Connecting With a Long Lost Sibling

How amazing is this thing we call life.

Mine just got a little bit more interesting in a beautiful way.

I always knew I had a half older brother (who we share the same mom with but different dad) who lived in El Salvador. But I’ve never met him before, I’ve never talked to him before, nor I have ever seen a picture of him before. I just knew he existed somewhere out there.

My mom lost contact with all of our relatives in El Salvador a long time ago. My mom came to the United States when she was a teenager, around 35 years ago, and left behind her first born son with my grandma to care for.

We are first generation so we have no other blood relatives in the United States. All the family I knew was my mom, dad, my two brothers, and two younger sisters.

So I always wondered about my extended family. Always wondered about my oldest brother, how he looked like, if he still lived in El Salvador or if he ever came to the states. I always wondered.

But a couple of days ago, he found us, through my sister Daniela on Facebook. It is a coincidence because a couple of months ago, I asked my mom for his name so I can try and search for him on social media, but I never had any luck.

Daniela Texted me to let me know, so I rushed to search his name, and added him on Facebook. I couldn’t believe I connected with my oldest brother.

I couldn’t stop smiling while looking at pictures of my brother, grandma, aunties, and cousins in El Salvador! I never knew how they looked liked! It’s funny because I see a physical resemblance in myself with them. It’s truly amazing.

There is a tiny language barrier between us, but that’s okay, he is still my brother, my family, my blood. Hopefully one day we get to meet.

I am so happy we connected Macora F.

This world just got a little smaller ♡

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xoxo

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Korinne’s Birth Story 

As I “try” to type, I am holding her, looking at her dark grey eyes and tiny little hands in awe, she is just so so precious! I cannot believe she is already here. And I don’t know why, but I was so nervous to meet her. She is absolute perfection! Pure magic.

Korinne Noelle decided to make her debut 5 days past her due date, on Saturday March 18th at 9:28pm, weighing 7lbs 13oz, and 20 inches long! She is now 17 days old and that kind of makes me sad, I want her to stay tiny forever.

I wanted to avoid an induction as much as possible since it is a lengthy and a pain in the ass process, but I knew if Korinne didn’t come out in time, I would have to get induced at 41 weeks. So I did everything we can to start labor naturally, but nothing was working! I really thought this baby just didn’t want to come out, and that I was just going to get induced.

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Okay, let me get to the story.

Two days before my induction, on Saturday March 18, I woke up at around 5am with menstrual like cramping, they were coming in waves at about every 10 minutes. I had a feeling labor was imminent, but I didn’t think anything of it, so I just fell back asleep.

Woke up a few hours later at 8am, and felt small painless contractions. Definitely not the usual Braxton Hick contractions I have been feeling, these were actual contractions that were starting.

I downloaded a contraction tracker app on my phone to track the contractions. I laid in bed tracking them for about 1 hour, and they were coming every 9-11 minutes. I got so excited that maybe today may be the day! And I was praying that they would come stronger and closer together (I know, crazy huh?) I was hoping that it wasn’t a false alarm or that they wouldn’t disappear on me.

It is now 11am and I told Jack that I was experiencing contractions. And he kind of freaked out. I kid you not, he rushed to shower, he got dressed in 1 minute, and packed his stuff so fast! Ready to leave for the hospital lol! I told him that we still have time, maybe hours until the baby comes and to calm his butt down lol. We weren’t leaving until these contractions were 5-6 minutes apart. So I took my time to shower and got ready (while Jack waited).

About an hour later, while I was trying to do my makeup, my contractions were getting uncomfortable. What’s weird is they were coming every 2-3 minutes. I thought to myself, “why are they so close together?” I assumed things were progressing fast. So I quickly finished to get ready, and we were off to the hospital at around 2:45pm.

We did grab some food on the way…McDonalds! I have the worst cravings for their chicken nuggets lol. I ate a tiny bit because I wouldn’t know when my next meal would be or how long I will be in labor for.

By now my contractions were back to being more separated, coming every 5-6 minutes, and I couldn’t talk through them, they were getting pretty strong. But as long as I focused on my breathing, they were bearable. I kept telling Jack to slow down while driving because every bump on the road made the contractions that much harder to breath through.

We finally got to the hospital at 3:30pm. The nurse checked me and I was almost 4 cm dilated. The nurse was even impressed with my breathing and how calm I was, but that eventually didn’t last lol.

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During the next couple of hours, I relaxed in bed, watched tv, and walked around the hallways for a bit while pausing with every contraction that hit. The contractions were getting stronger, and getting painful.

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By 6pm the contractions came hard. It is very difficult to describe them. They felt like really bad menstrual cramps, lower back pain, felt like you were going to have diarrhea, it’s hard to breath like your lungs are being squeezed, stomach tightening, jitters, and lots of pressure to push…Imagine feeling this every few minutes.

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I was trying to go as long as I can without an epidural, but I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I kept telling Jack, “I can’t do this, I cannot!” I was in tears, hysterically crying, begging for an epidural! My body felt cold and I was starting to get the shakes, I was trying not to freak out.

The anesthesiologists took about 30 minutes to come, which I couldn’t help it but was so angry about! Those 30 minutes felt like forever! So by 6:30pm I was 7cm dilated and got the epidural. The epidural numb my left side more than my right side, but I was okay on pain relief. I also used the lowest amount of pain relief from the epidural so I wouldn’t strain too much while pushing.

By 7:30pm, I felt a warm pop! So I asked Jack to check if my water broke. He looked under my blanket and yelled, “OH!! OH! YUP! YOUR WATER BROKE!” Lol. He said it was a lot of fluid, all over the bed. Jack also had myself and the nurse laughing throughout my whole labor, he’s so funny. But one thing that wasn’t funny to me: he was so into the Warriors basketball game when it was almost time for me to push, I had to tell him to close the laptop!!! 🙂

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We rested some more. Then finally at around 9:20pm, my Dr came in and said I was ready to push. I couldn’t believe we were about to meet our second little girl. After pushing for only a few minutes, Korinne Noelle was born at 9:28pm.

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Korinne started crying right away, a beautiful cry, and I looked at Jack and smiled. Jack video recorded that moment and I just LOVE watching it, I love listening to her first cry. We were so happy, so in love!

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They cleaned her up and gave her to me for skin to skin, and she latched on to me amazingly. She is so prefect, and so beautiful. She was having heart murmurs, but the pediatric cardiologists said her heart regulated itself, so no worries. We are happy to have created two healthy beautiful girls. Getting to experience labor and delivery again for the second time is truly a blessing.

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We also picked her name last minute. We literally agreed on her name the day before. We went through so many names, it’s not even funny, very stressful. But we love the name we chose for her.

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I got a small 2nd degree tear, but other than that, I couldn’t be more happy with my labor and delivery experience. And I couldn’t wait for her big sister Jovie to meet her.

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The labor and delivery experience was just half of my hospital stay, I still had a minor surgery procedure to go through. I planned with my Dr to get my tubes tide after delivery, but after talking with my Dr, some friends, and doing research…I decided last minute that I wanted to get my tubes completely removed. So the next morning, at 9am, went through the 30 minute procedure (absolutely terrified but survived), spent 2 hrs in recovery, then back in my room with Jack and Korinne.

It’s a bittersweet decision, but when you know you are done, you just know. We got discharged a few hours later, not even 24 hrs in the hospital. A very quick hospital stay and we were on our way home to enjoy our family of four.

The recovery from surgery was worst than postpartum recovery. Jack had to help me in and out of bed for 4 days. The first week I was in a lot of pain, felt like I got hit by a train, but in the second week, I overall felt pretty good.

Jovie is back home and loves her, “baby sister!” Korinne even got Jo a gift basket full of books, candy, and a Minnie Mouse shirt (just so Jovie wouldn’t feel too jealous or left out). We had a house full of family visiting this past weekend, I am back to my usual routine (was getting so sick of ordering take out every night, gag!) and taking care of two kids is really not hard…busy, but not difficult.

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And we are LOVING having a newborn in the house. She brings us so much more joy, we laugh more, we are all just so happy with this little nugget. And she is such a good sleeper and eater. Jacks been so helpful, I’m not sleep deprived, it’s just been overall amazing! It’s true when they say second babies are easier, you are like an expert. Jo has been so helpful with her too. FullSizeRender 17

Jack went back to work this week which is a bummer, but I got a hold of things with these two girls while he is gone.

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Hope you all enjoyed reading Korinne’s birth story and my labor experience.

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Thanks for reading! xoxo

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5 Things I Would Tell My First Time Mommy Self

image-2Of course, I had my own idea of what kind of parent I wanted to be. But let me tell you, becoming a parent is so unpredictable. I am no where near the kind of parent I thought I would be. So, I created a list of 5 things I would tell my first time mommy self. And if your going to be a first time mommy too, I hope this post can help you as well!

  1. Accept each advice from other mommies with a grain of salt: I know it can be somewhat difficult, I rolled my eyes a lot at other people’s advice lol. There are tons of ways to parent and raise a child, but take in each advice. You never know, you may end up saying, “wow, she was right.”
  2. Don’t ignore your health: Be selfish with your health. Caring for a newborn can be mentally and physically draining! I was so sleep deprived, and ended up sick in the ER with mastitis. My Dr yelled at me to take it easy, and I am so thankful my Dr told it to me straight up. I felt so much better about getting the rest I needed and ignored cooking and housework for about a month. Don’t worry about anything else, pretend you are stuck in bed, paralyzed, and only care for yourself and for baby for as long as you can.
  3. Don’t judge other moms: Don’t compare yourself either, comparing is crap! Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, a breast feeding mom, formula feeding mom, a bed sharing mom, who cares! Fuck the labels. I know before I had Jo, I for sure judged other moms. yeah, I can admit it. I even judged my own mom, like, “why would you take my baby sister to the movies when she was a newborn” Yeah, I did it. But truth is, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO BE A MOM. I have realized that every single person is different, everyone has their own preferences, their own reasons of why they did it. But deep down, we are all losing our shit! Oh, you had a beer in your 9 month of pregnancy? Cool. Oh, you leave your children at grandmas house every weekend? Thats cool too. Everyone is different, let these mommies be!
  4. Get help: Don’t deny help, swallow your pride and just accept it. Don’t be afraid to ask for it either. People are willing to help because they know having a baby is not easy. When Jo was first born, I tried to do everything myself. But caring for a new baby without any help was so difficult. This time, when baby girl is due in march 2017, I have family coming to stay, and Jo will be taken care of. This time around will be different, I will accept any help I can.
  5. Embrace what’s happening: Being a first time mommy is a learning process, don’t take it too serious. Things will change last minute that will be out of your control, so embrace it! It’s okay to cancel plans, be a hot mess, or want to stay home for dinner. Be true to yourself. You just had a baby and sometimes life can be unpredictable.

Is there anything you would share with first time mommies that is not on this list? Thanks for reading! Please like and share, thanks for your support! xoxo

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