July 2019 | A Pretty Penny

Maternity Photos + Our Preterm Labor Scare...

Location: Alpine Poppy Fields / Dress: ASOS / Photographer: Ashley + Alexis Photo

Let's start by talking about these gorgeous maternity photos before we dive into all the crazy preterm labor stuff. We got these photos taken about a week and a half before the whole preterm labor thing went down. My good friend Ashley, from Ashley + Alexis Photo took them and they honestly couldn't have turned out more perfect! I was 32 weeks pregnant at the time and felt giant and like a total mess. This is honestly the most I had gotten ready in weeks, because who has the energy for that when you are growing a tiny human?? Anyway, I will absolutely cherish these photos forever! I can't wait to look back and remember when baby girl was in my belly kicking away.
Alright, Let's talk about preterm labor. It honestly was never something that ever crossed my mind when I thought about my own pregnancy. My mom had normal pregnancies and they were super mild. I had a very normal pregnancy and a very mild pregnancy. Yes, I got nauseous during my first trimester like most women do, but I wasn't throwing up every day which I have been super grateful for.

So when I was 33 weeks and started experiencing preterm labor symptoms I almost wasn't sure what to do! In my mind I was worried I wasn't going to even be dilated by 38 weeks. I really didn't want to go over because the last few weeks of pregnancy are rough as it is. I had talked to my doctor about even possibly getting induced at 39 weeks if everything looked good, because having everything planned out and controlled sounded good to me! Let's just say the past couple weeks have been totally unexpected and a little crazy!
Friday, June 28, 2019, I woke up just like any other Friday and started to get ready for work. Colin had already left for the day and I started to feel a little funny. As I was going about my normal morning routine my back started really hurting, and it was more than just your average pregnancy back pain. I also started to experience cramping, just like really bad period cramps, which I obviously haven't had for the past 8 months. At first I didn't think anything of it, but then I started getting contractions along with the back pain and cramps. These contractions were a lot stronger than the average Braxton Hicks and made me really hot. 

After laying down for about 15 minutes everything started to subside and I started to feel better. I was able to finish getting ready for the day and head out to work. At the time I honestly didn't really think much of it or even jump to preterm labor because I was only 33 weeks and 5 days. I went to work that morning and stayed till about 4:30. During that time I had a couple contractions, but nothing different than any other day.
When I got home from work that Friday I started to straighten up the house a little bit since Colin's parents were planning to stay the night because they had an early flight the next morning. It wasn't anything major, I started a light load of laundry, folded some laundry and put stuff away on the counter. After a little while all of my earlier symptoms started to come back, but even worse. Back pain and cramps started to get real severe and contractions started to get more frequent. As I was having contractions it was almost all I could do to breathe through them, and I thought to myself, "if this is anything like labor....it is going to suck." Thank goodness for epidurals, amiright?

So I went downstairs, grabbed my water bottle and laid on the couch to try and make myself more comfortable. Colin came home while I was laying on the couch and was a little worried. I decided to make a call to the on call physician since it was after hours. He recommended I come in to the hospital to get checked out, but honestly, I didn't want to be one of those first time mom's who freak out over everything...So I decided to wait another hour to see if my contractions would stop. They didn't.

Colin's parents came over and we were just talking about their upcoming trip. I had been tracking my contractions the whole time and they got to be 3 minutes apart. So I finally told Colin we should probably head to the hospital to get checked out. In both our minds we were just going to go in, get checked out, they might give me some meds to stop contractions and then they would send us on our way. At least that's what the internet lead us to believe.
So we got to the hospital, they admitted us, and started to check everything out. The nurse checked my cervix and told me that I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. I was honestly shocked! Colin and I had been going on long walks every night because my doctor thought I might not be dilated until later in pregnancy, but here I was at a 3! So they started to hook me up to IV's, take blood work, give me a steroid shot to help baby girls lungs develop more, and run some tests. Let me tell you, I am a wimp when it comes to blood and needles and feel like that part was almost worse than contractions/preterm labor. It took 3 tries in 3 different places to finally place an IV and by the time it was over I was chugging sprite, Colin was fanning me with a piece of paper as fast as he could, and I had almost passed out. (haha)

After they got me all hooked up to everything and gave me some meds to help slow contractions, they started talking about what was to come next. They said since I was laboring and not quite 34 weeks they wanted to transfer me to IMC because their NICU is better equipped to handle babies that are under 34 weeks. They thought there was a possibility I might deliver since my contractions were about 2 minutes apart. So they had called and ambulance and it was on its way over.

The on call physician came in and also talked to us. He said, "I'm so glad you decided to come in! If you are planning on working you're done. Your life is about to change. Since you're laboring there is a possibility you might deliver this weekend...." and so on. 

After they left I turned to Colin and said, "We can't have a baby! We literally have NOTHING. We aren't ready." Then I repeated that over and over in my mind. I thought we were just coming in for a check up, so the only things I brought with me were my phone and wallet. I didn't have a hospital bag packed, we hadn't had any baby showers. It was a weird place to be in, because I was planning on having 6 more weeks to get everything ready for baby and prepare mentally.
So the ambulance finally arrived about a half hour later. Before they loaded me up they wanted to check my cervix to see if there had been any changes (It had been about an hour and a half since the last time I had been checked). The same nurse checked me and said, "you're at a 5 and 90% effaced." She explained to the EMT's the I was a 3 and 80% an hour and a half previous. Then they said, "Since you are progressing so fast I think we need to life flight you to IMC." WHAT???? Immediately all I could see was dollar sign after dollar sign...and this video.

They called the helicopter and it had just landed at IMC. By the time it got ready again and landed at Riverton it would be 20 minutes later, which would be the same amount of time it would take to ride in the ambulance. So luckily they just took me by ambulance (thank goodness). 

So they loaded me all up while Colin ran home to grab some stuff for our stay in the hospital. If you have ever wanted to ride in an ambulance I am here to tell you that it is nothing glamorous. It is very uncomfortable and I literally felt every bump, which made my contractions that much worse.
Once we arrived at IMC they put me in a room and hooked me up to a ton of monitors and got caught up on the situation. They checked my cervix there and the doctor said I was 4 cm dilated (the number might be a little different depending on who is checking you). After reiterating what the doctors said about possibly delivering they said they would do everything to make me comfortable and try to get contractions to stop.

By this time it was between 10:00-11:00pm. My parents and Colin's parents came to check on us and see what was going on. After a little while they left and our nurse said we should be fine to eat. So Colin ran to grab us some food because we didn't eat dinner and we were STARVING. If you have the opportunity to eat hospital cafeteria food, DO IT. It's delicious. 

After eating dinner, then started one of the longest nights of my life. They had to check on me every few hours and also run antibiotics through the IV in my hand. It took about a half hour to run the full antibiotics and it BURNED the entire time. Luckily we had the best nurse and she got me heated blankets to wrap around it to help. 
That night I got about a total of 45 minutes of sleep. Between getting checked every few hours, taking more meds, getting up to pee, labor pains, and trying to sleep in the most uncomfortable hospital bed, I was exhausted the next morning. I also was hooked up to everything possible and had to call for help every time I needed to go to the bathroom. I had a baby monitor and contraction monitor hooked up to my belly the whole night that they had to constantly adjust every time I turned over, and they also put these boots on my feet that helped with blood flow. They would put pressure on my legs every few minutes and made a ton of noise. I don't know why I didn't just stay up and watch movies all night.

By the next morning my cute nurse said we had got my contractions from happening every 1-2 minutes to every 7 minutes. Which was music to our ears! So they were going to move us to the floor above to monitor us. The other thing that was music to my ears was that I didn't have to be hooked up to the baby monitor and contraction monitor!! (woo hoo). 

So all of Saturday wasn't too bad! Just really boring. We watched some Netflix, took a couple naps, and had some friends and family visit. This whole weekend we were oh so grateful for friends and family. 

I'll be honest, we were a little bummed that we didn't get to leave the hospital with a baby. We went through all the emotions while we were in the hospital. We were in shock and disbelief, denial that we might be having a baby, and then finally came to terms with the fact we might be leaving the hospital parents and that it would all work out. Finally we got a little excited, because we talked about what it would be like to have her there. Even though we were a little bummed, we are so glad and grateful that she gets to cook in there a little longer!
We were hoping to be out of there by Saturday night, but they had to give me another steroid shot for baby girl at 9:00 pm and wanted to keep us for one more night of observation. That night my family was at Taylorsville Dayzz, and watched the fireworks. Since I literally had been in bed all day they got me a wheelchair and we were able to go watch the fireworks from a window. By the time the fireworks we had ended I started getting back pain and a few contractions again.

I told our nurse and she kept an eye on it all night. Since they were happening off and on and only every 10 minutes they weren't super concerned. Luckily this hospital bed was a little more comfortable, plus I wasn't hooked up to anything. So I was able to sleep for a total of 3 hours! The next morning we ate breakfast, they checked everything and by late Sunday morning said we would be good to go home! 

They told us that I would need to be on modified bedrest until baby girl arrives. I would be fine to walk around the house, use stairs, but no extra physical activity, heavy lifting or exerting myself. They also gave us medication to take home to help stop my contractions further.

We went home and basically slept the whole day away as well as the next! It took a couple days for me to finally start to feel normal and my body to stop freaking out, but since then I have been doing great and holding pretty steady. Luckily my work has been super awesome and I have been able to work from home as well during my modified bed rest.
We have had 2 appointments with my doctor since our preterm labor scare to see where we are at. 2 weeks ago was our follow up appointment. Our doctor said I was holding steady at 4cm and 80% effaced, but baby was definitely low. This past week was our second appointment and I am now dilated to 5cm and 90% effaced! She also said baby girl is SUPER low and I have a bulging water bag (which basically means my water is bulging and could break at any time.)

My doctor thinks baby girl should be here very soon! We can't wait to meet this little chick who seems to already be a handful!
*if there are any spelling errors, or grammatical errors we can blame it on my pregnancy brain!



Oahu, Hawaii Travel Guide...

In April we went to Oahu, Hawaii for our baby moon! It was the ultimate dream vacation and last hoorah before baby girl gets here. Since it's been a few months...I figured it was high time to share a travel guide of all our favorite things to do, see, and eat while on the island!

We ended up staying on the North Shore for the first 4 days and Waikiki for the last 5 days. While we were on the North Shore we ended up falling in love with it so much that we didn't want to leave! If you are looking for the ultimate relaxing, "chill on the beach while eating fresh fruit" vacation, then the North Shore of Oahu is for you! I would recommend staying in Haleiwa. It was our favorite town and has everything within walking distance. If you are wanting more touristy feel, I would highly recommend staying in Waikiki. Everything is open late and bustling. Luckily we stayed in both place and got the best of both worlds. *que Hannah Montana*
Paddle Boarding in Haleiwa
One of our favorite things we did on the North Shore, in the small town of Haleiwa, was paddle boarding down the river that runs through Haleiwa. It was recommended to us by my fellow blogger friend, Keara. I have never paddle boarded in my life, so I was a little nervous about falling over. Luckily they were a lot sturdier than I thought. 

As you are paddle boarding down the rive there are literally turtles swimming all throughout the river! Some are huge and honestly startled me when they would come up for air. The day we went the river was a little cloudy, but we were told that most of the time it is crystal clear. 

After we paddle boarded down the river we paddled in the opposite direction towards the ocean so we could watch the sunset. It was absolutely stunning and perfect timing! We went about 45 minutes before sunset so we could do both. It was amazing!
Matsumoto's Shaved Ice
If you spend any time on the North Shore you HAVE to go to Matsumoto's Shaved Ice. This was by far one of our most visited places while we were on the North Shore. We literally went every. single. day. I don't know what it is about this shaved ice, but we couldn't get enough. My favorite flavor was Mango and I would get it covered with condensed milk. Literal heaven in your mouth! Because calories don't count when you're on vacation right?...or when you're pregnant! 

One of the things I loved about Matsumoto's is that they give you a little wooden spoon to eat your ice with, AND a straw so if it melts you can still enjoy it. If you go to Matsumoto's know that they close at 6:00 pm, and the line is usually out the door. So plan on there being a little bit of a wait time.
Garlic Shrimp
While we were in Oahu I was 24 weeks pregnant and couldn't get enough shrimp. I don't know what it was but I honestly couldn't get enough of it! We ended up eating at so many shrimp trucks that we ended up having a couple favorite places. 

The first is Kau Kau Grill (pictured below), which is actually located in Honolulu, next to where we rented our car. It is a little hole in the wall place, but was honestly the best and biggest garlic shrimp we had on the whole island. If you are in the Honolulu area it is a MUST STOP. The second is Big Wave Shrimp on the North Shore. It was definitely my second favorite place and we stopped there multiple times on the North Shore. It was delicious! As long as you stop at least once for garlic shrimp, you are doing something right.
The Sunrise Shack
Since we are on the topic of food...I wanted to share a few other of our favorite places that are popular on the island, and then I will share all of our favorite locations! Let's start with breakfast! While we stayed on the North Shore we stayed right on Sunset Beach. Which ended up being right down the street from The Sunrise Shack. They have the BEST açaí bowls I've ever had. Plus, everything is Instagrammable! (bonus for me anyway.) 

I ended up trying the 'Blue Dream Bowl' on the North Shore and the 'Tropical Bowl' when we stumbled upon The Sunrise Shack in Waikiki. The 'Tropical Bowl' was my favorite out of the two and super filling! Definitely have it for breakfast, or a refreshing snack, at least once while you are on the island. Everything in it is fresh and delicious! Perfect for a day on the beach.
Surf Lanai at The Royal Hawaiian
Another favorite breakfast place was the Surf Lanai located at The Royal Hawaiian hotel in Waikiki. It ended up being right down the street from our hotel when we were staying in Waikiki. I saw that they had 'Pink Guava Pancakes' and had to check it out. If I could stay at any hotel and not have to worry about the price, it would be The Royal Hawaiian. Not only is it gorgeous, but it is every pink lovers dream. 

When we arrived for breakfast they sat us right along the beach in their outdoor seating area. It was gorgeous! They gave us the option to either order off the menu, or choose the buffet. Since I am mostly useless at buffets and only ever get one plate of food, we decided to order off the menu. The 'Pink Guava Pancakes' were everything I hoped they'd be and more. Colin ordered a short rib breakfast and it was divine as well! I can only imagine that the buffet would be as well! It was a little pricer than most of the other places we went, but was one of our "splurge" meals while on the island. 
Kahuku Land Farms & Kahuku Land Fruit Stand
Before we made the trip to Hawaii I researched and stalked other people I followed on Instagram to see where they were going, what looked fun, and places to eat! One of the places I stumbled upon while watching someone's Instagram story was Kahuku Land Farms. The food and smoothies looked absolutely delicious and sitting on the farm while eating lunch didn't sound half bad. 

It was a little off the beaten path for us, since it was closer to Turtle Bay. I ended up ordering the 'Farm Pizza & Side Salad.' It was a Tomato-Eggplant Bruschetta topped with Mozzarella and Basil Mac Nut Pesto. So good! Plus, the side salad had a dressing that tasted like watermelon vinaigrette and even Colin loved it! I also ordered the Tropi-kale smoothie which was incredibly refreshing with my lunch. I loved that all the ingredients were from the farm and fresh!

They also have the Kahuku Land Farms Fruit Stand close to their farm that has all sorts of fresh fruit that is locally grown. I made Colin stop there almost every day because there is nothing like fresh fruit when you are in paradise! It also is the perfect stop if you are headed to the beach and need some healthy snacks. Colin and I would stop by Kahuku Land Farms Fruit Stand, head to the beach, swim a little then eat all of our fresh fruit while we relaxed on Sunset Beach (I would highly recommend the mango if you go to the Fruit Stand).
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade
I don't know about you, but when I travel to new places I feel like we always center things around food. I love to experience the food places that are unique to wherever it is we are visiting. Once I discovered Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade, it instantly made it onto our list of places to visit. There is one located on the North Shore, right across from Big Wave Shrimp, and one located towards the center of the island. 

Not only do they have delicious lemonade at Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade, but they have cute mason jars that you can take home with you (which yes, of course we did that)! I ordered the Passion Strawberry Lemonade and it literally looked like a sunset! They also offer Acai bowls as well, but we only ever got lemonade, and it was so worth it! With all the heat and humidity in Hawaii, it was the perfect drink to cool us off.
Leonard's Bakery
Leonard's Bakery was recommended by multiple people when we asked for suggestions, and I must say, it did NOT disappoint. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, other than it was delicious! They have a physical bakery in Honolulu, as well as a food truck close to Hanauma Bay. We ended up going to both...because it is that good people! They have delicious pastries, cookies, and baked goods, but are most famous for their Malasadas. Malasadas are basically a delicious donut that you can get with or without filling. 

I am a fan of filling, so we ended up trying a few filled Malasadas and they were all so good! Tip: eat them while they are HOT! They will not be good later.
Duke's Hula Pie
Alright dessert lovers. This is the ultimate dessert you will find on the island of Oahu. As far as I'm concerned. Duke's is a restaurant located in Waikiki right on Waikiki Beach. One of Colin's coworkers said DO NOT PASS UP THE HULA PIE. So we made sure to have it...3 times haha. It's a miracle we didn't gain 30 pounds on this trip. 

Hula Pie is basically and ice cream pie. It is made up of vanilla ice cream with macadamia nuts throughout it. It has an Oreo-like crust, a chocolate fudge outer layer, then topped with whipped cream, hot fudge and nuts. Sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen right? Well it is so delicious and definitely big enough to share! Definitely don't pass it up if you have a sweet tooth! You can also call and order it to go if it is super busy and eat it on the beach!
Sunset Beach
Alright, we officially made it through all the food and now onto our favorite spots on the island of Oahu! First off is Sunset Beach. We stayed within walking distance of Sunset Beach while we were on the North Shore of Oahu. It was easily my favorite beach we visited and it was even easier to see why they call it "sunset beach". 

Not only are the sunsets absolutely incredible and need no filter, but it is beautiful any time of day! We spent a whole day sitting on the beach reading and watching the surfers. WARNING: It is definitely not a beach for swimming. The current is incredibly strong. Colin learned that the hard way...
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay was definitely another favorite place we went. We had some friends that were in Hawaii the same time we were, so we ended up getting together one day and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. The water is insanely clear and blue, and there are SO many fish while snorkeling that you can't miss them. 

I went to Hanauma Bay one when I was younger and don't remember it being this amazing, but I loved it! We ended up snorkeling for a couple hours and seeing so many beautiful fish. It was also a relief that there is so much reef and it is "enclosed" because if you didn't know...I am terrified of sharks. So it was great to swim without a fear! TIP: Pay for the shuttle. Just do it. You will thank me later! It is quite a trek up and down the hill to the bay, and after a couple hours of snorkeling/swimming, the last thing you want to do is hike up the trail to your car.

Also make sure to check prices and times it is open. Hanauma Bay is closed every Tuesday!
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
These Botanical Gardens are literally every Instagram photo you see of Hawaii. It is 100% free and once you start driving through the Gardens it is like stepping into the world of Jurassic Park. I have never seen anything so green and lush! It was a fun, free activity we did on a day we didn't have much planned. It is also the perfect place for photo opportunities!

If you have the time to go I would highly recommend taking the time to drive through this incredible place!
Dole Plantation
We all know the famous Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation. It is an absolute MUST any time you are in Oahu. I am obsessed with Dole Whip and am convinced there is nothing quite like getting a good ol' Dole Whip while you are in Hawaii...unless you are in Disneyland. 

So while you are grabbing yourself a Dole Whip or pineapple, grab yourself a bag of pineapple gummies. I discovered them through a coworker right before we left and had to grab some while we were in Hawaii! They were delicious and tasted exactly like pineapple. (They are a little pricey at the Dole Plantation, but I found them for a fraction of the price at Matsumoto's Shaved Ice.)
Kaka'ako Wall Murals
Whenever I travel I love to look for fun wall murals. I can not pass up on a good wall mural. So luckily, there is a whole district dedicated to wall murals in Kaka'ako! The streets are literally covered in murals so you can drive up and down until you find the right one. There is also a guide to a few here as well. So if you need some good picture taking places, this is it!
The Shoreline Hotel
If you need a recommendation of where to stay while in Waikiki stay at The Shoreline. I have never stayed at a place so fun! It definitely is an Instagrammers Heaven, but I loved everything about it. The staff was incredibly accommodating, they had free snacks and drinks in your room, and they even offered beach towels and chairs for you to take to the beach. (Did I mention the complimentary water infused with fruit.) Let's also take a look at the pool area...my mural Heaven! Granted our stay was comped, but if we went and stayed in Waikiki I would without a doubt book at The Shoreline.

It is not directly on the beach, but is about a 5 minute walk and very doable! Even for a pregnant lady. 
I hope you found my travel guide to Oahu, Hawaii fun and helpful! I love sharing our favorite places when we travel and hope that you get to experience them and pick up a few favorite places of your own! Hopefully after baby girl is born we will get to go back and visit all the same places with her. Aloha!