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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Loiacono

Week One ORC & 3 Weeks Post Partum

It's about that time again. But before I get into the plan I have to refresh our bathroom for The One Room Challenge, I wanted to recount the last month leading up to the birth of my first child, Vienna Rose...

Thinking of projects and using my hands to keep me busy when I couldn’t move like I used to during my pregnancy kept my mind off of the way I was feeling, but only for a short time. Not working, not working out, not being able to walk the dog, or go to the beach (since it was the hottest summer known to man) was awful. I was 66 pounds heavier with gestational diabetes, shortness of breath, palpitations and constant anxiety attacks. I watched HGTV and my favorite movies and shows with a blank stare because for the first time in my life, I didn’t know how to cope. DIY was the last thing on my mind and it used to be my form of therapy. Giving birth was the only thing in my line of vision to help the way I was feeling.

There are Many things in my life I am grateful for. What I have just endured between natural childbirth, emergency c-section and a hospital stay for heart issues after birth (although traumatic and scary), I am most thankful for experiencing.

I feel so deeply for the women who can’t have children and it pains me to know the suffering they endure while trying to conceive or being told they can’t. I have wanted to be a mother for so long yet, I still cant express the feelings that I have about this new life I created inside me. Knowing she was inside me for so long but not in the physical world was hard to comprehend.

I was scheduled for a c-section on Sept 9 because my doctors wouldn’t let me go past 39 weeks with gestational diabetes. Allowing me the date on the calendar made my mind a little more at ease since I suffered from severe anxiety. Until the night my water broke, the last few weeks felt like torture, I was so sick all the time (just like the first trimester) , extremely swollen, had headaches and body aches and couldn’t walk. It felt like an eternity. We were nervous about a lengthy induction and with my anxiety being through the roof, the c- section was the best option for me. Then when my water broke Monday night Sept 5 (on Labor Day- the same day my mom went into labor with me), I came to terms with delivering her naturally. I was so scared, but so excited that she decided to come early. However, 24 hours of labor was not progressing.

Even with the cervix softening medicine and the Pitocin, I only reached 5 cm. Every time the nurses turned me from side to side, her heart rate was dropping. The doctor decided to do an emergency c-section Wednesday morning as her heart rate dropped alarmingly low. At 1:14 am she was born with her cord wrapped around her neck four times…but she was perfect and healthy. Now we share a birthday and it’s the most special gift she could’ve given me. I was so scared to go into that operating room while crying to Brian “I don't want to die.” The reality of living for something other than myself was too real now.

All of the pain and distress I had endured up until this point meant nothing. When they pulled her out and I heard her cry, it was the most emotional time of my life. I cried just looking at the nurses holding her. I couldn’t believe it. I was a mother. Of all the titles I have held, I couldn’t describe my feelings. The recovery in the hospital following the surgery was tough. All of the nausea, the pain and the longing to be home was draining, but I was doing great so they let me leave Friday.

Unfortunately I had to go back into the hospital emergency room Saturday night. I woke up from a nap with shortness of breath, chest pain and my heart rate was Only 44. My blood pressure was 201/101, I could’ve had a stroke. It was pronounced a heart failure by the doctor. I was more scared than ever to be away from home without Brian and now my daughter since I was not in the maternity ward anymore. The doctors found out I had something called mitral valve regurgitation. All of the fluid I retained in pregnancy started going around my lungs and my heart couldn’t pump fast enough. With my family history and the stress of pregnancy, my heart wasn’t able to take all of the trauma and fluid pumped from the labor and the c-section. Thankfully with blood pressure medication and water pills they were able to stabilize it and now I am starting to feel healthy again.

I think my trauma recovery is taking some time, but I’m enjoying every single second with her and our little family of four; Brian, Vienna, Arya and I. Life has changed for all of us. Life has changed just like we change our clothes, change our wall paint colors, our light fixtures and our moods. Sure I still think about painting and transforming my spaces and furniture, I dream about writing a book and having people from all over read my words and feel the emotions behind the paragraphs they are reading, but for now I just want to stay here with this gift in my arms. I knew that somewhere over the rainbow skies were blue, and with this little girl, I believe that anything is possible.

Although I still need to be cleared for any work from my Obgyn post partum, I wanted to share my plans for the bathroom since my head is now a little more clear. The ORC is a way for me to hold myself accountable for something that I love to do, creating spaces for us in the home that we love. I like to show that you can still make a rental your own whether your name is on the deed or not.

Some of you may know, I refreshed our bathroom a few months into my pregnancy, but never finished it. I had a couple of good months into my 2nd trimester but then felt really sick again. I want to show others how you can refresh a space in your home for very little money and not be afraid to do it yourself. My plan... in short (since I made you read about my birth story first) is to

1. Continue the wallpaper and finish painting the walls a deep green called Salamander by Benjamin Moore.

2. Update the medicine cabinet with paint, rub n buff the light fixtures and add more trim molding.

Stay with me to see the finished product in the next 8 weeks. Even though I’m one tired new mama, I want to continue to do little things for me. For now, I’m just going to lay here and watch the best DIY I’ve ever done. xoxo-Jacqueline

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