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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Birth of Nicolas

This birth was very, very different from my others. I am normally an early dilator, but this time I really wasn't. At my 39 week check up on Thursday I was only 1-2 centimeters at the most and 60% effaced. I know that early dilation doesn't mean anything, but I admit I was a little worried I would end up going late. Thankfully, that was not the case!
 We had been praying that I would go into labor that weekend for a number of reasons. The main reasons were so that my Mom could spend most of her time helping me out with the baby, and that my Mother-in-law would be present for the birth since she was out of town until then. 
 On Saturday (8/16), my Mom and I had a perfect day out. We shopped, ate lunch and got pedicures. When we came home, I rested a little and later on Nate and I went for a walk. No signs of labor at all, but the day was laid back and restful. We also found a little bassinet at a garage sale for $20, and set it up, as well as washing the car seat and getting it ready to go. When I went to bed Saturday night, it was the first night I felt totally ready for a new baby to enter our little world. Apparently, my body got the memo--and God answered a lot of prayers!
 At 4am on Sunday (8/17), I woke up to go the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding. I knew that things were starting and even though I tried to rest after that, I was too excited, so I straightened the house instead. I made the mistake of waking up my husband to tell him what was going on, and then he couldn't sleep either. 
 I called my midwife around 7am just to let her know what was going on and to make sure that it was normal to be bleeding like I was. They said that it sounded like things were starting up and I was pretty excited!
 At this point I was feeling slightly crampy but definitely not in labor yet. Nate took the kids to church and my Mom stayed home with me. I took a long walk and bounced on my ball. I was already pretty exhausted from getting less than 4 hours of sleep, so I rested on the couch a little bit too. I would have sporadic contractions here and there but nothing too painful.

 My midwife called around 11 and asked me to come in just to get checked since I have a history of very fast labors. At this point I was contracting about once every 10 minutes and by the way I was feeling was thinking I was about 3 centimeters. Before she hung up, she said, "it's going to be today!" which made me relieved, excited and nervous all at the same time.

 We arrived at the birth center and I was 3cm, 70% effaced, just as I thought I would be. The baby was a little high for her to break my water to get things going. 
 At this point she didn't want me to go home but she left it up to me if I wanted to go somewhere to walk or stay there. I knew I didn't want to lay around waiting for things to pick up on their own so we went to a shopping center to walk. We walked for about an hour and I was consistently contracting for 30 seconds every 2 minutes. Once again, things tapered off and we decided to go back to rest because I was exhausted and didn't feel like walking anymore. I laid on the bed and rested for about 30 minutes. In this time I had a few stronger contractions but nothing much different than I had been having. The break was nice, because I knew once "real" labor started it would be non-stop.

One last belly selfie while out walking(39 weeks, 3 days)

I decided to get in the shower a little before 5pm and this is when my active labor started. The contractions were getting stronger and I loved feeling the warm water on my belly. I held the bar in the shower and swayed my hips during contractions. They were back to 2 minutes apart, still only 30 seconds, but a lot stronger. At 5pm my water broke in the shower. I frantically texted my birth photographer to come now, because once my water breaks things happen very quickly. We also texted My MIL to come back, because things were finally happening. At this point I asked to get in the tub because I knew I wanted to labor in there.

She checked me in the tub and I was 5cm and 95% effaced. Labor was pretty intense at this point, and even though I was only 5, I knew it wouldn't be long. The water was extremely hot and I immediately started sweating, so Nate ran cool water over me which felt amazing. Thanks to bars in the tub, I was able to grip those during contractions instead of breaking Nate's hand like I normally do during labor. ;)
I mostly labored sitting in the tub, but I did try hands and knees for a little bit which I didn't really like.
At this point I was hating life. This labor was nothing like my other labors and I felt like I couldn't get in the groove of anything. My contractions never got longer than about 30 seconds and never really climaxed--they started out with full intensity and then just stopped. I still had 2 minutes in-between, which was so nice. At some point I asked that we call my sisters who were going to FaceTime for the birth. I started feeling pressure around 5:50PM and just tried to focus on the fact that it wouldn't be long now! My midwife saw me start to bear down and said it was time to get out of the tub. Because my last baby was almost 9 pounds, she didn't want me birthing in the tub because sometimes Moms of bigger babies can sit on them--yikes!  I was totally fine with that because I hadn't really decided if I wanted to birth in the water anyway.
I started pushing at 6PM with my weird, super short contractions. It didn't feel totally natural to me at this point and I was miserable. I know this sounds weird, but I usually love pushing because it's such a relief. This time it just didn't feel right. I kept asking, "is he coming down? I don't feel like these are effective at all!" I was desperate to get this baby out of me!
After about 20 minutes, my midwife checked me and said I had a little bit of cervix still left which was probably why my pushing felt ineffective to me. She said for the next push she would push it out of the way, and even though it hurt, she looked at me and said firmly, "You can do it", and I did.

Well, that did the trick! At 6:23PM in one push, Nicolas Jay came into this world and there is nothing that will ever compare to that feeling of having a screaming baby being laid on you after going through what feels like the valley of the shadow of death. It's horrible, it's beautiful, it's euphoric. 

I haven't really cried at my last 2 births, but I bawled like a baby this time. My labor was just so intense and hard and the relief I felt was overwhelming.


At approximately 2 minutes old, Nicolas made known that he was a boy and peed all over everything!

Nate has never been interested in cutting the cord :), so my Mom got to do it which was so special!

I was dying to know how much he weighed and was surprised when he was under 8 pounds-- 7lb 10oz! After having an almost 9 pound baby last time, I was very careful with what I ate and it paid off! I was very determined to not keep producing bigger and bigger babies each time!


There is nothing like the moments alone after everyone has gone home and the hustle and bustle of weighing and cleaning and checking temperatures has died down, when Nate and I just stare at our newest gift from God and feel overwhelmingly blessed. Another beautiful, perfect baby has been given to us and we do not take if for granted for one second!


Even though I would say this was my hardest labor, it was still only an hour and a half, just like my last 2 and I would take fast and furious any day over something long and drawn out.

Let me just say that I had the best support team ever. First of all, my husband is amazing and I could never do it without him. My Mom has birthed 9 babies and having her there means the world to me. My amazing Mom-in-law was a quiet presence and it was so special to have her a part of this moment!

I'm hoping to post pictures of the kids meeting their new baby brother sometime later this week. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcome Nicolas!


Introducing:

 Nicolas Jay

 7lb, 10oz, 21 in

 August 17th, 2014


After many prayers that I would go into labor the weekend after my Mom got here and trying every old wives tale in the book, I went into labor on Sunday morning. It's amazing the little things God does in our lives to show us that he still answers prayer and cares about our every desire. To me, having a baby at the time that we prayed was nothing short of a miracle!

We could not be more in love. Nicolas has been a content, easy baby so far and we are so blessed for another healthy, perfect little boy!


Birth story to come. For now I have to go snuggle. :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Daily Moments ~ Late Summer Edition

Right now the kids are sitting at the table with my Mom, eating warm cookies and milk and doing crafts. She's here until after I have the baby, which could be any day, and I'm already so much more relaxed with her here. She took the kids for dates today and they each came home with a special gifts and stories of vanilla ice cream cones and french fries. Meanwhile, I took a nap, made dinner and straightened up the house a little. Just having her here makes my life a thousand times easier and more relaxing. (Mom, want to stay forever?!)

 This summer has been super. Honestly, we have done just the right amount of little things over the weeks and enjoyed it to the fullest. I am relishing this time with my babies who are at such precious, fun ages. We have a few weeks before school starts and I think by then I will be just about ready!

Summer Moments:


Ice cream picnic and movie night--the kids loved this!


Got a Groupon for our local Children's Museum. The kids could spend all day there!


Miniature Bowling...so much fun!

Ball: $2.00. Look on his face: Priceless.

"Mommy, I'm pregnant." Bounce bounce bounce. He's been watching Mommy a lot this month ;)

A much needed few hours out alone for last minute baby shopping

Patiently waiting for their bedtime story

Date night selfie gone wrong ;)

My diligent little helper sorting socks

Yogurt Lover

Yesterday I had my 39 week appointment. Pretty hard to believe--this pregnancy has flown by way too fast! I'm very ready to have this baby, but also relishing these weeks of our family of 5 and no 2am wake up calls. ;) My blood platelets dropped to a crazy low number at 36 weeks and I became a high risk patient, which was stressful. Visited a blood specialist, got a detailed u/s of our beautiful baby boy and talked about which OBGYN and hospital to switch to. However, thanks to many people praying for me, my counts came up drastically within a few days. It was truly a miracle and I will still be allowed to deliver at the birth center, which I am so relieved and excited about! God is so good! My counts, while still low, are within a safe range and have stayed stable for the last 2 weeks!
 I'm hoping that my next post will be a baby announcement (fingers crossed!) and I would really appreciate the prayers for a fast, safe, easy delivery with no complications. Yes, I said fast and easy--because what expectant Mom wouldn't want that? :)
 I hope you all are enjoying these last wonderful weeks of summer!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Randomness

It's rainy and cool here today, which is so rare for Texas. Actually, this entire summer has been super mild so far. We've reached high 90's for several days, but haven't seen 100 yet--what's up with that?! And the night's have still been gorgeous--as in, you could actually take a walk or sit outside and feel a beautiful breeze. Normally, it's 97 degrees and humid still at 8:00pm, so this has been such a nice, refreshing break!

A little Friday randomness for you...


Is it normal to find your 2 year old like this? Sitting in your sink, pumping the soap bottle and happily saying "bubbles! bubbles!"? Do all 2 year olds behave like this?


Brooke and I started a fun little project that is teaching her how to sew by hand. I am the worst seamstress ever, but I do know basic skills and want her to learn. A while ago, one of my sisters got her a kit to make a little princess doll. We started on it and it will be fun for her to have the finished product with the satisfaction that she made it!

We have not been to the library enough this year, but we finally went the other day. I can't believe I have a child going into second grade that is loving the books I did when I was that age! She's started into the American Girl series and reads a little at night before bed, just like her Mommy used to do.

Books are too boring for him when you can climb and stand on windowsills. Have I mentioned this child climbs on  everything and jumps off of everything?! He has no fear whatsoever, something he did not get from me. I'm a scaredy cat.


I love finding my childhood classics to read to my kids! Do you guys remember any of these?

Someone started sleeping in a big boy bed this week, but it didn't go over too well at first. At not even 2.5, he's my youngest by far to be in a bed. I usually don't let them out of the crib until after 3, but it just felt like it was time. Not to mention the small fact that he was taking off his diaper in his crib and peeing out through the slats. So yeah, there was that.
After hugs and snuggles from daddy...

...All was well! His little feet did come pattering down the stairs at about 4am yelling "GUYS! IT'S DARK! GUYS! IT'S DARK!" A few snuggles later, he was tucked back in by daddy and has done great ever since.

Speaking of books, remember Corduroy? That was a favorite for sure. The corduroy bear that quotes the whole story in the cutest voice ever has resurfaced recently and they will sit and play it over and over. Quiet time abounds.
 And speaking of quiet time, them laying there together, her reading to him, amidst their toy "House" (because obviously that's not a mess) was the sweetest thing ever. 

Have you seen the newest style? Diaper and a blow up Dollar Tree lifejacket. You're welcome. When you catch on, you have Nathan to thank for setting the newest trend.

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Baby #4 ~ Week 34




How I'm feeling:
 Basically how every other pregnant woman feels at this point. Huge and uncomfortable--but still pretty good most of the time! I cannot complain. I'm still exercising and pretty active which keeps my energy levels up. I'm not quite ready to be "done", though--still have a lot to do this summer with the kids before baby comes along! One thing that has been different this pregnancy is sharp, lower abdominal pains. I've had the usual stretching pains before, but this has been different and has brought me to tears a few times. I'm told it's the pulling down of my uterus with not much muscle to hold it up because of multiple babies. And of course, I'm peeing like every hour or so at night, and even more frequently during the day! Oh, the joys. ;)

 Cravings?

 I mean, I could say I want sugar and everything bad for me--but really, that's the stuff I pretty much crave every other day when I'm not pregnant so I can't really blame it on pregnancy! I'm trying to be good, though, and limit my weight gain in these last weeks. So far so good in the weight department, and I'm hoping to gain the least I ever have this time around. We shall see!

Belly News:

 The thing is massive at this point. Sometimes it's hard to imagine I have 6 weeks of growing left, but I know that every pregnant mama feels the same way. My belly is oh-so-happy when it's floating in the pool, which is where I'm very blessed to spend usually a few hours a day. Talk about heavenly! I always tell people I would rather have my last trimester in the summer rather than the first--as crazy as it sounds considering the heat here--because not feeling morning sickness in the intense heat is a huge plus. And, the pool. Have I mentioned the pool? Yeah, I'm pretty much in love with it at this point.

 What I'm looking forward to:

 Honestly, this last month and a half of no baby! Does that sound bad? I can't wait to hold my precious little man, but right now I'm really focused on the three we have and making these last weeks super fun for them. This is my usual time of getting pretty sentimental about how our lives are about to change because I'm totally sappy like that, so we're making the most of the time we have left with no constant diaper changes, feeding, crying, sleepless nights, etc. ;) In about 3 weeks I know I will be so ready--just haven't quite reached that point yet!

 Will be back later this week with some day to day happenings around here.
 Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Childhood Friendship

Is anyone else feeling summer crunch time? This summer is going so fast and I feel like there are so many things I want to do before it ends! We don't have a big summer "bucket list" or anything like that, but we do have a few things we still want to do with the kids--visit the zoo, go bowling, go on a photo treasure hunt and complete a few projects around the house. And by complete a few projects around the house, I of course mean putting my dear husband to work. ;)

This week, however, was kind of like a stay-cation for all of us. One of my best girls who lives a quick 8 hours up the road ;), stopped by for a visit. I finished all of my photo editing before she got here so I  could totally enjoy the week without the nagging thought of needing to work.


 A lifelong, childhood friend is something that I have grown to cherish and hold close the older I get. I have so many wonderful friends that I've grown close to since I got married, and I'm thankful for each one of them. But there is something comforting and reassuring about someone you've been best friends with for 20+ years. We stay in constant contact, no matter the miles, and when we see each other again it's like we never left. The talks were long, the sleep was short, the coffee was strong and the shopping was frequent. Just the way it should be with friends. No need for schedules or entertaining--just picking up where we left off, talking, cooking, cleaning up, swimming, shopping and caring for our babies.

We visited a store that I'm not sure how on earth I missed over the past 8 years of living here. This crossover bag had to come home with me!



I don't think we stopped talking for a second when she was here. We both cried when she left, mainly because of the reason I wrote about earlier--that childhood friendship is like none other, and you don't realize how much you miss it until you experience it again. However I am so thankful for the times we do get to spend together, even though they are few and far between!