Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Birth of Charlotte

Really I feel like this story starts the day before.  I woke up Monday morning, April 25th, exhausted.  Acid reflux had kept me up almost all night.  I encountered a great deal of stress over the course of the day and many tears were shed and prayers were prayed.  When I laid down in bed Monday night I was having mild contractions and I prayed, "Lord we're all exhausted.  I need sleep.  The girls need sleep.  Jesse needs sleep.  Please can we just have a little sleep?  Please don't let me go into labor tonight."  And I drifted off.
Zoe joined me in bed around 1:30am and by 4:00am she was ready to start the day.  I pleaded with her to sleep and noticed a couple of contractions.  Finally at 4:28am I wrote down a contraction and convinced Zoe to go hang out with grandpa.  I laid in bed timing contractions for roughly 30min before getting up to drink, take a magnesium and read my Bible.  I'd already had a few false alarms and was kind of expecting this to be another one.  By 5:30am, after timing contractions for an hour at 6-7min apart, I gave my midwife a heads up.  She asked a few questions and asked if she should come.  I told her I wanted to wait another hour to see if things would fade out.  Two more contractions and I text her back saying maybe just give it 30 more minutes.  Two more contractions and I told her it may be best to head my way.  I reached out to the rest of my birth team and they all headed my way, the midwife being the farthest away.
After everyone was contacted I let the girls wake up Jesse.  He came out and immediately knew it was the real deal.  I was still a little in doubt.  Him and my dad did some quick cleaning until I made Jesse stop to fill the pool.  Gosh the water felt wonderful.  I got in before anyone arrived.  I had learned with Zoe that I did not want to wait until things were too intense for me to enjoy the water.
Susan, my doula, was the first to arrive.  She immediately took her place right beside the pool.  April wasn't far behind.  The birth photographer and Samantha showed up.  Times and exact order of arrival are a little fuzzy to me.  At some point Carolyn, my midwife, asked that we time my contractions again.  They were now 2-4min apart.
April reading to the girls.
At 8:15am my midwife arrived.  I think we all breathed a sigh of relief that the baby had not come before her.  Although my relief didn't fully come until she checked me and told me I was 8cm and would be having a baby soon.  I was so glad that I had not called everyone out for a false alarm.  She asked me to try to get out and use the restroom.  Not fun.  I couldn't wait to get back in the tub.
It wasn't long until I could feel myself starting to loose it.  I declared to everyone that I was done and that I did not want to do this anymore.  I yelled and begged and told them all NO! when they tried to encourage me.  Of course this was transition.
Shortly after I realized I was pushing.  Carolyn checked me and cleared me to do so.  I felt desperate for it to be over.  I did at some point bite Jesse.  He was shocked I lasted that long.  He's a trooper.  Thankfully, despite a nuchal hand/elbow, it was over soon and at 8:58am I got to exclaim "I had a baby!" which of course made everyone laugh.
The girls watching their new sister be born.
Sweet relief.
We all quickly realized she was a chunk and were eager to see what her stats were.  My older girls were 7lbs 5oz and 7lbs 4oz.  I was shocked when her weight came in at 8.57lbs or 8lbs 9oz.  And she has a head full of hair!  She just looks so different to me than my other girls did.
I'm still in awe that I delivered such a good size baby, in only 4.5hrs, with a nuchal hand/elbow and didn't tear at all.  With my history, had I followed medical advice instead of my intuition I would be telling a very different birth story.  I'm so grateful I stepped out and trusted God and my body.
My whole world.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Mother's Intuition

I'm by no means a pro at this motherhood thing.  It's been roughly six years since I became pregnant with my oldest.  But even from her conception I've had a voice communicate with me from deep inside.  As I've grown in my faith I've come to recognize this voice as the Holy Spirit.  While I'm still learning to let Spirit guide me in every day life, I definitely receive strong guidance when it comes to my kiddos.  Sure there are times when I act on uneasy feelings and it ends up not being anything but I've learned to always listen.

During my pregnancy with Emberlynn I had an uneasy feeling about delivering in the hospital and being induced.  There were mental red flags that I ignored because I was doing what I thought I was supposed to.  I mean seriously, who just goes and has a home birth without being able to justify such a controversial decision?  Well my intuition was right.  Her delivery was less than ideal and the recovery was long and slow.  Thankfully my little bundle of joy was perfectly healthy but I paid the price for not listening to that inner voice.

With Zoe we've had two instances when she was sick and something told me she needed to be seen even though others didn't think she was "that sick".  Both times my baby ended up being hospitalized for four days.

Now we face yet another test of my mother's intuition.  From the beginning I've felt that our new little blessing on the way is a boy.  All of my pregnancy symptoms have been different.  I've felt completely different.  And all that aside, I just have this feeling that I'm carrying a boy.  But here's the catch, the ultrasound tech said girl!  Mentally I just can't commit to calling this baby a girl.  We've toyed with the idea of having another ultrasound but are still on the fence.  Regardless of what we decide, I know come April we will know for sure whether we are being blessed with another daughter or our first son.  The anticipation almost feels like torture some days.  But then I remind myself how quickly pregnancy passes and soon enough I'll know.

I say all of that to tell any new mom's reading this to please trust your gut!  You know your kid better than anyone else.  You know what the right decision is.  So drown out all of those external voices.  Ignore the criticism.  Believe in yourself.  God has given you these specific children for a reason and he will guide you in raising them.  Much love and God bless.

Friday, January 1, 2016

No New Year Resolutions for Me!

Yep...you read that right.  I'm not making any new year resolutions.  No list of tasks to check off.  Instead, at the leading of a great friend, I took a One Word Theme devotional on the YouVersion app.  For the whole year my focus will be on this one word.  My hope is that I will step out of God's way, truly surrender control to Him, and enjoy the journey.

What is this "one word" I will be focusing on, you ask?  Calm.  Calm is my word for the year.  While I have an idea why God would choose this word for me, I'm not going to focus on any of that.  Instead I want to gain my understanding straight from the source, not based on my own understanding.  Why?  Because let's face it.  I struggle to see myself the way that the Bible says God sees me.  I'm insecure, fearful and often negative.  If I focus on why I think God gave me this word I'm sure I will miss out on what God has in store for me in the year to come.

Honestly, while I know there will be challenges (that's just life), I'm looking forward to the lessons and God moments that are in my future.  Every day is a new opportunity for God to teach me and use me for His glory.  And I will strive to thank Him for these opportunities every day.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A New Chapter

I've had this blog for some time now.  I've gone through phases of regular posting and phases of no posting.  In fact, it's been almost a full year since my last post.  Over the years this little blog of mine has gone through lots of changes as I've grown and changed.  It started out as a chaotic ramble.  Many times I've attempted and promised to be consistent and more mature about what I post.  I've even considered deleting this blog and starting over but I love my blog name too much for that.

So now as yet another year is coming to a close I make yet another attempt to salvage my beloved blog.  My life has changed quite a bit since my last post.  Whose life doesn't change over the course of a year?  Instead of a long, tedious update I simply want to say that my goal for 2016 is weekly posting.  What I post will vary.  I'm sure I'll talk about parenting, my walk with God, marriage and just life in general.

This time I make no promises, after all would they mean anything anymore anyways.  I just need to regain my outlet.  I need something for me.  I look forward to the journey ahead.  As always, God is in control.