26 weeks pregnant- let's spend a day in labor & delivery

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Monday was not a fun day for me.

It started with a horrible night of sleep Sunday night. I decided to eat some delicious jalapeno chips while watching Game of Thrones with the husband, which led to me having some pretty gnarly acid reflux at bedtime. I should know by now that I can't eat spicy food right before going to bed, but I really love jalapeno chips, so you can see my problem there. I was tossing and turning all night (nothing new there) and I remember waking up quite a few times feeling like I had a stomach ache or cramps. I managed to ignore it the best I could, but at 6am I woke up and was hurting pretty bad. By the time I needed to get the kids up I was writhing around and groaning on the bed so much that Shayne told me to just stay in bed and he would get the kids ready and off to school. I felt like I had cramps, my back was aching, I had chills (but no fever), and I was having a sharp pain on my lower right side. I was really hoping that with a little rest and um, a trip to the bathroom later, I might be feeling better.


I waited until around 10am to finally decided to call my doctor because I felt like something was really wrong. I was in even more pain than I was when I woke up and I felt like crying. The nurse I spoke to on the phone said I should probably come in to the office to see what was up, but I had to wait until 11:30 to be seen. So I writhed around and groaned some more until it was time to go.

When I got to the office, my doctor checked my urine and my cervix. They found a drop of blood in my sample and my cervix looked good. I wasn't dilated at all. I was having a lot of contractions, but that could have just been the result of being so stressed, uncomfortable, and in so much pain. She was really concerned about the cramping I was feeling though, as well as the side ache and was worried that it might be my kidneys or my appendix. She decided to send me across the street to the hospital to be admitted into labor and delivery so they could monitor my contractions, do some blood work, get an ultrasound to check on baby, my appendix, and kidneys, and to check on my placenta again since I'd been previously diagnosed with partial placenta previa. Basically, it could be a lot of different things and they wanted to check on them all, which meant I was in for a long day of sitting around in a hospital room.

So this is what my day looked like:
They started off giving me an IV to get some fluids in me. Usually I'm fine with IVs, but this one was probably the worst I've had. By the time my nurse finally got the darn thing in my vein I had blood dripping down my arm and I felt like I was going to pass out (probably partly due to the fact that I hadn't eaten since the jalapeno chips the night before). But after I was good and hydrated they pumped me up with a little morphine, so I didn't care about much anymore as long as I was finally out of pain.

Next, they strapped these lovely belts around my tummy with fetal monitors on them to watch the baby's heart rate and to monitor my contractions. At first I was having a ton of random contractions, but as my pain and anxiety level went down, the contractions subsided a little bit. My nurse had to come in about every 10 minutes though to readjust the monitors because my baby girl is a wiggly little thing and she kept moving around a ton, away from the monitor.

Then we played the waiting game. Right as I was admitted, four other girls came in too, so labor and delivery got pretty busy all of a sudden. We were basically just waiting for a technician to come in with a portable ultrasound machine, but we got pushed back in line a bit because there were other mommies who needed it more urgently than I did. I was exhausted and pretty sleepy from the morphine they gave me but I can never sleep in hospitals, so it was around that point that I discovered that the hospital had free wifi (yay!) I had some blogging and networking stuff to catch up on (as always) so I did a little bit of that while my husband managed to catch a little nap and I took pictures of him and Instagrammed them.

We waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally, around 3pm a technician came in to do my ultrasound. By that point though the kids were almost out of school, so Shayne left to go pick them up and take them home. I told him to just stay at home and I'd let him know when I knew anything, since I knew it was going to be quite a bit longer. No sense in making anyone else hang around the hospital when I'm clearly not dying. So I had the longest ultrasound I've ever had in my life. The tech checked out baby...very thoroughly. Then she spent extra time looking at both my kidneys, my appendix, and my placenta. It took a little over an hour. When she was done I sat in my room by myself and caught up with Judge Judy for a bit. Gosh, I love Judge Judy. She's my girl. I'm so thankful I had my own room with a TV and wifi, otherwise I'd have been going crazy by then.

I ended up waiting around until about 7pm to get the results of my ultrasound read by a doctor and for my blood work to come back. At last, I had a diagnosis! My doctor saw a kidney stone on my ultrasound on the right side, which would explain the horrible back ache and right side pain I was having. The good news though, was that my placenta had moved up a little bit, so I no longer had to worry about the partial previa and I could be taken off of pelvic rest (which meant no exercise or sex for the last 7 weeks). Also, they were able to confirm once again that the baby is a very active and healthy baby girl, which was great to hear since I've been having dreams that I actually deliver a boy. So that was all good news. My nurse explained that it was up to me on what I wanted to do about passing the kidney stones- either stay at the hospital where I have an IV of morphine an try to pass it, or go home and try to manage it myself. By that point I really wanted to get out of the hospital, so I told her I wanted to go home rather than spend the night there not sleeping. 

So at about 8pm I was finally discharged and sent home with some pain pills to get me through the next few days. They explained that there was no real time table for passing the kidney stone and that it could happen in the next day or so or it could be longer. Basically, I'm in for some fun days ahead until this sucker comes out. But at least there are no problems with my baby. I'd gladly take a kidney stone over anything happening to her.

So for now I'm drinking as much water as possible, hoping to flush this awesome little stone out of my body as quickly as I can. I just want to get back to feeling better so I can finish preparing for my baby girl to get here, which is coming up pretty quickly now! See? The countdown has now reached double digits.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you probably already saw most of these updates. Thanks to everyone for their sweet words and concern- it means a lot! You guys are awesome.

Don't forget to enter this giveaway & check out this link up that is happening on Friday!

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The Instagram Blog Hop

Monday, April 28, 2014

1. Follow your hosts:

Katelyn - Instagram: @learningcreatingliving

Alyssa - Instagram: @alyssaleane

Blog Bloglovin - Facebook - Pinterest

Marisa - Instagram: @burlapandbananas

Blog - Pinterest - Twitter - Google+

2. Follow your co-hosts:

Gisella - Instagram: @serendipitydelightnyc

Melissa - Instagram: @MelissaSwenson1

Laura - Instagram: @thelovelywren

Blog - Pinterest - Facebook - Bloglovin - Twitter

3. Link up your Instagram web profile
Fill out the URL, Name & Email to link up your Instagram profile as shown below:
If this happens to pop up: "Error: The requested URL returned error: 500", that's totally fine! It simply means that it's unable to find a picture to use not that you have a link that is bad. Click on "Direct Image URL" if you have one or "Upload from Computer" and pick an image of yours to upload. If you still have trouble, you might be better off with using Followgram or Webstagram to upload your profile/picture.

4. Check out other Instagram profiles & make new friends!
After all, that's what this party is all about!

5. Share the Instagram Blog Hop & spread the party around so we can keep making new insta-friends!

If you're interested in guest co-hosting one week, email

Link up

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Upcoming link up- a photo an hour!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I just wanted to tell you about a fun little link up in the works.
It will be hosted by myself and my friends Amber and Sarah.

It's pretty easy. Just pick a day this week to take your photos every hour. Then write up a quick blog post including your pictures and link it up with us on Friday, May 2nd so we can see what a day in your life looks like. That's it!

I hope you'll join me on this fun link up.
Can't wait to see every one's pictures! And remember to invite your friends.
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BLACK+DECKER Pivot Vac: the best handheld vacuum {review + giveaway!}

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

*This post is sponsored by BLACK+DECKER but my love for the Pivot Vac is all my own :)

Last week, I got a sweet little package on my doorstep.
It was like Christmas all over again.
It was my new Pivot Vac from BLACK+DECKER!

Now, if you've read my blog at all you know that I'm a clean freak, and I'm a sucker for cleaning products and gadgets. I even posted just a few weeks ago on Facebook asking my readers about vacuums (because I'm in desperate need of a new one). So when BLACK+DECKER reached out to me I knew it must be fate.

I could not wait to open this bad boy up. I took it out of the box, admired it for a few minutes, and then set it on it's charging base so it could get all revved up and ready to clean.

While it charged, I read up a little on the features of the Pivot Vac.
Here's what I learned:

• Innovative, patented nozzle pivots to clean up high, down low and even in tight spaces. The nozzle also features an on-board brush and extendable crevice tool.

• Its high performance motor provides superior suction capability when compared to other BLACK+DECKER cordless hand vacs

• The cyclonic action spins dust and debris away from the filter keeping suction power strong.

• 3-stage filtration system with a pleated filter design offers the highest level of filtration to help prevent clogs and improve air exhaust.

•Wide mouth design scoops up large debris.

Sounds awesome, right?
You can read more about the features of the Pivot Vac here.

It didn't take long to charge, so I set to work cleaning everything I could find.

First, I had to try that amazing little brush on the end of it and see how it worked for pet hair. We have a very fat, hairy kitty cat that sheds a ton. She has a favorite spot on the arm of the couch where she likes to lay in the sun all day. The cat hair is literally the bane of my existence, so I was very pleased to see how quickly and easily the Pivot Vac loosened and sucked up all of the cat hair. I ended up doing the entire couch and I was shocked (and a little disgusted) to see just how much cat hair came off the couch. Check out this before and after:
{click to enlarge}

This little brush is amazing!

The next place I wanted to try it on  were the stairs. Oh, how I loathe vacuuming the stairs with my big, bulky vacuum, especially now that I'm pregnant! It's almost like a hazard, because I have to lug the huge vacuum out, balance it on the stairs, hold onto it so it doesn't fall down the stairs (and take me with it!) and get the hose out. It ends up being a workout, which is why my stairs are never very clean. What's worse is that at the bottom of my stairs is the laundry room where the litter box is, and the cat tracks little bits of litter up and down the stairs. It really grosses me out. But the Pivot Vac was really easy to use and I had the stairs clean in no time. The little concentrator worked great to get in the corners where dirt, debris, and kitty litter like to hide!
{click to enlarge}

Next up, I needed to try out that pivot action. I'd been procrastinating getting rid of this little cobweb I noticed above the bathroom door for a while now. Mostly because cobwebs creep me out, and I didn't know how to get it down without touching it. The Pivot Vac made quick and easy work of that too, and then I went around the entire house getting all of the doorways and the tops of the trim, where a ton of dust likes to collect.

By this point, the dirt bowl was looking pretty full (though I still had great suction) so I decided to empty it. Cleaning out the bowl and the filter was super easy. The dust bin popped right off and I emptied it into the trash can. I was pretty amazed at how much dirt, hair, and debris it collected! Even with all of that dirt in it, it never lost suction or got clogged. My old vacuum's hose was constantly getting clogged.

One of my personal favorites about the Pivot Vac is how lightweight and easy it is to use. There are no cords, no attachments to lose, and it's not hard to move from mess to mess. It's so easy to use that even my kids have gotten in on the cleaning action. They are at the age now where they have daily and weekly chores to do, and we've incorporated the Pivot Vac into our cleaning routine. They aren't so good at sweeping up messes or vacuuming their rooms, but now they can do it all on their own with the Pivot Vac, and they think it's so fun. They were literally fighting over who would do what chore- a mom's dream!

The amount of places I can use the Pivot Vac around the house is really endless. Besides the furniture, stairs, and doorways, I've also used it in the car, the bathroom floor (especially around the toilet), around the litter box and cat food bowls, under the kitchen table, kitchen rugs, in my sewing room (great for little scraps of fabric, thread, & paper), and it makes quick work of unexpected messes that the kids tend to make (spilled cereal, cracker crumbs, cookies, dried mud and dirt tracked in from outside). I'm not joking when I say I've been using my Pivot Vac just about every day since I've gotten it!

Now, here's the really fun part. Because I genuinely love the Pivot Vac so much, the people at BLACK+DECKER were generous enough to send me two of them- one for myself, and one to giveaway to one of my lucky readers! Isn't that awesome?! You can enter on the Rafflecopter widget below, and the winner will receive their very own Pivot Vac from BLACK+DECKER, valued at $79.99.
Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only.
Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Void where prohibited by law.
Only the first entry is mandatory.

So what do you think? Could you use a Pivot Vac in your life?
What would you use it to clean with?

Make sure to enter the giveaway! Good luck.

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Easter weekend & another quilt

Monday, April 21, 2014

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend with their families!

We started our Sunday morning with the kids finding their baskets and checking out their goodies. Then we headed off to church and went out to breakfast afterwards, where I stuffed myself with an omelet, hash browns, and pancakes. What is it about restaurant pancakes that makes them so good? I can't resist them. Anyway, after breakfast we came home, the kids dug into their baskets and set right to gorging themselves on candy again played with some bubbles outside.

Later in the afternoon, the kids and I headed to my brother and sister-in-law's house for an Easter party. My husband had prior obligations back at church, so it was just me and the kids. However, the rest of my family was all there, including my parents and my other brother who is away at college. It was the first time we were all together since Christmas and it was a lot of fun. This Easter party & egg hunt is an annual thing for everyone else, but it was our first time being able to attend since we moved back. I love that we are all so close now and can spend the holidays together!

We couldn't have had more perfect weather for the party- it was about 60 degrees and sunny for the most part. There were snacks and beverages, some fun games, and an Easter egg hunt for the kids.
The kids each decorated their own paper cut out of an egg. Then they wore this silly bunny sack over their faces to blindfold them, got spun around, and had to pin the egg in the Easter basket. 

There were over 300 eggs out there for all of the kids to find.

The kids scored a ton of candy!

Ayden and Lily each won some prizes from the games. I think I was happiest about the plants they got to take home (which I thought was a great idea for prizes). Ayden guessed closest to the amount of jelly beans that were in a mason jar and Lily won for best decorated egg.

I knew my 1 year old niece was going to get more than enough candy for Easter, so instead I decided to make her another quilt. This is the 3rd one I've made her and it used the same fabric as the one I just made for the new baby's room. Now the cousins will have coordinating quilts with different patterns.

She's so adorable.

After the party we headed home and Shayne cooked up a prime rib for dinner. It was so good and I think I ate my weight in meat. We finished up the night by putting the kids to bed early (they'd been up since 6:30!) and we snuggled up on the couch with some fudgesicles and watched the new episode of Game of Thrones. Gosh, I love that show. I've read all of the books, yet each episode still leaves me on the edge of my seat and/or screaming at the TV.

All in all, it was a perfect Easter Sunday that left this 25 weeks pregnant lady exhausted!

 How did you spend your Easter?
I hope it was a great one!
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A little Gelish shopping haul, sale, & tips for ordering online

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hey gel nail lovers!
I wanted to share my latest gel polish shopping haul and pass on a great deal.

First off, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have seen my post about the awesome sale happening right now at Sally's Beauty Supply for Gelish MINI. Most of their polishes, including Gelish MINI, are buy two get one free. That's a heck of a steal for my favorite brand of gel polish! And the great thing is that the sale goes on during the entire month of April (oh, how I wish I would have found out sooner). I had a hard time just choosing three new colors, but I had to show a little bit of self control. Chances are I'll head back before the end of the month to get a few more, but I need to at least space out my shopping trips (for the husband's sake). I can go back in about 10 days and it won't seem like I have such a gel polish addiction, right?

Here's what I ended up choosing:
Carnaval Hangover (not sure why it's not "carnival")- a bright, pinky purple.
Radiance is My Middle Name- a fun teal color.
Black Shadow- your basic, glossy black.

I decided to try Carnaval Hangover first and I really like it.

As soon as I was done doing my nails my Ipsy Glam Bag showed up!
(More on Ipsy later).
They match perfectly.

I also recently purchased 2 full sized Gelish products off of Amazon. Here's the one thing you need to know about ordering your gels online: unless you are sure of the color, you may want to check it out in the store first. I have found a lot of gels are not 100% true to color, so sometimes you end up with a color looking different than what you expected. I like to see mine up close in person so that I can double check the colors straight from the bottle. I don't want any surprises showing up in the mail and I certainly don't want to be disappointed when I go to do my nails and the color looks totally different than the one I saw online. Also, check and double check the description for the size and color, and that you buy from a reputable seller with good reviews.

I got a full sized version of Make You Blink Pink, my favorite hot pink gel color (seen here). I also got a full sized bottle of Top It Off (the top coat) because I seem to go through top coat quickly. I love the bigger brushes that these full sized bottles have on them, especially for the top coat. I found it goes on really smoothly and gives it a great finish. I paid $8 for the hot pink and $10.92 for the top coat. That's cheaper than what I pay for the Gelish MINIs at Sally's and it's almost double the size. Good thing, because I use these ones a lot.

Also, in case you're not totally sold on gel nails, check this out:

This is my last gel manicure on day 1 and day 14. They were still pretty shiny and chip free (except I chipped the thumb that morning while cleaning house). This is why I love gels so much. 14 days of having great looking nails that I don't have to fuss over or mess with!

Don't forget to read out my DIY Gel Nails tutorial!
If you've read it & done some gels, tag me & hashtag it #LuluandSweetPea on Instagram or Twitter, or post it to my Facebook page! I'd love to see your gel manicures as well and I love hearing how the tutorials helped you.

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Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by Gelish or Sally's Beauty Supply. I get nothing from recommending them or linking to their websites. I just like the products!
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