Duke - One Month Old!

Our sweet boy is one month old today yesterday! And yes, I can believe it's already been a month.  I've been very intentional about soaking up all of my time with Duke and I feel like I've been more present this month than any other time in my life. I know time speeds up when babies are added to the mix and I know I'll look back one day in awe of how tiny he was but for now we are soaking up all of the tiny-ness, the new-ness and the firsts.

Each week has been better than the one before and the moments of holy crap how are we going to raise a human!? happen far less than I thought they would.  Duke is becoming so much more aware now and seeing his sweet face recognize mine and feeling his little body relax into mine after a meltdown knowing he's with his mama is the best feeling.  

What are you doing to me mom!?
Having my very own baby is like everything I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be all at once.  I've felt a whole new level of love and I am fiercely protective of my boy.  I don't know when I'll be ready to venture out sans-baby but I know I'm not ready yet.  I love our little family all together and Dennis and I get more and more confident each day about this whole parenting gig.  On the other hand, I truly underestimated how overwhelming this whole process would be.  I tear up at the thought that I am actually a mom... that this little boy is ours for forever! It's amazing and it's absolutely terrifying.  I will be worrying about him for the rest of my life and that's exactly how it should be, it's just a. lot. to absorb sometimes. 

Checking out his heartbeat monkey
At Duke's one month appointment yesterday, our boy weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs 4 oz and 22.5 inches long!  He's gained 2 lbs 3 oz since birth and grown about .75 inches.  He is such a good eater and I am so so happy that breastfeeding continues to go well.

This week we get to celebrate Duke's first Thanksgiving and I am beyond excited to get this holiday season started with our boy!  He may not have a clue what's going on but he makes everything more special.

#momoftheyear for waiting until my boy was oh so tired to take his one month pictures

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Soak up all your precious moments with your friends and family.


Duke Anthony Felecos- The Birth Story Part 2

So we left off with an epidural...ah sweet relief!  It was 3:30 a.m. and I was finally able to take a deep breath, smile at my husband, and FREAK OUT about the fact that we were about to have a baby!  My sister and mother in law had been waiting out in the lobby during the epidural so once I was sufficiently numbed, we let them come in the room to share in our excitement.  We chatted for awhile and decided it would be a good idea to try and get some rest before the big event.  Dennis hadn't gone to bed yet that night so he especially needed some sort of shut eye to avoid passing out on the job.  I wasn't able to actually sleep but I tried to completely relax and close my eyes until the nurse came back in to check on me at 5 a.m. 

By 5 a.m. I was at 7 centimeters!  4 centimeters of progress in 2 hours...I was a happy camper!  We updated my parents and unfortunately realized that my mom would likely not make it in time due to the 9 hour drive she was on.  None of us thought it would go so quickly but we were obviously super excited everything was going so well.  We continued to rest a bit until I had to wake Dennis up because I was slowly but surely realizing these were our last hours as just us.  I needed and wanted to soak up that time with him even though he was ridiculously exhausted and not riding the adrenaline high that I was on.   I was about to push our child out of my body, so he was a trooper. ;)

Give me all the orange popsicles!

At 7 a.m. the nurses came in to let us know about the shift change- a new nurse and new midwife would be assisting us for the rest of our labor/delivery journey.  I was really sad to see our nurse go but her replacement was great as well and I was thrilled that my favorite midwife was the one taking over!  The nurse checked me again and said that I was COMPLETE!  10 centimeters!  Because Duke and I were doing so well, we decided to let my body do it's thing for awhile longer and not start pushing yet.  I didn't know this was an option- I thought 10 meant GO TIME so I was a little surprised.  This was also the time we were able to get in touch with my brother in law and sister in South Dakota.  We didn't want to wake them up in the middle of the night but I was so excited to get some words of advice from someone who had gone through this a couple of times.

The nurse also thought that Duke was face-up which was really surprising because it felt like he had been trying to break out of my stomach back-first for weeks.  So we put a giant blow up 'peanut' ball that looked just like Mr. Peanut between my legs and had me lie on one side and then the other.  Around this time I asked my sister if she would stay in the room with us since we knew my mom wasn't going to make it.  I wanted someone else there to support us and to take pictures of our boy entering the world and I certainly didn't want Dennis to be seeing his birth through the screen on a camera.  She was very excited and told me the last time she had been at a hospital for a birth was for mine so I was so happy she was going to be able to be right by my side as I welcomed my son into the world. 

Around 9 a.m. I felt like the pressure was getting pretty strong with each contraction and I was really getting anxious to start pushing.  The nurse said I could start whenever I felt comfortable and so I started pushing.  It was very anti-climactic to be honest.  I knew the whole process could take awhile, but I didn't realize I'd be pushing for an hour before we even considered calling in my midwife.  Why am I pushing so hard if he's clearly not coming out!? 

I knew my sister had to leave to get home and pack so she could catch her afternoon flight to South Dakota, so I knew this baby needed to come out before 11 a.m.  A little after 10 my midwife came in and they assured me we were close and I was doing great.  I was starting to lose my patience a bit and more than once pleaded that they JUST GET HIM OUT PLEASE! Pushing was hard and I seriously don't know how people do it after a long, painful labor.  I knew how lucky I was to have had such a quick labor but I was still exhausted and frustrated.  Everyone continued to encourage me, I felt Duke's head full of hair so ridiculously close to coming out, and at 10:31 a.m. my sweet boy made his way into this world!  He was completely blue and the midwife was unwrapping the cord around his neck so I was initially terrified and asking if he was okay until I finally heard his beautiful cry.  To be honest, he sounded like a screeching pterodactyl but it was the most perfect sound I'd ever heard.

Duke Anthony Felecos- Born 10.24.2015 10:31 a.m.- 8lbs 1oz, 21.75in  
My sweet baby Duke was immediately placed on me for skin to skin time and the nurse eventually rubbed him long enough for the blue to turn into a perfect shade of pink.  We talked to him, we saw his sweet eyes open and saw the recognition in his eyes of our voices.  We kissed his sweet face and admired his little body.  He was briefly taken by the nurses to get a diaper on and be weighed and then brought right back to try breastfeeding.  He latched on immediately and did such a good job and I was thrilled because it was so important to me that breastfeeding be enjoyable for both of us.  My hospital {and maybe yours} calls the first hour after birth The Golden Hour.  They gave us the option to be alone bonding with our sweet boy for 1-2 hours before letting anyone else into the room and before moving us to recovery.  It was the best hour.  We were officially a family of three + Capone.

Auntie Jen was able to come back for a quick snuggle before the airport!
Welcome to the world Duke!  You have no idea how much you mean to us, how much we prayed for you and how stupid excited we are to have you in our family.  We love you more than anything in the universe and we hope you forgive us as we stumble along this journey as your parents, but know that we are giving you everything we've got and trying our best every single day.    


Duke Anthony Felecos-- The Birth Story Part 1

Our sweet baby boy has been with us for 24 days! 24 amazing, life-changing, slightly weird days.  I say weird because I can't believe I'm a MOM.  It seems so surreal.  Something I have dreamed about becoming for more years than I care to admit and now it's here and I'm a mom and there's this sweet little boy looking up at me each and every day, instilling his faith in the fact that I'll take care of his every need.  And I will.  WE will.  I certainly can't leave out the hubs in this scenario.  Everyone says it but seriously I've fallen in love with him 10x over since seeing him embrace the daddy role.  I absolutely love it.

In honor of my sweet boy being 24 days old, I thought I'd go back in time to 10.24.2015 and share the story of how he entered the world before I forget all the details.  Duke was due on 10.23.2015 and throughout my entire pregnancy, I had mentally prepared myself to go late.  My sister was late and had to be induced with her two girls and we were all late for my mom.  I had a countdown to our due date regardless because the day itself is still significant, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super worried that I would have to wait a million days after that day before Duke would make his arrival.  Thank God he proved me wrong.

I worked the full day on Friday 10/23 and then went to the mall for dinner and LOTS of walking with the hubs.  The whole week I'd been eating my weight in pineapple and eggplant parmesan because I'd read some old wives tales that these things may or may not help induce labor.  I even tried to get spicy Chinese food, despite the fact that I'm a big pansy, but it turned out not being spicy at all.  So we walked and walked until I thought my lower back was going to completely give out and we headed to Brookstone to sit in the massage chairs.  One of the women who was working came over to warn me that they have to advise "these chairs can induce labor!" and I said "Is there a special setting for that!? I'm due today."  After being sufficiently massaged from head to toe, we headed home.

There wasn't much on TV so we opted for episodes of Friends that never get old.  Rachel happened to be super pregnant in these episodes and the last one we watched before I fell asleep on the couch was her water breaking and her leaving for the hospital.  I went into bed around midnight and woke up at 1:30 a.m. with cramps and assumed I just had to pee really bad {par for the course at this stage of pregnancy}.  When I stood up I felt very wet and simultaneously thought "Holy crap I think my water broke..." quickly followed by "Oh no, I'm going into labor and I'm sooo tired."  #momoftheyear

I slowly made my way to the bathroom and yelled for Dennis who was super calm about everything until I quickly had a contraction and it HURT.  I got up to get my phone to call the hospital and no more than 4 minutes had passed before I had another contraction.  Dennis was packing up the last minute things for our hospital bag and getting in the shower and I told him he needed to hurry up because contractions were coming in quick!  My midwife advised us to come on in because it sounded like we were in fact in labor.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I had also been telling Dennis that we would have plenty of time before we would need to go to the hospital.  I wanted to labor at home as long as possible and not get sent home for going in to the hospital too early.  He had been telling me that he was going to get me to the hospital as quickly as he possibly could and likely break all the laws of driving.  Neither one of these things ended up being true.  We had a total of 36 minutes from water breaking to getting into the car and because it was 2 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning, Dennis was driving like an 85 year old man and barely hitting the speed limit.  As I was rushing my parents off the phone due to contractions coming in hot, I was begging him to drive faster because for the love of God we're having a baby and it hurts!

We slowly made our way up to Labor and Delivery, stopping every so often to breath through a contraction.  I loved the nurse we had initially- she was so positive and encouraging.  My contractions were coming in 2-3 minutes apart at this point so when she asked if I wanted an epidural I said ABSOLUTELY and she ordered it right away.  At 3 a.m. I was 3 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced and our nurse assured us that it looked like things were moving really quickly.  At this point I didn't want anyone touching me during contractions which made the whole process a lot harder on the hubs.  He just sat in front of me and stared, totally helpless as I breathed through each one and squeezed the crap out of my leg.  My legs started to feel really tingly and they told me it was because I was hyperventilating...hahaha here I thought I was breathing like a champ!  At 3:30 a.m. I was getting my epidural and letmetellyou it was worth the ridiculous pain of having to stay completely still while breathing through contractions as they stuck a giant needle in my back.  It took a little while to start feeling it but once I did, the relief was absolute perfection.

And because this is getting long-winded {even for me} I'm going to end Part 1 here...stay tuned for Part 2!  As a thank you for making it this far, here's a picture of the sweet babe this is all about:

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