Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Harper's Birth Story

Good Morning,

Hope you all are doing well!!! We are loving our Harper girl more everyday. I wanted to write down Harper's birth story so we didn't forget any of the details. Before you read it though I want to say that please know this was our experience, we wanted certain things and believe that everyone should have their own experience when giving birth, it is a true miracle.

On Saturday October 15th, it was a beautiful fall day. A little crisp at 55 degrees the sun was out shining. This morning I got up and made cinnamon rolls and coffee for Joey and had a mountain of laundry to tackle. The night before I had alot of braxton hicks and Joe and I had been monitoring them closely but I never though I would go into labor the next day. Joe got up and we watched ESPN game day while I did loads of laundry. Around 11:00 I could tell that Joe wanted to get going for the day so I asked him " Joe are you bored?" as I stood up from the couch my water broke. Joe replied with " I am not bored anymore" We called the midwife and she had us wait two hours since I wasn't having contractions. I took a shower, did my hair, put my makeup on and finished packing out bags. At around 2 hours the we called the midwife and she had us come to the hospital to check to see if it was my water that broke.

Upon arriving at the hospital we couldn't find the area we needed to go to. We had toured the birth center but I think due to our excitement and nervousness we drew a blank that day. Eventually we found the area we needed to be in and the nurse confirmed that part of my water had broken and I was centimeters dilated. I was very excited because my goal was to wait at home till I was at least 4 centimeters. They moved us into the labor and delivery room and had me start walking the floors to get my contractions to a closer range. At this point I really wasn't in any pain. Joe and I started walking, and after an hour the nurse came and asked me to walk slower so we did a slower pace for another 40 minutes. They checked me and I was still 4 centimeters. At this point they decided to get me hooked up to monitors for the baby's heartbeat and to monitor my contractions. I was having contractions at this point but they were 7-9 minutes apart. Once hooked up to the monitors I started sitting on the birth ball and walking in our room. Our goal for Harper's birth was to be as natural as possible so needless to say I started worrying at this point if things were going to go our way.

At the 5 hour mark the nurse and midwife came in and said that I had 1 more hour to make progress before we would have to look at other routes since you have need ot be in active labor at the 6 hour mark after your water breaks. The midwife realized that my water hadn't completely broken so she broke the rest of of it and we prayed for the best. At 6:40 the news was the same and the contractions hadn't changed. The midwife suggested trying some pitocin which is a drug that induces contractions at a much stronger rate than natural birth. I really didn't want to do this because I didn't want an epidural and knew that the chances of me having pitocin and not having an epidural were slim to none. Joe assured me though that I could do it and our plan could still come to completion.

Pitcon was started at after an hour I was still feeling comfortable. We watched the entire Iowa game, which if you know me this wasn't my choice but I had the best partner in the world so how could I not let him watch the game. At 8:00 I had moved to 5 centimeters and was more aware of the contractions. My midwife Pam was AWESOME she was with me every step of the way and gave me techniques to get through the contractions. Around 10:30 I got into the tub which I hadn't planned on using but was grateful for the option since it helped me move from 5 to 8 in 45 minutes. That 45 minutes was very intense but Joe did such a great job as a coach and encouraged me and reminded me why we wanted to have a natural birth. Around 11:30 I moved to the bed and the midwife had me get into a position to help move the baby lower. At this point I was doubting myself since we had been at the hospital for a number of hours and my body was getting weak but I made it through and when thy checked me at 1 I was 10 centimeters and was feeling the need to push. Joe kept encouraging me with the fact that we had made it without the epidural!!! Whoot Whoot!

Around 1:00 I was ready to start pushing and Joe and I knew our life was about to change FOREVER! I pushed for an hour and announced to the team that I was done. I literally didn't have anything left inside of me and Pam told me I needed to push one more time and the baby would be here. With one final push the baby was here and Joe announced that it was a GIRL!!!! Was I shocked or what!!! I asked Joe to check again and they put that sweet baby on my chest and the tears started!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harper Regina Haluska

Good Morning Blogland,

We have been fully consumed with the arrival of our sweet baby GIRL


Harper arrived on Sunday October 16th at 2:22 a.m. in the morning and weighed 9lbs and was 19 1/2 inches long.
Here are a few pics:

We have been consumed with this little girl and the joy she has brought to our life!!
I will be back tomorrow with her birth story!

Friday, October 14, 2011

39 Weeks

Good Morning,

Happy Friday!! The Fall weather has set in here and the leaves are falling more everyday!

Here I am at 39 weeks! Wow I cant believe at times I have been pregnant for this length of times and other times I feel like we just found out. I cant honestly tell you that Joe and I are pretty anxious for Baby H to be here with us!! Everyday we talk multiple times to check in with each other, and my sweet husband is always checking in with me while at home to see what he can do to help me or how I am feeling.

I had a doctors appointment yesterday. Things are looking good. I have progressed more and now it is a waiting game to see when this baby starts the process.

I was hoping to post a picture of us on our way to the hospital but no such luck and I haven't changed that much in my shape so here is a picture of baby this week:
Baby, fetus at 39 weeks - BabyCenter
What is Going On With Baby H this Week:
Not much to report this week with baby still progress is being made in other areas such as brain development which is growing and developing up a storm. Your baby's pink skin has turned white or whitish.

Our midwife is estimating that our baby is going to be in the 8 pound range and about 21 inches right. It will be interesting to see how close she comes to being correct.

Our bags are packed!
Our camera's are charged!
The House is in order!
The baby's room is ready!

Now we just need you baby H!!!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Love Affair Continues

Well GUESS WHAT. . . . . . .

I'm Still Pregnant, I know I haven't reached my due date but Me and the Mr are ready to meet this sweet baby!!!!

With this being said I will have a baby update for you tomorrow since I am officially 39 weeks now and less than a week away.

Now onto my love affair with Pinterest!!! Have you heard of it? I covered it a bit ago but wanted to feature some of the things that I have found and you will see why Pinterest ROCKS!

Possible Costume Ideas for Baby H:
Pinned Image
Pinned Image

Yummy Recipes:
Pinned Image
Pinned Image
Pinned Image

Entertaining Ideas:
Pinned Image
Pinned Image
Pinned Image

Fashion Walk:
Pinned Image
Pinned Image

So as you can tell there is a HUGE world on Pinterest with so many different ideas to try, and store for a later date!! Hope you enjoyed checking out a few of mine!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Little Motivation

Good Morning Blogland,

Most of the weekend was spent walking or on all fours trying to keep the progression of Baby H happening. Yesterday I recieved a wonderful article from my husband that was in the Chicago Tribune:

Woman gives birth after running Chicago Marathon

CHICAGO — A pregnant suburban Chicago woman felt contractions a few minutes after finishing the Chicago Marathon and gave birth hours later to a baby daughter.

Amber Miller was nearly 39 weeks pregnant when she started the 26.2 mile race on Sunday morning. The DuPage County woman tells The Daily Herald in a telephone interview from her hospital bed that her doctor allowed her to run half the race and walk half the race.

Miller says she felt contractions after finishing at 6 hours and 25 minutes. When the contractions became regular she stopped to get a sandwich and then went to the hospital. Her baby girl June was born at 10:29 p.m. weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces.
Miller says she’s happy but calls Sunday “the longest day of my life.”

Needless to say I am not going to be walking 26.2 miles everyday. My three miles suites me just fine!!!!

Thansk for the motivation though Joey!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Words of Wisdom

A little something different to start your week of with. . . . . .

AMEN to that!              Yes.    

This too shall pass.           quotes

Amen to this- all day every day.     Audrey Hepburn quote.


Have a great day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

38 Weeks

Good Morning and Happy Friday!!!!

You read the title right I am 38 weeks along and cant believe it!!! Let me clarify that for you I am very HAPPY, EXCITED, and THRILLED to be this far along and wake up every day wondering if today will be the day.

First I must say that this picture is gross, it was taken right before I went to bed so no makeu. wth my hair on top of my head. But I had to document this as we near the end. Dont you love Wrigley hanging out in the picture too!!!!

What's Going on With Mom This Week: I am feeling good for the most part. The hardest part about ever day is night for me. I just cant seem to get in a good rhythm of sleeping but I think that is pretty normal for this stage of pregnancy. I also can tell that I have dropped! Which is a good thing.  I had an appointment with my midwife this week and she did have some news for me, I am dilated to 2 centimeters and 70% effaced. So what does this mean? Well it means I could go today or I could go on the 19th. I am really glad though that I am starting to show the beginning stages of labor. I am planning on walking alot this weekend to help things along and keep them moving in the right direction.  Joey and I are really excited and anxious for the baby's arrival. This weekend we are planning on doing some fun things together to cherish our last days of a family of 2 that will soon be 3!!!!

What's Going on With Baby H This Week: With only 2 weeks left in utero, all systems are ready to go. To finish getting ready for this his or her close up baby has a few last minute details to take care of, like shedding that skin protecting vernix and lanugo. And producing more surfactant which will prevent the air sacs in the lungs from sticking to each other when the baby begins to breath.

Baby, fetus at 38 weeks - BabyCenter

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Galore

For me Fall begins when I am out and about and I see PUMPKINS!!!! I am a true lover of Fall and everything that it encompasses. Even though it is the sign that the warm weather is coming to an end and that winter is right around the corner, Fall still holds a special place in my heart. Recently everywhere I look on the internet there is pumpkin buzz going on with tons of ideas from decorating, carving, cooking and crafting with pumpkins.

Pumpkin Triffle

■1 package (14-1/2 ounces) gingerbread cake mix

■1-1/4 cups water

■1 egg

■4 cups cold fat-free milk

■4 packages (1 ounce each) sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix

■1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

■1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

■1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice

■1 carton (12 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

■In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water and egg, beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 8-in. square baking pan.

■Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. When completely cooled, crumble the cake. Set aside 1/4 cup crumbs for garnish.

■In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well blended.

In a trifle bowl or 3-1/2-qt. glass serving bowl, layer a fourth of the cake crumbs, half of the pumpkin mixture, a fourth of the cake crumbs and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with reserved cake crumbs. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Yield: 18 servings.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar

1 Cup Vegetable Oil

4 Eggs

1 15oz. Can of Pumpkin puree

2/3 Cup Water

3 1/2 Cups Flour

2 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Nutmeg

1 tsp. Allspice

1 tsp. Cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare 2 – 9×5 baking pans with non stick cooking spray. Cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs, pumpkin and water. Sift all dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Bake for 1 hour.

Glittered Pumpkins
Tools and Materials

■Small pumpkins

■Medium-sized paintbrush

■Similar glitter in Garnet, Tourmaline, and Bronze, $4.99, by Martha Stewart Crafts

■White glue, by Martha Stewart Crafts

■Paper plate or newspaper

■Brown acrylic paint

Glittered Pumpkins How-To

1. With paintbrush, spread layer of white glue over the surface of a small pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a paper plate or newspaper to catch excess glitter.

2. Sprinkle powder glitter over glue, covering completely. Let dry for an hour, then shake off excess powder.

3. Coat stem with brown acrylic paint, let dry. Once dry, the stem can also be covered in brown glitter if desired. The pumpkins will keep for months.

Pumpkin Tablescape

My cousins and I made these as a table centerpiece. We cut 12 circles each: 4 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches. We folded them, orange sides together, and then adhered the opposite sides together until we had a 3D sphere. We cut a bit off the bottom, so they’d stand straight. We added a green canvas flower, some rolled strips of green paper, and we made the stems by spraying a 2 inch strip of kraft soup staples with water, and then scrunching and twisting into a stem shape. Fun to make! They’re great for Halloween, but we’ll be keeping them up until Thanksgiving. Generic pumpkins always work through November.

Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate


3 cups whole milk

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 ounces white chocolate (roughly chopped)

pinch salt


1. Heat the milk, pumpkin puree, and spices in a sauce pan until it just starts to simmer and remove form heat.

2. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted.

3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon.

And finally. . . . . . . .

Isnt that pretty???? I loved it so enchanting!
Have a great day and tomorrow a Baby H update!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Old Wives Tales: Fact or Fiction

Lately the anticipation of not knowing if we are having a boy or girl has really set in at the Haluska household!! We wouldn’t change it and give up the once in a lifetime surprise but the guessing and wondering is in full effect. Throughout my pregnancy people have speculated as to what I was having and have told me some interesting old wives tales that are supposed to predict what gender baby you are having. Some are pretty laughable while others entertain. Here are just a few:

Old Wives’ Tale #1: The Telltale Carry

One of the most common gender-predictors is the way you carry your baby. Legend has it that if you’re carrying low, you’re carrying a boy; a higher bump means a little girl. Some claim that if you carry in front, you’re expecting a boy; expand horizontally and wait for a girl. Science begs to differ. The way you carry your unborn has nothing to do with gender. Muscle, uterine tone and the baby’s position dictate how you carry. (The past two times I have gone for a pedicure they have predicted once a boy due to the way I was carrying and the other a girl)

Old Wives’ Tale #2: Urine Testing

This is one old wives’ tale that’s actually dangerous to consider. For years, expectant mothers have mixed their urine with Drano, predicting gender based on the color of the resulting liquid. There’s no consistent consensus as to which color indicated which gender, so staring into a greenish, bluish, or brownish bowl of liquid still gives you complete interpretation freedom. Most disturbing, however, is that the combination of urine and Drano poses a threat of fumes and explosion. This is one tale not worth pursuing. ( I couldnt bring myself to try this one!)

Old Wives’ Tale #3: Heart Rate Decoder

Does heart rate point to gender? This old wives’ tale claims that the fetal heart rate of a girl will exceed 140, while that of a boy will be slower. In reality, the fetal heart rate fluctuates with growth and movement. Just as your heart rate increases when you exercise, your unborn child’s heart rate speeds up when doing gymnastics in the womb. It is a scientific fact, however, that a girl’s heart rate increases more than a boy’s during labor.( The baby’s heart rate started around the 155 and has been around 140 the last 2 months so this test leans towards a boy for baby H)

Old Wives’ Tale #4: Crave It

A correlation between what you want to eat and who’s little mouth you’ll be feeding in the near future. The scientific community doesn’t even recognize your cravings as real; ignore those scientists Craving sweets? Decorate that nursery in pink. Demanding sour pickles? Spend more time brainstorming boy names. While cravings might be a great opportunity to indulge in chocolate guilt-free, don’t draw and indulge anyway, but don’t put stock in. (This one is to hard to tell since I have been craving both equally)

Now onto some other predictors:

The Ring Test

This is an easy baby gender prediction method to try. Take a pin, needle, or wedding ring and attach it to a thread or strand of hair. Hold the dangling item over mom to be’s belly while she is lying down. If the needle or wedding ring swings in a strong circular motion, you will be having a girl. If it moves in a to and fro motion like a pendulum, you will be having a boy. (This test predicted a girl for Baby H)

Next Up

The Chinise Birth Calendar

This test asked several questions such as how old were you when you conceived? What month did you conceive? What month are you due? (This test predicted a boy for Baby H)

So the conclusion that I have come to is that you really can’t tell until that moment arrives at the hospital because the old wives test and many test are just to back and forth to really tell.

Monday, October 3, 2011

37 Weeks and Counting!

Good Morning Blogland,

Hope you all had a great weekend!!!

We were busy "nesting" and got tons done around the house! Thanks to Grammie, Poppy and CoCo for making the trip and helping us with the many projects on the list!

This week I have a surprise for you and that is two baby bump pictures and updates! I was going to post about 37 weeks last Friday but didn't get to it so here it is for today! Enjoy!

37 Weeks
What's new with Momma:
Well I am feeling good for the most part. They think my swelling in my feet and legs is due to not drinking enough water, so I tried this weekend to really drink it up, they recommended at least a gallon each day! YIKES! Sleeping is another interesting element. It seems like sitting in an upward position is the best for me. Usually I don't nod off for more than 3 hours at a time without waking up with Braxton Hicks or having to go to the bathroom! That is alright though because baby will be here soon and it is all worth it!

What's new with baby:
If the baby were born today, he or she would be considered FULL TERM. Mind you that doesn't mean he or she is finished growing or getting ready for life on the outside. Still gaining weight at about half a pound a week the average fetus. Fat continues to accumulate on the baby forming kissable dimples in those cute elbows, knees, and shoulders and adorable creases and folds in the neck and wrists. To keep busy until the big debut, the baby is practicing to make perfect: inhaling, and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on his or her thumb and a swooshing from left to right in the womb.