A Totally Sappy Wedding Anniversary Post

Monday, June 9, 2014

I haven't had the urge to write much lately. Maybe it's because my brain was too busy with taking care of a baby and now a toddler. Maybe its because I've been generally happy and content with the way life has been for the last few years. Maybe I have just become better at putting my thoughts into words without having to put them on paper first. Whatever the reason, the urge to write is back(at least temporarily) and my brain is wanting me to spew my thoughts and feelings onto paper again. Who knows how long it will last. Maybe I'm just feeling emotional after finding this poem I wrote somewhere near the beginning of my relationship with Daron(Almost 10 years ago). Honestly what better time is there to share this than shortly after celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary.

Floating Thoughts

Part I Love and Reassurance

I need to understand, what's going through my head,
I know that you are everything to me,
But I need to understand that I am everything to you.
There is so much in my mind,
Floating threads of thought,
Unseen pain and hurt.
I don't even know myself,
I am lost within my own mind.
How do you expect me to know you so well?
All I know is that there is a love inside of me;
It makes me miss you when you're gone;
It makes me want you by my side.
It makes me do things I'd never do
And when you hold me, all I know is that
There is something different about your touch.
I never felt this way before
But right now, I need you to show me
That I mean as much to you as you mean to me.
I need to know that you will be there,
That you'll be by my side in the worst of times.
I need to know that I'll be the one you can tell
The secrets living deep inside of you.
I need to know you'll tell me everything.
I want to know you inside out,
I want to know everything
And most of all I want to feel secure.
I know that I am the most beautiful to you.
I know that I'll always be amazing to you,
That you don't need anything else
Or anyone else to make you feel the way I do.
I know that I'll be your only one
I'll be your only one in every way,
And deep inside I know
That nothing can change your mind.

Part II Against all Odds and Thoughts

I don't care what people say about us.
I know exactly what you are to me.
I know that with what we have
We can make it forever.
Til death do us part, is more than just words;
We will take it to heart.
I have faith in our strength and in our souls.
We have made it through rough times,
Made it through tough times and
Survived it all, to tell the tale
We're still happy together.
I know it won't be easy,
But I'm pretty sure, I know more than people think
I know that this will be work, and it doesn't come easy
You know it can't just be simple;
We both have to try,
No matter what people think and say.
They may look and scorn what we're doing.
They say we're too young...
They say we don't know,
Don't know what love is, or what it means.
They say it’s too soon
And college is too much of a stress,
But I beg to differ on their major points.
We may be young, but we have seen more than they think.
They think we don't know,
There is more to us than meets the eye.
We don't know what love is?
Tell me who decides the answer to that.
College is too much of a stress?
We're willing to try, to give it a shot.
We try to make it work, so it isn't so hard
I know in my heart and deep down in my soul
We will be together til death do us part.
We will make it to the end and then,
I will look at you and we will know
We made it against all the odds, because we struggle; for us.
We worked hard for this, and in the end
We can turn to face them and laugh;
At their sad view of what this life takes to live
At their sad view of what it takes for two people,
To be together until the ends of their lives.

Part III Us

At the end of the day nothing else matters
Because the best part of the day is when we make each other smile.
It fills my heart with joy to hear you laugh,
And at night I feel at peace when I fall asleep in your arms.
When I disappoint you it crushes my soul,
When I hurt you it makes me hurt even more.
Through everything, the good and the bad, we stand side by side
Ready to take on the world hand in hand.
We fight, but the love and caring is never gone;
Even as we yell, the words fall on a caring heart.
As one cries so will the other,
For the hurt is one that we both feel.
Your happiness is mine and mine is yours.
Your sadness is mine and mine is yours.
If there is nothing left in this world, we will have each other.
People see on the outside, uncaring people
Barely showing the emotion that they hold inside.
They see a man who works hard for what he has.
The see a girl trying to make her way in life.
What they don't see are the things the two share,
The connection between us that never wavers.
Even in the hardest times there is still something there,
Something holding us together.
When I see the man sitting cross-legged on the floor
I know that is the man I love.
When I see the man who gets up early every morning
To make money so we can have a good life
I know that is the man I love.
While I sit reading or typing,
Watching out of the corner of my eye and thinking to myself
"That man means everything to me".
I know that when everything else is gone,
When no one remains for us to turn to,
I still won't be alone; because there will still be

While it was probably 9 years ago that I wrote this, most of it still rings true. We have been through more in our relationship than many people know or realize. We survived 2 years apart, and infertility among a host of other things. I still love this man more than I can even believe some days. We still fight on occasion, and we still drive each other crazy sometimes. We have been there for each other in good times and in bad. We have cared for and said our goodbyes to loved ones and we have welcomed a daughter into the world. We have been each others support on sleepless worried night, and been the steady strength the other needs. We have hurt each other badly and we have moved past and tried to forgive. We have changed and grown. We have become parents. It certainly hasn't been easy but then I never thought it would. I am thankful for everything we have been through and in all the ways we have grown. I look forward to many more years with a man who still amazes me from day to day. A man who has turned into the wonderful father I always knew he would be.

Thank you Daron for standing by me, loving me, and challenging me when I need to be challenged.

10 Months

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It has been almost a full 4 months since I last blogged, and I think its about time. Life has been good, busy, exhausting, frustrating at times but mostly beautiful and good. Ella is almost 10 months old now. She started crawling right at 6 months was able to stand herself up without help from objects or people at about 8 months and took her first steps just after her 9 month birthday. She has 2 teeth which she cut around 6 months and is working on 2 more at the moment.

She waves hello and goodbye(usually after the fact), blows kisses, gives lots of hugs and sometimes lots of kisses, can do "so big", and sign milk. She loves to explore, loves animals(but only real ones not the stuffed toy kind shes afraid of those), and loves to make us laugh. She like music and loves to dance, we play Pandora on the TV and watching her bounce and move to the music is great. She also loves water, you can't keep her away from it whether it is the bathtub which she makes her way to as soon as she hears the water running, the fish pond outside or the dog dish. She started swimming lessons 3 weeks ago with Daddy and seems to be enjoying them so far.

She loves to be outside, to play in the grass and dirt and to chase the chickens and the duck(or it might be the other way around. She can point out lights/ceiling fans to us when we ask her where the lights are. She tries to imitate words, specifically bird, duck and chicken(it's quite amusing when she tries to say chicken at this point). I see my little baby girl morphing into a Toddler with preferences and quirks and opinions and I am enjoying seeing the person she is becoming.

That's a little bit about Ella, as for how things are going I certainly can't complain most days. I have a pretty laid back approach to parenting for the most part and try to go with the flow a lot of times. There are certainly days when I feel like I can't deal with it anymore or feel the need to at least manage to get a sink full of dishes done, but I try to remind myself that this is only temporary and I know that while my messy house may drive me crazy some times I won't ever regret the time I have spent with my daughter, even when for the 50th time that day I'm taking her out of the dog bed and telling her she has to be nice to the puppies.

We are still nursing strong along with solids offered whenever Daron and I eat. We took the Baby Led Weaning approach to solid food and skipped purees as well as rice cereal. We started with soft cooked carrot stick, avocado fingers and banana fingers. She now can handle pretty much anything we are eating(within reason of course). She has had pork chops, chicken drum sticks, sweet corn on the cob, toast fingers and occasionally part of a bagel with cream cheese, she particularly enjoys scrambled eggs, and has had french toast, pancakes and many other things. The other day she tried raw snap peas and loved them. She figured out how to drink from her straw cup right around 7 months.

We are still Co-sleeping/bed-sharing which is a personal choice for us and something we enjoy very much the majority of the time. We have our mattress on the floor at the moment and she just learned how to get in and out on her own. She still sleeps 10-12 hours at night with anywhere between 1 and 4 nursing sessions depending on a variety of factors and just recently cut down to 2 naps a day instead of 3.

We are baby-proofing as we go and have found that for us other than major safety issues not a lot has been needed. We try to keep things we don't want her to have/dangerous items out of her reach and of course have safety outlets, cords hidden, and a lock on the cupboard under our sink(though I am 95% chemical free cleaning wise). We haven't found our wood floors to be an issue. She did take a couple backwards tumbles when she was learning to stand but no major injuries. When she was learning to crawl, roll, and transition she quickly learned to be gentle with her head on the floor and again not even any big bumps during the learning process.

Also through personal preference we have not used an exersaucer and have so far decided not used a play pen or similar. Other than closing off rooms she gets free exploration of the house within reason and if I need to get something done where I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on her I wear her. So far this has been working well for us but we are constantly changing and evolving our routine etc. as she grows and changes.

For all its challenges and frustrations I am so far incredibly enjoying this thing called parenting. Now since Ella is awake from her oddly long afternoon nap, it looks like I need to retrieve her from the dog bed once again. I think we might go outside soon, it takes her longer to make her way to the chicken coop.

Does your baby sleep through the night?

Friday, February 22, 2013

I absolutely hate this question, and I swear it is the first question everybody asks when you have a baby. People are causing you to worry about something that really doesn't need to be worried about. Just like smiling, crawling and rolling over, there is wide range of normal for when babies start to sleep through the night. Most parents also don't realize that "sleeping through the night" is usually defined as a 5 hour stretch for babies as indicated here. In a addition to that, its normal as adults to wake up during the night, we just don't remember it most times.

When I decided to become a parent I knew that it was a 24/7 job (even if you work and your child is in the care of someone else during that time it is still a 24/7 job). If my daughter needs me at night I will be there. I have made this easier on myself by bed-sharing with her which I absolutely love, but I would and always will be there for her even if she is/was in another room. In my experience people are obsessed with babies "sleeping through the night". My thought is this baby was in my womb for 9 months constantly rocked, held, warm, it should take at least that long (if not longer) for her to get used to sleeping on her own.

Just because someone elses baby sleeps through the night and doesn't need to eat, doesn't mean another baby is the same way. Some adults need to eat more often than others, why shouldn't this be the same for babies? Then there are those people that will adamantly claim that baby is just trying to manipulate them, as soon as they pick baby up they are happy again. Well yeah cuddling is a need too, especially for babies. They want to know that mom (or dad) are going to be there for them. They are completely helpless. I wouldn't like to be away from my caregiver either if I had no means of getting around, feeding myself or for that matter defending myself. I would be scared to death if I was left alone like that. Besides that, even I feel a need to cuddle with a loved one a lot of times; so if it is acceptable for an adult to just need cuddles why isn't it acceptable for a baby to just need cuddles?

This brings me to the ideas of "Cry it out" and "Controlled Crying". I will never ever do this with my daughter. Yes there have been a few times where I have had to leave her crying for a few minutes in order to regain my sanity, but that is a completely different story. I will not purposely leave her to cry in order to "Train" her. In my opinion(which has a lot of research to back it up) all I would be "training" her to do is to realize that when she cries no one responds. So yeah I would quit crying then too, I mean its pointless to keep trying for something if you know its never going to happen. My daughter will become independent on her own terms not min. I know that some day she won't need me any more. Some day she will be able to understand when I say I will be there in a minute but right now I just respond. Why are we so determined that babies and children need to be "independent" so early? Can't we just allow them to be children and need us for a little while?

I don't hate anyone because they use "Cry it out" or "Controlled Crying" methods, I don't even dislike them  for it. I simply don't understand the reasoning behind it, I don't understand what makes someone want to go against every instinct as a mom and ignore the cries of their baby. It just doesn't make sense to me. If I at some point feel the need to "sleep train" my daughter I will personally be looking at no cry solutions such as Elizabeth Pantley or Jay Gordon.

As to the question that is the title of this post. You decide. Ella nurses 2-3 times on a normal night but they are all "dreamfeeds" that she doesn't even wake up for. This means she sleeps 8-12 hours on a normal night nursing 2-3 in her sleep. Sometimes I wake up fully, and sometimes I just wake up enough to make sure she is latched good and then go back to sleep. Usually I don't even remember what time she nursed at night. Growth spurts bring the number of times she nurses up to about 3-6. She also has some nights where she wakes between 1 and 3 in the morning and is awake for anywhere from 1-3 hours. Like I said, you decide what the answer to the question is, because I really don't know. 

I know this isn't the type of post I usually write here, but this question from every single person I run into has just gotten to me. This post consists of purely my own opinion and while there is research to back it up I am not going to go into it here. If you are interested in research on some of the ideas here I will put some links at the end of this post. Also this is a bit off topic, but for those who currently are or would like to bed-share, please do it safely.

Many of these links are from Evolutionary Parenting, I feel she does a good job explaining things and always cites her research and backs up her statements.


All five of these articles are awesome

This in itself contains links to a lot of research


and some bed-sharing articles

Birth Story Retold

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I realize I have told this story once before, but I feel that at the time I wrote it I was mostly telling it as a sequence of events instead of a profound life experience for both myself and Eleanor. I believe that there are a few reasons it came out like this; one is because well, I was busy with a newborn (I'm still plenty busy with a 4 month old, just not in quite the same new mom/two people getting to know each other way) and didn't write more than 2 sentences at a time. The second is that I don't think I gave myself enough time to process and reflect on our (I say our because I believe that birth is something mom and baby do together) birth before I wrote it down.

My entire pregnancy I was excited, not just excited ecstatic. Finally I was carrying the baby I had been waiting for. My little miracle. I knew from the beginning I wanted a natural birth and originally planned to birth in the hospital, this was all I really knew at the time. I had never known anyone who gave birth at home, or who had even considered the option. I had however been on several online forums during my IVF journey and had come across the idea of hiring a doula, this appealed to me and the more I researched (I am always researching something) it the more convinced I became that it was what I wanted. So we got recommendations found a doula we liked and hired her. Then the more I thought about birth and the more OB appointments we went to, I realized that I wasn't getting the type of care I really believed in. I also realized I wanted a more peaceful birth for my baby than what I felt I would get in a hospital. I had a new research topic, home birth.

It was scary to think about at first but as I researched and read personal stories I started to believe that this really was something I was interested in doing. We talked to and met with midwives and then made the jump. Some people told me I was crazy, some people told me I was brave, all I knew was that I felt I was making the best decision for myself and the precious little miracle I was carrying. I didn't want to be told how to give birth to my baby, because I felt that birth was something we would instinctively know how to handle. From the time I switched forward I was much less anxious about giving birth. We started taking a natural birthing class and going to midwife appointments instead of OB appointments. It felt like things were falling into place.

As I got closer to my due date people kept asking me how I was feeling, if I was uncomfortable yet, if I was just ready to have this baby already. I was never quite sure how to answer because yes I was excited to meet my baby but I was enjoying my pregnancy. I wasn't uncomfortable, I was feeling fine, I was still doing most of the things I had been doing at the beginning of my pregnancy. I was enjoying the feeling of having this little being growing inside of me and the connectedness we shared. I was excited to meet my baby but I was also patient and trusting that my baby would come when ready and that only baby could know when the right time was.

About 2 weeks before my due date I started feeling like baby was telling me to prepare myself because she(I am going to reference her being a girl even though I didn't know that at the time) was starting to prepare herself for an appearance. I knew it would probably still be awhile but I also felt I needed to start facing any fears I might have so that they wouldn't slow my labor down. The thing I felt would hold me back the most was that I enjoyed carrying her inside of me and felt like I had enjoyed being pregnant so much that I would miss it or that during labor this would keep me from opening and letting go of her. So I concentrated on accepting that our relationship would be different once she was in the outside world. I also concentrated on looking inside myself to see whether there were any other fears hidden inside that I needed to face. I continued walking, Yoga, gardening and meditation. I worked on the baby room and waited.

The day of I went into labor Daron and I walked the dogs to my mom's, we went to Menards, we went to Farm and Fleet. I was having contractions the whole time but I really thought nothing of it. It was enough that we timed them, but they weren't bothering me and I didn't really pay attention to them. I still knew she was telling me she was coming soon, and I felt ready. I felt ready to give birth whenever she decided she was ready to make her appearance so I carried on with life and trusted my body. When I realized later that night that this might be the real thing I was feeling both nervous and excited. I knew it could take awhile though so I still concentrated on patience and acceptance. As I labored and came to the conclusion this really was the real thing I progressed into confidence, I was no longer nervous this was totally doable and I was most definitely doing it. I can look back now and see when I entered "labor land" as many call it.

 My body was working hard but my mind was calm and peaceful, I could feel that my baby and I were working together at this and that we were making an awesome team. I felt the need to vocalize and tried to concentrate on keeping it a deep sound. When I started feeling the urge to push I resisted for awhile, then when there was no way I could resist anymore I gave in and it felt good to give in. It didn't even really register to me at that point that this baby might come before my midwife made it to my house, I just trusted that things would work out. I remember a point while I was on my bed pushing where I felt like I couldn't do it anymore, I just kept saying out loud, "we can do this, come on baby we can do this!". When I was able to get in the water relief washed over me and then as I realized my baby was crowning I felt the pain, but I knew we were almost there. I felt a strength that I never knew I had before, I was proud of myself. I realized I was about to meet my baby.

Then she was out, Karen the nurse was telling me to go ahead and pick my baby up out of the water as I reached toward her. I picked her up and I was instantly amazed. She was beautiful, I fell in love instantly with the tiny baby in my arms. I loved her more than I ever would have imagined I could. My exclamation of "Look what we made!" described exactly the amazement I was feeling at the time. I loved her before I even knew she was a she. Perfect in every way. The rest is sort of blur as I birthed the placenta and got stitched up, I just know that I was indescribably happy. I was meeting and already getting to know this little baby. All I could do was stare at her she was and still is so incredibly amazing to me.

While I believe that the story I told the first time around needed to be told. This is my real birth story, this is what I want to remember when I look back. The emotions and the feelings, the strength I found. The real journey to becoming a mother, a birth that both my baby and I worked together to make happen. After it all, I don't think i'm crazy, I don't think I was brave. I think I was just confident, confident that birth was something I knew how to do. Confident to choose what for myself and this baby was the right thing to choose to give this baby the calm and welcoming start I wanted her to have in life.

Almost 4 months old

Friday, December 21, 2012

Its true I probably could have found the time to post something a whole lot sooner, but I find it so much more worthwhile to soak up the time with my little girl. I finally found a job that I truly enjoy doing. I admit some days its hard and some days its frustrating, but every single day is rewarding. In the first few weeks I don't think I can even count how many hours I spent just staring at my daughter watching her expressions change as she slept. Smiling at the amazing sleep smiles she constantly had. At 5 weeks to get a first real smile from her by playing with her tongue. Watching as she learns about this new environment she is in. I expected to have a connection with my baby and I expected to love my baby, but I really never knew that I would be able to love this little person so much and be willing to give my life for her the instant I met her. I still look at her every day unbelieving of the fact that Daron and I made this little person, and that this amazing baby girl is what I grew inside of me for 9 months. I still have days where I can't believe she is really mine, she is such a miracle.

The last 4 months have just flown by. I did end up in the hospital for 3 days at the end of September with gallbladder issue and had to have it removed. The staff was awesome about Ella rooming in with me and so supportive of helping me any way they could with keeping breastfeeding going while I was there. Shortly after being released I ended up with a mild case of mastitis, luckily I got it taken care of quickly with a garlic regimen (yes I definitely stunk like garlic for a few days!). Other than that things have gone fairly smoothly.

I think it helps when you don't have a set picture of how things are supposed to go, because as with everything else in life I believe that as a parent you just have to go with the flow sometimes. I am so lucky to have the awesome support system that I do and an absolutely amazing husband. We got an arms reach cosleeper from a friend that we had planned on using, that idea was out the window by the time Ella was 2 days old. 15 minutes of sleep at a time was not going to work for Ella or I, so she came into bed with me and we have been bedsharing ever since. That wonderful husband I mentioned earlier slept on the couch and/or guestroom for the first 3 months so we could have the bed to ourselves. Contrary to what many would believe we did still find time to have adult time as well. Now that things have settled down a bit at night and we have gotten the hang of nursing in the dark Daron is sleeping with us again (I really missed having a big warm body in bed with me). The cosleeper makes a great diaper changing station and general stuff holder at night, but really hasn't been good for much more than that. I am absolutely loving bedsharing, especially now that she has learned to latch herself on at night because I just wake up enough to make sure she has a good latch and then go back to sleep. Occasionally I will even sleep through her latching herself lately and not wake up until she unlatches and snuggles up to me again.

I love our nursing relationship. Don't get me wrong the really little newborn stage was hell sometimes when I felt like I was constantly attached to her, when she would eat for an hour and then 20-40 minutes later be ready to eat again. She has been a good eater since birth, that initial weight that most newborns lose never happened for her. 5 days after birth she had already gained 6 oz. Now at almost 4 months she has more than doubled her birth weight and is up to 13 lbs. I love snuggling with her when she eats and I love the way she just stares at me sometimes while she eats. The best though is a great big grin with a mouthful of boob. I love that I don't have to worry about bottles and can easily nurse while walking around a store(except now shes gets distracted easily). I find it absolutely amazing that my body is still able to completely sustain this little life.

And now I think I have been sitting here writing with a sleeping baby in my arms long enough and that I should go get some sleep myself. I will leave you all with some pictures of the little girl that has blessed my life with her beautiful smiles. I most definitely love her with all of my heart. Sorry about picture placement being funky I didn't feel like messing with the html to get it to look good.


Welcoming our Miracle

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Well I realize I missed quite a few weeks of updates but...the biggest update of all is that we welcomed our little miracle Eleanor Rose into the world on August 30th at 3:44 am. She was born at home and weighed 6lbs 3oz and measured 20in long.

Ella's birth story starts out at 4 in the afternoon on August 29th, at which time I started having semi-regular contractions. I didn't think anything of it other than to time them a bit. They weren't any stronger that the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having off and on for the last week or 2, they weren't painful, and they weren't very regular, being anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes apart. These lasted all afternoon and evening, around 9pm I got ready for bed and sent a text to our doula to let her know what had been going on but that I didn't think it was going to amount to anything and that I was going to bed. About 10:30 I started feeling cramping sensations in my lower pelvis and lower back, but they mostly felt like gas pains. I woke Daron up, and let him know that I thought it might be a
|good idea to get rid of the dogs(all 3 were going to my mom's house) in case this was it, though I still wasn't too sure this was going to amount to anything. He got up and watched me pace back and forth, though still not having an issue dealing with them and still not really painful, they did get worse when I tried to lay down so pacing was my answer. Daron timed the pains just to see if there was any regularity to them and they were anywhere from 50 seconds to 2 1/2 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 30 to 50 seconds. He decided since they weren't real regular and they weren't real painful for me we would wait an hour and see how things were going. At 11:30 things hadn't changed other than the pains being slightly stronger, though still not real bad. Daron took the dogs and their crate over to my Mom's house. I tried to go back to bed again but was much happier pacing back and forth from the bathroom into the nursery. Around 12:30 we talked to our Doula again to let her know what was going on she listened to me and suggested I try taking a shower, she asked if we thought we needed her yet but I was still dealing very well and didn't feel like I needed the extra support yet. So I got in the shower for awhile to see if it helped things any. Around 1am we decided it was time to call our midwife since contractions hadn't changed a whole and though still irregular and not lasting any longer than 50 seconds. Our midwife didn't answer the first time, so about 15 minutes later we tried calling her back again. She talked to me and listened to my contractions for a few minutes and decided because I was still able to talk and walk through the contractions and because they weren't lasting a minute or longer and because I was still laughing between them, I wasn't real far along in my labor. She recommended that I drink a glass of wine, take another shower, and go to bed. She also said to call back if contractions started lasting longer than a minute, if I felt like the baby was starting to push down, or if my water broke.

Since we had no wine in our house we called my mom figuring she would still be awake and asked her to bring some over. We had also sent our Doula a text around 1:30 letting her know we thought she should head this way. My mom showed up with the wine and Daron poured me a glass, I got back into the shower and sipped the wine between contractions. There was still no way I felt like I could go to sleep if I went to bed though, because while I was dealing well with contractions they certainly weren't something I could sleep through. My mom helped Daron get the bed made with our birth sheets etc., did some dishes, swept the floor and generally made sure everything was picked up for the support people that were going to be here. I was on my side in the tub for awhile and then moved to the couch. Somewhere around 2:15am our Doula arrived and took over supporting me so that Daron could go finish getting the birth pool blown up and filled. I went to the bathroom and had a little bit of bloody show, so knew things were moving along. My mom left shortly after our Doula got here. Around 2:30 we had a call from the nurse the midwives use who talked to me and listened to my contractions, after asking if we had a bed she could sleep in(she was coming straight from another birth over an hour away and hadn't been to sleep yet) she decided she would come straight here. Around 5 minutes or so later while discussing with our Doula when the midwife had said to call her back and trying to remember the 3rd one, just after all 3 of us realized that it was the most obvious one to call if my water broke, just that happened. So we called back and let them know that my water had broke. Since the nurse was already on her way and the on call midwife was still at the other birth there wasn't much more to do, other than for us to let them know if anything changed.

About 5 to 10 minutes later things did just that as I had another contraction looked at my Doula and told her I had an urge to push that I couldn't stop. We called the nurse back and let her know what was going on. She suggested getting me in a knee-chest position in order to try to slow the baby down a little. At some point either the on call midwife or the nurse let the other midwife in the practice know what was going on and that she needed to get here. Daron and our Doula helped me up off the couch and into the bedroom and got me in a knee chest position on the bed. At some point the 2nd doula(backup for ours, but had asked to be there for experience) arrived. I continued pushing in knee-chest position for another 30-40 minutes before the nurse arrived. I asked if I could get in the pool once but as I expected they told me I had to wait for the nurse. When she got there, she asked if I wanted to get in the water and I of course said yes. Both Doulas helped me into the pool to which my response was "Oh my god this feels good!". The nurse asked if she could check me and almost immediately said she could feel a head. Another push or 2 later and baby was starting to crown. They even had to tell me to slow down on my pushing because I was actually pushing too effectively and they didn't want me to tear. Another 2 or 3 contractions with Daron by my side supporting me and about 10 or 15 minutes after getting into the pool baby Eleanor was born into the water at 3:44am, I picked her up and brought her to my chest, instantly amazed at the little life we had brought into the world. She was almost instantly pink and cried as soon as she was out of the water. Although it did take us a few minutes and a reminder to even check and find out that baby was a girl.

After a few minutes minutes they asked if I wanted to get out of the water and I was helped to the bed. They made sure the umbilical cord had stopped pulsing and then clamped it and let Daron cut it. At 4:05 I delivered the placenta by which time the not on call midwife had made it here and was getting her stuff ready so she could stitch me up. Ella had decided to have a hand up by her head when she came out, so while my perineum was basically in tact except for a very very small tear, one of my labia had torn pretty badly. The doulas made breakfast for everyone and my wonderful husband fed me while I held the baby and got stitched up. At some point during the stitching process Ella was passed to daddy for skin to skin bonding time and was doing her best to find his nipple and nurse(it didn't go so well...). After they had me all stitched up they helped me up and to the living room to nurse for the first time, which went really well after Ella had a chance to wake up a little after having to wait so long.

While things didn't go quite as planned, I mean you never plan to have your midwife not make it to the birth, it was absolutely perfect. I would do a home birth again in an instant and don't think I would have been nearly as satisfied with my labor and birth experience if I had to go to a hospital. Everything worked out great, everyone was healthy and as I knew was the case my body knew exactly what to do when it came to giving birth! I honestly had no idea I could fall so in love with something/someone so instantly, and I still can't get over how amazing this little miracle is especially the fact that she is what we got from those 3 embryos we transferred in December.

And of course more pictures!

35 weeks

Friday, July 27, 2012

Today marks 35 weeks, I absolutely cannot believe that I only have 5 weeks left until my due date. My last post on 32 weeks sat in draft until today so I still have a lot to cover that I didn't get posted there.

Symptom wise I have been really tired lately and sleeping like crap most nights. My feet (or maybe I should say foot since its mostly my right foot) have been swelling a lot more lately. I've been trying to make sure I get plenty of protein to make sure this baby is gaining good healthy weight and to help combat the swelling a little. I've also been trying to drink plenty of water. Baby constantly has some part of its body pushing out against my belly now and sometimes if I push on it just a little I can feel it move on the opposite side from where I'm pushing.

We are 5 weeks into our 10 week childbirth class. Yes, this means it will be finishing August 27th, 4 days before my official due date, but I'm not too worried about it. We are finishing so late because when we decided to switch to a home birth we also decided to switch to a more natural childbirth class than the one offered at the hospital. We are really enjoying the class so far. I think we have already learned a lot. Monday at class we had to do 6 practice contractions. As women we didn't have to do too much other than pick a comfort position to try, relax our bodies and breathe from our bellies. The guys on the other hand had to time the contractions (we were practicing 1 minute long), make sure we were comfortable and relaxed, make sure we were breathing correctly, massage our backs, talk us through relaxing further, and encourage us all at the same time. Daron did a pretty darn good job, and unlike a few of the husbands he succeeded at calling out the timing every 15 seconds.

We are still on track for our home birth and I ordered our birth kit this week. Baby was confirmed to be head down at our appointment 2 weeks ago. It was hiding a bit though so our midwife had to do a vaginal exam in order to confirm. We have another appointment today and I should also be getting my GBS swab done.

Our nursery is almost done and is really starting to look like a nursery now. We got the new window installed a few weeks ago and it looks great, we just need to get the trim up around it now. Then all we have left to do is actually hang our pictures and such on the walls and put the door back on the room. I do have some pictures but I think I am going to do a picture post or two after this one since I have so many to catch up on.

Moving backwards about a month, my baby shower was great and I am so thankful to the family and friends that helped make it a good day. We got a lot of good stuff and the way they decorated for it was very cute! I think my favorite is that they used petri dishes full of m&m's as a decoration/favor. They also had sheets to fill out with wishes for the baby and wrote inspiring messages/things to make mom smile on some newborn diapers.

After gifts, hand me downs and garage sales, the only major things we have left to get are a crib mattress and a breast pump. My mom and I had an awesome find last weekend in the form of a bunch of cloth pocket diapers at a garage sale for $3 each and a ton of inserts for them all of which look great. I still have a few that I want to get but I found a place I can get gently used ones for a decent discount!

Last week my mom and I spent 6 days cleaning/organizing/reorganizing my house. We washed/scrubbed walls and cleaned floors and moved furniture and yet with 3 dogs a bird and a rabbit in the house a stranger would probably walk in and ask what the heck we did for 6 days. Of course Daron and I did take Monday afternoon off and go swimming at his parents house. I am so happy that we can use their pool whenever we want. It is great exercise and it has the added benefit of taking baby's weight off of my back while I am in. We are supposed to have a home visit from the nurse assistant for the midwives sometime around 37 weeks and should be getting our birth pool around that time as well. We are planning on it going in our bedroom and have the room reorganized to make sure there will be plenty of room for it. My mom will be getting our 3 dogs, and possibly our bird for at least a few days when I go into labor (she already has her own dog and a bird) so wish her luck!

In other news the storm on Tuesday caused half of our neighbors big dead willow tree to fall in our yard/mostly in my garden. The major area of my garden is squished, and we have a huge tree to clean up. Luckily it missed the chain link property fence. I am hoping part of the garden can still be salvaged once we get the tree cleaned up but we will see. It is looking like the universe is telling me I'm not meant to have such a large garden this year.

That's all I have for now, hopefully I can update this a little more often!