Hi, I'm Nina!

At Balkanina you will find our DIY projects, updates on our home renovations & design plans, tips on hair and makeup, and a peek into our lives as we grow as a home and a family. I hope you will follow along because I am so excited to have you.

AS SEEN IN:

Welcome Home Dominik Anto

Welcome Home Dominik Anto

Birth Story

Wednesday, June 6th

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 was a really hard day. I woke up that morning 41 weeks pregnant, got dressed and drove to my 0730 ‘past due date’ ultrasound where they check your amniotic fluid and make sure the overcooked babe is doing alright. There are many risks of going past your due date and I never thought I would even have to worry about those. My feet, face and fingers were so swollen the last thing I wanted to do was be seen in public but after my appointment I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and go get a coffee, pedicure and make {possibly} my last trip to Home Good with a big ole bump. I had this weird and unexpected sense of energy after my pedicure – I even went home and made a chandelier from a basket I bought at Home Goods (that evening.) As the hours of the day went by my attitude declined and my emotions took over; I started to feel angry again. I met my mom at Target, she knew what type of shape I was in (I had been in for the past 1-2 weeks) and just wanted to help take my mind off of things. We were in Target for maybe 10 minute before the tears started flowing; I couldn’t contain myself. I asked my mom “Why is my body doing this, why won’t it do what it is supposed to do?” At this point I felt like I had done everything under the sun to help induce labor naturally, including chiropractor, acupressure, massage, foods, drinks, walking…you get it (so many things, I could write an entire post just on that). I walked out of Target defeated and kissed my mom goodbye; I picked up my phone and texted our priest. For the next 15 minutes I sat in the Target parking lot hysterically crying on the phone with our priest. I asked him if I was a bad mom for considering induction, I asked him if in the eyes of God there was something more I could do, I asked him to pray for us and especially to pray for my piece of mind. He reassured me that he would pray for me and he let me go by simply saying Let go and Let God… whatever that may be. 

Pregnant at Home Goods

Our Little Secret

A little secret we kept from everyone was that we had an induction scheduled for Thursday, June 7th, 2018 at 1:30 PM; NOT to say this is the right way to feel, nor that anyone should feel this way but I felt embarrassed, I felt like I was giving up, I felt like I was not letting nature run its course. It wasn’t just the fear of what and induction could lead to, it was the mental piece of it – I wanted my body to do it on its own and I wanted Dominik to choose his birthday based on how God wanted it. The induction was a mutual decision with my OB due to my gestational hypertension…she felt it may not have been safe for myself or the baby to go much longer. 

I AM IN LABOR! 

When Tom got home from work, we chatted – I cried some more and he reassured me that THIS is what God has planned for us and tomorrow we get to meet our baby (yea right, Dominik chose his own birthday…keep reading haha). We picked up the house knowing we wouldn’t be back for a few days, got the dogs bag ready and packed the car with our hospital bags. Around 930 PM we kissed goodnight; Tom was dozing off and I laid there annoyed with the constant Braxton Hicks Contractions I was having, not able to get comfortable for about 30 minutes. Then all of a sudden I felt this intense pain and tightening – it was the “you’ll know when it’s real” moment. I thought “whatever this is fake, then 10 minutes later I felt it again and woke Tom up, I asked “should I start timing these just in case?” I opened up the contraction timer app in my phone that I had been waiting to open for weeks and sure enough – something was happening. For a good hour or so it was inconsistent but I still called the triage line at Meriter Hospital; they told me to call back or just come in if they contractions become close together, consistent and more painful/intense. Of course just as I got off the phone for the next hour the contractions were very consistent, lasting 45-55 seconds and coming on about every 5 minutes – Tom kept falling asleep and every-time a contraction came on I screamed his name and yelled “DO SOMETHING!!!” (poor guy). I didn’t want to be annoying so I didn’t call the triage line again for another 3 hours…meanwhile I covered every inch of the bedroom on my back, on my hands and knees, on the exercise ball, standing, sitting – you name it – so this is EARLY Labor…. I’m pretty sure I scuffed the wall behind the headboard because of how hard I was pounding on that. 

4.5 hours of laboring at home…I would have gone longer but I was having extreme rectal pressure (which could be a sign that progression is a lot quicker) AND my contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes and SO intense! I called the triage line again and they directed me to come in... THANK goodness we packed our dog’s bag the night before and the car was set to go because we quickly threw our shoes on and got into the car. I had always imagined I would labor at home and would be able to do my hair and put on some makeup…well that just wasn’t realistic to say the least – NOR DID I CARE – haha. We live in a small town and the only drive through open was McDonalds and you bet ya we stopped and got food because I knew they wouldn’t let me eat once I got there and we didn’t know how long of a day we had ahead of us. I sat in the backseat so I could stretch out; my contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart which gave me just enough time to take a bite out of my quarter pounder. With each contraction I grabbed Tom’s shoulder so tightly I am surprised he drove as well as he did. Luckily traffic was not heavy considering it was 230 in the morning. Luckily, we were about to park real close to the entrance once we got to the hospital in the “expectant mother” spot. 

Admission to Labor & Delivery, Labor continues

Once I got checked in, they put me in a room and I could tell things were moving fast on their end – the nurse was rushing to get me admitted and paging the doctor to get here ASAP. One – my contractions were very close together, two- they were worried about the rectal pressure (they said that’s what people feel when it’s “time to push.”), three – there was concern about my blood pressure, four – there was concern about leaking amniotic fluid. I labored in triage for a little over an hour while they drew my blood, checked my fluid levels, monitored the baby and got me admitted to labor and delivery. At this time I was only 2 cm dilated and that shocked everyone – I was annoyed because I for sure thought with my contractions I would be further along. Little did we know we had a long road ahead. 

I could not believe they admitted me! We didn’t even bring our bags in from the car because I was convinced they would probably just send us home. They said since we already had an induction scheduled for Thursday afternoon (this is now 430 AM Thursday) there was no sense in sending me home. I now know why people say it’s nice to labor at home as long as you can. I labored 14 hours before I could not take the pain and exhaustion. My nurses were incredible and I went through 4 of them; every single one of them was like an angel sent to me. I could go on and on about my incredible experience with them. I labored without any medical intervention for those 14 hours – Tom and I walked the halls, I used the exercise ball, I got into a warm bath, we played music – you name it. The hours flew by but it felt like forever each time a contraction came on – they continued to stay 2-4 minutes apart and each time got stronger and stronger. Around 1230 is when I was getting contractions so strong they would knock me forward and instant tears started flowing; I wasn’t coping well emotionally and the reason for that was the exhaustion and sleep deprivation. At this time, we had been awake 31 hours. I was only 5 cm dilated and I knew if I kept going like this my body and mind would be so exhausted I may not be able to deliver Dominik vaginally – you hear horror stories about how women were so exhausted from labor they physically just could not push. I anxiously decided it was time for an epidural. 

I got an Epidural!

Anesthesia was very nice and quick – he placed the epidural without any issues and it mostly felt like a bee sting when he numbed me, pressure with the placement of the catheter and then cool sensation when he injected the bolus medication. I was so scared to get an epidural but it was a GAME CHANGER – I got a good 5 hours of rest and maybe even an hour total of sleep. But then the epidural failed. At first I noticed my right leg was no longer numb (I should also mention – I was never fully numb, I could still feel pressure in my legs and I could still move them with help – not sure if this is normal?), I could move my right leg just as I did before the epidural. We tried repositioning to see if that would get the medicine to affect the right side and that did not work…THEN my contractions started getting painful again – enough that I had to stop and breathe through them but not as bad as before.  They called anesthesia to the bedside again to check the epidural and to give me a bolus push of medicine – it helped for maybe an hour. So here I was, with a half working epidural, laboring through active labor in bed. My body started to tremble out of control; I was shaking so hard and I could not control it – they say this could either be a side effect from the epidural or hormonal tremors…of course I get to have all the fun side effects. It was really scary to have absolutely no control over my body, even my head and neck were shaking – these would come and go for the next couple of hours. I forgot to mention, my OB did start me on a low dose Pitocin back when the epidural was still working to hopefully help me progress a little faster – it worked, by 10 PM Thursday night I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push!  

TIME TO PUSH!!!

“OMG Are you serious?! I am so scared, ahhh” I said when they told me it was time to push. Let me tell you, it is nothing like you see on TV – pushing is a marathon (well in most cases and especially most first time moms). The doctor leaves the room and it’s you, your husband and the nurse. Again, my nurse was my angel – I yelled her name out pleading for help so many times and she would hold my hand and reassure me that I can do this. Oh I forgot to mention, when it was time to push…my epidural was basically a worthless piece of you know what… I. FELT. EVERY. THING. They showed Tom how to assist in holding my leg and here I was, pushing…for the next 3 hours. It was such a long but fast 3 hours – I wish I could tell you right now some of the things I yelled at my doctors and/or anyone that would listen. A few things I remember – the rectal pressure was so INSANELY intense that I wanted to sink into the ground; later I found out it was because Dominik’s head (he flipped to sunny side and back) decided to flip in the midst of it all and his cone head was pushing toward my back. The sweating – I was SO HOT and uncomfortable, mind you…when you’re pushing you use your entire body, so I was basically doing the CrossFit games while giving birth. One of my co-workers gave me a small hand held fan at my work baby shower and that little thing was a GOD SEND – picture Tom at the head of my bed, left hand side just holding this tiny fan with flamingos on it in my face and me yelling “PUT IT CLOSER TO MY FACE!” Also, picture Tom trying to put my hair in a pony-tail when I yelled at him to do it because I was so hot, I am pretty sure I said “F**** forget it” and my hair stayed down. I don’t know how many times I yelled “DO SOMETHING PLEASE, the epidural is not working, I can feel everything” to my OB. 

Something you should know about me...

A little something about me – I work through things mentally and when I am not mentally prepared for something my coping skills are out the window. I mentally prepared myself for this epidural and I was NOT mentally prepared to deal with a natural birth if the epidural would fail. Let’s be honest, physically I was like WTF too. 

Welcome Home Dominik Anto

Around 1210 FRIDAY MORNING – My OB came back into to check on me and I strictly recall her pulling up a stool at the end of the bed and she said “So here’s the deal.” I immediately started freaking out, because I knew that C-Section talk was coming. She went on about the hospital “epidural and how long you can push for” policy and then started throwing in the words forceps and vacuum, lastly she said “I think you can do this on your own in 20 minutes.” I yelled “NO! I am doing this on my own and I am not doing it in 20 minutes because that is too long, I am doing this in 10 minutes or less…Well, guess who was right?! ME!!! I did not want to risk any of the things she listed off so I knew it was now or never and I don’t know what came over me but with the grace of God and the power of prayer (I was yelling out in prayer in Bosnian, which really threw my medical team off, or at least the ones that had no clue I was bilingual. Picture an angry woman in pain trying to give birth burst out yelling in a different language) I pushed a few more times and out came our little angel. 

When they put Dominik on my belly, my arms reached out to him like I had known him forever and like he was the most treasured and beautiful gift God has ever made for me. In that moment, I felt NOTHING but love, my body was floating, my heart doubled in size and I felt this intense aura of peace come over me. His BIG eyes were wide open and he was looking directly at me and all I could do is turn to my husband and say “HE IS SO CUTE!!!” Tom had no words, we just locked eyes and laughed, we cried and we both could not believe that we made this little angel. I had never seen these emotions out of Tom, it was the coolest feeling in the world. Like the incredible little babe he is, he latched on for his first feeding immediately and we spent a long time skin to skin before we let his grandmas come meet him. Shout out to our mom’s and my brother who waited MANY hours for Dominik to be born. Someone even told me my mom was pacing the halls outside of my room crying every time she heard me yell or cry (I get it now, I want to cry every time Dominik is upset). 

This is, what it feels like, when my life began. I can’t even tell you what we ever did before our Dominik.  

Photography by Melissa Winters Photography

How to Bleach Wood Furniture

How to Bleach Wood Furniture