Sunday, May 31, 2009

Peanut Picks Peas

Yesterday Peanut helped Mommy and Nana pick eat peas from Grandpa's garden.

"I'm just going to take a little break and have a snack."

"I know there are peas in here somewhere...

...if I could just get this pod open!"

" Aha! I found one!"

:::munch, munch, munch:::

"I wonder how many I can shove in my mouth at one time?"

"Oh, where are my manners? Would you like one, mommy?"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Owen Daniel's Birth Story

March 8, 2008

On Thursday, March 6, I was feeling very emotional and overwhelmed because I was so ready to meet my baby, and he hadn't been ready to come yet. That afternoon I had a prenatal appointment with my midwife. Everything looked beautiful with the baby. After a short discussion I decided to have her sweep my membranes. It was uncomfortable and a little painful, but not too bad. Eventually the appointment ended, and throughout the evening I had a bit of cramping and spotting (expected after having membranes swept).

The next day was pretty quiet and normal. I continued to have a slight amount of spotting from the procedure the day before. Late that afternoon my husband and I enjoyed some adult time while our two boys watched a video downstairs. As soon as we were done, I started having crampy contractions, about every 3-7 minutes apart. These continued through the evening. My husband and I watched a movie, and I kept timing them all the way through. About 9pm I looked at my husband and said "I think we'll be calling Esme [our midwife] tonight!" We had planned a home waterbirth, so my husband pulled out the tub and got things prepared. We had previously had several false alarms, so we wanted to be absolutely sure before we called for the birth team to come to the house.

We decided to go upstairs and try to sleep, but the contractions were getting stronger now, and between that and the excitement, we both realized that we would not be sleeping any time soon. We went back downstairs and sat on the couch. I had heard about how kissing can help with relaxation and dilation during labor, so we sat on the couch and started to kiss. After smooching through several contraction, I felt a strange sensation in my belly. My husband had been touching my belly,and he felt it too. It didn't occur to me what it was until I felt a small spurt of wet warmth between my legs, a minute or so later. I said "I think that might have been my water breaking! It did feel like a kind of ‘pop'!" This was about 10:20pm. We called the midwife to let her know what was going on, and she said it sounded like it was early, and left it to us to call when we wanted the birth team to come. About 25 minuteslater, I had been sitting on my birthing ball, and when I started to stand up, I felt a trickle down both my legs...and then there was the undeniable sound of fluid dribbling onto the floor beneath me. Then we knew, this was really it!

My husband started filling the birthing tub. I was walking around, getting things ready and checking email. When a contraction would come, I would find something (kitchen counter, dining room table, my husband) to lean on. It helped to brace myself and lean with my forearms on a firm surface. Around 11pm we decided to call and have the birth team come. The birth team included my midwife Esme as well as two midwife apprentices, Rebecca and Taryn. We also called my in-laws, who were coming to help out and be responsible for our two older boys. We told everyone it was not urgent yet, but that they should start heading our way.

Everyone arrived at about the same time, around 12:30am. I was still able to smile & laugh, but during contractions I would find someplace to lean and concentrate on breathing through the rushes.

My in-laws went upstairs to try to get some sleep, and the birth team stayed in the background, letting us do our own thing (which worked so well for us in my previous labor) and coming to check baby's heart rateregularly.

Around 1am I got in the birthing tub. The warm water felt great, and the pain of the contractions was lessened a lot after I got settled. After awhile my husband got in, too, and we experimented with different positions. Pretty soon things started to get much more intense. We tried kissing through some of the contractions, and that really did help for awhile. I tried to focus on relaxing my whole body, and taking deep breaths helped me to do that. Another tactic for this labor was making low, moaning sounds. I think that helped to loosen things up "down under" and also it gave me something to concentrate on.

The next few hours are a little blurry in my memory. The contractions got really intense, and we both were feeling so tired. I sat leaning back against my husband's chest, and we would just be really quiet in between contractions. My poor husband kept drifting off to sleep, and his chin would bonk me on the head, at which point he would say "Oh, I'm so sorry!" That was actually pretty funny, he was so remorseful.

I was starting to feel like it was getting hard to handle the contractions. Then there came a contraction that felt a little different. I wasn't positive, but I thought "Was I just feeling a little pushy there?" And without my mentioning it out loud, my husband asked "Did you just get the urge to push?" I told him that I thought I had, but I wasn't sure. He called for Esme to come, and I asked to be checked. I had not been checked before I started pushing during my previous labor, but for some reason this time I wanted the confirmation of being complete. Rebecca checked me and said that she couldn't feel my cervix at all, and the baby's head was "right there." Whenever I felt ready, it was okay to push.

So I got up on my knees, leaned on the edge of the tub, and got started. Right away I remembered how much I detest pushing! And this time it seemed really intense and scary to me. I had torn with both my other labors, and I just felt sure that I was going to tear again. Still, I tried to take it easy and listen to my body. I had always wondered if I just pushed with too much gusto those other times, and that if I had taken it a little more slowly and let the tissues stretch, it might have been better.My dear husband kept saying "Push to the point of comfort, push as long as it's comfortable." This is something that we had learned in a Bradley Method childbirth class we'd taken during my first pregnancy. It really bothered me, although for a while I couldn't find the words or energy to say anything to him. Finally I said, with my teeth gritted a bit, "I wish you'd stop talking about it being comfortable." There was nothing comfortable about this pushing business!

The last few pushes were really scary for me. I could feel the baby moving down, and I could feel him crowning, or almost crowning-- that might be more accurate. Then I would run out of steam, or courage, or contraction, and the head would scoot back a bit. I knew this was normal but I really, really wanted to be finished pushing! Finally after two contractions like that, I managed to just pant after the contraction ended, and the head stayed forward. The next time I pushed, my husband said the head was starting to come out, so I bore down, gave it all I had, and at 4:08am, with one savage bellow, my son was born!

His dad caught him, the birth team helped me turn over so I could meet him. My dear, sweet husband handed him to me, and we sat close as we sang the lullaby we have sung all of our babies in the moments after their births. The first stanza goes,

"Baby boy fusses, baby boy laughs
The Angel who watches says 'Hey, look at that,
'There's your faith, the mountains will shake
'Cause God gladly bends just to hear baby boy when he prays..."
(adapted from a song Rich Mullins wrote for a girl named Madeline)

Molly's Note: Mindy is the full-time mom of three little boys - you can read more about her over at her blog, Sweetness in the Small Stuff. You can read the stories of her other two wonderful births at her Beginnings blog. Thanks for sharing your story, Mindy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

My sugar-free exsistence, which you can read about here and here, lasted exactly two weeks. I fell off the wagon on Memorial Day, when I just couldn't resist strawberry pretzel salad and Gramma's carrot cake.

I'm still participating in the body after baby challenge and I'm happy to report that I'm down 8 lbs. total - just 7 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Very exciting. This week I'm just controlling my portion sizes and limiting my sugar.

One of the yummiest treats that I had while on my sugar fast was a homemade strawberry-banana smoothie. I like to freeze my over-ripe bananas, so it's super sweet and totally (refined) sugar free!

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

3 medium bananas - cut and frozen

1/3 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 to 1 cup milk

1 cup - ice cubes

Blend everything together in your blender. This makes a super thick shake, so you may need to add more milk (or yogurt, if you want a more breakfasty smoothie) to help the blender with all the frozen ingredients.

So yummy!

A couple reminders: You still have time to enter my Jack and Lily shoe giveaway! Don't miss out!

Make sure you check back tomorrow for an awesome home birth story! It's a gem.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reversing Roles

Tiny hands patting my face, hugging my neck, kissing my lips.

What is it about those little, soft, stroking fingers that make everything better?

How is it that I’m being comforted by a little bald headed girl?

If her eyes could speak, they’d be saying "Mommy, don’t be sad. Me and Daddy are here."

"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:19

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The best life ever

We filled up Peanut's baby pool this afternoon and I figured that in a few hours it might be warm enough for her to get in.


Apparently the frigid, right from the hose temperature didn't phase her one bit. In fact, she thought the hose was the greatest thing ever.

After about ten minutes, I was sure her fingers were going to fall off from the cold, so I gently extracted the hose from her freezing little hands.

That did not make her very happy.

In fact, it made her downright unhappy. See?

I distracted her with bubbles and after we got her out of her wet clothes, we spent the rest of the afternoon running around the hay field (if you haven't already figured it out, we live way in the country!) and eating strawberries.

I seriously have the best life ever.

Homemade Bubbles

Peanut is a huge fan of bubbles.

I recently ran across this recipe for homemade bubbles - it's so simple! These bubbles are hardier than the dollar-store brand and are a very cheap alternative! You know, in case you don't have a dollar. ;-)

You need:
1 gallon of water

1 cup dish detergent

1/4 cup corn syrup

Mix together and start the bubble fun!

Peanut is still getting the hang of the whole blowing bubbles thing, but we still had fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Benjamin's Birth Story

This is the birth story of my fourth child, Benjamin. Though he is seven months old and my days are full, I still love to reflect on the wonder of the experience. ~Kristin

My due date throughout my pregnancy was sketchy. I was still nursing when I got pregnant so my cycles were long. My midwife assured me that she would not be quick to induce if I did go “overdue.” That was a relief to me because even though no very pregnant woman wants to stay pregnant a day longer than she has to, I didn’t want my labor to be forced just because I was outside of the medical timeline.

I visited my midwife ten days before my due date and mentioned that though my baby was still wiggling around, he seemed to be quieter that particular morning. She told me not to get excited but that babies often settle down right before labor begins. The next morning, I felt the first “real one.” The problem was the “real” contractions continued through the morning and into the evening but stayed about 30 minutes apart. I headed off to bed at 11:30.

I had a difficult time sleeping. Around 1 am, I became wide awake and started timing them. They were 5-10 minutes apart! I decided to go downstairs to read. I figured if it was labor, I wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway. And if it wasn’t labor, I could catch up with a nap the next day.

Three o’clock came and went and the contractions were still 5-10 minutes apart! Then it was four o’clock and four thirty… At five o’clock, the contractions had slowed (ugh!) so I decided to try to doze. As soon as I lay down, I had a whopper contraction grip me, but the next thing I knew, I was waking up at 6 o’clock, having slept without one contraction! Talk about discouraging.

We decided that Brian should go ahead to work with the idea that I could call him home as soon as I felt I needed him. I also called my mom to put her on alert that I would probably need her to come be with the kids sometime that day. At this point, I was a little down again. I knew these were labor contractions, but with them coming and going and varying their timing, I was afraid it would drag on for days. I got up to fix the kids breakfast and BOOM!, I had three contractions in a row!

At 9:30 am, I had a contraction strong enough that I had to concentrate to get through it. I was afraid to be alone with the kids so I called Brian and asked him to come home. We ate an early lunch and he entertained the kids while I laid down to rest. Again, I woke up from sleep, having had NO contractions. I was fed up!

We decided to gather the crew together and take a walk. I was barely out the door when the contractions started coming fast. I was able to relax and concentrate through each one, but it was difficult to maintain composure on a public street! Brian asked if I would rather go home, but I decided to keep walking since I seemed to finally be progressing. By the time we had circled the block a couple of times, I knew labor was steady enough to head to the hospital

During the hour drive, I was upbeat and talkative. During contractions, I had to hug my body pillow and close my eyes. I found that shutting my eyes helped me concentrate on relaxing all the muscles in my body. Relaxing my muscles reduced my tension which reduced my pain. As soon as the tightening ending, I was fine. All through the pregnancy, I had back pain—much more so than with the other pregnancies. My contractions followed the same trend. Even though they could be felt all over my abdomen, the majority of the pain was in my back.
We arrived at the hospital at 2:45 pm. I was offered a wheelchair, but declined, knowing I was perfectly okay to walk. One nurse sat in the birth center’s nurses’ station. She stared at me and said, “May I help you?”

I gave her a puzzled look, handed her my admissions papers, and said, “I have admissions papers.”

“For what?”

I stood there almost 9 months pregnant with my mouth hanging open! Brian jumped to my rescue. “She’s in labor,” he said.

“Oh,” said the nurse. “You’re here to be checked for labor!”

She ushered me into a bathroom to give a urine sample and sent Brian into a triage room. He could hear her discussing me with a second nurse. “She says she’s being admitted.”

“When is she due?”

“In 10 days.”

“Is she even having contractions?”

I emerged from the restroom and the second nurse hooked me up to a fetal monitor. I was still talkative and smiling. My midwife arrived within a few minutes, asked a few questions, and decided to check my cervix. “You’re 5-6 centimeters with a bulging bag of water!” The nurses seemed surprised. Apparently they had convinced themselves I was too calm.

My midwife reviewed my birth plan and we moved into a labor/deliver/postpartum room. The midwife pointed out that, though my contractions were still not coming as often as expected at this stage, “obviously it is working.” She said that since my water bag was bulging, she could break it and kick labor into higher gear, but she left it up to me saying she was prepared to stick around as long as it took to have a baby. Brian and I talked about it and decided that we would let my body continue to labor at its own pace.

The midwife was in and out. She would come in the room and chat quietly with me or even sit silently when I needed to be quiet. Instead of relying on monitors, she would feel my belly during a contraction to measure its strength.

Around 4:30, the nurse suggested I try the tub. With my belly entirely covered by the water, I could still feel all the pressure, but the pain decreased. The contractions started coming closer together and I sensed that I was in transition though I was still able to talk and relax in-between. The midwife came in again and suggested she check my cervix. I was at an 8.

I was beginning to feel a lot of pressure and the need to leave the tub. I took my time getting out and walking to the bed. The room was dim. The midwife and nurse were talking in hushed tones so as not to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the room. I labored for a short time sitting upright on the bed. Though I still felt fine between contractions, they came so close to together, I stayed quiet to keep on top of it. If I lost concentration, I started to tense up which made it hurt more. The only part I had trouble with was the intensity at the peak of each contraction.

The midwife asked me if I was ready to have my water broken and “have this baby.” Knowing how close I was, I agreed. The nurse monitored the baby’s heartbeat with a hand-held Doppler while the midwife broke my water.

I was unable to talk by now. I communicated only by nodding or shaking my head. I’m sure I was physically able to talk, but it would have thrown off my concentration. I was in a semi-sitting position. I know that it is best to be upright while laboring, but this was actually more comfortable and I was progressing well so I decided not to change.

I started to feel increasing pressure and then the amazing urge to push. After the first push, Brian said, “You’re almost done.” I was surprised since I had just started, but it was encouraging because the pushing urge was so intense! With the second push, his head was out. Then the midwife said, “Okay, Dad, are you ready?” With the third push, Brian was able to grab the baby’s shoulders and upper back and help deliver him! Less than ten minutes after I started pushing, Benjamin was born. I reached down and pulled him onto my belly myself. It was 7:33 pm.

There was no tearing so I felt very little pain when labor ended. I wasn’t even sore. I kept Benjamin on my stomach while Brian cut the cord and while they wiped him off and evaluated him.

I am so pleased with my labor and delivery. This was my most satisfying birth of the four. Benjamin’s birth proved to me labor doesn’t have to be frantic but can follow its own timetable and be calm and enjoyable.

(As if this wasn’t long enough already, if you’d like even more detail, read my original, super-long birth story on my blog at )

Molly's note: Check out the full birth story at the link above - and while you're over there, check out the rest of Kristin's blog . She has a lot of good stuff to say. Thanks for sharing your story, Kristin!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shoe Review and Giveaway

My little Peanut has teeny, tiny, peanut-sized feet. She just moved into a size 3 shoe. Most shoes in her size are pre-walker shoes. I love the new soft-soled shoe revolution - they are so much better for a child's foot development - but she's been walking for almost 5 months now and she needs something that will give her feet a little more protection when she's playing outside.

I was recently given the opportunity to review a pair of Jack and Lily shoes. My search for the perfect shoe has officially ended. These shoes are exceptionally well made, with high quality leather uppers and a super flexible rubber sole that also gives her peanut-sized feet plenty of protection. We've tried other soft-soled varieties, but most of them are made with leather soles and with her love for the outdoors, we need shoes that can travel indoors and out without the worry of her stepping on something sharp.

The shoes arrived last Friday in an adorable little pink keepsake box. Let me just tell you, these shoes are amazing. Peanut has been running around in her new pair since they came in and I'm in love! No slipping and sliding and the easy velcro straps stay put. As a bonus, they are just so adorable.

Jack and Lily carries two great lines of baby and toddler shoes. The Original Collection is great for crawlers, cruisers and new walkers. They are made of genuine leather with a ski-resistant suede sole that allows your little one to explore their new mobility in total comfort and freedom of movement. The My Shoes collection are more structured shoes with soft rubber soles - Peanut has the Sandal style.

Buy one:
These shoes can be ordered directly from Jack and Lily or from one of their nationwide retailers. They range in price from $26-$36 . They are currently running a special with free shipping if you order two or more shoes. Check it out.

Win one: Jack and Lily has generously donated a pair of shoes for me to give away to one of my readers! The winner can pick any shoe from their website in the size and style of their choice.

To enter:

Visit Jack and Lily and decide on your favorite style shoe. There are many to choose from! Comment on this post and let me know what style you would chose if you won.

Additional entries:

1. If you already a follower of my blog, you get another entry!
2. Become a follower of my blog and get another entry!
3. Subscribe to my blog by RSS feed (see top left corner) and get another entry!
4. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog and get another entry!

1. If you are using any of the additional entries methods to enter make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry.
2. If you are blogging about this giveaway for extra entries, please leave a link to your blog entry in your comment.
3. Each method of entering this giveaway can only be used once.

I will be using to select a winner. This giveaway will end at midnight on May 31st, so spread the word! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quinoa Pilaf

Along with avocados, Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is on the list of my current food obsessions.

When I was a kid, my mom would frequently fix Quinoa for dinner. I recently rediscovered it and we've been eating it at least once a week around here for the last month or so.

Although it is most commonly considered a grain, it is actually the seed of the Chenopodium plant and is more closely related to beets and spinach. Quinoa is considered to be a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids. Not only is it loaded with protein, it's a great source of iron and magnesium and is gluten-free.

It's a fast meal too! It cooks in under 15 minutes and could easily replace rice in all your recipes. We aren't big fans of it cooked plain, but as a pilaf? Yum!

Quinoa Pilaf
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 green bell pepper
1 zucchini
2 small carrots
1 medium onion
5 cloves garlic
2 TBSP. olive oil

Chop up all your veggies very fine (or chunky if that's the way you like it!).
Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil.
Add veggies and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add veggie mixture to quinoa and blend gently with a fork.

My dear husband is not a fan of anything that tastes "healthy" and even he gobbles this up. I improvise with whatever vegetables I happen to have on hand, so I can usually make this even when it's almost time for a grocery run. Last night we had this with grilled salmon - Mmmmmm! The leftovers are great over salad too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Body after baby - No sugar update

Well, I did it.

I won't say it was easy, because it wasn't, but I don't think it was quite as hard as I was expecting.

In a way, it was liberating. There was no stressing over whether or not to have dessert or feeling rotten about taking that second slice of cake. There was no counting calories or worrying about fat content. I just focused on one thing: No sugar.

The first two days were the hardest. My body was craving sugar in the worst way. Wednesday morning I got on the scale and was down three whole pounds from my weigh-in on Monday morning. That was just the motivation I needed to keep going.

Friday I woke up with a nasty headache and what felt like the flu. My whole body hurt, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I called my Mom for a pep talk and she encouraged me to drink plenty of water and just power through the detox. I felt slightly like a drug-addict calling for support to avoid a relapse.

We had a birthday party to attend on Sunday and that was pretty tough. I had a hamburger and hotdog with no condiments and no bread (they both have sugar in them!) and had to watch everyone eat yummy cake and my favorite kind of ice cream.

Here comes the good part.

This morning I stepped on the scale to see that I am a whole six pounds down from last week. In case you missed that, I lost six pounds last week. Barring the week of Peanut's birth, I don't think I've ever lost that much weight in a single week.

And here's the thing, I didn't exercise. Peanut and I took a couple leisurely walks, but positively no cardio.

So, needless to say, I'll be continuing my no sugar diet next week. Additionally, I'm going to dust off an old exercise DVD that I used to enjoy and try to do that 3 times this week.

I haven't felt this good about a, ever. Everyone says that it takes two weeks to really start feeling a difference and so I'm really excited to start seeing my energy level increase over the next week or so. My friends and family keep asking me if this is just a lose-weight-fast-plan or a lifestyle change. To be honest, I'm not sure. A week without sugar has me looking at it in a whole new light. I can't imagine consuming the amount of sugar that I was eating even just a couple weeks ago. So realistically, I'd like to think that I'll eventually add sugar back into my diet, but it actually will be in moderation - meaning treats on special occasions.

I should probably add that I did have honey this week. I only used it as a substitue for sugar when baking, but drastically reduced the amount. For instance, I used about a 1/4 cup of honey for two loaves of bread. For those of you that have done it, I'd love to hear your tips for totally eliminating sugar.

For more motivation and some great tips on this week's challenge, head over to Mama Notes!

"Not Me!" Monday

Not Me! Monday is here again! Head on over to My Charming Kids to join in the fun!

In preparation for company on Friday, I did not spend an hour dragging heavy pieces of furniture around rearranging Peanut's bedroom only to decide I liked it better the way I had it to begin with. That would just be such a waste of time. Not me!

I did not leave my daughter unsupervised while I ran to check my email on Saturday. Which means I did not return a minute later to find her eating a blue toddler crayon. Which also means I did not spend the rest of the afternoon scraping blue bits out of her teeth. Not meeeee!

As many of you know, I'm all about bugs, snakes and mice. So the other morning when I caught Peanut crushing a beetle with her little finger, I did not shriek at the top of my lungs and cause her to burst into tears. As a calm, caring mother, I like to foster my little girl's interests, whether they be dirtry, squirmy bugs or princess tea parties.

Sunday morning, I did not force try to convince Peanut to wear a matching headband with her pretty little sailor dress. And if I did try to make her wear said headband, I would never take pictures of her miserably trying to rip the headband from her hair head. I mean, what kind of mother would I be?

So what has everyone else not been doing this week? I'd love to hear!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Toddler Crayons

Thanks to Laura I was introduced to this awesome blog . While I was browsing, I ran across this post. It looked like the perfect project for a lazy Saturday afternoon. It's super easy and I have a feeling that older kids will like making these crayons as much as the toddlers will enjoy eating using them.

You can either color coordinate your crayons to make traditional colors, or you can mix it up and make multi-colored crayons. We went with the more traditional route.

The directions are easy. Peel the crayons, break them up and arrange them in a muffin tin (preferably one that you don't mind getting wax all over).

Bake at 250 for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the oven but let the tin sit so the crayons can solidify. Remove from tins. You can stick them in the freezer for a bit if you have trouble getting them out. Viola! Don't they look so cool?

Peanut thought so too.

See? Perfect for tiny hands.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Birth Story of Lucas

After on and off couch sleeping being awoke by contractions, taking three different hot showers, and throwing up in my kitchen sink, we arrived at the hospital around 5:00am. My husband wanted to make sure this was “the real thing” so he left our bags in the car which I brought “ just in case.” After finding out I was 4cm dilated, my husband asked the nurse, “ So is this it?” (Bless his heart, he really didn’t know!) I’m just telling him, “ Go get the stuff babe and hurry yourself up!!” I gave my nurse my birth plan, which explained that I didn’t want an IV or anything hooked up to me. She was so wonderful and respectful of my wishes and let me do as I pleased.

I walked around, sat on the birth ball, and spent a lot of time in the tub. The water was a lifesaver. It felt amazing. I focused on my breathing and kept telling myself that I could do it, I am strong, the Lord is with me. My husband and nurses were wonderful supporters. I had nurses bringing me cold wash rags, water, helping me get in and out of the tub, and everything. I was in and out of the tub for the majority of the time. It really helped me control the pain.

I labored in different positions for about three hours until things really picked up and I was like, “ I need to push!! I can’t help myself!!” The doctor checked me and I was 8 cm. dilated. Hearing that made me so unbelievably happy! I knew that something was actually happening! I sat on the birth ball for a while, bouncing up and down, walked around a lot, and did lots of squatting. At one point, I was squatting and I peed on the floor, all over my doula’s shoes. (Sorry about that!) I probably peed an entire liter worth. I remember saying, “ I’m peeing! I’m peeing! I can’t control it, it’s just coming out!!!” And my sweet doctor said to me, “That’s okay Samantha. You might even poop and that’s okay too.” And I just looked at him with such a blank face and said, “Oh, I know it is.”

Then, I really needed to start pushing. I wanted to stay off the bed as long as possible(whoever thought pushing while laying down was a good idea??) but finally ended up on the bed. It was so uncomfortable and made pushing more difficult, but at this point I just didn’t care. I pushed for an hour or so and became so physically tired. I had no energy. I actually told the doctors I wanted to take a nap and come back to pushing. Ha!

I managed to find every last bit of strength and energy I had to push and push. I don’t even remember much of the pushing stage because I was so tired and out of it. It’s all a blur to me at this point. I remember things started to finally progress and the doctors had to give me oxygen at one point. That was pretty scary for me, breathing into a plastic thing, but apparently I wasn’t giving enough oxygen to my baby. I was pushing so hard but not taking enough oxygen in. It was a blur to me, but I faintly remember words of “ she needs to breath more” and my doula was encouraging me to take deep breaths. My doctor encouraged me to touch his head so I could feel how close I was. I felt it and immediately got a burst of energy to push as hard as I could.

After 90 minutes of pushing, he finally came!! I wanted him immediately on my chest, but the umbilical cord was so short that he had to lie on the lower half of my stomach. Even though it was only a minute until my husband cut the cord, it was sill so hard for me to wait to hold him! Once I was able to hold him and I knew that he was safe and healthy, I knew my world as I know it was complete.

Labor is a beautiful and empowering experience. Yes, it hurt, but truth be told, I was so tired that I don’t even remember it hurting that bad. It’s funny how somehow, you almost forget the pain. I remember asking my doula later on after he was born if I acted liked it hurt, because I can’t remember any vivid feelings of the pain. She told me I was definitely in a lot of pain and it definitely hurt! By the grace of God, I was able to deliver my baby boy exactly how I imagined it and I’m so thankful for that!

Molly's Note: Samantha is a free-lance writer and full-time mother. You can find her over at her blog, Mama Notes, where she is probably posting something funny and informative right this very minute. Thanks for sharing your story, Samantha!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quiet down cobwebs...

I love being a mom.

More specifically, I love being my sweet little Peanut's mom. I love her more with every day that passes. We had one of those great days today that makes you wonder what you ever did to deserve such amazing blessings from God. We went to the zoo and had fun "talking" to the animals and then had some playtime in the park. After a nice nap when we got home, I whisked her away to play in the weeds buttercups that are blanketing our backyard.

She is constantly making me laugh,

and charming me with her funny faces,

and she's even cute when she's crying.

I would feel like the luckiest person in the world, except I don't belive in luck. For some reason, God has seen fit to bless me and Justin with this beautiful little person to nurture, teach and care for. That thought is really humbling to me.

My daughter makes me a better person every day. I want to be worthy to be her mother. I want to look back on these precious days with her and not have any regrets.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,

Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew

And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

-Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

This poem has been circulating in the blogging world, but it's been always been a favorite of mine. The message is so simple, but it's one of the easiest things to lose sight of in this crazy, busy world. I want to cherish simple days like today and savor every second I have with my baby. Tomorrow she'll be all grown up and I want to look back and smile fondly on the special times we shared.