Hailey's Birth Story 

I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for! 

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

The Beginning

Almost 2 weeks before she was born, John and I went to BJs to get groceries. I started having contractions and I thought for sure she was coming today. But, they turned out to be Braxton Hicks and went away. Then almost a week before she was born, I had painful contractions but those didn’t go anywhere either. I was starting to get frustrated and confused.

After these 2 false alarms with contractions that led to nothing, I was starting to get cranky about baby’s (lack of) arrival. After the first false alarm I was thinking, holy crap- I’m not ready for this! But, then I started to get excited. With every additional day (and false contraction) I started to get more and more impatient. 

On September 27, I woke up at 4am with the beginning stages of labor, but at this point I was unsure what was real and what wasn’t. This felt a little different than the other times, but I wasn’t willing to bet on it. My husband went to work (he leaves around 5am) and I went back to sleep. I kept having contractions while I was asleep (the pain kinda made its way into my dreams!) and they finally woke me up around 7am. 

I monitored my contractions all day, but they still weren’t regular. Strong contractions came and went, sometimes every 15 minutes and sometimes nothing for a half hour or more. I really felt like today was going to the the day, so I got a manicure to try and relax. I luckily had an OB appointment at 1pm, so I told her my symptoms and she checked to see if I was dilated. I was 3-4 cm dilated, and she said normally she would have sent me to hospital at this point if contractions had been regular! She didn’t seem too convinced that I would be having this baby today so I went home confused once again. 

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

John got home around 3:30pm, and my contractions started to get more regular. I was hungry at this point, so we went to McDonald’s and called the family to let them know I was probably going into labor. We stayed home for a while but by 7pm my contractions were 5 minutes apart (or less!), so we went to hospital. Everyone met us there and we were in the waiting room a while. I finally got admitted, they checked me out in an exam room, and determined that the contractions had slowed down to 5-7 minutes apart. They gave me 2 options- go back home to wait it out, or down to the lobby to walk around for an hour or two. I decided to go home so I could at least be comfortable (it could’ve been more than an hour or two!) and we ended up bringing my MIL and sister back with us. My parents went back to their house to rest for a bit. It was probably around 10-11pm at this point and everyone was tired. 

The 20-minute drive home was full of contractions, which came every 5-7 minutes pretty strong. Everyone was hungry so we hit the McDonald’s drive-thru, and the contractions were so intense that I made everyone be quiet while they were happening. It was so hard to go through the pain with everyone chit chatting and asking me questions, and I felt like I had a hang over! Everything seemed loud, I was nauseous and the smell of the food wasn’t helping. We got home and I took a shower, where I had my husband hang out in the bathroom with me and time the contractions. They were super strong and a minute apart. We got a little worried, so we sat down on the couch and they were 2-3 mins apart. I knew they would make me lay in bed at the hospital so I practiced getting through the contractions while laying on the couch. I somehow slept through the less than 5 minute break between contractions. John kept reminding me to breathe through contractions, since I tended to hold my breath. I wasn’t in a rush to get back to the hospital and possibly sent home again, so we stayed home to about 2 am then headed back to the hospital.

Natural vs Epidural 

I really wanted a natural birth. John and I had both decided it would be best for me and the baby. I was worried about the epidural slowing contractions, then needing pitocin to speed up the contractions, then eventually needing a C-section. I knew a few people that ended up on this route and I didn’t want that for us. 

When I got to hospital, I was 4-5 cm dilated. Then an hour later only 5 cm dilated. Around 4am, after being in labor 24 hours and awake almost a whole day, John convinced me to get an epidural and I’m so glad I did. I was terrified of the epidural (um, it’s a needle in your SPINE!) but my contractions were hurting in my back. I figured at least this way, the stabbing pain would only be for a few minutes as they were doing the epidural then go away, vs labor going on who knows how long. After I got the epidural, I felt immediately calm. We finally were able to get a few hours of sleep around 6am. At 9am, visiting hours began and our moms and my dad came into the room. My sister had stayed at my house and doesn’t drive, so my aunt gave her a ride to the hospital and stayed with us for a little while too.

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

At this point, my contractions had slowed down again, so they gave me pitocin to speed them up. Despite the epidural taking away the pain, I was totally weak and out of it. I hadn’t eaten in so long but luckily I was able to get some apple juice and jello, which honestly gave me some strength. If I wanted ice chips, I couldn’t even say it- I would pinch my fingers together and my husband would hand me the cup. People were asking me questions and I wasn’t even answering. I didn’t have the strength to listen, process it, form a response and speak it. I talk SO much and the fact that I couldn’t say a word just showed how tired I was. 

Around 2pm, the doctors finally told me I was about 9.5 cm dilated and would be pushing soon. It was such a relief because things felt like they had stalled, but the pitocin was finally helping. They also showed me the magic blue button that you can press to get a boost of the epidural, which ended up being a lifesaver since the pain was getting more intense. I couldn’t really feel most of the pain from the contractions, but there was still some happening and I was so exhausted I couldn’t handle anything

The Birth:

The nurses came in and determined that I was ready to start pushing soon. I was fully dilated and baby was in position. They asked John if he wanted to see her head and he said no, but I made him take a peek. The first thing he said was “wow, she has a lot of hair!”  Luckily Hailey was right in position, so it only took a few pushes to get her out. John said it was about 20 minutes but to me it felt like only 5! The epidural was still pretty strong, so I didn’t really feel anything. As soon I started pushing she was already making her way out, so I figured hey I guess I’m doing something right!

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

First Few Moments

As soon as Hailey was born, she started crying. It was such an amazing thing to hear, and I immediately started crying too! Our family was right outside the door and my sister recorded her first cries, so we’ll always have that video. They cleaned her up a bit and handed her to me and I was staring at this foreign creature, really confused. They say some women feel an immediate connection to their baby, while others need some time to bond. Despite feeling so connected to her in the womb, I was definitely more in the “who are you” category! We couldn’t even get a good 3D scan of her, only sonograms. And I was staring at her trying to figure out who she looked like, but she didn’t really look like anyone. I couldn’t really grasp the concept that that tiny little human wiggling around inside me was finally out in the world!

the doctors cleaned me up and I got a few stitches while we decided her name and then she gave us the (middle) finger for the very first time! It was so funny and I tried to have John get a picture, but then I had to push the placenta out so we didn’t capture it. Darn!

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

We decided we wanted to spend a little time just the 3 of us before letting the troops back in. This was perfect because I had decided while I was waiting to deliver that I wanted a smoothie. I was parched, exhausted and starving. A smoothie commercial had come on and it was exactly what I needed. So I half-joked that no one could see the baby unless they brought me a smoothie. And let me tell you, that smoothie was one of the best things I have ever had in my life. I literally passed my child off to anyone that would take her so that I could enjoy my smoothie. At one point I had to put it down for a photo, and I started asking for it again. And they thought I wanted the baby so they were ready to hand her to me. Nope- I wanted the smoothie! Labor is so tough guys. I swear I’m not a monster! It’s just that after 24 hours without eating and being in that much pain, I really needed some fuel. I mean…. I think this photo says it all.

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

The Name

John and I had decided early on that we didn’t want to tell anyone the baby names we were considering. We really wanted to decide on our own, without people influencing our decision or criticizing our choices. We both liked the name Hailey, and John suggested using my sister’s name, Irini (pronounced ee-ree-nee), for a middle name. I’m really close to my sister and she’s going to baptize the baby and be an important part of her life, so John thought it would be a very fitting middle name for her. It was soooo sweet that I couldn’t resist. When we told her the name, she got adorably awkward about it. She told me that when she got home she cried because she felt so honored that we named our baby after her. 

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!
 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

The Next Few Days

We stayed at the hospital another couple of days, and we had tons of visitors! Everyone wanted to see the baby. Although it was a bit exhausting, it was nice to see everyone so happy to meet the baby. Plus, they made the time pass by faster AND they brought us food! I was getting hospital meals which were ok, but John wasn’t. It was nice to get some tasty food and sweet treats when people came to see her, especially after a tough labor and sleepless nights with the baby.

 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!
 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!
 I had big plans and expectations for how Hailey was going to be born. They always say that a birth plan isn’t something you can really depend on and that’s 100% right. I kinda feel like all my plans and ideas went out the window, and I’m starting to become ok with that. Everything worked out perfectly, even if it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Hailey is healthy and I am too. We are both alive and unharmed. That’s all you can really ask for!

We are so in love with our beautiful little Hailey. I spend most of the day holding her, and we all have enough pictures of her to start a gallery haha. I can’t believe my first pregnancy is over, but I am so happy to have my little girl! If you’re interested in postpartum tips and advice, stay tuned. I have a whole series coming up since I learned SO much in these past few weeks!


*Special thanks to my sister Irini for taking these pictures of us at the hospital! I really wanted to hire a photographer but it wasn’t in the budget, so I really appreciate having these photos from the day :)

My Favorite Summer Pregnancy Snacks

While I wasn’t planning to be in my third trimester of pregnancy during the summer, I quickly learned just how difficult this can be! Apparently everyone else knew it, but I was blissfully unaware of what was to come. That being said, being pregnant in the summer allows you to have some pretty amazing snacks. Some of these may just be a pregnant lady’s cravings, but here were some of my favorite things to eat this summer!

popsicles-3571082_1920.jpg

 

Water and Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Ok, so smoothies aren’t exactly a new thing, but I quickly learned how much I craved sweets with my baby girl. We want them ALL THE TIME. In order to satisfy these cravings without going into sugar shock, I had to be a little bit creative. I started mixing frozen fruit (you can do packaged fruit or fresh fruit that you’ve frozen) and water, about a 50-50 ratio, then blended it in my Ninja Blender. The result is a cold, watery fruit juice that tastes a little bit sweet and super refreshing. It’s sweet but not too much, and it also sneaks in some much-needed water.

 

Ice Pops

When I was feeling especially hot or craving sweets, I’d grab an ice pop from the fridge! I didn’t want anything super sugary, so I stocked my freezer with Outshine Fruit Bars. The fruit and vegetable ones were the best because it gave me some extra nutrients since I’m not a huge fan of veggies. You can also make your own, which would allow you to make them whichever flavor you want, plus reduces waste since there's no box or plastic wrappers!

 

Hummus & Veggies or Crackers

If you’re craving something savory, try some hummus! I definitely had a hummus phase, where no one was allowed to touch my hummus haha. It’s so tasty and healthy, plus you can dip fresh veggies (extra nutrients for baby!) or some crackers for a filling snack. Add some cheese and you’ve got a tiny meal!

ice cream.jpg

Ice Cream

Ok this is a no-brainer! Ice cream is fabulous in the summer. Barely an explanation needed here, but I enjoyed ice cream on a cone, and going out for some gave me a nice walk. Be conscious to avoid soft serve, as it can be dangerous. But, a scoop or two of regular ice cream is just perfect!

 

Oreos & Milk

My pantry was pretty much stocked with oreos throughout my entire pregnancy! I don’t think this is a particularly summer snack, but it was one of my faves so I had to include it. Paired with a cold glass of milk, it was perfect for those chocolatey cravings!

 

Fresh Fruit

Summer has some of the best, juiciest fruit in season! When I first got pregnant I was craving watermelon like nobody’s business but it was February/March and it definitely wasn’t in season. I had watermelon flavored EVERYTHING but nothing satisfied the craving like real watermelon. Then, as summer came, I started craving nectarines, peaches, and apricots! By the end, I was really loving blueberries in my cereal. Fresh fruit is a great and healthy way to satisfy those sweet cravings.

 

Salads

Summer is hot hot hot and sometimes you don’t want to eat a hot meal on top of it. But, a girl’s gotta eat! I really enjoyed salads, especially after a long day commuting in the heat. My favorite was anything with fruit (hah, duh) and a nice light dressing. There are plenty of homemade versions on Pinterest but you can also grab tasty ones at takeout places like Panera!

Cinco De Mama 6.jpg

Water with Frozen Fruit

We’re supposed to drink a whole lot of water through pregnancy and it can get pretty boring. So, I started freezing my leftover watermelon and strawberries, then adding them as “ice cubes” to my water! It added some nice flavor to the water and kept it really cold. Win win!

 

Fresh Iced Tea

Avoid the sugary powdered stuff and the sugary packaged stuff and make your own iced tea! Grab your favorite (decaffeinated!) tea bags and steep them with some honey or agave syrup. Then, pour it over a glass of ice and enjoy. I have this cup which makes perfectly cold iced tea that’s perfect for at home and on the go! It has an auto-close feature that shuts the lid once you remove the straw, so you can add your ice to your hot tea and shake it up well!

 

Low Fat Cream Cheese & Pita Chips

Another new snack I started to love! Some Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips and cream cheese to dip it in! It’s crunchy and cool, slightly tart and sweet. Plus you can add some fresh fruit too if you want, like strawberries and blueberries!

I think one thing I’ll really miss about pregnancy is being able to eat all.the.time and never really gaining the weight! It’s been fun, but all good things must come to an end. Baby is coming soon, and that’s even better than anything else!

What are your favorite summer or pregnancy snacks? Was there something you just couldn’t get enough of? Let me know in the comments below!

Maternity Style: Hamptons Stripes and Florals

On September 2nd, my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary! I can’t believe an entire year has gone by since our wedding, but time flies when you’re having fun! Since I can’t do very much right now (8.5 months pregnant and a fractured toe!) I told John I wanted to take a short driving trip somewhere and explore a new town. He picked Montauk and the Hamptons. I’ve never been, so I was so excited to go! Plus it was a fun excuse to dress up a bit. Since I’m basically trapped at home with the fractured toe, I don’t really get to dress up much. An “adventure” for me is going to a store to run a few errands once in a while. It was nice to get out and go for a walk, explore, and hang out together!

*This post contains affiliate links

Stripes & Downy-029.jpg

 I had bought this adorable summer dress (non-maternity!) and couldn’t wait for an opportunity to wear it somewhere. The Happens seemed perfect and although I showed off a little bit of underboob (whoops!) it was super comfy and lightweight. I got super excited and paired it with a bunch of my favorite accessories, like the bracelet I wore on my wedding day, my new heart-shaped sunglasses, and the lipstick from my wedding day.

To re-create the look, I've rounded up a few great options for each fashion piece!

Hat  1   2 

Sunglasses  1   2   3   4

Earrings  1   2   3   4

Dress  1   2   3   4   5   6

Pink Bangles  1   2   3   4

Pink Quartz  1   2  

Pearl Bracelet  1   2 

Makeup  1   2   3  

I loved wearing this outfit, despite the fact that sometimes I had some underboss popping out. Whoops. Here's some fun cell pics from the day:

ACS_0092.JPG

As for our adventures? We visited the Montauk lighthouse, took a stroll around Gosman’s Dock in Montauk, had some lunch at Gosman’s Inlet Cafe and Sushi Bar, then headed back home. But don’t worry, we stopped at Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen for ice cream! I had pistachio and my husband had chocolate, and we took a short stroll around talking about what we’d do if we won the lotto (hint: NOT buy a house in the Hamptons!).

ACS_0094.JPG

It was really fun to celebrate our wedding anniversary and have a fun day together before baby came. We’re just about 2 weeks away from our due date at this point! I can’t wait to go back again, this time with baby girl in tow! Have you ever been to the Hamptons/Montauk? What were your must-visit places? Let me know in the comments below!

Maternity Style: Movie Date Night

When you're pregnant in the summer, few things are as fun and refreshing as going to see a movie in an ice cold theater! It's got all our favorite things- entertainment that you get sitting down, a comfy recliner, and snacks. A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to see a movie and I  decided to try something a little different with my outfit. You see, baby HATES pants/shorts, and I get cold in the theaters but it's hella hot outside. So, I wore a maxi skirt up high so that it was nice and breezy before I got to the theater, but could be pulled down to my hip area for extra warmth when I got inside. It was also a fun alternative to wearing one of my same 7 dresses yet again!

*This post contains affiliate links

Movie Stripes.jpg

If you want to re-create the look, I've rounded up a few great options for each fashion piece! I've also linked a few scarves that you could add on for some extra warmth in the theater.

White Tanks  1  2  3 

Maxi Skirts  1  2  3  4

Bangles  1  2  3  

Shoes  1  2  3  

Clutch  1  2  3  4

Earrings  1  2  

Necklace  1  2  3  4

Belt  1  2  3 

Keychain  1  2  3 

Scarf  1  2  3  

Movie Stripes1.jpg

It's such an easy, comfy, effortless way to look stylish.

What do you wear to the movies? Do you get cold, or is the temperature just right? Let me know in the comments below!

Maternity Style: Tropical Summer Tassel Outfit at Pier17

Back on June 30, I attended the Color Block Party for Pier 17 as they re-opened and launched their new Geronimo orb installation! It was pretty hot that day and I was 6 months pregnant, but I made the most of it with a cool, lightweight dress and my very own water cup. I still feel a little bit left out when everyone's having cocktails and I can't, so having this cup made me happy! People kept coming up to me and asking me what I was drinking. Spoiler: just water!

ACS_0069.JPG

The theme of the event was to be colorful and wear summer brights, so I wore my awesome tassel dress I got last year from Forever 21. I accessorized it with tassel everything, like earrings, a bracelet, and a keychain. I wore cute and comfy colorful crocs plus my flamingo bag for the very first time. To copy the look, I've got 3-4 options you can snag to get a similar look!

Dress  1  2  3  4

Sandals  1  2  3 

Earrings  1  2  3  4  5

Flamingo Bag  1  2  3 

Bracelet  1  2  3  4

Pineapple Cup  1  2  3 

Keychain  1  2  3  

ACS_0074.JPG

Overall the outfit was perfect for keeping cool on such a hot day. I didn't even get to wash & style my hair because I wasn't feeling well, but putting it in a cute bun helped to keep me cool so it ended up being perfect. I brought along a matching pair of sunglasses too, but it ended up not being that sunny so I didn't need them. Into the purse they went!

My husband wasn't planning to come with me that day, but I wasn't feeling well and it was over 90 degrees on top of that, so I was thinking of not going which made me super bummed! I had already convinced all my friends to join me, but I live much farther so it was a long trip to do alone. I asked him to come and I think he felt bad for me so he joined as well! You can see by his face he was having so much fun joining us. That's sarcasm, by the way. He didn't enjoy the heat!

IMG_9745.JPG

PS- You can tell I love a theme and picked out my husband's outfit so he could match too! As for everyone else, well... I have no control over them! Haha. Overall it was a really fun event and I love getting dressed up in fun colors, so I call that a win! So crazy that soon I'll have a mini-me to bring to all these events.

I'm hoping to post about my cute and comfy outfits and adventures more often. Hopefully it'll encourage me to dress better- hah!