Elle’s Birth Story

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When I planned to have my baby at a birthing center that was an hour from our house I got a lot of different reactions from concerned people thinking that would be too far of a drive. However, this was my 4th baby and all three of my other pregnancies and deliveries were pretty consistent. So I felt like I knew my body well enough to get there with time to spare.

Monday (November 9th) gave me NO indication that I was anywhere close to being in labor. It was nothing like my other births where I had mild contractions that built all day long. Nothing was happening. Not even braxton hicks. Plus I was only 37 weeks along.

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That night I fell asleep earlier than usually, but I woke up at 10:30 pm and that’s when things got weird.

I was confused by the signs. I had lower back pain and some pressure, but I hadn’t had any contractions. I told J (my husband) that I didn’t feel good and then I felt the first contraction at 10:41 pm.

I called my parents to come stay with the kids who were asleep in bed. I had only had one measly contraction at this point, but my parents live an hour and a half away and I just knew something was up! I tried to relax in a bath which is supposed to slow things down if it’s false labor, but instead I just started freaking out. Not because of contractions, but because I felt pressure. I felt nauseous. I was trembling and it looked an awful lot like transition!

I told J that I was scared and I wanted to go to a closer hospital. I had no idea where or what that would be. I felt so confused and panic set in. J said we just needed to get in the car and go, but I was insistent that we couldn’t go because I didn’t want to bring the kids.

At about 11:40 pm we loaded up the van with our partially packed bags and three groggy kids who were all in footie pajamas. My parents would have to meet us at the birth center. The contractions were strong, but they were still only 10 minutes apart and I was relieved because I assumed that meant we would have plenty of time.

About 11:50 things started getting intense. I was praying out loud. I would sing worship songs through contractions and really tried to stay focused.

Moments later the contractions were coming one on top of the other. As soon as one would stop another would begin and I vocalized this to J. Then we began to pray. I started praying with authority

“Lord, you are in control. I trust in you! I will not have this baby in the car. We are going to make it to the hospital in JESUS NAME. Labor has to stop until we get to safety!”

I was declaring very specific things and I can look back and laugh at it now, but I was serious about it. I have never wanted an unassisted birth. I was not comfortable with the idea of having the baby in the car.

Then when we were about 15 miles away I knew God wasn’t answering my prayer in the way I was hoping. The baby was coming. There is no fighting it. I had done this before and when the baby is ready to be born you can not stop it. So I gave in, and let me tell you the grace and peace of God was all over that van. My mindset changed to being very assertive. It’s weird. I became my own midwife and I narrated everything that was happening out loud. I can’t tell you why I did this, but hey, it worked out.

Here is the dialogue that transpired. J and I were both completely calm. It had to have been the Holy Spirit because even the kids were calm (one was asleep).

Me: Okay. I feel the urge to push. I am taking off my seat belt. I am going to have to take off my pants now. 

I had on a long T-shirt and a sweatshirt, and I quickly removed my cotton sweat pants. I was in the front passenger seat with my body slightly tilted and right leg lifted up and apart from my left. Luckily I had brought a towel and had it under me.

J: Do you want me to pull over?

Me: No, by the time the paramedics get here we would have already been to the hospital. Just keep driving.

Plus it was a dangerous freeway and dark and rainy. We both felt this was a safer option given our proximity to the hospital.

J: Do you need any light?

Me: No.

Then I reach down to see if I am imagining it, but I do feel the top of the baby’s head crowning.

Me: Okay I feel the head.

After another contraction her head was out and I had my hands gently cupping her head.

Me: The head is out. Alright. We need the body to come out now. Come on baby girl with the next contraction I am going to push the body out.

Another contraction and a slight push from me. I felt the shoulders and the body being pushed out. I kept my right hand under her head and my left hand scooped her up under her armpit and behind her back.

Me: I am going to wrap her in my pants and put her on my chest now.

And I did

J: She is crying. Good. Does it look like she’s okay?

Me: Yes, she’s fine.

I looked over at my husband as I held my now calm daughter who was so peaceful and perfect. Everything was quiet as we rode along in the dark .

Me: Is this real? Did that really happen… or am I in a dream?

J: Yes. It’s real.

 

After that we called the birth center (which is inside of a hospital by the way). This was at 12:27 am. There was a team of nurses with a wheel chair waiting for us at the entrance. I felt like a million bucks as we rolled up and they congratulated me and helped me get my shoes back on. I was fully prepared to hop out of the car when it hit me. The adrenaline drained from my body. I was light headed. I felt pain. My “super powers” were gone and I was bleeding. I know that sounds so dramatic, but it really did happen like that.

Since I couldn’t get out of the car they had to put me on a stretcher and roll me into the hospital where a Doctor would check on me and the baby. That’s when I delivered the placenta.

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They reminded me to breath and as I did I felt relief. It was over and we were both doing fine, but I knew it would be a while before it all really sunk in.

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My parents showed up shortly after that. We all chatted in the hospital room and watched in awe as they washed, weighed, and measured the miraculous little package that had turned our world upside down.

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I didn’t expect her to be 2 weeks early. I didn’t expect the labor to be so fast. I wasn’t prepared for any of it. Still, God is Faithful and in the end I am really glad our entire family was together in the brand new mini van that no one is allowed to even eat or drink in! It was really special.

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So that’s my fourth birth story.

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There’s the one at the birth center, the one in the bathtub at home, the one at the hospital, and now the one in a moving vehicle. Yes there are more options for birth locations, but I think that’s enough adventures for me, at least of this nature.

 

The End.

Or in Ellis’s case the beginning.

EllisEvelyn

By | November 15th, 2015|My Life, Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|52 Comments

More Laundry Headed My Way

With a family 5 I do my fair share of laundry, and I am about to do even more.

First of all I’ve got these itty bitty baby girl clothes to wash.

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Aside from the items I got from Carter’s all of this stuff came from a yard sale I went to last weekend. They had a two year old girl that was born in the winter so the stuff was perfect for our baby. The deal was all you could stuff in a grocery sack for $5. Well, call me Doc McSTUFFINS. I was all over it and now we should be set for the first 3 months of clothes.

I am also excited about pulling out the cloth diapers again. Every time you use a cloth diaper the cost per wear goes down and that makes the pay off for the initial investment even better. My cloth diaper stash paid for themselves a long time ago so now it’s just the cost of soap, water, and electricity.

And get this, the cost of soap and dryer time is even lower now since I’ve discovered Eco Nuts.

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I had never heard of this unique product before, but they sent me some stuff to try and it’s perfect timing for me! I’m not going to lie I normally just pick up whatever is on sale when I’m grocery shopping. The one time I am picky about my detergent is when I have baby. I don’t want to ruin the absorbency of my cloth diapers and I don’t want to irritate the delicate newborn skin so I have always been particular about what I use with a newborn.

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Despite the name and the appearance of Eco Nuts they are not really nuts. Though they are called soap nuts they are actually berries from a Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas. Inside the shell of these berries is something called saponin which is a natural cleaning agent that truly does work as a laundry detergent. I have been trying it for a couple months now and I don’t know if I am still used to how out of the ordinary it is, but it does get clothes clean.

You just put 4 or 5 berries in the little sack that is provided and you use the same berries up to ten times.

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They have a guide on their website that is more specific. Don’t worry you don’t have to keep a chalk board and tally each time you use one, you will be able to tell by the way the berries look.

I also got to try out their liquid detergent and wool dryer balls.

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I LOVE the dryer balls because I am pretty much a fan of anything reusable. Also the kids have gotten a kick out of helping with the laundry since I’ve incorporated balls and soap nuts.

Now for the downsides. I know it’s natural and all, but I do miss that artificial perfumy smell that comes with liquid soap and dryer sheets, but I would have gone perfume free when the baby came anyway.I always do.

I also don’t particularly like the hassle of having to make sure I don’t throw the berries in the dryer. HOWEVER, there is a solution to both of these legitimate complaints.

  1. You can add essential oils to the dryer balls if you want fragrance and then you get to pick exactly what scent you want!
  2. The bags usually fall to the bottom of the load on their own making them easy to find (like coins). However it is possible that they could get tangled in with the clothes especially if you are like me and toss your wet clothes into the dryer by the arm full. If you do accidentally dry your soap nuts it’s not going to hurt anything. I have only done it twice. So out of all the benefits of Eco Nuts that really is a small inconvenience.

There is so much more I could say about these products and if you are like me you probably have some questions. The Eco Nuts website is full of information. They have videos, savings comparison chart, cloth diaper details, and local retailers (which makes even more savings when you don’t have to pay shipping). Speaking of savings, right now there is a offer that allows you to get 10% off with the coupon code EcoFall2015 .

If you want to know more go to econutsoap.com . It’s all very fascinating and worth looking into even if you don’t decide to go the organic soap nut route. I am looking forward to see how it works with the baby clothes and cloth diapers and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.IMG_4800

By | September 18th, 2015|Babies, Babies & Toddlers, Frugal Living, Natural Living, Parenting Tips|2 Comments

Breastfeeding in a dress

Breast is best, but can it work in a dress? See what I did there? First of all, about the breast is best, it’s a slogan I’m quoting and it’s scientifically proven, at least for now. Some people can’t breast feed their baby. Some people don’t want to. I don’t care how you feed your baby. This particular post is about breastfeeding, but please don’t be offended if you’re path looks different than mine! I have been the first to admit that the thing I would miss the most if I couldn’t breast feed would be the freebies. Not the nutrition, not the bonding, but the flat out frugality of it. The second favorite is getting to eat all of those bonus calories! How noble of me. I am such a sacrificial lactavist.

I have breastfed for 4 and 1/2 years between my three children over the course of 7 years. I started out like most new moms, kind of awkward and self conscious, but now I am comfortable enough to breastfeed on an airplane with the toddlers head resting on the arm of the male college student sitting next to me. I prefer not to be in that position again, I am just saying I don’t give a rat’s patootie anymore.

I used to think there was no way of breast feeding in a dress because you would have to pull the whole garment up so I would choose my outfits accordingly.

Since then I have learned that I could gear my shopping toward dresses that I could nurse my baby in simply by pulling the neck line down. Whether sporting buttons, a crisscross wrap style, or even strapless most styles these days are very accommodating.

Here are just some of the dresses that I have to choose from.

 

 

 

This is an instagram I posted of the dresses I packed for my trip to New York and I have easily nursed in all three outfits.

Here is one that I cannot wear while breastfeeding! It’s super form fitting and really high up in the front.

Although, one time I witnessed a mom wear a shift dress like this for her babies dedication and then when it was time to nurse she went to the cry room and had someone help her unzip the top of her dress  so that she could feed the newborn. That’s quite a bit of effort, but I guess it shows that it can be done if you are really set on a particular outfit.

The point is, if you are breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to branch out. I recommend layering with nursing tanks and nursing bras. Those are my go to for wearing under everything. It just makes life simpler during this season. My advice to new moms that are just starting out, wear what you feel comfortable in and when in doubt practice at home first to see if you can nurse your baby with ease in a certain ensemble. I promise you I have done this on many occasions before I have determined what to wear. You are better off giving it a go in private before you are at a restaurant and realize the material isn’t as stretchy as you thought all the while trying to console the hungry screaming baby in your arms.

By the way, it is World Breastfeeding Week (or at least it was) so to all the women out there that are feeling exhausted, embarrassed, or the many that are just in love with the whole experience I hope you are encouraged that you are doing a great job. Hooray for the normal, beautiful, natural thing that it is!

By | August 10th, 2014|Babies & Toddlers, Motherhood, Natural Living, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Ezie’s Birth Story

 

October 1, 2012
“Honey. Wake up! I don’t feel good. I’ve been throwing up. I think we should just head toward the hospital” 
It was 3:00 am and we had only been asleep for a couple hours, but all I knew was that I was already at least 4 cm dilated (according to my last check up) and had been having a few mild contractions. We live an hour away from the hospital. I didn’t want to take any chances.
The bags had already been packed and loaded up the day before and my parents were watching the kids, so we just hopped in the car and headed to Lexington. When we got there at 5:00 am we had no where to go. I wasn’t in labor yet, but at least we were now a safe distance away from the hospital if things did progress. We parked outside of one of our favorite restaurants and slept in the car until they opened at 7:00. After breakfast we headed to the midwives office to have a little meeting about where things were at and she encouraged us to head to the hospital. We spent the next couple hours of early labor shopping and timing contractions, which were around 6 minutes apart at this point. I was pumped.
We finally checked into the hospital and after getting poked and stabbed a few times for my IV and blood tests I took a nap thinking it would be a good idea to rest up before show time. I did get some rest, but I also felt like afterwards my body had decided to call it a day and close up shop. I wasn’t feeling any contractions at all. I started to panic, but the midwife came and J and I talked to her about my fears of being rushed, and how I was worried that they were going to break my water. The medical team reassured me that I could take as much time as I needed. So against their recommendations I declined having them break my bag of water, but I thought it would be okay to strip my membranes since I was already at a 5 anyway and it was a such a minimal form of intervention. If I didn’t progress any further and decided to check out this would not prevent me from leaving the hospital.
At around 6:30 pm things started to get a little more serious and I called in the troops (my midwife, mom, and sister in law).
This labor was completely different than either of my other two, but I was grateful to have been prepared with knowledge and research as things progressed almost completely by the book.
First my contractions were coming 3 minutes apart. I could talk, but I had to focus. During this part of active labor J massaged my back.
I stood up and rocked frequently. I danced the baby down taking breaks to sit on the labor ball which relieved a lot of pressure.

I wanted to pace myself and allow gravity to work on our behalf before moving into the tub.
About an hour later once I finished getting my 2nd round of antibiotics for the GBS I decided I was ready to get in the tub. My midwife encouraged a kneeling and leaning position since Ezra seemed to be laying a little twisted and not quite straight up and down.

I was glad to be in the water, but within a few contractions I felt nauseated and they brought a bag for me to throw up in. Vomiting during and in between contractions was not pretty or fun, but as I trembled and felt so depleted I was also encouraged. This could only mean one thing. Transition.
At this point I was praying and visualizing as I went from one wave of intensity to the next trying to groan and moan instead of quit, which wasn’t an option anyway. I felt like this next stage of intense pain was taking too long, but between each contraction I would relax and soak up the moment of rest before opening up to the next one. Remember the closer they come the closer you are to the end I told myself. All the while J was there telling me how amazing I was, how beautiful I looked, and reminding me to breath and keep my lips loose. He was my hero! The best labor coach anyone could ask for, and we never even studied the Bradley method. At this point I was so uncomfortable I was at the point of swearing off anymore children and I told myself I would count down 10 more contractions. I don’t know what my plan would be after that, but I was just trying to break it down into sizable intervals and distract myself like when you are running long distance.

After about 45 minutes of that transition stage I felt it. The urge to push. I started to smile. I almost laughed. My body was working FOR me and I was grateful to it.

 It is such a feeling of empowerment, but before we get to our happy ending I had a few strong pushes where I was bearing down with everything in me and then came the next stage which I was familiar with, but had never quite experienced to this degree.
The ring of fire.
This is the intensely excruciating climax of childbirth. Still, I knew that this meant it was about to be over, except I pushed a few more times and it wasn’t over. Still no baby. This is when I lost control. I had followed all of the rules and thought I knew each stage, but why was a I still feeling like my innards were being ripped out of me!? I heard the midwife and nurse whisper something to each other. Finally I screamed “What is going on!?” I am not usually that typical pregnant woman you see in the movies, but I needed information! I needed to know if something was wrong and if not I needed the encouragement that I was about to meet my baby. Luckily I got the latter answer. A couple of pushes later I felt his head and body come out all in one swoop. At 10:35 pm Ezra was born.

The relief was instant, as was the love and adoration that I felt for my son. I can write paragraphs and tell stories about the birth, but no words can describe the emotion that comes with bringing a new life into this world!

The 24 hours leading up to Ezra’s birth were a lot more intense than with my other two. It wasn’t easy, but it was a privilege.

By | October 6th, 2012|My Life, Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|4 Comments

SJ’s Birth Story

Wednesday morning I woke up to a contraction at 7:17 am. I know the time because I wrote it down in my pregnancy planner and I continued to write each one down all throughout the day. I don’t normally do this, because of braxton hicks and all, but for some reason on that day I decided to keep track.

All day they went up and down, ranging anywhere from an hour to 15 minutes apart. Not too consistent or intense, but enough to give me the lingering thought of “I wonder if this will be the day?” By the afternoon I told my mom “Well I guess I will be going to church tonight because this just isn’t progressing.” and off I went. I continued to time them all throughout church. The contraction were coming about 10 minutes apart, but no one knew that I was in labor, not even me.

When I arrived home there was a plate of eggplant parmesan waiting for me, a dish that is known for it’s labor inducing affects. My parents had ordered take out from Maggiano’s and whether or not the old wives tale is true, I am not one to turn down good Italian. At this point we reverted to the iphone app for timing contractions and I suggested we play a game to keep me distracted. As my parents, husband, and I played bananagram we talked and laughed and the contractions were ranging anywhere from 10 to 6 minutes apart. At 11:45 pm they were 5 minutes apart and I thought I should take a warm bath to see if they would stop. After I got up though the next contraction was a lot more intense. I called my midwife at 12:00 am and told her details, I also casually mentioned that she could wait until after I took my bath. Luckily she insisted that she was going to leave immediately. After that the next contraction was tons of pressure and I told my mom to make up the bed and get my music ready. I was finally convinced that I was about to have a baby. I told J to call my midwife again and update her. The contractions started coming one on top of the other and I sat in the tub praying and trying to focus on relaxation. I was so worried about having the baby before my midwife who was still 15 minutes away could get there. I told J how scared I was, but he comforted me and helped me with my breathing techniques.

All of a sudden I shouted “UH OH! I HAVE TO PUSH” and right then my midwife burst in the door in her scrubs and gloves calm and ready to go. She dipped her hand into the water and told me the baby’s head was right there. I declined the offer to move to the bed, I wasn’t going anywhere at that point. They helped me lean back in the tub so that I could push which only took once and the head was out. She told me I just needed one more push. In disbelief I said “are you sure? I don’t have to hold back?” and having been given the okay I pushed once more and at 12:40 am J reached down, grabbed Sedona, and laid her on my chest.

I was in shock! I couldn’t believe that I was holding my baby! It seemed too quick, too easy, and too good to be true. After a minute of these thoughts, it finally sunk in that this was not a dream. I looked down at my daughter, my beautiful healthy baby girl and I welcomed her home.

By | March 7th, 2010|Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|10 Comments

Z’s Birth Story

The Birth Story of Mr. Z

It all started on September 3, 2007. It was Labor day (what a coincidence). We were going to my sister in law’s house for a family get to together. I knew I was having some kind of contractions, so I brought my suitcase just in case. The feelings continued when we got there, but I really thought it was false labor. I took a walk, a hot bath, and laid down, but they didn’t stop. I sat in a room with 6 moms and one nurse sharing their stories and trying to help me figure out if this was really it.

That night on the way home the contractions were coming around 4 minutes apart. By that time everyone had finally talked me into stopping by the birth center. Once we got there the midwife examined me and I was 5 cm dilated, 95% effaced. I guess I really was in labor! After that, things progressed pretty quickly. Everything was coming strong and fast and I started to throw up. We went upstairs to where I would deliver and I threw up several more times, but finally it stopped.

My favorite part of labor was when we played the song from our wedding “Still The One” and it was just me and my husband taking in the magnitude of the moment, our lives were about to be changed forever!

I proceeded to lie down in the bed as the moment drew closer. I thought my water had broken and it turned out to be blood loss and because of this they decided to break my water because it was time for the baby to come out!

I pushed for about 20 minutes. I was in so much pain and ready for it to be over. They had to put me on oxygen for a little while. Once I saw my baby though it really did all go away. My husband was the one that “caught” the baby with the help of our midwife, and he was the one that placed our newborn in my arms, it was AMAZING!

We loved him before he was even here, but to be able to hold him at last was indescribable. Everything was going as I hoped it would, I had done it all naturally. My husband was by my side, my baby was in my arms…

but then things took a turn for the worse. I was told that the placenta was not coming out on it’s own. At this time I don’t even know what happened. Everyone said I looked gray, like I was going to pass out. They hooked me up to an IV, gave me more oxygen, gave me oral liquid supplements. I had to get out of the bed and start pushing again. All that is fine when you have the baby as motivation, but having to go through all the breathing and pushing for the PLACENTA!? It was not fun, and it was not coming either. It was almost to the point of having to be transferred to the ER, when my midwife started praying out loud. She was calm and yet very authoritative, everyone in the room started praying- and that was the moment that the placenta was delivered!!!
From there, our parents joined us and the baby was examined. He weighed 8lbs 11 oz and was 21.25 inches. None of us expected him to be that big.

I was exhausted. The 3 of us slept together at the birth center that night and the next day at noon we went home with our perfect baby boy.

So that is pretty much the whole story of the day we became parents.

By | September 9th, 2008|Lifestyle, My Life, Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|3 Comments