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Boo Basket

                                          How to Create a Boo Basket for Halloween Do you do Boo Baskets for your littles? I saw this idea last year and thought I needed to give it a try! * This post contains affiliate links to some of the products that I use and love. This means that if you shop directly through the links, your purchase supports my blog at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!   Anytime in October is a great time to give a Boo Basket. I plan to surprise my little ones with their Boo Baskets on October 1. I love the excitement that these baskets bring. It's a perfect way to spread Halloween cheer. Celebrating the holidays with my little ones is one of my favorite things. I will be sharing more of the Boo Baskets on my Instagram ( @marrisalutz ) you can follow along on the fun in my stories. I'll be sure to save a Boo Basket highlight.  Boo Baskets are what you make them. They do NOT need to be over the top, unless that is what you want. We live

Birth Story

Maci's Birth Story

Birth story's are very intimate and personal. I love how powerful women are and I enjoy reading other's experiences. When I was in my third trimester I searched the internet to read other's birth stories and watch birth videos. This helped me prepare mentally, or at least calm my nerves, for the birth of my daughter.

I immensely wanted to have a natural/unmedicated birth. Not that there is anything wrong with having a medicated birth, I just wanted to try without medicine, specifically an epidural. I read books about hypnobirthing, listened to podcasts, watched videos, made affirmation cards, and I made a specific birth plan. The birth I had in my head included me going to the hospital, soaking in the tub with my husband when the pain became too much, and then birthing my daughter in a position other than laying down on a hospital bed. Let's just say my plan didn't go exactly as planned.

At 38 weeks I was so done being pregnant and I was ready to meet my sweet baby. I was huge! At 38 weeks I had gained almost 60 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly, 60 pounds. I was so swollen it wasn't even funny, I had been going to physical therapy for sciatic nerve pain, and I had a horrible numbness in my hands. I was measuring two weeks ahead and the doctors thought my baby would be over 9 pounds if I went to term. So at my 38 week appointment I had my membranes stripped. Yes, it's about as fun as it sounds. Then I walked like it was no ones business. If I did not go into labor by myself I was set to be induced a week later on the morning of June 27th. By then I would be 39 weeks.

Where we live in Wyoming the main hospital is about 2 hours away. My parents at the time lived less than 30 minutes from the hospital. I tested positive for Group B Strep, which would require antibiotics in my IV before baby was born. Because of this my doctors suggested that my husband and I stay with my parents until baby arrived so we would be closer to the hospital. We agreed, I did not want to have my baby on the 2 hour drive to the hospital. Now looking back I am so happy we were closer to the hospital!

After 5 days of waiting and walking I was convinced I would need to be induced. Baby had another plan in mind. On the night of the 25th I had powerful cramping that I decided was possibly Braxton Hicks contractions. At 9 pm I decide I was going to try and get some sleep. But, I could not for the life of me go to sleep. I was so uncomfortable! My mom and husband were in the living room and I told them how uncomfortable I was. My mom kept telling me I was going to be going to the hospital to have a baby. Something about the mom intuition. I told her I didn't think so. I decided to go take a warm shower to see if that would help relax me, but the pain just grew stronger. I called my doctor around 11 pm about in tears saying I thought I might be in labor. She asked me how far apart contractions were and I said about 4 minutes. She advised me to come in. My husband and I grabbed our go bags and headed to the car.

The 30 minute drive to the hospital was highly uncomfortable to say the least. I am so happy we only had to travel 30 minutes compared to the 2 hours we would have had if we stayed home. My husband was trying to make jokes and tell me stories, but all I could do was breathe through each contraction. By the time we arrived to the hospital it was almost midnight. Thank goodness I was already checked in, so I didn't have to fill out a pile of paperwork.

A nurse brought me to the triage room and hooked me up to some machines to check on me and the baby. I also had a cervical check done and an IV put in. During the pregnancy I had borderline high blood pressure. When the nurse checked she said I couldn't get out of the bed until my blood pressure was lower. Siting in a bed while having contractions is tortuous! When I felt a contraction coming I would have my husband press on my shins and I would push back as a counter pressure. This technique seemed to help a little bit. Once my blood pressure went down to a desirable number I was able to get up and walk around. I was still in a lot of pain, but it did feel better to walk around. My husband and I did laps around the labor and delivery wing of the hospital until they checked us into a room. Every time I felt a contraction coming I would hold onto a wall and sway my hips as my husband squeezed my hips. I tried to be in the moment and breathe through each contraction.   
We checked into a room at about 4 am. There was a yoga ball in the room and I sat and bounced on the ball. Around 6 am , after about 8 hours of labor and no sleep, I decided that I wanted to get an epidural. I cried, because I felt that I was throwing in the towel. But an epidural is what my body needed and that is okay. 
    
                    
(Here's my pup & I getting in all our walking. Both photos are a few days before I went into labor.)

The anesthesiologist came to my room after what felt like forever. I had to fill out some paper work, which I signed as quick as possible. Then he had me hunch over, curling my back like a cat. I held completely still, not wanting to move a muscle. After the procedure was complete I laid back in the bed as the anesthesiologist explained that I would most likely be numb from the waist down. I started to feel tingly and warm. I told him that my arms felt numb and I felt like I was going to pass out. The nurse and anesthesiologist looked at the monitor to check my stats. My heart rate was racing, coming in at around 120 beats per minute. They both look concerned. I heard them whispering something as I started to pass out. The nurse quickly put the oxygen mask on me and the anesthesiologist put something in my IV to counteract what was happening. I started to feel more awake. This was literally one of the scariest things that has happened to me. I thought I was going to die. After my epidural was working correctly I felt amazing, as in I felt no contractions. It was heaven! The only down side is I was unable to sleep at all, because I was terrified I would not wake up.

My doctor came in about an hour later to check on me and see if I was making any progress. My water was bulging, so she broke it to see if that would move things along. She thought I would have my baby by noon. I thought to myself, "I can do this, that's not too far away!" When my water broke it felt like I was peeing. It felt nice having all of that liquid out. In the liquid the nurse and my doctor noticed some yellow/green tinting. They told me that could mean my baby had a bowel movement and they would have the pediatrician on hand when I delivered to check on the baby. They would also need to send my placenta off for testing. This news worried me a little more, but they assured me it would be okay.

Noon came and went, no baby yet. We did a lot of waiting around. My mom and dad came to visit. My husband had some work deadlines, so he had his laptop and had to make a few calls. I assured him it was completely fine, that it didn't bother me. I felt bad he had had no sleep and was having to work. 

Around 3 pm I felt nauseous and was throwing up. I started to feel extreme pressure down below like I needed to poop. I called my nurse in and told her how I was feeling. I asked her if I was pooping haha. She reassured me that I was not pooping and that my baby was getting ready to come. My doctor came in and I got ready to deliver my baby laying down in a hospital bed, figures. The nurse held one of my legs and my husband held the other leg. After about 20 minutes of pushing and about 18 hours of labor, my healthy baby girl was born. Maci was not 9 pounds like the doctors originally thought, but 6 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches long. I did have a second degree tear that required some stitching, but I didn't care. All I cared about was holding my baby. I held her and anxiously waited for her to nurse. 



Our first few nights in the hospital with baby were difficult. My milk wasn't in yet and the colostrum was not satisfying Maci. She cried basically the whole night, every night. I was sleep deprived and physically tired from giving birth.  I was a hot mess! The day we left the hospital we created a plan with the lactation specialist on how to feed Maci. Until my milk came in we feed Maci formula through a syringe. Then I would have her nurse and then I would pump for 10 minutes with little to nothing coming out. It was painful. We had to do this for 4 or 5 days before my milk came in. Maci has been a nursing champ ever since. It is typical for babies to lose 7% to 10% of their body weight during the first 2 weeks. At our first pediatric appointment a few days later Maci was weighed and had not lost weight, but gained. She is my chunky monkey to this day. Now we are 8 months into our nursing journey and it is great! We have our own little routine down. 

The first 3 months home with Maci were extremely difficult. I felt like all she did was cry, eat, and barely sleep. During the night she would wakeup every 30 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes to nurse. I basically didn't sleep for 3 months. People say to sleep when the baby sleeps and it's great advice, but it doesn't always work. I felt like the second I laid down to sleep she would cry. My mom and dad were a huge help during these early months and still are. My mom especially was my saving grace! She would spend the night and hold Maci in between feedings, so I could try to sleep. During the day she would hold her while I would try to sleep, shower, or do something to make myself feel better.   

8 months later and Maci still doesn't sleep great, but it's considerably better than before. Now on average she will wake up twice to nurse. We still have rough nights where I will be up with her 5 to 6 times, but those nights are becoming few and far between. Thank goodness, because I don't think I could handle that for much longer! I love our little girl and I don't know where I would be without her!

- Marrisa 



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