Thursday, October 15, 2015

Elizabeth's birth story

I just met with my doula for my postpartum visit.  It almost coincided exactly with Elizabeth turning six months.  She suggested, and I had eventually been planning on, writing out Elizabeth's birth story.  For me, I need to completely process through what happened, accept what happened, find the positives, and give myself closure on her birth so that if\when we have more children, I will not be suddenly barraged with suppressed feelings and fears.

A lot of Elizabeth's story will be compared to Eleanor's story because that's what I was doing in my head all throughout the last little bit of pregnancy and all of labor and delivery.  Comparing is a big no no and ultimately lead to much frustration and prolonged labor.

Saturday night I texted my midwife that I was feeling uncomfortable, like possible contractions.  All birth attendants were on high alert as Eleanor came so fast.  I took an Epson salt bath, made sure to eat something, and went to bed.  Thankfully, I was able to get a full night of sleep as I would need all that energy the next day.

We woke up and got ready for church despite feeling uncomfortable.  The church is closer to the birth center than our house, so I figured we might as well just go up to church to keep my mind off of things.  When we arrived at church, I was struggling with the decision of whether or not to call my midwife, Patty. I had texted Patty before, but I hadn't heard back, and I was afraid I was going to wake her up!  I called and told her we were at church, but we would head to the birth center after the service for her to check me.  After checking in Eleanor into childcare, we hung out on the couches in the lobby.  I was already having to concentrate through the contraction, and Anthony was timing them.  At some point, I called Patty and told her that we were going to go ahead and head to the birth center.  She and Betty were already racing up there.  (Eleanor came really fast!)

Anthony's parents actually beat everyone to the birth center.  They were there to take Eleanor for us, but I wasn't really ready to give her up.  For some reason, saying good bye to Eleanor was really hard.  They took her to go grab breakfast.  Patty checked me, and I was dilated 5 cm.  I think I was a little bummed expecting to be farther along.  (I was at almost a 9 when I arrived at the birth center for Eleanor.)  I went and did my hiblicleanse as I had tested positive for Strep B.  We choose this option because of my reaction to needles.  My midwife did not think that I would handle an IV or a heplock well.

Eleanor came back for a little bit, and I had some breakfast sandwich.  I was trying to stay upbeat, but the contractions were way more intense than Eleanors.  I said goodbye to Eleanor.  For the next several hours, I alternated between the peanut ball, birthing ball, bed, toilet, and tub.  I was frustrated and crying.  The contractions were intense and fast.  Back labor had begun and despite efforts from my doula, I was in immense pain.

At some point, my midwife checked me again, and I was complete.  My water had still not broken.  I was trying really hard to visualize my water breaking, but to no avail.  I got in the tub again and was pushing.  I don't know if subconsciously I didn't want to birth in the water, or I knew that Anthony did not want me to birth in the water, but the tub just ended up being frustrating.  I felt like every time I moved, I was hit with another contraction.

I got out of the tub, and Patty really wanted me to squat for a few more contractions.  I was not having anymore of this talk.  All of my birth affirmations at this point were invalid to me, as I felt like I wasn't getting a break between contractions, contractions were lasting longer than a minute or multiple ones within a minute.  I had been at 10 cm for over an hour, and I was exhausted.  All I could do was hold on to my doula and say that I was done.  I really felt like I had reached my limit.

Patty proceeded to break my water.  I was laying on my back in the bed, which I knew was not the ideal position for delivery, and something I wasn't familiar with as I had had Eleanor on my hands and knees.  Lauren, the birth assistant who had I had requested (she attended Eleanor's birth and I saw her twice a month as she watched Eleanor for MOMS) had just arrived from returning from Colorado.  We already had a birth assistant, so she wasn't actually needed, but she came anyway.  I am so glad she did because she finally helped me to figure out what pushing actually meant.  I hadn't really needed to push with Eleanor, so for Elizabeth I was just getting through the contractions at the end as opposed to active pushing.  I felt Elizabeth's head in the ring of fire, and, oh my gosh, Patty had my wait and slowly ease her out.  I was ready to blast her out of there.  I remembering the scream that accompanied that wait.  My throat was hoarse after birth because of that one scream.  But, I am so thankful she had me do it that way because my recovery was amazing this time!

Out came the head, another push the shoulders, and I was able to reach down and pull my baby up to my chest, or rather stomach--she had a rather short umbilical cord.  At some point Anthony checked the baby out and told us it was a girl.  Honest to goodness, I could not have cared less, I was just so glad that labor was over!

I was shaking from muscle exhaustion and was super anxious about my placenta coming.  (At one of prenatals with Eleanor, this poor mommy had to go to the hospital after delivery because she wasn't delivering the placenta, and in my hospital-phobia mind, I could not think of anything worse than getting the hard part done, and being sent to the hospital.)  I got lots of skin-to-skin time with Elizabeth (although she was unnamed until the next day) before Patty checked her over.

We had gotten Olive Garden take out the night before, and Anthony's parents had brought it to us at some point.  I got to eat and lounge around as people took care of me.  Anthony's parents brought Eleanor up for a quick visit, but they took her back home with them for the night, which was a good call.  Eventually my doula and midwife left, but Anthony and I were free to hang out as long as we wanted as Heidi, the birth assistant, cleaned up.  We were taking it slow.  With Eleanor's birth, we were rushing out of there for no reason.  We left, called a few people, and went to bed.

Initially, I had a really negative perception of this birth because I didn't feel I was a "great birther"because it took so long.  In reality, this birth was a pretty textbook birth.  In time, I have come to realize that I should be proud of the strength it took to get through something that I really wanted to quit.  (which, I understand, there is no real quitting when you are 10cm dilated, but you get the point.)

In hindsight, comparing this birth to Eleanor's birth was silly.  And expecting the second birth to be easier was just plain naive.  Each child is different; each birth is different.

I am thankful that I had an easy birth for my first child because the mentally recovery time was much shorter allowing us to want to have another child sooner.  I am finally reconciling this birth at 6 months. (At this point after Eleanor's birth, I was already pregnant.)
I am thankful I had a really hard birth the second time.  God definitely humbled me.  Natural birth is hard.  Birth is hard... But I did it.
I now know not to compare births or have an expectation of how it should go.  I need to be able to roll with the punches.
The recovery for this birth was so much easier.  I listened to my midwife during the last minutes of labor, so I didn't tear.  I had created a list of ways people could support me with housework\meals and made it visible.  And guess what?  Things got done.  I allowed people to spend the night and take my other child.  I had earplugs, so I could nap while my child was screaming with someone else.  (Which I also did with Eleanor, but is a major must!)  Breastfeeding was so much easier.  I knew what it was supposed to look like, and I knew where to get help when it wasn't going smoothly.

If\when we have another birth, I would like to be able to labor longer out and about or at home before going into the birth center.  I would like to be able to get into a squatting position. (I am sure my water would have broken if I could have made myself go down to that position.)  Ultimately, I would like to take the birth for what it is and not compare it to anyone else's birth.

We are thankful to God every day for our lovely girls and the safe delivery and strengththat He granted us for both girls.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

When you don't get to check off those things on your list

Sometimes I think about being really famous.  Like some internet how-to-person.  Or some crafty person with a business.  Or an author.  Or I am in an accident one day, and the next day I wake up and I can sing really well.  But mostly these days I dream about being able to sleep.  (Before you hastily type your well-meaning sentiments, I'm not looking for helpful tidbits on how to get them to sleep or enjoy this mombie ((mom + zombie)) time of your life, you will miss it--blah, blah, blah.  I'm in the trenches--NOT what I need to hear right now!)

I don't know what part of me needs this recognition from others or to be good at something.  Ahem, probably the sinful part.  When I was a teacher, I felt successful often or at least like I had a point to all my runnings around.  I could make lists and check things off.  And snap pictures for instagram of things that turned out so wonderfully and that I even had time to arrange them for snazzy photo ops.

As a homemaker, I can make lists and check things off and feel productive...maybe even successful in that role.  But my other job as a mom is a little harder to make into a list and check things off.  I think that is why I struggle with feeling successful.

And how would I even define success with my kids is probably a bigger question.  Is it when they get older and have real jobs, and I can not be embarrassed when other people ask what my children are doing??  Is it when they get a scholarship for being intelligent or playing a sport really well?? Gosh, I guess the big thing for me is that I want my girls to love the Lord and serve Him.  (And I say that like gosh, I just realized that as typing not gosh, duh, doesn't every one??)

In that same context, that's where I should feel successful in loving the Lord and serving Him.  That means tangibly loving people and that's hard because people are dumb.  (See, I need some work in that area!)  I am serving the Lord in my home right now raising these girls.  And most days on more than one occasion I say dirty words in my head and I want to stab my eyes out and Real Housewives of some city is on while my children are in the room because I just need a break.  (Anyone, anyone else??  Crickets chirping...  Crawls under rock.)  

Point being, because I am severely digressing, all jobs don't make you famous, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing them.

Also, question for you: how did you find out what your spiritual gift is?  I want to start actively using mine and being aware of it, but don't really know how to go about that...

Keeping it rrreal, ladies,

Monday, June 1, 2015

Learning from Failures

First vlog because it is hard to type while baby-wearing!  Let me know what you think!


Friday, February 20, 2015

3 Thoughts on Comparing

I love this quotation.  I heard something along these lines for the first time when I was doing a Beth Moore study several summers ago.  I wanted to add a couple thoughts that have stemmed from it lately:

1.  On the most basic level, don't compare yourself to someone else.  Your body, your progress, your job, your marriage, your feelings, or how you express yourself.  Just because someone else is beautiful (you feel in the blank), doesn't mean that you aren't beautiful.

2.  This next point was brought up in Bible Study Fellowship a couple weeks ago, and I can honestly said I thought about this before.  Not only are we supposed to compare ourselves to others, we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to how we "think" we were in the past.  How happy we were, how skinny we were, how organized, how put together we think we were.  Often times we over-romanticize our past and don't accurately remember everything from that time period.

3.  Don't be the person who lets the thief in.  For example, don't be the person who makes the comparison for someone else.  Don't be a one-upper.  Everything is not a competition, so stop making it one.  Support them where they are at or keep your mouth shut.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birthday on a Budget and not living up to the Hype

Really, I could have cared less about having one (oh, am I not supposed to say that out loud?), but Anthony and everyone else said it was a MUST.  I was determined not to let this be a Pinterest monstrosity-meaning that I spent way too much time and money to make it super cutesy for a child that won't remember it.  What really happened will be in RED!

So, it's Tuesday.  Party is on Saturday.  And this week is crazy with MOM's groups, and
Bible Study, and new baby appointment, and small group, and Bunco.  Love them all, but they all coincided with this week.  So, preparation is key.  Here is the plan:

1.  Make cupcakes, as in bake them.  The actual decorating will be one of the activities at the party.  My sister and SIL made owl cupcakes for one of my showers.  All you need is cupcakes, oreos, m&ms, and frosting.  I am just planning on putting the stuff on the tables with a picture of these owl cupcakes from pinterest.  DONE!  Ingredients bought and pictures of owls printed!  COST- $16  I think I over bought.  So, people can make a cupcake to eat at the party and take one home!  We actually had probably just the right amount of everything.  I think people gravitated toward the oreos over the cupcakes, but who wouldn't?!?

2.  ABC book for Eleanor
I did one of these at a friend's baby shower, but decided to make it an activity for a 1 year old birthday party.  There will be a few children in attendance, so this will give them something to do and hopefully keep the adults off their phones.  I mean, who doesn't love sharp crayons!  And this will be something that can be used by Eleanor later.  For the time being I am just putting the pages in page protectors in a baby book that wasn't being used.  DONE!  I love free printables.  Everything you need is here!  COST-free!  I think this was mostly my family and the kiddos that participated with this.  We saved a letter for my sister to complete since she got stuck with the stomach bug and couldn't come.  I may add a picture from a magazine to the drawing.  

3.  Photo Opp
I am planning on doing streamers as the background for this, and asking Anthony's cousin to take pics with her new camera she got for Christmas or have his Dad set up his tripod.  We will see what happens.  Inspiration is bottom right hand pic from this blog.  Just need to set up streamers! COST- Orange and Pink Crepe Paper $2  My friend, Janie, and I didn't have time to set up the photo booth, and I am glad I didn't.  Megan did such a great job capturing people and party moments!  I can't wait to see how they turned out!  I am so thankful that I did not have worry about documenting the moment, and I could be there with my family.  Thanks Megan!

4.  Birthday Outfit
These things are ridiculously expensive.  I see people trying to resell this for $40 dollars, and I would not even pay that full price.  So, borrowed a cute orange and pink (already made-yes!) tutu from a friend and bought a onesie and some iron-ons from Hobby Lobby .  Not done yet.  COST-$6 30% off onesie and coupon for 20% off .  So, this was extremely frustrating and did not iron on.  It was a faulty product because the iron on hearts I got worked perfectly.  (Growl!)  Fortunately, my mom had some stitch witchery stuff, and we just cut out the 1 from pink material.   Also, don't wait until the last minute!

Pink Polka Dot I am 1 Iron-on Art Flocked Transfer
Add caption
5.  Balloon Owls
I have done tissue paper pom poms before, and I love them.  They have the biggest bang for the buck.  But since I did those for Eleanor's gender reveal, I am going to give these a try!  COST: bag of balloons + paper I already have = $1  Yep, nope, didn't happen.  We had some balloons hanging around.  

Other Decorations:
Plastic Tablecloth- totally reusable, too.  In fact, I am using one I have from Eleanor's gender reveal party.  $2
Plastic Cups and Napkins $4
Gallon of Milk + Water in a pitcher =$3

Total:  Around $35  I think it is important to go through and look at prices because I usually end up spending a lot more than I think I do because I always buy just a little bit here and there.

And that is it!  I am going to not run around like a crazy person.  All guests have three somewhat independent activities that also facilitate conversation.  Eleanor will smash a cupcake, and we will take a lot of pictures.  She will tear through tissue paper and love it!
The End.  Despite having a low key party and help, I am sitting here Sunday afternoon still trying to recover.  I am exhausted.  I guess that is what happens when you are 32 weeks pregnant.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nailed It!

So, as a mom-on-the go or sometimes mom-all-day-home-at the house, I have had to find quick and EASY fashion fixes!  A few days ago, I posted about watches and what a facelift it can give your outfit.  (Or who am I kidding?  My "jeans and husband's baggy shirt" combo), outfit-if you can even call it that.

Well, I recently hosted a party for Jamberry nails.  I had seen them before, and I knew you could win free hostess rewards, so I gave it a try.

Now, mind you, I have been thinking about going to the nail salon, meh and hair salon, for months...months, people.  I have yet to make it to either one.  First, I can't bring Eleanor to the salon.  And secondly, last time I went I dropped $75.  Now on a one-income budget, those trips don't happen eva.

Well, after watching the how to video twice (slow learner), I figured out how to apply the nails, and I am in L.O.V.E.
Don't they look amazing!?!

I have always loved having my nails painted, but messed them up so easily.  And then after putting down a chunk of change, the nails would chip off and look trashy.
Tricked ya!  The only Jamberry wrap is the one that doesn't look horrible a few days later.  Jamberry for the win!

It is the easy fashion fix I needed.  Even though there is spit up on my clothes and my hair is a wreck, my nails look good!

Having less time than ever, and with another baby on the way, I love the ease of Jamberry nails.  I'm sold!!  So sold, that I can now sell Jamberry.  (Basically, I just want to fund my addiction.)  If you want the hook up or want to support my addiction, let me know!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Watch Out!

Since becoming a mommy of a very curious darling and with another sweet little bundle of joy on the way, my fashion-forward sense (unfortunately) has taken a back burner.  Well, I have discovered a couple EASY fashion items that are going to help put me on the right track for the new year!

There is a reason I did not do all encompassing jewelry as a topic.  I used to wear great, big huge gaudy necklaces, and I love them.  But the beads on those always find a way into my little one's mouth. (shudder) And earrings, I am just asking for her to pull those out.  But watches, yes, the fashion accessory that every mom-on-the-go needs.  

"But I have my phone, I don't need a watch."   I am so glad you said that!  Every time I drag my phone out, my daughter wants it.  And all I want is the time...  Not only will a watch dress up your outfit, you will avoid the whining involved when you tell your daughter no, and you won't look like those crazy people always looking at their phone.  

Invaluable is basically an online estate sale for all sorts of fun things.  You should definitely check out their women's watch page!
Find it for auction here!

Find it for auction here!
Aren't these so unique?!?!?  I think the turquoise would go perfectly with an aztec sweater and colored jeans!
Fuzzy Open Front Aztec Cardigan Black/White  - Cliche
Get it at Target!
Planet Motherhood Maternity Full Panel Colored Jeans
Giving some love to my other pregnant mommies.  Cute clothes are hard to find, but these jeans go so well with the comfy aztec sweater.  Plus the color goes really well with the turquoise.  I think it will really make that watch POP!  Find them at Walmart!

Show off your arm candy!  Do you have a go-to watch or several that you rotate?