And her heart grew three sizes that day. Oscar's birth story.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017



I've been meaning to write this for a long time.

Almost three hundred and sixty-five days to be exact.

I kept putting it off and putting it off because it didn't feel like the "right" time. When is the right time to sit down and try to put into words one of the best days of your life? When, with that joy also comes the hard, punch-you-in-the-gut reminder that time is both a thief and a gift, and you're constantly trying to grab a hold of it as it swiftly sifts through your fingers?

But, with Oscar's first birthday finally approaching, I knew it was time, and that I was ready. Or, at least, I am forcing myself to be ready.

So, here you go....the story of when Oscar was born.

***

It all started the morning of March 21, 2016. It was a Monday, and I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that morning. I was a four days short of being 40 weeks pregnant, and at that stage where you're frantically googling natural ways to induce labor. When I hopped on the table for my weekly check-up, I told my doctor to please strip my membranes. To be more specific, I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Make sure you strip 'em *real* good doc." (No shame here, guys. None. I wanted that baby OUT.) And let me tell you, he did his job allllmost a tad too well.

My mother-in-law had flown in during the appointment, and together she and my husband met us at the hospital because the kids couldn't wait to see her. I then said bye to the sweet nurses and receptionists, and told them that I hoped I wouldn't see them again. Well, not tell I had a baby to show for it. Then we all went back home, and I'm pretty sure I just went straight to bed.

Fast forward to around 7 o'clock in the evening. I don't remember what happened exactly, but I remember that I didn't give Pato a goodnight kiss and hug before bed. Maybe C and his mom put him to bed? Anyway, I remember thinking "Oh gosh. I forgot to say goodnight! What if the baby comes tonight and I didn't have a chance to tell him that I love him? It will be the last time he's the baby of the family!" Hormones you guys. HORMONES.

It was around then I started having some cramping, but nothing major. Chris, his mom and I finally sat down to eat dinner after the kids were down, and I stayed mostly quiet. I don't think anyone really noticed though because my husband loves to talk and his mom is the most amazing listener. It was sometime during dinner that I kept thinking, "Hm. These cramps don't seem to be going away. And they sorta hurt." I did't want to say anything though about it quite yet, so I just excused myself, and went upstairs to our bedroom.

I'd like to say I turned something amazing show on. With Sof, I watched "Friends" as I labored. With Pato, it was Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations." With O, I seriously just wanted something to distract me, so I watched that show called "Brain Games." Guys, I NE-VER watch that show. I really have NO clue what I chose that.

Anyway, it was then that I started timing my contractions, and I was surprised by how long they were lasting. And getting more uncomfortable. Oh, and closer. But, I STILL didn't want to say anything, and Chris and his mom were still downstairs. At some point I thought, "Okay. These are getting worse. I'm going to take a bath." So, I did, and I sat in the bath and facetimed with my mom who lives in Hong Kong. She kept saying, "I think you should go to the hospital now." Now listen, I LOVE my mom. But, she will send you to the doctor if you cough more than once in an hour. I kept telling her, "No, mom. I don't want to go just to have to turn right back around."

I sat in the bath and just breathed through the contractions, and then there were a few that were just taking my breath away. It was finally then that I thought, "Okay, maybe it's time to go."

Things escalated pretty quickly after that.

And thank goodness I had packed my hospital bag that morning because one minute I had finally broken it to Chris that it was time to go, and the next we were walking two blocks away because our Uber driver was picking us up at the wrong spot. Did I mention I felt like my break was about to break?

So, we get in the Uber sometime after 11PM, and my husband tells the driver just what every Uber driver just DREAMS of hearing, "We need to go to the hospital, she's in labor!"

The great thing is that because it was late, the drive only took about twenty minutes. You can never really tell with Philly traffic, and it had sometimes taken me forty minutes to get there. But even though the ride was technically short, it felt like one of the longest in my life. She stopped at EVERY yellow light, and I could feel myself getting so irritated. I rolled down the window and just moaned and moaned in the back. Poor lady.

(I should mention that with Sof, I had to be induced, so I never really experienced real labor pains at all. With O, I was admitted into the hospital when I was 3 cm dilated, and my contractions had just begun. I want to laugh and laugh and LAUGH when I think back on that time because I thought THAT was painful. Oh, honey.)

So we get to the hospital and I walk right out of the car, and didn't even think to look back and see if Chris was behind me. I walked right up to the front desk of the ER (where we had to go since it was after-hours) and I could feel everyone staring at me. The lady up front calmly asked, "What seems to be the problem?" EXCUUUUUUSE ME?! I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to forget my manners, so  in between breaths I said, "I'm...having...a...baby."

A few seconds later, I'm taken to this room off to the side and asked to sit back in this chair that looked like a dentist's chair. The doctor starts asking me WHO KNOWS WHAT to see if I truly was in labor, and I'm just like, "Is this a joke?" Thankfully, the most amazing, heart of gold, male nurse took one look at me, and basically picked me up and put me in a wheelchair and said, "No, she's definitely in labor." And then he raced me through the corridors and up the the maternity wing himself.

Okay, I need to stop the story for a second. I don't know why I do this, but I always start acting really funny when I'm around doctors and nurses. Especially when I'm about to have a baby. I have this internal battle between trying to be polite, trying to be THE BEST PATIENT EVER, while also being extremely uncomfortable. So, I get wheeled into the delivery room, and I'm all excited and saying, "Hi!!! I'm having a baby!! It's happening!" Well, that upbeat attitude left the room REALLL quick.

The doctor came in and told me she was going to check my cervix and see how far along I was. She then said, "Well, you're about a six and half, almost seven." I was like, "WHAT do you MEAN." And then I was relieved because I've watched enough Grey's Anatomy to know they are not going to turn away a woman who was that far along. I immediately let her know that I most definitely would be wanting that epidural...like five hours ago.

The pain. The pain was SO intense. And I'm sure I broke all the breathing rules because as soon as I felt one coming on, I would just hold on to my breath so tightly, and I thought I would break the sides of the bed from clutching them so hard. I had to get my IV put in, and it took the poor nurse close to 20 minutes just to do so. And it took every ounce of strength in me not to burst into tears (actually, there were definitely tears, I lied) and start screaming at the heavens. I was pleading for the epidural as I felt like every fiber in my body was being broken. To make it even worse, the nurse was asking me all sorts of questions like, "When's your birthday?" and "How much do you weigh?" I don't think I even knew my own NAME at that moment.

I'll fast forward to when the anesthesiologist walked in and administered my epidural. Even as I write this, I find myself holding my breath just thinking about that time. I finally started to feel the numbness, and with it, pure relief.

I was almost an 8 when I finally got the epidural. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to be at 10 cm.

The next few hours were pretty uneventful. C and I were both so tired, and it's amazing how going through the very worst pain of your life really wipes the energy out of ya.

Finally, around 4 in the morning, I told the doctor I really felt like my body was ready to push, and she checked me and got the nurses all ready. It was baby time!

It happened so fast! I pushed once. Then was told to stop, and then half a push later, he was out! He came out so peacefully and when they placed him in my arms, I immediately had the thought, "Oh, there you are!" I didn't feel like I was meeting him for the first time. It felt like we were finally back together again, and my heart, my arms, the spot on my chest where he rested his tiny head- they already knew him. He laid quietly, and I remember asking the doctor, "What's wrong? Why is he so quiet." She then said, "There's nothing wrong. He's just happy."

Oscar Andres Jones. Born March 22, 2016 at 4:16 a.m. 21 inches and 7 lbs. 5 oz. of light, joy, love, and perfection.
(Cue the waterworks as I sit here in Starbucks writing this.)

"He's just happy."

I had no idea just how happy this special boy has made me. Has made his family. My heart yearned for him before I knew him, and he is even more wonderful than I had imagined. And to be honest, that's saying a lot because my expectations were admittedly high.



After taking a few minutes of smelling him and loving on him, I remember turning to the doctors and saying, "OH! Wow! Did you see how fast he came out?! I PUSHED SOOOO GOOOOD! Was that one of the best pushes you've EVER SEEEEEN?" (Seriously, how ridiculous was I?! Told you I got funny around doctors!) They laughed, and all assured me that indeed, I was a rockstar pusher.

***



Oscar Andres, you have lit up my life since the day you were born. You made my life more peaceful, and made me forget all the uncertainties that still surround us. You make me feel like everything will work out because we have you. I will spend the rest of my days trying to make sure you feel my love, and even beyond that. Thank you for choosing us.

6 Things that I do now that used to scare me...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


...and my life is way better for it.

1. I've stopped apologizing so much. Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't say sorry when you do something wrong or own up to your mistakes. Did you accidentally imply that your friend's baby is not very cute? You should probably say sorry. Did you wait until the last minute to bail on an appointment? The kind thing to do would be to apologize. But, I used to say sorry all the time for things that weren't my fault or even WRONG. Does anyone else ever do that? Or does that not even make sense?

2. I voice my opinions. "Wait, you used to not voice your opinions?" Sometimes I did, but a lot of times I didn't. I was afraid that my opinion was wrong, or that I couldn't say anything because I was worried I'd be the only person who thought something. For example, I was in a recent discussion with a friend, and I said, "You know, I can see where you're coming from, but I don't know that I agree completely with that thought." And did she bite my head off? No. My head is still fully intact. Did I lose a friend? No. Does she think I'm a horrible person for disagreeing? Maybe. (Kidding, she is wonderful and I think she still likes me.) 

3. I accepted that I'm not perfect, and accepted that I will never be. And guess who's expecting perfection out of me? NO ONE. The load that took off my shoulders, I tell ya! I am so done chasing that impossible golden finish line.

4. I stopped selling myself short. Boy, this one is still hard. This has been more of a "business-y" decision, but I used to be afraid to say, "Hey, I'd love to work you, but this is how much it costs/ these are the terms." Also, when people used to ask about my blog, I'd answer with something like, "Ohhhhhh, ya know, its just a thingggg. It's dumb. I just write random stuff." And then I'd try to change the subject. But you know what? It's not true. I actually enjoy writing, and it's anything but dumb. I put thought and effort into every post I write. 

5. I started to say "no" more, AND "yes" more, too (especially if saying yes means stepping a bit out of my comfort zone!)

6. Get in front of the camera more instead of always staying behind it. 


***

Just don't ask me to get over my fear of heights. Or stick me in a room full of bees. Not happening.

It really takes a village.

Monday, March 13, 2017


The village.

This has been something that has been on my mind for a little while, as I've been thinking more and more about the people who we come in contact with daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Then, there are those people who are like one of those "single use" items that we only come across once, but once is all it takes. 

It was then that I sat down and started to really think about all these characters in this Jones Village. (Because that's what I'm going to call it. You can go ahead and name your village whatever the heck you want.) I thought about the characters, the roles the play, and how it all works. 


In the Jones Village, we have one spit-fire little girl who has enough passion and personality for two people. And she's not afraid to let you know when your breath stinks.

There's a little boy who is sensitive, which is one of his best traits, but it also means his feelings can get hurt quite easily. He loves numbers and basketball, and even more when they're put together.

There's a baby who we loved before he was born. I missed him before I knew him. And now that he's here, he has made all our lives brighter.

There are two parents who make mistakes daily. But their kids are somehow able to forgive them and still love them, every single time. 

There are neighbors who treat your kids like gold, bring you cookies and Coke just because, and are there for you at a drop of a hat.

There are family members, near and far, who you know are thinking of you, even though you may not seem them often. When they say, "We have you in your prayers," you know they mean it because you can almost feel their hands physically lifting you.

There are friends who you can talk to about almost anything, and make you feel like you've left them with your cup filled. Who watch you let your baby eat Cheerios off the ground that are covered in dirt, or listen as you talk about something that affects your soul, or laugh with you when you've admitted your latest parenting blunder. And they do all this without judgement. 

Then, there are people who we encounter just in passing. They pick up the box of cereal that the baby knocked to the ground. The girl at Starbucks who, when she asked what size of water I wanted, said, "I'll just give you the biggest size." The woman on Instagram who says, "You're doing a good job." 

They say it takes a village to raise a child. But, I think my village is doing a lot more. They're also raising this mother. They make me want to be better, lift me when I'm down, and remind me that we're all in this together.

So, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone in my village. Whether you're family, and are stuck with us for forever, or you're just passing through.

I SEE you, and I'm grateful. 

***

"It Really Takes a Village" tote c/o Eunie Park and you can find the exact tote HERE.

A night on the town with my best girl.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


So right off the bat, I can tell you there's one thing I'm not very good at: surprises. I'm not creative, I'm not always the best at planning ahead (though, I am making a real effort and getting better at this) and I'm also just not very creative. But, a few months ago when I heard that Matilda was coming to town, I knew this was something that I'd love to share with my favorite girl.


So, tickets were purchased, and I kept my mouth shut. Until THE DAY OF. I have no idea how I was able to just sit on this surprise for so long, but I swear the look on her face made it all worth it. First, I helped her pick out a "fancy" outfit, and she made sure that she topped off her look with some jewelry and some of mama's "pear-fume." She is just like her daddy, and always wants to know what the surprise is, but I kept telling her she had to wait. 

So we drove in to downtown Salt Lake, and grabbed a bite to eat. Nothing fancy, but she started jumping up and down when I told her she could pick out any dessert that she wanted. Naturally, she picked the thing that had the most whipped cream. 

After dinner, we ran in the pouring rain to catch the show. It wasn't until we had finally arrived that I told her that we were there to watch Matilda. And the face she made...well that's a look I'll never forget. She had guessed that we were going to go to the bookstore, or the zoo, and the mall, and I'm so glad I was able to surprise her.


It's amazing what a night out with my girl, watching one of our favorite characters, while eating an overpriced bag of gummy bears can do. Sof, I sure do like ya, kid. 


A Year of Oscar: Nine Months

Monday, February 27, 2017


This poor child. That's what happens when you're the third, right? Mom forgets to update the blog on all the cool things you're doing. Like, getting teeth, drooling, and finally sleeping through the night?

How rude!

Cute and Comfy with Carter's


**This post is sponsored by Carter's; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.**


It seems so hard to believe that Oscar will be one in less than a month! This has easily been the fastest year of my life yet. It feels like we were bringing him home from the hospital just yesterday, and we were knee deep in dirty diapers and spit up. Well, we still actually are knee-deep in diapers, but fortunately, the spit-up days are behind us.

You know what's funny? Even though baby O is our third, I feel like I haven't reached the "seasoned mom" status. But, do you ever really get there? And what does that even mean, right? Every day I'm learning new things about raising preschoolers and babies, and no day is the same as the other. 


One thing that has remained the same, however, is we have always found exactly what we needed to keep our babies cute and comfortable at Carter's. Oscar can look stylish while being comfortable, and that is absolutely key for me. Carter's has everything from rompers, pajamas, outfit sets, and sleep and plays so baby can wear something cute and cozy all day long. 

I had fun looking over their site as I was narrowing down some looks for O, and loved the look of all the indigo knits and dip-dyed fabrics (and I couldn't help but also take a peek at all the adorable girl's clothes as well.) 


When it comes to choosing clothes for Oscar, I feel like I've learned from having had two babies before him. Plus, now that we've added another person to do laundry for, I need whatever clothes he has to do double duty! This mama doesn't have time be drowning in laundry every day!


So, two-piece sets like this one are perfect because he can wear them while it's still cool with a undershirt, but it also won't make him feel hot in the early days of spring. Even better is that I can use each piece individually, and easily match it with something else.


With how busy O is these days, what with chasing after his older siblings, pulling things out of cabinets, and trying to get into the dishwasher anytime he can, he definitely has no time for clothes that slow him down, and I wouldn't want that either. I love watching him explore new things and figure himself out. Well, as long as he's not exploring my closet- then things can get a little messy! 


Lastly, I know how it feels to fall asleep and then wake up not feeling entirely well rested because I couldn't get quite comfortable because of what I was wearing.  Oscar doesn't need to worry about that because these outfits are cozy enough to drift off to dreamland.


Carter's is currently having some awesome deals in February, with their sale running from February 21st through March 6th. You can take advantage of the sale (see coupon) through 3/6 both in-store and online. 


To find some affordable looks for your own little ones, you can find their line of clothes HERE and their super cute shoes HERE. And here's that coupon I promised ya!


And like his shirt says, there really is a whole world out there. I just feel lucky that I can be a part of his little journey.

Again, a big huge thanks to Carter's for sponsoring this post :) 

A Year of Oscar: Ten Months

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Only a month late, right?

This was such a fun month with O. He learned that he likes to be into everything, and his main form of recreation is chasing after his older siblings and pulling things off of shelves and tables.

Continues to be far our pickiest baby when it comes to mealtime, and I swear if he could live off of bread, he would. Looks like we have another carb lover in the family. He really doesn't particularly like fruit, unless it comes in one of those baby food pouches. I've tried cutting up all sorts of fruits for him, and he takes on bite, makes a face and lets out this "guck" sound, and spits it out.

Unlike our other babies, however, he does seem to like little bits of meat.

So basically what I'm saying is that he's going to grow up and probably find a job at Five Guys and eat burgers all day. 



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