C-Section Preparation

I was in awe of how many people had an opinion when I told them “I’m scheduled for a c-section.” Responses included things such as, “don’t let the doctor bullying you into a c-section” and “my brother’s sister-in-law’s best friend’s hairdresser was also told they would have a big baby and he/she was 7 lbs, you should try to have a ‘regular’ birth.”

I generally took this advice with a grain of salt but pregnant women are dealing with enough, being supportive is the best course of action! For me personally,  I have an autoimmune disorder which can cause fetal heart complications. I was getting ultrasounds about once a month to check Mr. Bear’s heart function. He was measuring big the whole time. I was enormous, huge, a house… a topic for another blog… because Mr. Bear was a in fact a big baby. He came 2 weeks early and was almost 10 lbs, his head was in the 98th percentile. Both my OB and my perinatologist recommended the c-section, they recommended it early on.

I started researching c-section preparation, I wanted to get ready learn what I could. What I found was a lot of articles dealing with the guilt of having a c-section. The problem was, I didn’t feel guilty; a lot of that probably had to do with mine being planned and not being an emergency. Even still, where was there here is what you should do to prepare if you scheduled a c-section blog or article? It felt like it was frowned upon, like I should feel guilty. Almost as if I should feel guilty about seemingly choosing the easy way out. And there are women who do feel guilty or have trauma surrounding an emergency situation, birth can be traumatic.

With that, I wanted to share my guilt free experience. I will say, it was harder than I thought it would be. I had never had a major surgery before and guess what! It really is a major surgery and for me, my recovery was hard.

Food prep – I didn’t do this. I read all of these pinterest posts of stocking your freezer full of meals but that’s all I did, read them. I wish I had invited a few friends over a month out to help make freezer meals. The first two weeks home, I was pretty certain my abdomen was jelly/possibly had been removed and standing for long periods was a challenge. Popping something in the oven would have saved us money and time. After I wasn’t in so much pain, I found Hello Fresh a nice option.

Cleaning – Again, I didn’t really do this. Mr. Bear came 10 days early and I thought I had another weekend to prep. In hindsight, I wish I had paid for a housekeeper to come because I was huge but also pretty lazy. B-rad went out and bought paper plates, which I know are not eco-friendly but are tired-new-parent friendly. Do whatever you need to to make life easier, which for us was paper plates and cleaning when we got around to it. And see if you can get the housekeeper right before. Or add this to your registry! Babylist.com allows you to add things like cleaning or food or cash when creating a registry. Groupon usually has some good cleaning deals as well.

Pain management – some women recover quickly from surgery. They don’t need pain medication and they are back to as normal as can be expected. I’m not one of those people and I definitely used the pain medication. After my spinal block wore off, I was pretty convinced someone not only removed my son but also my entire abdominal wall. I could not pull myself up using my abs and my whole insides felt like jelly. Adjusting the way you push yourself up from sitting or laying down will help. Roll to your side and push up using your arms, not your abs. Moving and walking will help, but make sure you are going slow.

I also used a belly binder, ask the hospital for one. It holds everything together and makes you feel less like jelly. I also really liked the postpartum leggings by BLANQI. They also held everything together and made me feel put together, because I was wearing pants! Motherhood Maternity also makes v-cut underwear I found more comfortable to wear. These type of underwear will not rub the scar or dig in. They also have c-section recovery underwear, I found this comfortable a few months after.

Scar Care – There are several different ways your incision can be closed, mine was closed using glue. The nurses and doctors will check your incision while you are in the hospital. You want to make sure you are following whatever instructions you were given. I am very lucky to have B-rad, he was an excellent incision checker. If you are alone, you can use a mirror to check the incision site to make sure it is clear of infection.

Many websites suggest massaging the scar area once everything is closed. Some also suggest using a dry brush. I didn’t do either of those things. Your scar might feel weird at times, mine still does at times even two years later. My stomach is also not the same, I have some lose skin and stretch marks. While I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight; I went up a pant size and my weight is in different places (aka all in my stomach). I found belly oil to help with the stretch marks and learned that my scar is kind of awesome.

Guests – Do not have people over who do not bring you food or help clean up. You are allowed to refuse guests and blame it on the baby – even if everything is fine. We were lucky, all of our guests brought us food even if it was bribe which allowed us to eat and them to hold Mr. Bear. My mom came to visit and was the biggest help ever, I’m still crying about her living so far away. Not everyone has helpful people around them and you certainly don’t have to have them over. I welcomed guests and other adults to talk to, you might not. You are under no obligation to have anyone over 🙂


**DISCLAIMER** I am not a doctor. This blog represents my personal experience and may vary greatly from yours. You should always seek advice from a medical professional and this blog is not intended as medical advice.

I am not receiving any compensation, money or products or discounts, for providing the links above at the time this was written. I wholeheartedly enjoyed using them and recommend them.

3 Years Ago

3 years ago I started this blog. I was trying to learn photography and create a patio garden. Fast forward…

I injured my knee dancing at my brother’s wedding. I’ll go ahead and address the questions you are thinking: no, I wasn’t wearing heals and while yes, it was open bar and I was drinking, I didn’t fall/trip/kick a pole. The knee injury set me up to stop being able to care for the patio garden. B-rad took over watering and caring for the plants as I came home every day from work and iced my swollen knee. Then my boss quit.

Once I got my knee injury under control, B-rad starting traveling working and my boss left to take a new position. As the only person slated to take her position, I started working some crazy long hours. I took over planning a major event we host each year. Between B-rad being gone and me working 10+ hour days, the patio garden sadly didn’t survive. Then a new bean came…

I found out I was pregnant in July 2016, shortly after being promoted to interim director. I was fully promoted in January 2017 then I had Mr. Bear in March of 2017. In being a mom and being pregnant, being a step mom, being alone while pregnant and for a while with Mr. Bear as B-rad traveled, trying to figure out work and daycare and being a wife I found there is a lot of unhelpful information on the internet. A ton of judgement. So, I’ve decided I wanted to start sharing my story. Things that I’ve learned. I don’t have all the answers and my apartment is usually a mess but my hope is share a story and give support to other moms.

“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain—your life will never be the same.” – Catherine Jones


My Tomato Tree Weirdness

IMG_0956My tomato plant has turned into a tomato tree. I’m not really sure how to get it to stop growing up and to start producing tomatoes. The leaves at the bottom have all died and the flowers at the bottom have dried out. I’ve been watering the plant several times a week so I don’t see how it could be dry. Anyways, I’m open to advice 🙂 IMG_0957 IMG_0954 IMG_0948My cucumbers are doing so well! I can’t believe B-rad and I brought them back from the brink of death. I already have planned lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce for this week. If anything, I’m excited I got one of the three plants to produce.  IMG_0952 IMG_0955My flowers are growing. I wish I had realized they needed bigger pots. I mean they are so long and taking everything over, I think they are more outside in the wild type flowers. They are beautiful though.  IMG_0953The watermelons are finally flowering. The bad news is they started growing slightly off the ledge of our porch to find the sun. Since the cucumbers have attached their vines to the railing and started also grow over the railing. My idea is to tie a sling from the railing once /if the flowers start turning into watermelons.  IMG_0958These two cuties, for no reason other than I love them ❤

“Look at the sparrows; they do not know what they will do in the next moment. Let us literally live from moment to moment.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Ups and Downs

I realized that I really enjoy updating this blog and I don’t do it enough. That I really don’t use my camera enough and it’s something that I enjoy doing and learning about. So I’m going to spend more time doing both and now onward.

In looking at my plants, I realized the watermelons were not really growing which is probably the only down with the plants I’m seeing. They weren’t doing bad but they aren’t growing in the same the cucumbers and tomatoes are. I started watching the sun and I’m thinking the cucumbers were blocking it. I flipped them around and they seem to be doing better. I also used some rods to encourage the cucumbers to grow up rather than taking over the whole planter. They have been growing crazy vines which makes it easy to have them grow up the rods.


When we came back from vacation the flowers on the cucumber plant were turning into cucumbers! Very exciting! I’m guessing in a few weeks we should have some cucumbers.



The tomato plant also has started to flower. It is also huge – it’s taller than I am. I don’t set the bar really high only being 5’0″ but still they are huge.


Last update, some of the flower seeds I planted have started to bloom.


Prep for Costa Rica

While B-rad and I were married in October, we (finally) took our honeymoon this past week. It was awesome and I’m definitely going to post about it 🙂 but this left the problem of what do to with the plants.  We have friends here but none of them live close enough to ask them to come and water.IMG_0703B-rad is better at this type of problem solving. He went to Home Depot and found the raindrip system. It is meant for out door hoses, but we found a connector and hooked it up to the sink. I put the setting for every 2 days and for 3 minutes.  IMG_0702 B-rad and Chicken Nugget setting up the little hoses. The system is pretty cool, it came with different connectors which made it easy to run the water to all of the plants. IMG_0709Chicken Nugget helping out/poking holes into the dirt. Kids loves dirt 🙂IMG_0704  Tomatoes are doing great. You can see the hoses, they are quite small and B-rad attached them to rail with zip ties.  IMG_0706Also, my cucumbers are doing great. They are attached vines to the railing and the flowers are coming along nicely.

We got back yesterday and I am happy to report the plants are huge.  I am going to take some pictures once it stops raining (rain in San Diego, finally).

Grow Girl

It has been a while! I have been busy. We went to Vegas this weekend and I joined the 30-somethings of the world. I figured Vegas would be a fun place to turn 30 – I had never been and we had a great time. I’m excited for this new chapter in my life and for my plants 🙂IMG_0696Tomatoes are growing strong! One plant is bigger but the little one is hanging in there. I put a zip tie on the bar to help it grow straighter, I didn’t attach the zip tie to the plant but just for it to lean on. I’m pretty excited about how they are shooting up. IMG_0697I do not remember which flowers these are, but they are doing well. They are from the packet of seeds I purchased from Food52 and all the flowers looked beautiful. I’m excited to see them bloom. IMG_0698My cucumbers have started growing vines. I’m thinking I need some sticks to help them with the vine issue. As you can see, the middle guy attached himself to the one on the right. I’m not sure what that means 🙂 but I’m guessing I need to provide something for the climbing. The watermelons seem to be doing well, they seem healthy and I planted a couple of marigolds in there. I’m excited to see theses bloom.

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”  Sophia Loren

Easter Weekend in the Country

The front yard across the street from the canal. To the left of me, cotton was planted.

Growing up in New Hampshire was very different than the life of my family who lives in the Central Valley area of California. For most of my summers in high school, we would come out to visit family and my dad while he was living here. My yearbook was filled with “say hi to all the movie stars!” or “have a great time at the beaches!” but that was not where I was going. Much like when people talk about New York they mean the city, when people speak about California they often don’t mean the farm valley where life is a little harder. IMG_0687Since we lived 45 minutes outside of Boston, we didn’t have a 4H club or compete in farm competitions. I didn’t know anyone who lived on a farm in NH but in California’s Central Valley everyone is connected to farm life – my Uncle manages a well digging team for farms, my cousin’s girlfriend works in a diary lab, and there are fields as far as the eye can see.IMG_0689It was interesting to leave city life and head to the country to hear about various things affecting the state, mainly the severe drought we are experiencing. Most of the water in the state is used for agriculture. If you ask them, they blame city water usage – specifically places like golf courses. Saving water will certainly need to be a joint effort.IMG_0684 It was great to see my family and visit the place where I used to spent my summers. I spent a lot of time thinking, and learning about myself which was easy because I wasn’t connected – I spent a lot of my summer writing letters to my friends back home, no one had email. Coming here, and really of the traveling I’ve done, has definitely allowed for the realization that perspective is important and keeping an open mind even more so. “Travel brings power and love back into your life.” Rumi

A Beach Day: Torrey Pines State Park


Visiting Torrey Pines state beach is always beautiful. Shamefully, we don’t live far from the beach and hardly ever go. Weekends are often packed with tourists, which isn’t a bad thing but it makes our pool desirable on hot days. Since it is not tourist season, we decided to hit up the beach Sunday. Torrey Pines has parking, but there is free street parking close by. There are bathrooms and outside showers.IMG_0649

Torrey Pines also has some great hiking. The cliff there has trails that lead down the beach. If you are in the area and enjoy hiking, I definitely recommend checking it out. I believe it is $10 to park. There are also restrooms at the beginning of the trail.


I’m working on taking pictures of the sun/horizon. I think I need a flare cover, you can see a flare on the bottom left. IMG_0665

The beach here is small but has great rocks. We went when the tide was coming in, which was cool for us because we could easily pick a spot and move back as the water came closer. IMG_0652

A lonely seagull on the beach. Keep your food hidden/wrapped, these guys are brazen when it comes to stealing. IMG_0661

Surfers hanging out. I didn’t catch any of them up on their boards but some of them were pretty good! The water was too cold for my liking but lots of surfers were out. I used my telephoto lens for this shot, I need to work on the light using this lens. I find my pictures are often dark, I’m guessing I need to open up the aperture. IMG_0666Good bye beach 🙂 Until next time.

“Sometimes in the waves of change we find our true direction.” Unknown

The Cucumber Sadness

dying cucsThe day after transplanting, I came home to this. My precious cucumbers, shriveled up and sad. I’m blaming the tarp (and myself, but mostly the tarp). In my last post. I mentioned that I didn’t cut holes first, I put the plants in first. This was a huge mistake (but also the tarp’s fault, somehow).

IMG_0645I took the tarp off and put a sheet over all the plants. They were struggling with the sun, above are the tomatoes. I left the sheet over for a week.

IMG_0646As you can see, those three are the ones that have been surviving. I added more soil as well. They are definitely growing straighter and seem stronger than this picture. I think I saved them, at least 3 of the 5 anyway. IMG_0644

Lastly, the watermelons are fine. Of course they are, I was worried the most about them. Isn’t that always how it works out 🙂

“A person who never made a mistake is a person who never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein


According to my directions, it was time to transplant my seedlings. I bought my city pickers at my local home depot, you can also get them online. I mostly followed the directions.  The unit comes with directions and google has them as well.

IMG_0638First, you layer the potting mix and cover it with some lime. I used Kellogg Garden Organics Raised Bed and Potting Mix (available at Home Depot) and Espoma Organic Garden Lime (Home Depot).  IMG_0639Next you add more mix and dig a trough to put the fertilizer. I used Kellogg Garden Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer (Home Depot). Then you cover it with the last of the mix.

IMG_0640Here is where I went really wrong. I put the plants in first, instead of cutting a hole and them putting the plants in. This was a HUGE mistake. I usually am pretty careful and follow directions but in the excitement I wasn’t thinking. I will write more on this later but in addition to cutting the plastic all weird I needed more soil and didn’t put the seedlings in far enough. You do not want the leaves touching the plastic, it will dry them out.


This is how one is supposed to put the seedlings in, cut a hole then place them in.

My next post doesn’t have great news, the cucumbers might not make it. Whomp, whomp 😦 I’ll wait a couple of days, a few might pull through.

“The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.”

Paramahansa Yogananda