The Final Performance, Round Two | Labor & Delivery

And here we are! I can NOT believe that I’m finally able to sit down and write this post! Jack is almost 6 months old and we’ve had quite an adventure since he arrived.

Before we get started, you may want to go back to the Third Trimester Recap to get a better understanding/refresher of what was happening. Also, keep in mind that this post is as much for me as it is meant for you all. This is a way for me to look back in a couple of years when my memory is foggy…

This post will also be very word heavy, as I do not have any photos of this time.

Ok, ready? I hope you grabbed a cool glass of wine as we dive in!

At 4AM on January 5th we started cytotec. Throughout this entire day, we completed 5 rounds before deciding to move on. At the 4th round there was no change.

By 11:30 PM, this was the update parents had received.

We may be doing one more round tonight before moving to Pitocin. I’m exhausted, but have been able to sleep on and off throughout the day. Contractions are slowly increasing, but still no change (2 centimeters). I can’t tell if I’m uncomfortable because of the contractions or the bed they have me in…

text update to parents

The fifth round changed the labor process quickly, thanks to a nurse that was ALL business. That brought about the REAL start of labor.

At 1AM on January 6th, we had started Pitocin, I got an epidural by 5 centimeters, and things were moving along!

Around 7 centimeters, I started to notice that I was feeling WAY MORE than I should be. They rechecked the epidural, which seemed fine and thought that I was maybe pressing the medication release button more than I thought. It turns out, the epidural wasn’t working properly. Period. By 10AM, I quickly realized that the epidural I do passionately loved a few hours ago was a thing of the past.

At 11AM, we started pushing. At 13:43, John Emerson Devens (Jack, as we call him) arrived!

Our second joy-filled moment quickly turned into concern, again. Jack was a healthy 8 pounds 1.8 ounces, with a full head of dark hair. While he was crying, he still needed a bit of help breathing and was taken to the NICU for observation.

As with Michael, breathing struggles are fairly common in Colorado because of the altitude.

Once again, while all of this was happening, I was having complications of my own. It was a flashback to Michael’s delivery at this point…

My placenta would not detach. I was hemorrhaging, which was causing dizziness and confusion. I only had a single second-degree tear that required sutures. I needed Pitocin again, post delivery. After all that was dealt with, I was exhausted and napped for 2 hours.

When I woke up, the baby was still in the NICU. I was cleaned up, taken care of hygienically, and allowed by my nurse to “escape” to visit my baby. We wheeled over and I got to see and hold him!

At 5PM, big brother came to visit and was not thrilled.

On January 7th at 5AM, Jack was brought from the NICU to our room. On the 8th, he was put under the bilirubin lighting for 24 hours to reduce jaundice.

January 9th at 2PM, we had escaped the hospital and were headed home!

Ultimately, everything turned out in our favor. He was discharged from the hospital, we have our second baby boy! Home, safe, and healthy.

The doctors, nurses, technicians, and staff were great! They kept us in the loop, handled my anxiety riddled self with patience and kindness, and loved on my baby when I couldn’t.

My labor and delivery was, once again, nothing like I had imagined. Lightning doesn’t strike twice…right?! I was expecting a faster delivery and birth process, doing skin-to-skin with my baby immediately…all the things everyone talks about. With that being said, nothing about our journey to baby was easy and this fit the mold.


Postpartum | 6 Months

Ok, so let me start by saying anyone’s hard is HARD. It doesn’t matter what it is.

Holy shit, postpartum is unbelievably hard!

Postpartum after Michael wasn’t…terrible. I had anxiety and a few little issues pop up, but in the grand scheme of things, that first postpartum period was manageable. Granted, I was pregnant five and a half months after giving birth, so my postpartum phase was extremely limited. Really, with Michael’s pregnancy, the prenatal anxiety was worse than the postpartum experience as a whole.

After having Jack, I had severe anxiety, depression, and large hormone imbalances. Not to mention, Jack went back into the hospital at 6 weeks with a bronchiolitis. Two weeks after coming home, COVID-19 hit and it seemed as though the world stopped. Being trapped inside our home for months, with a one-and-a-half year old and infant, was tough.

Depression hit an all time high, I was TERRIFIED and desperate to leave the house, and beyond exhausted. Postpartum this time has been traumatic. It’s as simple and scary as that.

While I’m not out of the dense, overwhelming fog that is PPD/PPA, I do feel like I’m ready to talk about it. To let you know that you’re not alone. Having not had PPD before, I had NO IDEA what to look for. Even my OBGYN, who is trained to recognize the symptoms, had a hard time giving me the PPD/PPA diagnosis.

  • Insomnia
  • Severe hair loss
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Blurry vision
  • No energy/falling asleep during the day
  • Zero motivation throughout the day
  • Hot flashes
  • Inability to remember
  • Episodes of crying
  • Irritability
  • Appetite Irregularities
  • Body image inconsistencies

I feel so guilty and incredibly inadequate.

So, you’re probably wondering what the point of all this is. Well, I want to start a monthly discussion here and on Instagram where we can talk all things postpartum. To create a community where we feel safe enough to talk about it. One thing I’ve learned is that PPD/PPA is very lonely, isolating (mostly self-inflicted), and taboo. Let’s change it, because I’m done feeling like I’m completely alone (and I think you might be, too).

Want more postpartum discussion? Every post related to postpartum is here!

third trimester

The Ending, Round Two | Third Trimester Recap

Goodbye, Second Trimester! What a rough 13 weeks…there really is no other way to phrase it.

When we hit that third trimester, a wave of relief and dread hit. Relief because I was inching my way closer to full term. Dread because I knew that the longer I stayed pregnant, the sicker I would become…

Month 7

Between the end of the week 23 and week 28, I went from daily doctor appointments to weekly to twice per week. From about week 22 on, I started showing signs of preeclampsia again. Swelling, kidney infections, headaches, vomiting, exhaustion, high blood pressure and/or inconsistent blood pressure…it was horrible. 

At 26 weeks, I was doing a weekly Non Stress Test and biophysical ultrasound to monitor the baby. Contractions at this point were consistent at 25 minutes apart. 

At 28 weeks and 1 day, I went in for a growth scan and glucose test. Long story short, baby looked great, but a bit large and I failed my glucose test. I opted to test my blood sugar 3x per day instead of going through the 3 hour test. They agreed that I could do that, IF I record my food choices along with my numbers AND email them to the doctor before any appointment. I agreed. 

The big positive during this time, aside from seeing Baby of course was Halloween and going to the Army v. Air Force game with friends! 

Month 8

At 30 weeks and 3 days, we went to a brunch to celebrate ALL the November birthdays within our friend group! We had a great time, but I was SO swollen, uncomfortable and my preeclampsia symptoms were slowly increasing in severity. 

This month, aside from having consistent contractions and dislocated ribs, was fairly mellow…until week 35 that is.

Dr appt.–high bp into hospital immediately

Just got back from my appointment. The baby looks good on the monitor and my levels all are stable, although it’s on the higher side of normal. I am officially in the books to be induced on 1/14/20, as long as nothing crazy happens. If something happens (my blood pressure gets high again, the baby needs to get out earlier, my swelling worsens, Etc.), I will be induced earlier. They wanted me to get in the books because it’s easier to move my date to an earlier time once I’m in the system. 

quote that I sent to Mike, updating him

All that being said, I am almost 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The doctor said she’d be surprised if I made it to 39 weeks with the amount of contractions that I’m having and the progress that they are making. Last week (12/16/19), in the hospital, I was 0 cm and 0% effaced”

Month 9

On December 27, my contractions were consistently every 3 minutes. I went to Labor and Delivery and was informed that I’d be given medication to stop contractions. After talking through my concerns, my doctor, nurses, and I decided against medications. They’d give my body 3 hours to stop contracting before revisiting giving medications…when they got to, and stayed at, 7-9 minutes apart they let us go home to rest…at 3:30AM.

I had my L&D follow up and regular OB appointment on the same day. On December 30, my blood pressure was quite high. The follow up doctor’s goal was simple…make it to Thursday’s appointment. I’d continue to track my blood pressure and diabetes, and if anything felt bad or got high, I’d be delivering. If I could make it to Thursday, we’d be moving my induction date up. I’m seeing the same doctor that I saw today and she said that if I’m feeling the same way and having similar blood pressure readings, they will induce me by Sunday.

On Thursday, January 2, my induction rescheduled for the 7th at 7PM.

On January 4, around 1:33PM, I was feeling REALLY bad. I had a horrible headache, was vomitting, the swelling was increasing, vision was worsening, and could not keep my eyes open. All of that and my blood pressure was lower than ever before. EVERY. THING. HURT.

By 2:53, I was in the hospital, getting blood work drawn, some pain management, and monitoring baby.

At 7:03, I texted my parents with an update, that you’ll read in a second. Between 2:53 and 7:03 the following happened…Keep in mind that Mike was home until 5PM taking care of M3.

They gave me phenergan to help with the vomiting and headache and are going to see what that does. I can’t drive with it in my system and they still aren’t sure what the doctor is going to do. the doctor to admit me, but the nurse doesn’t think it’s safe for me and the baby to go home. The meds they gave me aren’t touching the nausea and headache and my BP is still all over the place. We’re waiting to hear back with official word from the doctor/high risk team, but they told Mike to come with a bag and no baby.

Text update that I sent my parents

7:03 PM I was officially admitted to Labor and Delivery and moved out of triage. I received medication to help with pain and force me to get some sleep. At this point, the plan was to re-evaluate at 5AM. If I still felt horrible or things get worse overnight, they’d induce.

At 4AM on Janurary 5th, we started the induction!

General Info

Weight: I have gained about 40 pounds, total. Way less than M3’s pregnancy, but still WAY more than I had hoped for.

Going to the chiropractor during this pregnancy has been SO helpful. I can’t recommend it enough!

Cravings/Aversions: At this point, I have a VERY limited appetite. Nothing sounded great, except for Christmas Eve dinner. I had steak for the first time in YEARS.

Sleep: If I could sleep all day, every day, I think I would. I am exhausted!

Now, I sleep whenever M3 sleeps. Naps? Check! His bedtime? Check! When he’s awake (if I have another adult in the house with him)? Check! I can NOT get enough sleep. It’s a bit ridiculous!

Medications: Prenatal with methylated folate (3 pills/day), Baby Aspirin (81mg AM), Zyrtec (10mg AM), Pepcid (20 mg AM, 20 mg PM), Bonjesta (anti-nausea (1 pill PM), Magnesium (200mg PM), Potassium (200mg PM), Macrobid (general antibiotic for kidney infection), Amoxicillin (for the ear infection), Z-PAK and inhaler (bronchitis), glyburide (1 pill/day).

sign off!

Get To Know Me

Hello! You may have noticed that this are looking a little different around here…site design, Instagram, and consistency and content! With everything morphing a little bit, I thought I’d sit down and make today’s post the kick-off with a silly, simple Q&A!

For a quick background, I’m Alaina–hi! Founder, writer, creator, photog…all the things here at The Colorful Notebooks. I’m also a mom to 2 under 2 (they are 15 months apart), wife (former and proud Army wife), and proud New Yorker living in Colorado!

If you want to know a little more about me…well, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading!

  1. Are you a morning or night person?
    • Neither?…I think I’d be considered a night person, but not of my choosing. Having kids has forced me get things done later at night…Now though, I think I’d enjoy being a morning person and go to bed WAYY early.
  2. Are you afraid of the dark?
    • YES, absolutely. 100%…but you live in a house with 500+ bats growing up and then we can talk
  3. Are you an extrovert or introvert?
    • YES, absolutely. 100%…but you live in a house with 500+ bats growing up and then we can talk
  4. Are you double jointed?
    • Ick, no.
  5. Are you left or right handed?
    • Right handed!
  6. Are you more of a tidy person or a messy one?
    • Tidy, organized, type-A. Whatever you’d like to call it. Clutter and disorganization (in my own home) makes me so anxious and unsettled
  7. Are you on time or always late?
    • On time. “Early is on time. On time is late.” I try to be a good 10 minutes early to…as much as possible .
  8. Are you ticklish?
    • YES, and I kick, so don’t bother trying!
  9. Can you curl your tongue?
    • Nooo…? I have no idea
  10. Can you ice skate?
    • Not at all! But I’ll pretend, if you will.
  11. Can you wiggle your ears?
    • Nope.
  12. Coffee or tea?
  13. Neither, I don’t consume caffeine.
  14. Cookies, cake or donuts?
    • Donuts, first, then cake
  15. Did you ever participate in a talent show?
    • Yeah, every year from 2nd to 4th grade. Britney Spears skit, sign language song…those are the 2 that stick out the most.
    • Did you go to prom?
      • Yeah, junior and senior prom. I would have been a-ok not going at all.
  16. Did you like school?
    • Elementary to High school, no. College, yes!
  17. Do you believe in ghosts?
    • I think so
  18. Do you bite your nails?
    • Oh yeah, it’s a habit I try to break twice a year
  19. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
    • No, I think I’m a good baker and recipe follower
  20. Do you enjoy dancing?
    • “Dancing” when it’s in the house during a family dance party, yes! …Or when I’ve had a little too much to drink
  21. Do you enjoy DIY or crafts?
    • Yes, just yes
  22. Do you forgive easily?
    • Nope
  23. Do you have a nickname?
    • Lu-lu (from my parents; no one else calls me that)
  24. Do you have any allergies?
    • Yeah, to medications, and weird random foods
  25. Do you have any phobias?
    • HUGE fear of bridges and bats
  26. Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
    • Yes. I have a tattoo on my ribcage and my ears pierced. I used to have my cartilage and belly button pierced.
  27. Do you have children?
  28. Do you have pets?
    • 2 dogs. Sadie (Australian Shepard, 7) and Auggie (Coton de Tulear, 6)
  29. Do you have siblings?
    • Yes, a younger brother
  30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
    • Dogs, hands down
  31. Do you prefer Mac or PC?
    • Mac
  32. Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?
    • Both. Mountains mean the surrounding areas are generally cooler, but I mean come on, the beach is gorgeous!
  33. Do you prefer to bath or shower?
    • Shower, I feel really gross getting out of a tub after sitting in the water
  34. Do you sing in the shower?
    • No, my showers are quiet and thoughtless
  35. Do you smoke?
    • No, never
  36. Do you speak any different languages?
    • I used to be fluent in Spanish. Since having kids, I’m reteaching myself American Sign Language
  37. Do you still have your wisdom teeth?
    • No.
  38. Do you still watch cartoons?
    • Only because I have kids…
  39. Do you/have you played any sports?
    • Growing up I was in gymnastics and dance. In high school, I played tennis, volleyball, and track and field. I tried to play golf for a year, too…
  40. Have you ever been to a concert?
    • Josh Turner and Blink 182
  41. Have you ever met any celebrities?
    • Of course not!
  42. Have you ever skipped class?
    • Once, senior skip day and I was so anxious
  43. Have you ever won something?
    • I won a vacation and tungsten wedding rings
  44. What did you want to be when you were younger?
    • An elementary school teacher
  45. What do you do on a typical Friday night?
    • Try to stay awake past 9PM
  46. What is your shoe size?
    • I’m a size 9
  47. What movie have you watched repeatedly?
    • When Harry Met Sally
  48. What phone do you have (Apple or Android)?
    • Apple
  49. What should you be doing right now?
    • Sleeping or cleaning up, but sitting on the couch feels so much better!
  50. What’s one goal you would like to accomplish this year?
    • I’d LOVE to have lost more of the “baby weight” and become healthier overall.
  51. What’s one of your pet peeves?
    • People taking food from my plate bothers me to no end! I don’t even like my kids taking from my plate…ick!
  52. What’s the last song you’ve listened to?
    • HELPLESS from Hamilton. If you haven’t seen Hamilton, it’s on Disney+ and is FANTASTIC!
  53. What’s the thing you can’t leave the house without?
    • For myself, water. For my kids water and diapers
  54. What’s your current obsession?
    • Medical documentaries and organizing
  55. What’s your favorite gadget?
    • A camera or cam-corder. I LOVE documenting and being able to look back and everyday life!
  56. What’s your favorite hobby?
    • Reading, between 13 and 18 I read over 450 books
  57. What’s your favorite movie?
    • When Harry Met Sally
  58. What’s your favorite season?
    • Fall, hands down. I love EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!
  59. What’s your favorite series?
    • Grey’s Anatomy and Blue Bloods
  60. What’s your favorite sport to watch?
    • Baseball, volleyball, and gymnastics
  61. What’s your longest relationship so far?
    • My marriage! 6 years and 8 months married, 8 years, 2 months together
  62. What’s your zodiac sign?
    • Sagitarius
  63. When is your birthday?
    • Novemeber 28, 1992

So there we go, 63 questions all about my life! Answer a couple in the comments below and see if your answers match any other readers!



I’m sitting here today, June 2, 2020, trying to do what has been rightfully plastered on all forms of social media. Educate oneself. Listen and learn. I’ve read articles, social media messages, and have started to my own research (via documentaries, articles, and looking for items to bring into our home).

I thought I’d share with you some books that I will be purchasing for my kids. Especially, as they get older. At this point in time, I have two boys (a 20 month old and an almost 5 month old). In my opinion, they are quite young, but I ABSOLUTELY think that this is a benefit. We can start introducing books, people, and discussions that are centered around inclusivity, empathy, compassion, and love.

I put together a list of books for toddlers/babies/kids that we will slowly be purchasing. I’m also including a small list of movies that I have watched or am planning to watch, in the hopes of having a better understanding of what is happening around us.

Please note, that it is NOT my recommendation to show the movies to your child/children without having watched them first.

You can find all the books here, on my Amazon Idea List.

The links shown in this post are not affiliate links and I will not receive any money or kickback.

I know that this is not a comprehensive list. Please(!), leave any recommendations for books/general media, discussion topics, or people my family should learn about. I’m looking for items that, again, promote inclusivity, empathy, compassion, and love.

sign off!

Hello, Again!

Wow! It’s been WAY TOO LONG and far too much has happened since we had Baby #2, Jack. I posted his announcement on January 11, 2020…today, is May 14, 2020.


We are half way through the month and almost half way through the YEAR! Jack is almost 4.5 months old and Michael is almost 20 months, everyone is in some type of quarantine… I don’t even know where to start, I only know that I’ve missed writing/talking to you all.

So, here we go! I make no promises on posting frequency, but am hoping to show up once a week. We will see what happens…

If you want to interact more frequently than that, you can head over to Instagram. If you have emailed me in the last…let’s say 6 months, I’m going through them and will be getting back to you soon!

On that note, Jack is crying and my brief time alone has ended!

Until next time,

sign off!