10.26.2013

Augustus' Birth Story

I started having regular, but far apart contractions on Tuesday, August 6th around 7pm. They were about 8 minutes apart, not too bad but I definitely knew what they were, mostly due to their regularity. 

We went to bed around 11pm. I woke up at 3:00am (now August 7th). At that point I could no longer sleep through them. I couldn't believe it was actually happening! I thought for sure I would go beyond my due date of August 14th! I got up, took a shower, went for a walk. Around 5:30am I told Vinny to shower, it was going to happen today! He immediately started nesting! He hung up some curtains, did the dishes and took a shower. We walked around the block about 100 times as the contractions slowly increased in intensity and regularity. It was so early, we watched the sunrise and talked about how much our life was about to change. Around 9am the contractions were 4 minutes apart so we went to the hospital (cue: ordeal). The triage nurse checked me and I was 100% effaced and 3 cm dilated. So she sent us to walk for an hour to see if I would progress. This is how they tell if it is active labor or not. So far, the contractions were manageable, I could breath through them but they did stop me in my tracks during that hour walk. The contractions were extremely regular during that hour, about 3-4 minutes a part. 

We returned to the triage room and she checked me again, I was only 3.5 cm dialated. She gave us the choice of going home or walking for another hour to see if I would continue to progress. I *knew* I was in labor so we opted to do another hour of walking. The contractions were more painful and very regular during our second hour of hospital laps. We returned to the triage room again and I was no further dialated. Sigh. She hooked me up to the monitor to check contractions, etc to call my doctor. My body did not like this apparently because the contractions then became very irregular. I'm also very introverted and was handling the contractions well from an outside perspective, this did not help my cause.

With the data she had collected she called my doctor and he recommended that we go home. At this point I was really concerned. If what I had been experiencing wasn't active labor, oh boy, I was in for a long, painful day. (turns out it was active labor....of course!)

So we went home and holyshitballs the contractions quickly became extremely intense. I had to be vocal through each one and hold onto Vinny. At one point I just wanted to have the contractions on the toilet – at that moment Vinny and I both knew we had to go back to the hospital. You know that’s where people always give birth at home on TV, definitely something instinctual about it! We were at home for about an hour and a half.

It was a miserable car ride back to the hospital but we made it. Vinny had to wheel me into the hospital while I held onto the boppy and ‘vocalized’ with my face stuffed in it! I'm sure I terrified everyone in the lobby and waiting room! I was immediately taken back to the triage room where they identified I was dilated to 8cm. If I wasn't having intense contractions every minute I definitely would've gave them a big, "I knew it/told you so!" I very quickly became fully dilated but I had to hold off on pushing so the Dr could arrive. They called him at 3:07pm and said I was back and 8cm, they called him at 3:09pm and said I was at 9cm and they called him at 3:11pm and said they were preparing to deliver without him. He arrived, broke my water and we started pushing. I pushed for about an hour and a half. Pushing was not my strength. I handled the contractions very well but the pushing caught me off guard. I didn't think I was going to be able to do it. But I did! Definitely the worst part for me. 

Augustus Vincent was born at 4:39pm on August 7th. 8lbs, 4oz, 23inches.

It was so unreal to see him finally!!! Poor kid, his face was really beat up from his journey down the birth canal! Vinny was fabulous, so emotional. My mom was great too, although she barely made it to the hospital! My sister came when I was pushing and I couldn't handle anymore stimuli so I told them she couldn't come in. I feel bad for that but in the moment I was just trying to focus and get this part over with. So she missed it unfortunately. :(

Overall I really tuned inward, very quiet, but positive. I think that is why they sent me home - I was too quiet. But when those transition contractions started? Holyshit, I was straight up ‘hippie-Ina-May-off-the-farm’ vocalizing from those contractions until the end. One of the labor nurses kept telling me I had a 'beautiful birthing song' - lol! Low, instinctual, animalistic moaning and humming. I was so self-conscious but I knew I had no other choice. It was the only thing I did that I spent so many months preparing for! All my essential oils, music, birth ball, etc - didn't get touched! I lost it a couple times during pushing but I was able to bring myself back somehow when I started to lose it. Like I wanted to just scream as loud as possible and cry and give up - and I would a little and then instantly turn that low moan on and make so much more progress.

Vinny did so good - he was blown away. He was crying most of the day watching me, it was sweet. He's been such a great husband while I was pregnant and he continues to be the same. I'm so lucky. He's so calm and he did exactly what I needed the entire day. I can't imagine witnessing him go through that, I'd have lost my shit for sure. My mom too, I was worried she would make me wussy but she didn't - it was perfect to have her there (at just the end).

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5 days old

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8.03.2013

Maternity Photos - 32 Weeks


These pictures were taken over a month ago when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I knew I would regret it if I didn't get pictures taken but it certainly isn't easy to be in front of the camera when you feel so big! 

If only my 32 week self knew what BIG felt like :) Today I sit here at 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant! This pregnancy has been a complete surprise. Not a hiccup or a complaint to be heard (plenty of hiccups have been felt however). Extremely blessed and I hope it continues through childbirth and those first -baby boot camp- weeks!

We are finally staying in our house here in Boise, it's slowly becoming home. We sold most of our belongings when we moved from Minnesota - it's  been fun to slowly acquire new (and more often used) things. The kitchen, nursery and our bedroom are 90% complete - we don't really need much else to live!








All photos taken by Sarah Teeter

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6.04.2013

It's a.....

itsaboy

We're so thrilled! How lucky am I to be blessed not only with Vinny but now with a mini-Vinny? Be still my heart.

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6.03.2013

How We Sold Our House in One Day!

First things first - this is our opinion and our experience! Each house, market, realtor and moment in time could make this experience differ. Take this advice with a grain of salt! I hope it can help!

1. A great realty company. As I mentioned, we selected Edina Realty (Sherri Morse specifically) because we knew they were the most popular locally which meant our house was broadcast to the widest audience possible upon listing. With Edina Realty we had statistics on how many times our house came up in a web search, how many existing searches matched our house, etc. It also meant we were dealing with a company with lots of experience. Their experience made the entire process go ultra-smooth. The commission percentage might have higher than other options (FOSB, etc) but the support, exposure and experience was well worth the slightly higher commission price.

3. Professional house cleaning. This could definitely be optional but it was a must for us. You see, I suck at cleaning house. And we have an extremely hairy dog. A one-time professional deep clean insured that every nook and cranny was clean, not just the areas of the house that we used most often. It was a great way to start the 'showing' process and relieved a lot of my stress. Also, if you think about it, these people are greatly skilled at staging, they want you to be WOW'd when you walk in the door after they have cleaned. I learned a lot of tricks that made the house look just a little bit better - the way they left the curtains opened, the way they folded our throw blankets, the placement of our couch pillows, etc. We used (and I would recommend) Details Residential Services.

4. Awesome pictures. This is credited to our realtor, Sherri. She uses a local company that came out with a fancy-schmancy camera to take pictures of the house. This is another reason that it is worth selecting a great realty company. We might've paid more in commission but she paid more out of her pocket to create the best listing possible. If you're anything like me, a picture is worth a thousand words and good pictures make a HUGE difference to perusing buyers. I'll list the photos below to give you an idea!

5. First impressions. This is all over every website in the world but it really makes a difference. We were listing our house during the yuckiest month of all - how the heck could I improve our curb appeal when we were still surrounded by FEET of snow? I couldn't - but what I could do was make sure that the first impression when walking in the door was a good one. Our biggest task to do this was replace our fridge. The fridge is the first thing you see when you walk in the door of our house and we had an almond colored, top/bottom, wood handled, basic-as-it-gets fridge from the 1970's. The rest of the kitchen appliances could have used an upgrade as well but they were built-in and not simple to replace without redoing the entire kitchen. They were also not visible from the front door. The old fridge was so ugly I don't even have a picture of it but this is the view from the front door with the new fridge. Well worth the $1000 investment for a new fridge.
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6. Go big, or go home. This one is definitely not something I can genuinely recommend in order to sell a house but I know it made a significant difference in selling our home. A few years ago we were able to replace the siding and roof on our home. This was obviously a huge cost and not one I would take on just to sell a house - however, if you're thinking of selling in the next few years and this needs to be done? Do it. From personal experience, I know it's nerve-wracking to buy a house built in 1965 and if a major feature of the house had already been replaced, as a buyer, I would feel so much more comfortable. This also really helped with curb appeal/first impressions, even in the tail of winter!

7. The early bird catches the worm. Get on the market in early, early Spring before the market is saturated with inventory. Also, this time of year, in Minneapolis anyways, prevented us from having to deal with a lot of landscaping during listing and showings.

Onto the pictures that we used for our listing!
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SOLD (in one day!)

Life has changed quite a bit in the three months since my last post! First things first, we sold our house and moved back to Idaho! It all happened so quickly; I want to make sure I document it here on the blog. I know these details will be long forgotten once this baby is here!

I'm originally from Boise - Vinny from Boston. He moved to Boise in the year 2000 and we met in 2003. In 2005 moved to Minneapolis for new jobs (same company). Our time in Minneapolis was interesting but fruitful. I despised the weather (especially the summer, I'm a desert girl!) and we never really connected with anyone locally except our neighbors and when our good friend Sean moved to the Twin Cities from Boston. However, we excelled in our careers and built a great foundation for our marriage.

Once that 'PREGNANT' symbol popped up on the pregnancy test we knew we had some big decisions to make. Staying in Minneapolis was just not an option. We had absolutely no family anywhere nearby (Dusty was the closest! And I know she would be there at the drop of a hat, that's quite the request of a friend!). It just wasn't a setting that we wanted for ourselves or our child.

We bought our house in 2007 so we knew we were bound to lose-our-ass sell for a loss. But this baby would be worth it. Now we just had to decide where to move. Boise (my family)? S. Carolina (V's family)? Elsewhere (Florida, Seattle, Boston were all options we discussed)?

In the end Boise made the most sense but it was not an easy decision. We waited the cautionary twelve weeks and announced our pregnancy to our bosses at work, followed shortly by the request to re-locate (gulp). Since we had focused so much on our careers the last eight years, we were approved with relative ease to transfer our "Minnesota jobs" to the company location in Boise.

Zillow had our house 'zestimated' at a scary, but what we thought was a reasonable number. We lost many nights of sleep over our decision to list the house but we ultimately felt we had no choice but to take this loss. In addition, we were nervous about the time of year - the grossest in Minnesota (snowy, melty, mushy March!).

We called a referred realtor at the most popular realty company in Minnesota (Edina Realty). We knew the commission was probably the highest but at this point, time was of the essence. I wasn't getting any less pregnant! Sherri and her daughter came to our house and they were extremely optimistic, inventory was low and the season was just starting. They were thrilled with the condition of the house, the upgrades we had made and the overall decor. They suggested a listing price that knocked our socks off! Granted, there would still be no profit but if things went as planned, we wouldn't be leaving the Twin Cities in dire straights.

The next steps went amazingly fast, within a week we were officially listed. Our listing went live on a Friday morning and within two hours we had five showings scheduled!!! We were shocked! And so excited. By Friday evening we had two full-price offers. We could not believe what was happening. We anticipated being in Minnesota until June, living seperately for months and traveling across the country hugely pregnant.

On Friday evening we reviewed the two offers, selected our choice (this was easy and I'll tell you why in the next post!). The rest of the process went fairly smooth. Our buyers were financed with an FHA loan so we had a few extra inspections and hurdles but overall things went very smooth. In the end, we listed our  house on March 8th and we were driving across the country, back home, on April 19th.

In my next post I'll give you details on what helped us sell our house and how to make your offer stand out from others!

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Menu Planning

I no longer share my weekly menu because it is rather boring since changing our eating habits. However, you can see the historical list in these places!

VAMH in the Kitchen
Half of VAMH Menu Planning

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