Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Finlay Patrick's Birth Story

So, I'm pretty terrible at updating the blog considering I haven't updated since Margo's birth. Oops. I do need to type out Finn's birth story while it's fresh in my memory though, so if you're into reading that kind of thing, then enjoy! :) 

The morning of Saturday February 13th I woke up to bloody show which is how my labor began with both of my girls, but I was not having regular contractions yet which was different from labor with my girls, so I wasn't convinced that the bloody show meant labor was imminent. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and went about our morning preparing a few things and letting family know just in case.  My mom had been staying with us all week but she and my dad were staying locally for the weekend and going to a murder mystery dinner on Saturday night. I told them they should keep their plans and I would let them know if anything changed.  My midwife's assistant Sarah and friend Adrienne (we also go to church together) came later that morning to do a prenatal since I was 41 weeks. Everything was good and we chatted for awhile and said see you at church tomorrow unless something happens before then.  The day passed and nothing happened but I was not discouraged. I had a feeling from the beginning that things would go a little differently this time, and I was at peace with that.  That evening my parents went to their murder mystery dinner which I was thankful for because I would have felt awful if they had to miss it as it was non-refundable. :) I didn't feel like cooking and making a mess in the kitchen that night but had a craving for nachos, so Ryan went to a local nearby Mexican restaurant to bring some home and we had a picnic on the floor with the girls and Gilbert while watching Lady And The Tramp. My girls made me laugh so much that evening and I soaked it all up as I thought it could be our last night as a family of four. 

Sunday morning I awoke to more bloody show and a peaceful snow fall. Ryan and I went to church with Lucy and left Margo at home with my mom who is not a fan of driving in the snow. Margo had a cold and a rough night of sleep so it worked out great to leave her at home with my mom.  I had been having contractions all night but still nothing consistent and I really wanted Lucy to be able to go to her Valentine's Day party with her church friends, so off we went! I'm sure there were some people at church who were surprised to see me as they had told me good luck the week before thinking I'd be having a baby within the week.  haha! 

That afternoon Ryan and I took a nap :) and after that my contractions started to pick up a little.  We decided to bundle the girls up and take them out to play in the snow for the first time this winter since we missed the first real snowfall while we were in Florida. I was thinking we'd bundle them up for all of five minutes outside before they wanted to come back in, but they surprised me and had the best time playing in the snow and helping daddy shovel the driveway.  I was having contractions the whole time but didn't make a big deal of it.  We came back in to make supper and I informed Ryan that I was having more regular contractions so he and my mom needed to take care of the girls while I sat on the birth ball.  Sometime around 6, Sarah text messaged me to see how I was doing and I told her my contractions were more regular so she asked me to time them for fifteen minutes.  Turns out they were 2-3 minutes apart, but I was STILL unsure if this was it, I think because my water had not broken yet like it did with the girls. Sarah asked me what I thought about her coming over to check my cervix because she wanted to allow time for my midwife from Iowa city to get here especially with it having snowed that day.  I agreed and she arrived sometime between 7 and 7:30 and I was 7 cm dilated and there was no denying that I was actually in labor. :)   I had told my sister in-law Melissa what was going on earlier and she arrived shortly before Sarah with her camera. :) Adrienne and my mother in law arrived sometime after that.  Ryan and Sarah began setting up the birth tub and while it was filling we all sat around just talking and laughing.  I have such sweet memories of that time.  It was lighthearted and joyful and I was surrounded by family and friends and so much love, all of which is evident in the birth video that Melissa made for me. 

The grandmas were entertaining the girls and at some point took them upstairs for a little bit to get their jammies on and read to them.  I got into the birth tub around 9 and my midwife arrived from Iowa City soon after that. I had a few quiet moments to myself to sing and pray while everyone was upstairs preparing our bed for after the baby was born. Apparently someone could tell when I was getting really serious about things because they had the Grandmas bring the girls back downstairs. I assumed my hands and knees position just as I had done with Margo and began rocking back and forth and moving my hips during contractions.  I vividly remember my girls standing there curiously watching their mommy labor, Monica applying counter pressure to my back, sweating like crazy and having cool wash cloths placed on my neck, saying "this is hard work" and "come on baby" as I could feel my baby moving down with each contraction, my dear husband watching me in wonder with his excited daddy smile, and the feeling of my water breaking not long before I breathed my sweet baby out and into my arms at 9:36 pm. As I brought him to my chest I thought to myself that he looked like a boy but no one knew for sure yet and I wanted to just hold him for a minute before taking a look. :) I kept us all in suspense for a few moments until someone said something like "do we know what this baby is yet?" haha.  I stole a glance at Ryan first and then lifted the towel to look between his little legs and was shocked to find that I had indeed given birth to a boy! The room erupted in laughter and squeals of glee and all I could say was "we don't have a name! what are we going to name him?!?!" Ryan and I were so convinced that this baby was another girl and we would have been so happy with a third girl, but God gave us a boy and we are delighted. Some days I'm still in disbelief. I will share more pictures from his birth when I get them and his birth video for those who want to see it.  :) 

He's been with us for a week now and he is sweet as can be and loved so much by his big sisters. It's been an adjustment for Margo, but she's doing great and she loves to "look at da baby!" Lucy is my big helper as usual and is always checking on little brother and saying "look at him! He's so cute!".  It's pretty precious. :)  We are all smitten and with our Finlay Patrick. We took a few days to name him and Ryan eventually came back around all on his own to the name we had picked for a boy before we knew Lucy was a girl.  Finlay (pronounced Fin-lee) means Fair Warrior and and Patrick is in honor of Ryan's younger brother who died shortly after birth due to spina bifida.  I think it's a perfect name for him.  

My mom was with us for the week before and after he was born and such a tremendous help to me as always.  We've all come down with colds now and are so ready for spring, but we're surviving. I'm learning that the house is just going to have to be messy for awhile and I'm going to have to be ok with that, but our wonderful church family is bringing us meals every other night and it has been such a blessing.  Ryan and I praise God for this new addition to our family and another little life to nurture. I know three won't be a piece of cake, but I also know that the Lord is my strength and help. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Born At Home - Margaret Alleene's Birth Story

On the evening of June 4th I posted this picture without any inkling whatsoever that I would be holding my sweet Margaret in my arms by the next evening.  I was fully expecting that I would still be pregnant by the next week but I was also contentedly and peacefully resting in the knowledge that she would come in God's perfect timing.

The next morning, June 5th, Ryan headed out for a busy day of work and I woke up feeling a little crampy with some bloody show.  I remember my heart skipping a little beat as it brought back a flood of memories from my labor with Lucy which began the same way. I quickly told myself that it might not mean anything is happening soon, but deep down I knew this was probably it.  Ryan was already gone at this point so I called to let him know what was going on and to make sure he wasn't going too far from home that day. I then notified my Midwife, Kathy and my Midwife's Assistant (doubling as a Doula), Sarah, and told them I'd keep them posted. I also gave a heads up to my parents, mother in-law and sister in-law so she could be prepared to come take photos and videos of the birth when it was time.

Lucy and I were supposed to have a play date with my friend Melanie and her little boy that morning. I was sad to cancel but I knew that labor would probably be a little shorter this time and I didn't relish the idea of having to drive myself home if things picked up quickly. I also wanted to get a few things done around the house in preparation while I was still able, so we stayed home.  Lucy and I played outside, went for a walk in our neighborhood and I gave her a bath, all while having contractions, or surges for the hypno birthers ;) Lu took a three hour nap that afternoon which is pretty much unheard of for her, but I was thankful! I busied myself with things around the house, sat on the birth ball, prayed, and listened to my birth playlist while she napped.

At 2:22 pm I sent a text to Ryan that said "I'm OK right now but I think the sooner you can come home, the better....maybe? :)"  At 2:23 pm I talked with Sarah (midwife's assistant/doula) on the phone about how things were going and I mentioned I was a little nervous that I wouldn't know when to tell her and Kathy to come because my contractions were not at all intense and this is how it was with Lucy. I also said that I didn't think my body would really feel safe to let things get going until Ryan was home from work. Ha! When I got off the phone with Sarah I saw that Ryan had responded to my text at 2:45 with "I'll be leaving here (Clinton) in about 20 minutes, so should be home about 4:00." I responded with "OK. No big hurry. Just would be good to have you home."  I wasn't sure when Lucy would be waking up from her nap, and I knew I needed my strong man here with me for support.  Somewhere in the midst of all of this I had talked to my dear mother in-law and made arrangements for her to come get Lucy for a little bit.

Around 3:40 pm I decided to get on my hands and knees and do some pelvic tilts, during which my water broke! I quickly got up and went to the bathroom and then called Sarah back to let her know.  She jokingly said "Charissa! You were supposed to give me until 5:00!" haha. This would allow time for her husband to get home from work to stay with her girls. Thankfully he was just down the street when Sarah called him with the news that she needed to head out!  I was still a little bit in denial that my water had broken and wondered if maybe I had peed my pants but again knew deep down that I had not. :)  Sarah told me she would gather her stuff together and and be over as soon as possible. She also notified Kathy, who then called me to see how I was doing and said she'd be on her way from Iowa City soon! I was glad to know I would not be alone for too much longer as I knew if this were to go anything like Lucy's birth, things would happen quite quickly from here on out!

When Lucy woke up from her nap I brought her downstairs and I was sitting on the birth ball with Lucy nearby when Sarah arrived around 4:15.  I of course had to corral our giant dog when Sarah came to the door, and I'm sure I was having a contraction during all of this.  I really don't remember when my MIL came down to get Lucy but it was shortly after Sarah got there. Ryan arrived home soon after and I remember the feeling of relief that washed over me as I saw his big ol' truck driving up our hill.  Sarah began setting up the birth space and inflating the birth tub while Ryan and I took a quick shower. 

Right after getting out of the shower I began feeling a whole lot of pressure and got very serious about having Ryan stay near me so I could lean on him during contractions.   While in our bedroom getting dressed I remember saying to Ryan, who was going to go downstairs to get something for Sarah "I need you to stand right here, right now.", as I felt another contraction coming and more pressure. I think Sarah appeared in our bedroom at this point and told me I should probably come back downstairs.  I walked in circles in the dining room while the tub was being filled and began to wonder if I would even make it into the tub and seriously considered just squatting on the dining room floor to birth my baby, BUT I was determined to wait until I was in the water because I knew it would feel good. haha!  Kathy was on speaker phone during this time and communicating with Sarah and I while she was driving.  She was so great at reassuring Sarah that she was doing awesome, and letting me know she'd be there soon but not to hold back if things were progressing. 

I think it was between 5:00 and 5:10 that I finally got into the tub. I looked up at one point and realized that Melissa had quietly come in and was taking photos.  My parents arrived around 5:15 and Adrienne showed up somewhere in there too. :)  My MIL, Shirlee arrived with Lucy, who took her place with Ryan by the birth tub and after soaking things in for a moment she sat down and began eating berriess out of a bowl that Shirlee had brought down for her. :)  I am so thankful that it worked out for Lucy to be a part of Margaret's birth.  

Many details of what happened around me in the next 20 minutes are unclear since I was focused on birthing my babe, but I do remember looking out the dining room window at one point and seeing a gold finch on the feeder.  I remember Ryan in front of me, holding my hand and offering me sips of water with a cute, nervous dad smile on his face. I remember the wondrous look on Lucy's face as she observed what was happening before her. I also remember hearing Sarah's constant words of encouragement behind me and her telling me to reach down and feel Margo's head. I remember Kathy arriving and feeling bad that I made her drive to our house during "rush hour", but that's better than bad weather I suppose! :)  I remember the incredible feeling of being able to touch my precious Margaret's head and guide her out as I breathed through contractions. Such a different experience from Lucy's quick and unexpected entrance into the world! ;)  I remember enjoying peace and quiet as no one was telling me when to push, or asking me questions.

After being in the tub for about 25-30 minutes, At 5:35 pm, I breathed Margaret's 8lb 12oz, 21 inch long body out and pulled her up out of the water and onto my chest. My sweet girl put her hand on my face and I couldn't stop kissing her. Words can't even describe the joy and emotion of that moment. I'm so thankful for the video that Melissa took and especially for the beautiful memories she captured in those moments after Margaret was born. I have watched it quite a few times since Margaret's birth and it never grows old.  I'm so thankful for each person that was there to celebrate with us!

I cannot believe it's been two weeks since I gave birth in my dining room. :)  So glad my husband supported my desires to home birth and for the wonderful team we had.   It couldn't have been better. 

Margo is an absolutely beautiful gift and Ryan and I are thrilled to be holding her in our arms and thankful that God has chosen us to be her mom and dad.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Half of a Year....

Lucy girl,

You are 6 months old.  That means that half of a year has passed since you were born. I'm kind of in denial.  In some ways it feels like the last six months have flown by and I can't believe that in another six months you'll be ONE YEAR OLD.  Your Aunt Kristi is already planning your party. ;)
There are times when all your dad and I can do is look at each other and say "she is SO cute" and we are just in awe of your developing little personality.  There are days when laundry doesn't get done, dishes stay piled in the sink, and dog fur tumbleweeds accumulate because I just want to hang out with you, kiss your soft chubby cheeks, and soak up each moment as much as I can because I know I will never have that day with you again.  I often wonder how God will use you for His glory and I pray that you will love Him with all your heart, soul and strength and that you will see us do the same.  

The other day I was staring at your back as you were sitting on the floor like such a big girl and I couldn't believe I was looking at my baby. I just wanted to stop time.  It is fascinating to watch you grow, and learn, and change... even in a week's time. Here's what you've been up to in the last few months....

You got your two front (bottom) teeth for Christmas! :) Of course that means that anything you can get your hands on goes immediately to your mouth.  Your sleep was a bit disrupted for awhile but I *think* you're settling back into your sleep pattern from before you started teething. :) 

You have sampled banana and avocado and seemed to like both! We're excited to try baby led weaning with you and watch as you learn how to feed yourself and explore different foods. 

I love watching you put your paci back in your mouth. Sometimes you take it out of your mouth and jabber away while staring at it and then you pop it back in. 

 You're good at grabbing things in general and are very curious about everything. 

You love your cousin Samuel already and your Auntie and I hope that you two are going to be best buds.  Your favorite thing about Samuel right now is his hair. :)  He has a lot of it and you like to run your fingers through it.  He doesn't mind as long as you don't pull.  

You are more aware of your surroundings and if you see me or your daddy leave the room, or realize we're not there anymore, you sometimes start to cry. :(

You look so much like your daddy.  Everyone thinks so.  Occasionally someone will tell me you look like me when you smile or make a certain face, but you definitely favor your daddy, and that's a good thing.  He's cute! ;) 

You love the Johnny Jump Up at Grandpa and Grandma Peterson's house. It's pretty entertaining to watch you get excited and bounce yourself around. 

Even though you know how to roll over, you don't do it very much.  The other night you rolled from your back, to your tummy, to your back in about 10 seconds.  You were pretty proud of yourself. 

You still don't love being on your tummy for longer than a few minute, but that's OK.
Laughter.  Oh, the laughter.  Lately we haven't had to make a whole lot of effort to get you to laugh.  You especially like to laugh at your daddy for no reason, and the dog when he's simply shuffling around the house. Tonight you laughed when you heard/saw your dad and I laughing at something. When you laugh, it makes us laugh.  It's hilarious.  Your cute little squeal/giggle is my favorite sound ever. 

Last weekend I went to a two day doula workshop that required me to be gone for 10 hours each day.  It was the longest amount of time we had been apart and you got to hang out with your daddy both days.  I think you had lots of fun.  Thankfully you recently decided that taking a bottle isn't all that terrible, and drank them just fine when your daddy had to feed you.  :)
You are sitting up all by yourself.  I'm sure it won't be long before you figure out how to move your legs to scoot around on the floor on your bottom. It will be time to baby proof before we know it!

You don't realize this yet, but God has blessed you with the most adoring, most amazing Grandparents. It's a special thing. :) 

Here's a little note from your dad :) ....

Lucy, this is your dad. 
I love you so much. 
You are even cuter than I imagined you would be
 I think you might be a bit of a stinker when you get a little older. 
I'll try to make sure I set you straight. 
We have lots of fun together. 
 One time you fell asleep on my lap while I fed you a bottle. 
I'm pretty sure you haven't done that for anyone else. 
You are my protege.
Love, Dad.

We love you a whole lot, sweet girl. Jesus loves you even more. :)  


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dear Lucy

Dear Lucy,

Yesterday marked three months ago that I was cradling your 7 lb 1 oz, 19.5 inch body in my arms after you decided quite suddenly that you were ready to get on with life outside of my womb.  I was overcome with love.  All my fears of not knowing how to care for you were washed away as I stared at your beautiful face and basked in the realization that you were finally here. The love I felt that day has only intensified over the last three months and I still look at you in awe and praise God for growing our family with you.  

Today is a very special day because your cousin Samuel was born! We have been praying for this boy and are so happy that God is growing our family even more! We haven't met him yet but we will soon and your Mommy and Auntie Melissa are so thrilled that you two will get to grow up together!  I woke up to a text from your Auntie around 3:30 this morning announcing Samuel's arrival and I think you knew something was up. :)  You were doing a little happy dance in your crib, raising your legs and dropping them to the mattress repeatedly, and then you went back to sleep on your own.

A few things about you: 

You are smiling more and more! 

You have the softest, most kissable cheeks.  

You are finding your voice with all your cute little baby sounds, and even a little chuckle here and there! :)

You are not a fan of tummy time, but we're working on it. 

You ARE a fan of bath time.  It calms you if you're fussy and you love splashing and kicking your legs in the water.  Sometimes dad fills the bath a little full and we end up with a very wet bathroom floor.  That's how you know it was a fun bath time. :) 

You love it when your  daddy flies you around the house like an airplane. 
You are a mover.  You are not usually content for very long to be held by someone who is just sitting or standing still.  

You like being worn in the moby wrap.  I'm so glad that you do because you spend a lot of time in it when I'm cleaning for clients! 

You love your swing! 

You can almost roll completely onto your side without assistance. 

You are generally sleeping anywhere from 7-10 hours a night. Sometimes less...sometimes more. :)

You are grabbing things more.

You will not take a pacifier.  You took one for your Aunt Kristi when she was here, but so far you won't take it from me or anyone else.  You like to suck on your hands. 

Your dad gave you the nickname Little Munchy (short for munchkin) and sometimes we just call you Munch or Munchy. :) 

We sure do love you, little lady.  I wish I could bottle these days up but I know there are more fun ones to come too! :) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

She Brought The Dawn (Lucy's birth story)

I've been wanting to blog about Lucy Anne's entry into the world while the details are all still fresh in my mind, and here we are seven weeks later.  WHAT?!? My baby is already seven weeks old?!?! How is that possible?!?! What a wonderful seven weeks it has been.  Not without it's challenges of course, but we love this darling baby girl God has brought into our family and can't imagine life without her.  Ryan and I were able to enjoy our first date post baby last night and as we pulled into our driveway he said "We have a fun life with a funny dog and funny baby.  Remember what life was like five years ago?" Five years ago neither one of us had a clue we would be married to each other, let alone have a baby!  Kind of crazy to reflect on that and think of all that has changed and all the blessings God has poured out.   

There are so many things I could say about life since Lucy arrived, but this blog is supposed to be about her birth, so I will save that for another day.  Disclaimer:  If you're a dude, read at your own risk. :)

Tuesday, July 3rd - This was the day that I went into nesting mode full force!  I was dusting ceiling fans, taking down curtains to be washed, moving furniture around (with Ryan's help) and just generally acting like a crazy person preparing for Lucy's arrival.  I may or may not have been a little cranky and emotional. ;) At this point I wasn't really having any "feelings" that she was going to come soon because I had convinced myself that she was comfy cozy in there and wouldn't be coming out for a couple more weeks. HA!  That night we went out to the chapel to sit in the parking lot and watch the fireworks.  We weren't sure if we wanted to go since it was so hot, but I really didn't want to miss the fireworks and we knew the chapel would be open with the air on and an easily accessible bathroom, so we decided to go. I had been having irregular contractions but I just passed them off as Braxton Hicks and not drinking enough water. We got home late and I was exhausted. Before bed I went to the bathroom and noticed the tiniest bit of blood on the toilet paper. That was a little strange to see after nine months of not seeing any blood. :) I assumed it was probably bloody show and when  I informed Ryan of my discovery his response was "She's comin'!" said in a very matter of fact and totally unfazed tone of voice. :)  I didn't want to burst his bubble but I knew that it could be days before she actually made her appearance.  I was trying not to get excited too soon.   

Wednesday, July 4th - I woke up around 7 AM and I couldn't go back to sleep. I was still having irregular contractions but I wasn't in pain or uncomfortable at all.  I went and sat in Lucy's room for awhile to pray and read some verses that my doula had given me, and then I called my mom and talked to her for a few minutes but apparently I forgot to mention that I was having contractions?!?   I guess I just didn't really think it was worth mentioning.  :)  After awhile I decided to crawl back into bed for a little bit and try to sleep.  We finally got up and went about our day like normal, doing things around home and enjoying a yummy brunch together.  We had plans to go up to Ryan's parent's house later in the day for a 4th of July meal and I was in charge of bringing dessert so we made a fruit pizza together and headed up to their house around three o'clock. Before supper I tried to lay down and rest again as I started to realize that I might be needing all the energy I could get if this was really happening! I called/text messaged my doula, Sarah (who happened to be 36? weeks pregnant at the time) a couple times just to keep her apprised. She was a huge encouragement.  I really wanted to labor at home as long as I possibly could and my biggest fear was going to the hospital too soon and either be sent home or have them pressure me to be induced to speed things up. Sarah gave me the confidence and reassurance that there was no need to go to the hospital at this point, I was doing great and I should just keep doing what I was doing! I talked to my mom again and gave her an update and said it was up to them if they wanted to come then or not because I wasn't sure how quickly things were going to progress.  After supper I sat in my in-law's jacuzzi tub (which felt amazing) while Ryan kept me company and timed my contractions with his phone. They were about 3-4 minutes apart and I could still talk through them but used the time in the tub to concentrate on relaxing and breathing. I text messaged some friends and family letting them know what was going on so they could be praying.  I text messaged my parents telling them that perhaps they should go ahead and come so we didn't have to call them in the middle of the night and have them rush to get here and risk missing the birth! I received an immediate response from my mom that said "We're 25 miles away from Davenport".  Ha!  Apparently dad made the decision to hit the road about one second after he found out I was having contractions and had been having them all day! :)  I got out of the tub shortly after my parents arrived and we went back to our house around 8:15 pm, telling Ryan's family that we would keep them posted. Once home, I went up to our room to lay down because I wanted to get as much rest as possible while I still could. I turned off the lights,  lit a candle and tried to get comfortable by reclining against a bunch of pillows on our bed.  The most "pain" I felt was in my lower back, so with each contraction Ryan would massage and put pressure on my back.  Contractions were getting closer together and between each I would doze off to sleep just in time for another contraction to come.  

Thursday, July 5th (also happened to be my parent's 44th wedding anniversary!) - Around 1:30 am I had Ryan call our doula as it was becoming a little more difficult to talk through contractions. She knew things were getting serious when it was Ryan calling her instead of me. ;)  I wanted her to come to the house and labor with me for a while so she could help me decide when to head to the hospital. While we were waiting for her to get here, I had Ryan load our hospital bags into the Jeep since I had a feeling we'd probably be going in the next couple hours.  When Sarah arrived, Ryan left to take Gilbert up the hill to his parent's house.  Right after he left I went to the bathroom and while sitting on the toilet I had a contraction and a new feeling of a lot of pressure down there and the urge to push.  Sarah wasn't too far away and must've heard my breathing change because she asked if I was OK.  When I told her I was feeling the urge to push she said "well lets not do that here!"  haha!  While waiting for Ryan to return (felt like forever) I had another contraction bent over and leaning on the dining room table for support.  I began to sweat and feel like I might throw up.  As soon as Ryan walked in the door I told him it was go time. He ran upstairs to tell my parents we were leaving, we grabbed a "barf bowl" for the ride just in case, and off we went with Sarah following close behind and my parents and Ryan's parents and sister following not too long after.  Somewhere in all that, Ryan called ahead to the hospital to let them know we were coming.  Although it was very early in the morning with pretty much no other cars on the road, the 25 mile trek to the hospital never felt longer.  I had several contractions on the way there and I was convinced one of three things was going to happen. ONE... I was going to throw up.  TWO... My water was going to break. Or THREE.... I was going to have this baby in the Jeep!  I just kept breathing through the contractions and thankfully none of those things happened.  

It was around 3 AM when we finally pulled up to the doors of the ER where a hospital employee was sitting in a wheelchair outside and he promptly hopped up and asked if we needed the chair.  As soon as the current contraction was through I sat in the chair and they wheeled me up to the desk where they of course ask all the annoying but necessary questions while you're in labor, only they couldn't find my name in the system which was odd considering I had been going there for all of my prenatal appointments.  They finally asked me my SSN and found me under my maiden name????? Weird.  A nurse led us up to a triage room and on the way she asked "So, what's going on?" To which my awesome husband replied "Um...she's having a baby."  I think he probably refrained from saying "Duhhh".  ;)   Once in the triage room we were asked more questions by a different nurse that had only been there for four months.  She checked me and found me to be 4 cm dilated.  I admit I was a little discouraged.  I was hoping to be a little further along. I looked at Sarah and said "I'm only at a four???".  She was very quick to tell me not to be discouraged and assured me that it was good.  The nurse did say after checking me that my bag of waters was right there which might have explained all the pressure I was feeling.  Less than a minute after she checked me, it was like a water balloon burst and there was no mistaking that my water broke.  They got me settled in a labor and delivery room, asked more questions, had me sign some things, and strapped the monitor on so they could monitor Lucy's heartbeat.  The nurse acknowledged that I did not want to have the monitor on the whole time as I had stated in my birth plan, but they wanted to get a clear reading of Lucy's heartbeat before they took it off.  The problem was that every time I had a contraction they would lose the heartbeat, which resulted in a lot of fiddling with the monitor.  I just kept praying that everything was OK and they would get a good read soon so I could get out of bed...walk around...get in the tub...ANYTHING but lay flat on my back.  If I was only at a 4 I certainly didn't want to be laying in bed the whole time.  During this time some of our family members were coming in and out of the room.  It's all a bit fuzzy to me now.  Of course my mom, doula, and husband were all sitting on the couch quietly waiting to jump into action once I was off the monitor.  Ryan was by my side with each contraction putting pressure on my back.  My sister in-law Melissa was in the room for a little bit and I distinctively remember her saying that she and my father in-law, Jody were going to get Starbucks and doughnuts and bring them back for everyone while we waited for something to happen. Even in the throes of labor I wanted to say "Oh, Starbucks sounds soooo good right now.  Can you pleeeeeeaaaaaase bring me back a caramel macchiato?!".  My contractions were getting more intense but still not agonizingly painful and with each one I felt like I was going to have a bowel movement.  Sorry, for those dudes who decided to read this...I'm just telling it like it is.  I continued to breathe through them and at some point the nurse asked me what my level of pain was on a scale of 1-10.  I think I said six but I was feeling quite a bit of pressure and a little burning sensation down there, so the nurse asked if I wanted her to check me again.  I kind of reluctantly agreed.  Call me pessimistic, but I didn't think it was possible that I had progressed that much.  As it turned out I didn't have to worry about that because all the nurse did was look down there and say "I don't need to check you because the head is crowning! You're at a 10! I need to call the Doctor!" and with that she put the sheet back over my legs.   Um...what????  I don't know what I said...if I said anything at all, but I'm pretty sure I looked at my doula, mom, and hubby with an incredulous look on my face.  None of us were expecting that I would be at a 10.  This is when things got crazy. With the next contraction I sat up a little in the bed and felt Lucy's whole head pop out.  No one else in the room knew this right away because the sheet was over my legs and I wasn't really supposed to be pushing because the Dr. wasn't there yet.  I didn't even really make a conscious effort to push, I just let my body do it's thing during the contraction.  I think I looked up at Sarah and all I could think to say was "the head!!!". I think someone in the room said "what do you mean, the head?" haha!   The next few moments are fuzzy in my mind, but I remember the nurse going into panic mode and saying "press the button! press the button!"  My husband was on that right away pressing it over and over, when my doula pushed him out of the way and said "I'll do that! you get down there!" motioning to the end of the bed.  He got down there pretty much in time to catch his daughter as the rest of her body "squirted" into the world at 5:30 AM, just 2.5 hours after we arrived at the hospital! Ryan jokes that the only thing keeping her from flying right off the bed was the umbilical cord which had actually somehow mysteriously become detached at some point.  Lucy was immediately put on my chest and I was pretty much speechless.  I'm still speechless when I think of how everything unfolded. I'm still speechless sometimes when I look at my precious girl's face.

Sarah ran out to the waiting room to inform my dad and mother in-law that Lucy was here, which of course shocked them!  My mother in-law called Melissa and Jody right away to tell them the news. They were still at Starbucks and couldn't believe that Lucy decided to make her appearance in the 20 minutes that they were away. :)  The Dr. made it just in time to deliver the placenta (real fun) and check me over.  Somehow I didn't tear at all.  I did lose quite a bit of blood but they got it under control.  

The next couple hours were of course spent staring at Lucy, holding Lucy, and taking pictures and videos of Lucy. Such joy and excitement.  That day I looked at Ryan several times and said "we have a baby".  :)

As if things hadn't been exciting enough...after everyone left us to get some rest, I got up to go to the bathroom for the first time after Lucy was born.  The sweet nurse walked me from my bed to the bathroom, asking me several times if I was doing OK.   I definitely felt weak, but I was doing OK, until I saw all the blood in the toilet. :)  On the way back to my bed the nurse kept asking if I was OK again and I said yes, but the next thing I knew I was crumpled on the floor,  with another nurse behind me holding me up and my poor husband standing there holding Lucy wondering what just happened!  First time I had ever fainted in my life!

It was quite the day and we thank the Lord for the safe arrival of our little Lucy.  The name Lucy means "light" which is appropriate considering she was born just as the sun was coming up!  I pray that she will be a light in this dark world and I cannot wait to see how God uses her for His glory.  

Lucy Anne.  7 lbs 1 oz 19 1/2 inches.  Born at 5:30 AM on July 5th.

If you haven't read my dad's blog about the Lucy's birth, you should.  Make sure you have some tissues handy.   http://jeskeslaw.com/2012/07/07/born-with-the-dawn-a-grandpas-reflections/

Also...this is pretty amusing.  In the last week both my doula and my friend Kristi sent me this little tidbit from a blog entry of mine before Lucy was born.... "My dear husband apparently has so much confidence in me that when asked by his sister if he was worried to see me in labor he said "nah..she'll be fine! she's going to pop that baby right out!". Just like that. Oh dear. Thanks, babe. :) While I'm fairly certain it won't go that way, I'm glad he'll be cheering me on. In the end...how she arrives is how she arrives and I'm trusting God for that. He has the perfect birth plan and it might be different than mine. :) "   He pretty much nailed it. :) 

can't believe she's almost 2 months old already!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our Little Lady's Room....

We still need to do a few things in her room but it's pretty much finished so I took a few photos yesterday and a few people requested that I put them up on my blog. 

I absolutely love how it turned out.  It's the perfect combination of feminine, peaceful, and not too babyish.  It has vintage, modern, whimsical, and shabby elements that somehow flowed together beautifully.  I know our baby girl won't appreciate it until later, but I will!  I've been reminded that I'll be spending a lot of time sitting in the glider!  :)

bumper pad cover, quilt, mobile arm cover, and fabric garland made by my mother in-law!

comfy glider where I will be spending a lot of time.  the pink blanket was one of my baby blankets, and the pillow and glider were covered by my MIL.

I love how this turned out.  My sister in-law, Melissa found the awesome light up globe at an estate sale.  It has three settings of brightness and will be perfect for those nighttime diaper changes. :)  Inside the small white frames are old postcards that Ryan and I found at an Antique Mall.  They are from places that we both love or have lived. The old frames, shelf, and shutters were either found at goodwill, a consignment shop or an antique mall for cheap! What you can't see is the frame above the shutters which is our girl's name cut out using my friend Kristi's cricut and put on top of a map background.

My mom found this adorable elephant at Pier One!

close up of the quilt

the wall hanging was made with my friend Kristi's cricut.  She did most of the work. I just mod podged the letters on to the canvas. :)  It's a sentimental piece because it's some of the lyrics to a song my husband wrote for me and it was the song we walked down the aisle to after we were pronounced husband and wife.  The little set of nursery rhyme books were Ryan's when he was a baby. 

The dresser/changing table was an Estate Sale find.  My hubby did a great job making it look beautiful!

I'm not sure exactly how old this cabinet is....but it came from the house my MIL grew up in.  It was in her craft room for a long time, then it became my craft cupboard and now it is holding baby blankets, books, hats, and various other baby things!

Hello, Paddington! :)  I have a whole bin full of Paddington Bears but we decided he will be more appropriate in a boy's room if the Lord blesses us with one.  I couldn't resist putting one in her room though.

Fabric garland close up.  It was the perfect thing to fill the space above the crib since I didn't want to hang anything heavy on the wall above her crib.

Vintage diaper pail.  It was used as a decoration at the baby shower a few weekends ago and was filled with beautiful pink peonies.  I was secretly hoping when i saw it that it was for me to keep! :) 

My mom found this really cool tray at pier one.  Currently it's holding my thank you note, birth plan, birth class binder, bible stack. It will soon probably be holding snacks that everyone keeps telling me to keep nearby while nursing, burp cloths, and whatever else I need to have within reach.  The table and boxes were found at Gordman's, I believe.  So sweet.

So there you go. :)  Also...the paint color is Pale Seafoam which we got at Menards.  I think it's Pittsburgh brand.  It was kind of by accident that her room was painted my favorite color, but I'm not complaining. :)   Ryan was a little concerned at first that the room wouldn't be girly enough and there wouldn't be enough pink.  While I don't hate pink like I used to, I knew I didn't want to go overboard with it, but I think there ended up being a sufficient amount to satisfy Ryan. ;)

I'm 36 weeks and one day.  Wow.   Still waiting for time to slow down like everyone says it does in the last month.  We're going to be so busy these next few weeks and I'm still cleaning for all of my clients pretty much until I go into labor if I can.  So thankful that I've felt well enough to keep going. We're getting more and more excited to meet this little one!

On Friday night Melissa took some maternity photos for us. Here's just a few favorites....

my friend Kristi pointed out that this reminded her of a picture from our early dating days....before we even held hands!!!!  So for fun I found that picture and decided to post it here too......       
awwwwww.  memories.  This photo was taken at the Barsness farm when were were freshly dating. Little did we know that we would have our wedding ceremony there!    

That's all!  I'll try to post something in the next few weeks before baby comes.  No promises! :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baby thoughts...

Can I just say that I enjoy rainy days?  Now if I lived in the Bahamas like a certain someone I know and it was raining every day for a week then it wouldn't be so fun. ;)  We really haven't had much rain here lately besides the out of nowhere major downpour on Memorial Day, during which we forgot the sun roof on our jeep was open.  Awesomeness.  

Call me crazy but I'm actually hoping and praying for a few rainy days right after our little one is born. Is that bad?  It's Ryan's busy season for work and if it's rainy then maybe he can have a little more time at home with us right after she's born. :)  

I know a lot of people getting married this summer....but isn't that true every summer?  I'm so thrilled for all of them and it makes me smile as I think back on my own wedding day and first days and weeks of being married.  Such sweet moments that you wish you could bottle up and revisit in person sometimes.   


I love Ryan's smile. :)

And to think that when we celebrate our second anniversary we will be holding a three month old in our arms. Also around that time, Lord willing, there will be another newborn babe in the family! :)  My sweet sissy in-law and her hubby have the opportunity to adopt a baby that's due October 1st!  We are all praying about this and trusting the Lord.  To be both excited and guarded is a tricky thing.  How wonderful it will be if our babies are only three months apart!  :)

I really cannot believe we're five weeks away (give or take a week or two) from seeing this wee babe that's been growing inside of me.  I'm not so much nervous about labor at this point.  I'm more unsure and worried that I won't be a good mommy and I won't know what to do.  I've never really considered myself to be naturally great with little kids or babies.  Give me a teenager and that's a different story.  I realize I probably won't be saying that when my daughter is a teenager.  haha.  Recently I had a timely and encouraging catch up with my friend Rachel, and she shared with me that when her little boy was born she was surprised at how she just stepped into her role as mommy and was able to do things she didn't think she could!  I know it will be that way for me too and I know it's different when it's your own kids. That being said....I cannot wait to see this little girl.  To hold her and love her and kiss her cheeks and to see my husband hold his baby girl. I'm thankful for the help and grace God gives, and I know I will gain a fresh appreciation for it in the coming months and years.  

At the baby shower both moms shared some words of wisdom that I never want to forget.  Shirlee spoke of the importance of raising our daughter in the Lord and I was reminded at church on Sunday that as a mom I will have such a unique opportunity and position to be the first to evangelize my children.  I pray for our little one, that she will come to know the Lord at a young age, and Ryan and I will be faithful to teach her about Him.   My mom reminded me to continue to cultivate my relationship with Ryan and the importance of keeping God first, then your spouse, and then your kids.  Easier said than done at times, I'm sure. I am so thankful for the example of my parents and that I never doubted their love for each other.

The baby room is almost done and it is perfect.  With the help of my mom after our first baby shower a couple weekends ago we got everything organized and put away. Ryan finished the dresser/changing table, and my MIL sewed the most adorable bumper pad cover and pillow for the glider.  The only big things left are getting the blinds and curtains hung and a few things up on the walls!  She'll be sleeping in our room for awhile after she's born but I wanted to have her room done before she comes so I don't have to worry about it later.  I'll post pictures soon of the whole room when it's done.  :)  

proud of his work. :)

eventually we're going to get some glass drawer pulls for the dresser

I love how it turned out!

I've been finalizing our birth plan.  I know some people would say "why have a birth plan?  it probably won't go the way you want it to go anyway, so why be disappointed when it doesn't?"  but my opinion is I'd rather have a plan of how I'd like things to go if there aren't any emergency situations that arise. Obviously I am going to do what's best and pray that I will hold my birth plan loosely if necessary.  I'm thankful for the information and education Ryan and I have been given regarding all the procedures surrounding birth.  I'm also thankful for the strong support system I have through my husband, doula and other family and friends that might be attending the birth.  My dear husband apparently has so much confidence in me that when asked by his sister if he was worried to see me in labor he said  "nah..she'll be fine!  she's going to pop that baby right out!".  Just like that.  Oh dear.  Thanks, babe. :)   While I'm fairly certain it won't go that way, I'm glad he'll be cheering me on.  In the end...how she arrives is how she arrives and I'm trusting God for that.  He has the perfect birth plan and it might be different than mine. :)

To end yet another lengthy post (because I can't seem to be consistent with my blogging) I will leave you with some cute quotes from the dad to be....

While laying quietly on the floor in baby girl's room he all of the sudden says "so...when is this baby gonna come?!?"  Um...excited much????  :)

"I can't wait until winter time so I can be on vacation with the baby!"  :)  Winter is slow season for him so he'll be home a lot more. 

"I can't wait until we have a kid so we can take her places!"  hahaha. 

While laying on the couch one night "If our baby was here right now do you think she'd be laying on my chest?"   

So sweet.  I love hearing him wonder and talk about her out loud.