this fast with Lilly so I don’t recall the intensity of the contractions with her.  This is definitely something I never want to experience again! 

Once they finally got us back to our labor and delivery room the epidural arrived and I was much more comfortable, although I could still feel the contractions pretty significantly since we were so far along.  I tested positive for Strep B so the plan was to wait as long as possible so the antibiotic could get in my system.  After about an hour or two the doctor came in and said it was go time, there wasn’t any more waiting!  He broke my water (it still hadn’t broken) and within an hour I was actively pushing and five contractions later Teddy was born! The doctor laughed as he was delivering him and said, “Wow! This is a big baby!”  I knew Teddy would be bigger than Lilly, guessing him to be about 7.5 pounds, but I never imagined I would birth a 9 pound baby!! I am still so amused by it. 

But let’s not forget about Rob! The nurses gave him some water and peanut butter with crackers after he felt faint in triage so he was doing much better and doing a good job keeping me comfortable with a wet washcloth (my face was on fire right before and during the active labor). During labor, he was “overcome with joy” and had to sit down again. He has been a steady rock since then and I can’t imagine the last four weeks without his support.

Teddy was born at 10:20 a.m. on July 19, weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces.  Only four hours had passed from the time we got to the hospital until the time we had him, and less than an hour had passed once my water had broken! My fear throughout this entire pregnancy was that he would come very quickly and we wouldn’t have enough time to get to the hospital (my family has a history of having babies quickly!).  But thankfully everything worked out beautifully and I wouldn’t have wanted to labor any longer than I did!

If you made it this far, I thank you! We had quite the exciting birth story to share.  I’m so glad we are home and settling into a routine.  Now we just need to get T to sleep and feed longer than every two hours! 

Slainte,

Shannon

Baby #2 Arriving in July!

For those of you who follow me on social media and already know the news, thank you for your kind words and excitement! For those of you who follow me here, surprise! We are having another baby! Rob, Lilly, and I could not be more excited to welcome baby boy Solt in July!

First off, we are absolutely elated!  I love hearing about other moms-to-be experiences during their pregnancies so I thought I would share a little bit about how things have been the past 16 weeks.  

We opted to do the 10 week genetic testing with this baby, something we were adamantly opposed to when we were pregnant with Lilly. I don’t know why we decided to do it this time and why we were so much more open to it this time around, but we felt we wanted to make sure everything was okay with baby. We also wanted to find out the gender, which is how we know so early that baby is a boy! We were convinced the baby would be a girl. But about a week or two before we found out, I kept having this feeling that the baby would be a boy. And it turns it out, he is!

First Trimester Recap: I am not going to write about at length how challenging the first trimester was for me, but I do want to be real. I experienced a very tough couple of weeks. The biggest reason I took a step back from blogging and Instagram over the holidays was because I didn’t have the energy or creativity. Not only did I have extreme exhaustion (sleeping 8-10 hours a night, taking an hour nap in the morning, and a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon almost every day I wasn’t working), but I also had pretty terrible morning sickness. I never actually was physically ill, but I was nauseated from the moment I woke up until after dinner every day. I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to work from home during this time. That has been a lifesaver in allowing me to rest.

Mentally I also struggled.  My mood swings have been so much more extreme with this pregnancy than with Lilly.  I think the combination of winter, COVID, not being able to see people or really leave the house, and keeping it a secret for so long all contributed to these feelings of loneliness, grumpiness, and all around just not feeling myself.

Cravings and Aversions: I always find women’s cravings and food aversions so fascinating. For me, I’ve been craving all things citrus, pasta, and dairy. I cannot get enough oranges, red apples, mac and cheese, orange juice, pizza, and egg sandwiches. Early on the only thing that would help my nausea was Costco’s Kettle Cooked potato chips – so I ate a LOT of those. In terms of aversions, almost everything else was revolting to me haha. Poor Rob had a challenging time finding food for me to eat. I think the worst aversions have been the smell of coffee, alcohol, vegetables of any kind, and meat.

All that aside, I’m feeling 10x better. I’m slowly beginning to feel like my normal energized self again. I now have “bad moments” instead of bad days. I’m feeling excited and motivated to start on all the baby projects. I think most of all though, I’m grateful to be spending quality time with Lilly again. I think the hardest part of all of this has been the fact that I haven’t been able to give my all to my family. They’ve been wonderful through all this and incredibly supportive and I’m so grateful for my saint of a hubby and my sweet baby girl.

If you are thinking of getting pregnant or are a new mom-to-be or just loving talking pregnancy and babies, please feel free to reach out! I love to share experiences of motherhood and pregnancy.

And before I sign off, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to my friend Kelly from Photography by Kelly and Kelly for braving the cold winter weather to capture these beautiful photos of my family. Not only do they photograph portraits and family photos, but they also specialize in fine art photography. I personally adore their captures of Lake Erie and Marblehead Lighthouse! Much of their work can be purchased on their website, so be sure to check them out and follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram)!

Slainte,

Shannon