special delivery

penelope 하늘 (sky) so was born on may 15, 2015 at 11:09pm. she weighed 7 lb. 9.5 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. the day before she arrived, dennis and i had gone to the ob to do an nst (non-stress test) and an ultrasound to check penny’s well-being. all was well except i still wasn’t dilated. we scheduled an induction for may 19 – dennis and i had wanted may 15 because we thought the date was cool but that date was not available.


lo and behold, penny decided to come the next day! what’s interesting is that my sister-in-law, crystal, and i had had a conversation on penny’s due date back in april. dennis and i thought 5/5/15 would be neat, and crystal had also thought 5/15/15 would be as well.


although we were anxious about penny’s arrival, everything worked out perfectly.

there are 3 stages of labor: early, active, and transitional. the early stage is the longest – this is when labor begins with contractions and the cervix is dilated to 3 cm. the active stage is until the cervix is dilated to 7 cm. finally the transitional stage is when the cervix is fully open at 10 cm and the baby is ready to be delivered.

out of all three stages, the active stage was the worst for me. 

but first, let me start from the beginning. i began feeling cramping in my stomach from around midnight to 3AM on 5/15/15. i kept rubbing my stomach while trying to sleep. then around 3AM, i lost my mucus plug. this is a gelatinous “cork” that plugs the opening of the cervix and when this unseals it means labor will begin.

unfortunately, women can lose their mucus plug and not go into labor for weeks. i started labor within a half hour. contractions started and were about every 20 minutes. i downloaded an app called “full term” to keep track of my contractions. by 9AM, sleep was impossible and i camped out on the love seat with a heating pad on my back. with every passing hour, contractions were getting stronger and it was harder to contain the pain.

an interesting fact is that only about 15% of women experience their water breaking. this part of the labor is exaggerated in the media but it’s actually not that common. most women are admitted to the hospital before this happens or the doctor tears the amniotic sac for you. for me, however, i had been experiencing a small “gush” every now and then throughout the day. since it was more than once, i thought nothing of it. but at 2:50pm, i stood up and i felt that maybe it had been my water breaking all along so i called my ob. they told me to come in right away so dennis and i made sure our overnight bags were in the car in case we had to go to the hospital.

by this time, my contractions were coming every five minutes which is when you should be going to the hospital anyway. i was having difficulty walking because of the pain. at the ob, i found out i was nearly 3 cm dilated so i went to the hospital and got admitted to my room around 4:20pm. by this time, i was pretty much in distress and used a red clown nose from walgreens for red nose awareness as a stress ball. i waited out the contractions as long as i could and i then i got an epidural – a godsend – around 6pm. after that, i was in bliss. i relaxed on the bed watching the nba playoffs while the lower half of my body became increasingly numb. another check revealed that i was at 4 cm and contractions were every 2-3 minutes.

since i was doing well, dennis went home to turn off the ac and grab a few items that we had forgotten. around 8:50pm, the doctor came to check in on my progress and i was 9.5 cm dilated – nearly time to push! i frantically called dennis who hurriedly said he was 5 minutes away. after an hour and 15 minutes of pushing (it would’ve been shorter but my contractions increased to every 4 minutes), penelope entered the world! dennis cut the umbilical cord and i was able to hold her for the first time.



the proud father

the proud father

it has already been 12 days since penny’s arrival! although the nights seem endless because of the continuous feedings and diaper changes, the days do go fairly fast. dennis and i are pretty much walking zombies – dark circles and tiny white bumps appeared under my eyes after a few days and most days I can’t muster the energy to keep them fully open. even now as i type this entry, my eyes are slowly starting to close.

everyone says to sleep when the baby does, but there’s always so much to do! since i’m still recovering i’m not doing heavy-duty lifting, cooking, or really anything besides feeding the baby and changing her diapers. i’ve been wanting to update my blog but i chose to squeeze in a quick nap or complete a baby-related task instead.

i hope to keep updating as often as i can particularly to acknowledge the milestones such as penny’s one week mark which was last friday. she will already be two weeks this friday.


i know i’m biased because i’m her parent, but isn’t she adorable? 🙂 even when i fall asleep while pumping milk at 3am or get stressed out because she’s crying yet again, i’m reminded why it’s all worth it when i look at her.

blessed.. thank you, god.

penelope, where art thou?

d+5 – penelope was due may 8th, and here we are five days later still waiting for her arrival. in all honesty, i had a feeling she wouldn’t arrive before the 12th. why the 12th? i had been keeping track of my cycle using an app called ‘pink pad’ since may 2014 and discovered that i have a longer cycle than the average woman. when doctors guess the baby’s due date, it really is just guessing since it’s quite difficult to know when exactly a woman conceived. knowing that i have a longer cycle, i also knew that i ovulated later so i calculated that my due date is actually may 12th. well, today is the 13th and she’s late anyway but that’s fairly typical of first babies.

i know she’ll come out when she’s ready but it’s been difficult sleeping at night these past several days wondering if she’ll finally make her grand debut. in the meantime, i have been relishing my time alone with dennis, and yuri. pretty soon, yuri won’t be an only “child” so the three of us have been busying ourselves with activities. staying active is a great way to not only get your mind off the baby but to also keep your body in shape for labor and delivery.

40 weeks & 4 days

40 weeks & 4 days

yesterday, dennis and i went to the gym. i walked on the treadmill for half an hour at varying degrees of incline and speed. when i’m home, i also walk yuri often and use a step tracker via iphone to encourage physical activity. after the treadmill, i used light weights to tone my arms. i’m very much looking forward to getting back in shape for the summer and i have slowly been buying new pieces to add to my wardrobe as motivation.

i’m also looking forward to pairing my outfits with these lovely flats i received for my first mother’s day gift:

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these white tory burch flats are perfect for summer, and the perforated material allows circulation as well. i recently purchased white espadrille wedges and white chuck taylors as well.. going through a shoe binge right now.

after the gym, we took yuri for a walk at the rails to trails hiking trail in our town. she enjoyed being off-leash and exploring the grounds.


another recent outing was to bigelow state park. until today, the weather had been hot and in the upper 70s to 80s so we took great advantage of that. unfortunately, the pollen has been unforgiving to dennis (i have only suffered having itchy eyes now and then) but he’s been a trouper.

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if you have the opportunity to start maternity leave before the baby’s due date, take advantage of quality time that you have with your significant other because once the baby arrives, everything will be about the baby. of course as the baby gets older and a schedule is somewhat established (or the semblance of one), it’ll be easier to make dates with friends and have date nights but the first few weeks will be about adjusting to a new lifestyle.

one suggestion is to pamper yourself with a manicure & pedicure. i’m not one of those girls that gets a manicure every week; in fact, i’m fairly certain i haven’t had one all winter. and it was a l-o-n-g winter. ladies, you’ll probably be in the delivery room for a while and i, for one, don’t want to be embarrassed of my calloused and rough feet that had been in hibernation mode (although dignity flies out the window once you’re in a hospital gown, screaming and sweating) all winter. just a simple mani/pedi helped preoccupy my mind and made me feel better about myself – your body goes through so many changes and it’s easy to feel unattractive and undesirable.

disappointingly enough, i wasn’t satisfied with the mani/pedi service i received at korean-owned nail salon in downtown west hartford. the massage and exfoliation was great (to the point that i was being lulled to sleep) but the workmanship was shoddy. last night, i repainted my nails using two colors that my sister gifted me: good as gold & eternal optimism. blush & gold, a trendy combo at the moment and also part of penelope’s nursery scheme.


even though i’m very anxious for penelope to be here i am still grateful that i can have the energy and time to do ordinary tasks like updating my blog and watching tv without worrying about a baby quite yet.

cinco de mayo

hooray – i’m on maternity leave until the end of august! my first official day was yesterday but i went back into work around 2 and stayed until 8 to clean up and prep the room for the sub.

now, i can actually relax… that is, until the baby comes.. which could be any minute.



here i am at 39 weeks and 4 days.

i recently purchased the black tee and basic blazer from zara. i love the slouchy blazer – i can’t wait to pair it with skinny jeans and heels post-pregnancy. the blazer has deep pockets which is a must. i’ve been tracking how many steps i take using my iphone so i like to carry my phone on me and not in my purse when possible to keep accurate (or as accurately as i can) steps.

the weather has been gorgeous as of late and today was no exception. i met up with my friends, genie and mouy, for lunch at bartaco in west hartford. since it was such a warm and beautiful day, most of the diners were dining alfresco, us included.

chips & guac - one of my fave snacks

chips & guac – one of my fave snacks

baja fish taco, spicy chorizo taco & pork belly taco w/ side salad

baja fish taco, spicy chorizo taco & pork belly taco w/ side salad

it was refreshing to catch up with friends and not worry about work especially with the baby’s imminent arrival. genie’s baby girl, olivia, turned one month old yesterday (!) and mouy is expecting her second (a boy!) in august so much of the convo was geared towards our bundles of joy.


post-lunch, we went to tea break, a cute shop that sells bubble tea. they have all kinds of flavors and i must admit, it makes me miss boston a little bit less. i got the strawberry slush with lychee and tapioca balls.

genie had to go home to tend to olivia, and mouy and i pampered ourselves with a manicure & pedicure at shiny nail + spa which was down the street. i normally don’t treat myself to manis/pedis and after a particularly brutal winter, it felt heavenly to have my poor feet treated to a deep exfoliate and massage. plus, this month’s special at the spa is a free 10-minute back massage with a mani+pedi purchase. i nearly fell asleep while having my hands and feet massaged so it was no surprise that i nearly passed out at the back massage..

before mouy and i went to the mall to hit up tory burch and victoria’s secret, we stopped by genie’s house to visit olivia. she’s only 1 month old but she’s grown so much already – she’s wearing size 6M because she’s so long!

Winston with Olivia

Winston with Olivia


I normally don’t think many babies are cute.. but Olivia is SO CUTE.. Dennis and I are so curious as to what Penny looks like… we can’t wait to find out soon!!

until penny arrives, dennis and i are just trying to enjoy spending time together and with our friends. right now, dennis is playing nba 2k15 with our friend, rob, who is visiting from swaziland. little things like drinking bubble tea with friends and playing video games will be a lost luxury once the LO (little one) arrives.

summer is my favorite season so i’m highly motivated to be really active. i’m excited to lose the baby weight, go swimming, and do as much as possible with an infant. bring it on ~~~