Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HBC = Homebirth Cesarean

How am I doing?  Emotionally?  Physically?  After such a horrific grand entrance into the world Thayer didn't ease up at first.  His first night home was completely sleepless for my mom and me, but we made it!  Now, he's 2 months old and a super sweet, super happy baby...most of the time :).


I decided to head to church the Wednesday after he was born because I just needed to get out.  As we were pulling into the parking lot I started regretting my decision.  I didn't think I was ready to face people's judgments about not being able to have a home birth.  I prayed that everyone would keep it short and sweet and simply congratulate me on the baby.  They did, until it was almost time to leave.  A conversation that I wasn't prepared for took place and I almost broke into tears.  Thankfully I composed myself and got through it with a little silent help from a fellow mommy.

A week after Thayer was born another girl in my Bradley class had her baby at Vanderbilt and Jessica and I went for a visit.  I left Thayer with Gary and my dad and Jessica and I had some time to catch up post birth.  It was great hearing her perspective of everything. She wasn't sure how to act or feel because this was her first experience with this. When she got home that Friday morning she was checking Facebook and somehow got connected to a group called Homebirth Cesarean.  She had never heard of it and wasn't even sure what it was.  She did a little research and realized these were all ladies who planned to have a natural homebirth, but ended up in the hospital with a c-section.  She asked me that night in the car if I would be interested in joining the Facebook group and she would only add me if I felt comfortable with it.  I said I did and it would be nice to have the support of others who have experienced the same thing.

The first few weeks as a mommy of two was super hard!  I tried to stay busy.  I took Wren to a gymnastics play date


We went to my sister's house for Easter

We had a day trip with Gary's Pop where he got to meet his namesake for the first time.  When Pop saw him he said, "I don't even know his name.  What do I call him?"  Gary said, "We named him after you."  Pop replied, "You're kidding?"

This was Pop's first time to hold him and he said, "I've never held myself before!"

We went to story time at the library with friends

We went to Makin' Music

We just went and went and went and I honestly believe that I didn't get the baby blues this time because I started moving and going immediately.  Even though it was harder to get out the door I knew it was the best thing for me to do emotionally.

Jessica added me to the HBC group on Facebook and I started reading some of the stories they posted.  I realized a lot of these women had hard feelings toward their midwives because they were the reason they had to have a c-section.  That was not my case at all!  I loved Susie and if I could work with her again in the future I would in a heartbeat!!  Some of these women are several years post partum from their HBC and still struggle with it.  I had a really hard time with that and hoped as I read what triggered them that I won't be dealing with these feelings years down the road.

The one thing that really got me upset after we got home and comfortable was when the hospital bills started rolling in.  Susie was paid for.  She was paid for several weeks before Thayer was due.  I wouldn't have had to pay anything (except Mary, the nurse) after he was born if the homebirth would have gone as planned and now I have a few thousand dollars in hospital bills.  That has honestly been one of the hardest parts of the whole thing.

But God is good, right? I healed quickly from surgery.  Practically pain free.  I honestly hurt more from pushing than I did from the surgery.

And God just kept on showing me his goodness...the elders at our church came to us and asked if we would be interested in living in the church house, which is located on the church property.  The family that was living there moved out at the end of March and they thought we might be interested in moving in.  They like the idea of having someone on the property and the fact that Gary works in the office and has keys to everything would make it easier if lights were left on or doors needed to be locked/unlocked.  They wanted to treat it like a preacher house again.

I struggled with this decision.  I have been looking at bigger houses since we became pregnant because I knew we needed more space.  My family is out of town and I like for them to have a room and a bed when they come spend the night.  With a 3 bedroom and 2 kids we didn't have the space anymore.  I had never seen the inside of the church house, but I told Gary that if it was 3 bedrooms I wasn't sure if I could do it.  We toured the house after church one Wednesday night and not only does it have 4 bedrooms, but it has a great space for a playroom and a garage!  I think this was God telling us this was a great opportunity!

Once we were fully committed to the move, we were in our new house in 2 weeks.

Now, what to do with our old house?  Do we sell it?  Do we rent it?

We decided pretty quickly to sell it and that we wanted to go through an agent at church.  We chose to go with Melissa Allen  We put our house on the market and 5 days later we signed a contract for full asking price!!  Now, we still haven't closed on it so it's not completely official, but we are very close!

WOW!!  2 months.  That's a lot for 2 months!  Have a baby, recover from surgery, move, and don't sit still (the list above doesn't even cover what all we've done in 2 months :) )!  We are having a blast and I can't imagine life any better!

Gary and I did a little celebrating over the weekend for our 6 year anniversary by having a date night Friday night and then going to Chattanooga for the night on Sunday.  It was a great time for us to be together and recharge!

My friend, Rachel came over last night and she asked me how I was doing emotionally these days.  Funny she should ask because I feel great!  Gary and I discussed over the weekend that we probably won't have a home birth next time, but we defintetly want to try an all natural VBAC at the hospital.  So, hopefully when the time comes for us to officially make this decsision we will be strong and proudly stand by that decision without any terrible memories holding us back.

Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement!

The Washers

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thayer Maxwell Washer - Our Birth Story

Before moving on and reading our birth story, you should probably start here to see how we prepared for this birth.

Thursday March 19 - 6:30 am

My alarm for work goes off (for the 3rd time) and I decide I need to get up.  I start the shower and go to the bathroom.  I notice there's a little blood when I wipe.  I take note and jump in the shower.  I had an appointment with Susie, my midwife, that afternoon, so I could tell her then at least.

6:59 am

I decide to go ahead and text Susie.  She asks about contractions. I tell her I'm having the same type that I have been having for a while now (as in like the last month or so). They didn't really feel THAT different.  She tells me that she has a dentist appointment at 10:30 so she will call me around 9 to check in and see if she needs to reschedule her appointment.  At this point, I was intending to continue to get ready for work and go in.

Gary had already left to take Wren to his mom's for the day and then he was going to go fishing with his Pop at Old Hickory Lake.  I gave him a quick call and fill him in because he's not great about taking his phone when he's fishing.  He called me back a few minutes later and decided he was going to come home, just in case.

I continue to get ready for work as the contractions get a little stronger...

7:25 am

I text my boss and co-worker and tell them that I'm going to stay home and see if my contractions slow down.

7:45 am

My contractions are a little stronger and I take my first oral pill for Group B Strep.  Susie doesn't routinely do IV's so her on-call doctor gives her patients an option for an oral pill and that's the route I decided to take.  It's just like having the IV so I would continue to take one pill every 4 hours until the baby was born.

I text my doula, Jessica, and let her know I was having contractions and this might be the day!  She said she would need an hour notice to drop her kids off and get to my house, so keep her updated.

8:15 am

I've had a good breakfast and I lay down on the couch to rest and watch How to Train Your Dragon 2 :).

9:05 am

Susie texts for an update.  I let her know I decided to stay home from work and that the contractions are stronger, but not very consistent.  They were averaging 5 minutes apart.  I let her know that I haven't noticed any more blood.  She goes ahead and reschedules her dentist appointment.

9:30 am

Gary and I take a little walk to the store at the end of our neighborhood.  Contractions are pretty consistent while we are walking and I even have to make him stop when we were on our way back home to get through one of them.

10:00 am

Jess texts for an update, but then ends up calling me and we chat for a little while so she can hear how I am handling the contractions.  If you can talk normal through contractions then you probably still have a while.  Once you have to start really concentrating and breathing through your contractions is when it starts getting serious and everyone needs to start making their way.  I'm able to talk through contractions at this point.

10:10 am

I start texting my family and letting them know this might be the day and just be ready!

10:30 am

Susie texts me to let me know that she has rescheduled another momma's appointment that was supposed to be after mine, to noon so she should be at my house by 1:45/2:00ish unless I need her sooner.  I let her know about how the contractions were stronger while we walked.  She said walk a little, rest a little and stay hydrated!

I decide to lay down and take a nap.  Gary and I both didn't really sleep well the night before because Wren kept waking up.

11:30 am

I slept for about an hour, but decide I need to get up and do some things around the house in case this is it.  I needed to get some laundry done and clean up Wren's toys.  Contractions continue and I do have to stop and breath through them a little more.

1:45 pm

I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast so I decide to heat up some mac and cheese.  Right as I get it out of the microwave and take a couple of bites I have a contraction and Susie knocks on the door. She checks me pretty soon after and I'm at a 6!  What?!  A 6 already??

1:50 pm

Gary texts Jessica and let's her know it's time.

2:00 pm

I text my family and let them know to start heading our way.

2:20 pm

Sent the first and last group text to some friends to let them know this was it.  Sorry to those of you I just left hanging.  I don't think I looked at my phone again after this point.  Jessica did do a little texting for me though.

This is when timing of things starts to get a little blurry to me... (I have Susie and Jessica's notes to help get me through this)

Jessica shows up and I'm laying on the couch while Susie and Gary are setting up the room.  They had to layer our bed with tablecloths and sheets, line our entire bedroom floor with tablecloths and get the birth pool fully blown up and started filling up.  Jessica helps them a little, but mainly stays beside me to get me through the contractions.

Susie texts her assistant, Mary, to let her know she needed to head our way as well.  Mary shows up and immediately starts helping Gary and Susie set up the room.

Once the room is set up, Susie checks me again and I'm still at about a 6.

Our bedroom set up as the delivery room:

We start trying different positions to get my water to break.

I get in the pool and squat.  This picture was taken during a contraction and I wasn't squatting :). 

I sit backwards on the toilet.

This is what I call the 'washing hands contractions' because I always had one after I got off the toilet.  Moving positions (i.e. sitting to standing, standing to walking) always brought on a contraction so that's a reason they wanted me to keep moving around.

*At some point during all of this Shelley and my mom and dad show up.  They come in and say Hi, but then go back to the living room.  Shelley does get the video camera out to get some footage.*

5:40 pm

Susie checks me and I'm at a 7 and 90% effaced.  My bag is bulging so they think it will be soon that my water breaks.  We keep trying different positions.

Lying on Right Side (Pretzel)
Whew that's a big belly!

I did venture out a little bit, but still had contractions so I had to do the 'lean over the couch.'
The hallway and a little bit of the living room was lined with tablecloths as well just in cast my water broke while I was walking around.

I laid on my left side, pretzel style.
I got the shakes and started feeling nauseous.  
I got on my hands and knees.
I squatted beside the bed.

7:40 pm

Susie checks me again and I'm at a 9 and 100% effaced.  I go to the bathroom and hope my water breaks while I'm on the toilet because that would just be awesome!!

8:15 pm

I try a different squat.
No luck!

8:50 pm

Susie decides it's time to AROM-Artificially Rupture of Membranes (A.K.A. break my water).  There was meconium and I tolerated it well.

9:15 pm

I try lying on my right side again

I sit on the edge of the bed

10:10 pm

Susie checks me and I'm back at a 8.  My bow (bag of waters) was opening my cervix, so once it wasn't there it closed back up a little.  

I laid on my left side for a while. The pretzel is when the bottom leg is straight and back.  The top leg is bent with a pillow under it.  It's a restful way to open your pelvis.

11:40 pm

Susie checks me and I'm at a 9 and 100% effaced.
I tried sitting on the side of the bed and I start to feel like I need to push with contractions.
I go back to lying on my left side.  Then to the toilet.  I had to pee a lot.

My sweet doula, Jessica, getting me through a contraction on my way back from the bathroom.

Friday March 20 - 1:50 am

Susie checks me and I'm dilated to 8/9 and still 100% effaced.

2:15 am

I get on my hands and knees and Jessica and Susie squeeze my hips to relieve some of the pressure and open up my pelvis.  Man did it feel good!!

I forgot to mention that Susie was checking little man's heartbeat the whole time and it was great throughout the entire labor.  That was never a concern!

2:45 am

I'm at a 9 1/2.  They give me 2 tabs of Arnica, which helps with inflammation and pain.

3:00 am

I'm at a 10!!!!!  

3:07 am

I start pushing lying on my back with knees raised.  

3:12 am

I lie on my right side and hold one leg up to push during contractions.

3:20 am

I move to my hands and knees and push.  Then flip back over to my back with my knees raised.

3:35 am

Susie checks little man's heartbeat and it sounds perfect during contractions.  I move back to my hands and knees to push a few more times.

4:10 am 

I get down in the floor with Gary sitting on the bed behind me.  I squat and push to hopefully get gravity to help us and I'm able to rest on his knees.

4:20 am

Susie lets me rest for a while.  We were all resting at this point so there are no notes except my blood pressure and fetal heart beat, which were both normal.  

Jessica is on my right side leaning over the bed and falling asleep.  Gary is on my left side and curved above my head falling asleep.  Mary and Susie are back and forth from Wren's room taking rests.  It was miserable!  We were all soooooooo tired!!

We try squatting again and I ask Susie, "What else can we do.  Why isn't he coming out?"  She says, "Kimberly we've tried everything I know to do in order to get him out and it's not working.  I have one more position I want to try and if it doesn't work we need to talk about going to the hospital."

*I was pushing great, correctly and they would see his head come out every once in a while.  However, when I wasn't pushing the cervix was gone, but as soon as I would push it would close back up a little not allowing his head to push through.*

The final position we tried was with a sheet.  I laid on my back with my arm wrapped around a sheet. Gary was at the other end of the sheet in front of me.  Mary and Jessica had my legs and they would hold them back while Gary and I pulled on the sheet and I pushed.  Susie would say, "You're doing it Kimberly! Keep going!  I can see his head!  This is the way to push!"  We tried this position for several contractions and his head would not come down.

6:05 am

We discussed going to the hospital because Susie doesn't know what else to do and she didn't want to put me or the baby in an emergency situation.  See why I think she's the best midwife in the world?! :)

My sister gets my bag packed.  I slowly, through contractions make my way to the car.  I have to lean back in the seat with my right leg up on the dash because I was scared I was going to squish his head.

The 5 mile ride to the hospital felt like forever.  Every bump was amplified by 100%.  Every time Gary put his breaks on I felt it.  My sister was following him so he slammed on his breaks for 2 red lights and I was not ok with that.  At this point I felt like a failure.  Embarrassed that I had just written that big long blog about how I was going to have this amazing home birth.  I didn't understand why he wouldn't come out.  Was I going to have a c-section?  Would they make me push longer than I already have been?  How would pushing in the hospital be any different then pushing at home?  All kinds of things were going through my head.

When we got to the hospital, my sister immediately goes upstairs to get me checked me.  Jess runs and gets a wheelchair.  I stand up and have the longest contraction ever.  I can't even sit in the wheelchair because this contraction won't stop!  I finally sit down and they start pushing me.  TILE FLOORS?  REALLY?  Who's idea was that?  I felt those bumps, EVERY SINGLE ONE!

We get to the registration and Shelley and Gary continue to check me in.  They get my insurance, ask me a ton of questions and all I want is to get this baby out!  

7:00 am

She finally lets us in and walks us to our room.  When we get in there it's empty.  Where are the nurses?  Susie had called ahead to let them know we were coming, so we all thought they would be waiting on us.  Shelley runs and tells them and in comes 4 nurses.  They start ripping my clothes off of me and poking and prodding and asking questions and getting me all hooked up. It was definitely a different atmosphere than my house was. They were all being so kind though!

One of the nurses checked me and said, "Well you are at a 10."  Susie asked her if there was a lip and she said their wasn't.  But we had been there before.  I would be fully dilated and then start pushing and the lip would show up.

7:20 am

Dr. Didier comes in and checks me and he feels the lip and can tell that the baby is very high at this point.  He said he didn't want to try any of the in-operable resources (vacuum or forceps) because he thought he would get stuck.  So, my options were: try and push or have a c-section.  

It hurt my heart to hear the words push.  I had been trying that for the last 3 hours and nothing was happening.  What do we do?  I don't want a c-section.  I planned for an all natural home birth.  How did I still end up in this position?  All I wanted at this point was for him to get out.  I look to Susie for help.  She is scared that the pushing will only lead us down the same road we have been on for 3 hours and I pretty much agree with her.  I keep just saying I want this over with. Susie says, "We can all leave and you and Gary can talk about it if you want."  There was no talking for me.  I already knew I was too exhausted to push for another minute...so I pretty much made the decision and Gary 100% agreed with me.

7:45 am

I am prepped for the OR.  After they get me prepped I ask them how long until he can come out. They tell me it shouldn't be that long, maybe 30 minutes.

8:00 am

I can't help but push during contractions at this point and Susie and Jess let me know that it's ok to push to relieve some of the pressure.  I think that Susie peaks under my gown a few times to see if she sees anything.  Nothing different then what had been before.

Mary has to leave to go to work.  Bless her heart, she had worked a full day on Thursday and had to go to work again that day.  I have no idea how she could make it through the day.

8:35 am

I am getting very agitated and I keep asking Jessica over and over again, "When are they coming?  Is it time yet?  Are they on their way?"  I remember it plain as day because I was so done and ready for him to get out.

8:49 am

They take me back to the OR.  Once again, those darn tiles!  When I got to the OR everything went pretty fast.  The nurse anesthetist  became my best friend.  Gary had to sit in the hall while they prepped me, but as soon as he got in there I introduced him to my best friend.

I was able to rest at this point.  I don't remember a lot, but I do remember Gary and the nurse anesthetist talking a lot.    

9:21 am

Thayer Maxwell was born!!  Man did he have some lungs.  He cried and he cried LOUD!!  Brooke, one of my sweet nurses, came over and told me he weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 22 inches long.  She said, "You did everything you could to have him naturally he just didn't want to come out that way." He was occipital posterior "sunny side up" along with his head presenting off centered "asynclitic" and with the cord wrapped around his neck twice.  I did absolutely EVERYTHING I could have done to have him naturally, but he (and God) had different plans.

He just kept crying! I loved hearing it because that meant this was all over!! I wondered when I would get to see him.  Before going into the OR Susie had tried to get the Dr. and the nurses to agree to give me and Thayer some skin-to-skin time immediately after he was born, but the hospital isn't staffed for something like that in the OR.  We had to wait until we got back to the recovery room before we could have our intimate time. At this point I just wanted to see him!

There he is!

10:00 am

I am back in the room.

10:15 am

Thayer is in the room and we do skin-to-skin and nurse on the left side.

10:36 am

Jessica has to leave because her husband has to get to work and she had to go take care of her 3 kiddos.  Not sure how she survived that day either

10:45 am

He nurses on the right side.  Susie stayed to help me nurse.

.12:10 pm

I get moved to my postpartum room and Susie had to leave.

This was the most exhausting experience I have ever had, but I DO NOT regret my decision to have a home birth.  I truly trusted Susie and knew that if I could have done this at home she would have figured out how to make that happen, but that's just not how our story went.

I never even thought about how everyone else felt during all of this.  Susie came on Tuesday and she said she has been waking up in the middle of the night thinking of different positions we could have tried and she would run to look at her notes and realize we did that position.  I never thought about this being a failure for her too.  She kept reassuring me that we tried everything we could.

Gary told me he felt defeated until we got into the OR and he finally felt at ease.

It was definitely an experience I'll never forget.  Unfortunately, Susie does not do VBACs (Vaginal birth after cesarean), so I will not get to work with her as a midwife in the future :(.

I have shed some tears over it and wondered if I had done something different during pregnancy would his position have changed, but in reality I can be thankful that he is here and healthy!

To be honest, labor kind of scares me at this point and I hope to be able to overcome that before we have another baby, so please pray that I am able to overcome that feeling before we decide to grow our family some more.

We love our little man and are so happy he is here!!  Wren thinks he is pretty amazing too!!

Here we are with Susie!!

and our awesome doula, Jessica!

Here's little buddy at his first check-up on Tuesday.  Already almost back up to birth weight!!

We went back to the doc again Friday to get him circumcised and he had gained 3 oz!  So he is growing and thriving just fine even though his entrance into the world was not what we expected :).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (baby)

I feel like I have to do these life updates a lot because I tend to just let my blog go.  Lately I have been having a hard time blogging because it seems like such the thing to do.  Throw your opinion out there and hope the public grasps it.  Write about your day-to-day and maybe someone will find interest in it.  Read this person’s blog about this topic or that person’s blog about that topic. So, I had kind of sworn off from blogging for a while.  However, I do like to keep track of life events and this is a great resource for that.

Sooooo, in case you forgot or down right didn’t know we are expecting baby #2 like SOON!  My due date is March 23rd.

We decided to find out what we were having this time just to see what that was like…

It’s been fun, but I think I like the anticipation of not knowing a lot better.  Plus it’s fun to have a really cool nickname for the baby and that be all it goes by until it’s here.

This one’s nickname was star baby. And I’ll just let your imagination run wild as to why J

Once we found out it was a BOY we already had a boy name in our back pocket that we didn’t get to use for Wren.  Thayer Maxwell Washer.  It’s Gary’s grandfather’s name and he actually hates it.  When we told him if we had a boy we were planning on naming him that he said, “That is a terrible name and you shouldn’t do that.  Who names their kid Thayer?”  I don’t think Gary has brought it up since and I’m pretty sure Pop has NO IDEA that this boy is getting his name.  That will be a fun conversation.

We are doing things a lot different this time. Some might call us hippy (or the modern word for that is crunchy), but we are excited and anxious for this endeavor.  We are having a home birth with a midwife!!

We didn’t come to this decision lightly.  I honestly would have loved to have done it with Wren, but I’m a contacts kind of girl.  I like to know people who have experienced it before me so I can get their opinions and stories.

My contact?  Jessica.  Yep, the one who I helped supply her baby with milk is now playing a big role in our boy’s life.  I guess it really all started when we met with them that very first night (1 YEAR AGO TOMORROW).  They told us about their horrific hospital birth with their oldest that drew them to having 2 home births to follow.  They are fascinating and intriguing stories!

When we got pregnant, Jessica was one of the first people I told.  She was ecstatic!!  She was actually in the process of becoming a Bradley Method Coach. 

At that point, I hadn’t fully grasped the concept of home birth, but knew that if it truly was something I wanted to do I needed to start making phone calls quickly.

I went ahead and went into my OB for the initial visit.  My doctor, Dr. Moss, actually stopped delivering babies so she referred me to the new doctor in the office, Dr. Salter.  I went to see Dr. Salter when I was about 10 weeks pregnant and told her I was thinking about doing a home birth.  She was supportive, but concerned, which in turn kind of worried me.  Gary re-assured me that we could do it and not to let her opinion be the last one I hear.  I went back one more time around 11 weeks for an ultrasound to be sure they had the correct due date and that was the last time I went to the OB.

I first met with Susie when I was 9 weeks pregnant.  She has an interview process that she does for each mom to be sure it’s someone she is willing to work with.  I was a nervous wreck.  Is my house clean enough?  Is it big enough?  For some reason the main thing I’ve been worried about more than anything is the size of my house.  For anyone that knows my family and friends it was pretty much a PAR-TAY when Wren was born.  I had an open door policy during labor and honestly I was really ok with whoever being in there when she was born.  I told Susie all of this and she simply said in her sweet voice, “I am totally fine with your family being here, but when it’s time for you to really focus on delivering the baby I will probably have to ask them to step out of the room. I don’t want you to be focused on what other people are doing.  I don’t want you to be focused on being a mommy to Wren.  I want you to focus on one task and that task is getting your baby here.”

Before she left, we hugged and she said she would be praying about this and for Gary and me to let her know if this was for sure what we wanted to do.  I don’t know about you, but when I run into people that their first reaction to a tough decision is prayer it brings me such peace!  We had pretty much decided immediately that this was the route we wanted to take.  I did have my OB visit a week later with Dr. Salter, which is the one that got me worried, but a little encouragement from Gary got me back on track with Susie.

Jessica became a certified Bradley Coach in November and we started our 12 week class the first week of December. 

This whole experience has been amazing so far!

Amazing, however, doesn’t mean completely easy.  When we first finalized our decision I still had a hard time telling people.  When someone would ask where we planned on delivering I would shrivel up and quietly whisper, “We’re having a home birth.” I would then squint my face and brace myself for their comments.  People could probably tell I wasn’t completely confident in my answer, but for the most part they were really interested in why we made this decision.

I would always say, “We didn’t have a bad hospital experience with Wren, but this is something I’ve always wanted to do.” 

My lowest point was when I read this blog.  I messaged Jessica in a freak out…

Just when I was getting comfortable and confident with this whole home birth thing this happens and it makes me nervous! Now I will say that I feel confident in Susie's abilities especially since I know she delivered a healthy baby with shoulder dystocia, but I'm still nervous! I haven't really had a lot of people discourage me from home birth. Do they think it's weird? Yes. They probably talk about me behind my back, but really not much discouragement toward my face. It's really all been in my head and that's the last place it needs to be. I guess what I'm trying to say is I just need you to tell me it's all going to be ok J

Her reply...

oh honey!!! I wanna hug you right now. That is an awful experience of 1 person. She was a statistic. I have honestly NEVER heard of a home birth going horribly wrong. If you look at the statistics she posted, it was a rare on top of rare situation. I truly believe that there could have been preventative measures taken to avoid it. First off, that baby was huge! Almost 10 pounds. It was her first baby and brow presentation almost never happens with a first. Second, it doesn't sound like she was doing any exercises or training throughout her pregnancy. You are, you are doing pelvic rocking, which gets the baby in the right position, kegels which is tightening up your pelvic floor (pc muscles) third, the midwife should have been able to know that the baby's head was coming down wrong. There are positions to turn the baby and get them in the right way, maybe even holding off pushing. Lastly, if you are having worries, ask Susie what she would do in this type of situation ask about previous births, her training, etc. I will say that I had these same fears and worries before Tayla was born and then after having an "emergency" situation that was handled with such care and haste, I knew that Susie was the perfect part of our birth team. It is all going to be okay! Pray about this, ask the Lord to ease your worry. Put it all in His hands. Your birth story will be all your own. I know that you are working and doing the best that you can right now to prepare for the best outcome of baby. You got this! I hope this helps you. I love you!!

She talked me down from my freak out.  I can read that story now and while, yes, it is a terrible experience there are plenty of hospital birth stories that are just as terrible, if not worse. 

Our Bradley class ended a couple of weeks ago and Gary and I learned SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!  Jessica did an amazing job and if you are interested in a natural birth I encourage you to find a Bradley Coach close to you.  If you are in the middle Tennessee area here’s Jessica’s website!!  Did you click on it?  Did you read any of her stories?  Well, if you didn’t I hope you do because they’re pretty awesome!  *Yes that was a shamless plug*  Oh and did I mention she is also my doula?!

Now that I have been through that class and I go back and read Wren’s birth story I have realized how things could have gone so differently with her birth.  While it wasn’t horrible and she and I are both alive and well, some of the things the doctors and nurses said (and how they said it) or did weren’t things that necessarily needed to happen.  I won’t go into detail, but I will say that even though I respect the decisions and opinions of medical professionals I have learned so much more about my body and what it's telling me then what I knew when I was in labor with Wren.

So how do I feel today?  10 days before my due date?  SOOOO EXCITED!!  My house is clean.  My room is set up, except for some final details that will be done once I go into labor. My family is supportive and I have the most amazing birth team EVER!!

I can’t wait to update everyone on our home birth story!!  Pray for us as we face this exciting adventure because ultimately God is in control!

I will leave you with this sweet video of Wren singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Psalm of Thanksgiving

At the beginning of the month our preacher challenged us to write a Psalm of Thanksgiving.  

Naturally, I waited until the last minute to do so.  On Monday, I decided it was time for me to write mine. 

Where do I start?  What exactly do I say?  What is a Psalm?

So, I begin my research.  I found this website.  Read a few Psalms from the Bible. And prayed and thought about what has been on my heart lately.  

Here is my Psalm of Thanksgiving, which turned out to be more of a Psalm of Prayer.

Lord, You are MIGHTY and You are ALL POWERFUL
You show Your MIGHTY WORKS even when I am DOUBTFUL

Bringing my needs and wants to You in PRAYER
Can sometimes be scary and hard to share

But I know You hear the fervent prayer of the RIGHTEOUS
Whether it be in the darkest of days or the brightest

Lord, the smallest of blessings have been on my heart lately
They are soft, cuddly and we call them babies

Father, THANK YOU for bringing them into our lives
For those that are already here and for the ones set to arrive

But Lord, there are specific ones I want to mention
I want to lift them up to you and bring them to full attention

There are babies out there who need forever homes
They enter this world and immediately are alone

I know of some couples that want to show them how to LOVE
UNCONDITIONALLY, COMPLETELY just like you send down from ABOVE

Lord, please bless these families with the joy a baby brings
Because right now they have a hole in their heart that causes a constant sting

God, there are other babies who need your healing hand
They have diagnoses that I can’t fully understand

But God, I know and have seen Your MIGHTY WORKS before
I constantly knock and You open door after door

The capacity of your POWER is far beyond my understanding
And part of that is realizing that You’re never abandoning

Even if it takes a while for my requests to come to full fruition
I will not waiver in my faith, I will continue to be in full submission

It’s sometimes easy for me to wonder why?
But I just need to stay focused on the SWEET BY AND BY

Of course I had specific people in mind when I wrote this, but I know there are others out there that I don't personally know who are facing these same types of things.  

I am amazed what God has shown me in my short life on this earth and I can't wait to see what else he has in store for me to see through my faith!

Praise Him!  Praise Him when things are good.  Praise Him when things are not so good.  Because you know what?  God is Good!!  He is the one thing in our life that is constant, good and faithful!


As I travel today and throughout the rest of the weekend to visit with family, I will Thank Him for all of the good that surrounds me!!  

My Pawpaw who will be 90 in February.  My Grammy who tends to his needs day-after-day.

My Aunt Katie and cousin Bethany who take care of them when they can't do it themselves.

My Uncle David who sacrifices weekends and labors to help fix broken things at my grandparent's house.

My Uncle Jeff and Aunt Karen who teach children, not just about subjects in school, but through their compassion, how to be a better person.

My Uncle Jim and Aunt Bonnie who waited so long to find each other and show us such sweet love.

My Uncle Barry and Aunt Bridgett who have adopted 2 children and are fostering 2 others.

My Uncle Steve, who left this earth early, but I know will be there to greet us one day when we receive our eternal reward.

My cousins' Page and Brendon who, no doubt, give the best hugs!

Page's wife Mary Beth who has the best laugh and has brightened our family with her energy.

Brendon's girlfriend Hannah who I can't wait to meet.

My cousin TJ who has overcome a past of demons and is now studying to be a preacher.

My friend Christy and her husband Josh who are raising their 4 children in a Christian home.

My Mom and Dad who have loved my sister, our husbands and children unconditionally.  NO matter what we've faced they are there.  ALWAYS!

My sister Shelley who is the most selfless and compassionate person I know.  My brother-in-law Jared who loves with all of this heart.  My nephew Easton who is learning to love just like his daddy.

My husband Gary who is my rock.  My sweet Wren who brings joy to my life everyday.  My sweet baby boy that is kicking right now.

I know this is only a very small amount of my family, but these are the ones I will be spending time with over the next few days.

Thank you God for them and for all of my family and friends that bless my life on a daily basis.  I pray that everyone will be able to find JOY and PRAISE in their life always, but if not always at least for this one day out of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Soak it up

That’s what I’m told to do.  That’s what I try to do.  Soak it ALL up!

When my 18 month old ends up in my bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, soak it up.

When she whines and whines without using actual words so I have no idea what she wants, soak it up.

When she finally feels confident in her feet and climbing abilities that she becomes a little clumsy and starts falling off every piece of furniture in the house and screaming her little baby head off, soak it up.

When she takes too long of an evening nap and decides that she is going to party until midnight, soak it up.

When she has a break down in the middle of the produce section at the grocery store because I asked her to pick up the two pumpkins that she pulled down, soak it up.

When she stares at the plate of food I’ve prepared and won’t take one bite, soak it up.

When she wants to read a book, but won’t let me actually read it and just turns the pages and gets angry when I don’t let her because I want to know how the story ends, soak it up.

When it’s bedtime and I’m trying to do the nightly routine and she just grunts and points to anywhere and anything to do except go to bed, soak it up.

When she says, “I yuv you!” soak it up.

When she kisses me, those moments can be rare, soak it up.

When her little fuzzy head that wasn’t combed after bath the night before tickles my cheek in the morning, soak it up.

When she just sits with me on the couch and watches TV while she eats an apple, or two, soak it up.

When she cackles and cackles while I chase her through the house butt naked because she escaped while I was changing her diaper, soak it up.

When she hugs me goodbye before I leave for work, soak it up.

When she folds her hands and bows her head while we pray for our food, before bed or at church, soak it up.

When she shouts, “AMEN” before the prayer is even over, soak it up.

Parenthood isn’t about just soaking up the happy times and fun times, it’s about soaking it ALL up

I’m reminded every day that Wren won’t want to sleep in the bed with us when she is a teenager.  Soon she will learn to talk and use all kinds of words and I might miss a little whine here and there.  I can survive off of a few hours of sleep at night, many parents have done it before me and many will continue to do it after me. She’s not the only kid that has ever pitched a fit in the grocery store and I’m not the first mom that got judged by someone else because her kid was throwing a fit in the grocery store.

But I am her only mommy!  Yes, she might tell other people that she yuv’s them, but they don’t wake up next to her fuzzy head every morning.  Yes, she gives out kisses, but they don’t get those sleepy snuggles in the middle of the night like I do.

I will soak it up I will soak it ALL up.  Even when I’m frustrated, tired and ready to pull out my hair, her hair and her daddy’s hair, I WILL SOAK IT UP!

It’s already going by fast and I know I’ll look back 10 years from now and wonder where the time went, but until then you can find me with my sweet little Wren soaking it all up!!