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It started with a toot!

Don’t blink they say… it will all be over so quickly… man oh man that is sooooo true!

As much as I want to go off on a tangent about how the US Government could do a much better job when it comes to Maternity time I wont.

It seems like it was just yesterday (insert an old man’s voice here) when we were sitting in the hospital.  Yet my Maternity leave was already over?!?!  6 weeks off is what short term disability covered.  2 of those weeks were a waiting period.  So now comes the choice of staying home for another 6 weeks unpaid or go back to work. 🙁  I spent many many hours crying my eyes out at this
stage… I mean I knew it was going to be hard.  But I had no idea HOW HARD it was going to be when it came down to it.  This little human relies on me for everything in her life at this stage from diaper changes to boobyjuice to warmth and shelter.  Now I know there are great people in the daycare systems… but it isn’t “mom and dad” at the end of the day.  Combine that with the mommy fear of not wanting to miss any of the firsts and you get a mom thinking of any and every way that she can stay home full time.

Full time may not be an option for us right now financially but it is my goal for sure!  So with the help and encouragement of my
amazing mother in law I decided to take the leap into making some of my passions for all things baby a reality I can share with other moms out there.  But what do you call such a fun business?  Well it all started with a toot…  As I was sitting there with my mother in law dreaming up ideas the little lady in my arms let a grown man sized toot out.  From the giggle that we both responded with I knew we were onto something.  And from there Tickles and Toots was born!!!!

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She may be small but she is mighty!

I remember so many people telling me about the journey of parenthood and how you never fully understand how much you can possibly love another human being until that moment that you meet your first child.  I knew then that there was something to these words of wisdom and inspiration.  However, I didn’t really fully understand the weight of these words until 11:50pm on July 1st 2015… the moment we welcomed Kennedy Grace into this world.

Being a first time mom meant that pregnancy was a magical and scary time.  There was so much unknown yet at the same time so much was new and exciting.  Then there were the books, and the blogs and the advice coming at me from every angle.  Every book seemed to have a different take on what was best.  Every mom I knew had some advice on what they did or didn’t do and why.  Most were kind and helpful… some were down right harsh though!  I learned very early not to divulge things we had decided were going to be “our way” to too many people if we wanted to remain sane!  For example, it still shocks me how many people would laugh at us or tell us “we will see how long that lasts” when it came to cloth diapering by choice not necessity.  The biggest word of advice I can give to anyone talking to a new mom… Don’t criticize their choices unless it is really going to put the child in harm!  There is very little stability and security within the mind of a first time pregnant mom “infected with baby brain”.  It only takes a few negative moms out there throwing their judgement and opinions around to bring on an emotional breakdown.

My husband and I talked about all the different birth options and knew that there wouldn’t be an official “birth plan” in place… rather we would want to know all the potential paths so we could navigate them when/if they came our way.  It became pretty clear to us around week 36 that this was a good idea as things were already going off plan.  It was a normal doctor appointment when my doctor went to get my measurements and looked concerned.  She then asked that I go get an ultrasound to check fluid and how the baby was measuring as I was not measuring well at all.  I felt the concern as well since it didn’t seem as if my bump was growing.. in fact it looked as if it had shrunk… but I just chalked it up to the baby dropping.  Upon ultrasound it was found that our little peanut was in fact measuring small, was breached and had very little fluid left. :/  I was then scheduled to go get non stress tests twice a week from there on out and 1 ultrasound-fluid check each week.  For the next few weeks the non stress tests all went well and nothing changed on the ultrasounds.  I was trying everything to get her to flip over from acupuncture to Moxibustion.  Then we were sitting in birthing class talking about C sections when she just flipped!  The shape my stomach took when she flipped was quite crazy… I was convinced I was growing a pterodactyl at that stage! That made me feel better about the likelihood of a C Section. My final day of work I was scheduled for a doctor’s appointment and a quick ultrasound for a fluid check.  This happened to be one of the only appointments my husband didn’t go to.  Not because he didn’t want to… but because he was home with a wicked summer cold and fever.  Well this also happened to be the appointment that my doctor walked in with a big smile, looked at my chart and then said as calm as can be “You ready to be induced today?”.  Uhm Uhm Uhm… I sat there for a few moments and then mustered up the word “sure”.  …In my head I was screaming… NO NO NO I am in fact NOT ready…. what about laboring at home, contractions…. hell what about nesting and cleaning my house?!?!… Apparently “sure” was enough for her though.  She originally scheduled me to head to the hospital in two hours.  When she told me the time I think my eyes said enough and she came back with an appointment 4 hours later.  I choked down my fears and tears and headed out to my car to drive home the last time with this baby still inside me.

I hit the voice button on my car and said “Call Home” about 5 times before it finally understood my shaken voice.  When my husband answered I could tell I just woke him up.  My tears put him into a worried state as well.  But upon arriving home he greeted me with open arms and reminded me we could do this!  We decided that we wanted to go get a good lunch in at my favorite place before we checked in.  Who can say no to waffle fries and home made pies… not this girl!

The nurses were more than welcoming and made us feel at home.. even though my poor husband was wearing a mask the whole time.  First came the 12 hours of Cervidil.  Sadly that didn’t do much so it was on to Pitocin and more waiting.  At the 28 hour mark the doctor came in to check me and sadly I was at a 2 for dilation 🙁  They were sure that it was going to be well into the next day before I had any “action”.  At the 30 hour mark the contractions were getting pretty intense.  Nothing a little Nitros between contractions and some Demerol (I believe) couldn’t keep in check though luckily.  I kept asking the doctors when I would know that it was time to push and they all kinda smiled and said… “Trust me you will know.  Your body will tell you.”… Well at 11:15pm or so I knew exactly what they meant.  As my husband was sleeping on the couch/bench I was trying to wake him.  As soon as he woke up I asked for his moral support and company… but before he could even make it to the bathroom to put his contacts back in I was scrambling for the call button.  When I told the nurses I needed to push they all looked at me like I was pulling the trigger a little too soon.  As soon as they let me try a few pushes though they could see that I wasn’t kidding… two pushes in I was told to STOP Pushing and they were calling the Doctor as she had crowned.  I will be the first to say… trying NOT to push was way worse for me than the pushing was.  I tried to keep my cool and relax through the urges to push but I guess I lost my cool a bit as I wont ever let down my responses to the nurses when they said to me the doctor was on her way and would be there soon…. my reply “Soon is a relative term ladies and isn’t very helpful.  How long?”…. yeah husband is still laughing about that one.  As soon as the doctor was there and I was given the go ahead to push it was 2 pushes and she came flying out.  I’m only assuming my nurses play on the softball team as they sure caught her like pros!  It was then when I heard them weigh her in at 4lbs and 11oz and then a whole different set of mommy fears kicked in….

We spent the next 5 days in the hospital with her battling jaundice and low birth weight.  Luckily though… other than being a little
yellow and tiny she was perfectly healthy.  And she is our perfect little human.  From the second she came out she had us both wrapped around her tiny fingers… and it will likely stay that way for the unforeseeable future. 🙂

Here’s to mommyhood!  The greatest adventure I have started with the greatest man by my side!