Riley Alexis Ocasio was born at 1:02pm, 11.11.16 and she weighed 6lbs 13 oz and was 20" long. Being home with her and spending time as a little family has been the best few days of life. Alex and I are so happy and we are so in love.
Halloween is tomorrow. October is such a special month for me, it's always been my favorite. I've always wanted to be married in October. And now I'm sitting on the couch feeling sentimental and to be honest quite sick as I hope and pray Riley makes her arrival before October fades away. I'm able to breathe much easier now that she's dropped and the pressure against my tailbone reminds me of how low she really is. Friday's doctor's appointment revealed that I'm 75% effaced and dilated up to 2 cm. We ended up with a growth ultrasound check up since I haven't really changed my measurements the last few weeks and she figured the baby was too low to properly measure. Riley is over 6lbs and measuring about 2 weeks behind size wise which is perfect. I am so ready for our tiny little girl.
Wednesday marked 38 weeks and Alex and I met with another Raleigh photographer and spent the hour taking maternity photos. My breath is taken away with her skills and plan to share the gallery as soon as I receive it. The weekend has been busy, we drove down to Charlotte Friday night for Alex to run the Spartan Beast the next day with his brother. And he ended up injuring his knee halfway and my incredible man hobbled his way through the rest of the race (over a half marathon plus obstacles) and through most of the obstacles. His stubborn strength proves the warrior he is but also provides this sense of security knowing he would do anything and everything to finish or accomplish his goals. And I know he would do anything for me and especially our daughter.
Sipping on my Red Raspberry leaf tea hoping to strengthen myself for labor and thinking of all the craziness since I found out about you back in March. Those first few weeks were rough and it had nothing to do with you. I wanted you from the minute I found out and I knew you were going to be a girl. I was still drowning in a world of misery partially of my own creation. and I felt like you were my redemption. You were the spark that lit the fire of change. I remember how I told your daddy about you, we were eating Greek just like I am now. He knew something was on my mind and asked if it was about us. I said yes. And that I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was scary wonderful news, but it was also a total surprise for him. It was a week before my twenty-first birthday and we had gone through so much rockiness the past 4 months in our relationship. I knew he would be your dad and would love you but I was terrified that he would not want me and I never wanted him to feel obligated to be with me. All I knew was that I loved him fiercely and wanted more than anything to build our family together but I couldn't ask that of him. He had to chose it. I have never cried so much than the day I told him because everything was so unknown. Except for the fact I wanted you. Always.
The next week he was tender and kind. We spent the week in Charlotte with Darren for Full Force with Fit to Fight. I didn't know exactly what would happen during the week but I was paranoid of hurting you in any way because the thought of losing you devastated me. Alex was gentle and bought me a warm pack to put over my stomach as I felt crampy and sore. Every night no matter what was said during the day, he would hold my hand across the coffee table. He was on an air mattress and I was on the couch. No one knew we were together or that we were struggling. There were so many tender moments but there were also tense emotional moments where I felt so alone. We managed to avoid having to explain why I wasn't having my celebratory legal drink by leaving after training that Friday. The drive home was honestly miserable with us arguing and emotions tense. Probably my least favorite birthday ever. However, the next morning I woke up and he was kinder and more gentle.
The next few weeks were a whirlwind of emotions and tears, working through things and figuring out a plan. I had just moved into Ashley's house in March but ended up spending all of my time at Alex's over the next three months as we enlisted her as our realtor. It was like a flip had switched in Alex. We were back together. We were committed. and for once in a very long time, I felt myself trust and be happy again. April, we spent telling family and grandparents. The excitement was contagious and everyone was so happy for you and still are! There's not a day that goes by when someone doesn't text me asking for progress and you're still snuggled safely inside. May and June were filled with closing on our townhouse, moving and continuing to rebuild our relationship. Family moved in for August and life was busy, crazy, and time just flew by. I really have no idea where the summer went.
In fact, I can't imagine not waking up happy next to Alex and feeling his commitment and love. That's not to say we don't fight (haha we argued on the way to taking those maternity photos!) but I don't doubt him. I don't doubt he chose me and wants me. I know he always chose you and I know he is going to be an amazing father because he is an amazing man. He is passionate almost to a fault but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to parent with him and teach you about the world. I want you to love your life, love your Savior and love your family. I know you are beautiful but I want you to always believe that you are beautiful. That your size and shape doesn't define you. But your will power to overcome things does. I want you to fan that fighting flame inside you and learn to love pushing yourself harder and conquering your walls and fears.
I'm terrified of the unknown but at the same time I'm excited for this process to start. It's been incredible feeling you move inside me. And yes, its been uncomfortable too. And as ready as I am to hold you, I have cherished the time I have been pregnant with you. You're my first and you have taught me so much. I never knew how protective and loving I could be of someone until you began to grow inside me. And you are about to challenge me again as I deliver you but I trust your daddy and his support and know I am strong enough and ready because I'm your mother and this is what I am suppose to do.
That heart stopping moment when the nurse looks at you and smiles and says, "Ah! It's a girl, congratulations!" I was so surprised. I knew from the beginning it was a girl but recently Alex had talked convincingly enough about how great boys were that I had accepted being a boy's mom but NOPE. It's a girl. And her name is Riley Alexis Ocasio.
Riley Nicole was the name I had picked out from childhood for my daughter but when I found out, I knew Alex had said he would love to have the name Alex somehow incorporated and so Riley Alexis was the natural choice. He instantly agreed. We took a bit longer to come up with a boy's name but Dean Alexander was special because Alex's late nephew, Martin, had the middle name Dean and it was perfect if we had a boy.
6.17.16 finally answered all of our what-ifs. The technician was very thorough and showed us all the different parts of our little girl, who's healthy and on track for November! In fact, yesterday marked 20 weeks THE HALFWAY POINT. [ i've been pregnant for 20 weeks. unbelievable ] Riley not only is a kicker and mover but she has been listening to our krav classes - hands were up, protecting her face and she even had some elbow #1 action going on to avoid the camera (: During classes, its amusing to watch him teach kicks and feel her moving inside me.
We had different ideas on how to announce little Riley to the world but it ended up with me contacting my friend who is also pregnant (and having a little girl!) and a fantastic photographer. Purple Paint. Water Guns. White shirts. It was a BLAST. Here are just a few from the photo shoot:
[ yes there was glitter and purple paint EVERYWHERE ]
Life has been an incredible journey with this man and now our #lifeofdos has changed into our little family of three and we can't be more excited! There is no one else I'd rather walk this path with or stand next to while raising our daughter. Life feels difficult with its ups and downs but standing by his side has never felt more right. Our cozy townhouse is slowly coming together and we're looking forward to the next few years filling it with even more memories!
Baby is officially into the second trimester as of May 11th! It is amazing to think that I've been pregnant for 14 weeks. There's a slight baby bump now but its not enough for someone to look at me and think oh! baby. [maybe like she's got a bit of a tummy but the rest of me is still skinny] I have an appointment tomorrow for updates and hopefully another ultrasound picture. We may decide to go ahead this weekend and announce Baby O to the social world but that'll require some coordination.
Mother's Day came and we ended up making the drive out to Pittsboro to see my family and fur babies. It was a good visit with everyone, we ended up looking through mom's old scrapbooks of me. Alex laughed at all the crazy food and hair pictures. And he graciously asked his mom to send some of his childhood pictures to us so I could see them. We both are adamant that we were the cutest baby of the family so this child has no choice but to steal hearts from the moment it comes into this world! I also called P-paw and let him know about his new great-grandchild. Hopefully he can meet Alex at Aunt Diane's wedding this June.
It's been a whirlwind week however because WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A TOWNHOUSE! It's a beautiful cozy home about 10 minutes south of where we are now. The neighborhood is quiet with lots of long roads for evening walks with the family. I am [dying] to paint and make it our home but we have to wait til at least June 6th to close if nothing holds us up. Fingers crossed everything is good to go and on time. (=
I feel very loved by Alex and building our family together. It's scary and exciting, I often feel like I have no clue what I'm doing and its easy to feel defeated. But I have such a strong partner at my side, I know we can conquer every obstacle that comes our way. Our strengths compliment each other. Which is good because the stress level of moving and getting ready for baby will increase in the next few weeks. Being in a relationship is so challenging; I am constantly tested and pushed to be better. Seeing the world from different perspectives is something I am grateful for even when I get overwhelmed by all the information that comes my way. As Alex always says, "Everything is a decision." It's easy to remember this and the logic it brings to situations when you're not emotionally charged but the advice is sound and something that has shaped the way I approach things.
I feel like im starting to ramble when i should be wrapping things up and moving onto to my work projects. =P