Nina’s birth story

March 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

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This is the story of how Nina Nicole came into the world.

I was up before the sun came up that Tuesday. Partly anxious, partly hungry, I just couldn’t sleep but six. That Tuesday, January 28, was going to forever change my life and the life of our family! I was schedule for a c-section at 10:30 am.

I had spent the evening before repacking our hospital bags with my mom and making hair bows for our sweet girl. That morning, all was left to do was get myself ready and go to the hospital. No breakfast needed, which was incredibly hard for this hypoglycemic mama. No make up, no nail polish, no jewelry either. So at least I got my hair fixed.

We left O at home with my parents and arrived at the hospital at 9 am. We quickly signed all the paperwork and they checked us into our room.  My nurse for the day came in and asked all the questions in the world and prepped me for surgery. The OR was having an incredibly busy day. It was break week, so everyone had schedule their surgical procedures for the day of my c-section. It was 11 o’clock before I got in.

This part was the easy part. I knew what to expect, how things were going to feel. How to epidural procedure was going to be. It doesn’t make the anxiety and anticipation any easier though. Knowing you are going into major surgery just makes it all a little more nerve wrecking. My blood pressure dropped quite quickly and I began to feel whoozy. As I’m quite experienced with the feeling of fainting, I was well aware I was about to blackout. I immediately told my wonderful doctor and she just coached me through some deep breathing exercises until the adrenaline shot the nurses gave me kicked in. After this, it was all very quickly until we heard that beautiful cry. The husband was sitting right next to me, smiling from ear to ear. We exchange a knowing look: She looks just like her brother, only smaller! They took her to the pediatric nurse to get all cleaned up and then brought her over to us. We took pictures, I kissed her. She even nursed for a few minutes before they whisked her away and proceeded to stitch me up.
My nurse took me back to my room and the husband was already there, waiting for me.

It felt like forever before they brought Nina back to us. They were getting her cleaned up, giving her shots, etc. Husband and I just sat there, anxiously waiting to see and hold our baby girl again. Meanwhile, the nurses helped me get ready. The hospitals here don’t provide gowns, so I came prepared with some cute and comfy nursing PJs this time. Last time, I only took regular clothes and I just wasn’t comfortable at all. I wore like this one and like one. In fact, they are so comfy I still wear them every night.

Finally, our sweet girl arrived, all decked out in pink and we got to really see her for the first time. Needless to say, we thought she was beautiful. Our sweet, beautiful girl.

As I began to nurse her, I couldn’t help but think about how her big brother would react once he met her. But that’s a story for another post.

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Maternity Style – Instagram update

March 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m not even going to apologize for the iPhone pics… It’s all I have managed these days! But I wanted to document some of my favorite outfits I wore towards the end of this pregnancy. So baby girl can see that mommy tried her best to stay stylish while feeling like a beluga whale. :)

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{33 weeks}

Zara turtleneck (non-maternity)/ amazon.com maternity boyfriend jeans

35 weeks. Wearing my favorite maternity jeans. I got them on Amazon for 20 bucks and I love them! The only downside is that I have to wear a belly band because I got them a size too big. If I lived  in the States, I would have exchanged for a size smaller. Mommy was thinking she was going to get as big as she did with your big brother!

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thrifted Ralph Lauren blazer/ Mango cargo pants (worn with a bella band)/ Gap striped shirt

{34 weeks}

Our winter has been so mild, I’ve gotten away with wearing flats and no socks! Something you will know about your mommy is that she LOVES flats and she despises socks.

P.s.: styling my hair does wonders for my ever rounding face!

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Mango raincoat/ H&M plaid shirt/ Gap tee/ Pink leggings/Accessorize scarf

{36 weeks}

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Target sweater/ Yargici tee

{37 weeks}

Red lips and dark nails are my beauty favorites. And somedays are just hat days. Even if it is not that cold out.

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Mango raincoat/ Gap maternity  tee/ Accesorize scarf/ amazon.com boyfriend jeans/ Deichman booties

{38 weeks}

I am trying my best to keep my hair long after I have you… I got a haircut soon after I had O and deeply regretted it. But I am itching for a change! Also these booties and raincoat are in my top ten best purchases ever. I will wear these two items until they are threadbare. They are the basic pillars of  my mommy every day style!

O’s 4th birthday

February 27, 2014 § 1 Comment

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A sweet end to a sweet day. Hopefully I’ll have pictures to post soon.

 

It was a great day celebrating the most special 4-year-old I know!
I just simply can’t wrap my mind around the fact that my sweet title newborn is now this energetic, eloquent, smart, speed-loving little boy.
I have so many things to write to him, in the hopes that someday he will read them. Unfortunately these days my time is short.
I am so thankful for “my sweet precious gift” as I tell him before he goes to bed every night. I am so blessed by this little boy who made me a mommy.
God knew what he was doing when he gave me Oliver as my firstborn. He stretched my heart in ways I never thought possible. Just like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes (or a thousand), this day, four years ago. Nina should be forever grateful to Oliver, he’s the one that “broke in” my mommy heart for her. He already is such a fantastic big brother.
Happy birthday, my sweet boy. Mama loves you more than you will ever know.

38 (and a half) weeks

January 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

This will most likely be my last pregnancy update before baby girl arrives. Yikes. This pregnancy went by fast, I have to say.

How far along: 38 weeks (and a half…)

How big is baby: the size of a pumpkin

Weight gain: I gained another kilo this week. But overall I think I did ok on this department. This week though, I could tell Nina was packing on the pounds. I’ve been hungry around the clock!

Sleeping: It’s one of those things I just don’t get about pregnancy, right she you’re supposed to be “hibernating” in preparation for the sleepless nights, sleep just eludes me. It was the same with O. But, with the wonderful help of the husband, I’ve tried to get sleep when I can…

Food cravings: I still crave fish and things I can’t get here like good Mexican food or a heart-of-palm salad.

Food aversions: I still can’t even stand the smell of  “iskender”. O’s pregnancy scarred me for good.

Symptoms: All the same stuff (pressure, sciatic, heartburn) plus a new old friend, the Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Miss Anything?: I miss wearing good jeans with a zipper. ;) And tucking in shirts. I miss being able to play with my O and not having to sit down every so often because of pain. I promised him that he first thing we will do when my stitches healed is wrestle. ;)

Doctor’s appointment: Baby girl was measuring about 7 lbs today. She’s sitting super low. Her face looked different from O’s today too. We will find out soon how she looks like!

Wedding Rings: Still on.

Clothes: It’s been a VERY mild winter so far, so I’ve been able to wear my regular coats unbuttoned. It is nice, because it gives me a nice variety from the two maternity coats I own. Leggings and a dress/tunic have been my go-to outfits lately.

Movement: Well, she must be getting those muscles ready, because she’s been keeping me up at night with all those moves!

What I’m looking forward to: I am looking forward to meeting baby girl in a just a few days!!! I’m even ready for the sleepless nights! I went on a nostalgic journey through old home videos the other day. O’s first steps, O crawling around… Made me so sentimental and so happy. I feel so blessed I get to experience all of that with another little human being again. Also, it made me cry: how did my baby get so big? He was the sweetest like chunkiest baby, he was always so happy. Funny to see his little personality coming out even then. Excited to live through this stuff again and now with a big brother to add to the fun!

 

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Week 36

January 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Trying hard to keep track of this pregnancy. It is flying by!

How far along: 36 weeks (and a half…)

How big is baby: the size of a head of romaine lettuce

Weight gain: I have done better this time than when I was pregnant with O. Of course it helps that Nina is a little smaller than her big brother. I have two weeks left, so hopefully I will gain just what baby Nina needs to come out healthy and strong!

Sleeping: It’s been hard to sleep. The aches and pains of pregnancy have kicked in full gear. But if I do my yoga, stay off my feet (impossible task), I can have a pretty decent night of sleep. Of course I still wake up at least 2-3 times at night because of Nina pushing on my bladder. ;) I also sometimes get woken up by hunger pains, usually early morning like 5 or 6. So I have first breakfast, go back and rest a little longer and have real breakfast later in the morning. :)

Food cravings: I keep on craving fish often. Fish and chips to be exact. Strawberries too. And even though it is out of season, I’ve been able to find some strawberries at the store. Not the best, but it does the trick. Oh and water with lemon.

Food aversions: Nothing really. I have specific cravings, but no aversions. Except for oatmeal still. I may never be able to eat oatmeal again. Just like I can’t eat iskender since O’s pregnancy.

Symptoms: The last couple of weeks have brought a lot of pelvic pressure and sciatic nerve pain. A little heartburn but nothing like O’s pregnancy. The pelvic pressure has made me think on more than one occasion that labor was imminent. It turns out, that is just something that comes with second pregnancy territory.

Miss Anything?: I miss being able to do a very vigorous workout. Like go on a nice run, or an Insanity workout.

Doctor’s appointment: I am down to the last couple of weeks before my c-section is scheduled. Last appointment baby girl was looking good, head down and measuring about 6 lbs. Like I said, she’s considerably smaller than O. At this point O was way past 7 lbs. :)

Wedding Rings: Still on.

Clothes: I am ready to go shopping for normal clothes. Lots of good sales now but I have shown restraint. I hope to go shopping with my mom after Nina comes! I’ll probably need a pair of “in-between-jeans” anyway…

Movement: Nina moves quite differently than O. O’s kicks were strong, consistent and energetic. Nina’s moves are more like butterfly flutters with the occasional strong kick. She mainly moves at night, or after I do some yoga. I think Oliver ran out of space long before Nina, hence the stronger kicks. The past couple of nights her moves have kept me awake a considerable part of the night… Here’s to hoping she’s not a night owl!

What I’m looking forward to: I am looking forward to my parents getting here, seeing Nina’s face for the first time and seeing O’s reaction to his baby sister. I am ready for her to be here, for sweet baby snuggles.

What I did / Got for baby: I have my hospital bag almost packed. Her room is basically ready and I even sewed a car seat cover. Hoping to get some ribbons and make some bows and headbands this week!

Prayer requests: Praying for energy, health and a safe delivery. Praying she will stay cooking up in here until it is time for her to come out!

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Picture taken at the shower my sweet friends gave for me and Nina!. We had a great time. :)

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The fantastic hostesses!

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January 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

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New Year’s Eve Reflections

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here we are on the first day of 2014. This will be another big year for us! As usual, I took the time to answer some questions and reflect on the year that we said goodbye to. I got these questions from The Art of Simple. I don’t answer all twenty questions, so I just delete them but I don’t change the numbers on them.

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

I have to say that getting pregnant with this little girl has been a sweet, sweet blessing.

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2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Well, we are going on year 5 of transition. We have moved five times in four years and this year has been no different. Finding the energy to start over, invest in new relationships, build a support community from scratch, husband started a new job, O started school… It was all kind of a lot. 

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

My return to the classroom has been a true joy. Finding this little Montessori school, where my son feels welcomed and nurtured and where we can both feel at home at. 

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

O was born and has spent the majority of  his life here in Turkey, so we thought he would have a smooth return home. Well, things were more challenging than we thought. But I’m so proud to say that our little TCK has overcome much and is once again thriving in his third culture.

5. Pick three words to describe this past year.

transitional, busy and purposeful

8. What were the best books you read this year?

I just read lots of fun fiction this year! Some that stand out: What Alice Forgot, Where’d you go Bernadette and The Dressmaker.  Two very challenging non-fiction books were: Desperate and The Spiritual  Disciplines of a Godly Woman.

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

The husband, my son and this precious new life in me!
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

Oh I don’t know, a certain human being growing inside of me kinda through me for a loop!
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

The second half of the year was very much about working on not being anxious about tomorrow. On focusing on what is in front of me today. I have also had to dig deep to find the strength to invest in starting new relationships. This is still a work in progress.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

I am doing better at taking my anxious thoughts to the Lord and not looking elsewhere for answers. Still so much room for growth.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

Besides growing a human being… I’ve been able to stay physically active throughout this whole pregnancy, which is not something I was able to do when I was pregnant with O. This last month I have started to slow down some, some days I can only manage a little yoga. But I am still much more active than in my first pregnancy.
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

This year was all about growing my relationship with my son. He is a walking, talking human being now. No longer a toddler, full of his own opinions and capable of articulating them. We grew so much this year. And I look forward to getting to know this little person more and more everyday. He truly is a delight.  I’m so glad we had this year before he will have to share my attention with his baby sister.

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15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

At work, getting to see O grow and interact with the other kids. I’m so glad I get to be there . At home, I have been able to stay much more organized and on top of meal planning/cleaning. The house doesn’t always look spotless, but I feel like I have a better grip on this housekeeping deal.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

On both fronts, finding the energy when some days I was too nauseated or too tired or too pregnant…
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

As usual, I wasted a lot of time on the internets and social media. I have to get a grip on this.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Personally, I enjoyed waking up early when I could to pray and exercise. It didn’t happen as consistently as I wanted to. I also found a good groove on the old: see it, clean it. I tried my very best to clean as I go, pick up as I go and not let things accumulate around the house. But the very best way I used my time this year, was doing home school with my boy. Reading books with him and doing art together are one of my favorite ways to spend my time.
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

Last year was all about taking control of my life and making changes  to my diet, my exercise routine, making life happen. This year was almost the opposite. It was about embracing what life (God) had for me and not fighting for control. Taking life by stride, deep breaths, holding on, one step at a time.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.

This quote reflects a lot of the changes that are still happening in my heart:

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Here’s to embracing my life in 2014!

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Happy New Year!

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