Welcome back Summer! (and my Birth Story – Part 1 of 2 The Countdown)


First of all let’s talk about the real news. Summer Candy is back!

Summer was supposed to arrive around 3/21 when baby was due. I was going to take the rest of the school year off and I would have a good 5 months to bond with the baby before we would have to think about work (or not work). Well as luck would have it, summer came early. 3 Weeks Early. I have a feeling that this summer will be slightly different from the last one but it will nevertheless be wonderfully glorious – filled to the brim with hanging out at home, family, google breakfast and lunches (of course), celebrations (two weddings of dear friends), crossfit (fingers crossed) and Hawaii.

Onto the next biggest news, Happy 1 week to the newest addition to our family – WES! Before complete delirium and this alleged disability called Mommy Brain hits hard, I thought I should document the days leading up to one of the most memorable days of my life – meeting our first kiddo.

This is one of my favorite Wes faces. I call it the Preburpie Cast. This was him this morning with Grandma Lam.

This is one of my favorite Wes faces. I call it the Preburpie Cast. This was him this 3 days ago with Grandma L.

My Birth Story – Part 1 

The Birth “Plan” and the days leading up to WES’s 0th Birthday.

Candy the Teacher “Obstetrician”
Before I was pregnant, before I was married, before Tim, I was obsessed with birth stories. I don’t even have a good reason for it. I was that person that would watch A Baby Story on TLC for hours. So when my friends started having babies, I was that friend that wanted all the details. I loved hearing how people described the pain, pain management techniques, the rate of dilation, pushing, the aftermath, all of it. What struck me the most was how incredibly different everyone’s story was! No two are alike! They are much like engagement stories (and I love hearing about those too) but a little more sciencey. However instead of getting a ring, you get stretch marks and stitches. Obviously, totally the same.

One of the things your OB (or any pregnancy book) may have you think through is your birth plan. This is also a topic of great interest to people when you are pregnant. “Are you going to GO NATURAL?” My answer was always, “Well, that would be quite a feat, but I’m not married to the idea.” This was a total people pleaser answer as it basically was a nice way of saying I don’t know / get off my back / mind your own business! I had hard time having a strong stance on it because of my years of experience watching A Baby Story on TLC has taught me that everyone is different. If someone could promise me “From the onset of your first contraction, you will labor for 6 hours and 45 minutes and then push for 90 minutes” I could plan for that. Granted this may come off a little opinionated, but honestly, I just had no idea how to come up with a plan for something I had no control over (come to think of it, this is true of every thing in life not just L&D).

I had a talk about going “natural” at length with my OB and I so appreciated what she said about it: Gosh, I wish we would stop saying that! Pushing a baby through your birth canal is about as natural as it gets. Saying the word natural gives people the impression that there is an unnatural way of giving birth. We should call it medicated v. unmedicated to remove the stigma. She also confirmed my suspicion that everyone’s experience is different. Not all natural births are equal. A six hour labor and delivery is vastly different from a 34 hour one. We had a long talk about all the options regarding pain relief and she even shared this story how her cousin went to a Lamaze like class where the instructor asked who was planning on getting an epidural and her cousin was the only one who raised their hand. Well-meaning mommies questioned her decision and caused her cousin some guilt and sadness. Fast forward to 2 months later. Everyone had delivered and the instructor asked “who here actually got an epidural?” Every. single. woman. raised their hand. I had a good giggle but I came away from that conversation trying to focus less on the prestige of going “natural” and instead focusing on taking care of a newborn. I took 4 classes in total (1 on breastfeeding, 2 on newborn care and 1 class entitled – now what?! surviving the first 6 weeks at home). I’m so glad that I went to those classes. They prepared me for the reality of breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, diapering, bathing and loving on your baby. Now that we are home, I’m glad we spent so much time preparing for that. It made a huge difference for us!

At the end of the day I didn’t have much of a birth plan except I only wanted to have Tim in the room with me during labor and delivery, I wanted lots of skin to skin time as possible post delivery and I wanted Tim to cut the cord.

Here’s a snapshot of my last couple days of pregnancy – unbeknownst to me.

WES’s Birthday -4 Days (Wednesday)

At my 36 week check up, Dr. B tells me that W is head down, my cervix is soft and I’m 3.5 cm dilated. She tells me that dilation at this stage is normal and actually not a great predictor of when labor will begin. It could be tomorrow… it could be 4 weeks from now. We kidded about how it would be just my luck that I would have to be induced at 41 weeks. As some of you this pregnancy was closely monitored by a perinatologist (MFM) since week 15  so being induced for being overdue would be the irony of the century. I started to believe that this pregnancy would hit 41 weeks.

WES’s Birthday -3 Days (Thursday)

I’m at work getting ready to take maternity leave in a week. At work my friend who also teachers Biology takes one look at me and says you are not going to make it over the weekend. “Your BELLY is SO LOW.” I laugh it off but inside I vow to prove her wrong by making it at least until my maternity leave date (3/7). That day was a 14 hour work day as I had to chaperone the Winter Concert. Thankfully the music teacher gave me the best job – sitting at the box office and selling tickets.

WES’s Birthday -2 Days (Friday)

After work I grab boba with my friend L and she asks me about what you actually are supposed to pack in a hospital bag. I pull out a list and we talk about what to bring. I asked if it would be too much to bring make up? She says absolutely not. I decided that even though make up was okay, maybe the hair straightener would be too much.  After boba, I go to our Crossfit box to watch Tim do his 14.1 workout of a 10 AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of 30 Double Unders and 15 Snatches at 75#. Tim did great! Someone at the box asked me when I was due and when I told them 3/21 they said – perfect! Just in time for 14.5! I jokingly said “if I’m still pregnant, I will totally do 14.5”

That night we went out to Yard House with our friends. I ordered a roasted turkey melt with a side of onion rings. Tim ordered a turkey burger protein style with sweet potato fries. Tim washed it down with a Dogfish Head and a Brother Thelonious while I drooled in envy even though I hate IPA’s.

WES’s Birthday -1 Day (Saturday)

I have the best brother in the world. He took a weekend out to come help us out with getting ready for baby. Both Tim and I have been slammed at work and so worked like crazy on the weekdays and devoted every weekend possible to do baby things. Seeing as a 9 month pregnant person is pretty much good for nothing when it comes to manual labor, we thought we could use the extra brawn (and brain!). I picked him up around 8am that morning and we headed to Philz to fuel for the morning. I got my pregnancy favorite – House Decaf medium medium to con my brain into thinking I’m getting some much needed caffeine. We make it to IKEA  5 minutes after opening and make a beeline for the shelving and dresser units avoiding the laminate path and cutting through the bedrooms. We measure, we grab, we load and we leave. We get home and assemble 2 pieces and head out to lunch to meet up with our friends.

Our friends T & B hosted a reunion slash welcome baby Scone party for us at their place and we had a great time catching up and laughing over great food. After lunch we played some Wii U. I get such a kick watching others play so I was content being a bystander until someone convinced me to try my hand at the Candy Hoarding Game. I don’t know what it was about the game, but I got REALLY into it. I think it had something to do with ganging up with others to chase the villain… or working together to run away from the fork and knife! After all the laughing I had to use the bathroom which was a regular occurrence at this stage of my pregnancy. I did my business and just when I thought I was done, a rush of water came out. Not once, but twice. I just sat on the toilet thinking “oh…. my…. gosh….. ” I knew what this meant. I was going to have a baby probably by tomorrow.

I walk out of the bathroom and from the corner of the room say “Hey guys… don’t freak out, but my water broke.”

Weekend Recap – Crossfit Competition

I participated in my first Crossfit competition this weekend! Our gym has six locations and this was our first inter-gym competition hence the name Bro-Down! It wasn’t just for the bros, but it was supposed to emphasize the sibling rivalry-ness of the event. Each team consisted of two guys and two girls and as a team you have to complete two sets of workouts. The best part is that you get to do it as a TEAM. So for example as a team we had to complete 100 kettlebell swings as one of the workouts. I love them so it was easier for me to do more than my share of 25. In another workout, we had to throw a 14lb. medicine ball 10 feet in the air. My team graciously did my share since I’m vertically challenged and that height would’ve killed me!

Here are a few pics from the day:

Image

team box jump overs!

Image

This part of the workout KILLED ME. I’m pretty sure this is workout is done in Hades every day.

Image

I can’t even keep up with Tim without a kettlebell. And yes that is my “OMG. 3 MORE OF THESE?!” pain face.

Image

How awesome is this. Your team is allowed help you do pullups! We have no shame. I was going to sit on Tim’s shoulders and he was going to squat me but this was a lot faster. And it allowed me to do 100 pullups! Which is about 95 more than I could do on my own.

Last but not least… here is my 2nd proudest achievement this summer (first being the Cronut of course):

IMG_2700

I am the mayor of Norcal Crossfit Mtn. View!

Addicted to Squirreling Part 2

If I have learned one thing from watching HGTV, it’s that my house can’t be clean without getting rid of stuff. This fact is exacerbated by my other guilty TV pleasure – Hoarders on TLC. I’ve never seen an episode where the hoarder was also clean. It just doesn’t happen! No one has ever made the connection cleanliness with minimalism but it makes so much sense!

This summer I played a mind game with myself and pretended that I was moving/the world was ending/I am renting out our home to Martha Stewart and proceeded to purge. I decided to purge before I made this blog so I didn’t have the foresight to take lots of pictures. (please excuse the Google image search results of the first two pictures) Here are some things we’ve hung onto for YEARS because we were certain it would be useful:

Image

Idea: Bringing this into the classroom and plugging it in so my students could listen to running water while they work quietly. Clearly I am delusional. Reality: If this was in my classroom, it would most certainly mean water fights every day. Verdict: Sunnyvale Goodwill.

Image
Idea:  Every time I would have guests stay over, I would place a set of amenities that I had saved from my last trip. Reality: Aint nobody got time for that. And often times these hotel shampoos don’t lather very well and they have weird scent combos like mandarin almond ginger. Great dessert idea, not so great for hair. I ended up buying full-size bottles of Garnier Fructis for the guest bath. It’s pleasant, gender-neutral and makes great suds. Verdict: Hauled my ten pound stock pile to Sunnyvale Community Services
Image
Idea: It’s no secret that this guy has significantly changed shape in the last two years. Well both of us have a hard time letting go of our “fat” clothes because you know… what if we decide crossfit really is cuckoo and stop one day? Tim had a second closet FULL of dress shirts (this one here was a slim fit), nice jeans and sweaters. Reality: Even if we find ourselves fitting into these clothes again, we probably will have changed in our taste. Verdict: Almaden Goodwill.

I may have to make this an S family tradition. I love purging! I ended up taking 1.5 car loads to GoodWill filled with household goods, bags, purses, clothes, shoes and board games.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Purge frequently.
  2. Make an effort to know what is in your house so you don’t buy things you don’t need.
  3. Buy less. But if you do do buy, make sure it’s quality so it can withstand a lot of wear and tear.