I’ve contemplated when and how to bring this up on here but now almost a month in to motherhood it finally seems appropriate to document my journey to motherhood. Now that the initiation phase is over (I think.)
It all started back in March when Chris and I found out we were expecting. To be honest I think we had both already expected that we would never be parents. After 7 years together we figured if we were meant to be parents it would have happened already. But boy were we pleasantly surprised- over the moon actually.
I honestly think I was reluctant to shout it out to the universe because I had waited so long- and not to mention a guilt of sorts of being blessed while several other women I know personally have struggled. I didn’t know if I was struggling to have a kid (medically speaking anyways) but I did know that look of “but you don’t have kids?” and the awkward sense of being judged when the subject comes up and not being a part of the kids club. Kind of contradictory to the previous statement of accepting that there was a possibility of not having kids I know. At the end of the day I still had Olivia and she has been the daughter I always dreamed of- fur realz.
Let’s fast forward through the Spring/ Summer of 2018. This is a fashion blog so we’ll start there (forewarned this most likely will become a baby/ baby fashion in addition to but more on that later.) I actually only bought two maternity dresses- one for my gender reveal and the other for my baby shower. I don’t like form fitting dresses and A-line and flowy dresses were the solution to my ever growing baby bump. I used to think it would be dreadful to be pregnant in the Summer but it actually turned out to be the ideal situation. The end of my pregnancy turned out to be the biggest struggle. Feet were so swollen only my Chloe ballet flats fit. I was terrified I would never fit into my shoe collection again. I thought I’d have to say goodbye to my Louboutins. Pants were not an option. Jumpsuits were the answer to a So. Cal chilly day.
But enough fashion talk let’s get back to the star of this story- my precious baby Carter. First and foremost his name. If you have known me since I was about 9 years old- or entered my life at any point since then you know I’m a HUGE Backstreet Boy fan. I used to joke with my old boss that it’s in my unwritten contract that whenever the Backstreet Boys are in town I automatically get those days off. Since the names Nick, Alex, and Kevin were already taken (I know too many Brians and Howie was out of the question) I opted to go with the next best option, and the ideal one I concluded in the end- Carter would be the winner. I love Aaron too despite popular public opinion. I’ve met him a few times and to be honest he’s one of the nicest most humble celebrities I’ve ever met. Carter was almost Connor but that would have been after a UFC fighter per my boyfriends request and I would not be naming my kid after someone who fights.
My pregnancy for the most part was easy. I was very blessed and fortunate for this. First trimester was full of nausea that lasted all day which made Disney trips and work a challenge. I never thought I’d want to be sick after riding the Jungle Cruise but man that boat is rocky. Second trimester was a dream considering it was in the middle of Summer and included a work trip to Vegas. The most random symptom I got during this trimester was nose bleeds. But my Dr. said this was because of being in dry weather and likely the elevation of flying. Third trimester was not awful but not ideal either. When you commute an average of an hour and breathing conditions are impacted by fires you feel like the forces of the universe are working against you. Not to mention the fact that the Holidays were upon me so I made every attempt to prepare before Carter’s arrival. No joke I was putting Christmas lights up the day before I went into Labor.
Sunday, November 25th at about 4 in the morning I started having contractions. I thought it was just my iron pill (required for my anemia that developed) doing me dirty and I was about to vow to never take an iron pill again. Early morning after the pains started getting sharper and closer together I realized it wasn’t my iron pill. I was having contractions. I called the hospital and they said that they were still too far apart to be admitted. Around 3 PM they were between 5 and 10 minutes apart. Chris meanwhile was stating that we couldn’t do anything because we had a turkey in the oven. Fast forward to about 5:30 PM when contractions were now officially 5 minutes apart consistently. I lost my mucus plug and was in so much pain walking became a challenge. At this point I wanted to go to the hospital but Chris made me wait because it was the mid season finale of “The Walking Dead.” Finally 7 PM, the Walking Dead was over and I made the executive decision to go to the hospital. This decision would not be made without a struggle either. A week before we bought a new car- a 4 door as opposed to our Coupe so we could comfortably drive Carter from the hospital and around in general after his arrival. Well wouldn’t ya know the second we pulled into the neighborhood the breaks on the car started to grind. We thought the breaks were faulty so we couldn’t drive it to the hospital. Turns out it was just a palm tree seed that dropped and somehow lodged itself into the break area of the car. Shout out to STG of Montclair for towing us back to their dealership after we got home from the hospital to figure this out without a fee. Now that’s good customer service!
Alas, we got to the hospital around 9. At this point a wheelchair was absolutely necessary. I was admitted and 2 CM dilated. But the hospital wanted to wait to see if I was dilating even further to officially admit me. About an hour or two and lots of pain and tears later I was officially 4 CM dilated and the hospital was finally ready to acknowledge I was in active labor. My water had broke at this point and I told Chris I was going to die if I didn’t get pain meds. I swear the epidural lady went on a holiday vacation to Aruba or something and the only thing they were willing to offer me was Fentanyl- the pain medicine that killed my mom. Well, I’m allergic to Vicodin, makes me have seizures so the options for pain management was limited. I told the nurse my reasoning for not wanting the Fentanyl and she said “so you don’t want it?” Desperate times call for desperate measures so I reluctantly obliged to take their recommendation. Didn’t help anyways.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity I got the epidural. Thank GOD! After that labor was a breeze. I joke now that I can push all day long and twice on Sunday. Around 3 in the morning the nurses told me I could expect Carter before noon, and sure enough at 11:33 AM arriving at 6 llbs and 4 ounces and 20 inches long- Carter Joseph Gonzales made his debut. It was love at first sight. I wanted nothing more than to hold my precious baby right away but there was still the matter of delivering the placenta and getting sewn up. Plus, Carter was born with meconium. Basically he pooped before I delivered and he ingested it causing breathing problems. The NICU team was on standby in the delivery room. As I was getting sewn up I watched them work diligently to stabilize him. After what felt like forever I finally got to hold my baby. Carter is strong willed just like me and his Dad. And no joke before he was even an hour old he was trying to lift his head up.
The entire staff at the Kaiser Hospital in Riverside was beyond incredible. They took such gentle care of Carter and made sure we were well informed before we left. I’m not gonna lie that past few weeks have been full of happiness and lots of sleepless nights. I don’t think I’ve ever paid as close attention to someone’s breathing patterns. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world and I can’t wait to watch him grow up and start making memories that make him look back and say his childhood was magical.
Carter- you are the perfect angel I waited my whole life for and I promise to love you unconditionally for eternity. Let’s start this grand adventure called life and make every minute count. X0X0X0- Mommy.
I had been on the fence about doing a maternity shoot and then a newborn shoot but then I discovered a photographer who would do both- Kayleigh Ashworth. Not only is she one of the sweetest souls ever but she has an artistic vision that captures the beauty of pregnancy and the vulnerable innocence of a newborn. I never thought I could be moved to the point of tears by photographs but that’s exactly what her work did. I will forever cherish the images she captured of the most magical part of my life.