Baby Bear is Finally Here!

I realize I have been pretty terrible posting pregnancy updates and such these past few months. To say that life has been a little bit crazy would be an understatement.

Baby Bear finally made his debut in the wee hours of February 21st at 41 weeks gestation. I was having mild cramps all day on the 20th (Monday). Basically felt like mild menstrual cramps, I was able to act completely normal through them. I didn’t even tell my parents, who were in town for the week, they had no idea! I texted Janelle that morning to let her know so she could drive into town and be here for Bear’s birth, we weren’t sure if she would be able to make it but I wanted her to have the opportunity if she could! Justin knew I was cramping, though I told him not to panic, because I knew that nothing was happening yet.

Later in the day I ran to the store to pick up some things for dinner and while walking around the store and in the parking lot the cramping started feeling more significant. We went home, made dinner and after putting the kids to bed I laid down and tried to read to relax. My dear, sweet wonderful husband was being a butt however and being obnoxious of course. The menstrual like cramping started feeling more like mild contractions, and while I tried to time them, they weren’t regular at all. I went ahead and texted Janelle again around 8pm to let her know they were becoming more significant and she headed this way!

The cramping was still very irregular, but becoming slightly more painful. Nothing I couldn’t talk through though. I was dreading having Bear in the middle of the night… I knew that’s probably what was going to happen, but I also knew that I was going to be exhausted and have a hard time catching up on sleep afterwards! It worked out for the best though, because Janelle arrived at our house a little after 11pm and I was starting to feel contractions that I couldn’t talk through. Again, they were still very irregular and it was strange… it seemed like every other contraction was stronger and hard to talk through, while the others were like the earlier cramping. Nothing like my previous births.

When I started having to lean over the counter in the kitchen and the railings on the porch outside to get through those harder contractions we decided to head out. I had called my midwife’s office a little while before Janelle had arrived, and I am pretty sure they didn’t believe that I was going into active labor, so I had to pretty much tell them that we were coming in around midnight and to expect us. Since we moved out of state, the midwives I’ve been seeing have been wonderful, but truly didn’t believe that I would have this baby quickly…

We arrived at the birth center at midnight and I was at 3cm dilated. The midwife wanted to send us home, but not only was I adamant about staying, Janelle and Justin both knew that if we went home we would be turning right back around the moment we got there. I bounced on a birthing ball for a while but then decided that while my contractions were manageable I would lie down and try to rest some. I didn’t really sleep, but being able to just lie there and rest really helped. The midwife came back in at 1am and I was 6cm dilated. Things were becoming more intense at this point and I was no longer able to lay down to rest. I asked to have the tub filled, and during that time the contractions started picking up in intensity and speed. There wasn’t much of a break between contractions anymore and during each I used Justin as my support and swayed through each one.

I was much calmer and in control during this birth than previous births. While my body was obviously doing it’s job and taking over, I was able to talk myself through the pain. When the tub was finally filled I immediately got in and went from sitting on my knees between contractions to being on my hands and knees during contractions. I think I got in the tub around 1:30 or so, but I could be wrong. All I know is that once I was in the tub it was game on! My body only pushed one big time in order for my water to break, I pushed once more and felt his head come out… and then another large push and he was born into the water!

I think I was a little shocked, not only was he born super fast, but he was born much faster than the other three. My births with Bubby and Bird were also fast but I pushed a little longer with them. This was amazingly fast. I got to immediately hold Bear skin to skin and let his cord finish pulsating. By the time it finished I was able to push out the placenta and get out of the tub. Justin was so much calmer and relaxed this time around, he was a great support and I couldn’t be more thankful for him! I’m also very thankful that Janelle was able to be there to pray over us and be an extra support person as needed. She is the BEST Aunt Janelle my kids could have, I’m so glad she and Nathan are our children’s godparents!

Having him at a birth center was amazing, it was very hands off, calm, relaxing and I was able to just bond and love on my sweet boy as long as I wanted. They came in to check on us and do his newborn check up a few hours later. After all was said and done, he was born at 2:06am and we were able to come home at 6:45am. If you ever have the opportunity to give birth at a center, I highly recommend it. It’s the best experience you could imagine and the next best option to a home birth in my opinion.

Baby Bear weighed in at 7lbs 12oz, 19.5″ long on February 21st, 2017 at 2:06am. We are so in love with this handsome boy and he has been such an easy, laid back baby so far. I can’t wait to post more about him in the future! And I’m even more excited to feel like our family is finally complete.

Baby Bird is HERE!

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She’s here! She’s here! She’s here! Sweet Baby Bird decided that December 8th was to be her birthday, so she finally arrived at 40 weeks and 2 days gestation!

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All night prior I had menstrual like cramping, it was uncomfortable… but more annoying than anything else. I didn’t think anything of it because it didn’t feel anything like the beginnings of labor I had with Bubby. I tossed and turned, drank water, used the restroom… nothing helped so I just dealt with the cramping and tried to sleep. I had my 40 week appointment scheduled for 10:30am and thankfully, Janelle and I had planned ahead for her to tag along with her youngest two and my two children in case I DID go into labor. Seriously… we couldn’t have planned that any better.

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The plan was for my midwife to strip my membranes if I was dilated enough so that we could hopefully kick start labor, otherwise if I didn’t go on my own I would have to be induced the following Friday (tomorrow)… and I DID NOT want that. I had to be induced with Boogie and I ended up with an epidural instead of the natural birth that I wanted. So, anyways, we made it to my appointment (and all morning I had continued having the menstrual cramping, it was slightly more painful though nothing I couldn’t handle… it truly wasn’t more painful than my real menstrual cramping is) and Janelle hung out with the kids in the car while I went in.

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My BP was high, which is abnormal for me (and had only been high once before a few weeks prior), and they started me in the room with a NST since my midwife was running behind. I was starting to wonder now if my cramping was finally turning into something because the NST machine was picking them up as contractions, so I texted Janelle to let her know what I thought. A little later my midwife came in and she had the “look”. You know the “look”? The one that says that she doesn’t want to give you bad news, but it is bad news?

 

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Basically what it came down to was that due to my elevated blood pressure at this particular appointment, and the appointment a few weeks prior, I was at high risk for preeclampsia and was officially diagnosed with gestational hypertension. Because of that she wanted to go ahead and send me to the hospital to be induced, HOWEVER, because I was already contracting she was willing to go ahead with our original plan first, to strip my membranes. Once that was done she said we could head back towards Janelle’s house to walk, eat, and then head to the hospital in the hopes I wouldn’t need any other methods to be induced.

At that point I wanted Janelle to hear all of this so that she could help me explain the details to Justin, not only did I think he would need her reassurance but I was kind of shocked that all of this was happening. Sweet Janelle… she was such a trooper, lol. She herded her two 4-year-olds, my 3 year-old and 2-year old into the office to be with me, thankfully all of our kids are pretty well behaved and were GREAT!

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When my midwife went to strip my membranes my water broke… if you could have seen her face! I had been feeling some mild pressure that morning, so I’m thinking that maybe my bags were bulging and therefore broke when she began stripping my membranes! So of course, our plans changed again! If you remember Bubby’s birth story (you can read it here, and Boogie’s here) than you know that he came very quickly, so quickly in fact that we had about 4 back up plans in case we couldn’t make it to our choice hospital or if J couldn’t make it to be with me. (Not gonna lie, I had major anxiety over that!) Now that my water was broken we knew we didn’t have a LOT of time. I had already called J and by the time we were out of the appointment he was waiting in the waiting area for us. We decided that our best plan of action was for Janelle to take all of our kids back home with her, she’d have my mother in law meet her to get my kids and she’d make plans for her brood so that she could head back to the hospital to be with us. (She was our support person or “doula” if you will for Boogie and Bubby’s births…. as well as being their godmother). J and I needed to grab a bite to eat and then planned to head straight to the hospital, even if it meant just walking around the building until I was ready to go to labor and delivery.

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By the time we made it from the midwife’s office to Chick Fil A my contractions had already increased in intensity and timing, and then by the time we made it from there to the hospital I knew we needed to head on up. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to go up too early, but then I was also worried that if we didn’t, we might have a baby in the parking deck… because really. Bubby came FAST.

We made it up to labor and delivery, I was still able to walk and talk through my contractions so I don’t think my nurse really thought I was serious about this going quickly like my last baby. She definitely wasn’t in a hurry to get things going. When my midwife had checked my cervix, prior to my waters breaking, I had been 5cm dilated. When the nurse checked me in labor and delivery I was only 6cm. I was shocked… I thought there was NO WAY I had only dilated 1 cm! This is when I started to become fearful, I was NOT trying to “birth without fear” anymore.

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I told J that I may very well want an epidural this time, I was giving up on myself, I was fearful, my best friend hadn’t made it to the room yet… I was freaking out y’all! My nurse decided to go ahead and start my IV and take my blood for the tests they needed before giving an epidural, but to do so I had to lay down. Whomever thought it was a good idea to make a laboring woman lay on her back during contractions is an idiot. Seriously. Stupid stupid stupid. It makes your contractions even worse, you can’t rock or sway or do anything to get through them. It is pure torture. And while I really did love our nurse by the end of the afternoon, she didn’t do such a great job at trying to get my hep lock in… I ended up with a goose egg and a giant bruise from the two places on my right hand she tried to do, and then finally another nurse was able to get it in on my left hand. Once that was finally done I was able to get up again and BAM… pressure.

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I asked the nurse to check me again, I may have begged her to do it quickly because my contractions only had a small bit of peace in between, and I was then at 7cm. In my mind I’m thinking… this is happening too slowly! But in reality, I was dilating VERY quickly, but I was in so much pain that I didn’t realize how quickly things were going. That was a major difference between Bubby and Bird’s birth. With Bubby there were NO breaks between contractions, it was incredibly intense, but not as painful as expected. This time there WAS a small bit of time between contractions, but I think because of those breaks it felt more painful than intense.

Just a few minutes after that, the pressure I was feeling increased and the anesthesiologist walks in with the paperwork for the epidural… I looked at him and said, “Um yea… we don’t need you anymore!” I think he was a little shocked, because not only was I saying “buh-bye” to him but I was pretty much naked at this point. Goodbye modesty! J hurried him out the door and I was BEGGING to be allowed in the shower. I WANTED that heat on my back, but J and the nurses were right in thinking it wasn’t a good idea. Not only were we very close to having a baby, but I was already sweltering from the heat. (I wonder if my BP contributed to that).

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The only thing that helped me through my contractions was rocking my hips and swaying, occasionally I’d wrap my arms around J’s neck for support but generally it felt better to hold the side of the bed and bend my knees slightly while rocking. My body started feeling pushy and just like with Bubby, this is when I started to feel weak, shaky and like I might pass out from exhaustion. Birthing is a LOT of work. The OB and residents that were in the room (once again, there wasn’t a midwife available at the hospital) finally talked me into getting back on the bed with me on my knees hugging the back of the bed (exactly as I did with Bubby) and my body was pushing. I can’t really remember much at that point in regards to the people around me. I remember asking J to pray for me, and to pray out loud because Janelle still hadn’t made it to the room. I remember one OB or resident or nurse… I don’t even know… telling me to remind myself that I was ok (and I may have snapped at her that I KNEW I was ok). I also kept asking where Janelle was… and right before she came I said, “She’s going to miss it!” My body was pushing and I felt the “ring of fire”, I still don’t really think that’s an accurate name for it though. And I actually thought someone was pushing back on my cervix around her head, but apparently they weren’t… she was just coming out REALLY fast! I literally pushed for only 10 minutes and she was OUT.

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I couldn’t believe she was already here! 10 minutes of pushing?! They asked if J wanted to cut the cord and I told him to go ahead, I wasn’t thinking obviously because we wanted to wait until the cord has finished pulsating… but I was kind of out of it and in a complete euphoric state. She was beautiful, she had a perfectly round head, big blue eyes, and the most precious cry… she’s perfect. I got to immediately hold her skin to skin and finally rest. I had done it… again. Despite the fear I had felt in the beginning, I did it. We arrived on the labor and delivery floor at 12:40ish and she arrived at 2:22pm. 7 pounds and 5 ounces of cuteness, 20.25 inches long!

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Janelle walked in at right around 2:30pm, she JUST missed it! I hate that she wasn’t there, but I’m SO incredibly thankful that she was able to help care for my older two so that I was able to make it to the hospital in time. If we had to have taken the children to my mother in laws, we never would have made it and she would have been born in the car… yikes!

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We are all madly in love, Boogie is the ultimate big sister… she calls herself the “little momma” and is constantly asking to hold and touch her baby sister. Bubby isn’t 100% sure about her, he definitely loves her and likes to touch her and sing to her… but he is having a harder time with the transition. He has been my baby all his life and he isn’t understanding that Baby Bird needs some of mommy’s undivided attention at times. He’ll get there though, and I know he’s going to be an outstanding big brother.

Baby Bird is a champion nursling, she HATES being swaddled and HATES lying in anything other than someone’s arms… and she LOVES being nudey! She is most definitely related to my Boogie and Bubby!

Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting some reviews and giveaways here and there for the next few weeks but personal posts will be slim pickings while I enjoy adjusting to life with 3 beautiful babies! God Bless!

 

30 Things – How I Felt When I Became a Parent

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Tonight I’m going to tackle question #19 – How did you feel the moment you became a parent?

(Again, you can find the original 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me post HERE!)

And really… why do I try these challenges? I totally missed yesterday, I’m the worst at keeping up with these! Oh well… I WILL finish, it just won’t be in 30 days lol!

Oh man… you just don’t know what it’s going to feel like until you have your first child in your arms, it’s incredible. And for me, I felt differently at the birth of Boogie and Bubby… and I imagine it will be different still when Baby Bird arrives as well! When Boogie emerged into the world I felt pure, uninhibited joy. She was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever laid eyes on and I couldn’t believe that God had blessed me to be her mother. With Bubby, the emotions were even more intense, and I can guarantee you it was from having an all natural birth. I didn’t adore him or love him more than I did Boogie, but wow… I felt like super woman! The first thing I said to my husband and Janelle was “I DID IT!” And I was then the mother of my sweet Boogie and my handsome Bubby. He was precious, so sweet and cuddly… it was phenomenal. I love giving birth 🙂

1 Year Stats – Bubby

I’m still in disbelief that this sweet baby of mine is ONE!

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Bubby is now a little over 20 pounds and 29″ tall (he’s grown 1.5 inches in ONE month… sheesh!), he is into EVERYTHING. We finally got all of our cabinet doors in the kitchen latched, we have a gate around the wood stove and Christmas tree…. the bathroom doors stay closed all day, as does the door to mine and J’s bedroom. All of that, and he still manages to get into mischief.

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If you weren’t around when Bubby was born, you can read his birth story HERE or on Birth Without Fear.

Blog Every Day September Challenge, Day 4

 

Day 4 (Wednesday) : What has been your favorite blog post you have ever written? (Leave a link so we can go check it out.)

Both birth stories of my children are on top of my list, however I think Bubby’s tops the charts. Not because it meant more or for any other reason than because I got the birth I wanted. Boogie’s birth was nothing like I had planned, my water broke and nothing happened… so I was then induced and the pain was horrible. I ended up with an epidural and my recovery was slow going because of that. The outcome was pretty fantastic though, my sweet girl was worth all of that and more. Bubby’s birth was everything I wanted, my labor started on it’s own a day after my estimated due date (you read that right, EDD is ESTIMATED not definite), we went to the hospital several hours after my first contractions started, the admitted me an hour later and then two hours from the time we arrived at the hospital he was here! Naturally, no medical interventions… just my body doing what it was meant to do! I felt incredibly empowered that day, I hope that someday more births for more women will be like that, pregnancy and birth is not a medical condition… it’s natural!

Boogie’s Birth Story 

Bubby’s Birth Story