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?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Choose Kind

God has been pressing several things on my heart lately, and I just thought I would journal some to help me remember and also encourage you.

Last year, I read Wonder to my students.  It is a great book for children and adults alike!  It is about a young boy with extreme facial deformities who is about to enter his first year at a public school as a 5th grader, if I remember correctly.  The book is narrated from several people's perspectives, and it is very enlightening, albeit convicting (yes, I have stared at people because they are different, too!!). Anyway, one of the boy's teachers's gives the students principles to ponder each month or so, and this one really stuck out to me:

When given the choice to be right or kind, choose kind.  

It was a topic that was brought up last week in Bible Study Fellowship, too.  I wrote in my notes,

 "Go the extra mile.  Whatever it takes, as an ambassador of Christ, make it right."

And, and, and I just read it in my book from MOMS group.  Of course, it is a Bible verse, 

Hebrews 12:14  "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

There have been times within the last year, in the last month, where I have been so wronged by the other person, yet they are the one taking offense with me.  Even though it is my business to begin with, my secret to keep.  I have been tempted at times to blast them on my blog, passive-aggressively of course.  In fact, I have the blog post ready to go.  Just hit publish.  Graciously, God has kept me from doing that.  Even though, I am clearly in the right, God has called me to be at peace, to be kind, to make it right.

Still learning... I haven't attacked these people, but I still struggle in my mind of how to handle it.  I know where I should be, just working on that journey.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who, who, whooo!

Since I clearly had no time last time I was pregnant I thought I would show you all the cute pictures I have of some of my showers that were thrown for me.  My sweet sister and sister-in-law put this together for me.  

Owl cupcakes and m&ms.  So yummy and so easy!
You know how hard it is to find a specific picture on a shirt once you have it in your mind to find it?  Well, iron ons!  So easy and clever.  
Each flower is made out of two baby washcloths and a cute little button in pinned in the middle.
Mom picked up this cute canvas basket from Target.  We use it as Eleanor's hamper.  
My sister picked up this cute owl sign at Kirklands.  It ended up matching her room perfectly!
Pink, pink, pink!
Another iron on!

I will have to do another post on the game we played.  I had never played it--which is saying a lot for shower games.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Repurposed embroidery hoops

So, I have been needing to do something with my entryway for forever.  For the longest time we had a large glass mirror that we had removed from our bathroom last year.  I broke it last week, and now it sits in the garage until we decide how to get rid of it.  I mean it is huge!

I love projects, but I really love projects that I can do start to finish by myself and it doesn't take forever.  This project is just that.

Last weekend my sweet father saved mes some frames and embroidery hoops to see if I wanted to use them in the house.  I took the hoops as I had seen several pics on Pinterest showing them with different pieces of fabric in each circle.  I like the hoops because they can take up a lot of wall space and make a big impact.

I decided to use maps instead of fabric.  Fortunately, Denton has this amazing store called Scrap.   A dream store for DIYers.  I snagged these maps for 50 cents each and was able to find a few more hoops for the same price as well.  Score!

A few tips: First map I cut in a circle a little larger than the hoop, planning on gluing it to the middle hoop before putting the larger hoop on.  What a pain.  Next one I cut in a square, placed over the smaller hoop and pressed the larger hoop on it.  No glue or tape involved!  I cut off the excess after the hoops were secure.

Start to finish this was done in an hour with a crawling baby trying to eat my maps!

Although not my original plan, I did end up choosing maps of most of the places Anthony and I have traveled together, so it was a little more personal. And I love how it turned out!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cloth Diapering Dilemma

Oh, cloth diaper.  I honestly can't remember why I initially wanted to do cloth diapering.  I am sure that living in hippie Denton had something to do with it, and of course, saving money, I am a big fan of that.

Right now I am in the midst of nasty poops from the little one and desperately needing a disposable liner that contains it all.  Any advice in that department would be great.  It was especially difficult during the intense first trimester nausea and vomiting.  I would have to, and still do, but peppermint oil on my nose, spray the room, and have everything prepped and ready to go.  Fingers crossed, I hope that the vomiting over poppy diapers is over because heaven knows the poopy diapers are not!!

Fortunately, I have given myself grace to not always have her in cloth diapers.  When we go out or when I know a gross one is coming, I just throw on a disposable.  The cloth diapers have already paid for themselves, so a disposable ever now and then is okay by me!

We use BumGenius because that was the only brand carried by a major store around here.  And even then, we had to order them online.  Despite that we have been very pleased with the diaper.  (Actually, now that I am looking back at the website, Target does carry several other brands, but I think we opted with BumGenius because I could buy several together for a discounted price.)

Overall, we have been very pleased with the diaper.  Initially, right after Eleanor was born, for probably a month or so, her legs were so skinny that stuff just slide right out the leg whole.  We did have some leakage problems at night once she got a little older, but we just added a newborn insert with a regular insert = problem solved.

Now if I could just find a liner that I am happy with...


Thursday, October 9, 2014

My little weed collector

I am sitting by my front window in my very comfy lazy boy with a red warm blanket wrapped around my always freezing toes even though I think it is like 95 outside.  For reals, people.  It is a good thing I already got out for the day.  I always pictured in my house I would have a nice large window overlooking my kitchen sink with some picturesque view of a garden with roses or falling colored leaves or at least the visual opportunity to be a noisy neighbor under the guise of doing dishes.  Well, this days I do a lot more sitting than washing dishes, so the view out my front window from my comfy chair is a-mazing.

So, this last spring I planted a little raised bed and gathered some plants from the local nursery determined to grow produce for our little family and take cute pictures of my success and make strawberry jelly and take pictures of those to make people jealous and and...that basically did not happen.

There was this random freeze like in April.  I mean it is October and feels like summer, but we freeze in April.  That killed off 3 of my zucchini plants and both bean plants.  Good thing though because the remaining squash plants were huge.  Who know?  Certainly not me, the person who did absolutely zero research prior to gardening.  I did get some squash, and they looked great on the plant, albeit tiny.  But I am pretty sure they were not edible, and they looked nothing like the ones at the store-even the ugly ones at the store.

Currently, my little plot is collecting tall grass and maybe a snake or two. Does anyone have any tips for the newbie, lazy gardener??

Try, try again,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Friday Letters

I used to do Friday letters as part of a link up forever ago.  It was one of my favorite things.  I don't know if the link up is still going on, but I shall continue on by myself.  I wanted to start last week Friday, but life with a baby--you know how that works...

Dear Freezer Meal Swap Group, I am so thankful for you, so I can provide my hubby with something besides fruity cheerios for dinner.  Eventually, I will post about how that all came about, how it works, and how it blesses me every month.  But since it takes me forever to do anything, you can also check out pinterest.  Dear library, I feel like you need a delivery service. I have put stuff on hold multiple times that eventually goes off hold because it takes me forever to get over there.  Never mind the fact that the library is less than 5 minutes down the road.  Dear gym, I impulsed bought a membership.  What was I thinking that I actually would make it over there? I would like to get out of it, but don't want to talk to anyone.  Dear pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I have had all the supplies for weeks, and seriously what could be fall?  Except you know?  Cooler weather.  But naps when over cookies these days.  And cookies have always been a top priority.  Dear baby girl, It is amazing how far you can get around without actually crawling.  Dear subbing, you are kicking my booty.  I need like a full day recovering.

Till we meet again,

Monday, September 22, 2014

X Number of Things Not to Say to a female in _________stage of life (Fill in the Blank)

I can't count how many articles I have read recently of things NOT to say to other people.

X number of things NOT say to a mom of one child
X number of things NOT say to a single mom
X number of things NOT say to a pregnant lady
X number of things NOT say to a mom who just gave birth
X number of things NOT say to a single girl
X number of things NOT say to a mom of all girls or all boys
X number of things NOT say to a mom who had a boy and then a girl and then a boy

Seriously, it seems that every female in every stage of life now has a list of things that shouldn't be said to them by other people.  Maybe we should all just wear shirts that say, "Don't talk to me.  I am a female.  And more than likely I will be offended by what you have to say."

I recently read somewhere about how much more help a man would get flying with a baby than a female would.  How unfair is that?!?!  I have even thought I would hand off the babe to hubby for our upcoming plane trip.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the reason people are more likely to help my hubby with a baby than me is because he doesn't have a list.  The flight attendant would have to ascertain in what stage of life I was in before looking up the list of things she isn't supposed to say to me.  Gesh!  It would just be easier not to say anything at all.

And unfortunately, that's where we are--people don't want to talk to other people for fear of offending them.

When really, those people that touch your belly, ask you if you are going to pop right there in the store, offer unsolicited advice, tell you to cherish those sleepless nights, offer your screaming child a lollipop, warn you of the dangers of whatever, when really, I think, they are just looking to connect with another human in some way.

Instead of getting frustrated that maybe whatever they did or said didn't sit well with whatever hormonal swing we are on that particular day, put yourselves in their shoes.  More often than not, they are trying to connect with you.  Don't shut down a connection just because your female feathers got ruffled.

As females, we have to be in control of our hormones, no matter how raging they may be.  We can't expect everyone else we come in contact with to know our personal life stories and exactly where we are on our cycle to determine what is appropriate or not to say.

Who knows?  That elderly clerk who made the comment about you looking like you are ready to burst may go home that night and tell her husband about the lovely pregnant woman she saw today and reminisce over her pregnancies long ago.

Maybe the old man who bought your tantrum throwing two year old a sucker was just trying to help a young momma out, not rot his teeth or undermine your authority.

Maybe that woman in the parking lot that told you how unsafely you loaded your kids up had lost one of hers because she made a similar mistake.

Maybe the man at the restaurant who rubbed your belly has a daughter who is pregnant who lives far away and he will never be able to touch her growing belly.

Sure being a mom is hard, being a female is rough, but can we get rid of this attitude that everyone else is out to get us and they purposely make rude comments to upset us???

Let's change our perspective.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My baby is safest when...

Since I am no longer working and getting paid for it, I switched over from night Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) to morning BSF.  (If you do not have a current Bible study group, you need to check out one in your area.  It has been the greatest encouragement to me.  I wrote a post about it last year, and you can check it out here to get some more information.)

This year we are studying the life of Moses.  Today we talked about Moses's early life.  If you are unfamiliar with it or need a short recap, here goes: The Israelites were living in Egypt.  The Pharaoh was afraid of how numerous the Israelites were becoming.  He tried many attempts to try to stop the growth of that nation with one tactic being for the Hebrew mothers to throw all their newborn baby boys into the Nile River.  Moses's mother fixed a small basket for him and set it afloat on the river where he was later discovered and saved by Pharaoh's daughter.

How courageous was that momma?  Being a momma now, I can't imagine sending my daughter off on a river.  I can't imagine being asked to give up my baby.  Our leader reminded us that Moses was never safer than when he was in that basket.  Likewise, Eleanor will never be safer than when she is in God's hands.  That reminds of something else I have been told-We are immortal until God calls us home.  Both of those things are just sweet reminders of the Lord's plan and protection for us.  But also very convicting, have I trusted the Lord with my baby?  I can plan and prepare, just like Moses's mom, but ultimately I have to leave her in the Lord's hands.

Wow, so much to take away from BSF, and it is only week 2!

Be encouraged!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I love about my hometown

I grew up in the DFW metroplex in a city called Colleyville.  It is pretty ritzy and fancy now, but that wasn't always the case.  When we first moved to Texas from Michigan, we lived in a pretty fancy house.  You know the kind with the high ceilings, the massive master bathroom and a powder room?? The nice thing about that neighborhood was that there were a lot of children close by to play with because the houses were so close together.

We moved to Colleyville when I was in Kindergarten.  The house was a lot older, and my parents and grandparents had several house renovations to do, but the yard was huge!

My dad put in a pool one summer, and we used it all the time.  My brothers and sister and I spent lots of time in the sand pit in our front yard, too.  Occasionally, after dark we would all play hide and go seek outside. It was so dark because there weren't many lights around, and we had to be careful because there was lots of critters out there-possums, raccoons, skunks.  It was an adventure!

The lot behind my parents did not have a house on it.  On rainy days we would all lace up our matching green and yellow rain boots and tromp around in the mud in the back lot.  We would lay out boards to walk across little lakes in the backyard.  I even remember burying a bag of coins back there.
Our chickens really enjoyed this extra space, too, as we would let them roam during the day, and they would find their way back to the hen house at night.

There isn't anything particular I like about my hometown like a restaurant or an annual event.  Really you could have taken our house and yard and put us in any town, and I think my childhood would have been pretty much the same.  It is amazing to me how entertained we all were with just a yard and some siblings to go crazy with.

Now, Denton has some things that I am pretty exciting about having Eleanor experience year after year that hopefully will help her remember her hometown fondly.

Sweet reader, what do you love about your hometown??

Monday, June 16, 2014

Snakes, Needles, and Swimsuit shopping

Well today is my first official day of summer.  (When I started this post, which was a week ago!  Ah, life with a baby!) I had great plans to go walking this morning with a couple other girls, but it is raining.  (I did end up going walking later that afternoon, and I have already gone today!  Hollar!)  I can't be too upset about that though because sweet baby girl was up a lot last night-not fun- and because I love a stormy night and morning.  Eleanor and I spent some time snuggling in bed.  But serious I need to start some sort of doable workout regimen to get back in swimsuit shape before my husband's family 4th of July get together.  I have a gym membership where I don't exactly feel comfortable with taking Eleanor to the childcare there.  Regardless, I need to get this booty in gear ASAP because I want one of these swimsuits below.  (I don't know how this whole swimsuit trying on thing will go as I definitely do not enjoy that process and can only imagine it being a bazillion times worse after baby!)

But regardless, don't you think these are cute?!?!

I have this swimsuit in navy, and I love it!  You can purchase yours here!  Prebaby I didn't need the rusching 
Same link as above.  Both are found at Dillards.

I am going shopping this afternoon and hopefully will not be found crying in a dressing room.  I just need to remember that just because something doesn't fit, doesn't mean there is something wrong with me.  The article of clothing is just wrong for me.  So instead of thinking, " I don't fit in this!"  Think, "It doesn't fit me."  I think I heard that on What NOT to Wear, and it really is a huge mind shift.  

If you are going swimsuit shopping soon, here is my virtual hug ( )  Good luck!  I will let you know how my shopping goes!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Free or Mostly Free things to do in the Summer in Denton and Surrounding Areas

Update:  This website has a much more comprehensive list of Denton activities, so I am not going to reinvent the wheel!  Go check them out!

This week in Denton:
(and for the most part every summer week)
The library offers some great activities for adults and children alike.  Check them out!  Eleanor and I will probably try to go to something on Thursday or Friday because currently we don't have anything else scheduled.

This calendar is a little easier to read.  It includes the Concerts on the Square at 11:45 on Wednesdays.  Although it doesn't show a band for this week even though it had one for last week and the following week.

It also includes the movie in the park on Thursday nights.  It starts at 9, so that is a little late for us.  We will probably head to the square to listen to the Twilight Tunes at 6:30 instead.
Highland Village also has a Summer Concert Series as well on Thursday evenings.

I have never attended this, but there is a concert series at the Civic Center on Friday evenings called StarRise.  More information is available in the calendar mentioned on Wednesdays.

Hubs and I went to the Community Market a couple weeks ago for the first time.  If you have little ones, this was something that you could definitely bring some chairs and a blanket to sit in the shade and listen to live music.  Food trucks are there for lunch and breakfast or pack a picnic basket.  Info here.
Denton Air Show is this Saturday.  We went a couple years ago, and it was so hot.  Definitely bring water lots of water and an umbrella.  No need to show up on time.  Children under 6 are free.   Adults are $10 at the gate, but you can get $6 tickets for adults online until Friday here.

If you know of any other upcoming free or almost free events in or around Denton, let me know and I will add them!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lazy Hair--How to look good in a Snap!

This is my last Monday home with my baby girl before I head back to work.  Fortunately, school is only in session for about 6 more weeks after I get back, and the state testing will be finished by then.  (Clearly, life got incredibly busy because I am just now posting this...a week before school is out for the summer.)

 My maternity leave has seriously flown by!  I am a little curious how everything is going to work when I head back.  I think a lot for me is going to be previous night preparation. Since the majority of my pre-maternity clothes do not fit comfortably, I am going to have to make sure that I lay out my outfits the night before.  

I have been dabbling around with some different hair styles that I have found on Pinterest.  Especially for me as I struggle accepting were my body is right now, it is super important for me to have good hair days.  Fortunately for me, I don't have to wash my hair often, like I am talking about once every 5 to 7 days.  I have a couple go-to looks but wanted to extend my options.  Here is one that I really love:

My version of the below tutorial I found on Pinterest.

Friday, April 4, 2014

When work is not fun

Earlier this week, I surprised a good friend for a birthday dinner and for an evening at the Meyerson.  

I heard this song and really identified with it as often hubby and I both feel overwhelmed and stressed with our careers.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

5 things I am loving right now

I am five minutes into being clean--no spit up, pee or poop.  I am trying not to nap during Eleanor's naps because I feel like there is just so much to do that I can't get to during the day.  Plus, we are sleeping in very late, so I really am getting plenty of sleep.  Just wanted to stop in and share somethings I am loving right now.

1.  I am brewing a cup of coffee and mixing it with some of this for an afternoon pick-me-up to help me get through the rest of the day.  There is a McDonalds so close, and I was stopping by there a couple times a week to get their Hazelnut Iced Coffee.  That habit had to stop.  Money wise not a smart decision; this is so much cheaper!

 It is like a straight-jacket for the babe.  She almost always goes right to sleep.  It is a must have!

3.  Free Lactation Consultant services at the local hospital and feeling so supported by other mommies.  No judgment here!  For info click here.

4.  I finally ordered my Doterra Essential Oils.  I feel like I am getting more and more crunchy as time goes by.  Natural birth, cloth diapers, essential oils.   By product of Denton, I suppose. I am not an expert with these at all, but I have had them highly recommended by two friends.  Check them out here if you are curious.  I will keep you updated on my journey with those once I get them.  Excited!

5.  Taking on more responsibility at home.  My husband takes such good, good care of me.  He always has, but now that I am home for the time-being, until the end of maternity leave and then for good after this school year, I want to take some of the load off of his shoulders.  Two things that I am really proud of my progress with is laundry and dishwasher.  Before baby, laundry consisted of washing a bunch of loads throughout the week, but never folding them and putting them away.  I have been doing laundry almost every other day so that the amounts are more manageable.  With the dishwasher, I have been trying to make sure that it is either dirty or empty.  We were the worst about collecting dishes in the sink to "soak."  Can I get an "AMEN"?

What are you loving right now?

Dreaded this my whole life...

For most of my life I probably have had this irrational fear of child-birth.  And with good reason, every tv show or movie portrays it as a woman screaming her head off for hours on end with no break until this ginormous needle gets plunged into your spine.  For someone who strongly dislikes needles, the thought of all of that was a bit too much for me to handle.  Plus it doesn't help that a lot of people who have given birth feel like it is their rite of passage to scare the crap out of future first time mommies.  " Well, I had to go through it and now that I am on the other side, I am going to tell everyone how horrible the process was."

First, I had to combat my fear. 

This acronym was like an epiphany for me.  It helped me with my needle fear.  I think for the longest time I thought that the nurses stuck the entire length of the needle into my arm, like they do on tv when someone runs up from behind and stabs a syringe in someone's neck to sedate them or like an epi pen. 

So, in regard to childbirth, education of what really was happening was key.  At first, I just wanted to be blissfully in the dark, but as my pregnancy progressed, the more I knew, the more confident I felt in my abilities to birth.

My doula gave me the book Prepared Childbirth-The Family Way.  It is really informative even if you are not planning to birth all-naturally.  One of the biggest things that stuck out to me from that book was another acronym. 

For me, realizing that each contraction was my body opening up more and more for my daughter's arrival really helped me embrace the contraction instead of gritting my teeth and fighting through it.  I remember several contractions that I would say "open" in a low moan to remind myself that that is what I was doing.

The "A" and the "N" go together for me.  Knowing that I would experience pain and knowing that it was normal helped me not panic and think that something was going wrong. 

I clung to the truth of "I"!  Even when my contractions were at their worst, I knew there was a break coming soon.   Instead of looking at labor as a whole, I looked at each contraction.  I just have to make it through this contraction, and then I get a break. 

In addition to this book, I also watched several birth videos.  My husband and I watched the Business of Being Born as homework for our birthing class.  Even though our hands were in front of our faces for some of the video, we both admitted that it wasn't as bad as we had thought.  We also watched some clips in our classes. Although I was probably stunned at first, I am glad I watched because I knew what was going to happen.  In labor, I could feel when the end was near, I didn't need someone to tell me they could see her head.  I knew what to expect, and that helped me. 

As far as actual pain-coping strategies, I moaned through each contraction.  My goal was to keep my moan as low as possible.  Once I started getting high pitched or screaming, I knew I was not in control of the contraction, and I would refocus and try to make my moan even lower. 

Lots of love to all, regardless of how you choose to birth,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why I chose to go natural at a birthing center

I put on jeans.  That counts as getting dressed, right?  Eleanor's arrival has made "getting out of yesterday's clothes" something I have to put on the to-do list. 

A few days ago, I blogged about Eleanor's birth story.  You can read about it here.  I really could not have asked for a better story.

Why did we choose to go natural?  And why did we choose to deliver at a birthing center? 

Initially, I started looking into going natural because of my crazy fear of needles and doctors.  I knew that I would not be able to get an epidural.  So, if I wasn't going to get an epidural, I started looking into other options.  I am not going to post all the reasons after that that further convinced me that this was the best option for me.  You can research for yourself about birthing center vs. hospital, natural vs. not.  I am not going to try to convince someone to change your mind.  There was nothing wrong with me, so we didn't feel the need to be at a hospital.  Ultimately, the person birthing the child has to choose where and with what they are going to be most comfortable. 

The last statement of the previous paragraph is what I really wish other people would take to heart.  I had so many people try to point out the error of my decision by stating things that as a whole are just not true about birthing centers or hospitals, by telling me how much pain I would be in if I felt everything, and by guilt-tripping me by saying that if something went wrong, I would have to live with that decision.  Ouch!  Totally not appropriate!

I had Eleanor at Inanna Birth and Women's Care in Denton.  I could not have asked for better care.  Instead of spending an hour in the waiting room, the midwives would spend an hour with me.  When we did have complications at the end of the first trimester, I was sent to a specialist.  The birth center will not take high-risk patients.  Fortunately my issue resolved itself, and I was able to continue my care at the birth center.  During labor and delivery, I had a birthing assistant that stayed with me the entire time in addition to two midwives.  The best part was being able to take my daughter home hours after her birth and spend the first night at home as a family. 

If Eleanor keeps sleeping, I am going to blog about pain-coping strategies and overcoming my fear of birth.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, February 21, 2014

Eleanor's Birth Story (Yes, she is already here!)

I cannot believe that Eleanor is already a week old today.  This has been the fastest week of my life.  I wanted to share her birth story with you.  If you were like me, pre-pregnancy and even pre-birth, I was always a little apprehensive to click on birth stories because it seems that there were far more negative experiences than positive.  This is a very positive story!

Friday, February 14th
6:30 Wake up just like normal.  I was running around trying to find something cute to wear to our Valentine's Day party.  I told Anthony I wasn't feeling well, but I thought it was just cramps. 

7:30  Got to school.  My main goal was to finish my sub plans for maternity leave and put my grades in for the 6 weeks. 

8:00 Emailed Anthony to let him know something was happening.

8:30 Told my kids to pretty much work independently and leave me alone because I felt sick.  I was having cramps periodically, and I was especially irritable during those times. 

9:30  Went to the office to see if there were any half day subs in the building who would be willing to stay the rest of the day with my class.  I told them to look around for a sub but not to do anything yet as I wasn't sure how I was feeling.  I left the office, and a sweet teacher volunteered to go watch my class for a bit, so I could go have a cry.  I just felt sick and wanted to be home laying in bed.

10:00 Went to the bathroom, lost my mucus plug, and was spotting a bit.  I called Anthony.  He suggested that he leave work, but I declined because I wasn't sure yet.  Besides, I wasn't sure that I even had a sub, how could I possibly leave?

10:15 My kiddos went to special areas, and I was ready to leave.  I felt like I was sick, and I didn't feel like being sick in front of my kids.  I wasn't for sure if it was labor or not.  Everyone had always told me that I would definitely know when I was in labor, so I didn't think it was for real.  In fact, I kept telling my team that I would feel like an idiot if I left, and it was nothing. 

10:30 My team took me home.  I definitely realized that I was having contractions on the way home.  During the 15 minute drive, I probably had about three contractions that were incredibly difficult to talk through.

10:45  Arrived at home and sent my team away because they had to be back by 11.  In hindsight, I should not have let them leave me alone.  Anthony was still not home.  At this point, I was moaning through my contractions.  I started timing them.  They were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds.  In between contractions, I was scurrying around trying to finish packing my bag.  Baby girl wasn't supposed to be here until the end of February.  I wasn't ready.

11:15 Anthony got home.  He helped me grab some more things and called my midwife and doula.  I was grabbing things like games and art journals.  I still thought I had a long ways to go, and to avoid being bored during labor I wanted to have things to do. 

11:50  I arrived at the birth center.  Fortunately, it was only 20 minutes away.  They checked me for the first time and PTL I was already 9 cm and completely effaced.  Ummm hello!  Baby was coming soon.  I was a little scared when I arrived because I didn't know how I was going to last through like 12 more hours of labor with this kind of intensity of contractions.  It was a huge relief to be so far along.  My doula arrived shortly thereafter.  I labored on the bed and in the tub.  It was all back labor.  Less than two hours later, Eleanor Joy Houston had arrived. 

God blessed me with a great labor.  He was so gracious to provide breaks during labor where I could relax, to provide me with a great support team, and to help me deliver a beautiful baby girl.  I am so pleased with me and my husband's decision to go all natural and at a birthing center. 

This is the short of it.  Hopefully in the next coming weeks I can talk specifically about our decision to go natural, pain coping techniques, the education I received to help me feel empowered, and some of the fears that God helped me conquer throughout my pregnancy.