Just Found This Little Gem:

Clown

 

Not personally being afraid of clowns myself, even this guy made me jump a bit.  So, I thought I’d share.  We still have the couch, thankfully not that clown.

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Activity for Newly-Big Siblings

Not that you have a lot of time on your hands to make this, but if you can find some- you may get a five minute break as a reward while your older child colors it in.  If you are a close friend about to have a baby, *ahem, Joy,* I would be glad to make one for your child.  Image

Color the baby’s footprints! It promotes bonding, gives mom a mini-break, and makes a sweet keepsake.  Take your baby’s footprints and trace them out onto tracing paper.  It looks pretty awesome on its own.  So make the tracing into a keepsake and use a copier to make a copy on printer paper for your child to color.FootprintTrace

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Mothers Are Never Alone When Alone

Awesome, well-written blog on Motherhood.

Mothers Are Never Alone When Alone.

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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. 🙂

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.  😀

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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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Dentist vs. Delivery

Went to the dentist today, and while I have a wonderfully talented un-sadistic one, I still HATE it.  The thought crossed my mind that I would rather be in labor than stay there to have holes drilled in my teeth.  That started a mental distraction of comparing the two, which may have been God’s answer to my prayer to “Just get me through this, please.”

 

So, without further ado-

Top Ten Similarities of Having a Baby and Having Dental Work

10. Most people want some form of pain control.

  • In my case, the epidural with Bug only took on my left side, and today they had to stick me 5 times to get the right nerve.  I’m wired all sorts of crazy.  One time the anesthesia numbed my eye and not my teeth.

9. You’re inevitably hungry afterward and have limited menu options.

  • Can’t chew much after dental work, and you are at the mercy of the hospital cafeteria after the birth unless you have nice family members.

8. When you walk into the room, there is a daunting display of sharp silver instruments lined up on blue paper.

  • Whether you realize it or not, that blue paper winds up with red splotches all over it in both places.

7. Relaxation techniques are helpful if you can remember how to do one.

  • Friend, “Just go to your happy place.”
  • Me, “I don’t know where that is!!!”
  • Friend, “Try Orlando.” (She knows me well.)

6. There’s a high likelihood some part of your body will stay unpleasantly numb afterward.

5.  Lots of stretching and pulling going on.

4. You can never adequately see what is being done to you.

  • (And that’s probably a good thing.)

3. The person whose face you desperately search for signs of hope/terror is always covered with a mask and goggles.

  • I think they also practice not showing any emotion.  Seriously, is that a class offered in your medical degree plan, Stoicism 101?

2.  You’re going to “feel some pressure”.

1. They can’t get anything done until you “Open a bit wider, please.”

 

The main difference is that with labor you are handed a beautiful sweet child who makes it all worthwhile, and with the dentist, you are handed a bill.

Here’s hoping the home birth I’m planning this time will have few, if any, similarities.

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Jesus Loves the Little Children…

Help me please, fellow Christian friends!

I need some advice regarding Emma with the following back story information:
We talk about God, sin, Heaven, Jesus, His death, His resurrection, and other related topics all the time. It’s a constant dialogue because she’s usually interested and brings up the conversation herself even.

A week ago she said she wanted to pray and ask to go to Heaven. It got dropped because when we started talking to her about it she switched the conversation to giraffes and crocodiles and I didn’t want to force anything.

Today she asked again to “ask to follow Jesus to Heaven,” and so I talked to her about it. She stayed focused and asked me to pray with her. I didn’t want to turn her down, so we prayed the simplest form of the prayer of salvation I could do. We talked about being a sinner, thanked Jesus for dying for us, and asked Him to fill her with faith to follow him the rest of her life.

What do I do?  I’ve been praying for her to accept Christ as soon as she can, so I want to believe He is answering that prayer. I want to keep guiding her of course. I know she will need it. I asked Daniel for help but I’m not sure he believes she’s legitimately “getting saved”. I don’t know what I think. I do know if I blow it off like it’s not the big deal that it is, then that will not encourage or strengthen her. So I’m paying attention to her and encouraging her along as she leads. Other than that, I’m just mystified that this is happening at 3 years old. Do I treat her like a Christian now? Do we pray through this again later, or even often as she grows in understanding? What do I do from here?

 

Verses I’m contemplating right now:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
(Matthew 19:14-15 ESV)

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
(Luke 18:17 ESV)

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
(2 Timothy 1:5 ESV)

 

Have any to add to the list?

 

I’m really just stuck on where to go from here and what “fruit” to look for, and what to do if I don’t see any growing after a while.

Both Daniel and I were “saved” at a young age but grew up thinking we were safe, somewhat falling into a pharisaical lifestyle, and really feel like God has saved and changed us in a greater fashion as young adults in this current phase of our lives.  I don’t intend to discredit her faith at all, but I don’t know what to do with it, how to nurture it, how to grow it, how to validate it.  I don’t want her to fall into the trap of thinking that she is fine and can coast on a prayer said at the age of three, but I also don’t want to make too light of a great situation if indeed she has accepted Jesus as her savior.

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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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