Thursday, September 15, 2011

baby Caroline is born!

and here is her birth story

On Sunday night we had my parents, Joel, Janel, and David (brothers/sister-in-law) over. My mom and I had gone on a mile walk about 9:30p and I think Pete and I got to bed about 10:30. I woke up between 2-2:30am with a contraction and timed them at about 10 minutes apart. I waited a little to tell Pete to see if they were going to keep going. I told Pete and then called my mom about 3:30am because she was going to stay with Averi. After she got there Pete and I went on a walk (about 5am) around the neighborhood and called my midwife to give her a head’s up just in case things started speeding up. We went home and Pete suggested we go back to bed which we did. I rested for a couple hours in between contractions and I think I actually got some sleep - - and at least some good rest (good suggestion by Pete!). I got up around 7 and puttered about with my mom and Averi while Pete was able to continue catching up on sleep from switching over from his work schedule. I would hang out with mom and Averi and then go lay down again and rest or read while timing contractions which were still about 9-10 minutes apart. Thankfully it was a relatively nice day outside so my mom, Averi and myself (and Remington!) went outside and walked around on the dirt trails for a ways. We got back at about 10am and then I decided I was hungry so I ate. After that Pete and I then headed out to take another walk around the neighborhood and got a call from the midwife (Belinda) checking up on us. Contractions were about 7-8 minutes apart. (I was wanting to head to the hospital when they were 3-5 minutes apart.) After coming back Pete and I played some Mario on the computer then I went and took a shower and got changed in to a dress (I do not find elastic waistbands very comfortable during contractions!!). Contractions were usually around 7 minutes apart still but varied with a some being closer together. I think they were hurting more too. So I decided to lay down to see if they would slow down. They didn’t and were hurting enough and varying enough that we decided to leave. We went in to say goodbye to Averi and my mom (who were playing) and my mom took a picture of all of us. This made me a little discouraged that I was feeling pleasant enough to smile for a picture (as I remember from our Bradley class that if you can smile/pose for a picture you shouldn’t be going to the hospital yet) but I think after about 10hrs. of labor and whatever other reason it just felt right to go then. So leave we did, about 12:45pm. Pete had put some towels for me to sit on just in case my water broke on the way. We headed over to the hospital listening to the music I wanted to for our labor car ride (Fernando Ortego – Shadow of your Wings). I called the answering service for midwife and let her know we were on our way. I was still in way too good of a mood and Pete and I were having a mostly pleasent drive. The contractions did hurt pretty bad but they were pretty spread out still. I was still timing them and some were about 5 minutes apart, some longer. We prayed together (as I was concerned about this!!) that I woul be progressed enough to actually get admitted. We got there and got the paperwork done in the ER and were waiting for the transport when.... my water broke! Yeah! So after the transport guy came, we told him and he went to go find some towels for me to sit on in the wheelchair. After sitting down in the chair I asked if I could just walk – I thought it would feel better than sitting down!-- but he said no but he hurried us along to the OB floor. When we “pulled up” Belinda was waiting for us and said something like “off to the labor tub room” (there is only one labor tub room at the hospital and I was very much hoping to get it so that was a wonderful thing to hear!!!)! So off we went to the room (no triage necessary). Got checked by Belinda and was 6-7cm dilated. They monitored the baby in the hospital bed for as long as they needed to (I think 20 minutes?) and filled up the inflatable tub with warm water. After not needing to be on the monitor anymore I went straight in the tub and spent the next 2.5ish hours in there. It was great. Belinda must not have had any other patients in labor at the time as she was in there almost throughout my whole labor. Sitting on a chair, chatting with us in between contractions, coming over and encouraging me, helping me relax, giving suggestions to Pete on what to do to make me feel better, reading a magazine.... it was wonderful. The L/D nurse came in every 30min.-ish to monitor baby with a doppler which she could use underwater. Pete would pour water over my neck/shoulders during the contractions which was very relaxing. At some point Belinda talked about what position I wanted to be in while pushing and I told her something like I thought squatting made a lot of sense yaddie yaddie. She suggested we try “all fours” as I had been hunkering alot in a similar position through contractions in the tub. It was pretty crazy still seeing “Teenie” moving around in my belly so close to delivery, something I didn’t remember with Averi. I started getting more and more “verbal” through contractions though I had found being “verbal” helped even when they were far apart (at home, in the car, probably just more quietly verbal...). A little before 4pm I started feeling more pressure and felt that pushing made it feel better. At that sign I was helped out of the tub and covered with blankets (I had a bra top/panties on in the tub). Up to the reclined bed I got on my knees and held my upper body up with my arms. Pushing began! Belinda later said I was really pushing for 8 minutes (that was how long she said I was “complete”), I believe, but I was up there “pushing” for more like 15 minutes. Was I “yelling” and “screaming” at the end? OK, maybe. I think I felt a little more “freedom” to “yell/scream” because I had this nice pillow to yell/scream in to. That was a nice muffler. I was having back pain so Pete rubbed/pushed my back during contractions. So while this was all happening I could see a bunch of fluid coming out onto the bed... pushing pushing... it was also different than with Averi because I don’t think anyone ever told me when to push this time – I was pretty much just doing what I felt like. Belinda wasn’t saying much and I asked her at one point, can you see the head? She said something like, “she has a lot of hair!” (which was kind of interesting in hindsight because she would normally call baby “he” unless otherwise proven wrong, as she would say). Then I kept pushing and was like “he feels half way out can’t you just grab him”? Later to find out Caroline was born in a compound presentation with her hand by her head so Belinda was pretty much letting her fall out. She later said that if she would have touched the baby I would have torn really badly. So I guess she just guided the baby out/caught the baby and put her right on the bed where both Peter and I could see her and he made the announcement that she was a girl! I got to hold her right away before the placenta came out though Belinda had to tell me a couple times not to bring her up on me too far because it was a “short chord”. Caroline did have quite a bit of vernix on her still which I wouldn’t have expected being 6 days “overdue” and 8lbs 14.5oz (which they round to 15oz)! Placenta came out, chord clamped and Peter cut it. Belinda checked me to see if I needed any stiches and I didn’t need any – what a blessing! Caroline started breastfeeding maybe 10-15 minutes after she was born and didn’t seem to have any trouble whatsoever in doing it. After a bit of time the nursery nurse and got her weight and length. I then took a shower while Pete hung out with Caroline and the nurse doing her thing. I know a lot of people were praying for me and am so thankful for an uneventful, no tearing/episiotomy, less painful delivery!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My mom gives many books to Averi and "Teenie". This is a new book we got to open this week that Averi likes to read repeatedly. Grandma has it at her house too so Averi was already familiar with it. I am thankful for my mom who loves books and thrift store/yard sale deals. She has greatly increased our library at home!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

"almost there"

It somehow seems that at 36 weeks pregnant Teenie should be here any day now. Possibly true, but possibly more like 30+ days. It also kind of seems to me that part of me should be dreading going into labor. Yes, it may have been the most painful experience of my life but what other pain have I ever had that has brought so much joy? I hope I would gladly endure much, much more discomfort then 10-12 hours of labor for the happy little feet that run around our house.

Another labor brings another round of unknowns. When will it happen? Will it be as long? Will it be my back again? Will I get to use the labor tub and will I even like it? How big is baby going to be? AND is our baby a boy or a girl????????

Soon I hope to know these things and experience the "happiest pain" I’ve ever had (round 2!). For now I best go about normal (whale) life and maybe while I am at it do some squats, kegels, try to go on walks, finish packing hospital bags, put a sheet on the bassinet, etc.


On a side note, I saw this on pinterest today and thought it was sweet. It may have made me tear up a little so good thing I didn't see it right after having Teenie or I probably would have been bawling.

Friday, June 3, 2011

more kitchen gadgets, gizmos and projects

there is a new food staple present at our house
for the pregnant one especially.

thanks to a generous loan of her truly wonderful (truly) Bosch from my mother-in-law I have started making better quality whole grain bread products including bread, pizza dough and tortillas. I have attended some classes here and learned quite a bit and been given some great recipes too. My mom and I went in on this so now we are able to make great homemade whole wheat tortillas. Not only does my whole-wheat-loving-self eat them diligently and feed them to Averi, who seems to like them very much, but even sometimes-does-everything-have-to-be-whole-wheat-?- Peter think that the machine was a good investment. That's quite the compliment to this cook.

I have made homemade ww tortillas before with a rolling pin/cast iron skillet but these just turn out much more supple, soft, and thin - - all without as much work!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

tomato soup

I'm not really a fan of high fructose corn syrup in my tomato soup but I certainly like the taste of Campbell's. I made this soup and hoped it would taste like Campbell's because, after all, isn't that what tomato soup is supposed to taste like? This soup did not taste exactly like it came out of the can but tasted quite possibly even better.

I modified the recipe slightly. I am not into super thick and creamy soups so I used skim milk and doubled up on the tomatoes (unintentionally the 1st time it but it was so good I did it the same way the 2nd time). I used ww flour the 2nd time (I didn't want to grind flour for just 2Tbsp. the soup called for the 1st time I made it) and didn't notice any taste difference. 1st time I used "normal" canned tomatoes, 2nd time used organic Muir Glen tomatoes - didn't notice a difference on that either.

For those who haven't seen this commercial for high fructose corn syrup it might be worth a watch... maybe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a milestone

Now that Averi is in bed... this was her first day since birth that she didn't nurse.
I didn't feel really emotional at all about not nursing her this morning and I don't think she cared a bit but now that I write about it I feel sentimental all of a sudden. Time does go quickly and even though at times it would have been nice if Peter had had the "equipment" to go feed Averi (who after 3-4mo.(?) of age wouldn't take a bottle) I am now especially thankful for the time that God made me her "special provider".

Monday, March 21, 2011

bubble dress

I saw this tutorial a while ago and finally made one for Averi.

It was rather easy to make and probably took me 1-1.5 hours to complete. I'd like to make at least one more (that is for her size now =) and make it a little more carefully. For the effort I put into it, and the fact that I finished it at about 10:30pm, I was very happy with the way it turned out!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

curried coconut chicken

As I was browsing through recipes I saw this.

Not only did I have some frozen stir fry vegetables (Kroger brand, nonetheless) but also (light) coconut milk and last week I restocked my supply of chicken breasts.

We had this for dinner this evening and I REALLY liked it. I only made 2 chicken breasts and the 3 of us ate half of them (they were a pretty good size) and almost all of the veggies over brown rice. Averi seemed to really like this meal a lot!

I thought that putting in the frozen veggies at the beginning was going to make them WAY too cooked so I added them in with about 2-2.5 hours to go (I cooked it on low for most of it. The chicken was partially frozen when I started and it cooked for 7-8 hours on low primarily). I would not put the veggies in there ANY earlier than that and would probably do it a little bit later next time as they were plenty soft. I would also think about doubling the veggies and maybe also doubling the coconut milk/curry as I like having plenty of fluid for the rice. There was really plenty of "fluid" for our meal but the leftovers, which is mostly chicken, don't have THAT much.

Pete and I added quite a bit of salt to ours while we were eating and I added some red pepper flakes to mine which I thought was SUPER good. I don't know how much salt I would add to it in the crockpot (though I believe I did add some!) just because it was nice to just salt to our own taste.

I plan on making this again - it was super easy and I thought really really tasty!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

mommy of 2

I have been thinking recently about how babies are babies in the womb. Of course, a person with pro-life views would say that babies are people from conception, that's just how it is. It seems though that other words we say don't always add up to that in the end. I hear people commonly say a phrase like, "I'm going to be a grandma", when, if we truly believe a person is a person no matter how small (thank you Horton) wouldn't it be more appropriate to say, "I am a grandma, my grandchild just isn't out yet!!". I don't believe that when we say, "I'm going to be..." that we don't believe babies in utero aren't people... it's just the normal way of talking. I have, more than likely, been "guilty" of the same kind of phrases during Averi's pregnancy and probably already with Teenie's but now I realize I want to intentionally speak of Teenie as a person! Although it is hard to wrap my head around it Teenie, at almost 13weeks, is my baby as much as Averi is even though I can't see or even feel "him" yet.

Psalm 139...
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.a
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

May God bless and protect our children inside and outside the womb and draw them to Himself!
(baby at 15 weeks along)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

you don't have to pay a lot for good news

Before we knew about Averi I went and bought an expensive pregnancy test similar to this:

WITH a coupon I think I spent $10-$15 on it. Ouch!
I saw on some blog or coupon site that the Dollar Tree carries pregnancy tests that work just as well as "expensive" ones. SO I bought some of those - - I could buy multiple tests and not drain the budget!! - - and took the (unopened) one from CVS back.

Dollar Tree Test:

Lo and behold they work!

Not only did one of these great little Dollar Tree tests tell us about Averi (known as "Mini" in the womb) but, a little before Christmas, one of them also told us about baby Jacks #2 ("Teenie")!!

"Teenie" is due August 30th and we are so excited!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Averi

Happy 1st Birthday Averi!

Averi's LONG birth story! (read at your own risk!)

On a pre-labor note, our last midwife appointment which was on Thursday (1/7) we had an ultrasound and they thought baby was 9lbs. 10oz. with a 42 week old head size (90%tile). So, I had heard ultrasounds weren't always very accurate but if baby hadn't been delivered by the next Monday my midwife wanted me to go to hospital and get outpatient labor inducing gel stuff (cervidil, I believe). I had already purchased castor oil (which is now in our linen closet upstairs) for drinking on Saturday evening for a good last measure, if nothing happened before then. I did drink black cohosh, my mom brought me panda black licorice (which I do like, yum), drank cumin tea, and tried some accupressure too.

Well...... Wed./Thurs. (1/6 & 1/7) night my mom came over and stayed with me to keep me company while Pete was at work. Friday (1/8) night she didn't end up coming over just because we hadn't really communicated earlier than like 7:30pm. Pete went to work and I talked to her and was like "I feel fine, you don't need to come over tonight..." so we planned on her coming over Saturday (1/9) night. Anyhow, I took Remington on a walk about 8pm (about 2 miles). I was accompanied by some Mormon Missionaries on bikes for part of it and talked with them. Remington and I then went to Target (he stayed in the car =) to get a couple things. On the way home from Target I was thinking I wanted to get in the shower when I got home (which had been a relaxing place for me during pregnancy). So I did just that and I just felt funny. Then I got out and laid down for a little. I think my mom called and asked me how I was feeling and I told her I was feeling kind of weird or some such. I puttered around, putting away the groceries, etc. I text Pete between and told him I was feeling a little "contracty" and I might call him later - I think at that point I was timing my contractions and they were b/w 5-10 min. apart. I sat down to read and write and my mom called to check up on me and ask if Pete was coming home - I told her I didn't want to "call wolf" and she was like, "you are 6 days past your due date and you had your membranes stripped yesterday, you are probably in labor." This comment helped me realize oh yes, probably true. Good point mom. So I kept timing contractions. Remington kept me company while I rested in bed (we called him my “doula”). After talking to Pete he wrapped up some things at work and came home about 2:30am (a great plus was, because I was still kind of staying on Pete’s work schedule, I had been only been up since about 4pm that day and Pete got up about 7pm, so the timing was great (thank you Lord!)!) By that time it was very nice he was home for moral support and there to rub my back when contractions came. He finished up packing up some stuff and timed the contractions. By now contractions, I believe, were b/w 3-5 minutes apart. We had decided to bring "munchkins" from for the nurses to give them with our birth plan. So we left to go to the hospital and stopped by Dunkin Donuts on the way. Being in the car during labor was very, very uncomfortable. We got to the hospital about 5am. My mom met us there to pick up Remington. She took a distant picture of us checking in at the ER. I was not in the mood for pictures which was a good sign that this labor was real (though now I like to see the picture!). I got checked and was 5-6cm. I was admitted. Started off in bed in the L+D room with the fetal monitor - I think pretty much ALL my labor pains were in my back so Pete was rubbing and pushing on it a lot (push harder please!). The nurse or midwife suggested I go in the shower - that was a most wonderful suggestion! I'd say I spent my most "comfortable" time in the shower standing up during contractions (leaning over/swaying like stretching my calves look) with Pete spraying the nozzle on my back from outside of the shower. I could even sit down on the bench in there and rest in between contractions. They had me try a birthing ball (that looks like a peanut - 2 balls together with a place to sit in the middle) - that was REALLY uncomfortable for me. So, let's see... I probably went back in bed for another fetal monitoring session then back in the shower - it was getting painful by then (not that it wasn't painful before but really painful now! About now was more when I was getting “verbal” during the pain). At one point I felt like pushing while in the shower. We pushed the call button in the bathroom. My midwife came in and checked me and said I was 8cm. She said something like it will be like you HAVE to push rather than just feeling like you want to push. I think very shortly after that though I went back in bed and things started going. I guess my midwife thought Averi was posterior till the end when she flipped around and, all to say, my back was HURTING. I was thinking before this time (pre-labor thoughts, ha!) how giving birth in a squatting position seemed like a great idea – No way was I going to do that then. so... I guess next was pushing time which lasted maybe 30-45 minutes. I was mostly on my back (hospital bed propped up "back" I recall, though my memory of some particulars are foggy) but they had me on my side a little too. The nurse was super helpful at this point in directing me (I think she said she had given birth to 3 of her own kids drug-free – what a blessing to have such a supportive nurse!) - take a deep breath.... next urge to push try to push for 10 seconds etc. etc. I was not a silent laborer. there was probably a hospital tour going past our room while I am yelling and grunting... I heard/saw the midwife call to make sure the Dr. was close by just in case he was needed… the Midwife asked if I wanted a mirror and by that point I had no desire for such, it just hurt! My water broke while pushing - midwife said she broke it with her finger nail. That was a crazy feeling too - so much water GUSHING out. It seemed like after a point her head must have got past my back bone or whatever was so uncomfortable. Then came the new hurt of coming out. I felt her head (I guess that's what that was!) with my hand 1 or 2 times while she was crowning. push push push... finally she came out at 10:43am! Baby was passed to me - she was bloodied up a bit but with no vernix to speak of (they said she had a little on her leg). As she was getting passed to me I saw that she was a girl and said so!! She got wiped down on me. It was crazy to see her the first time when she was all the way out - how big she looked and not even because she was 9lbs.! My midwife did give me an episiotomy (1st degree) and I tore a little too. I don't know what I would have done without Peter there pushing on my back and just being there for me... he helped alot!

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16:21

I'll be honest with you, It took me more than just the seconds after Averi was born to forget the pain though now I see her labor/birth as one of the most wonderful memories of my life.

What a joy our Averi girl is.