Asher’s Birth Story

“It’s a beautiful day to be born” Ross said as we were pulling out of the driveway at 6:00 am.  “The sun is rising, and the sky is clear and blue.”  I was 5 days overdue, and had woken up at 2:30 am with contractions.  I labored in bed quietly until 4:00 am, wanting to let Ross sleep as much as possible, because I knew we were going to have a long day ahead of us.  I leaned over and woke Ross up – I was at the point now where I was going to need some help laboring.

After extensive research and discussion, I knew I wanted to have a natural, unmedicated birth.  Ross and I took a 12 week course in “The Bradley Method”, where we learned techniques to deal with the discomfort of labor.  We also chose to hire a doula to help give us the best chance of having the birth experience we wanted.  

Ross woke up, and I told him “I think I’m in labor”.  After praying for us, he suggested I take a shower, to see if the contractions went away.  If they did, it was false labor.  If they didn’t, it was the real deal.  I took a shower, and while the water was so soothing on my back contractions, they kept progressing.  Ross was timing things, as we were supposed to go to the hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart.  We were at 7 minutes, and I suggested he call the doula to come help us labor at home.  Ross sent the doula a text, and she was on her way.  A couple minutes later, I started vomiting, and my contractions spaced to 2 minutes apart.  While a normal occurrence in labor,  Ross recognized it as a sign of transition, which usually means the baby is coming any second.  The hospital is a 30 minute drive from our house.  Ross texted the doula 2 minutes after his first text to her, saying “meet us at the hospital”.  

I had 15 contractions in the car ride to the hospital.  Ross turned on some soothing Christian music for me, and applied counter pressure to my hips with one hand and drove with the other.  Our doula met us at the entrance, and pushed me in a wheelchair to get checked in while Ross parked the car.  I was checked, and was 4.5cm dilated.  Ashers heart rate was on the low side, so I had to be monitored for a little longer than usual.  My contractions were getting intense – Ross was talking to me and encouraging me to relax tense muscles, and the doula was grinding her fist into my low back.  It was the most welcome relief to have her do that!

I requested to get in the tub, as laboring in water can provide very effective pain management.  It had been 40 minutes, and I had gone from 4.5cm to 8cm.  The doula kindly said to me “You can get in the tub… but you’ll have to get out”.  The hospital I was at didn’t allow delivery in water.  The idea of getting out of the tub once I was in it sounded so awful, that I decided to stay in bed.  I started vomiting more, and had violent shakes.  “Is this normal!?” I asked.  I knew it was, but needed reassurance.  “Yes, you are in transition” the doula told me.  I must have been in serious denial, because I shot back “I am not in transition!”.  

It took nearly 3 hours for me to progress from 8cm  to 10cm.  Ross comforted me the entire time, massaging tense muscles, reminding me it was all pain with a purpose, and advocating for my wishes with the birth team.  My doula kept encouraging me to let my body relax, take cleansing breaths, and opened up the scent of peppermint oil to help with nausea.

Once I was 10cm and ready to push, things got very fuzzy for me in terms of memory.  Asher’s heart rate dropped dangerously low during the pushing, and the nurse threw an oxygen mask on me.  A surgical team was called in the room, and an anesthesiologist introduced herself.  The doctor told me she was about to perform an emergency c-section, but she’d give me one more set of contractions to see if Asher improved.  The doula and nurse went into overdrive mode, had me change positions, and did some intense coaching.  “Breath for Asher” the doula told me.  Asher’s heart tones went back up, and the doctor excused the surgical team.  

After a little less than an hour, at 12:16pm, Asher was born.  8 lbs 5 oz and 21.25 inches.  It was fast, startling, and amazing.  I got to hold him and love on my sweet baby, and stare in awe at what I had made.  Shortly after he was born, I had to be taken into surgery for a complication that happened during his delivery.  Being away from my baby right after he was born was easily the most difficult part of labor and delivery. I was gone for an hour, but Ross got to bond with and have quality time with his son.

Overall, I am so thankful for the experience I had.  It was challenging, and one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life, but the empowerment I left the hospital with is irreplaceable.  

Pineapple Mango Immunity Booster

Green Smoothie Pineapple Mango

Did you know just 1 cup of pineapple has over 100% of your daily vitamin C needs?  That’s enough to make this a superfood smoothie, but the mango packs over 25% of your vitamin A – that’s an antioxidant that busts out those free radicals from your body, and pumps up your immunity.

So you know it’s healthy, but is it delicious?  HECK YES.  Pineapple and mangoes are amazingly sweet, and the banana gives it that creaminess that sends this smoothie over the top.  It’s tropical, its refreshing, and you should make it right meow.

Mango Pineapple Immunity Boosting Green Smoothie

Makes: 1 16oz serving

  • 1 slice of pineapple  (I put in the whole pineapple slice – including the core.  A vitamix can handle it!)
  • 1/2 cup mangos
  • 1 banana
  • 1 almond milk cube (I make homemade almond milk, then freeze them in ice trays to use later!)
  • 2 packed cups spinach
  • 2 tbspn chia seeds
  • 1 cup water

Add water, goji berries, fruit, almond milk cube, and lettuce in that order.  Blend until desired consistency is reached.

green smoothie in vitamixvitamix blending smoothie

Tip – Use frozen fruit to keep your smoothie icy cold.  Don’t have frozen fruit on hand?  Throw in a handful of ice.

Stitch Fix Review – May 2014

stitch fix style cards

After my first Fix last month, I decided I like the service enough to give it another go!  My first fix wasn’t totally my style, but everyone said the more feedback you give them, the better your fixes get!  I can definitely say, this Fix was an improvement over my last one!  I specifically asked for colored skinny jeans and a drape front cardigan in the requests section of their website – as you can see, they delivered!  The style cards that were included with my fix are pictured above.

Here is a quick overview of what Stitch Fix is for those that aren’t familiar.  Click here to go to see my first fix, which includes a more detailed post on all the ins and outs of the service.

What is Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. Sign-up on their website, fill out your style profile, and pay a $20 styling fee.  Then, schedule your Fix!  You’re sent 5 pieces of clothing picked out with your style in mind.  Try everything on, and keep pay for what you want. Send back anything you’re not crazy about.  Your $20 styling fee then goes towards whatever you decide to keep.  If you keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your whole order!

What I got

First up is the PERUGIA HOODED DRAPE-FRONT CARDIGAN ($108) Size: Small.  

Wait… what?  $108!?!??!?!  Excuse me while I pick my jaw up from the floor.  I don’t care how lovely this cardigan is, there is zero chance I will pay $108 for it.  I’m surprised they sent me something this pricey, because I got a cardigan in my last fix priced at $48, and said the price point was “just right” on my feedback for it.  I have my settings as “the cheaper the better!” under my style profile.  Maybe they were testing the waters to see if I’d cave for it.  Attention Stitch Fix:  I am not caving for it!  Oh, and I found it on this website for $98, so Stitch Fix has a little markup on it to boot!

Cardi hanging

Ok enough of that rant – This cardigan is a by brand “Splendid” and is 60% polyester and 36% rayon.  It’s a little itchy, and overall, the fabric seemed very matronly to me.  Even if this cardi was $20, I wouldn’t buy it.  Just not my style.

I also got the DENNA COLORED SKINNY JEAN ($78) Size: 27

Brand is “Kut from the Kloth”.  These are pictured with the cardigan above.  The feel and fabric of these were really stretchy and comfortable.  However, the inseam was too short for me, and the calf of the pants were too loose, and was a weird mix of skinny  jean and  bootcut.  Not flattering.  Also, the waist came up really high, and I prefer a lower waisted jean.  Poor Stitch Fix, trying to find a 5’9 girl a perfect pair of jeans.  It probably ain’t gonna happen.

dolman full and blue pants

Now onto CORINNA STRIPED HEATHERED DOLMAN TOP ($48) Size: Small

Props to my stylist, because I had a dolman top on my Pinterest board (Psst – In case you didn’t know, you can link your Pinterest style board onto your Stitch Fix account so your stylist can get a better feeling for your personal taste in clothes!)  I was unsure if they actually looked at peoples Pinterest accounts, but I think this is pretty good indication that they do!

It’s by brand “Pomelo” and is SO. COMFY. AND. SOFT.  It is a wonderful fabric, really snuggly and not scratchy at all.   I’ve actually already worn this to work with a slate pencil skirt!

NOTE: YES I AM WEARING PANTS.  They’re just really pale.  See re: Adora Skinny Jean below

Dolman closeupDolman and pants

Next up is ADORA SKINNY JEAN ($88) Size: 27 (seen above)

I have seen the Adora skinny jean on nearly every Stitch Fix review I read (guilty pleasure, I love seeing the fixes that other people get!)  More times than not, bloggers rave about how much they love these jeans.  I have a very long inseam, and was skeptical about whether or not these would be too short.

This color is described as “cantaloupe”.  It’s just a little too light for me – I showed my friend this pic, and she said she thought I was naked from the waist down #palepeopleproblems.  The length is OK, but these were see-thru in the butt area.  For $88, I need the pants to be AWESOME, not just OK.

Keep or Return? RETURNED 

Lastly is the EAMES GATHERED WAIST SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT ($58) Size: Small

Confession:  Once I get the notification that my Fix has been shipped, I always go look at my invoice on the website so I can see what they sent!  I know.  I am awful with surprises.  I googled this item, and LOVED the pictures I saw of it.  I also have this picture on my Pinterest style board – I’d say they’re pretty dang close!

This is by brand “Tart”.  I was suuuper close to keeping this top… but I felt the cinched waist hit me a little low, and it was a smidgen too big.  It’s an awesome fabric, and really lovely feminine blouse.

Keep or Return? RETURNED 😦

Eames top fullEames hanging

Overall:

Loved my fix, and will be doing another one!  I only kept one item, but it’s an item I really love!  I would have kept the eames gathered waist top, but it was a little pricey for this go around.

Want to try out Stitch Fix for yourself?  Sign-up here, and start your style profile!  Then, share your link with others to get a $25 credit when they receive their first fix!

 

*This is not a sponsored post.  It does, however, contain referral links, and I would be very grateful if you used them!

Pina Colada Green Smoothie

green smoothie pina colada

If you follow me on facebook or instagram , you probably already know I love green smoothies.  It’s an amazing way to get your daily allotment of vegetables and leafy greens.  But, the art of making a delicious green smoothie can be difficult.  Luckily, I’ve experimented with some delicious creations (and some pretty terrible ones).  My go-to recipe is below.  Packed with over 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C, and additional iron, and omegas, this is sure you have you feelin’ good!

Piña Colada Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup pineapple (note: If you have a Vitamix, you can blend the pineapple core too!)
  • 1 banana, ripened
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, dry and shredded
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened greek yogurt (omit if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup water (adjust for desired consistency)
  • 1/2 cup ice (omit if using frozen fruit)

Add water, flaxseed, fruit, yogurt, and lettuce in that order.  Blend until desired consistency is reached.

vitamix green smoothie

Tip – Blender having trouble tackling those greens?  Blend your greens with the liquid first, then add the rest of your ingredients!

Did You Know? Flax seeds are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol, and lower your risk for heart disease

 

Stitch Fix Review – April 2014

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I had heard of Stitch Fix and saw many fellow bloggers getting their own Fix.  After doing a little research, I realized Stitch Fix was pretty much made for me.  1) I hate trying clothes on in stores  2) I always buy the same type of clothing, and rarely venture out  and 3) I’m a busy gal who doesn’t get to go out shopping frequently.  The answer to my problems?  A service that picks out trendy clothes and ships them to my door.

What is Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You tell them your style, size, and budget preferences, and they send you a package of stylish goodies to try on at home. Each Fix is unique and hand-picked just for you.

How Does it Work?

  • Sign-up on their website
  • Fill out your style profile – Tell them what clothes you love, and what styles you avoid.  You can even link your Pinterest board for them to see!
  • Schedule your first “Fix” and run around in circles in excitement while you wait for it to arrive
  • Pay your $20 styling fee (which you can then apply towards any clothing you decide to keep) and wait for the magic to arrive on your doorstep
  • Receive a box full of items hand-picked by a personal stylist, just for you, based on your profile
  • Try everything on, keep what you want, send back what you don’t.
  • Your $20 styling fee is then applied towards whatever you decide to keep!  If you decide to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off the whole box.

What I got

I got a nice little note from my stylist, Katie!  She mentioned how she looked at my Pinterest, and picked out some pieces based off that!

Letter

Included in every fix is a “style card” to tell you how to style your outfits – Love this feature!

Style card

 

Now… onto the goods!

First up is the Nerissa Lace Detail 3/4 Sleeve Blouse ($48).  I am almost embarrassed to post a picture of me in this. This is the blouse that my stylist said she picked out specifically because of my Pinterest.  I’m going to have to rework my Pinterest… because I absolutely hate this top.  I look about 2 sizes bigger than I actually am, and it’s very reminiscent of a maternity shirt.   This is definitely, 100% going back!

Kept or Returned:  RETURNED!

Stitch-1-1

 

Next is Colibri Heart Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse ($48).  Heart print? Not my style. Way too twee.  But… this blouse is kind of growing on me!  It’s really nice fabric and quality, much thicker and sturdier than my usual tab sleeve blouses.  It’s flowy, comfortable, and I’m sure would look awesome with a pair of red skinnies!  I probably wouldn’t have kept this if there was anything else worthwhile in the box, but I didn’t want to lose my $20 styling fee!

Kept or Returned: Kept!

stitch-1-2-2

 

Now onto Sandrine Tiered Sleeveless Blouse ($48).  I love the color of this blouse, but it’s too boxy and shapeless for my taste.  And it’s definitely not worth the price tag.  This one is going back!

Kept or Returned: Returned

stitch-1-3

 

Next is Belle Tie Dye Multi Print Scarf ($36).  I saw this on the inventory list on stitch fix’s website before I got my box.  Tie Dye Multi Print? Uhm, no thank you.  But, it was a lot better in person than I expected.  Really soft, big, and fluffy.  But, pastels aren’t my thing, and in order for me to pay $36 for a scarf, it better be pretty awesome.  This didn’t make the cut.

Kept or Returned?: Returned

Stitch-1-4

Last is Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan ($48).  This is just a very basic, plain, open cardigan.  If I’m going to pay full price for something, I need to LOVE it.  This was a little too boring for me.  It’s going back.

stitch-5

Overall: I liked my first fix!  I was disappointed in some of the pieces they sent me, as they were a bit more matronly than I’d like.  But, the beauty of Stitch Fix is that your fixes get better every month.  You give them detailed reasons why you didn’t like the pieces you’re sending back, and they take that into consideration on your next fix so it’s even better.  I will definitely be giving them another chance to knock it out of the park, and I’ll be getting another fix in a month.

Want to try out Stitch Fix for yourself?  Sign-up here, and start your style profile!  Then, share your link with others to get a $25 credit when they receive their first fix!

 

*This is not a sponsored post.  It does, however, contain referral links, and I would love you forever if you used them!