Roka's Birth Story

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Hello people who read my blog!

Today is my due date! Thought it was about time to give you the deet's of my Birth Story!

So here.

First things first, here is a photo of me a few days prior to giving birth. 37 1/2 weeks! Gotta love those last puffy weeks lol.

Twas the night before the birth, and all through the town...... jk jk
But actually, I picked up Maikal from the airport the night before I went into labour (Monday the 20th). Like....10 hours prior. 10 HOURS! Holy Lucky.

So at 8:30am Tuesday morning (21st) I started to feel some contractions. I wasn't too panicked as I had been feeling them before and nothing happened. But the morning went on and they started to intensify and be more consistent. They began to really hurt around 10:30, the hospital was 35 min away so I thought 'better safe than sorry!' and just head there. I was having to breath through each contraction at this point and I literally thought that there wasn't going to be time for anything when we got there, I could have sworn I was at a 7 or 8. But it's true what they say, every pregnancy is different and every labour is different. We got there, got all set up, and I was only at a 4. FOUR! I was shaking in pain.

So we head up to the room where I would be staying and delivering. It was so nice. Private room and lots of space. My nurse was amazing and made sure I was comfortable and had already called for the Epidural before I even got into the bed. YES. I was pretty nervous when the drug doctor arrived. I was just praying that the Epidural would work. So I got all set up ready to get it. HOLY MOLY IT HURT. I would describe the pain as the biggest (like the size of a pen) needle that was full of snake venom being stabbed into me. But, worth it because it worked instantly!!! My nurse was all, youre having a contraction right now, and I felt nothing. NOTHING!! Finally, a labour and birth that I was actually going to enjoy and have a good memory about.

3-4 hours went by, we were basically just waiting for my water to break at this point. The drugs started to wear off, quickly. I was feeling each contraction slowly but surely. I had the laughing gas, which made me super drowsy, I don't think I will do that again. The pain was super intense in the end. So many tears. But it only lasted about 30 min and my water broke. Doctor got there JUST in time. I gave about 5 good pushes and he was out! They placed him on my chest and it was all over.

Maikal was by my side holding my hand through every single contraction. Couldn't have done it without him! He wasn't even home for 20 hours before he helped welcome our son here. I still can't believe how things unfolded with the timing.
Our friend Mani was also able to make it (she had the camera). It was so fun having her there for moral support and to add that extra bit of comfort I needed. And also to capture some pretty special moments ;) 

I burst into tears as soon as I saw him. He was here, I was done, and he had dark hair!!

He looked SO much like Ben, but dark. Im so excited to see him grow and how much they will look alike.

Super funny story right after this photo. Roka was on my chest, and the first thing my doctor said to me was "so youre a Redhead, why are your eyebrows so dark?" as he was stitching me up. I just laughed. I explained that my natural eyebrows are transparent and most gingers darken them in order to show expression haha. So random hahahaha.

You guys, I am not traumatized. Although this birth wasn't all pleasant, I was still able to get through it. I wasn't screaming and I definitely wouldn't describe the pain as bad as the last 2. I feel happy about it!
Thank you to everyone who gave me encouraging words and prayers for a good birth.

Roka Joshua Tarakona Lowry
(pronounced Row-ka)
6 pounds 14 ounces
19 inches long
Born Nov 21/2017
at 4:30pm

 We are absolutely smitten with this little angel.

The Plan(s)...

Friday, November 3, 2017
Current Status: 35 weeks + 2 days, 3 cm dilated, Maikal arrives in 15 days.

Here's what I know about my birth plans......they don't happen. So it's good not to have my mind set on just one. Obviously we all have our 'perfect/ideal' birth plan. But sometimes it just doesn't happen the way we hope. Everyone's experience is their own. There is no ONE WAY to have a baby.

'The Plan' has consumed my thoughts the past few days. I have Plan A, B, C, D...etc. So here is the reason I need so many plans. Most of them are about getting to the Hospital! It's 1.5 hours away from me (DV doesn't deliver). Also Side note, we have friends 25 min away from my Hospital so I plan to stay with them every weekend just in case.


A) Everything is perfect. Maikal is here on time, staying in Stony Plain with friends, leave kids with friends, get to Hospital, get Epidural, have baby. Personally hoping for this plan ;)

B) Maikal doesn't make it and/or Epidural doesn't work. Holy moly, both of these are big fears for me. Let me just say that the reason I had previously thought I was done having kids is because my birth with Aurora was so painful (epidural didnt work). I vowed I would never ever do that again. And obvi if Maikal misses it, that would be so so sad for all parties.

C) In DV, start feeling labour pains, drive to Hospital, etc.

D) In DV, in Labour, start driving to Hospital, Labour is going way fast, have to deliver in the Van on the side of the road. Like I said, my births are very fast, so this could happen.

E) In DV, in Labour, but roads are bad. Can't drive to Hospital, must deliver at DV Hospital. They will have to deal with it as well as me without the drugs.

You guys, my mind is spinning. These are just idea's that could happen. There are variations of each circumstance that could change anything. C-sections, delayed traffic, Van breaks, maybe even deliver at my friends house because of weather, complications at birth, etc, etc, etc, etc! So many things! I have ruled out nothing. Man, if DV was just normal and did deliveries and epidurals and all that normal and lovely stuff, my life would be so much better right now. But no, I have to drive in winter to each of my appts once a week ( i have really bad driving anxiety), then deal with the stress of all these 'plans' for my birth.

And before I get jumped on by the 'at home birth' people. I have never felt comfortable doing that. I want my babies born in a hospital with me on drugs. So the midwife thing is just not for me, even though, yes, that would be a much easier plan lol. I don't even know if DV has midwives.

The only thing I can do is stay positive and pray and try to keep this baby in until Maikal gets here. Anyways, thanks for reading all my venting thoughts.
It will be fine
It will be fine
It will be fine

Birth vs Exam

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
So I am 32 weeks now. I actually just got off the phone with Maikal, and I was all,

"Can you believe I MAY only have 4 weeks left!?" (Ben was born at 36)

He was not happy about that.

"Keep that baby in until I get home! No more of this early-baby talk!"

Ugh fine fine. I'll keep my mind set on being pregnant until you get here.
And for those who don't know yet, here is the low down of Maikal being here (or not) for the birth.

Maikals last day of classes is Nov 18. Then it's just study study study for the BOARDS (super hard Dental Exam. You need it to be a Dentist. Its important). He can take it at any time after you are done classes. Just sign up and go whenever either in USA or CAN. So the dilemma is stay and take it there with better study time, or fly home - be here for the birth - but a little less study time. Of course Maikal being here for the birth would be amazing, but I also know how important this exam is. So I am fully (i think?) prepared to have this baby with or without him by my side. He plans on coming home and taking it here, which is cool with me! And he is one of the smartest people I know, so the amount of studying he will get here will be just fine. But things could change last minute, so who knows when exactly he will get here. Can we all just cross our fingers and hope for the best for both situations please! Baby...Exam...Baby....Exam....UGH.

Ok so a little lighter news, like I said I am 32 weeks. I remember with Aurora at this time, I was so tired of being preggers. But this time seems a little different. I am oddly OK with staying pregnant and I don't feel that 'get out of me' feeling just yet. Maybe it will come later. Also awesome news, I think we have decided on a name! Hopefully neither of us change our minds. Man, this time round picking a name was a nightmare.

Lately, I've been listening to alot of 'Sister Act' on youtube and I cannot get enough of it. There is this one scene in the movie when they are singing their choir song, and these girls hear them from across the street, and I couldnt help but awe over their crazy outfits. One trend in particular was the plaid shirt around the waist. Im obsessed. I know this has made its comeback for a few years now, but I especially love doing it with a bump!

Dress :: Aliexpress, Old, Similar HERE

Shirt :: Aliexpress, Old, Similar HERE

Booties :: Walmart

How We Wore It | Fall Florals

Monday, October 2, 2017
Hello Fall!!!

My girls and I are back! "How We Wore It" is officially a thing again. We use to do this monthly, take a common fashion trend, then make it our own and share it in this series. This summer was super crazy for everyone so we've been a bit behind hah.

Well....surprise, I woke up to SNOW this morning. Yup...SNOW. But that's not getting my love for Fall get me down lol.

So, for this 'How We Wore It' post we are doing Fall Florals!! Turns out, Florals aren't just for Spring ;) And Fall colours are my colours so im a pretty happy gal in this season. Plus Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. And we are that much closer to Christmas!! I have also had a really great time dressing up my baby bump! I am 30 weeks now and can't believe how time is flying. Soon I will have that precious babe in my arms. Seems like perfect timing to have a baby in the late Fall/early Winter because I get something super cute and warm to snuggle with all day :)

This is a pretty quick post for me as I am currently about to drive Maikal back to the airport after coming for the weekend. Boo!!!! So enjoy this and Enjoy my friends posts as well! (linked at bottom)

"You Smell Pregnant"

Saturday, September 23, 2017
Wow, excuse me while I dust off the Ol'Blog for a minute.

Hello people who read my blog! I know thats not very many haha, but thanks for stopping by.

It seems like not that long ago that we were trying to get pregnant, and here I am at 29 weeks already! Third Trimester Baby! I haven't blogged about this pregnancy AT ALL. So here I am to catch some people up and also to write down a few things that I really want to remember for later.

Ok, so let's rewind shall we:
First of all, let me start by saying, I thought I was done at two. For real. But then, things started to get easier. The kids grew and my life became more simple, and it was awesome. Then that baby fever hit. And I needed a baby again. I have always wanted 4 kids, so I now have my heart set on 4 and we are very happy about it.

Anyways......Maikal and I have had to be careful as to when we can have our babies because we live in the USA (where health insurance is basically a nightmare for us Canadians), so we need to plan our due dates when we will be in Canada just so it's easier. I couldn't have a baby this summer due to my work schedule in the summers, and of course I wanted to chance that Maikal would actually be here for the birth, so we decided a December baby made sense. (USA schools get out beginning of Dec). So that was our plan and we were SO worried that we wouldn't get prego right away because the timing with him needing to be in school and Ben starting school would have gotten really complicated and Maikal would miss those newborn days.

So the week we were 'trying' felt like an eternity. I have no patience! But the day came when it was time to buy that pregnancy test, but I already had the hunch that we were successful and it was going to be positive. That morning before I even went to the store (I was going to keep it a surprise and do something fun to announce it to Maikal), I went to give him a hug goodbye for school and he leans in and smells me. Yup smellllllllls me. And he says "hmmm, you smell pregnant". Ya.....weirdo right? But he was completely serious and I couldn't help but laugh and get all giddy. So I later went and bought the test, did the deed, and couldn't wait for those 2 pink lines. But surprise, Negative. WHAT THE CRAP. How could I not be pregnant? I had the signs! Nope, not acceptable. I HAD to be pregnant or else everything would be ruined. So I kept that bit of hope in my head and simply said to myself and Maikal, "I must have taken the test too early, yup, that's it, it has to be". So I waited another week when I knew I was to suppose to start my 'lady' time again (cuz you know what? Prego tests are pricey, and I thought waiting was the cheaper option lol) So that special day came and went, then another, and another. I am NEVER late. So each day that went by was like I dodged a bullet. It's crazy, but the amount of times I went to the bathroom to 'check' myself was stupid lol. Then I went and got that freaking test and did it again.


The flood of relief that came over me was unreal. I was SO HAPPY. And also turns out, Maikal's smelling magic powers are more accurate than a pregnancy test.
Ok, so now to surprise Maikal when he came home!! I had always envisioned this photo in my head (which I am totally going to recreate soon) for the announcement. It only works for some people, not everyone.

I wrote on Ben's belly "made in Alberta"
on Aurora's belly "made in Hawaii"
And on my belly "made in Ohio"

We were standing in a line and would raise our shirts when he came home. CUTE RIGHT!??
So he comes home, walks into the room, we do our reveal, reaction. He was so out of it he didn't even know our shirts were up hahahaha. He was like "hey hun hey kids". Took him like 15 seconds, but he saw it hahahaha. He was happy and grateful as well and we had a lovely family hug and laughed about what just happen hahahaa.

Then of course was the long wait to tell the rest of the world. Could the 1st trimester be any slower?
As far as the main question "How has your pregnancy been?", I honestly have zero complaints! I was sick for about 2 weeks, but not a bad sick, just nauseous and no energy, but I was still able to go and do things. I just started doing Yoga and it feels so nice to get more physically active again. And apparently it's suppose to help with Birth, which if you know me, you know my births are straight from the belly of Lucifer. I pray all the time that this time will be a good experience for me.

I should prob stop writing now haha. This is getting too long for one post. I promise I will be better at updating this thing. Thanks for reading!

6 Months in Cleveland

Sunday, March 26, 2017
So it's been half a year already, and Maikal is almost done his 1st year of Dental School! How crazy is that!? We will officially be done around May 10th, then we will be hanging around for a few last minute things then heading back to Canada for the Summer. And I couldn't be more excited.

But, over the past 6 months, I have been asked quite a few times, "How are you liking Cleveland?"

So to better answer this question, I think I will do a Pro's and Con's list about living here. Here we go:


- People park ON THE ROAD. Like we will be driving down a 2 lane street, then all of a sudden BAM....there's a car right in your way so you need to ninja dodge to the other lane then make your way back, but then BAM..theres another one. So I just keep it safe and try to stay in the left lane as much as I can.

- The Traffic Lights. Did you know the street light was invented in Cleveland?? Yup. Therefore, there are 3x's as many lights just to show them off! I on EVERY block. And a ton of them are on YOUR side of the intersection (not across), so I have to lean forward and look so far up just to see when the light turns green, or else I would never know.

- The Intersections. The CRAZIEST intersections I haver EVER seen. I remember when Becca and I first got there, we went through this one intersection and I screamed through it because I thought I was going to get hit. It has about 8 roads going in and out of it. And the traffic lights are all intertwined facing all the different roads so you know when its your turn. They are sooooo crazy you guys.

- Road Maintenance. Basically the only roads you will find without holes and cracks are the ones on the outside with the 'really rich' homes. Our van takes a beating every time we go somewhere.

- School System. From what I hear, it's not good. Obviously I will get a better idea once Ben goes to school I think. Education is very very important to me so I hope it all goes well.

- We are far from family and friends. Obviously it's hard being away from our families, and the kids not seeing their cousins and grandparents. But it's also kind of nice being on our own doing our own thing so far away.

- The Panhandlers. I'm not sure if this is a Big City thing, or just a Cleveland thing. I've never lived in a big city before. But the amount of time's myself and Maikal have been approached by people for money is crazy. And a lot of them dont even look poor or look like they 'need' it. This one time I was just grocery shopping and this guy comes up to me (he had his wife and kid and a cart of groceries already) and asked me for money to by his groceries........I dunno I thought that was weird. And that happens quite often. So I just say no now lol. If I have a granola bar I give them that instead.

- The Crime. If you don't know this already, Cleveland is in the top 10 most Crime ridden Cities in the USA. We hear sirens EVERY SINGLE NIGHT before we go to bed. We also get reports of crime ALL the time. People getting mugged, killed, children being stolen, our bank was robbed twice in 1 month at gun point. Last month or so, I got an email a few hours after the fact, this girl was dragged down her own driveway by two men and they tried to take her. She fought back and won. But this happened 5 houses down. If I was watching out my front door, I could have seen the whole thing. I went to bed crying that night. That could have been me coming home from an activity late or coming back from picking up groceries. So the next day I bought pepper spray haha. I never go out after dark, and I am always feeling the need to look over my shoulder.

The Crime is what gets me the most. I think about my babies safety all the time. I hear these stories of child abductors and break in's.....and my stomach will turn for days. Growing up, these things weren't really around me. I felt safe enough to leave my house and car unlocked most of the time! I would walk at countless hours at night and not think twice about 'bad people' lurking around the corner. So it's just A LOT all at once. My paranoia is getting better though haha. Just gotta keep on my toes! I swear my anxiety and paranoia levels went up 1000% now that I have a little family.


- The Old-ness. OK you guys the houses and old churches and buildings........are AMAZING!!!!! Like think 'old rich United Kingdom in the Country'. Lots of the houses are huge and look like small castles. And they are wicked cheap. We were looking into buying a house, but with us not being USA citizens, it made it basically impossible.

- With Cleveland being a big city, there seems to be a lot of stuff to do. Museums, libraries, parks, nature walks, zoo, farms, restaurants, etc. And of course Lake Erie is right there! They have a nice beach, and you know how much I love my beaches! And we are super close to Canada so if im ever craving some 'real chocolate' (Sorry USA but your choc is nasty) then I can go get some (4 hour trip but whatever, choc is always worth it).

- The people. Even though half the time Im worried that this stranger is going to take my kid, they actually end up smiling and giving me the biggest compliments and basically being the sweetest human beings ever. And of course I have made some pretty awesome friends, and so have my kids! Which has been such a blessing.

- The Dental School. CASE has been highly ranked for years and Maikal is getting such an amazing education. And yes he is loving it! Although he feels like he's going to fail all the time. But he's a smarty pants so I know he will rock it!

- The weather!!! Our friends and family who lived over in this area told us that the winters were going to be so bad and that the humidity would make the cold cut straight through our clothes......ya that didn't happen at all. I felt like its been spring for the past 4 months. It's awesome cuz we hate the cold! A soon as I moved here, it felt exactly like Hawaii weather again, and it was glorious. I loooove it.

SO, there's a small list. We are Happy and things are going very well here. We found our groove and I cant wait for more adventures to come.


St Patrick's Day | The Facts

Friday, March 17, 2017
Happy St Patrick's Day!

In case none of you have guessed, I am 50% Irish. I know, it's hard to tell...... ;)
It is a huge dream of mine to go to Ireland one day and explore the culture that makes up half of me. Actually Maikal applied to Dental School in Ireland....I was definitely rooting for that one haha.

But just like a ton of people in North America, I didn't really know what St Patrick's Day was truly about. I thought it was about Leprechauns and pinching people! So here is a little write up of what we are actually celebrating today!

"The Day of the Festival of Patrick"

* St Patrick's Day is celebrating the annual death of St Patrick. He is believed to have died 460 AD. It was originally a very large feast celebration but has now become so much more than that.

* St Patty is celebrated because he is the one who Ministered Christianity in Ireland in the 5th Century.

* Irish people have been celebrating this holiday for thousands of years. Pretty impressive!

* Why do we wear green? It was believed that wearing green made you invisible to the leprechauns, and if you were caught not wearing green, they would pinch you as a result! 

* Why specifically green? St Patty taught the Holy Trinity with a Green Shamrock and a 3 leaved plant, all Green items.

You guys, I've always LOVED St Patricks Day. Any day that partly celebrates wearing my absolute favourite colour is a good day in my books. It is my goal in life to actually celebrate this holiday IN Ireland. And I invite all my Irish friends and family to join!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous day and aren't getting too many pinches! Happy Weekend!

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