Sunday, February 5, 2023

Beveling Baby

Baby E has arrived! We are completely in love with our Princess Peach. I spent 9 months trying to eat well, taking prenatal yoga twice per week, and walking as much as possible. Toward the end, I drank RRL tea, ate dates, curb walked, bounced on a yoga ball, worked on breathing techniques, etc. I had intended to try for an unmedicated birth. I made a birth "preferences" list. One of my doctors told me that they have a less than 10 percent C section rate. I was optimistic about things even when she didn't arrive by her due date. When we reached week 41, I started to get nervous and an induction was scheduled for 2 days later. My birth preferences were quickly becoming out of reach. I wasn't dilating. I think that maybe my pelvis is too narrow and her tiny little head didn't help move things along. My hospital bag had been packed for weeks with tons of things that we wouldn't end up using.

We checked into the hospital on January 17th at 11pm and had a room by 1230am. I was given a drug that dissolved in my mouth in hopes of helping me be able to use Pitocin next (something I really hadn't wanted). They told me the process could take days. By the next morning, I was only 1.5cm and having contractions that were so bad that they would have made sense had I been ready to push. Baby's heart rate was starting to drop with each one. My doctor didn't want to alarm me and allowed me to try the drug one more time after waiting a bit. When Peachy's heart rate wasn't really improving, they said that a c section was unfortunately the best option. At that point, I was in so much pain and just wanted to meet her. Since it wasn't an emergency situation, I had time to brush my teeth, pack, and prepare for surgery. I was very grateful to have the most kind and helpful nurses throughout the entire experience. I felt really prepared and comfortable with everything that was about to happen even though it wasn't my "plan." They told me I would at least be able to have my playlist going. 

The shots I had to get in my spine were the worst...until I lost feeling in my feet. OMG. I freaked out and was cracking everyone up talking about it. I was obsessed. Seriously...strangest feeling in the world. Not a fan. While I was totally numb to the pain, I felt pretty much everything. Max arrived after they had already begun and kept my focus away from the weird pressure. When it was time to pull baby out, Max put on Tiny Dancer and they lowered the curtain. Peachy emerged like Simba in the Lion King. Such a crazy moment! She looked just like Max. She had tons of brown hair and deep ocean blue eyes. (I think her hair looks more auburn now and her eyes may be turning green like mine). He was able to trim the cord and be with her while they did a few things prior to placing her on my chest. He was crying. I was crying. The nurses were almost crying watching him cry. We were soon taken to a recovery area prior to heading to the mom and baby unit. 

They had also put this thing behind my ear for nausea that I was instructed not to touch as it could cause side effects like confusion. I touched it of course. Oops. I was soon saying some crazy s***. Max even called a nurse, because he was worried. I was talking about Gucci and Chanel. I was texting people at 3am thinking it was 3pm. The sad thing about this is that I really don't remember the first time I fed baby girl or getting to our room or even pressing the sweet lullaby sound that alerts the floor that another baby was born :(

The next few days were spent learning to feed her, eating good hospital food (yes, it actually was), and healing. I actually wish we could have stayed longer since the nurses were so amazing. The lactation team helped me figure out BF and the best positioning due to my incision. When the day finally came to take her home, Max grabbed the car seat, loaded her into it, and we did a slow walk to the car. The past 9.5 months felt like a lifetime then, but feel like a short little blur now. I already forget what the pelvic pain and acid reflux were like as they disappeared the day she was born. There are definitely some traumatic things from the past year that I need to work through though. I'm not going to say I'll do this again. She is my perfect angel and I would be so content with just her, but you really do forget all of the pain that comes before. 

With regard to my dance career...I have wanted to be a Rockette my entire life, but she is all that matters now. Anything for Peachy. I definitely plan to perform again though. It is just going to take longer than expected. I cannot wait to perform in Florida again. I was offered a show recently and it felt so nice to even be considered. I know I'm not done and will practice my singing and dancing with babe. Last time I was in NYC, I had asked a dance friend how her experience was getting back to it after her daughter. She said she had taken class almost until she was born and was back in the studio 6 weeks after. That had made me so optimistic...why wouldn't that happen for me too? My doctor told me it will likely be about a year before I can get back to what I'm used to doing, but she assured me I will. That is still such a scary thought. I am going to take it as a sign that I'm meant to slow down, enjoy Peachy, and hopefully return with renewed motivation to do what I love.  

Monday, January 9, 2023


PinkBlush Maternity was kind enough to gift me some beautiful pieces in my favorite color. 
My Instagram post with all the dets can be found here


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

It's Baby Month.

What a crazy thing it is to go from dancing and performing consistently and making that your life to seeing your body totally change and having to take a break from what you know best. I am going to have so much to learn with having a baby despite reading the books, taking the classes, and watching all the videos. I already have a different outlook on life. I am going to move my body and dance when I am ready and feel so much more grateful for it since it is something I haven't been able to do much. I was just offered a spot in the ensemble for a musical next month with a company that I love. I obviously can't commit to performing that soon, but it was so nice to know I'm still on someone's radar and wanted for jobs. Seeing everyone post their gorgeous NYE gig pictures made me realize how much I miss it. I can't wait to get into performing shape. I am really looking forward to getting into rehearsals and back onstage. My short term focus will be on stamina and strength with walks and simple exercises (probably PT too) and working on my voice while singing to Baby E :) 

I can't believe it could be baby week already!! It's definitely baby month. She could totally arrive on my birthday or Friday, the 13th...who knows! My guess was January 5th, but that isn't going to happen. I have been doing everything I can to avoid induction. For some reason that I still can't understand, it was recommended that I have one at 39 weeks. I said no to that so the compromise is weekly nonstress tests. So far so good. I have been walking, bouncing on a ball, eating gross dates, drinking raspberry leaf tea, among other things lol Nothing has worked yet. I am no in a hurry since I definitely still don't feel ready, but I absolutely do not want Pitocin. Please put positive vibes and thoughts out there for me to be able to move around as much as possible and not be confined to a bed the whole time. As a dancer and someone who likes to move constantly, I would be upset not being given the option to. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Getting Ready For Her Grand Entrance

God I miss dancing. I hope Baby E will love to move. Fingers crossed she will want to make fun little dance routines with me. I had a doctor's appointment today and ended up having to have a nonstress test. They tracked her movements, heart rate, and even contractions (apparently I had contractions!?) This girl certainly moves more when she has food or when I'm trying to sleep ha! 
I recommend doing all that you can to avoid getting sick with the you know what (c word) while prego. They mentioned induction at 39 weeks and that is certainly not part of my birth "preferences." I hesitate to use the word "plan," because I know things happen and I want to be open minded. As long as weekly NSTs look good, I can avoid that. 
I am used to controlling every aspect of my life and career. There are so many unknowns and things that can go wrong with health and pregnancy though. Things beyond our control. That is not exactly great for the type A perfectionist dancer. I have always been so in touch with my body. However, you can do everything right and things can still differ from your plan. 
We went over what my preferences are. It is important to me that I am able to move as much as possible. I don't stop moving in daily life so why would I want to in this? I am not opposed to getting the epidural, but I want to try my best to avoid it. I can't imagine being confined to the bed or not being able to feel my body and be in control. I am aware that everyone thinks I'm insane and I could very well decide I want the drugs, but I would prefer to give it my best effort first. 
It's a crazy thing to be a lifelong dancer and then decide to have a baby. Like I have said a million times, I have no intention of quitting. Things will look a lot different, but I know I will find my way back. The physical changes haven't bothered me much fortunately. I have actually appreciated this break from constantly thinking about how I look or the next audition or performance. A lot of the burnout I felt for so long has dissipated. I think it had a lot to do with constant travel this year, which I was grateful to do, but it does wear you down. When something you have loved so much for so long starts to feel like a chore or just a job, you know it's time for a break. I want to be back in class now. I WANT to dance. Not just for work, but because I LOVE it. I am very much looking forward to gaining my strength, stamina, and technique back slowly and safely.
Max and I will start moving closer to Tampa this week. We have a little overlap between our current lease and the new one fortunately. She will be born in St. Pete and then we will head across the bridge by early February. St. Pete has been amazing and we have so many great memories here, but it is time for a change. I can't wait to decorate her room! I found some inspo on Pinterest and will definitely share on here and Youtube eventually. Realistically, we could have a small human with us in like 2 weeks. 
Very much looking forward to Baby E's debut. Stay tuned. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Sunrise Beach Photoshoot

Carolyn Rowe Photography

A few weeks ago we had our maternity shoot on St. Pete Beach with Carolyn Rowe Photography. We met at sunrise and the lighting was so soft and pretty. Very happy to have these memories. Here is a small peek at some of our pics. Of course we had to do a little dance. There are 20 days left until my due date. I can't even believe it. I don't feel totally prepared, but I am so excited to create little routines and traditions with her. We definitely want to incorporate "musical mornings" like Amanda Kloots and her son Elvis do. There will obviously be tons of dancing too...