Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kate's Birth Story

Well I actually made it to my due date, October 8th (Madi was 2 wks early). Bruce was in Charlotte working at a convention until Wednesday...or so he thought. I was a little anxious about Bruce being 1 ½ hours away but at the same time I hadn’t really felt like too much was going on.  One thing I really like about the birthing center is that they don’t do any cervical checks unless you ask them too.  I chose not to have them check me because one, if I have an option to not have someone check the va jay jay then heck I’m going to take it.  Also, I wanted to be able to just relax and trust my body and not worry about how much I was dilated etc.

So anyways, Monday night after I put Madi to bed and talked to Bruce on the phone I started to feel some contractions.  My braxton hicks contractions were few and far between (like 1 every other day or so) so this is when I first began to sense that I was getting close.  Even though it was late and I was tired I decided to take a shower, just in case I had to go to the birthing center in the middle of the night.  I woke up to a contraction several times that night but wasn’t really paying attention to how often they were coming. By morning, around 7am I decided to time them and see. They were about every 10 min. so I texted Bruce just to give him a heads up.  I continued to get Madi up and ready for school. When I got back from dropping her off I decided to call the Midwife and let her know that I felt like my labor was starting.  I also called Bruce and told him to come home. My labor with Madi was long but I wanted him home anyways. Meanwhile,  my mom was upstairs eating breakfast and overheard my conversation with Bruce.  After I hung up and turned around she was looking at me with a huge grin on her face. hehe. There was definitely some excitement around the house.

Around lunch time the Midwife on call, Nicole, called me to see how things were going.  I told her that I didn’t feel like things had progressed too much so she said to just take it easy and call her when I felt like things were picking up again.  I tried to make sure I ate good foods and drank coconut water to keep me hydrated.  I got really dehydrated and my blood sugar was way low with Madi because I was too scared to eat anything. I didn’t want to make the same mistake this time. I was also trying really hard to relax my whole body with each contraction because I knew that if I tensed up they would feel more painful. Relaxing my whole body really seemed to ease the pain.  I still felt a little but they weren’t nearly as painful. I was also calm and not stressed or scared because I had given birth before and I trusted my body to do what God designed it to do. Later that evening I decided to walk around outside to see if I could speed things up a little.  On our walk my contractions definitely got closer together and stronger, so I called Nicole.  She told me to try and get in a bath to see if the contractions stayed the same or slowed down.  So I did just that, and to my disappointment they slowed back down.  It still wasn’t time.  :(  

Later that night, around 10pm I was texting Nicole and we decided that I would just try and go to sleep. While Bruce and I were laying down my contractions started to feel really strong but they were still 5-7 minutes apart.  I was starting to get really frustrated that they were so strong but so far apart and inconsistent.  Bruce tried putting some pressure on my back during the contractions to try and ease the pain, but it didn’t do much.  At this point I began to doubt myself and my ability to have a natural birth.  But I had been working so hard and so long to make my “dream birth” possible that the thought of it not happening was really disappointing.  I texted Nicole and asked her if she has any advice on how to sleep when I was constantly being woken up by contractions.  She suggested some Benadryl and told me to hang in there.  It was about 11pm.  

After I took some Benadryl and was able to sleep a little. Around 12:30am I woke up and just felt like it was time to head to the birthing center.  Even though my contractions were still 5 min apart they were more consistent. I texted Nicole and told her that we were coming.  She said ok and that she would meet us there.  She also asked me which room I wanted and I said the purple one.  It was my favorite and the one that I had envisioned giving birth in over the past few months. :) Bruce gave me a blessing, we grabbed our stuff, said goodbye to mom and dad and headed out the door.

I was worried about my contractions being really hard to deal with in the car and the fact that we had an hour drive. But to my surprise, my labor actually started to ease up in the car.  The whole ride down was really peaceful.  I listened to my music and held Bruce’s hand.  We arrived at the birthing center at about 1:45am.  I was a little worried that my labor had slowed down because I wasn’t in as much pain.  I even remember trying to act like a contraction was stronger than it was when I got out of the car because Nicole was watching. hehe. ;) Looking back on it now, I really feel like this was a tender mercy from the Lord.  He knew that I was really worried about the car ride and I feel like He helped ease my labor pains during it. After we went inside and got settled in, Nicole checked to see how dilated I was.  To my surprise she said I was around a 6 or 7. I thought to myself, “Yes, I get to stay!”  It definitely gave me a confidence boost.  Once I got to the birthing center I felt really calm and had a lot of faith that I would be able to have the natural birth I wanted. I never doubted myself again from that point on.  

After Nicole checked me I decided to go ahead and hop in the birthing tub.  It felt so good.  It was so warm and relaxing, especially with my music.  The whole atmosphere in the whole room was so calm. I had heard good things about laboring in a birthing pool and while it didn’t take away all the pain, it definitely made the contractions easier.  So easy in fact that I started to feel like my labor had slowed down again.  I decided to get out for a little bit since I had to pee anyways.  (something I didn’t experience with Madi since I was hooked up to monitors, IV’s, and oh yeah, I couldn’t move my own legs). After I went to the bathroom and decided to lay down on the bed for a while.  Bruce got me another blanket because I was cold and layed down next to me.  It was so nice to be able to lie in the same bed instead of being in a small bed by myself. I remember Nicole coming in at one point to see how we were doing. She saw that we were sleeping and dimmed the lights for us.  So sweet.  

After we slept some, I woke up and asked Bruce to get me a trash can because I felt like I was going to throw up.  Sure enough, I did and I was so happy because I knew it was a sign of transition and that the baby would be coming soon. Nicole and the other Midwife Marcia, who had just arrived, came running in with excitement because they too knew this meant the baby would be coming soon, or so we thought...

Nicole brought me a cool wash cloth with some peppermint oil to help with the nausea.  After that I hopped into the tub hoping that I would be pushing a baby out soon.  Things didn’t pick up like I expected them to so Nicole put some clary sage oil on a different wash cloth. She said it would help my contractions pick up.  One sniff of that stuff and sure enough, there came a big contraction. A little while later, things had slowed down again and I had to pee..again, so I got out. I decided to sit on the birthing ball for a little while. Bruce sat in front of me with a pillow on his lap so I could lay my head down.  Then I asked Bruce for the cloth with the clary sage on it and I began sniffing it like crazy trying to speed things up again. I was starting to get impatient.  

After a while I got back in the pool and thought I felt like pushing.  I had no idea what that felt like since I couldn’t feel anything last time because of my epidural.  I began complaining about how long it was taking even though I had only been at the birthing center for about 3 ½ hours.  It had been a while since I had thrown up/supposedly moved into transition which is normally the shortest part.  So I voiced my frustrations with Nicole and she said that she could break my water if I wanted.  I thought, sure, why not. So she went ahead and broke my water. As she was doing that I had one huge contraction and immediately realized what it REALLY felt like to need to push.  It was like I had no choice either way.  It was such a crazy feeling and it threw me off guard a little bit.  Because of my epidural I had no idea what this part of labor felt like.  There was definitely a ton of pressure and that scared me a little.  Because I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t really relax like I should have. At least I had read about the “ring of fire” and knew that it was normal.  I didn’t really feel like I had to push that much.  Kate was coming out whether I was pushing or not.  I was pretty quiet throughout the whole labor but as she was crowning I yelled “ouch”.  Marcia and Nicole assured me that everything was ok. They, along with Bruce, were really great cheerleaders at this point and having them all tell me I was doing a good job really helped to keep me calm. On the next contraction I yelled “ouch, it hurts” and then pop, out came her head. I took a few deep breaths and reached down to feel her head.  This was so awesome and gave me a renewed strength.  The midwives were awesome and coached me through the whole thing.  Nicole said, “ok now she’s going to turn a little bit so the rest of her can come out.”  I felt her head turning in my hand as the next contraction came.  As the shoulders were coming out I again yelled, “ouch, it hurts” but then the shoulders, along with the rest of her came out.  It was 6:11am. Four hours after we got to the birthing center. As I looked down in the water at her and saw her for the first time I was completely unaware of anything else going on around me.  I calmly grabbed her and pulled her up out of the water and put her on my chest.  She didn’t even need to have her mouth and nose suctioned because she was so clear. She started crying a little and I just held and cuddled my new baby for a while.  She was starving as soon as she came out so I quickly stood up, climbed out of the pool and walked to the bed to nurse her.  That part was amazing to me.  I had just given birth 10 minutes ago and I was already walking myself to the bed.  

After the cord stopped pulsing and was white Bruce cut it. It was crazy how easy it was to cut after all the blood and nutrients had finished getting to Kate. She latched on like a champ. She was seriously so starving.  I love that for the first hour or so, I was the only one to hold my baby.  No nurses to take her away and run tests.  When I was ready Nicole took Kate and weighed and measured her.  She was 6lbs 4 oz and 18 in. long.  They also checked me for, zero.  I was so surprised! Then Bruce got to hold her while Nicole helped me shower.  Then after we FINALLY decided on a name we called mom and dad and told them to bring Madi to come meet her new baby sister.  We cuddled on the bed until they came.  

Madi did really great meeting Kate for the first time.  She brought her a little stuffed animal and Kate gave Madi and new book.  After a while we were ready to leave so we packed up our stuff and said goodbye.  Just 6 hours after I delivered Kate and 12 hours after arriving at the birthing center.  On our way home we stopped to eat.  I remember walking into Subway and thinking to myself, “no one here knows that I just have birth a couple of hours ago.” That is so awesome. I felt great.  Then we went home and took a wonderful nap in our own comfy bed without any nurses coming to wake me up and mess with me.  

This whole experience was more than I could have asked for or imagined.  I am so grateful to have had such a great experience.  Whenever I hold the top of Kate’s head, or when I give her a bath and I pull her out of the water and onto my chest, the same feelings I had that day still come back. I’m grateful that my body did so well. I’m thankful for the wonderful support that Bruce was and for the midwives. I’m grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have such a great experience. I really feel like He led us to the decisions and guided us every step of the way.

Here is a video of the different pictures we took that day/night. I'm really wishing I had a professional photographer to photograph it. I wasn't sure if I would want someone else at the birth but I love the pictures that Bruce took while I was in labor so much that now I wish I had more. Oh well, next time. ;) The music is also one of the songs I listened to while I was in labor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Preface to Kate’s Birth Story

I’m going to start Kate’s birth story by writing about why and how we decided to have a natural birth at a birthing center.  It is a decision that I feel like Heavenly Father guided us through the whole way. My hope is that I can inspire or encourage someone else who may be considering the same option.  I want to make sure that I don’t make anyone feel bad about their birth experience. Every birth is special and sacred in its own special way.  I also don’t want to pressure anyone to have a natural birth or for it to come across that I think my way is better. Natural birth may not be for everyone and that is ok.  

With that said, it all started when Bruce and I watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born back when I was pregnant with Madi.  It really opened my eyes to how births are viewed and handled today.  It really made me feel like a natural birth was the best option for both me and the baby.  So I said I’d “try”. After that I didn’t really do any type of preparation for a natural birth because I really had no idea what it would be like.  Long story short, I ended up at the hospital begging for an epidural.  My birth experience with Madi was still special and amazing.  I was blessed to not have any major complications or need too many interventions. At the time I didn’t know what I was missing out on so I was completely happy and content with it.

Moving forward to when I was pregnant with Kate, I had completely forgotten about my original desire to have a natural birth with Madi.  I was going to a regular OB doctor but there was something about the doctor and the practice that just didn’t feel right.  One day I was on facebook and I saw that a friend of mine posted her birth story. Like most moms, I love reading birth stories so I read hers.  She had had a natural birth at a birthing center not too far from where I live.  Her experience seemed so amazing and I had a renewed desire to learn more.  I began looking up site after site about natural birth and learning all about it.  I also messaged her and asked a bunch of questions.  She was so helpful and suggested that I go to the open house that the birthing center was having.  I told Bruce and asked if he would go with me.  He was a little reluctant because he said that my experience with Madi was good and wondered why I would want anything different.  But mostly he knew how much I needed that epidural. ;) Well when we got there we both fell in love with the place and the midwives.  We both had such a peaceful feeling about it. From that moment on we both felt really inspired that this was the path we should take.   

I was still anxious about making that leap because I doubted my own abilities.  Also, if I had Kate in the hospital it would be completely covered whereas we would have to pay a certain amount out of pocket at the birthing center.  An amount that we didn't have. This lead me to prolong switching over to the birthing center. Weeks went by and I couldn’t stop thinking and researching about natural births. Through my research and the fact that I couldn’t get natural birth out of my mind I finally came to the realization that this is what I felt was the best decision for me and my baby.  After talking to Bruce, he felt the same way. We decided we would find a way to make it work financially. I also really felt guided by Heavenly Father throughout all of this and I knew that He designed my body for this purpose. So I called the birthing center to make the switch.  They told me they were all full for the month of October (with only two midwives they can only take so many people in). I was absolutely devastated. Knowing I wanted a natural birth I began looking at other options. The best I could do was the Women’s Hospital in Greensboro because they allowed water births (the hospital closest to me didn’t). I started make arrangements to switch doctors once again since my doctor didn’t deliver at Women’s Hospital.  All the while still feeling down about the whole thing. I was actually scared to have my baby at the hospital.  For several reasons I knew that it was going to be a lot harder for me to have a natural birth at the hospital.  So I decided to email the birthing center back and basically beg for them to take me in.  To this day I’m not sure if they let me in because they felt bad for me or if they really did have someone drop out, but they told me that they had room and I could come.  I was ecstatic!! Around this same time we also had something come up with Bruce’s work that would cover the entire cost of the birthing center!  So at 30 weeks I finally had my first appointment with them and I felt completely calm and excited for things to come....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tender Moments...

It's been so long since I've blogged but Madi was so cute tonight I just had to write about it.  First of all,  both Madi and I have been tired today.  Madi's tired = more whinny than usual. Mommy's tired = not as patient as usual. You can imagine how today went.  But needless to say, I was anxious to get Madi to bed tonight for both of ours sake. On the outside I seemed calm but I was screaming on the inside and she was doing anything she could to get out of going to bed. I was sitting on the edge of the bed singing her some songs when she came up behind me put her arms around my neck and sweetly said, "I love you". Ah, so cute! I melted my heart. But that's not all. She sat back down for a minute, then got up again, put her arms around my neck and said, "chicken butt". She melts my heart and makes me laugh at the same time.  I love my little girl so much. She brings so much joy into my life even on the hard days. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012


Grammy and Papo got Madi a bubble machine for her birthday and she loves it! Practically every night we have a little dance party with the bubbles.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Madilicious is 2!!

Because Madi really likes Elmo, I decided to have an Elmo themed birthday party. Thanks to Pinterest, I had a lot of cute ideas.  I'm pretty happy with how it came out considering I was trying to keep it as low key and cheap as possible.  I have a hard time with throwing a huge party for my kids and spending a lot of money on parties, especially when they are as young as Madi.  One, they won't remember it. Two, what they do remember is the feelings they had, not the frills. And three, why would I invite a bunch of kids that she's not even friends with...yet (no offense to the little kids in nursery. ;) ). It just seemed pointless. So we just had a cute and simple family gathering.  But of course I had to do a little frilliness for the party decorations.  I couldn't let my Pinterest research go to waste. 
First of all, I love how the Elmo cupcakes turned out. I saw plenty of examples on Pinterest but I'll be honest, I think mine are the cutest.  Mostly because I like the proportions of the facial features better. I used Mentos for the eyes, an orange jelly bean for the nose and oreos for the mouth. The color theme was red and turquoise. (also, pinterest inspired) And the balloons hanging from the ceiling idea, I bet you can guess where that came from too.  
Madi had just woken up from her nap and I don't think she was even feeling that well. During the whole singing/blowing out candles/eating cupcakes she was like a zombie. She ate the jelly bean nose and barely took one bite of her cupcake and that's it.  Not that I'm complaining that she didn't eat that oh so healthy cupcake.  I was just hoping for a little bit of a show or some personality or maybe just a smile. Is a smile to much to ask? ;) 
But, once we broke out the noise maker blow thing-a-ma-jigs she started to come to life a little, and she even smiled! Yes! Two dollars well worth it! 
When we asked her if she wanted to open her presents, in the cutest little excited voice she says, "uhhh huhhh!" I wish ya'll could hear the inflection in her voice. It's was so cute.
By the end of the night she was a regular party animal.  Se even put on a pretty awesome Super Bowl halftime show for us (we celebrated her birthday on Sunday). She is quite the little dancer.  But I'm not surprised.  I've been known to have some sweet dance moves myself. *said in an egotistical voice as I brush off my shoulders* ;)

On her actual birthday, Tuesday, Mema and Popi took us to Chuck E. Cheese!  Madi had fun riding the rides but her favorite part was watching the "mouse" show. 
 We even got to meet the "mouse" and she gave him a high five. I was surprised that she wasn't scared of good ol' Chucky.
Later that evening and post nap we went to watch Aunt Allie play in her basketball game.  Madi loves going to Allies games.  She talks about it ALL the time. Every day. Several times a day, to be exact. She says "allie basitball?" 

It twas a great birthday and I can't believe my little girl is two now.  She is just growing up so fast and getting to be so much fun.  I love her little personality and that she still has the best little cheeks.  Happy Birthday Madilicious!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

3rd Anniversary

For our third anniversary we took a short little trip to Virginia Beach. The reason we were able to do this is because of my dad's trucking business. For the past couple of month Bruce has been helping my dad either loading trucks or actually driving them whenever my dad needs it.  It just so happened that my dad had a load that Bruce could take right near Virginia Beach.  So I came with him and we made a little anniversary trip out of it! It was nice because the trip cost us next to nothing. 

Our trip was very relaxing and it was so nice to just be together for a little bit.  We took a dip in the pool, went out to dinner, drank hot chocolate, watched movies, and walked on the beach.  They also had some Christmas lights set up along the beach. You could drive down the boardwalk and look at them.  We went to the aquarium, but the thought of paying $50 bucks to look at fish made us sick to our stomachs, so we left. haha.  

I love my husband SO much.  He makes me so happy. :)

Also, I made this video for our Bruce.  It has pictures from the time we met up until now.