Ronan’s Birth Story

Dear Readers,

Well, this is about two months overdue, but that’s what happens when you have a newborn and a toddler at home, on top of two major holidays. We. Are. So. Tired.

(Photos by Bumblebee Boots Photography)

But life is good, really good. And I still wanted to share Ronan’s birth story, if only to give myself (and him) something to look back on someday. Ronan’s arrival couldn’t have been more different than Caroline’s: she came into this world fast and furious, a week overdue, while he patiently took his time, even though I induced at 39 weeks. Both were memorable in their own ways (you can read Caroline’s birth story here), and I’m so happy to share Ronan’s with you guys today.

Let’s back up a little. We found out at my 37-week appointment that Baby Mac #2 was already measuring over 7 pounds, and I knew we’d be looking at a 9-pounder if I went full-term. It had became so uncomfortable to sit, walk, sleep – basically function on any level. After checking my progress and declaring my cervix favorable, my doctor suggested an elective induction, and I knew it was the right choice for us. I was ready.

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, we checked into the hospital at 7am. Now, I’ll be honest here and say that my expectations for the day were unrealistic at best. Having talked to many people who said the second time around goes SO much faster, I fully planned on having this baby by lunchtime. Spoiler alert: This baby arrived hours after dinnertime, and I am officially not listening to anyone ever again about anything. (I’m kidding, but lesson learned? Every birth experience is different, so go into it with the mindset that what will be, will be. Baby comes when he/she is ready, so sit back and enjoy the ride.)

But I digress.

After almost three hours of prep-time, we finally started the Pitocin with the plan to increase the dosage every half hour. To make a long story short, my nurse missed a two-hour window and my contractions completely stopped. By 3pm, I was no further along than when I arrived at the hospital that morning. Cue major meltdown. We managed to get the Pitocin on track and an epidural in place. By dinnertime, they broke my waters to get things moving along and in less than two hours, I was ready to push. At 10:38pm, our son Ronan Patrick MacNamara was born! Weighing in at 8 lbs, 9 oz and measuring 18 inches long, he was the sweetest chunky monkey we ever saw. I said, “Hi, buddy!” and he immediately put his hand on my face, leaving it there the entire time we were in recovery. Best friends forever.

Our first photo with Ronan, taken by my doctor.

Ronan’s first selfie, minutes after giving birth.

A lot of people have asked me what was so different about Ronan’s birth compared to Caroline’s. When I went into labor with Caroline, things happened so fast, I couldn’t really process it all – I just knew that I was in tremendous pain and needed an epidural. Once I had it, I felt amazing- no pain, no pressure, no exhaustion. In less than 12 hours, she was here.

With Ronan, the day felt so long. Part of that was all the waiting. Waiting for the Pitocin to kick in, waiting for the doctors to check my progress, waiting for the moment when I could finally push. And truthfully, I was much more scared this time because I knew the inevitable pain that lie ahead once contractions started. (When they gave me my epidural, I saw them prepare it and freaked out so badly, my blood pressure dropped dangerously low, resulting in an emergency infusion of fluids.) When the epidural kicked in, I no longer felt pain, but I still felt intense pressure and believe me when I say that I felt every single push it took to get him out into this world. (Again, it didn’t hurt, but let’s just say I absolutely knew when his head was out.)

But here’s the funny thing – as much as I thought I wanted to be completely numb like last time, it was incredible to experience pushing that way, feeling that physical urge to do so and knowing exactly what was happening with each try. Call me crazy, but it was so beautiful and empowering. I had an amazing team of female doctors and nurses cheering me on and laughing with me in between pushes, and it was such a happy atmosphere to welcome Ronan into. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but I think Mac feels pretty good about stopping at two. (We’ll see.)

Going from one to two is equal parts joyful and challenging, which I plan to cover in my next post. I will say that the second we met Ronan, our love for him was instant and overwhelming. Our family is complete with him in it, and we couldn’t be more thankful for this little guy. No matter how hard things get sometimes, seeing him with Caroline makes it all worth it. They already have this bond that I can’t even put into words, but it’s beautiful. So, yeah, I rarely shower, live in old Victoria’s Secret PINK sweats from college (you guys, they’re flared sweatpants – I’m firing myself as a style blogger), and am always behind on at least five things, but we’re really happy. And so, so tired.

Next up? How the transition has been from three to four! I’ll also share more on introducing Caroline to Ronan at the hospital and our family photo shoot at home with Bumblebee Boots Photography. (Thanks for sending in your questions – I’ll be addressing them in this post, and there’s still time to send more in the comments below.)

Live in Cleveland and expecting a baby? Bumblebee Boots Photography takes the most beautiful newborn shoots at the hospital and in your home! Contact Amanda at amanda@bumbleebeebootsphoto.com to learn more about the Fresh 48 and newborn sessions. 

Ronan

Dear Readers,

And just like that, our hearts have doubled in size.

All photos by Bumblebee Boots Photography.

Meet the newest addition to our family, Ronan Patrick! Born on November 7 at 10:38pm, this sweet little chunk weighed in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 18 inches long. We are so, so in love.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working on Ronan’s birth story and an update on how we’re transitioning to a family of four. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you want to read about or have questions on in the Comments section below! I can’t wait to share more photos from his Fresh 48 shoot and our family photo session with Bumblebee Boots Photography. In the meantime, thanks for your patience as we figure out a new routine (one that involves sleep for all parties involved) and for your continued well wishes for our family. Means the world to us.

For a fun trip down memory lane, read Caroline’s birth announcement here and her birth story here.

The Third Trimester

Dear Readers,

We’re officially on Bumpwatch.

(Photo by Bumblebee Boots Photography; LC Lauren Conrad Maternity Dress)

How Far Along: 39 weeks tomorrow

Due Date: November 14…but I’m being induced tomorrow! This baby will be making his/her appearance a little early, and that’s just fine by me.

What I’m Wearing: I’m pretty much rotating between a handful of outfits right now. But, thanks to some recent purchases at Stella & Dot (see here and here) and rediscovering old favorites in my jewelry drawer, at least my accessory game is on point.

How I’m Feeling: So excited and so anxious. The anticipation of labor and delivery, on top of being separated from Caroline for two days (and wondering how she’ll react to the baby), has made for a few sleepless nights. But let’s be honest, I wasn’t sleeping much, anyway. I’m like a turtle trapped on its back and really have to get momentum going to even roll over. (Needless to say, Mac isn’t getting much sleep either.)

The baby is measuring pretty large (7 lbs, 7 oz at 37 weeks!), so there’s that, too. He/she has finally dropped, and the head is pressing on some pretty uncomfortable places. The waddle is real, and my rings no longer fit. But, Baby and I are healthy overall, so I’m thankful for that.

What’s On My Mind Lately: It’s the calm before the storm right now. The house is clean, the hospital bags are packed, and the nursery is ready. All we need now is Baby.

What I’m Craving: Lately, nothing. I don’t have much of an appetite these days, although I binged pretty hard on Halloween candy. I think I’m officially over everything pumpkin-flavored, too.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Meeting this baby for the first time and introducing him/her to Caroline. Caroline started our family and this baby will complete it. We can’t wait.

Coolest Moment So Far: Ever since the baby started to become active, we noticed that he/she would go NUTS whenever Caroline was nearby. If she’s snuggled up to me, the baby immediately moves over to where she is and nestles into her. One night, she was lightly tapping on my stomach, and the baby kicked back at her every time. I think we have best friends in the making, you guys.

The next post you read will be a birth announcement!

Great Expectations

Dear Readers,

It’s hard to believe that as I write this, I’m two weeks away from having Baby #2. Here’s the bump, in all its glory.

When Amanda from Bumblebee Boots Photography asked if I wanted to shoot maternity photos, I realized it hadn’t even crossed my mind this time around! But I didn’t want to let this moment go by, especially since this is probably the last time you’ll see me with a bump. This pregnancy has been its own journey, with its own milestones, and it means a lot to document it here.

And these photos surprised me. Not in their beauty – Amanda is incredible, as seen here and here – but in the way I see myself for the first time since March. I don’t look at these and immediately see an exhausted working mom or a body no longer my own. Instead, I just see a very happy, very grateful me. Because I am. I’ve been blessed to have a second baby and complete our family – this was always a dream but never a given. And despite the craziest year of my life, this baby is healthy and thriving and so damn cute. (My ultrasound pics confirmed it.) I’m just thankful that I get to experience this one more time and am so excited to bring this little person into our lives. That’s what you’re seeing here, and these photos will always remind me of that.

(LC Lauren Conrad Maternity Dress, Stella & Dot Earrings (similar here), Target Mossimo Supply Co. Flats)

A third trimester post is on its way next! Thanks so much for your continued well wishes and for visiting this space. Can’t wait to share the big announcement soon.

Live in Cleveland and looking for a photographer? Make sure to check out Bumblebee Boots Photography and book your next shoot!