Realistic Birth Experience

*This pic was taken minutes before finding out that it was time to be admitted.*

Let me start out by saying, I know that everyone has a different experience when it comes to birth. I watched many, many labor and delivery vlogs on YouTube before giving birth and mine was nothing like any of them that I watched.

Many of the ones I found on YouTube went a little like this: 1) Started having contractions. 2) Labor at home for a while until contractions were close enough together to go to the hospital. 3) Get to the hospital, check in, and get epidural. 4) Doctor says you are at 10 cm and you push, sometimes with grunts, sometimes peacefully. 5) In just a few pushes you are so happy, holding your baby. 6) You are taking glamour shots with your new bundle of joy and you look glowing and flawless.

Well, mine went a little different. I’m not sharing my story for sympathy, but because I know that a lot of you reading this are pregnant and I want to give you a perspective you might be able to relate to. I wish I would’ve heard someones story that went more like mine.

*Disclaimer: I am not gonna sensor this. This is how my birth went and I am gonna tell you everything I experienced. If you don’t want to hear TMI…. don’t read this.*

Leading up to going into labor I was having a lot of pelvic pain. The braxton hicks picked up and I knew that it was gonna be baby time in the next few days. After many visits to the triage for decreased baby movement, and various other things, I made another trip to the hospital on Monday night at around 10pm. I was having contractions 5 minutes apart, even though they weren’t incredibly strong. They checked me, monitored me and I was only 1 cm. They sent me home and the moment I left the hospital, the contractions picked up intensity and spread out to about 7-9 minutes apart.  I hardly slept Monday night, they were still there all Tuesday leading into Wednesday. Wednesday morning, I was having some leakage and I called labor and delivery to see if I should go in and I mentioned the contractions. They told me unless the contractions were every 2-3 minutes for an hour, not to go in for those, but to monitor how much I was leaking and if it was soaking through a pad in the span of an hour, to come in. After telling Troy what they had told me, he left work and came home. I was still leaking fluid and I didn’t feel like trying to measure the amount with a pad, so we just went in.

The nurse took my vitals and asked me a million questions. She then asked me if I had been experiencing any contractions. I told her ‘yes’ and proceeded to explain that they were stronger than before but only coming every 7-9 minutes. She brushed it off and said I was probably just dehydrated and to drink more water. They tested my leaking and the doctor said they would check my cervix since I was still having contractions. My tests came back normal, and my water wasn’t leaking, it was just discharge. As she was checking my cervix she had a weird look on her face and then looked at me and said “Well, it looks like we’re gonna be admitting you.. you’re sitting at about 5 cm.” I was so relived, because I didn’t know how much longer I was gonna be able to just sit around ad deal with those contractions. I was also nervous, because I knew it meant it was closer to time for me to push a baby out of my lady bits. I requested a room with a tub because I couldn’t have an epidural and I wanted to have the option of laboring in the tub (at my hospital you couldn’t give birth in the tubs, only labor in them).

Just to be clear, I wasn’t told that I absolutely couldn’t have an epidural, but the anesthesiologist did tell me that because of my prior back surgery (spinal fusion in 2015 for my scoliosis) it would be risky. He said if I really wanted one and felt like I had to have one he could attempt it, but a lot of the times they won’t work as well and if I did get one that it would open me up to a risk of infection in my back which would be really bad. So I chose to not get one because it just was not worth the risk in my opinion.

I got to my room at 2pm and they came in to check my cervix again at 9pm. In those 7 hours I had only progressed 1 cm. The doctor told me they were gonna come back to start Pitocin since my contractions were still about 7-9 minutes apart and I had not progressed hardly at all in the 7 hour span. The nurse offered me pain medication that would go through my IV and said it was my last chance to have it since the Pitocin would speed up the process and I wouldn’t be able to have it after a certain point. I said ‘yes’ to the IV pain medication, because… why not. The pain medication made it to where I was able to sleep for a bit. I still felt the contractions and would wake up a little when they came but it put me in a state of not really caring that they were there. It started to wear off after about an hour and a half and at around midnight on the 27th of September my contractions were in full swing, coming every few minutes and strong. They checked me at 1am and I was dilated to 9.5 cm. It was almost time. They broke my water (I had group B strep so they wanted to wait as long as possible so I didn’t have as much of a chance for infection) and I was at 10 not long after.

This is where my situation differed a lot from the YouTube videos.

Come time to push mine didn’t just last a few grunts and a couple pushes. I screamed at the top of my lungs. Was told to stop pushing for about 15 minutes while the doctor was finishing up with someone else. Holding my pushing then caused me to barf ALL OVER myself while trying to not push. Screamed some more. Skylynn was stuck on part of my cervix so the nurse had her hands up in me while I pushed. I told the nurses, doctor and Troy that I couldn’t do it. At many points I genuinely thought maybe she just wasn’t going to come out. Screamed bloody murder some more. Pushed for 2 hours or more… I really don’t know. And then at 5:05am I was holding my baby.

Most people say when their baby is born and they first hold their baby they get this magical feeling, like the best feeling ever and that there is nothing like it. I can’t say I experienced that. Once I had her on my chest I was so exhausted that I was just relieved that it was over. I looked at her and I thought that it was crazy to finally be holding her, but after that traumatic and hectic experience I honestly just wanted everyone to leave the room and have a chance to regroup for like 15 minutes.

I felt bad afterwards that I wasn’t more into the moment, and I felt sad that I didn’t have those feelings everyone talked about. I thought maybe it made me a bad mom. Or maybe it meant that I didn’t love her.

I know that none of that is true. My body had just gone through a horrific battle. I was emotionally and physically drained. But over the course of these past few months I have experienced that feeling every one talks about many times.  So if you have given birth and and didn’t necessarily have all those feelings that everyone else had, and your experience wasn’t what you had expected, don’t feel ashamed or upset. Childbirth is a different experience for everyone, but at the end of it we all end up with the same precious gift.

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Just For Fun

Troy Army

I’ve seen this tag on YouTube a few times while watching military spouse channels & I thought it would be fun to do it! Today I’m gonna be sharing my answers to the military spouse tag! Lets get started…

Q: How did you and your spouse meet? Troy and I met at a winter retreat that we both went on with our church.

Q: How old were you when you two met? I had turned fifteen, three months prior, and Troy was about to turn seventeen.

Q: How long have you been together? We began dating August 29, 2015.. Got engaged October 3rd, 2016 and have been married since March 18th, 2017! So 2 1/2 years just about?

Q: Where are you and your spouse originally from? I was born in Yakima, Washington & moved here at age five. Troy was born and raised here in Arizona!

Q: How did you feel about him joining the military? I automatically thought of the long times apart we would have to go through, and the risk of losing him. Ultimately though, I will always support his decisions, and it makes me happy knowing that he is doing something he is passionate about!

Q: Where did your spouse go to Basic Training? Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Q: Has your spouse ever been deployed? No

Q: Ever been to his promotion ceremony? I went to his basic training graduation in Oklahoma, but other than that, no.

Q: How long have you been a military wife? Five months

Q: Did you marry him before or after he joined? Before

Q: How did your husband propose? We talked about it before he did it, and we were gonna go talk to my parents about it at dinner, but he already had a ring without me knowing! He asked their blessing at the table, pulled out the ring and here we are now!

Q: Where did you get married? Our Church

Q: How old were you two when you got married? I was nineteen, and he was twenty-one!

Q: Did he wear his uniform on his wedding day? No, he wasn’t in the army at the time.

Q: Where are you and your spouse currently stationed? Right now he is still finishing up AIT, but after he is done we are being sent to Fort Riley, Kansas.

Q: Do you live on base? Not currently, but we will be!

Q: How long were you married when you had to go through your first separation? Only five months before he had to leave to basic training.

Q: What is your favorite base so far? I can’t really answer cause I’ve only been to one.

Q: Do you think your spouse looks good in his uniform? He looks good regardless, but I definitely don’t mind seeing him in uniform. 😉

Q: Do you think military life is more advanced than civilian life? I haven’t really been fully submerged into military life yet, but from what I know and have encountered so far, yes.

 

 

 

Goals For The New Year

We are officially two weeks and four days into the new year. I don’t usually set goals or make expectations for myself when it come to the new year, mainly because I know that my goals tend to end up unaccomplished, which in return makes me feel pretty lousy about myself. But this year I decided to set some goals.

First and foremost, having goals and things you want to accomplish doesn’t have to take affect at the beginning of the new year. If you want to do something you can start NOW. Secondly, when setting goals for yourself make your goals realistic. If your New Years resolution is to lose weight, don’t quit just cause you stopped going to the gym for a few days and you already blew your goal of going every day. You have to keep your goals realistic, it makes for better results.

I tend to have an issue with over estimating reality. I tell myself, “I’m gonna walk the dogs everyday.” But sometimes you just can’t make it everyday. Now instead of telling yourself “Ahhh, look I already failed.” Set up more realistic goals and build them up from there.

If your goal is to go to the gym more instead of saying “I’m gonna go to the gym everyday.” Make it something more like “I’m gonna go to the gym 2 times a week for a month, see how it goes, and build up from there.”

For those people who can set really high goals and maintain them, good for you. But I know that there are people in my boat who need to start small and work up to their big goals.

Starting 2018 I knew a lot of changes were gonna be coming my way. Packing up and moving to a new state and adapting to a whole new lifestyle (the military, in my case) is overwhelming and stressful. As excited as I am, I’m nervous to leave everyone I know and move to a place that I am unfamiliar with.

My goals this year amidst all these changes and new adventures is to really keep a positive attitude. I know that I’m gonna be stressed, and that this is really gonna be a shock to the system, but I want to maintain an open mindset. Not just in the moving sense of things, but I’m all aspects of life. I want to start living in the now instead of worrying about the future and dwelling on the past.

Another goal of mine has been to be healthier. Now as cliche as it is, this is something many of us can focus on. I’m not just talking about physical health, but mental health too. I want to watch what I am putting into my body, and how munch junk food I allow myself to consume. That’s not to say that I won’t still splurge and eat like a pig every once in a while, but overall when you eat like poo you feel like poo. Therefore my goal for myself is to pay more attention to my junk v. good food ratio. Mental health is another big one I want to address this year and time in my life.

Between stress from day to day functioning, to just typical state of mind I want to learn to relax and really focus on staying stress free. I have a very bad issue of over thinking and stressing myself out more that need be. I worry too much about the small things and don’t take the time to just breathe and really focus on not letting myself become overly occupied by minor things.

With that all being said, this year don’t give up on your goals, set them within your grasp and go get them!

Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” -Philippians 4:13 KJV

May 12, 2016 I got this scripture reference tattooed on the side of my arm.

Growing up my dad would have to partake in dialysis treatments 3 times a week. After dialysis he was always very exhausted and worn out. Although his kidney failure didn’t have a direct affect on my body it affected our family as a whole. It took a lot of strength for all of us to get through the feeling of hopelessness as we watched someone we loved so much go through something so hard. He eventually received a new kidney and was able to move forward without any dialysis. God gave us the strength to prevail.

In 2013 I went to the doctor because I noticed my spine didn’t feel straight. The doctors told me that I had scoliosis. We soon found out that it was too late for a brace or anything to help my back straighten out, so if it got worse I was going to need surgery. After a 2 year journey I went in for an operation that would require 2 rods and 18 screws to be permanently placed on my spine. Typically it would take people months to get back to normal. I was released on a Sunday and was at church the following Wednesday. I took my pain medication for one day after being released and made an exceptional recovery. God gave me the strength to prevail. 

Those are just two of the big things that God gave me the strength to get through. I then got the tattoo as a reminder that the things are hard for me to face, I never face alone because God has always pulled me through it all.

Now I am entering into a new journey that is one of the hardest. Troy and I were only married for five months before he left. Being separated from someone that you have spent every moment with is hard. I am told all the time “you are so strong”, but if I’m being honest in the beginning I broke down a lot. I have had to do things on my own that Troy always took care of. Troy and I would drive to work together, come home together, eat dinner together, and every morning I would wake up to him. And abruptly doing all those things by myself was a huge hit to my heart. It was suddenly always quiet and I didn’t have his constant listening ear to talk to anymore or the security of the person I love falling asleep next to me. As the weeks went on the adjustment of being alone got easier. I still missed him but the aching feeling in my heart waned and I felt a sense of peace. Nothing changed, he was still gone, but I got stronger. We still have about 4 more months of long distance, and possible deployments to come but my heart is no longer afraid, because God will give me the strength to prevail.

Now that I have the tattoo it is a constant reminder to myself that he always has, and always will, give me the strength to pull through the times that I’m struggling to pick myself up and keep going.

phillipians

Chicken Legs

“Elephant legs!”

“You should start eating less!”

“Must be nice to be so over weight!”

I am 5′ 6″ and last time I weighed myself I weighed 112 pounds. Since my freshman year in high school I have always weighed between 112-116 pounds. Do I starve myself? No, I actually eat a lot. Do I have an eating disorder? Nope. Am I trying to lose weight? No, I eat just the same as everyone else. Am I insecure about my weight? Yes.

I have never once calculated my BMI and had it not tell me I am under weight. I have been told on multiple accounts, by multiple different people, that I have “chicken” or “toothpick” legs. When sitting down to eat I have been told multiple times that “you could afford to eat about 10 of those!”, or “She can eat as much as she wants, it won’t hurt her.”, or “It wouldn’t kill ya to gain a few pounds!”. And of course I get the inevitable “Must be nice to be so skinny.”

Body image is something a lot of people are dealing with these days. People tend to think that only people with plus size body types are the ones who are uncomfortable in their own bodies. Speaking from experience I can tell you its not true.

The ideal body type that many girls are aiming to achieve these days is what is now being referred to as “thicc”. According to an urban dictionary definition thicc is:  “A descriptor meant to designate a woman with a shapely figure and is typically somewhat chubby.
They often will have an hourglass or pear shaped body with emphasis on the shape and size of their buttocks and thighs.”

I don’t fit this image at all. I am not curvy. I do not have big thighs, in fact my thighs are about the size of my calves. My butt is not big by any means, and my breasts are much smaller than needed to fit the term “thicc”.

I have tried to gain weight, I have told myself that I was going to work out and start doing squats. I have cried over my body type several times while looking for new clothes to add to my wardrobe. People make comments to me all the time about how skinny I am, and I know that they don’t mean it to be rude. I just wonder if they realize that many people my size are just as insecure about being underweight, as people are about being overweight.

So many times I catch myself comparing my body to other peoples. I do it so often that it has become such a subconscious act. I think “if only I could have my ______ look like that, then I would love my body”. But the harsh reality is, everyone has something they don’t like about themselves. Even the people that we see as being flawless have things they wish they could change. I have realized that my body is the way it is, and I can either mourn over what I wish it could be, or learn to love what is (or isn’t) there. 😉

It is hard to practice what you preach all the time, and I know I still will complain about my body here and there, but love your body for what it is.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”- Marilyn Monroe

Photo Taken By: Arlene Alto

 

 

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed

Let me start off by saying Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Looking at everything that’s happened between last Thanksgiving and now is really crazy to me. Everyday I wake up with something else to be thankful for.

Last year I wouldn’t have even imagined that my life would be where it is now.  My eyes have really been opened to see what all we tend to take for granted and should be more thankful for while we have it.

Let me start by saying I am thankful for my faith. I am thankful that I can freely discuss and practice my religion. There’s many people in other countries that lose their life because they do not have the religious freedoms that we have here in America.

Which leads me into my next point, I am thankful that I live in America. Despite the political chaos, and unruly violence that has been happening we live in a country where, as of now, people are free to express their feelings and opinions freely. Lots of people dislike Trump, but at the end of the day spending all this time disliking someone who still has 3 years left in office isn’t going to make things better. Politics are corrupt these days. We can all try to look at the positive values our country still upholds and be grateful that we live where we do, people in other countries fight to be here and risk all they have to come to this land that many of us spend time bashing because we are so consumed in the minor flaws instead of admiring the big picture.

I am thankful for my family. Many people don’t have families like mine and I think sometimes I forget that. My parents are still together, I never worried  about where my meals would come from, I always had a warm bed to sleep in and a group of people who loved me to go home too. When someone in the family is having a rough time, financially, physically, mentally or whatever it may be, they are never alone. My aunt Tracy donated a kidney to my dad when he was feeling a sense of hopelessness because the wait for a kidney was hard on his body. My aunt Tena helped my family get to Arizona when my dad was needing his surgery. My dad helps my grandpa do things that used to be a piece of cake for him, but he now needs more help doing, like fixing his roof. My grand parents are always there for a good pick me up, and my grandma has a huge heart for serving others. There’s never been a time that I go to her house and she isn’t trying to fix us something to eat or drink and accommodating us however she can. My grandpa is always out in his shop using his carpentry skills to build us things, barbie cases, desks, you name it he’ll build it. My parents have let me and the dogs move back in with them and are helping me save money by not making me pay rent. My sister is always letting me be goofy and making me laugh. Those are all just a few examples of the things we all do for each other. No one has to be asked to help out, they all do it out of their own yearning to lend a hand where it’s needed, because we’re family, and that’s the way my family has always been. A lot of people don’t have the close knit bond that my family members share and I think we sometimes don’t realize how lucky we all are to have the love and support we have from one another.

I am thankful for the new family that I didn’t grow up with, but I had the pleasure of marrying into. Many people dislike their in-laws, but I’m fortunate enough to not have that issue. Troy’s entire family welcomed me as their own from the beginning. His mom and dad both have giving hearts and are always doing what they can for Troy and I. Since Troy’s been gone they have been constantly checking in to make sure I am okay, and that I have everything taken care of, for that I am truly grateful.

The support system that Troy and I have through out this new journey we are headed on is also incredible. We are constantly having people check in and make sure everything is okay. Since Troy has been gone I have had so much love poured out to me from people letting me know that if I needed anything they would be there. Although it may seem like a small gesture, it is astonishingly helpful to have people you can rely on through such big changes in life.

Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for my marriage. I can confidently say that Troy has been my greatest gift. We have only been married eight months, but in those eight short months we have learned and been through so much together. The amount of love he has for me and those around him is truly beautiful. He does all he can to make our future as bright as it can be. Long distance hasn’t been easy, but even from 1,982 miles away not a day goes by that I don’t feel loved. We are constantly being goofy together and he matches my weirdness level perfectly! Not matte what it is, I am always being constantly supported and encouraged by him in all aspects of life and I couldn’t have found someone better to spend forever with.

Thanksgiving always makes us realize what we have to be thankful for, but I think it should be a goal of all of ours to remember to be thankful not just this one day of the year, but everyday. There’s always something to be grateful for even on your darkest day.

Hoping everyone has a blessed day!

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6 NLT 

 

 

Marriage Is Okay at What Age?

R125Why are we so quick to judge other peoples relationships?

Recently I’ve seen a lot more people my age (late teens/ early twenties) getting engaged and preparing to marry the person they want to spend their life with. The responses that people receive because they are choosing to devote their life to one person at an age considered to be “young” to most is flabbergasting. Some of the remarks that have been made to me, and others, are what makes me wonder what marriage is all about in today’s world. Is it about the love two people share, or how old they have to be to share it?

I met Troy when I was 15 and he was just turning 17. We didn’t start dating until I was 17, turning 18 three months after. We only dated for a year and three months before getting engaged. That shocks a lot of people. I’ve received a lot of comments  on the short length of time we spent dating before deciding to get engaged. Often when people start in with their, “Wow! That’s not very long at all.” statements I feel the need to explain myself. “Well we were best friends for a long time before we started dating.” That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when grasping for things to blurt out to defend the way we did things.

Why is it that we feel because you have been with someone a certain amount of time it determines whether or not a marriage would work? Why is it that people who marry under the age of 25 seem to be destined for failure?

In my opinion all marriages are destined for defeat unless both people are willing to keep the vows that are made at the altar. “Til death do us part”, has turned into “Until it gets too hard.” Marriages shouldn’t be looked at like that, but sadly they are. More and more people are so quick to throw in the towel instead of fighting for the person they swore to spend the rest of their lives with because it has become more customary these days.

I don’t think that the length of time you’ve spent in a relationship with someone or the age you choose to marry at will determine how long your love will last. I think it all comes down to how hard are you willing to work for it, and how much are you willing to endure.

My grandparents married at 16 and are still married today. I’ve seen people marry young and get divorced, I’ve seen people marry in their adult years and get divorced. I’ve also seen people who dated for years before getting married end up signing divorce papers as well.

No one said marriage is easy. I’ve been married only 8 months and I’ve already seen how difficult it can get. The differences, the compromise, lack of communication, etc. I’m not saying I have experienced it all, our marriage has only just begun, but what I do know is, I was raised to believe that divorce isn’t just a piece of paper you turn to because things get problematic. You met that person at the alter, exchanged those vows and committed your life to spending forever with them, you better be ready to work through whatever comes your way.

And I think that if people feel they’re ready for that life long promise at 18 or 35, that’s their life, and their relationship. We shouldn’t automatically assume the fate of their future based on their age or how long they’ve been with a person.

On another note, I don’t think poorly of those who do get a divorce. Many people have many different reasons for getting divorced and we shouldn’t form an opinion based on why we think it happened. A lot of times outsiders don’t have a portion of a clue as to what led up to someones divorce, and we are not entitled to an explanation.

We see peoples lives through our eyes. We are not in their shoes. We do not know all of their stories, we have not felt all their joy, nor have we endured their pain. We see what they let us see, and we are not mean’t to critique, just to love.

I will end with this quote from one of my favorite shows:

You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, you can drink at 21, and retire at 65. So how old do you have to be before your love is real?” – Jim James (One Tree Hill)

Photo Taken By: Arlene Alto