Category Archives: Pregnancy

Ace’s Birth Story

Warning: This is a birth story, with pictures of a birth at home. If you don’t want to keep reading or see pics, do not scroll down. That being said, I did try to select the least graphic pictures I had, and birth is absolutely beautiful. ūüôā

For those who want the short and sweet version- 2 days early labor. 30 minutes active labor. 2 pushes. It’s a boy!

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Without a doubt, this time was the best labor and delivery I have ever been through.

It started (as far as I am concerned) on July 16th, with consistent contractions every 5 minutes from about 2:30PM.

Six hours later, my midwife arrived to check me, in the middle of our community group house Bible study. Andy Andes pretended he was in labor when she walked in the door and made her laugh pretty hard.

No dice.  She said I was still at 2cm, that it was probably just braxton hicks, and it would likely go away when I fell asleep that night.

They didn’t go away for two days, and only varied in length to about 6 or 7 minutes apart, but the intensity of the pain never picked up.

Around 4AM on the 18th, I just got up and did squats for the rest of the morning, hoping for anything.  I did squats until I felt like my calves were going to snap in half.  I was determined to make something progress.

3cm. 

I was happy to have progressed and mildly enraged that it had only been one centimeter.

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However, she finally had some worthwhile information to go with the disappointing number. ¬†There was a “forebag” of water, or in laymen’s terms, a bubble of the amniotic fluid was in front of the baby’s head. This was what was being shoved up against my cervix and therefore the dilation was moving along as slow as molasses. ¬†If it had not been in front of his head, he would have been born already.

There wasn’t much debate in my mind when she offered to break my water. In fact, I only asked for her opinion out of courtesy. I let her break it, and immediately saw stars with the next bout of contractions.

There was a bit of mec, which scared me, because I had never encountered that situation and had only heard horror stories of babies coming out with lung problems because of it. She assured me everything was fine, and that it was only a little. After being scared I switched to simply finding it gross, in all honesty. I think I will forever remember that this is the kid that pooped inside of me. Good thing he’s so cute.

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***

Everyone kept telling me, “As soon as you reach 4cm, it will progress much faster.” The midwife even cited a birth she remembered going “as quickly as one hour.” Without my permission, my body declared, “challenge accepted!” I went to wash my feet off and get into the birth pool that I had been dreaming of, and as soon as I did it was as calming as I had expected. Then, of course, my body had to try out a contraction in the pool, and several others. They all hurt, but they were definitely easier to deal with. At some point, the midwife could tell I was in enough pain that I needed to be checked and everyone was shocked that I had hit 8cm already.

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The pain increased quickly and severely, and I began to look around the room for help in any form. ¬†The face of Andi Clements helping be to breathe and the Bible verses I had posted on the wall (they’re still there) became a great source of help. ¬†When even those things wouldn’t help me maintain my sanity, I began to withdraw and my mind argued within itself, almost without my consent. “Pray.” “I’m too scared to pray.” “Ask someone to pray.” “Why make them do what I can’t?” “Just pray then.” …

Eventually I just yelled out in desperation for someone to pray for me, and a friend came through with flying colors. ¬†Sarah’s prayer brought God into that room, no doubt. ¬†She asked for me to feel His presence, and I absolutely did. ¬†It didn’t make it hurt any less, but I was changed. I could handle the pain, and my fear of whatever would happen next was gone. I was suddenly enabled to conquer the amazing feat before me. Never let fear paralyze your ability to ask God for help. He is always faithful.

There was a calm moment right after the prayer, and then the hard work started.

Someone told me to “moo through the pain,” and I felt like saying something epic about how stupid that sounded, but then it was interpreted for me to just “maintain a lower pitch when I made noise.” ¬†I was told not to push, but I was incapable of preventing it. ¬†My body was shoving this kid out of me. Ladeana Cochran once informed me about the “ring of fire,” and had I not been told about it before I would have very likely lost my mind wondering what was going on because of that pain. Instead, I thankfully accepted it as a good sign that the baby was emerging. ¬†I reached down to make sure what was happening and I yelled out, “A head, I can feel a head.” Then the head came out, and I was scared for the baby. I started yelling at everyone to just pull the rest of his body out. One more push and the rest of his body had no trouble though. I was so frantic, shocked, and elated that I didn’t even care about the gender, I just saw his face and loved him. Someone asked me though, and I came back to reality and happily cried, “A boy!”

***

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The amount of time between the asterisks was 33 minutes total.

My body beat the record.

I never told it to try.

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Regardless, his name means “Laughter Made by God” and he was born at 4:18 PM in our bedroom (the same room where I sat as a teenager on the computer talking with my husband about possibly dating him) in a kiddie pool with fish all over it, on 18 July 2013. ¬†Ace is short for his middle name. ¬†I am so glad he’s here. ¬†ūüėÄ

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With much love and thanks to:

DeEtte and her helpers, Andi, Sarah, Debby, Mom, All of my CRC Family who Prayed, Dawn, Catherine, Cindy, Sue, Everyone who Made Food, Trish for the Awesome Shots, Daniel My Love, and God above All. ‚̧

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2o Weeks

I know it only reveals how addicted to television I used to be, but I keep hearing Spongebob’s voice on broken record saying, “I’m already halfway there!” as I think about this. ¬†I am finally past the 20 week mark. ¬†21 weeks and 2 days to be exact. ¬†Though it seems that this pregnancy is flying by faster than all others previous, it’s still a big deal to reach this milestone.

Absent however, is the 20 week ultrasound that I enjoyed getting with both Bug and Gus. I’m going to miss having this little one’s fuzzy black and white image to show off in the baby book that I’m never going to have time to put together. ¬†I have foregone the anatomy ultrasound under the advice of my midwife (and other health professionals whom I interviewed for a second opinion), who presented me with article after article of research indicating that it was not a wise idea to blast rapidly developing cells with high pitched frequency unless I had a specific concern to investigate. ¬†One of the doctors simply said, “the babies try to get away from it for a reason,” and that was enough for me. ¬†I remember that Bug actually punched the transducer (*hard*) as we were watching her wiggle around. ¬†Also, I would immediately be able to tell if it is a boy or girl if I even caught an accidental glimpse of that anatomy on ultrasound, and I don’t want to ruin my end of the road surprise. ¬†I hear it inspires you to push harder, just to find out.

It is still HARD not to know, because even though the 20 week ultrasound is absent, the question “do you know what you are having yet?” is now as full blown among my friends and acquaintances as my 20 cm fundal height tummy. ¬†It’s also a lot harder to come up with two names instead of one. This week I made a baby birthday box full of clothing options and blankies and such in both gender colors. ¬†I’m halfway into nesting, if only because our house is on the market and there’s no way I will prepare at the last minute if we (please God) get it sold before the baby is born, and have to find a new place to live (and give birth).

So, here’s my Boy vs Girl analysis to commemorate this milestone in an appropriate manner:

My heart wants a girl and my mind (read: sanity) wants a boy.

Girl-

  • I get all nostalgic at the sight of Bug’s old clothes.
  • Bug really wants a sister.
  • I prefer most of the girl names we have created at this point.
  • Having referred to him/her as “Baby Poppy” so long has made me think feminine, because Poppy doesn’t sound masculine.

Boy-

  • Diapers are easier to change.
  • Less drama for this mama. ¬†(This should count double.)
  • Gus would have a brother.

 

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16 week update.

After 10+ days of worrisome and painful symptoms, I heard the baby’s heart beat today. ¬†I also measured just right for being 16 weeks pregnant, so everything seems to be fine. ¬†I tested slightly dehydrated, but other than that I am doing well. ¬†Since that could be at least one reason behind the problems, I guess I need to up the water intake. ¬†I was rather thirsty last week, as I remember. ¬†Hopefully, that will make things stop hurting. ¬†Otherwise, it could be that I have had all these pregnancies back to back (to back) ¬†and my body is just a little worn out. ¬†Such is the nature of sacrifice in this situation. ¬†Or it could have something to do with stress and lifting too much weight (a.k.a. Gus). ¬†She also put me on progesterone for the cramping, and I think it has lightened the severity of the symptoms. ¬†It has a side effect of making me even more sleepy than I already am with watching my two young-uns and sometimes my friend’s, and trying to keep this house clean while pregnant. ¬†I’m thankful for my friends who have been praying for me, and my husband who has been taking such good care of me. ¬†24 weeks to go!

In other news. ¬†I cut Gus’ hair. ¬†He now officially looks like a little boy. ¬†So much so that it is actually easier to discipline him now, because he doesn’t look like a baby anymore. ¬†It also makes him look like a little thug at times, barreling down the hallway chasing his sister. ¬†Also, when he throws a fit, I find that I can’t ever take him seriously, because the face he makes is the same expression as the first time I saw him right after he was born. ¬†I am transplanted to that memory every time I see it, and cannot do much but smile. ¬†He has also learned to holler my name along with his cries when he wakes up from a nap. ¬†Love that milestone, I do.

Bug and I are both suffering from fears.

Recently she sat on the space heater in our bedroom. ¬†She was standing next to it, and is completely aware that it is a hot item and not to be touched. ¬†Suddenly, with no warning (or discoverable reason) it sparked. ¬†Scared, she tripped and sat down on the metal grate. ¬†This left a nice waffle print burn on her bum and a terror-filled expression on her face. ¬†I had to calm her down, but she was so nuts I didn’t even discover the burn for a few minutes, because she wouldn’t let me do anything but hold her.

So, when we went to visit the grandparents, and she saw the pilot light in their gas fireplace, of course there was a bit of a frenzy. ¬†And there are nightmares, noisy neighbor scares, unmuffled car engine startles, etc… in reality a very long list of scary things that set her off. ¬†I have also been having plenty of nightmares, which are of course enhanced by the pregnancy hormones. ¬†So my normally awful nightmares, are now downright horrendous and graphic. ¬†On a lighter note, my normally wacky dreams are also now exaggeratedly insane.

Everyone in this house just needs a little more sleep. ¬†ūüôā

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11 Weeks (close enough) Update.

I’m starting to feel better, though I am still exhausted most of the day. ¬†I just wish I had enough energy to do the laundry! ¬†Or maybe someone to take the kids for a bit so I could clean without having to referee their little fights. ¬†Daniel will be home this week, so we’re hoping to get a lot done and put the house on the market in January. ¬†Please pray for us.

The cyst is starting to feel less painful, and I assume the baby has now either caught up to its size, or maybe, just maybe, the cyst has shrunk and the baby is actually bigger. ¬†That would be great. ¬†I don’t know why I get a horrible cyst every time I get pregnant, but it is neat to know which ovary each kid came from. ¬† Bug:L ¬†Gus:R ¬†Poppy:L ¬†Weird, huh? ¬†ūüôā

Nausea is starting to decrease, and I’m hungry all the time. ¬†Heartburn has reared its ugly head, and I’m certain, based on previous pregnancies, that it will be around for the duration of this one. ¬†I’m keeping the Maalox and Tums by the bed. ¬†(I also have Cheeze-its hidden in the bathroom under the sink. ¬†Shhh!)

Also, I would swear that I’ve already felt this baby move. ¬†The tiniest little fish-wiggle like spasms. ¬†Just a few days ago, for sure.

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Intuitive Guessing.

With my last two pregnancies, my intuitions were spot on regarding the babies’ genders. ¬†I may have wanted a boy first, but I knew deep inside of me somehow that Bug was a girl. ¬†I knew before Gus ever even showed up that my “Gregory” was on his way soon. ¬†Most of the intuition came from a combination of dreams in which the baby’s gender never wavered, and the ability to only come up with a name I liked for the correct gender. ¬†This time, I am having boy dreams and only liking girl names. ¬†So, my guess is as good as anyone’s at the moment. ¬†

However, I have noticed one thing. ¬†With both Bug and Gus, I had a horrible aversion to my favorite sauce, A1, the entire pregnancy. ¬†With this baby, I had A1 on potato chips and pizza last night and again on scrambled eggs this morning. ¬†So, based on that, I am willing to wager a guess that this may be the one out of these three children who is most like me. ¬†Maybe we’ll even get a brunette this time?? ¬†ūüôā ¬†30 more weeks to go! ¬†

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Responses to your Inquiries.

A word of caution, since this will automatically post to Facebook: ¬†There may be some content in this post that is too advanced for those who, say, don’t know exactly how it is that God makes babies happen. ¬†Wait until you are older to read it, if you fall into that category. ¬†

Also, I don’t intend to get into a debate with anyone about anything I have just written. ¬†If you disagree, that’s fine, and thanks for reading. ¬†This is just a presentation of our stance on these things, since people have actually asked.

While there have been plenty of very much appreciated joyful responses from people upon the realization that I am yet again with child, there have also been these gems:

  1. “What!? ¬†Really? ¬†Can you even afford another one? ¬†Do you guys not believe in birth control?”
  2. “You guys trying for twelve? ¬†Really, how many? ¬†How many do you want?”
  3. (Aside to his wife-) “He must climb her like a tree!”
  4. “This must be payback for all those years you were dating and I wouldn’t let you have sex.”

So, here are my answers to the above questions and assumptions:

1.    Yes.  We do believe in birth control, provided that it is non-abortifacient.  We used the pill, until we watched this interview together, and we threw it all out the next day.

Randy Alcorn and Mark Driscoll on Birth Control

If you are not willing to watch a 7 minute video on the internet, here’s the gist. The birth control “pill” and some other forms of hormonal birth control* work in three ways: preventing ovulation, closing the cervix to keep sperm out, and finally,¬†in the event that conception occurs, the lining of the uterus is diminished so that the fertilized egg is incapable of implanting to the point that it is flushed out with your next period.¬† As Christians, who believe in the beginning of life at conception, we consider that third function to be the preventing of a human life’s ability to thrive and grow. ¬†We consider that death. ¬†This was especially difficult for me, after losing our first child in the early stages of pregnancy to miscarriage, after only very recently discontinuing taking the pill. ¬†I knew there was the possibility that it had a part to play in the loss of my child. ¬†I wish someone had told me this, but my doctor, my parents, my church friends, no one told me. ¬†Maybe they didn’t know. ¬†So, here I am telling you. ¬†If you wonder why so many Christians are in uproar about being forced to pay taxes for other people to use this stuff, and why Christian business owners are fighting against being forced by our government to provide this to their employees, it is against our belief in the sacredness of human life- all life, even the tiniest life.

That being said, we, after several months of discussion and prayer, decided that it was simply best to trust God with how many children we have and when. If he could prevent Sarah and Hannah from having kids up until he decided it was the right time, then he can prevent us from having them as he sees fit. If he made them pregnant when he decided it was the right time, then the same is true no matter what measures we would take to prevent it. Some of those measures add up and there’s no reason for us to buy them right now. We try to control so many things in our life, and ¬†often it is against God’s wishes that we trust him that we do so. ¬†We felt the leading to totally surrender control to him in this area of our lives. ¬†However, we are all for human responsibility + God’s sovereignty, so this is not something we would push on other Christians. ¬†Do what the Spirit leads you to do. If he tells us to start using something to space out or other wise plan or prevent future babies, we will do so, provided that the method that we use is consistent with the sanctity of human life.

With regard to whether or not we can afford another one, I would like to simply say that God has provided well beyond all that we have asked for our children so far. While I had some doubt when I first gave up my job, after Bug’s birth, that everything would be ok, I am not one bit afraid of anything now. I have not bought any clothing out of need since her first birthday party, and that goes for Gus too, thanks to the generosity of Mindy, Jacque, Dawn, Nora, Tonya, and many others. ¬†They have been entirely clothed and fed, by the hand of God, through the hands of generous people, on half the income that we had before their coming into this world. He is Jehovah Jireh, he feeds the sparrows and clothes the flowers of the field, and He is trustworthy!

2. ¬† ¬†We want as many children as God sees fit for us to have. Daniel once joked that he did in fact want 12 and was going to name them after all the disciples except Judas, but we had a girl first so that didn’t turn out. ¬†Plus he said 3+ on our marriage counseling survey, so I guess he’s doing fine. ¬†We truly have no number in mind, and no spacing in mind. We found that our ideal spacing requests were not God’s plan, so we abandoned them in favor of His will. He knows better than us anyway. ¬†We do want a larger family because we both grew up in smaller families, and we want lots of siblings for our kids. ¬†One couple advised us that this was a great idea, saying, “It’s better to give your child siblings instead of toys. ¬†You don’t have to learn to share, forgive, or help anyone with a bunch of toys surrounding you. ¬†You do with other people.”

3. ¬† ¬†Dear Friend,¬†While it is truly none of anyone’s business, and that’s probably just some redneck expression, the Bible is all for a husband climbing his own wife like a tree:

Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
(Song of Solomon 7:7-8 ESV, emphasis added.)

4. ¬† ¬†Dear Milly, I love you, and you are hilarious! ¬†In the present you left for me at the lingerie shower that you *cough-thankfully-cough* did not attend, there was a sweet note on top of a beautiful white gown, covered up by a hideous grandma-style muumuu which I still intend to give back to you on your 60th birthday. ¬†That note read, “Just kidding. ¬†I want you to be happy in¬†every area of your marriage life.” ¬†Thank you so much. ¬†It was not simply you, but God who helped us maintain our virginity to give to one another on our wedding night. ¬†He answered many of both yours and my mother’s prayers, I assure you. ¬†Otherwise, I would not have been so naive after 12 years in public school, plus college. ¬†While we have struggled to overcome areas of hidden sin in both of our lives, God has conquered them and forgiven us, and we have truly begun to enjoy this special gift He has given to us. ¬†Thank you for your sweet wish on the note, and I pray the same for you as well.

*Curious about your birth control?  Read the pharmaceutical information insert that comes with it.  It should detail exactly how it works.

 

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Happy Birthday…

This post was written a while back, when I first found out, but has recently been taken off the “private” setting, after informing people of the good news. ¬†So you are just now able to see it.

I just found out that we are once again pregnant. ¬†I waited until Nov 5th to test because that’s a special day for me and Daniel (the day we started dating, 2003) to test, so that if I had to tell him, that would be a fun anniversary gift.

I couldn’t sleep and it was about 4:30 AM, so I got up, got dressed, and went to Walmart. ¬†It was VERY strange being at Walmart with no children, much less in the middle of the night. ¬†The red light camera almost got me as I was about to pull in, because I’m not used to driving at that time either. ¬†No ticket though, thankfully. ¬†I also, ironically checked my texts before going in, only to find that Beth Koscak had once again sent me a message saying, “David wants a new sibling.”

I came back home, took a test, and was utterly shocked that it was positive. ¬†I didn’t have to do the math. ¬†I conceived on David’s birthday. ¬†Just like I conceived David (around) Emma’s birthday. ¬†Just like I conceived Emma on my birthday. ¬†Crazy.

I then went back to bed and was able to sleep until morning.

I went all day wanting to tell Daniel in person at dinner, which was somewhat difficult, because on his break he asked if there was anything he could pray for me, and he kept inquiring throughout the day in a similar manner as to what I was thinking about, why I was smiling, etc…

We put the kids to bed early and he surprised me with a nice meal for our anniversary. ¬†I took his phone, and downloaded the Baby Center Pregnancy App, and did all the calculating quickly while he was filling our plates. ¬†Then, when I was ready, I said, “I have an anniversary surprise for you,” and handed him the phone with the page set to the “you are 4 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a poppy seed” screen. ¬†You should have seen his face. ¬†Confusion turned to understanding turned to astonishment turned to joy… it kept changing and then settled in on his “well this is big news” face that he usually gets but with the corners of his mouth turned up in delight. ¬†He took my hands and started praying and then realized mid-prayer that the cookies were burning.

It was great.

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