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Monday, May 20, 2013

Baby Jewel's 1st Photo Shoot

Once again pictures never quite go as planned...



If you read my blog The Arrival of our Miracle Baby then you know that our little princess decided to grace us with her presence about 3 weeks early! Now, since this is my 2nd time around I know from experience that it is very important to book newborn pictures as close to the baby's birth as possible! We waited a little too long when we did Josselyn's newborn pictures Josselyn's 1st Photo Shoot "Newborn Pictures" so my plan was to book Julianna's pictures as close to her birth as possible. For the first week or so newborn babies go into this crazy, deep sleep. You can basically move them around, pose them, stick them in buckets, baskets, etc and they do not wake up or move an inch. It makes it easy to take all those cute naked, sleepy baby newborn pictures. Now after that first week it starts getting a little tougher to pose them and move them around without waking them up. Because Julianna was breech I had a scheduled c-section for May 3rd. So I made sure to book our newborn pictures the following week. Although I am so thankful that baby Jewel came when she did it completely messed up the timing for her newborn pics! Luckily, our sweet photographer Kylie was able to move up the date by a few days but Julianna was still 16 days old by the time we took her newborn pictures.

The pictures turned out beautiful thanks to Kylie but it was not an easy couple of hours. It was near impossible to get Julianna to stay asleep. Many, many, many, times we had Jewel in a precious hair bow, posed in some sort of cute basket or something and we could not get a single shot of her before she would wake up crying. I think I ended up feeding her 3 times in a 2 hour span just so so she would sort of fall asleep. If she wasn't crying then she was wide awake grunting and pooping! I am pretty sure she pooped at least 5 times in those 2 hours lol. And believe it or not, Josselyn actually tried cooperating a couple of times when we posed her with Julianna. Unfortunately Jewel refused to cooperate and she would wake up crying every time we were close to getting a cute shot!!! The good news is, we did some how manage to get some precious pictures of Julianna asleep but the sister pictures did not happen (maybe next time!)

Here is a sneak peek at some of my very favorite shots from Baby Jewel's 1st photo shoot. There are more photos on my Facebook page.


Nothing is as precious as a sleeping baby




  
We are so in love with our precious Jewel




  

I had no idea I could love another little princess this much


 

Beautiful Big Sister 
 

Our new family of 4







XOXOX

John, SheriLynn, Josselyn & Julianna


*Photos by Kylie Kristine Photography

Monday, May 6, 2013

Project Nursery Complete!

Project Nursery is officially complete!


It feels great to finally be able to say that baby Jewel's sweet nursery is finally finished. It has actually been finished for about a month now but I just never got around to posting this blog and then like you know my little princess decided to make her debut into this world 3 weeks early! Anyways, better late than never so here are some pictures of the unveiling of the nursery.

My goal was to give the room a shabby chic look with a touch of glam! I was super happy with how everything turned out! I did not want Julianna's nursery to look too much like Josselyn's nursery yet I did want to use pink again. Luckily, I really think both rooms have a beautiful, different, look of their own! In my opinion they look nothing alike but are both beautiful and fit for a princess :)




I love how the monogram turned out. I ordered it off of Etsy and it came in a natural wood color so we decided to paint it. We (John) painted it 3 times before we found the perfect color! At first we tried an olive green, but I hated it. Then we tried a turquoise, but it was too bright and finally we found this light shabby chic aqua and it matched great. I found a perfect size window pane from one of my favorite antique stores, Frisco Mercantile! John painted the window pane with Annie Sloan chalk paint and it turned out beautiful.




The furniture goes perfect in the nursery! I am really glad that we went with these beautiful antique pieces (even though the drawers get a little stuck at times) haha I just love the look of these pieces from the early 1900's. If you live in the DFW area definitely check out Shabby Chea's furniture for some beautiful refinished antique pieces. The store is located in old town McKinney. 






I just love the crib bedding I ordered from Dimples & Dandelions! That store seriously has the most gorgeous bedding. It looks so beautiful on the antique white Bratt Decor Casablanca crib I ended up buying. I also love the matching drapes and shade as well. Another extra bonus was that I took Josse's old mobile and had the tailor change out the fabric on top to match Jewel's new crib bedding. I happened to have an extra changing pad cover that went with Jewel's bedding so the tailor was able to use that fabric. I love the new and improved mobile.






I was unsure about the Pottery Barn pink ruffle canopy at first, but once John hung it I loved it! I think it really adds a sweet, soft, girly, touch to the room. I also was very pleased with the chandelier that I ordered online (these pictures do not do it justice). I am glad I went with white and not pink becasue there is plenty of pink with the pink walls. The chandelier definitely add's some "chic" to the shabby room!




I ended up moving Josselyn's rocking chair into Julianna's nursery. It seemed like a good idea at the time; although every day since we moved the chair Josselyn has wanted us to rock her in the baby's room! When it is time for a nap or bed time Josse says "rock rock rock". I think we are in trouble lol.




I had fun collecting nick-knacks to sit around. I found a beautiful candelabra, a bird cage, bird house, an over sized crochet doily and so much more. One of my girlfriends gave me the most perfect frame for my baby shower that I am completely obsessed with! I ordered the most precious shabby chic shelf off of etsy to sit nick-knacks on. The store is called Cozy Cottage and they seriously have the best shabby chic looking items for great prices. You get to customize each piece with whatever paint color you want and you can choose how you want the item finished.








There you have it baby Julianna Faith's shabby chic nursery! If you want to see pictures of the evolving nursery then feel free to take a look back at my other project nursery blogs:


*I will be sure to update the pictures when I get some better shots! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Arrival of our Miracle Baby

Oh my goodness the last two weeks have been a total whirlwind...where do I even begin?





Pre-Labor
  
Well...On Sunday evening April 21st I decided that it would be a good idea for John, Josse and I to take a stroll to McDonald's to get a chocolate dipped ice cream cone (one of my pregnancy cravings). Now usually John goes and gets me a chocolate dipped ice cream cone at least every other night but this time I wanted to walk there. John thought I was crazy because it is about 1 mile there and back but he agreed to go on the hike with the crazy pregnant women.

That evening we went to bed and at about 3:00am I woke up with contractions. Now I have been having tons of braxton hicks contractions so I really did not think much about the contractions but it was odd that they were strong enough to wake me from a sound sleep. I tried going back to sleep but the continual contractions kept waking me up. At about 3:30am I decided to start timing them. I knew they were not the crazy, knife in your stomach contractions that you get when real labor starts (I had experienced those with Josselyn) but it was odd that these contractions were coming so frequently. By 4:30am I decided to wake up John. The contractions were every 5-6 minutes apart for over an hour. John said I should call the doctor to be safe especially since I was going to have to have a c-section this time around, so I did. My doctor said that I needed to head over to labor and delivery right away becasue I should not be having contractions that consistent for over an hour...So I decided to get up, shower, put my make-up on and do my hair! lol I really did not want to go in because I truly felt this was a false alarm but on the other hand the baby was still breech so I knew it would not be safe to wait until the contractions were excruciating and only 2-3 minutes apart. The good thing was literally 1 day ago I finally packed my hospital bag! I wrote a blog but never had a chance to post it!!! So here it is "My Hospital Bag Is Packed!" At about 5:30am we called my mom to come watch Josse and we headed to the hospital. I was apologizing to John the whole way there because I really felt like this was a waste of time and I knew he had to be at work in downtown Dallas at 7:00am but he told me not to worry and it was better to be safe than sorry.



We arrived at the hospital and they hooked me up to monitors. At this point my contractions were actually getting stronger and becoming mildly painful. I was now having them consistently every 2-3 minutes. The nurse decided to check my cervix to see if I was dilated...and let me just say that was sooo PAINFUL!!! I hated having my cervix checked the last time I was pregnant. I figured the one good thing about having my stomach sliced open and having a c-section was at least they were not going to violate me and do the dreaded cervix checks! But since I was only 37 weeks and 2 days they had to see if I was dilating because true labor is when you are dilating & having contractions. Well, after I was violated she looked surprised because I was only dilated to a 1.5! They decided to wait 1 hour and then they were going to check my cervix again!!! Yes twice in one day...The second time around it hurt just as much and once again I was still only dilated to a 1.5. Now my doctor decided to start me on fluids through an IV and their goal was to stop the contractions. If you get dehydrated contractions can start so they were going to see if hydrating me would maybe slow them down. Well, after 2 full bags of fluids the contractions were still coming 2 minutes apart. My doctor came in and decided he would now check my cervix!!! Yup...3 checks in like 3 hours I was almost in tears. He too concluded that my cervix was not dilating or effacing. My doctor then decided to do a sonogram to check the baby's positioning. Sure enough she was still breech with her head in my ribs. My doctor then went on to explain that since baby Jewel was not head down my body could not be naturally dilating (because the pressure of the head being down helps the body dilate). Anyways, since I was still only 37 weeks we had to make the decision to try getting a shot to stop the contractions (which they typically don't give women after 35 weeks) or to go ahead with the c-section today even though there is a chance that at 37 weeks the baby's lungs could not be completely developed and some infants have trouble sucking (nursing) when they come out early. I was completely torn and had no clue what to do. My doctor then said lets give it one more hour and if your contraction continue at this rate and keep getting stronger then we will deliver the baby today. John and I agreed that that was the best decision. Well, 1 hour past and the contractions continued every 2 minutes and were becoming more painful as time went on. All of a sudden they came in and started to prep me for the c-section. We did not realize that it was all going to happen this quick, we hadn't even told our families the baby was coming today! It was 9:30am at this point and they told us that the c-section was scheduled for 11:00am!






Delivery Time  

Before I knew it, I was being wheeled to the cold, scary, OR room. John would meet me there after I received the epidural. I was completely freaked out because this was not how I envisioned giving birth to my 2nd child but the situation was out of my hands. I had a breech baby who was apparently coming 3 weeks early and a vaginal delivery was out of the question. I had no clue what to expect with a c-section but I was about to find out. In no time at all I was numb from the waste down, the curtain was hung so I could not see what was going on and they were about to begin. What I was not expecting was to periodically begin to pass-out throughout the procedure. My blood preassure is already low so the anesthesiologist had to continually give me medicine to bring up my blood pressure etc throughout the entire surgery. I was also not really prepared for how much pressure & tugging I would feel even though I was not feeling pain. I felt like I was being pulled and stretched every which way (which I probably was).  I was definitely not expecting to hear the conversations go on between the doctors, nurses, etc. At one point I did begin to panic when they talked about an artery they could not get to stop bleeding! That conversation went on for what seemed like hours but I eventually heard them say "the bleeding is under control" and boy was I relived. All I know, is that I could not have gone through this without my amazing husband by my side. He would talk with me, pray with me & help me make "to-do lists" so that I could distract myself and not panic about everything going on. Come to find out, there were definitely reasons for me to panic but luckily I was not aware of the problems until later.




My Miracle Baby 

Julianna Faith Alcala was born Monday April 22nd at 11:39am. She weighed 7.1 lbs and was 18.5 inches long. Baby Jewel is without a doubt my miracle baby! Like I mentioned above, I could basically hear everything the doctors and nurses were saying (except for the moments when my blood pressure would plummet and I would began to pass out). I heard them talk about her being breech and then I heard them say she was stuck. luckily I did not know until later that because she was bottom up and not coming out they had to make my incision a little longer than normal. I did hear them say something about the umbilical cord but luckily it was not until later that I found out that her umbilical cord was wrapped not once but twice around her neck and also around her arm! After Julianna was out I did not hear her cry for quite some time. I kept asking if everything was ok and everyone kept assuring me it was. I am still not exactly sure why there was such a delay in her crying but thank God she is a healthy baby girl. So come to find out Julianna was a tangled mess! Because her cord was wrapped all around her there was no way for her to turn back head down (so she remained breech)!!! If she would have turned with the cord wrapped twice around her neck it actually could have been fatal. If she was some how able to turn with the cord like it was and I had decided to go ahead with a vaginal delivery then things could have once again been very dangerous/fatal. My doctor also informed us that my placenta had shifted and the way it was positioned was not good. He said if my water would have broke I would have began bleeding/hemorrhaging and basically I would have ended up with an emergency c-section. The doctor said that my body was trying to tell me something and that was why my contractions began when they did. He said that we absolutely positively made the right decision by delivering the baby today. He said it would not have been good if we would have waited. Why do I say all of this? Because, I have no doubt that the Lord's hand was on both baby Julianna and myself. I truly 100% believe that the Lord had Julianna stay breech so that I would have to deliver by c-section. I also believe that my contractions were my body's way of telling me that the baby was in some sort of distress! Although I am not a fan of c-sections I am so grateful and thankful that we made the decision to go ahead with it. I am also so glad that I went to the doctor when I had these contractions and I did not just ignore them and wait. I serve a great God who is in the business of doing miracles and I will praise Him and thank Him every day for my sweet miracle baby!

If you look carefully you can  see the umbilical cord wrapper around her neck & arm





The differences between vaginal deliveries & c-sections

I do not care what anyone says...I would have a vaginal delivery over a c-section any day! Although, I am so glad I did have a c-section it would not be my delivery of choice. It was really hard for me not to see and cuddle with the baby for over an hour from the time she was born. Sure I got to have this upside down look of her when she came out but I didn't really get to hold her. John kept video recording her on his phone and showing it to me so I could see her face, and see her cry and see them cleaning her off. After she was clean John and the baby left the OR room and I was stuck being stitched up for another 45 minutes!!! Maybe it took so long becasue they did have some issues getting her out and with my bleeding artery (I don't know) but it was killing me to know that John and all of our family was seeing the baby while I was still in this cold, scary, OR room. I was grateful that the nurse made sure to tell our family and friends that only daddy could hold the baby because mommy hadn't held her yet. With a vaginal delivery the baby is born and basically immediately given to the mom to hold skin to skin. I did get to have skin to skin time with Julianna but it was over an hour after she was born. It may seem silly that I cared so much about that but I guess I just loved and cherished those first few moments I was able to hold Josselyn right when she was born. It was so amazing to see her eyes light up because she recognized my voice at only a few minutes old. I will also say that c-sections HURT no matter what anyone else may tell you. I was not prepared to be in as much pain as I was. I literally bawled when the nurse and my mom MADE me get out of bed and walk. I seriously felt like my insides were going to all fall out. I know a c-section is major surgery and your stomach is cut, muscle is cut, your uterus is cut, organs are shifted around and moved but I think I thought the pain medicine would take away all the discomfort. Although the pain medication is strong it does not take away the pain. Basically, the pain medication makes the pain manageable and you just sort of have to endure the cramping, aching and burning. I know that I am complaining a ton right now but it is probably because I just gave birth 12 days ago so it is all too fresh in my mind. Maybe if you ask me how it was in 5 months I will have a different response. I do know that all though this is about a 6 week recovery it will be much better than my 6 month recovery with Josselyn! So...I am once again still very glad that I chose this delivery plan. However, I will say that if you have the choice between a vaginal delivery or a c-section...go with the VAGINAL DELIVERY (unless you have a super strong pain tolerance or you do not want your hoo hoo violated).


My 1st moments with my precious Julianna



Julianna staring at her daddy

Finally getting to hold my baby girl for the 1st time!

It seemed like an eternity until I got to hold her




My Jaundice Baby 

Once again I had a baby with jaundice. Josselyn had jaundice becasue of the vacuum they had to use to help suction her out and Julianna most likely had jaundice because of our blood combinations (O+ and O-) Josse had to do the phototherapy (stay under a light) in the hospital for 3 full days which was awful. They wanted us to leave her in this fish bowl under a light naked at 1 day old! They said she could only come out when I needed to feed her (yah right!) We ended up rotating holding her under the light in a chair for 3 full days lol. Luckily with jewel we did not have to do the phototherapy except for a few hours the last day. Unlike her big sister Josselyn, Julianna did not mind the phototherapy at all! Jewel is so calm and chill (so far) so she just kicked back and napped while she was under the light haha. They almost transferred her to pediatrics and made us stay longer for her to do the phototherapy in the hospital but luckily the pediatrician gave us a choice to do the therapy at home! We absolutely, positively said we wanted to do it at home. We had already been in the hospital for 5 days and we were all itching to get out! After 3 days of home phototherapy with a UV blanket Julianna's jaundice went from high risk to low risk! We have another doctor's appointment on Monday so hopefully it is all completely gone by then.  






Josselyn Grace meeting baby Julianna Faith

Well...things went surprisingly well at the hospital! Josselyn was a little unsure about baby Jewel at first but eventually she would say "baby Jewel" and then come sit on the bed with me and Jewel. Josse was having so much fun with Gigi & Papa who were watching her that she didn't really care much about the new baby. Once we got home things changed a bit. Over the past week Josse has pinched Julianna's cheek, scratched her neck and hit her on the head with a cell phone (unfortunately none of these incidents were accidents). Josse also does not like it when Yaya holds the baby (she gets very jealous). For some reason, Josse doesn't seem to mind when John and I hold the baby but the other day Josse did come over to my bed when I was holding Julianna and say "Bye Bye Baby...Mommy hold you" that basically meant...scram baby, it is my turn with mama! Another day when I was holding the baby, Josselyn walked over to my bed with a book and handed it to me and said "Mama book, Baby night night bed" that meant...put the baby in the bassinet so I can get in your lap and have story time with you! Now Josselyn really is a total sweet heart. Every morning when she wakes up she says "baby Jewel" and she wants to come in our room and see the baby. She loves to give the baby hugs and kisses (I just have to keep a close eye on her because she does have sudden mood swings lol). Josselyn loves her baby sister she is just trying to figure out what is going on and who this new little house guest is. Josse is only 20 month   old so she can not really grasp the whole situation. All she knows is that now there is another little baby who is taking some of mommy and daddy's attention.  John and I are trying our best to still give Josselyn tons and tons of attention and TLC. We basically try and tag team the girls...one of us has Josse and the other one has Jewel and then we switch. I am not sure how I am going to balance them both when John goes back to work in a week but I will figure it out when the time comes!!!

Josselyn meeting Julianna for the very 1st time








Friends & Family

I honestly believe that John and I have the best family & friends in the world. John's parents took care of Josse the whole time I was in the hospital with Julianna and my mom has been coming over every morning since we got home from the hospital to feed Josse breakfast & get her dressed so John and I can sleep in. Our sweet friend Christina set up meals for us so every evening the past week someone has come to our house with dinner so John is not having to worry about cooking while I am still recovering! We also had so many sweet friends come to the hospital to meet baby Jewel and bring sweet gifts to baby and I. I am beyond thankful for the incredible people God has placed in our life. Here are some pictures of some of baby Julianna's 1st visitors...
















 
 
 












Josselyn getting some TLC





Heading Home

After 5 days in the hospital we were more than ready to head home! We could not wait to get back to Josselyn and begin our lives together as a family of 4. I know the first few months may not be the easiest months but I am making a vow to myself (and my husband) not to get stressed but instead to just enjoy the moments I have with my 2 baby girls (even if they are crazy moments!) Eventually I will adjust to being a mommy of 2 (both in diapers!!!) but it may just take some time.

Finally leaving the hospital!




Big sister came outside to greet her new baby sister









We are so excited for this new chapter in our lives! I will be sure to keep you all updated on all our new adventures...