Monday, July 22, 2013

Pregnancy Update 38.5 Weeks + Molly's Birth Story

38.5 Weeks... hopefully this guy will show up soon! A stork will drop him off on our doorstep, right? :)
We are packed for the hospital. My girls are spending the first couple of days this week going on a train trip with my parents. I'm going to attack the last nesting projects I have burning on my to-do list. Stephen fixed up our pantry nice and organized like. I will post on that this week. Hopefully soon.

I'm feeling well.  About once every day I think "Eek! I can't make it until August in these conditions!!!!" And then a few minutes later, I get over it again. The heartburn, sleeping sitting upright, and bigness of it all is getting challenging with 3 kids in tow!  Thank God for grandparents- they have been soooo amazingly helpful throughout this entire pregnancy. I can't say it enough.


I've been posting my girls' birth stories. Here's Madeleine's and Frances'. And now for you today.... Molly's birth story!


sweet little molly jane.... she was our 6 pounder.

We have had visitors non-stop since Molly's birth. My Mom came the day after she was born and helped us pack up to leave the hospital for our first night at home. It was really special having "Marmee" or Grandma here. We are thinking she'll be called Marmee but since Molly won't be saying much for a while, it's still up in the air. The past 3 days my Dad and little bro Eric were here. It was really nice to have all the help and Molly enjoyed the attention!

I have been wanting to chronicle a few details of Molly's birth just for memory's sake. Everything in terms of Molly's arrival went much better than I could have hoped. I was in labor for about 14 hours. For a first baby, my progression in labor was actually really fast, and it maybe would have been even faster if I hadn't taken it super-easy. I have to confess I had some specific prayers about my labor and delivery, and God seems to have heard them all. One of those prayers was that Molly would hurry up and come early! Another was that my labor would go quickly, and I'm not sure how quickly it would have gone if I hadn't done certain things to SLOW IT DOWN! Another prayer was that I would have Christian nurses, and I know at least my first nurse in the delivery room was a believer and all the others were very sweet.

I went into labor sometime around 2:30 am on Tuesday January 15. I kept waking up feeling uncomfortable and thought it was indigestion, so I kept going back to sleep. Then I really woke up around 3:30 or 4 and realized I was actually in pain and it was probably contractions. It was exciting and wonderful to think I might actually be in labor, meaning Molly was coming 5 days early... and all the joy made the pain much more bearable. The few days previous, especially on Saturday, I was having pretty random "false labor" pains... really irregular contractions and just generally feeling odd. So when I woke Stephen up really early in the morning on the 15th, he was doubtful that my pains were legitimate labor pains - for good reason - we didn't want to go to the hospital if it wasn't real, and besides, I still had almost a week to my due date. AND I tend to be dramatic (especially while pregnant) so Stephen had to keep me balanced. :) My contractions started coming regularly, but they were still 10 minutes apart at around 8:30 am. But I was feeling anxious and pretty sick because I couldn't keep any food down which was making me feel weak, so I called my friend Susan- who is a doula and in school for midwifery- to ask her some questions. I asked her if it was normal that my contractions seemed to speed up when I moved around. She said absolutely yes because everything gets very sensitive when you go into early labor and walking or activity can move things along quickly. But she suggested taking it easy in order to preserve my energy for active labor. So... I watched a movie... Almost Famous... while lying in bed! This really took my mind off of everything and I really enjoyed the movie, for the hundredth time. :) Well, the minute the movie was over, I got up to get something in the kitchen, which is across the apartment from our bedroom. I forgot my gatorade in the bedroom, so I walked back down the hall to get it, and then I walked back to the kitchen. Well, in the span of those couple of minutes, my contractions sped up from every 10 minutes to every 5 minutes! I only wonder how fast labor would have gone if I hadn't stopped to rest and watch a movie!! As soon as my contractions were 5 minutes apart (about 11am) Stephen started to believe me that this really was it, even though neither of us could really believe it was finally actually happening!! 

Conveniently, I had a doctor's appointment with my OB-GYN scheduled that day for 1:30pm. Stephen suggested that we try to wait it out another hour to the appintment, and I told him, "NO! I NEED to go to the hospital NOW!" Good thing, because when we got to my OB's office I was almost 5 cm dilated and he told me I needed to get to labor and delivery cause it was time to have that baby! He said, "This is a great day to have a baby!!" And of course I got very excited when he said that, although by that time I was starting to become mean because the contractions hurt. We tried to walk to Clatanoff Pavilion to Labor and Delivery (across the parking lot from where my doctor's office is in the Wayson Pavilion) but I told Stephen I needed a wheelchair. I was walking like a little old lady, all hunched forward with my bum sticking out. haha! So we got one in the lobby and he wheeled me to the 2nd floor where we needed to go. Good thing we did the hospital tour .... FIVE days earlier... so we knew where to go!!! Stephen called my mom to tell her "Today is the day!" It started to snow furiously outside but nothing was sticking and it stopped pretty soon after that. But it was cool because last February our nephew was born and it was a snow day in Chattanooga - one of the only ones last year. So it brought back memories of Luke's birthday.

We got to the second floor and I have to admit this was when I started to lose confidence and I wanted to be anywhere but there. I guess that's part of labor. My doc broke my water around 1:30pm and Nurse Phyllis started asking me a million questions for her little forms she had to fill out. It was making me really mad because she asked me the exact same litany of questions multiple times. It was almost like she was trying to distract me, but boy it wasn't helping!!! She also recommended the epidural if I wasn't sure. I asked her if it slowed down pushing and she said in all of her experience, it doesn't tend to slow down pushing time much if at all. Dr. Hankinson told me after he breaks the water things really get going and usually that's when people decide to get an epidural. He was right because not long after that, in the peak of active labor- contractions coming really frequently in great intensity, I decided I wanted an epidural. I was about 6 cm. I had to wait a good 30 minutes for the dude to come give it to me and then another 20 minutes or so for it to work. That was awful. Once I got it, I was able to rest while I dilated from 6-9 cm in a matter of about an hour and half! I was in a very happy state of mind during this time and Stephen and I talked to our nurse about books. :) My nurse was pretty surprised when she checked me the first time after getting the epidural and I was a big 9cm and almost ready to push! Dr. Hankinson came and congratulated me on my timing- it was about 4pm- he said I'd get an extra jewel in my crown because he would be able to pick his kids up from swimming before he had to be back to deliver another patient!

I pushed for about 40 minutes, Stephen and Nurse Phyllis helped a lot during this process. Everything went very quickly and really before I knew it Molly was here in the world!! I had gotten the epidural around 2:30pm and she was born at 4:49pm. She was beautiful when she was born, not puffy or ugly at all.... and I just kept saying, "Oh my goodness!" The doc and nurse were both very curious about her name since we kept it a secret, so Stephen let me announce "Molly Jane," and the doctor said, "I thought you said it was a Southern name, that's not very Southern... Molly Jean?" And I said, "NO! Molly JANE." It was kind of funny. Stephen and I were both in a daze. I think a mixture of exhaustion and emotional overload my face started twitching uncontrollably and I kept involuntarily blinking really hard. My nurse was a little worried so she made me rest my eyes for a while. They warmed Molly in the incubator and then I was able to breastfeed for the first time. A bit stressful, but our nurse helped in the best way and Molly was a pro by the second day!!! Everything has been going really well since then. Stephen took a week off from Coptix and we enjoyed sitting around staring at our lovely doll.

Molly Jane in Maryland.

Sweet girl
looking so old....
and i just have to say I'm proud that that bathingsuit was a goodwill find! :)



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Obstacle Courses with Molly Jane


The other day we were bored waiting and watching for Daddy to appear from work, on his bicycle!

Molly wanted to play a game, so I quickly schemed a little obstacle course for her.

The object of the course was very simple.

1. Scissor steps backward holding the beach ball.

2. Put the beach ball in the kiddie pool and pick up the little watering can.

3. Fill the watering can with water. 

4. Walk to the sand table and pour out the watering can into the sand table.

4. Run back to Mommy and do a "Johnny, Johnny, Johnny whoop" game. We used to do this when I was a camp counselor!

ALL DONE!

Very silly and unfancy, but it worked. She did over and over, and Frances wanted to learn the Johnny game too. :)



By the way, because baby pictures never get old, I'm so happy for my cousins Matt and Ginny, who just recently had a sweet little baby man, named Jude.  :) Here's a photo of my Grandma Evelyn holding him! Congrats to you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

{PHFR}~ Two Baptisms

~pretty~
Frances and Madeleine- the sweet girls who were baptized.*

Our lovely church.
~happy~
The lighting of the Baptismal Candle
My family, with Father Bertin


 with Father Bertin and Christian witness, our friend Terry
My brother Evan got some great shots of the actual baptisms.

with their grandparents!

Brunch together as a family

~funny~
Molly being Queen!

~real~
trying to get one of all three smiling...
*my Mom picked out both of the baptismal dresses, and we LOVED them. Frances' linen dress came from my parents' recent trip to Ireland. Madeleine wore a sweet vintage dress my Mom found locally.
The girls' godparents were planning to drive- all the way from Texas!- to be here, but found out the Mommy had walking pneumonia last week. Please say a prayer for the Aparicios if you can.


see their site for more pictures of contentment!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Pregnancy Update~ 37.5 weeks+ Frances' birth story

A few more weeks to go! I had an OB visit and was measuring 38 cm. I also visited the Labor and Delivery floor and got a tour. It is very nice and so close by. We are getting packed for the hospital!

Last week, I shared Madeleine's birth story. This week, I'm sharing Frances' story!  Fair warning: it is a little bit lengthy and I thought about sharing it in segments, but I figure you can always read it in segments even if I post it all here!



photo by Sarah Culver

One week ago today... she was born. Although my doula recommended that I rest and nurse and not try to do much else, writing this down has been like breathing and resting for me. I didn't want to wait longer than a week because I didn't want to forget anything.

All week I had said, "She can come Friday (October 1). I have too much to do before then." Thursday we went to Sams and stocked up on diapers and granola bars and everything else to be able to not leave the house for a month. Friday morning I had an appointment with my OB. I learned that I was 3cm. We picked up some milk at Trader Joe's and headed home to get some cleaning done. I mopped the floors, vacuumed, cleaned the oven, wiped the baseboards and the spindles on our stairwell. When Molly woke up we went for a walk and even while I pushed Molly on the swing I shifted my weight like I was walking. I wanted to be on my feet all day to see if I couldn't induce labor.
I made and ate a HUGE plate of Pasta Carbonara for dinner. God knew I would need the carb energy. At around 8:30 pm, I started feeling a little funny. Molly watched a ballet movie and following along with the steps. She was acting like such a big girl, and I started crying watching her, thinking about her as the older sister and how much this baby was about to change her life.
On my walk with Molly, my feet had gotten very dirty on the muddy playground in my chacos, so I asked Stephen if he would wash my feet so that I could lay on the bed without getting it dirty. When he started, Molly got very excited and so he had to wash her feet too. That turned out to be symbolic of his servanthood to his wife and daughters throughout the night and into the next morning.
It started out with feeling a little nauseous and tired, then I started to have mild contractions once every ten minutes around 10 pm. They were bearable and Stephen and I became excited and giddy thinking that this might be it- she might be here by tomorrow! So after we put Molly down, we went into “labor mode.” We had planned for this moment for weeks- and thought about it for nine months- so we were ready and excited. The hospital bags were packed, the house was clean, Molly's pack n play and diaper bag were ready to go. I had spent time during the past week making a playlist of relaxing music and worship music. I love these sorts of details so I wrote out the playlist in its final form.(* see below.)
We lit candles and I talked to my sister on the phone. Mostly we just listened to music and talked, Stephen had a beer, and whenever a contraction would come, I would close my eyes and breathe through it. Around midnight we were both getting sleepy, so we decided to get some rest. I was amazingly relaxed but I had a hard time getting comfortable to actually fall asleep. I may have dozed off a time or two but every ten minutes a contraction would wake me up. The night before, we had read scripture – a sheet called “Verses for Labor” I do not own a copy of translation so it was refreshingly unfamiliar. One of my favorites is this translation of Isaiah 41:10:
“Don't panic. I'm with you.
There's no need to fear for I'm your God.
I'll give you strength. I'll help you.” -the message
I had also written out my birth plan along with some encouraging quotes and things that Stephen could say to me during labor that I thought would encourage me.
I found a great resource online that I thought of throughout labor that really helped me mentally-BirthingNaturally.net. One of the things on there was about dealing with your fears. I loved how the site put it: “What are you afraid of? Why are you afraid?” I read the latter question in the tone, “Why would you be afraid when there is nothing to be afraid of?"
I found courage during this labor by reminding myself that my body knows what to do, and since I am a woman, I am made to give birth. God would not give me more than I can handle, so there is no need to panic at any time for any reason. It also helped for me to visualize what was happening during each contraction. With Molly, I was imagining all kinds of crazy impossible things that my body had to do, and the complexity of the baby travelling down through the pelvis, and possible complications during that process, really scared me. But this time I just thought about the simple fact of the cervix dilating so that the baby's head could come through. That was all that was happening during each contraction- otherwise the baby was positioned and ready to be born. She was right there, so close to being here, and the contractions were simply helping to let her out.This thought process greatly helped me mentally. And having contractions 10 minutes apart really helped the time go by quickly. I would just read or rest in between and before I knew it the night was passing me by.
Around 3am, I had a contraction that was so painful I could no longer lay down. I got up and took a bath with eucaplyptus essential oil and lavender oil, and I ate a clementine and some graham crackers. After the bath and after walking up and down the hall, several of my contractions were getting to be about six minutes apart. Some were bad, some were pretty mild. I was able to close my eyes and breathe through them, and I just took them one at a time.
All throughout my labor I did not think about the past except to say, “Look at how long I have been doing this- I can keep going.” And I did not think about the future, except to say, “Frances, I can't wait to meet you.” Otherwise I focused on keeping my mind in the present, being creative to cope with the pain, and leaning on Stephen for support. At around 5:00am we called our doula Cheryl and our neighbor and dear friend Sarah who came to pick up Molly and they both arrived at about the same time. Stephen got Molly all ready to go. He was doing so much, running this way and that. Contractions were getting much more intense, but I held it together until a little while after Molly left. I kept thinking about the endorphins that accompanied the pain and the verse, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” I thought about “laborland” and how you really are in a different world – focused on what you are doing- when you are in the peak of labor. These things kept me going.
Cheryl first tried to have me lie down to rest, as she was concerned that I hadn't gotten much if any sleep all night. As soon as she had gotten me comfortable with a pillows to support me, I had a very strong contraction and I realized my water had broken. With Molly's birth, this happened unnaturally and contractions became much more painful after that cushioning bag of waters was gone. But Cheryl helped me to relax my shoulders and not panic despite more intense contractions. She was a calming presence, saying "Good job" after each contraction.
Stephen was awesome encouraging me, giving me spoonfuls of honey and pieces of clementine and lighting candles. I had to lean against the wall every time a contraction came. They were about 3 minutes apart at this point and soon coming back to back. I told them I thought we needed to go to the hospital. I think we must have left for the hospital around 6:30 or 6:45 am.
To be continued...
*Labor Playlist:
Death Cab for Cutie- Marching Bands of Manhattan
Enter the Worship Circle- You're the One
Sigur Ros- Samsketyti
Jon Foreman- The Cure for Pain
Hem- An Easy One
Amy Grant- That's What Love is For
The Album Leaf- Streamside
Enter the Worship Circle- Bright and Beautiful
Enya- Only Time
Patti Griffin- Rain
Blind Pilot- 3 Rounds and a Sound
Rosie Thomas- Since You've Been Around
Enigma Variations
Mosaic- Repentance
Henryk Gorecki- Lento Cantabile Semplice
Damien Jurado- Ohio
Neil Young- Harvest
Mosaic- Anthem
Leo Kottke- Bigger Situation
Chicago- You're the Inspiration
Over the Rhine- Born
Bon Iver- Flume
Sixpence None the Richer- Trust

photo by Sarah Culver


...Looking back, I am sure I was in transition on the stairs. At least we had a goal to take my mind off of it: get down the stairs and get to the hospital before I am ready to push.
As we were going down the stairs, Cheryl asked me if there was a verse that I wanted to think about, and I quoted Proverbs 3:4-5. I have to laugh now that despite being able to barely speak, I quickly quoted the entire verse to her: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” We live on the third floor so we have to walk down 43 stairs to get to our car on the street. It must have taken us almost ten minutes to get down the stairs because I had to stop every few steps to breathe through a contraction and say “Trust in the Lord." They were very intense and it would be an understatement to say it was an uncomfortable ride over to the hospital.
Stephen pulled up to the front entrance and just left the car, hoping valet would take it. No one came for it so it just stayed there at the front entrance until after Frances was born when a nurse came in and told him to move our car. I LOVE him for that!!!
Cheryl and Stephen walked me down the endless hallway from the entrance to the elevator to Labor and Delivery. They were practically carrying me. Literally, fifteen people asked “Do you need a wheelchair?” One guy asked, “Have you been to the ER yet?” (I don't think he realized I was in labor because I was hunched over with a coat on... that's why we were headed in the opposite direction of the ER). I refused the wheelchairs because I knew walking would help bring her out, and it would have been too painful to sit down. We made it up the elevator and I certainly made quite the scene when we got to L&D. It felt like a TV show for a minute. The nurses were in between shifts so there was double the necessary amount present, and about ten people came into the delivery room with us. A big nurse was barking at me and so Stephen started answering her questions for me: How long has she been in labor? When did the water break? Is this her first? Etc. Meanwhile, nothing was penetrating my zone and remembering the next thirty minutes is like a blur. I was yelling “Lord have mercy!” because I had started to feel the urge to push as we were walking down that hall to the elevator, contractions were getting very strong, and by the time we got to the Delivery room, I knew the baby was coming soon.
The contractions were changing from one on top of the other, to breaks for several minutes in between, with a strong urge to bear down and push. But after the pushing, I would have another calm break and just wait for the intensity to wash over me again. These contractions were the most painful of all, but I got the biggest break in between each one. Yes it was probably the hardest work I have ever done in my life, but by God's grace, never unbearable.
They checked me and I was 9cm. My doula really helped to defend my birth plan, and they dimmed the lights. When they checked me, they realized I had a cervical lip, or a part of the cervix that was in the way of the head. Cheryl told me to try an optimal position that would solve this problem.
Despite several people trying to change positions, I kept my eyes and ears on my doula. And although my memory of the last moments of labor are a blurry chaos, one thing did not feel chaotic. The connection with my doula. I have since developed a new respect for doulas and midwives. I trusted her, and I knew she was there to defend the sacredness of the space where my daughter would come into the world. It was as if she and me and Stephen were the only ones in the room that realized this moment was about the birth of our daughter. I think it was in that moment, for me, that thoughts of miracles, heroes, angels, and the supernatural came crashing into the room. Later I found out that the Lord prompted my Mom and Dad to pray together for the birth, not knowing it was at almost the exact time Frances was born.
Those last contractions were painful but by that time I was not talking, I was not listening. I had moved past laborland and into babyland. I just kept saying, “Baby, I'm ready for you to come out.”
Sweet Frances was born after about 20 minutes of pushing, at 7:43 am.
A few minutes later we were getting to know her. I was eating a nice big breakfast of eggs, bacon, muffin, juice, and even had a cup of coffee that didn't give me heartburn for the first time in nine months. Coffee had never, ever tasted soo good. Then we watched MASH in our hospital room and beheld God's gift to us.And thankfully I quickly overcame my late-pregnancy fears that I had forgotten how to care for a newborn!
Our good friend Lisa brought Molly to visit that afternoon around 4pm. When she met Frances, Molly had a great look on her face- surprised, happy, and pleasantly joyful. Molly seems to have been born knowing how to be an amazing big sister.
I have a new love in my life that casts a new glow over everything I do. This love. Everything in our home is warmed by this glow of love in all of our hearts.
Colossians 1:11-12 “As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”

Big Girl Frances is 2 1/2! :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pregnancy Update~ 36.5 weeks + Madeleine's Birth Story

Here's a picture for you.... baby bump and all!

36 weeks!
This was taken on Wednesday of last week.
To see an update on the nursery, from this past weekend, click here!


And no, don't worry, I didn't have the baby....
this is Madeleine, a few minutes old! Precious!

I have wanted to post Madeleine’s  birth story--- click away if not interested or if you don’t like birth stories! I was inspired by reading Michele's. I got so much peace from reading her story, as she prepares for her upcoming birth. So.... since I'm 3 weeks away myself, here you go... Madeleine's birth story!



It was a long process deciding to do a homebirth with a midwife. Molly was born in a hospital, and so was Frances. Frances was natural, Molly was not- I had an epidural.  I talked to a friend who had used Nicole, our midwife for Madeleine, and she said it was like having a good friend at the birth. She came for home visits, which were AWESOME- nothing like having her come to YOU, at your house for every check-up. She really was an amazing person. In the short time we got to know her, I trusted her, she bonded with our kiddos, and put forth an incredibly professional presence.


The reason we finally decided to go with Nicole and a homebirth was because we were in inner city DC, our insurance wouldn’t cover a nice hospital in the area, and I was wary of going into labor in the car if we tried to go to Annapolis, about 40 minutes away to an incredible labor and delivery facility there.


A few days before Madeleine was born, I watched a video of a birth standing up, and thought, I could do that. It seemed to really be good with gravity on my side, so I tucked it away as something I wanted to consider for the birth.


On Saturday, I cleaned and I got ready for my mom’s arrival. The timing could not have been more perfect. She got there late Saturday evening to help out with the girls during the imminent delivery. We had a nice time together.  On Sunday, we went to church, took lots of pictures of the girls, and ate a big lunch, with cake for early Mother’s Day celebration.


On Sunday night, May 6th, I prayed that the Lord would bring the baby soon. Both times before I remember telling God, “I’m ready for this baby to come. I’m ready, baby. Come out!” The house was clean, we finally returned the library books that were in the car, we got everything on the homebirth list, even the ammonia that we had trouble finding before. We stopped on the way home for a few last groceries we needed. I went to bed Sunday night feeling very ready to be a Mommy of three babies.

I started feeling painful contractions between 4 and 4:30am Monday morning. I thanked God for answering my prayers! No long, awkward wait for labor while my Mom was visiting!  I woke up, had a small breakfast with lemon tea, checked email and listened to music. As labor progressed, I kept spiritual peace by meditating on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and asking St. Anne and St. Brigid, patron saints of labor and newborns respectively, to pray for me. I also tried to stay in the present moment, and to refrain from fear of the future, or labor getting more painful, by meditating on truths of scripture and the promises of God, such as...

I will never leave you, nor forsake you
I will meet, supply your every need
I will give you peace for the journey
I will be with you
I will give you rest
I will direct your path
I will give you my Spirit, the Comforter, to sustain you and give you a willing spirit
I will love you.
Life is a precious miracle.

I stayed in bed and rested, and contractions just kept coming every 10 minutes all morning.  I also used the rainbow technique to make it through each contraction. I imagined each color of the rainbow one by one and tried to think of something that color.

The girls would come up to check on me, and so did my Mom and Stephen. Things were not changing much, so when we called Nicole, she said to keep resting, and call when contractions sped up to 4 minutes apart.

I spent the morning in bed, feeling like I had a mild flu. Then, labor sped up at around 11:30am.  It started transitioning from every 10 minutes to irregular contractions, anywhere from 7 to 4 minutes apart. We called Nicole at 12:30pm, after 3 back to back contractions that were 4 minutes apart, and she said she would be there in 30 minutes. She came in 40 minutes! :)

I took a shower, and it was getting hard to keep going.  Stephen brought me oranges and saltines, turned on classical music, and I asked him for some teaspoons of honey. Contractions were getting very intense, but I didn’t realize how close I was to giving birth. I kept going back and forth from sitting to standing up, all while in the bathroom. Everything was becoming painful, but I would bear down and really try to make the most of every contraction. My water broke while I was sitting on the toilet. It hurt, but I kept bearing down.... the more painful the better, I kept telling myself. And yes, the contractions were productive. Very productive.  I suddenly felt the urge to push and let out a very large scream. The girls had just returned from a walk to the playground with my Mom, and Molly heard me from downstairs, as they were starting lunch, and said, “Why is Mommy screaming?”

Stephen came upstairs, and I said, “She’s coming!” He checked standing from behind but couldn’t see her head, but I could feel her crowning.  I had another urge to push, and he looked again and saw her head.  He said, “Just keep pushing!” I gave one more push standing up, and she was born! Stephen caught, or delivered, the baby. Stephen yelled to my Mom, “Wendy! She’s here!” He was awesome and very calm the entire time! She was born at 1pm, about 10 minutes before Nicole arrived.

My Mom came upstairs, and Stephen handed the baby to my Mom, so that he could call Nicole to find out what we should do. My Mom was standing behind me, so I had to swing my leg over the cord, which was not around her neck, but wrapped around her back and the back of her neck.  Stephen’s comment was, “I’m so glad God made the cord so long. He knew what he was doing!” I could finally hold her, and Nicole told Stephen on the phone that I needed to recline. I almost laid down in the bathroom, but then said I thought I could walk to the bed! She was blue at first, but pinked up quickly with blankets.

It didn’t seem to take long until Nicole got there and helped us to do all the post-partum care. She was awesome, despite being up all night with another birth. She had Stephen cut the cord, and then we cleaned her up together, and she got me some tea with herbs. I nursed Madeleine, then she did the baby exam and weighed her... 6lbs 15 oz. I kept saying, “I can’t believe she’s here!” And Nicole said, “I have never missed a birth! I can’t believe I missed it!”  She checked me, and I was able to deliver the baby without tearing at all.  Praise God, that was one of my prayer requests.

a few hours old....


My other prayer request was peace and a non-eventful labor. Well... ironic that that was my request... delivering our own baby was peaceful, but it definitely WAS eventful in its own way! It was not what we expected, but just as God usually works, an extremely sacred, relatively short, fairly simple labor at home, and only three pushes, with no tearing, and a healthy baby...was better than what we hoped for, expected, or imagined!

She was a great newborn. She was a great eater and good sleeper. She had her days and nights mixed up, but she stayed by me all night the first night, and nursed like a champ. I'm really, really in love! She is beautiful, but I'm sure I'm not biased. ;)
a week old.




Look at her now... big girl at 14 months!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The...Nursery!

We're getting our nursery set up for a boy.
(Now is when I really hope the ultrasound technician wasn't wrong... understatement.)

For the longest time, I was looking at a white rocker from Babies R Us.
Then I found these..... A beautiful rocker AND a kid chair-- for less than the rocker I first had my eyes on. Win!  It's cute- the girls keep coming into the nursery to try out the little chair. 

I splurged- my one splurge, actually- on a blue velvet curtain. Because, go team Boy!
I found it online, at Urban Outfitters. I don't think they have it any more.
And guess what? I couldn't like it any more than I do.

I found the shelf at Urban Outfitters online, as well. 
And the cute sign came from Blue Skies, a little local boutique downtown.

We're still working on a few corners of the room.
I want to get a crib skirt in blue.
And turn this into a gallery wall. I think.

Stephen put the tractor on the little shelf in the other corner. 
I laughed.

And then I put the little wooden car and firetruck up there. 


I'm excited. Stephen and I did it together. He drilled the curtain rod that thankfully fit just right.
He hung the shelves and the picture frame over the crib.
I followed him closely with the vacuum cleaner, getting the piles of dust that the drill left behind.

It's coming along! I'm excited.