Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tanner's Birth Story

Tanner James O’Bryan
7lbs. 5oz.
20 inches
Born on January 11, 2016 at 7:14pm

I went into labor on a Monday morning while getting ready for work.  It was 6am and I had a few contractions but didn't know if it was the real deal or not.  I had been having them for past few weeks.  It was also 17 days before my due date and I had no expectations of having an early baby.  Anyway they kept coming and I had to decide whether or not to go into work.  I figured it's better to be safe so I called in and told them I wasn't coming in.  About 9am I texted my doctor and she told me to come into the office to get checked first since she was at work.  We got everything ready and had my sister come over to watch Blake and headed over there.  I was dilated to almost 3 and 80% effaced.  She said that was a good start but to walk around for an hour or so to get things moving along before checking into the hospital.  We ran some errands and walked around and headed over to the hospital about noon. They took me back and then told me to walk around the hospital and eat lunch to see how I progressed.  Luckily they decided to keep me and admit me to labor and delivery.  Even if they had sent us home there was no way I was going home.  I knew by this point that I was in labor and things were moving right along.  On the way back we ran into our awesome nurse that was there for Blake's delivery.  Unfortunately she was the head nurse in charge of everyone that day and couldn't be our nurse. That was a bummer but she said she would make sure we got a great one.  She definitely did take care of us because we got a really great nurse and she was with us all the way until Tanner was born (right at shift change time).  I was already at 4cm by the time I got into labor and delivery and was ready for that epidural.  It really does make the whole experience so much more pleasant.  My doctor was not on call that day but she said she would definitely be there and only just had a few quick surgeries that morning.  Again, she is the most amazing OB/GYN out there.  The nurses kept asking who we were because we knew the charge nurse and we had Dr. Koe coming in special for us.  Apparently she never does stuff like that. 

Once I got the epidural, I could really relax and just wait.  We hung out with our moms and I had my sister text me pictures of Blake.  Just like last time I made good progress after the epidural and was ready to push within and a couple hours.  The nurse said it would be a lot quicker this time so I would not be doing any test pushes before the doctor got there.  That was a relief, knowing that it would be quicker and that I would be holding my little man in just a matter of minutes.  I pushed for around 30 minutes which was much less than with Blake and got to help deliver him like I did with Blake.  Once his shoulders were out, I grabbed him under the arms and pulled him out myself.  It is truly the most amazing thing.  I don't know why anyone would not what to do it.  Needless to say, I was obsessed with him from the very first second and we bonded immediately.  I was so much less tired and out of it than I was with Blake, probably because this all happened in the daytime after a full nights sleep and because it was easier and quicker.  After that I just held him on my chest and nursed and Kyle and I stared at him for an hour or so.  He has lots of hair and Kyle and I both think he looks really different than Blake. We aren't sure who he looks like yet though.

I donated my cord and cord blood so there were about 10 people in the room, which is kind of annoying but you really learn to throw your modesty out the window when it comes to giving birth. Donating was the best decision and the girl who collected the blood and cord told us all of the amazing things happening in stem cell research right now. 

Blake waited up past bedtime to FaceTime with us and she was so excited.  All she could do was giggle and say "he's so beautiful".  I don't know how a two year old comes up with that but it's pretty much the most adorable thing I've ever heard.  

I had such a good experience with Blake that it's hard to believe a delivery could be easier than that but this one really was.  I'm really lucky to not have any complications and just an all around pleasant childbirth experience.  Now to convince Kyle that we need to have at least one more child...

Now that we are home, I'm addicted to snuggling him and smelling his head.  It's like a drug and you can feel the hormones take over when you get a whiff of your baby's head.  He is eating great and sleeping 24/7.  It's been much less stressful than the first time around so we are getting so much quality time.  Blake has been great and loves being the big sister.  I'm pretty lucky to have the greatest kids ever born so the transition hasn't been too tough so far.  We will have to wait and see how he is in a few weeks when he becomes more alert and starts keeping me up at night.  For now, everything is bliss so I plan to enjoy it while it lasts. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Baby Boy Obz

Wow, it's been a while.  Time for an update.

Well, I'm half way through pregnancy #2.  It's gone by so fast and I've hardly had time to think let alone write about every detail.  Here are the highlights:

  • Morning sickness: week 8-16 (blech!). It's the worst.  I only threw up at work once but it was pretty bad and I walked around the rest of the day with red dots all over my face where I broke blood vessels.  
  • Cravings: citrus fruit again, mostly pineapple juice.
  • Weight gain.  Exactly on par with the last pregnancy but somehow I just feel fatter.
  • Exhaustion----soo tired. 
  • It's a boy!! We are so excited about this.  I don't know how we keep getting so lucky in life but it's awesome.
  • Blake is thrilled and comes up to kiss my belly and say "I love you baby Tanner" every day.
  • Name: Tanner O'Bryan (still thinking about the middle name)
  • Movement: I just started feeling movement last week, which was later than expected. I felt it on the outside within days of feeling him from the inside.  He kicked Blake in the back the whole plane ride home from Maui last week since she was squishing him. 
  • Maui: we had another babymoon/family vacation this time around.  It was at the exact same time as last time, week 19. My mom took the whole family on a trip to Hawaii, which was our Christmas present from last year.  We had a great time except for about 3 days in the middle when I came down with some sort of cold/flu and had a fever.  I couldn't get out of bed for 3 days. That wasn't ideal but where better to recover from the flu than in paradise, right?  By the way, THANK YOU MOM for the amazing trip!!
  • A little scare: The week before Maui, I started itching all over.  At first I thought it was a food allergy or something. The itching went on for 2 days straight and about 3am I started Googling. One thing kept coming up. Itching with no rash--ICP. Intrahepatic Cholestasis.  It's a liver disease that happens during pregnancy that causes bile acids to build up in the blood stream.  It causes extreme itching in the mother and can be deadly for the baby.  I texted my doc (again, she's awesome) that I was itchy and she had me come in right away for a blood test.  I waited a week for the results and they came back normal. It's still possible I could have this rare condition if I keep itching but it's been much better and I'm feeling more and more confident that this was just a fluke.  If it does turn out that I have ICP, it's not the end of the world.   The biggest problem is that I would have to be induced early and have a preemie baby.  That's a scary thought but we will cross that bridge if we come to it.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cinnamon Raisin Quinoa Hot Cereal

We are really trying to get Blake to learn healthy habits and learn to like different kinds of foods.  I hate to give her instant oatmeal because of the amount of sugar in them.  They are convenient sometimes but I try to make her home cooked food as much as possible.  I like to make a batch of this on Sundays and it can just be heated up for her on weekday mornings while I'm at work.  It's also really delicious!


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water
  • 1/2 tbs butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 box (or a handful) of raisins
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil for 1 minute and then reduce to low and cover.  Simmer until cooked and water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  That's it!

*Sometimes when it is re-heated it can seem a little dry.  Just add a little more milk.

I also make my own apple pie spice because I couldn't find it at the grocery store and I already had all the ingredients. Here's how to make your own.
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1 tbs allspice
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom


Monday, May 4, 2015

Mexican Lime Chicken Soup

For Cinco de Mayo this year I wanted to do something different.  And easy, since it's a work night.  I made this soup the night before so we can just heat it up after work.  

I found the recipe on Pinterest here.  The only thing I changed was that I used 2 limes instead of one because I couldn't taste any lime with just one.  

If you love Mexican food flavors (like I do) than you will love this soup!  If you hate cilantro or cumin you better skip it :)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 stalks celery 
  • 1 medium jalapeno 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes w/chiles
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • ½ Tbsp cumin 
  • 2 medium limes 
  • ½ bunch cilantro 
  • 1 medium avocado

Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince the garlic. Cook the onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender.
Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, canned tomatoes with chiles, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let simmer for one hour.
After simmering for an hour with a lid on, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup. Get as much juice as possible from the lime by using a spoon to scrape the inside of the lime.
Rinse the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves. Add to the pot, give it a quick stir, and serve. Dice the avocado and add a few chunks to each bowl.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Early Toddlerhood: 12-18 months

Well we made it!  I'm now on the other side of the endless sleepless nights.  Every night is not perfect but for the most part, we sleep through the night (in our own beds).  She wakes in the night and puts herself back to sleep. Whoo Hoooo!!! It feels good.  I'm so glad I waited for her to get there naturally in her own time.  It isn't easy to wait patiently for this milestone but nothing about parenting is easy.  Looking back, I am so thankful for all that quiet time we spent together in the middle of the night.  I'm happy we co-slept a little bit too, even if Kyle and I both got kicked in the head more than once.  I will never regret the time that I have spent on Blake's needs because she is already needing me less and less everyday. 

Naps are improving too.  It is all just coming together now :)

**I do still rock/walk and/or nurse her to sleep.  She loves to read at bed and nap time also.  She is in a size large Zipadee Zip which is probably not necessary but is a comfort to her and keeps her warm.  

Oh man food has been a struggle.  I had such high hopes for the healthy habits I was going to create for Blake.  Then we started solids at 6 months and have struggled ever since.  Until now...

I was desperate for her to just try ANYTHING.  I gave up on healthy food and made things like mac and cheese and chicken nuggets just to get her to try different tastes and textures.  I figured if I can get her to try things then I can move into more healthy foods.  Well she pretty much hated everything except fruit and the squeezy baby food packets. Then all of a sudden, she decided she would try things.  It's like she slept through the night one night and woke up thinking "ok I'm ready to eat now."  It's crazy how these two things started happening at the same time but it's making life much easier. 

I'm trying to get her to eat more meat (the biggest challenge) because her iron levels are always low at her doctor appointments.


Yes, I'm still nursing.   No, I don't think there's anything weird about it.  I do think it's weird that people make a big deal about it.  If you are thinking anything other than that boobs are for feeding and comforting babies then you're the weirdo :)

That being said, 2 years is my new goal.  It's what I am comfortable with and it is what's recommended by the World Health Organization.  Our nursing relationship has given us such a special bond and it has been my savior at times.  It can cure hunger, fear, pain, tiredness, anxiety, tantrums etc etc etc.  I'm so happy we made it this far.  I think I will be ready by the time she is 2 to let go of this special time in Blake's life.  It's only really a couple times a day at this point.  She comes to me for comfort and when she's tired and that's it.  

Also, I don't think I have it in me to tandem nurse (look it up) and I'd like to have another baby soon-ish.  Overall, I'm so glad I stuck with it even in the hard times and that I didn't rush into weaning.


Bottles are another story.  The pediatrician said we should really start weaning off the bottle and I guess I agree with that.  They aren't totally necessary since she can use a cup.  It's just what she's been used to when I'm not there and might make things harder for her caregivers to get rid of them.  Since sleep is getting better, maybe this will work itself out.  Every time I start to worry about something the doctor or a friend says we "should be" doing, it just happens naturally and I remember I need to trust my own instincts and stop worrying. 

Frozen is her favorite thing on earth! It has become a way of life. She loves Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.  We have several Frozen books just to keep us from being bored to death at bedtime.  We have multiple Olaf, Anna, and Elsa dolls and a Frozen nightgown that has to be hidden when dirty.  We even have Frozen band-aids.  I have the movie on DVD, on my phone, and on my iPad (just in case) :)

I find it funny, now, that I ever even worried about Blake reaching her milestones. But it's hard not to think about it when I have been studying child development and delays. I think stressing about every thing with your first child is just a right of passage.  It's a learning experience that no one can teach you.  It's also valuable to be aware, if any delays do come up, because early intervention is so important. That being said, the range of what is normal is wide and all children get there at their own pace.  Blake was never even behind in any of her development but she wasn't ahead either.  That's enough to make a new mom crazy.  I will definitely not be such a worrier with the next babe.
At 18 months, she is now walking, running, climbing, hiding, chasing, screaming, laughing, teasing,  going down the slide, feeding herself with a spoon,  saying 50+ words, imitating everything we say, putting 2 words together, and generally bossing everybody around.  She has memorized songs and books that we read often and can fill in the blanks when I am singing or reading to her. She can hold and write with a pen or crayon and she can manipulate our iPhones and iPad.  We are right on track :)  

Momma's got a day job:
We are transitioning into a new time.  I am working a full time day job as well as some nights at Tsunami on the weekends. I finished school and got hired at Cornerstone Therapies (where I did my clinical hours and also known as "the best pediatric therapy center in town")  I'm so thrilled to be a part of their team. I am learning so much more than I ever would somewhere else because of the amazing mentoring program they have.

Potty Training: 
 Not ready to potty train yet but we are starting to look for the signs.

Nope.  Not worried about that yet either. Though people tell me I should be getting on lists, etc etc.  All I know is I want a play-based school and I have one in mind that I think might be good when the time comes.

Hugs and Kisses:  
One of the greatest things to come out of the last 6 months was hugs and kisses. When your child can actually show affection back to you, it is the most amazing feeling.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Energy Balls

A few months ago, I posted this recipe for healthy no-bake energy snacks.  They are so good, check them out.  
I found a new recipe online and tweeked it a little bit and came up with some new ones.  They are a little bit more rich and satisfy that chocolate-peanut butter addiction I currently have. 

Just mix together all the ingredients, chill in the fridge for a little while and then roll into bite sized balls.  

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract