Monthly Archives: March 2015

Week 1 – Recovery, Rest and Routine?

Baby number two is officially one week old (well a little over).  We have been home for a few days.  Like the first week with our first daughter, the past few days have been a blur.  I am running on mom adrenaline.  As tired as I might be, I find the energy to do what I need to do for my kids.  I have cried, and I have laughed.  Having a child puts you through such a roller coaster of emotions.

IMG_4745I remember last week how ready I thought that I was for this to happen.  You are never ready.  Thankfully, my husband has a few days of paternity leave.  What makes his paternity leave different this pregnancy compared to last is the addition of our daughter.  While he can help some with the newborn, he is trying to spend the majority of his time spending quality time with our oldest daughter.

IMG_4751This has really been key for helping me recover and get some rest.  I have gone on several walks around the neighborhood, but I have yet to begin doing anything on the bike or pick up a weight.  Recovery is imperative for me. I would much rather take the time off to ensure that I do not ultimately set myself back by overdoing it.

IMG_4773My newborn daughter is so sweet.  She sleeps a lot during the day, but I am not going to sugar coat the reality.  I am getting up 4-5 times a night to feed her.  That gives me about 5 rounds of one hour of sleep each.  I am also still struggling to figure out how to make her comfortable.  She still doesn’t want to sleep anywhere but in my arms at night.  My first daughter went straight to her crib the second night home from the hospital.  She also slept in 3.5 hour increments, waking only to feed before immediately going back to sleep.  It has been an adjustment. The difference the second go round is that I know we will get through this phase.  With the first, I remember at times being up in the middle of the night wondering if I was really made out for this whole parenting thing.

IMG_4776The weather has been fantastic since we have been home.  While my husband is playing with my daughter outside, I have spent a lot of time on the front porch with our newborn getting fresh air.  Sunshine and a little time outside can really make my day a lot better.  No one likes to be cooped up in the house all day.  Yes, my daughter has a pacifier beside her face.  Morgan got back to (and surpassed her birthweight) by her first doctor’s appointment out of the hospital.  Since this indicates she is eating well, we can start to space our her feedings a little bit during the day.  Give mommy a break!

IMG_4780Getting out the door as a family of four has not been easy.  I am having to explore untapped people management skills.  Is everyone fed? Does everyone have a clean diaper?  Does everyone have what they need in their diaper bag?  Do we have back ups of everything in case we run out? Is everyone dressed?  We did a newborn/lifestyle family photo shoot this week.  We don’t do family photos often, so we thought the birth of our second daughter would be a perfect time to update (see photo above).  The photographer was set to come at 9 AM.  Somehow, we got the whole family showered and dressed to impress by the time they walked in the door.  Now let’s hope the rest of the pictures turn out perfect.

IMG_4750My parents have been a big help with everything going on in our house.  While there isn’t much that they can do with Morgan right now, they were able to take Madison out to dinner one night this week, so my husband and I could go out to dinner (with Morgan).  I will say it once, and I will it again.  Take advantage of the time your infant will sleep in that car carrier.  Catch up on some date nights with your significant other.  My husband remembers the specific meal that my first daughter sat in a high chair and proceeded to wipe the whole table clean of every piece of food and dish as we attempted to eat.  He was mortified.  We haven’t been able to really enjoy a meal out with her since.  She was six months old.

IMG_4784If you have been following my blog (specifically my pregnancy updates), you know that I have been craving a good craft beer.  On our night out, we stopped by Tupelo Honey Cafe and toasted to baby number two over Allagash Whites.  As my husband’s paternity leave runs out, I can only wonder what kind of chaos will ensue when I am home with both girls.


I have to say, we are and will adjust.  Having kids is certainly not easy.  However, looking back at all of the pictures from the past week and the memories that we have made are every reason why we wanted to build a family.  There is something so special about being a mom and having that unconditional love for the human beings that you created.  When I got married (almost three years ago), my boss at the time used to sit back and tell me that I had so much to look forward to.  I didn’t really understand the magnitude of that statement until now.  He didn’t just mean marriage.  He really mean’t having kids and watching them grow up.  He was right.

The First Few Days

Since my daughter was born at 12:21 AM on Wednesday morning, she was better off staying in the hospital through Friday morning (that way she had a full 48 hours of care prior to discharge).  For both of my labors, I have gone to the hospital in the evening and delivered the next day.  Therefore, instead of staying for two nights, we have ended up there for what seems like three (by the time labor and recovery is over).  IMG_4743My husband was around the hospital a lot when my first daughter was born, however, already having a child made it difficult for him to be there 24/7 this go round.  It also made it hard for my parents to visit (since they were watching my daughter when my husband was with me).  That said, I ate a lot more meals from the hospital menu and spent a lot of time taking pictures of my new little one (see above, I even got a smile from her).

IMG_4717I have to admit, the hospital food really wasn’t that bad.  Since the last time I was in the hospital, they have started to require you to call in your order (rather than force you to order ahead).  You can discuss your nutrition options with a dietitian (if you choose to).  There are lighter fare options, and the hospital even allows you to see nutritional information for everything that you are eating.   Really a great thing.  See ticket above.

IMG_4723My husband did try to bring me an outside meal at least once a day.  Less than a block from the hospital is a local casual dining spot that we had not tried – Viva Chicken.  Boy, we were missing out.  Half white chicken with peruvian green beans and some sweet potato fries.  SO good.  There are lighter side selections besides fries, but this is one of the few times in my life that I really don’t put pressure on myself to try to be overly active and restrictive with what I eat.  Let’s face it.  The hospital is meant for recovery.  My body needs a good solid recovery after giving birth to a child.  Exercise is the last thing that I am thinking about while holding this bundle of joy in my arms.

IMG_4756When we found out that we were going to have to stay in the hospital until Friday, we decided that we should bring my daughter over on Thursday to see me and meet the “baby”.  My husband took her to the hospital gift shop to get a “big sister” balloon for herself and a “welcome little one” balloon for her sister.  When she walked in the room she hesitated as she saw mom in the hospital bed.  She does not like to see me in a situation that appears I might be in harm. Since I was told not to pick her up for a few weeks, my husband placed her on the bed with me.  We had been talking about a “baby” for the past several weeks, so she knew what a baby was when she saw it.  After fifteen minutes, she was more worried about unpacking my hospital bag and playing with her balloon rather than watching the baby.

IMG_4742Discharge papers were finalized on Friday – just in time for us to make it home by lunch.  We strapped my daughter in her car seat for the first of many car rides.  I opted to sit with her in the back.  I’m already protective of my little one.  She fell asleep before we even got out of the garage.

IMG_4759When I got home my oldest daughter was taking a nap on the couch.  Who said this was going to be hard?  In my first hour at home, both of my girls were already asleep at the same time.  This is easy right? Ha!  We took a picture to document this rare occurrence.  Ladies, please take a look at my proud after pregnancy belly.  We all saw Princess Kate standing outside of the hospital after the birth of her first.  This is real life.  When your baby is born, there is still a bump.  Embrace it.  It will go away.

IMG_4761When my oldest daughter woke up, we introduced her to the baby again.  She remembered her.  We have been reiterating the words “sister”, “Morgan” and “baby” to her.  If you say any of those words, she points at the baby.  She is as protective as I am.  She wants to be around her.  She wants to hold her.

IMG_4765Her intentions are good, but she doesn’t realize the power of her own strength at times.  I constantly have to monitor her around the little one.  The first few days have certainly have been an adjustment.  That saying “every baby is different” is true.  My daughter won’t sleep unless I hold her close (we have sort of fixed this by swaddling tighter).  She cluster feeds at night.  I’m breast feeding, so I am the only one getting up at night to feed.  To me, the biggest difference between the first and the second go round is the fact that I know each piece of my child’s development is a phase that we will get through.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We have certainly changed our life but in a good way.  IMG_4762All of our kind friends and family have also made this transition easier.  We wouldn’t be able to do it without the frequent meals and offers to help.  I can’t say enough how much we appreciate all of the generosity.  Since I can’t reach out to everyone (or have everyone over), I hope these updates give you a little insight to how things are going.

It’s Amazing How Much My Life Changed In One Day

St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my husband and I’s favorite holidays.  Little did we know, the holiday would take on an entirely new meaning in 2015.  Thursday, March 17, 2015 started like any other day.  My daughter was giddy for yet another day of preschool (see picture below), and I was all packed up to swing by my doctor’s office before hitting the gym and lunch with my husband before picking up my daughter.

IMG_4700When I got to my doctor’s office, I was “checked” to see how dilated and effaced that I was.  This was going to help me to finalize my decision to induce on Friday.  I was told that I was 4 cm dilated and 70 percent effaced.  At the same appointment, I had my membranes stripped.  This procedure is done in an attempt to start contractions for labor.  With that said, I asked my doctor if exercise was still a good idea (Flywheel at that), and her response was “absolutely”.  She gave me a hug and told me she thought that I would do great.  She also thought that I might be back that night.

10448621_719604964823238_2606650891793333444_oWith the doctor’s approval, I headed to Flywheel for Meghan Lee’s “Get Lucky” ride.  I grabbed a bike and actually had what I thought to be a great ride.  Knowing that I was going to meet my husband for lunch, I jumped off the bike after arms and grabbed a shower.  As I was leaving the studio, I heard Meghan finishing with a little Dropkick Murphy’s – perfect song for the theme of the day.  At lunch, we sat outside and had sandwiches from RiRa as we watched an overwhelming amount of people dressed in green enjoying the break in the day.  Little did I know, this would be my last real meal for quite awhile.


I started having mild contractions as soon as I got my daughter back to the house.  Of course she didn’t want to nap.  I also did everything in my power to pretend that I was not starting to think that I was going into labor.  That included:  walking to my mom and dad’s condo and back and playing with my daughter.  I was hesitant to eat anything and was counting down the minutes until my husband got home from work.  Why the desire to distract?  In my first pregnancy, I headed to the hospital too early.  Even with regular contractions (see picture above), I was not dilated enough to be admitted.  Therefore, I went home for several hours before ultimately ending back up in the hospital several hours later.  I was embarrassed, upset and emotional.  I wasn’t going to have that happen again.

IMG_4704By 8:30 PM, we had put my daughter to bed, and made two game changing decisions:  I wanted my mom to be at the house (to watch my daughter), in case we had to leave for the hospital in the middle of the night and I wanted my husband to try to grab some sleep while he could.  I spent the next hour bouncing on a swiss ball and walking laps around our dining room.  As my husband tried to rest, I could see the concern in my mom’s eyes.  It was starting to become clear to both of us that I needed to leave for the hospital sooner than later.

IMG_4710That being said, I woke my husband up and started getting the rest of my things together.  I kissed my daughter goodbye and worked my way to the car.  By the time we reached the end of the street, I was in tears.  Everything was starting to happen faster than ever at this point.  My husband even asked me if he should run red lights.  Thankfully we live close to the hospital.  I needed a wheelchair to get to the nurse’s station.  I was admitted immediately (you typically go to triage first).  I wanted an epidural.  I needed to get meds to cover my baby since I had tested positive for Strep B.  Before any of this could be done, I had to get an entire bag of fluid through IV.  I watched that little bag drip for what seemed like an eternity.

IMG_4707I was 6 cm when I got to the hospital at 10:00 PM.  I was 8-9 cm in the hour it took for me to get the IV before I could get my epidural.  I only had to get to 10.  It had become clear that any type of pain management was not going to work as well as it would have had I gotten there earlier.  I did not care. The epidural and ibuprofen that I did get was all that my body needed to slow things down.  When we realized that we might be able to deliver the baby on St. Patrick’s Day, we gave it a solid try.  I pushed for the first time at 11:55 PM.  She wasn’t ready.

IMG_4702After twenty minutes, the doctor came back to my room to give it another try.  In less than ten pushes my daughter was here.  12:21 AM.  The nurses described her entry into the world as something like a freight train.  She came out so quick and hard that she experienced significant bruising on her face (see picture above).  It will (and has) gone away.  Since I didn’t get a great epidural, I felt my baby come out.  Her head was out for what seemed like an eternity, before her body made its way out.  Her shoulders got stuck.  The nurses dropped the head of the bed and jumped on top of me.  They maneuvered her out through pushes on my uterus while my husband watched in horror.  Everything was okay.

IMG_4711Morgan Riley Dufresne was born 7 pounds 12 ounces.  Bless her heart.  I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my first daughter until the doctor put this baby girl on my chest.  We bonded immediately.  I nursed her and held her for the next hour.  It’s funny how different the second go round is.  It just feels right.  I wasn’t afraid.  I felt so much love.

IMG_4726My girls were both very similar in size and appearance.  One thing is for sure.  They got their dad’s feet (or should I say toes).  Look at that big toenail?!  I don’t see sandals much in their future.

IMG_4722It’s hard to believe she is here (and we are home).  We ended up in the hospital for longer than we expected.  Since I had no internet and a lot of time, I did take a lot of pictures to document our stay, my daughter’s first introduction to her sister and what we ate while we were there.  There is a lot more to this story.  We feel so blessed to have so much support from both friends and family.  We plan on reaching out to everyone as soon as we get our feet underneath us.

Pregnancy Update – Week 38

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of a winter melon (not sure what that is, but I would guess more like a watermelon…). Somewhere over 7-8 pounds – based on ultrasound three weeks ago.

Weight Gain – 25-26 pounds.  I honestly don’t care at this point.  I’m just trying to get to delivery day.  Since I have put in the time to stay fit during this pregnancy, I have no doubt that the weight will come off quick.

Movement – The most movement is at night before I go to bed.  When I am getting comfortable, so is baby.

Sleep – Dare I say this has been the best week of sleep that I have gotten in a LONG time?  I am feeling the most rested that I have felt in months.  Hint, hint baby.  It is the ideal time for you to come soon.

What I miss – A good patio cocktail.  I have had a glass of wine or two this pregnancy, but with the weather changing, I am really looking forward to having a craft beer or cocktail on our patio.

Best Moments this Week – The weather!  We took advantage of the warm temperatures by walking ALOT.  My daughter was eager for preschool drop off this week (even sporting some pigtails!).  Isn’t walking supposed to get labor going?  There were literally two days this week that I was out for a walk and started having contractions.  I literally thought, this is the day. I’m going to go home and they are going to get worse.  I’m going to have to call my husband.  Not so much.  They were just Braxton Hicks that went away once I got home, sat down and had some water.


Looking forward to – This is an easy one.  My doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, followed by possible induction on Friday.  We will meet this baby in the next week or two.

Cravings – Sushi.  And lots of it.  Since the baby is still not here, but my mom is (patiently waiting to watch my daughter when I go to the hospital), we were able to use her as a babysitter on Saturday night to go out to dinner on yet another date night.  Our sushi restaurant of choice in Charlotte is Pisces.  It’s simple.  Great tasting, relaxing atmosphere and moderately priced. We typically order five rolls and split them.  We were overwhelmed when four of them came out on a wooden boat.


Symptoms – Feeling large and in charge.  I attempted to use my breast pump this weekend.  Sounds weird doesn’t it?  There is an old wives tale that if you use your breast pump prior to your baby being born that it stimulates a hormone that can start labor contractions.  Clearly it didn’t for me.  The whole situation is so odd that I will not be trying it again.

Workouts – Lots of Flywheel, Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD, and walking with my daughter at this point.  I have a pregnancy application on my phone (“What to Expect”).  Interesting enough, this fact came across my daily feed recently.


Monday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD.

Tuesday – Ride Flywheel Charlotte with Jenna.  Long neighborhood walk and playground time with my daughter.

Wednesday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD.  Long neighborhood walk and playground time with my daughter.

Thursday – Ride Flywheel Charlotte with Jenna.

Friday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD.

Saturday – Ride Flywheel Charlotte with Shane.  A group of fellow instructors got together to support the new instructor.  After the ride, we showered and headed over to a local restaurant to catch up.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it, but I am so glad I had a chance to get out and catch up with my co-workers.

Sunday – TRX circuit training in the garage.