My Birth Story- Scheduled C-Section

Kenny girl's birth.jpg

Today I’m sharing a recap of the best day of my life, the day my baby girl Kensington was born!

Around 30 weeks, I found out my baby was breech and if she didn’t flip, I would have to have a c-section. For those of you who don’t know, most doctors will not allow you to attempt a breech delivery. I had a feeling she wasn’t going to, she just seemed really comfy the way she was. I could feel her head up in my ribs, so every day I was able to tell that she hadn’t flipped.

Around 37 weeks we went ahead and scheduled the surgery. I had to really start mentally preparing for this. I am the type of person who freaks out just at the talk of any kind of surgery. The thought of laying there in the operating room, basically paralyzed being cut open while awake terrified me. I was also SO scared for the spinal block.

Throughout the end of my pregnancy, I had gestational thrombocytopenia (low platelets). Every week, I would go get a blood test to check my platelets. They continued to drop during my pregnancy, and if they got much lower I would not have been allowed to get an epidural/spinal block. Most hospitals require your platelets to be above 100,000 in order to receive an epidural. If your platelets aren’t high enough the day of delivery, and you can’t get a spinal block, c-section patients have to be put under general anesthesia, so you’re completely asleep for your baby’s birth.

This was super upsetting to me and I just continued to pray that they would be high enough for me to receive the spinal block. If she hadn’t been breech, there would have also been the option to have an all natural drug free birth.

So, let’s talk about her birthday!! My surgery was scheduled for 7:00 AM, and I had to arrive at 5:00 AM to check in and get prepped.

I didn’t sleep at all the night before. I tried so hard to get a couple hours of rest but it didn’t happen. I was way too excited and nervous. It’s so hard to sleep knowing you’re meeting your baby in the morning!

4:00 rolls around and it was time to get up and get ready. I already had all of our bags packed and ready, so I just had to get dressed, and do my hair and makeup. To me, being able to get ready was a huge perk of having a c-section and I wanted to look good for pictures. It’s such an odd thing to get ready to go have your baby. I always pictured my water breaking somewhere out in public and having to rush off to the hospital, so having a scheduled birth was so odd!

I was almost 40 weeks and never thought I would actually make it to her scheduled delivery date. My surgery was only 3 days before her due date and I was convinced she would come sooner. I had been having really strong consistent contractions for days prior.

Driving to the hospital I wasn’t overly nervous, just SO excited. One of my favorite songs How Sweet The Sound (Amazing Grace) by Citizen Way was on the radio, and I felt so peaceful and ready to meet my Kensie Grace!

When we got to the hospital, we took the elevator up to the delivery floor. When it reached the floor, the doors wouldn’t open all the way. They just kept opening about a foot and then closing and opening and closing. One of my absolute biggest fears in life is being trapped in an elevator. We just stood there watching the door partially open and close and my heart started to race. Then the door opened and I jumped out as fast as I could. Not a good start to my hospital experience haha.

waiting.jpg

[In the waiting room at 5:00 AM waiting to be called back!]

After checking in, I was called back and immediately changed into a gown. I wasn’t able to wear my own gown that I brought because you aren’t allowed to bring your own things into the operating room. Then I got my IV placed and my blood drawn. I had never had an IV before so I wasn’t sure how badly it would hurt but it honestly wasn’t too bad at all. The nurse did a great job. She was super nice and really calmed my nerves. Then I had an ultrasound to confirm baby girl was still breech, which I already knew like I mentioned because I could literally feel and touch her head up in my ribcage.

I wish I had more time to vlog beforehand but it was just one thing after the other. I was constantly with a nurse being prepped in some way. Before I knew it, it was time for surgery! Time to meet my baby!!

Walking myself into the operating room was such a weird experience. I always pictured being wheeled in on the hospital bed but nope! They just walked me down the hall into the OR! Then they told me to get up on the operating table and cross my legs. It was time for the spinal block! My husband wasn’t allowed back with me until after the spinal block, so it was just me and the nurses and surgical staff at this point.

I was so so SO scared for this part!! I’m not going to lie, it hurts, but it really isn’t terrible. You feel a pinch and pressure. Almost immediately after the shot, my body started getting warm and numb. They laid me back and I started shaking. Shaking is a super common reaction to the medicine and unfortunately it made me shake uncontrollably the entire procedure.

The doctor walked in and it was time to get started! I was extremely anxious and scared during the procedure and having a major panic attack. I hated the feeling of being numb from my boobs down. I got a random shooting pain in my neck which they said was normal. Then I started to feel like I was going to throw up. The anesthesiologist gave me a bag and I laid there numb on my back dry heaving into a bag. I had been fasting so nothing actually came up but it was horrible.

I feel like it was about 15-20 minutes and then they said “Are you ready to meet your baby!” I was so happy and emotional.

kenz birth 2

I heard her crying and looked up above the curtain and there she was! My perfect baby girl! I said “She’s so tiny!!” because for some reason she looked so small to me. She was actually over 7 lbs. so not super tiny. I was instantly in love with her! I wanted to hold her so badly. She was just perfect.

They cleaned her up a little and took her weight and measurements. Then they let my husband hold her next to me while they finished the procedure. It was such a bummer not being able to hold her right away but I’m happy he was able to. I reached over and just kept touching her with my left arm anxiously awaiting the procedure to be over with so I could cuddle my sweet baby!

I seriously can’t get over how precious and perfect she looked. Meeting her was the best moment ever!

I am going to do a whole post on c-sections and recovery tips soon.

I am so in love with my little best friend and feel so blessed to be her Mom!

 

Holiday Gift Guide #5

8.jpg

Hi loves! Today I’m sharing Holiday Gift Guide #5! I missed last week, because I was SUPER sick, and I didn’t want to pick random items when my heart wasn’t in it. I’m feeling so much better, and I found 7 awesome gifts for you guys today!

  1. Sparkly slippers: I’m a fan of anything sparkly, especially if it’s white! There’s just something about white glitter that looks so beautiful to me. These slippers come in a few colors, but ‘Ice Glitter’ is my favorite. They are a more high end brand, and just under $50, with free shipping from Nordstrom. What I like about these is they come in actual shoe sizes! Normally slippers are just S, M, L, which can make it tough to find a good fit so I love that these are actual sizes. If you’re in between sizes, size up according to the website!
  2. Stainless steel tumbler: I’ve heard really good things about the Corkcicle brand. It’s very similar to Yeti, and would make a nice practical gift. I love this light pink color!
  3. Satin pillowcases: I just recently purchased these for our bed, and I am IN LOVE! I’ve always loved silky pillowcases and these are amazing!!! I got silver to match our bedroom decor, but they come in over 10 colors! They are just under $20 and I promise anyone would LOVE these! They feel so luxurious, and as a bonus they’re good for your skin. Satin pillowcases help prevent wrinkles.
  4. Beauty blender gift set: I found this beauty blender set while browsing the Nordstrom website and had to add it to this weeks guide for the beauty lovers out there! It comes with 3 sponges and a case, and is currently on sale.
  5. Cozy sweater: I think if you’re going to buy someone clothes, you should go for a very basic staple item, such as a comfy sweater. It’s hard to pick out clothes for other people, but everyone loves staple items like this. You can’t go wrong with a soft striped sweater. It’s on sale from $40 to $15, and Nordstrom always has free shipping!
  6. Fiddle leaf fig: I had to include this because I get sooo many comments and questions about my fiddle leaf fig tree in my videos! Everyone loves them! I love that this one comes in a really pretty basket. If your room is feeling a little blah, add a fiddle leaf fig! Trust me!
  7. Glam cocktail shaker: If you have a friend who loves hosting parties, or decorating her bar cart, this is the gift for her! Not only is it cute decor, its functional too! This would be a cute gift for newlyweds or someone who just purchased a new home.

I hope you guys loved this week’s gift guide! I’m having so much fun helping you get your shopping done. Hope you have a great and relaxing weekend! XO, Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #4

6

  1. Slippers: Omg! So we all know that Gucci slides are HUGE right now. I found these Gucci look-a-like slippers and thought they were hilarious and such a great gift for a luxury lover in your life. Gucci mules run around $1,000, but these cute slippers are under $15!
  2. Nylon Backpack: I included a Rebecca Minkoff purse in a previous gift guide. I love RM and wanted to include a different style of bag that would suit a traveler in your life, a Mom, college student etc. This would make such a great carry-on travel bag. I love that it’s nylon so you can just wipe it clean.
  3. Storage Poof/Ottoman: This poof is SO pretty and would look amazing in a walk in closet or girly bedroom. It is meant to store shoes, so not only is it beautiful but it’s functional as well!
  4. Cat Mom Sweatshirt: This is so me!! “Ask me about my cat!” that is the way to my heart. Wildfox is known for their super cozy sweaters and I think any Cat Mama would love this!
  5. Blush Card Case: For a few years now, I’ve used a card case instead of a wallet. I don’t carry cash, only cards, so typically I don’t need a full-size wallet. I use a crossbody bag most days, so I love how tiny my card case is and that it doesn’t take up much room at all. Mine is from Louis Vuitton, but I think this blush pink Tory Burch one is so pretty and less than half the price!
  6. Beauty Advent Calendar: I thought this was such a cool idea! It is a 12 day advent calendar, and each day has a beauty tool inside. So at the end you have 9 new brushes, and 3 makeup sponges. This is a super cute gift idea for a beauty lover or someone just getting into makeup brushes.
  7. Marble Oil Diffuser: If you watch my videos, you know I use a marble oil diffuser in my kitchen! I love diffusing essential oils, because they’re healthier than candles, and you can leave them unattended for hours. You never have to worry about the flame, and you can switch up the scents as often as you want.
  8. Rose Gold Makeup Organizer: I am an organizing addict. It makes me feel so much more relaxed when everything is in it’s place, and I feel like you can better enjoy what you have. One of the things that I always make sure is nice and organized, is my makeup. This gorgeous rose gold makeup organizer would look so pretty sitting out on your dresser or bathroom vanity. I love that is has the dividers on top, as well as drawers on the bottom. This is a perfect way to display and organize your everyday makeup.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s gift guide! Let me know if you braved the crowds this Black Friday or stayed in and shopped in your pajamas! You know which one I did! 😉 XO Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #3!

5.jpg

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving! Time to start making your holiday shopping lists if you haven’t already. My goal is to help take the stress out of your holiday shopping by finding you amazing gifts that you can order from the comfort of your own home. I’d choose online shopping over in store any day! Here I am, in bed, in my pajamas, wrapped up in my favorite blanket, no crowds, no traffic, just the way I like it!

  1. Leopard rain boots: These particular boots are by Hunter which is a very popular brand for rain boots. I always see people in the typical solid color boots, but I’ve never seen these before, and I LOVE them! These are a great gift because you can get so much wear out of them throughout the year. They can be worn in the snow all during the winter, as well as through the rainy spring time!
  2. Candy cane candle: Everyone loves a good candle. Voluspa always comes out with fun seasonal scents, and as a lover of anything minty, I thought this one was perfect! I love the jar too. It’s festive but still simple.
  3. Fuzzy pullover: Fuzzy jackets and sweaters are huge right now. I personally have a handful that I wear all the time. Whenever I wear them in my videos I always get tons of questions about them. This one is from one of my favorite brands, and since you can purchase it at Nordstrom, that means free shipping! It’s originally $80, but currently on sale for just under $50.
  4. Glitter phone case: This is the phone case I currently have on my phone. I like that it’s clear, because you can still see my rose gold phone underneath. It has bumpers, so it’s protective which is important to me. These cases last forever too!
  5. Nest thermostat: I decided to add this to this week’s gift guide, as I was sitting here working and turned up the heat right from my phone without getting out of bed! How amazing! I love love love our Nest thermostat. You can program it to different temperatures throughout the day, so for example you can keep your house cooler while you’re away at work, and set it to become warmer right when you’re about to get home. You can adjust it from anywhere right from your phone which is priceless if you ask me.
  6. Cashmere gloves: I tend to buy a cute new pair of gloves every year. I love this pair because I think the ruffle is super cute, and they’re cashmere so they’re good quality. They’re $20, and come in pink too.
  7. Metallic luggage set: Hard luggage is the way to go. The canvas ones don’t hold up over time, and can’t be cleaned. I love being able to wipe down my hard case luggage, and it doesn’t get all dirty during airport travel. This silver set is gorgeous!
  8. Leather leggings: These are on my personal wish list. They’re definitely a splurge but I’ve heard such great things about them. They’re nice and think so they can definitely be worn as pants. I’m super picky with leggings, and hate when they’re too thin. The leather look makes them look a lot fancier than typical cotton leggings, and I love the subtle design.
  9. Faux fur jacket: I love this faux fur jacket, because it’s neutral and will go with any outfit, but it also makes a statement. This would look so cute for holiday parties over any color dress. It is currently on sale for less than $60, and in stock in all sizes so grab it while you can.
  10. Blush pink packable jacket: I have a gray packable jacket that I wear all the time. It’s lightweight and the fact that it folds up into a tiny square is so convenient. Blush pink everything is so popular right now, and I think this jacket is adorable!! It comes in black as well if you want to go for a more classic look.

I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s gift guide! Let me know if you’ve started shopping yet. If you need some holiday home décor inspo, check out this week’s video on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1i7znF2Ksk

Hope you have an amazing weekend!! XO, Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #2

4

It’s time for Holiday Gift guide #2! I stayed up super late last night searching for these items. Everything in today’s post is from Nordstrom (not sponsored) and direct links can be found within the post, in black text. One of my favorite things about Nordstrom, is that the shipping is always free, so if you purchase any of these items you won’t have to pay shipping! Yay! I’m really excited about ALL of these things and think any lady in your life would love to receive them.

  1. You guys know I’m a bag lady. Rebecca Minkoff is one of my all time favorite brands. It is high end, but not ridiculously priced, and such good quality. The bags are still an investment but they wear so well and last forever. This black studded crossbody was my favorite one on the site!
  2. I am loving all things studded. Not only do these booties have studs, but they also have a scalloped top which is adorable. Short booties are so in, and these are probably my favorite pair I’ve seen! They’re super trendy and unique, but not over the top. These are on my personal wish list!
  3. For day to day life, I love a good pair of mules by the door! So easy to slip on and off, and so comfy too. These studded loafer mules are currently on sale, for under $100, and come in 5 colors.
  4. Nude lips are my fav! This Bobbi Brown nude lip gloss set, is perfect for the makeup lover in your life. It comes with 4 limited edition nude shades, and the holiday pouch to store them in.
  5. Jewelry is always a fun holiday gift, but so is something to store it in! I found this black studded travel jewelry case and thought it would make a great, unique gift. It is made of leather, so it’s good quality and will last a long time, and it comes in white too. I love the size of it because it’s small enough to throw in a carry-on bag or purse without taking up too much room. It is priced just under $50, and is perfect for your friend or family member who loves to travel.
  6. I recently became a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury makeup. I use her iconic nude lip liner every week. This highlighter trio palette contains two gold, and one rose gold shade. Charlotte Tilbury makeup is super high quality, and paraben free.
  7. I love initial necklaces! They are so versatile, you can wear your own initial, your boyfriend or husbands initial, or your child’s initial. This initial necklace by Nadri, is such a great value, at under $50. All of the letters come in silver, rose gold or gold. I have had many Nadri necklaces over the years, and they all still look brand new. Even the ones I left on for weeks at a time and wore in the shower (oops!) This is a dupe for a high end necklace by Bony Levy which looks almost IDENTICAL, except it is $500. I’d choose the Nadri one 😉
  8. When looking for the travel jewelry box, I also found this monogram keepsake box. It is priced just under $40, and is so my style! I love anything black and white. This would look so pretty sitting out on your bathroom counter or nightstand, and is a really great price point.
  9. And finally, sunglasses. I wear sunglasses all year round. I always panic when I get in the car and don’t have a pair. They’re an essential for me. I picked this pair of black aviators, because they’re simple, classic, and most people would like them. I have heard great things about this brand too.

So that’s it for this week’s gift guide! I hope it gave you some good ideas. Let me know if you’re going to purchase any of these items for yourself or as gifts! Check back every week for a new gift guide all the way up until Christmas! XO, Erica

Holiday Gift Guide #1

2

Happy Monday! So I decided that this year, I’m going to get ALL of my Christmas shopping done in November. I would rather get started early, and give myself plenty of time to find thoughtful, great gifts than be rushing around last minute. Plus, I want to spend all of December doing fun wintery things with my family-not inside of a store. I LOVE going to see Christmas lights, ice skating, etc. I also love and truly enjoy giving gifts and think it is so much fun.

To help you all out with your shopping, I’m going to be posting a weekly gift guide, every single week up until Christmas! I am going to cover gifts for women, men, household, etc.

All of these things are currently in stock at the time the post goes live, but I imagine they will sell out quickly. You can find direct links to each of the items in this post by clicking on them below.

I am going to be super intentional about the things I pick out for you guys, so know that these are things I actually really like and would buy. I’m going to try to keep it very affordable for you as well.

  1. Cozy pajamas- I LOVE matching pj sets! In fact- I spend 90% of my time in them. If you come over to my house at any point during the day or night, you’ll probably find me in a robe or matching pajama set! Haha. I love this leopard set, and pink striped set. Both are a silky material and under $25!
  2. If you’re a viewer of my YouTube channel, you know I love cute coffee table decor! I found this adorable Tic Tac Toe coffee table game, and I think it would make an amazing gift for a home decor lover. Such a great price point too at $20!
  3. As I mentioned, I love coffee table books. I think cute coffee table books, or cook books are a perfect gift. They take up minimal space, and are fun and useful! I love when guests browse through my coffee table books. I love this pink Grand Budapest Hotel book for a girly-girl in your life, and this beautiful healthy cookbook. It contains 131 healthy recipes, and I think the cover is gorgeous with the subtle marble design.
  4. Who doesn’t love a new blanket?! Since I was little, I’ve always had a blanket addiction. I just love anything cozy! I have this fringe blush pink blanket in my office, and use it everyday! It’s only $15 and very nice quality.
  5. Hoops are back! It took me awhile to jump on board with the hoop trend, but I have to say, I kind of love it now. I only wear them when going out at night, but they’re a fun change from my standard pearl studs! Personally I think hoops look best in gold. I love that these are forward facing, and have pearl detail, you know I love my pearls. They are a great size- not too big at all, and they are 14k gold. I think any lady in your life would absolutely love these earrings.
  6. Are these the cutest rain boots you’ve ever seen?! I love short rain boots. I think they’re so cute and more modern looking than the typical tall ones. These quilted boots are a fun gift, and only $25. I love the gold detail too.
  7. Finally, makeup brushes. These beautiful black and rose gold marble brushes are a personal favorite of mine. I actually own these exact ones. We all have a friend who could use some new brushes. It’s one of those things that you kind of forget to treat yourself to. They are under $15 for the set, and if you’re having a secret Santa party with your girlfriends, I think they would all love these!

I hope you enjoy these gift guides, and get your shopping done early with me this year! Be sure to check back every week for a new one. XO, Erica

How I clean my makeup brushes

Hi everyone! As you know if you watch my YouTube videos, we are in the process of a big move! We sold our house in one day, and purchased our dream home about a week later. (Lots of home decor posts to come!) In preparation for the move, I have been spending my time cleaning and decluttering everything.
On my list of things to do today, was clean my makeup brushes! This is a task I used to absolutely dread. Fortunately I have found some amazing products that make it so much quicker and more enjoyable, so I thought I’d share my routine with you.

1 all products
The tool that I can’t live without is my Brush Cleansing Palette which I purchased from ULTA! It is under $15 and an absolute must-have. I used to just use my hand when washing brushes, and let’s face it, your hand doesn’t really get up in there between all the bristles and deep clean. It is made of high quality silicone and you can even throw it into the dishwasher if you want! I usually just rinse mine off with soap after each use and let it air dry which works perfectly.

2 Brush cleaning tool

3 Back of tool

It has a little strap on the back and fits right over your hand which is so convenient!
As far as actual brush cleanser, I have tried many, and my favorite thing to use is Dawn Platinum Foaming Dish Soap. You can get this for less than $3 at Target, online, or at your grocery store, and I personally think it works way better than the fancy expensive ones!
The fact that it is in a pump bottle is perfect for cleaning brushes, because you don’t have to keep picking up and putting down a bottle over and over. You can just easily squirt some into the brush cleansing palette. Aside from the fact that it works SO well and is extremely cheap, it smells really nice and really cuts through all of that gunky liquid makeup.

14 Tool with soap

15 cleaning
Before I start the cleaning process, I take a clean hand towel, fold it in half, and roll the top twice to create a slanted ‘pillow’ for the brushes. This ensures that the brushes drain downward and creates the perfect drying space.

6 Rolled towel
After the bristle part of the brushes are clean, I go one step further and clean off the handles. A lot of people skip this part, but I think it is super important to make sure your handles are clean and sanitized as well. Plus they look so much nicer when they’re clean and shiny!

8 Brushes with dirty handles
To clean the handles, I use my Method Anti-Bac spray. You can get this at Target or, if you live in the US and have never ordered from Grove Collaborative, you can use this link and get it for free: https://www.grove.co/referrer/629731/ (This link will give you $10 site credit to Grove to use on anything you wish) My microfiber cloth is also from Grove Collaborative.

7 Dirty handle

10 wiping handles
I just spray a little of the Method spray directly onto the cloth and wipe down each handle. It is amazing the difference this makes! You don’t realize how gross your handles are until you do this and see them shining!

5 Brush holder
I get a lot of questions about my actual makeup brush holder when I show it in my videos, and if you like it, you’re in luck because it is from Target and only $8! It is the perfect brush holder because all of the divided sections make it easy to sort your brushes into categories.

12 finished product
So that is how I clean my brushes! Now that I have a routine and great products to use, I really don’t mind doing it! It takes about 30 minutes or less for the entire process. I try to do this about once a week but sometimes I go a little longer. I’m curious to know how often you clean your brushes, so comment below!
I hope you found this helpful!!

XO

Erica