Be Kind Always.

October 25, 2016
Hey guys! ¬†It’s been so long since I’ve done a post ūüė≥ I’ve been so busy lately balancing work, family time and planning Rylie’s first birthday party (which btw, I plan to share here after the event so stay tuned ūüėõ). ¬†I’m counting down the days until she turns one and I seriously can not believe how fast it’s coming up! ¬†I’m sure I’ll be writing a sappy post dedicated solely to my growing babe as the day approaches, but for today I wanted to shed light on something that I hope will make people think twice about.

The mama community on social media is pretty huge. ¬†While everyone is completely different, they all have one thing in common and that is motherhood. ¬†I have met some great mamas through Instagram who have really helped me grow as a mother by sharing their personal experiences, tips and advice. ¬†By sharing my own experiences, I’ve gotten great feedback and encouragement as well. ¬†Tonight I came across a beautiful picture one of the mamas I recently started following posted. ¬†After liking her picture, I read her caption. ¬†It sounded a bit snobby and I was completely caught off guard that such a beautiful picture came with a caption like that. ¬†So as part of her caption suggested, I went ahead and watched her “instastory”. ¬†What I saw was, a mother insulting another mother for copying a professional photo session she had taken. ¬†I was left feeling so bothered that I immediately unliked her picture and unfollowed her account. ¬†Originally I followed her because I enjoyed her amazing feed and honest motherhood, but failed to remember behind these perfectly curated instagram feeds are imperfect human beings. ¬†Now I’m not trying to shame this lady, but when you post your life publicly to the world, you are inviting everyone and anyone to admire your ideas which will sometimes lead to you becoming their form of inspiration. ¬†That’s definitely a huge compliment, but I also get how this MAY be discouraging in some ways. ¬†Maybe you spent hours and hours deciding on specific colors and scenery that you found perfect for that special moment, and here comes someone else who didn’t have to input as much time and effort since you had done the work and they’re receiving all the credit for what you felt was your ideas. ¬†But if this is the mindset you have, if you will get angry and turn to cyber harassment over someone simply “copying” your picture, maybe your best bet is to switch your account to private and not share with the world your amazing ideas. ¬†Almost every idea that someone has thought of or seen is most likely on Pinterest. ¬†I literally turn to Pinterest for every occasion to get some inspiration and can spend hours browsing through categories. ¬†Like their description says, Pinterest is the world’s catalog of ideas.

Sorry for the long rant here. ¬†I just needed to voice my opinion on something I feel can be very serious and damaging to a person no matter their age, gender, job title, etc. ¬†Harassment and bullying is such a scary reality that I pray my child won’t ever have to encounter. ¬†However, I will raise her to be strong enough to identify it and move past it if she ever had to. We as parents need to be positive role models to our children or how else can we expect anything great? ¬†Life is already hard as it is, so we need to encourage one another and lift each other up‚̧ԳŹ Be kind always.


Fall Faves

September 25, 2016

Living¬†in Hawaii means summer all year round aka it is forever hot here >insert kim k crying face<¬† So when we finally reach September, I get pretty excited to wear colors that I associate with fall and more importantly,¬†that my favorite¬†drink of the season is back on menu. ¬†The one and only PSL or pumpkin spice latte for you non-starbucks drinkers ūüėõ ¬†I literally have at least one a week! ¬†I also have this crazy obsession with all things pumpkin scented but we can talk about that another day.

Recently I’ve been obsessing over anything blush and¬†mauve/plum, and found¬†a perfect bag in this combo from the Kate Spade outlet. ¬†Below I did a flatlay of my¬†bag found here¬†(I think the color I have is only available at the outlet)¬†+ my current favorite top found here¬†+ my absolute favorite nude matte lip found here¬†+ nail polish by O.P.I. in the shade Do you take lei away? + favorite rings I wear daily from a boutique located in Hawaii.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Blush Pink + Mauve/Plum Palette

And here’s a few of my favorite fall pieces from Rylie’s closet:

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Everything pictured (except for the moccasins) is from Old Navy and can be found on their website.  Moccs are by Minnetonka sold at Nordstrom.

Speaking of Rylie, poor baby caught roseola last weekend after our play date at the mall. ¬†I could totally kick myself for not being my usual crazy germaphobe self that day. ¬†Sigh. ¬†It started off with Rylie having a fever of 102 degrees. ¬†She had this fever on and off for 4 days and it would range from 100 degrees to as high as 103. ¬†We took her to her doctor and was instructed to give her baby tylenol and lukewarm baths to help keep her fever from spiking very high. ¬†Throughout the day and during the night, we kept Rylie in a thin cotton shirt and just her diaper. ¬†She also had a big loss of appetite and was extra extra fussy and clingy. ¬†After the 4th day, her fever immediately disappeared and I started to notice tiny red dots on her back. ¬†After doing my own research and confirming with her doctor, I already knew she had what is called roseola. ¬†Her face, tummy, and back are now covered in this red rash, which thankfully is not itchy¬†because it sure does look it¬†ūüė¶ Her appetite has returned but she’s still a little fussy and clingy calling for tons of mama snuggles this weekend.

Here’s a picture before the rash spread to her face, of her face-timing with¬†grandma.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Polka-dot head wrap by @wildsunshine.threads off IG, pup pj’s from Carters

Thanks for stopping by, and hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday ūüôā



Sunday Funday

September 18, 2016

Has it already been a week since I was sitting on my bed with my laptop in front of me, trying to find the words to express my feelings on returning to work? ¬†If you haven’t seen my instagram post a few days ago, I survived my first week back and Rylie handled it like a champ ūüôā ¬†I have to add this again because I really mean it when I say I APPRECIATE each and every person who reached out to me with advice and encouragement during that transition. ¬†It is amazing to know how much mothers will come together no matter what it is. ¬†I’m so happy to have some “mommy friends” through social media since not many of my friends have babies or the ones that do have, live in a different state. ¬†Mothers UNITE! ‚̧

Speaking of mamas in different states…one of my closest friends, Kelsie, and her adorable baby girl, Khloe, booked a quick trip to Hawaii this weekend! ¬†We were so fortunate to have been able to spend the day with them and finally have our babies meet. ¬†Kelsie and I have been friends for 10 years now, and we have literally been through everything together. ¬†From that awkward, trying-to-find-ourselves point in life, to going through pregnancy, and now entering motherhood together, we have definitely come a long way. ¬†We always jokingly talked about having babies at the same time or at least close in age and I can’t believe that it actually happened. ¬†Although we now live in different states, we are determined to make sure that our girls will grow up knowing each other (and go on lots of Disneyland trips together) ūüôā

Here’s some pictures from today:

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Of course we started with the most refreshing treat, Pressed Juicery Freeze
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
“Let me fix your hair”
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
“Let me fix your head band” Lol!
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Kelsie having Beyonce hair
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Telling secrets
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Dance time!

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend!



10 Months and an Update.

September 11, 2016

You guys, my baby is 10 months old! ¬†She has finally hit those double digits, meaning she is now 2 months shy of her first birthday (which btw, I really need to get on it with her party planning) but omg! ¬†I seriously can’t get over how fast time flies when you have a baby. ¬†It was just yesterday that Rylie was doing her superman pose on the floor, trying to move by¬†wiggling her arms and legs around with mommy and daddy cheering her on. ¬†She’s now clapping for herself¬†and walking alongside tables and couches, taking everything out of their place along the way. ¬†I’m pretty certain she’ll be walking on her own in no time and as exciting as that may be, I wanna cry and live in¬†these moments¬†a little bit longer.¬†¬†Trust me when I say that time will stop for no one. ¬†This is a¬†great reminder to always give my¬†100% love and attention to Rylie¬†because¬†they really grow up ¬†fast so¬†every second counts ūüôā

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset
That little grin and side eye though ūüėČ

Now for a little personal update: ¬†When I became pregnant, I imagined myself having¬†no choice but to jump¬†right back into work after 2 months of maternity leave.¬† Never did I think I would become a stay-at-home-mom being that the cost of living in Hawaii is so high and I relied heavily on my income to support my “way of life”, but we found a way and made it happen. ¬†It has now been 11 months that I’ve been out from¬†work (including the month I was on bed rest), and while it has been hard, exhausting and frustrating at times, it has been the most amazing and rewarding 11 months of my life. ¬†With the new flexibility we never had while the both of us were¬†working full-time, we were able to get in as much family outings as we could and spend a lot of time with loved ones.¬† I feel very fortunate that I got to witness and document so many milestones that Rylie hit, as well as see her start to become her own little person. ¬†I probably don’t say it enough but I’m so appreciative of Chris for all that he does to support us. ¬†Not only has he given me the greatest gift of all¬†(Rylie), he has given me an 11 month long opportunity¬†I didn’t think I’d ever get to experience.

Well, in less than 12 hours I will finally be returning to work part-time and leaving my baby for longer than 2 hours, for the first time. ¬†I’ve been struggling with how to prepare myself for this big day and have been trying to remain positive in what I feel is going to be one of the toughest moments¬†in motherhood, yet. ¬†But like my good friend has reminded me, my sole purpose for working will be my baby. ¬†Everything I do will be done for her. ¬†I want to be sure that we can provide her the best life and if this means having to work a few days a week, then so be it. ¬†This reminder means everything to me. ¬†While I know I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling all sorts of sadness being that it’s the actual day, I will keep telling myself what she said to help me stay positive. (Thanks, K ‚̧ )

I would love to know what you working moms did to help you get through your first days back from maternity!



What I carry in my baby bag.

September 1, 2016

Omg it’s already September!!! ¬†For today’s post, I thought I’d share with you guys what I currently keep in my baby bag. ¬†I love to see¬†what other mamas¬†carry in their bags and the different ways¬†they¬†keep things¬†organized, so why not share my own ūüôā

Organization¬†is a MAJOR¬†key for me whenever we go out. ¬†I try to keep things minimal¬†with easy access since I’m usually carrying Rylie in one arm while struggling¬†to get something out of¬†my bag with the other arm. ¬†As ¬†stated in my favorite baby products post found¬†here, I am using the Skiphop “Chelsea” diaper bag which has 10 different pockets and comes with a cushioned changing pad. ¬†I’ve never appreciated having so many¬†pockets in a bag until I became a mom! ¬†Before mom life, practicality¬†was never really something that sold me on a bag. ¬†I went based off of how the bag looked or the brand. Today, I’m all about products that are convenient and make things easier with a baby in tow.

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset
Bag & Puff Keychain from Nordstrom


In my baby bag I have the same things I would carry in my personal bag along with Rylie’s belongings. ¬†I will carry my phone, wallet, mirror, lip moisturizer, eye drops, pen, and mints. ¬†For Rylie, I’ll carry 4 diapers, the floral pouch which holds her teething toys, my milk snob cover, a clean onesie and burp cloth (in case ¬†of any accidents), 1 baby bling bows headband (black since it will match anything), 1 pacifier with clip, MAM bottle with water, her super puffs snack, purell wipes (for sanitizing carts and surfaces), and my heavily used hand sanitizer spray by The Honest Company. ¬†Btw, if you are a sanitizing nazi like myself, you will LOVE this spray. ¬†It has a nice natural scent and is a lot more quick to dry than liquid sanitizers. ¬†I use this spray so often that I purposely keep the cap off so I can easily grab and spritz with one hand, haha. ¬†If anyone decides to keep their cap off for any reason, please be sure it is out of your child’s reach. ¬†I always make sure Rylie can’t get to it if I put my bag on the floor since she’s currently teething and tries to put everything in her mouth.

If I know I’ll be out for more than a few hours, I’ll pack an additional set of diapers, wipes, toys, clothes, pacifiers, and a swaddle in a separate bag like this¬†and keep it in my car or the house we’re currently visiting. ¬†Love my¬†Longchamp bag as it can carry everything listed plus my macbook, however, it has only 1 pocket¬†on the inside. ¬†This doesn’t bother me too much since I’m not throwing a bunch of tiny items in it and if I do, I’ll just use another pouch like the floral one which I got from Forever 21.

That wraps it up for what I carry in my bag. ¬†Thanks for stopping by and I hope you mamas found this useful! ¬†I can’t believe it’s already September and that this¬†blog has been live for 13 days ūüėÄ If anyone has any suggestions on bettering my blog whether it is something it lacks or if there are other topics you’d like to read about, please let me know! ¬†I love hearing feedback. ¬†Also, thank you to those who have reached out to me via¬†other social media platforms. ¬†It feels so nice to know my content is being read lol! ¬†I will definitely be working on the appearance of my blog as time goes on so sorry if it is a little plain to the eye right now.




My Favorite Baby Products.

August 26, 2016

Hi loves! ¬†Happy FriYAY! ¬†Hope everyone had a¬†great week and is ready for the weekend ūüôā¬† I finally put together a list of baby items I found helpful the past 9 months and hope you first-time mamas or even second, third, or fourth time + mamas can find useful ūüôā ¬†Let’s start off with baby gear…

Baby Gear


After doing my research on the best stroller and car seat for Rylie within our budget, I ended up choosing the Nuna Mixx stroller and Nuna Pipa car seat. ¬†Safety was of course my number one factor, but I can’t lie, I really love the look of all Nuna products and feel they choose colors and materials that are very satisfying. ¬†Rylie on the other hand, definitely feels otherwise. ¬†I haven’t tried any other brands but a few of my girlfriends who went with the same car seat, says their child doesn’t like being in it either. ¬†The car seat looks comfortable (because I can’t honestly say it is, as I can’t fit in it to tell haha), and comes with a breathable canopy shield which I really love. ¬†The stroller is very easy to maneuver and isn’t too heavy for me to fold down and pick up however, this is only without a seat attached to the stroller base. ¬†With the stroller seat attached it does require you to use a little more strength taking it in and out of the car.

The Milk Snob car seat and nursing cover is one of my most favorite items I purchased so far. ¬†I tried those apron nursing covers but felt it didn’t give me enough coverage when¬†I wanted to feed in public. ¬†The Milk Snob cover is just like a poncho so it completely covers your body, front to back while feeding. ¬†I always feel so comfortable using this as I can pull my shirt up without people seeing my flabby stomach. ¬†The material is also very soft and breathable, so¬†Rylie loves to use it as a¬†security blanket while we’re out.

The diaper¬†bag I have is the Skip Hop Chelsea Diaper Bag¬†. ¬†Chris got it for me as a mother’s day gift when I was pregnant last year and before the Skip Hop Chelsea backpack came out. ¬†I love pretty much everything about my diaper bag, except for the fact that it cannot be worn as a backpack. ¬†It has a ton of compartments for your keys, phone, diapers, bottles, makeup, hand sanitizers, etc. ¬†Again, I love this bag but definitely find having backpack straps to be a lot easier.

Speaking of making things easy, this is exactly what the Ergobaby carrier does. ¬†Rylie still fusses when she first gets into her carrier, but after I start walking she’ll put her little head down and either fall asleep or just chill and look around. ¬†Gosh, baby wearing is just amazing. ¬†I wish I had started when Rylie was a newborn, but back then she was extremely light so I didn’t feel the need to. ¬†If I have a second baby in the future, I will definitely baby wear from birth.

Rylie didn’t always take a pacifier and we tried just about every brand that Target and Babiesrus carried until we came across the Nuk Pacifier. ¬†The nipple is an orthodontic nipple and she took to this one pretty quickly. ¬†A must-have accessory to go with a pacifier would be a pacifier clip. ¬†I got the Lou Lou Lollipop silicone pacifier clip for Rylie since she is currently teething. ¬†It is BPA free and made of 100% food grade silicone, making me feel pretty comfortable about her gnawing on it.

For entertainment around the house, Rylie uses the Baby Einstein Ocean Explorer walker¬†and goes crazy running in it. ¬†I use this walker or her Graco Pack n Play to keep her busy whenever I’m cooking, cleaning, or getting myself ready. ¬†She also loves her Fisher Price Kick n Play Piano Gym. ¬†These items will keep her busy for a good 20 minutes!

I had to add¬†Baby Bling Bows¬†to my list because I almost always never leave the house without one. ¬†Rylie has worn so many different bows, but my absolute favorite brand¬†would be Baby Bling Bows. ¬†Their headbands are made of nylon keeping it very stretchy and comfortable, allowing them to grow with your baby. ¬†They never leave a dent on her head, and she’ll always falls asleep with one¬†on.

Bathtime / Diapering

Bath time is really the best time in our household, but it wasn’t always this way. ¬†When Rylie was born she loved her bath time but after a few months she started to hate it. ¬†Before we started to co-bathe, I used the 4moms Baby Bath Tub. ¬†Let me tell you this is such a genius product!¬† It has a digital thermometer to help keep the water a perfect temperature for baby, and has 2¬†side drains that allow for a continuous flow of fresh clean water. ¬†I would definitely recommend this bath tub. ¬†To keep Rylie busy during her bath, I got her the Elegant Baby Squirtie bath set. ¬†She loves them but my only complaint is that I need to make sure to squeeze each one really good after her bath to avoid it getting gross and mildewy.

After her bath, I always put Rylie in a hooded baby towel like this that you can get from Target.  Babies lose their body heat quickly through their head, so a hooded towel is a must to keep them warm.

For baby wash, diaper cream, diapers, wipes, sanitizers, and nipple balm, I use the brand The Honest Company. ¬†You can purchase their products in bundles through their website, but I purchase the products I use from either Nordstrom or Target. ¬†Every item is made¬†without harsh, health compromising chemicals and is eco-friendly. ¬†I found The Honest Company diapers to be the most gentle and absorbent for Rylie whereas other brands gave her some rash or had an occasional leakage. ¬†Not to mention they have some of the cutest prints ever, although Nordstrom and Target have limited styles. ¬†I haven’t tried any other wipes except for the honest wipes, but what I love about it is that they¬†are thick and don’t have a perfume smell. ¬†I also use them if her hands are dirty or if I need to wipe up a mess.

The Oxo Tot Wipes Dispenser¬†makes it easier to grab wipes when you have only one hand available (other hand holding baby’s legs up) during a diaper change. ¬†It also avoids you having to shove¬†back¬†the extra wipes that came out all at once, thanks to the weighted piece inside the dispenser.

Before I got pregnant, I saw the Nose Frida¬†nasal aspirator at Nordstrom and thought it was the most grossest thing ever! ¬†You’re basically sucking their boogies out and into a tube. ¬†I swore I’d never use this on my child, but when¬†Rylie had some boogies stuck deep in her nose and the bulb aspirator was too big for her tiny nostril, I got desperate and had Chris buy it. ¬†It really works and as gross as it is, its great that you can see what comes out so you know you’re clearing their nose. ¬†It also comes with disposable foam filters, and the tube itself is easy to clean. ¬†Another good thing is that since you work as the suction, you control how strong the suction will be vs with the bulb aspirator you can’t adjust this.


Rylie has been breastfed for the past 9 months (and counting) and has refused all bottles we have tried except for¬†MAM bottles. ¬†She still refuses milk from a bottle but will drink water from it. ¬†MAM bottles are anti-colic and come with a little more pieces than just a regular bottle, adding a couple extra steps for cleaning. ¬†I actually like the fact that the top and bottom pieces come apart so I don’t have to use a bottle brush to clean it. ¬†I also like the¬†Comotomo Baby Bottle¬†because the bottle itself is squeezable which I find easier to grab. ¬†Rylie doesn’t care to suck from this bottle, but she does like when I squeeze the water into her mouth, lol.

I try to make Rylie most of her baby food and use the Beaba Multiportions Silicone Food Tray to freeze them. ¬†This tray is so awesome and is the perfect portion size for Rylie currently. ¬†I also use the Beaba Silicone Spoons¬†to feed her since she loves to bite and these won’t hurt her mouth.

For the foods that do not require a blender, I use the Nuk Mash and Serve Bowl. ¬†I discovered this amazing product from Chris’s cousin who’s baby is one month apart from Rylie. ¬†I use this daily to mash her bananas, avocados, or sweet potato that hasn’t been pureed. ¬†Its quick, easy, and will be made to the consistency of your liking.

Since we started solids, Rylie has been fed in the Bumbo Floor Seat¬†and tray. ¬†I read a lot of mixed reviews for this product, but found it to be okay for us. ¬†I’m still on the search for a high chair so we’ll continue to use this until we find one.

Baby snacks! ¬†Those Plum Organics Super Puffs¬†are a life-saver. ¬†We recently introduced these and my picky eater¬†absolutely loves them. ¬†They’re tiny little puffs that melt easily in your mouth, with a subtle sweetness to them. ¬†I may or may not eat a few whenever I give them to her…

The Boon Lawn Drying Rack is the cutest accessory in my kitchen.  This product is a must for me since I prefer to keep the baby dishes separate from our regular dishes.  You can purchase cute little accessories that stick into the lawn and hold pacifiers, nipples, bottle rings, etc., at a higher level to dry.



Our bedtime routine is pretty simple and may vary depending on how Rylie is feeling that day. ¬†We try our best to keep her on schedule, but you know that goes! ¬†We start off with a nice warm bath and let her splash around. ¬†Then we’ll dry her off and put her in footed pajamas (Old Navy, Carters, Gap, or Koala Kids) unless I know she has energy to play a little. ¬†If so, I’ll put her in a t-shirt and change her to her pajamas once she’s sleeping. ¬†As a newborn baby, we swaddled her as she was most comfortable this way. ¬†We used the Aden + Anais swaddles because they’re super soft and breathable as well as really cute ūüôā ¬†We no longer swaddle, but I always keep one¬†in my car in case Rylie needs a blanket to either sit or lay down on.

When Rylie was one month old, a girlfriend of mine gave her this Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Giraffe¬†and the rest is history. ¬†This giraffe has been with us every night until about a month ago when it went missing in Rylie’s toy bin. ¬†It plays soft, soothing music for 15 minutes and helps to keep baby calm once they’ve fallen asleep. ¬†I love that this soother is pretty small and can be taken with us to Grandma’s house or in the car.

Another favorite is the Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother. ¬†When Rylie wasn’t able to crawl around or pull herself up yet, she would lay down in her crib and stare at this aquarium. ¬†It honestly kept her busy for a good 10-20 minutes at a time! ¬†Once she started becoming mobile, she’d crawl over and push the star fish button to turn it¬†on and off. ¬†I’d be in the bathroom and hear it going on then¬†off, then on and off again. ¬†Annoyingly cute, haha. ¬†Definitely recommend ¬†this crib accessory.

Okay, you’re going to think I’m crazy but here is another MUST HAVE baby soother. ¬†It’s called Sound Sleeper and is an app I found through my iPhone. ¬†This is another life-saver that I mainly use while we are out. ¬†It plays white noise for 30 minutes (I have the free version) and keeps Rylie asleep through anything! ¬†I started using this as she was a newborn and still use it religiously today at 9 months old.

Lastly, we have my favorite¬†Jellycat stuffed animals. ¬†These are super soft and easy for baby to grab. ¬†I wouldn’t say this is a necessity but they are really cute and perfect for sleepy baby pictures ūüėõ ¬†Rylie never sleeps with anything since everything can pose as a danger, but I will let her cuddle an animal or blankie, then take it away once she’s asleep.

That wraps it up for my current list of baby-must haves. ¬†If anyone has some baby-must haves that I haven’t listed, please feel free to share with me. ¬†I love getting tips and advice from all you awesome mama’s ‚̧ ¬†Have a great weekend!

xo, Mari


Pregnancy Journey and Birth Story of Rylie Emi.

August 19, 2016

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Maternity shoot by Lisarosephotographyhi

Hey loves and welcome to my very first blog post! ¬†Since my blog will talk a lot about motherhood, I thought it fitting to do my pregnancy journey¬†followed by Rylie’s birth story as my first post. ¬†My pregnancy started off pretty rough, with all day and all night morning sickness for the first 18 weeks. ¬†It really should be called 24/7 sickness because that’s definitely how it went for me. ¬†Anything and everything, including social media and my favorite phone games made me feel sick. ¬†Foods, drinks, and smells would make me gag. ¬†It was the worst feeling in the world and I really wouldn’t wish it upon the least liked person I know of. ¬†I have to give a huge shout out to Chris, because he was the real mvp throughout this journey. ¬†At one point during my pregnancy, he was going to the store every day buying different items I needed to remedy my sickness. ¬†From getting me ginger candies, to watermelon, to gatorade, to preggie name it, he went out to retrieve it. ¬†What a good baby daddy already! ¬†As I started to enter my 16th week, the all day sickness became a little more manageable. ¬†I was able to actually eat a little but still felt extremely nauseated at certain times during the day. ¬†I forced myself to return to work, but had to carry what my girlfriend and I called my “party” cup everywhere I went. ¬†This party cup is your typical red plastic beer pong cup, that held a napkin and collected all my excess saliva, GROSS! ¬†I was so disgusted by this, but being able to spit my excessive saliva out during the day, prevented me from actually throwing up. ¬†I got this idea from my mom’s sister who did the very same back when she was pregnant with my cousin. ¬†She called it her spit cup. ¬†I thought calling it my party cup hid it’s actual use better ūüôā ¬†In fact, while shopping in Bath & Body Works one day, a worker commented that she loved that I was drinking out of that cup and the fact I was already in party mode at 11 AM. ¬†Ha! ¬†Little did she know what was really in my cup, ew! ¬†By my 18th week of pregnancy, my sickness had finally subsided and I was completely back to my normal self enjoying most of the things I did before falling pregnant, minus the exercise and outdoors activities. ¬†I always thought I’d be that preggo girl who does yoga and stayed active during pregnancy however, I was the complete opposite.¬† Pregnancy made me feel really exhausted and I started to experience braxton hicks contractions pretty early on. ¬†Because of this, I never did any type of yoga nor did I do anything involving sweating or¬†using my muscles. ¬†By the end of my pregnancy I had gained about 28 pounds total. ¬†I was a little concerned about my weight gain and bodily changes, but tried to remind myself that my body was doing something very incredible. ¬†It was growing a little human that we couldn’t wait to meet!

At my 20 week anatomy scan (the scan¬†they do to make sure baby is developing okay), the ultrasound tech¬†found a bright spot on Rylie’s bowel calling it echogenic bowel. ¬†Now this would be the first time I got to see my little bean pretty much developed and in 3-D so I was extremely excited. ¬†I had no idea what an echogenic bowel was or what it meant, but once my session was over, I learned it could¬†either be nothing or something very serious. ¬†Chris couldn’t get off of work that day, so my Mom was with me and I am so thankful she was there! ¬†I couldn’t really take in anything that was said after the word serious, because all I could think of was that something would be wrong with my precious little baby I’ve been thinking about and talking to for the past 4 months. ¬†At my next scan a few weeks later, I would find out she still had an echogenic bowel and that I had a low lying placenta. ¬†If my placenta didn’t move up by the time I would give birth, ¬†I’d be ordered to have a c-section. ¬†This completely freaked¬†me out since the thought of being cut open is like something out of a horror movie (although it’s totally not and is a very common and normal surgery lol). ¬†Like, what if the numbing medicine doesn’t work? ¬†What if I happened to be allergic to any of their medications since I’m already allergic to like 5 different ones? ¬†What if I bleed out and they can’t get it to stop? ¬†Also, what if I’m in so much pain I can’t hold my baby and feed or take care of her? ¬†I was left feeling so worried and stressed. ¬†At my¬†next scan another few weeks later, I was told Rylie was measuring on the smaller side and that it is concerning. ¬†Seriously? ¬†Will I ever hear good news!? ¬†Okay well on the positive side, Rylie showed a lot of movement, she was practicing her breathing, and she had a good heart rate. ¬†Those were all¬†good signs of a healthy baby. ¬†Despite all the bad news I would get at these ultrasounds, I was happy to be able to see Rylie on screen more often than I normally would have.

During the 8th month of pregnancy, my blood pressure measured slightly higher than normal at my routine check up and I had quite a bit of swelling in my feet. ¬†My feet would get so swollen that I could press on it and it would create a dent that would stay for a while. ¬†I did my part and drank a lot of water, stayed away from all salty foods, and kept my feet elevated. ¬†Oh and I also got frequent foot massages! ¬†I can’t forget those. ¬†Thanks again to Chris for being my awesome masseuse. ¬†Throughout all of that, my feet still remained swollen. ¬†These symptoms were pretty normal for a pregnant woman, but since my blood pressure is normally very low, my Dr decided to test me for preeclampsia. ¬†Preeclampsia is a¬†potentially¬†life-threatening condition. ¬†It can be very dangerous to a mom¬†and her¬†baby if she¬†proceeds to full term during pregnancy, which is why doctors would have her deliver early. ¬†So for 24 hours I collected every drop of¬†my urine in a large plastic jug, that I would later drop off to the lab for testing. ¬†Can I please tell you, it is NOT easy to collect your pee when you have a huge belly in the way! ¬†I may or may not have dropped a little on my own hand during pee collecting. ¬†Ew. ¬†Anyways, it turned out that I did not have preeclampsia,¬†but Rylie was still measuring very tiny for her gestational age. ¬†Because of this, I was ordered to have a¬†twice weekly NST scan to monitor Rylie, and was taken out of work and put on light bed rest. ¬†At all of my appointments with my obgyn, he always assured me that he really felt¬†Rylie would just be a tiny baby since her dad and myself are not big people, but we were taking every precaution just to be safe. ¬†I seriously cannot thank my Dr enough for being so on it with all my symptoms and concerns. ¬†He was real, and made me feel safe in my pregnancy and this is really the type of relationship you want with your Dr. ¬†If you ever feel like your Dr is not listening to your concerns or just brushing it off, please get a second opinion because pregnancy can be a scary nervous time, and I found it so important to have professionals I could trust my baby’s and my own life with.

When I reached my 38th week of pregnancy, I had my last anatomy scan to see the location of my placenta, the size of Rylie, and if she still had an¬†echogenic bowel. ¬†Much to my surprise, my placenta had moved high enough where it would be safe to have a vaginal delivery and Rylie no longer had an echogenic bowel. ¬†I felt completely relieved. ¬†However, she still hadn’t grown much since her last scan, so my Dr ordered me to get induced at 38.5 weeks which would be in a few days. ¬†He felt it would be better for Rylie to be out soon so she could start getting the nutrition she needed to grow, since apparently my placenta was not providing enough. ¬†I was fully ready for this. ¬†I had¬†my¬†hospital bags all packed and ready to go, along with our carseat, stroller, and crib set up. ¬†I was so anxious and excited. ¬†The time to meet baby Rylie was¬†finally here ūüôā

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
28 days before Rylie arrived ūüôā

The night before my induction date¬†I could NOT go to sleep. I had so many thoughts running through my mind and kept googling what happens when you get induced at 38.5 weeks. ¬†I would google and come across different experiences to make sure I knew exactly what to expect, so that I wouldn’t be freaking out. ¬†I finally told myself that I really need to rest because if being induced goes quickly, I will be extremely exhausted and look horrible in my birth pictures (which I kind of did anyway haha). ¬†So I went to sleep and several hours later I had to wake up. ¬†It was a rainy morning which was funny because we live in Hawaii where it hardly rains and the weather had been really nice that week. ¬†The same thing happened for¬†my baby shower. ¬†Perfect weather the whole week and BAM, pouring rain the day of my shower. ¬†Little miss Rylie sure loves to make her special days memorable.

On November 7th, 2015, we got to the hospital at 6 AM and checked in. ¬†They were really busy that morning with a few other babies being born so we had to wait a while. ¬†This worked out great for me since¬†I was starving and was basically told I’d be having breakfast in bed. ¬†Being the fatty I am, I ordered eggs, bacon, a bagel, a few jellos and juice, for what I thought would be my last meal as a preggo. ¬†After a couple hours, they were ready to get me started. ¬†I got¬†hooked up to the baby monitors, similar with what I did during my NST scans, and was given Cervidil, which helps to dilate the opening of my cervix. ¬†I went in dilated at 1 centimeter and had to get to 10 before I was able to start pushing. ¬†Thinking this would only take a few hours, I got really excited¬†when the Dr came in to check how much I had dilated. ¬†“You’re still at 1 cm” he said. ¬†What! ¬†I haven’t progressed at all since they first inserted it!? ¬†Omg, just how long will¬†this dilation process take!? ¬†Anxious, I took to google to find all possible outcomes of being induced. ¬†That was probably not the best idea since google is so broad and I came across a bunch of different responses from induction going really quick, to induction taking several days long. ¬†I was completely bummed and getting even more anxious to have this baby. ¬†Desperate to know, I asked my nurse what would happen if the Cervidil doesn’t help with opening my cervix. ¬†She said I would most likely be sent home and would have to come back later to try again. ¬†Oh. My. Gosh. ¬†I was feeling so stressed and a bit frustrated¬†since we had already gone through all this waiting and nothing had progressed. ¬†Sigh. ¬†But trusting my Dr, we went on with the day and continued to wait. ¬†Nothing happened throughout this time except I got to eat 2 more meals. ¬†Physically I did not feel any different from when I first arrived.

Finally at around 10 PM, I was checked again and had progressed to 3 centimeters. ¬†This would mean it is time to be given Pitocin. ¬†Pitocin is given through your IV, and helps to start labor contractions. ¬†My Dr scheduled me to be given this at 11 PM which left me about an hour to walk around, take a shower, and get myself ready before I take on these labor pains (Yikes). ¬†Pitocin worked fairly quick for me. ¬†I was starting to feel those nagging cramps, which turned into full on contractions, that only got stronger with each one. ¬†At one point I felt this huge gush of liquid down there, later to find out it was my water that broke. ¬†My contractions were getting pretty intense as time kept passing. ¬†Contractions for me, felt like a bad tummy ache intensified by 10. ¬†Each contraction was starting to last around a minute long, and each minute felt like 5 minutes. ¬†My nurse and Chris would have to remind me to breathe during a contraction because for some reason my body’s reaction was to hold my breath. ¬†I also felt the urge to push and it was getting harder to resist. ¬†That’s when I said screw a natural labor, GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL. ¬†That was the best decision I had ever made. ¬†The process for the epidural was a tiny bit uncomfortable but nothing compared to the pain of contractions. ¬†Once they got it going I was in complete heaven. ¬†My only thoughts were, contractions? ¬†What contractions? ¬†I really don’t know how some women do it without an epidural. ¬†They are seriously beast and I give them so much credit.

Once given the epidural, I was able to relax and finally¬†fall asleep. ¬†I got it around 3 AM, and slept on and off until 8:30 AM which was when the nurse woke¬†me up and said I had to push!¬† My cervix ended up dilating to 10 centimeters while I was sleeping, so I had to start pushing immediately. ¬†What a serious wake up call. ¬†All I could think about was where is my mom and sister!? ¬†I really wanted them to be in the delivery room while I gave birth and was so nervous they wouldn’t make it. ¬†Chris called both of our families to let them know I started pushing and that little Rylie could be here at any moment. ¬†Luckily it was a Sunday morning, so there was no traffic. ¬†My family got there within the last 20 minutes of me pushing and Chris’s shortly after. ¬†Pushing was pretty easy for me thanks to the advice I was given which was to take a big deep breath, hold it, and push like you’re having a bowel movement. ¬†This was the best advice given to me¬†because when you’re fully numb from your waist down, you can’t tell if you’re pushing or not. ¬†So having that ¬†reminder in my head, along with the support and guidance from my Dr and nurses helped so much. ¬†I had been pushing for about 40 minutes, when Rylie’s heart rate started to drop and she wasn’t getting much lower. ¬†My Dr told me that if her heart rate continued to slow, he would¬†have to use this vacuum extractor¬†to suction her out. ¬†This completely freaked me out, especially as he was going over the possible¬†risks of using it. ¬†I felt so helpless and really didn’t want her to be vacuum extracted. ¬†My mom and sister just so happened to arrive at this time, so with my next 2 pushes and having Chris, my mom, and sister by my side encouraging me, I gave it MY ALL and was successful at¬†pushing Rylie out, no vacuum needed. ¬†I’m pretty sure this caused me to have a 2nd degree tear, but hey, I avoided the vacuum!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Rylie Emi Suzawa Siew

On November 8th, 2015 at 9:23 AM, Rylie Emi Suzawa Siew entered this world. ¬†She weighed 5 lbs 1 oz, and was 18.5 inches long. ¬†She was the tiniest and cutest little newborn¬†ever! ¬†We were so thankful she was healthy considering all the scares and bad news we would get at her checkups. ¬†I am also very thankful to both of our families for all their support and to my mom, especially, for attending every ultrasound appointment with us. ¬†I couldn’t imagine going through this whole journey without them. ¬†Rylie is such a blessing, and has changed all our lives forever!

xo, Mari