Pre-Baby Bodies

Why I dont care about my pre-baby body
I’ve been a mom now for over 4 years.  Ryley turned 4 this past February and it was bitter sweet.  Its amazing and sometimes sad to watch your kids grow up.  I love watching her and Avery grow but at the same time I miss them when they were babies.  I wonder if Im doing a good job as a mom, if they are getting the right things to eat and if they watch too much TV.  With so much to worry about the one that is hardly ever on my mind is my pre-baby body.  
 
 
I’m not sure were this notion came about that we should ever have our pre-baby bodies back.  My body will never be pre-baby.  And I’m ok with that.  I have two beautiful children that have literally shaped me both mentally and physically.  And you know what?  I’m pretty sure they don’t care about what my body looked like before them anyways.  All they know is mommas body gives them hugs, piggyback rides, boat rides and I sometimes double as a chair.  My old body was not capable of any of those things until they were born because they were not here. 
 
 
And yes I have some weight  I could lose.  I don’t blame those few extra pounds on my kids.  Its from poor food choices and lack of exercise.  Plain and simple.  I would never point the finger at them as my reason for being big.  Heck, if I could keep up with them Im sure Id be smaller.  I’m just tired of women worrying about their pre-baby bodies.  Your body will not ever be the same again.  And that’s ok, because its a work of beauty.  We carried our babies for 9 months and with that we stretched and grew.  Our babies molded our bodies from the inside out!  Things aren’t in the right places anymore and things don’t sit as high.  [Ahem.]  But our bodies nourished these little babies and continue to do so every day. 
 
 
I wont ever have my high school body, or my pre-wedding body or even my pre-baby body.  My body has and will continue to change every single day. Every day.  I feel like worrying about having a body from the past is an unattainable goal.  I can either choose to focus on the past or savor the present with my kids in my current [and very much loved] body.  I choose the present. 
 
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20+ Beautiful Birth Stories

20+ Beautiful Birth Stories

Everyone loves babies; in fact that’s why I started blogging 3 years ago.  I wanted to share my labor and delivery stories with,well, everyone.  I then asked a few of my friends to share their delivery stories and posted a new one every Wednesday for a few months.  I love reading about all things baby, especially l&d stories.  Every single one is a beautiful, unique, small miracle.  And I might cry when reading about a new baby being born.  Its just so awesome. 

I compiled all the labor and delivery stories that were shared here on the Grant life into one post so they are easy to find and read.  There are natural births, home births, hospital births, quick labors, long labors.  Its a smorgasbord of babies yall! 

20+ Beautiful Birth Stories

These posts are from a year or two ago so not all the pictures are available.  The stories are still beautiful and I hope you enjoy them! 

Tiffany
Liz
Kelly
Liz
Janiene
Haily
Tygre
Angela
Paige
Erin
Rachel
Lianne
Anitra
Tonii
Emily
Karen
Natalia
Brandy
Brittney
Michaela
Tricia
Amanda
Jill

  kiddos

And here are my labor and delivery stories:

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Labor of Love – Kelly’s Story!

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Hi everyone!  My name is Kelly & I blog over @ The Houtz House Party. After you are done reading come by and say hello!  I’d love to meet you!

I’m REALLY happy to be sharing the birth story of my oldest child Ian here on Kelley’s blog today! I wrote this letter for him just a couple days before his 3rd birthday back in June.  

Isn’t this very thing why so many of us start a blog in the first place?  To document stories about our lives as a keepsake for our children someday?  

Ian, our story begins here.


And now let’s fast forward to 20 weeks.  We went to get our ultrasound and you looked perfect!  It was at this ultrasound we found out we were going to have a boy, you, OUR Ian.  

We were SO excited about what your new life was going to be like.  You still made Mama sick you silly kiddo!  You know you made me sick almost from day one.  (BUT,,,of COURSE my little love bug you were so worth it.)

At 36 weeks Mama got a lot of pain in her back.  It made me sick and hot and just feel terrible.  I went to the dr and the dr THOUGHT I was in the early stages of labor.  I thought if THIS was the early stages of labor, WHAT WAS REAL LABOR like?!?!?!?!?

It took about 2 weeks of feeling miserable before I was FINALLY diagnosed with a kidney infection.  Phew, glad THAT wasn’t 2 weeks of labor.  Turns out THAT hurt worse than anything else!  My Dr prescribed me an antibiotic and I felt better within one day!  Yay!

the day I went to the hospital
At 39 weeks I went in for my regular appointment feeling WONDERFUL and wouldn’t you know it my blood pressure was elevated.  I was immediately sent to the hospital for more tests and sure enough I had preeclampsia.  Well, darn!  I was feeling SO good!  BUT, the exciting thing in all this was that I WAS FINALLY GOING TO MEET YOU buddy!

I got hooked up to some yucky medicine that made me feel a bit woozy, but it was important for yours and mama’s health.  The drs and nurses took good care of both of us that day! 

I went to the hospital at 11:00 am on Tuesday the 15th and you were born at 7:20 am on Wednesday June 16th.  


Daddy was right by my side every minute.  At least I had a nice bed to hang out in.  Daddy had a silly flip out chair.  Not exactly ideal sleeping arrangements for him but he was a trouper! 

When you were born you didn’t cry much at first so the drs checked you out a bit and then FINALLY they gave you to me to hold and cuddle skin to skin. 


I felt like I was in a bit of a dream.  I couldn’t believe you were actually HERE. 

You were SO sweet and SO cute and Daddy and I loved you SO much! 


Sweet baby Ian, I can hardly believe you will be 3 on Saturday!  Mama has changed into such a different person since your birth.  You made me so much better my man!  So much better! 

I’m so proud of the sweet, kind, loving little guy you are.  You are smart and appreciative and are the BEST big brother to your brothers and sister.  I couldn’t ask for anything more. 


I hope you will read this someday and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were wanted and loved more than anything in this world.  I am so grateful to God for you sweet boy.

Mama loves you.

Yall.. go visit Kelly’s site!  She’s such a sweetheart and youll get to see more pictures of her adorable kiddos!  


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Labor of Love – Liz’s Story!

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As I sit to write this birthing story for Kelley, I have to think back to how the day actually went. For those of you who read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien in high school, you’ll remember he talks about real truth and story truth. The book was about combat during the Vietnam War and how the men each recounted their experiences differently. And not merely from a different perspective, but literally, having the memories form uniquely in their minds.

I’m sure the memories of my daughters’ deliveries are more on the story truth side of things. It would have to be, otherwise women would only ever have ONE baby after the trauma and pain. But the bundle they place into your arms magically washes all of that horror and gore away, doesn’t it. Thank goodness. Otherwise we’d be laid up for a lot more than 2 days in the hospital!

Here’s what I remember from the day Avery was born:

I was induced, just like I was with my first. I was contracting and dilating, but not always at the same time, so at my 38 week check, I was at a 5, so my doc scheduled an induction for two days later (when she would be on-call and available to be present for the delivery)

For Olivia, we brought in a portable DVD player because we’d have all kinds of time to relax in the hospital after the baby was born. HA! I used it to watch Ocean’s Eleven in the early stages of my labor and that was the only time that sucker ever got switched on.

This time, I planned to distract myself with movies again. Worked well enough the first time. I packed Ocean’s Thirteen (in honor of the first go-around) and The Hangover. Don’t judge.  The Hangover is hilarious and laughter is the best medicine. I wanted to try to go a again without an epidural. 

I’ve done this before, how bad can it be.
Wait, this kinda hurt. 
I don’t remember it hurting this bad.
I am an idiot.

My labor progressed rather quickly; all told I’d been in the bed for about 3 hours now. I went from mild discomfort to overwhelming agony – I called the nurse back, who was just in checking on me. I went from a 7 to a 10 in a contraction.

I am ripping in half.

My water still hadn’t broken at this point, and when my doctor poked her head in the door, my nurse said “You’d better go change before I break her water, or you’re going to miss it.”

Yeah right lady. You’re just trying to be encouraging and make me think things are going faster than they are.
Wait, you’re taking the bottom of the bed out – that means we’re close, right?

They broke my water, and I swear it felt like Avery was just going to come out with the rest of it. The pressure was so intense and I was scared to move, let alone push because I didn’t want it to hurt anymore. My nurse encouraged, “Push against the pain, it will feel better.”

Easy for you to say, lady.
It still hurts, but I don’t hate you as much as I did a moment ago.

Four pushes,
five minutes
and out she came.

Now, if you’ve read my blog, you’ll remember that Avery wasn’t exactly in the schedule and I had a lot of anxiety about her arrival and integration into our family. {more here and here} To this day, I have a lot of guilt for that, but know that it was a stepping stone in our relationship – required to make the bond that she and I have today. In that moment, that first long moment she was wrapped and handed over, when she and I were the only people in the whole world – I knew she had chosen right when she picked me for her mom.

After everyone was cleaned up, I looked at my doctor and said a very tearful “thank you,” and she choked up and said “You’re welcome.”

My baby was here in this world. And I still work every day to make her proud that she made me her mom.

– 
What a sweet story about a beautiful baby girl!

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Labor of Love – Janiene’s Story!

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Hello All! I am Janiene from A Bunch of Bishops and I’m here to share one of my birth stories with you. I am a Mom of 3 and I have had 3 very different births. I find it funny that my birth stories match the personalities of my children – coincidence, maybe – but still fun to think about! 
 
When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child I wanted nothing more than to birth at home. Without going into too many details about my first 2 births, I never wanted to step foot in a hospital to birth a child again. I have a friend who was a licensed midwife and she became my amazing midwife for my 3rd pregnancy. I still went to an OB and had that as a backup plan just in case something went wrong with either the pregnancy or the delivery.
 
My pregnancy was amazing with my 3rd child. I was sicker than I was with my first 2 but other than that – amazing! I found out that I was having a daughter and was nervous and excited. I will be honest with you all, I never wanted a daughter. But, God knows me so well and knew just what daughter to bless me with, and so I learned to trust even more in the sovereignty of God through this! :)
 
On to the good stuff…
 
All my pregnancies go “late”. 
I hate due dates and what it does psychologically to the Mom (and what it does to Dr’s once you pass said “due date”). Now on my 3rd baby, I knew there was nothing “wrong” with the size of the baby – I just have big babies…there is nothing “wrong” with the size of my pelvis – 2 other babies passed through just fine…there must be something “wrong” with the whole practice of assigning a “due date”. I talked to my midwife about it and she said back in the day they used to give you a birth month – so that is what I started to tell my family…I am due in April – some time in April :)
 
On April 15th (almost 2 weeks past my due date) I started to have some slight menstrual cramping. I sat on my exercise ball and just rested and let my belly hammock forward so that my daughter would be in the best possibly position. I went to bed around 10:30pm and was awoken at 5am with some pretty strong cramps. I went to the bathroom and drank some water and tried to go back to sleep. My cramps started getting more painful and consistent and then before I knew it I was having pretty regular contractions. 
 
I let my husband sleep and got my kids up and ready, fed them breakfast and called my sister to take my kids to my Dad’s house. I knew this was the real deal :)
 
 I called my midwife at 10am and asked if she could come over. I then called my best friend Stacy and asked her to come. Stacy brought me Starbucks ice – what a perfect best friend. Stacy has been at the births of all of my children – she is an amazing support in labor & delivery! My husband and my midwife set up the birthing tub. Once filled, I hopped in and relaxed through my contractions. Here is one of my favorite photos from laboring in the birthing pool. I was in the middle of a contraction and Stacy was pushing on my lower back to relieve the pressure and ease the pain…
 
I labored until 3pm and I felt ready but my water had not yet broken. I was not surprised seeing as how my water never broke on my first 2 births either. My midwife checked me and the water bag was in the way of my daughters head. My midwife did not want to break my water unnaturally so she recommended that I walk around and allow my water to break naturally. Ummm, this was not a fun part of the process for me. I wanted to get the baby out but she was blocked by the bag of water. I tried and tried but nothing. I finally asked her to check me one more time to see if the baby’s head was further down. Right when I laid down and before she got a glove fully on, my water burst! I rushed (well as much as a huge pregnant lady can rush while about to push) over to the tub and pushed a few times but something didn’t feel right. I would push and my daughters head would come out and then spring back up. My midwife checked me and then told me to get out of the pool and sit on the birthing stool. I sat on the stool and she told me to get the baby out with one push. I prayed and took a breath and pushed my sweet daughter out with everything in me. My daughter came spinning out and we saw that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. My midwife was there to catch her and hand her to me. I snuggled her tight and my midwife gave her a breath and she pinked up and opened her eyes. She was so calm and so quiet – and so beautiful. She was not quiet in a bad way, she just seemed to be taking in the moments and I could feel her sense of calm and comfort in my arms…
 
We welcomed our daughter
Ava Marie Bishop
into the world (via our bedroom, haha)
at 5:02pm on April 16th, 2011.
 
While I moved over to the bed to rest and all, my husband got to snuggle his sweet daughter. It was a bright spring day and the weather was perfect for her arrival!!
 
My boys came home and met their new sister…
 
My midwife asked me how much I thought she weighed and I said that I thought she looked smaller than Owen and so I was guessing 8-1/2 lbs. She just laughed and said I was almost a pound off. I was shocked when she told me that I just homebirthed a 9lb 7oz baby! Wowzers!! 
 
My favorite things about this birth…
~peaceful~
~worship music played the entire time~
~I was able to close my eyes and labor uninterrupted~
~comfortable~
~simple~
~I was able to have the birth that i wanted~
~I did what felt right for my body~
~my midwife stayed with me for like 6 hours after the birth and gave me such tender, attentive, amazing postpardum care~
 
My daughter is 15 months old now and such a wonderful addition to the Bishop bunch…
 
Thank you Kelley for letting me share my amazing birth experience with your readers. And thank you to you all for reading it! :)
 

Labor of Love – Liz’s Story!

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Saturday, March 13, 2004

My Mom had arrived a week before my due date and we’d spent the past week buying and prepping the final touches before our first daughter was born.

Way back in August my husband and I had bought tickets to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform Handel’s Messiah. At that point I didn’t realize I was pregnant. When I found out my due date was March 14, I figured the chances of having the baby (especially my first) on time were small.

I had been to the OB the day before, 0% dilated, 0% effaced. I told her we had tickets to the symphony the next day. She said, “you should be fine, but these kids make liars of us all the time.”

My husband and I were looking forward to one last night out pre-baby and had made a reservation at a restaurant we hadn’t tried before. My husband was post-call and resting, my Mom and I were hanging out in the kitchen struggling with the Saturday crossword, when I had to go to the bathroom. Something felt different, and instead of pee it was clear. Since this was my first time, I wasn’t really sure, but went in to where my husband was and told him I thought my water had just broken.

We called the OB, and she suggested I come in just to be sure. On the ride to the hospital we called a couple of friends to see if they wanted the tickets to the symphony but at 4pm for an 8pm concert it was pretty last minute. We called the Symphony and donated them to last minute sales.

We got to L&D and sure enough my water had broken, but I was still not effaced or dilated. They hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor and gave me some Pitocin to speed things along.

The hospital I delivered at was a teaching hospital, so I had nurses, students, residents and attendings checking on me. Since my husband is a doctor and I know they all need to get their training somewhere I figured it was fine, although I got a little annoyed at repetitious questions.

I had told my doctor early on that I knew I wanted an epidural, and when I started feeling some contractions they gave me a muscle relaxer first which made me kind of loopy. I was still progressing very slowly despite lots of checks, so they decided to let me rest for a while (ie the OB wants a good night’s sleep and will see me in the am). I tried, but around midnight the nurses came in and said that the fetal monitor was registering a little bit of irregularity so they thought I might be lying on the cord. They suggested I switch to sleeping on my left side, and sure enough the heart rate slowed down. They also gave me an O2 mask in case the baby’s oxygen had been compromised.  At first I was a little nervous about that, but the nurses made it seem like it was not uncommon, so no need to worry.  Unfortunately the sofa my husband was resting in was on my right side so now we couldn’t really see each other or talk easily. 

They continued to monitor me through the night, and at some point the Pitocin really kicked in and I started having what felt like severe menstrual cramps, and I called for the epidural. Luckily it was a quiet night and the anesthesiologist came pretty quickly.  Once the epidural kicked in, I felt pretty good and went back to sleep with people checking on me occasionally. Finally around 7 am, they told me that I was good to go and the OB would be in shortly to deliver me.

At this point we called my Mom, so she could cab it to the hospital to be there when her granddaughter arrived. 

By 7:30, everything was set up, the room was transformed from a “on-deck” room to a delivery room, the OB came in, and asked me to start pushing. Unfortunately (and I didn’t realize this at the time) the anesthesiologist had given me a higher dosage of the epidural than I needed and I couldn’t feel a thing below my waist line. I thought this was normal, so didn’t say anything.  While I’m glad I couldn’t feel pain, it’s very hard to push when you can’t even feel pressure. When the doctor or nurses would see a contraction coming they would tell me to push, and I could move my upper body, but had no idea what was going on below. After a really good push, they would tell me to do the same thing again, and I had no idea what I had just done.

Because of this the actual delivery went pretty slowly.  I didn’t realize I was slow, but my husband (having done OB as part of his training) had enough insight to ask the nurses to find my Mom in the waiting room and tell her everything was fine, just slow.

I ended up pushing for a while, and at one point the OB (not my regular), asked my husband what his line of work was. Upon learning he was also a doctor, she started asking about his specialty (general surgery) and their focus (bariatric). I purposely did not deliver at one of the hospitals he is on staff at (in case they tried to call him away). He got annoyed and admittedly a little curt with the OB as she continued asking him bout his practice.  Obviously she was killing time between contractions, but as he puts it, ” here I am at one of the most important moments of my life, the birth of my first child, and she’s asking for my CV”.

In the end after 2 1/2 hours of pushing, our little girl was born at 10:03am on her due date (only 15% of babies are). To this day she is punctual to a fault, and a budding classical music aficionado.  She bit the doctor on the way out.  I think that was payback for making small talk earlier and not focusing on the delivery ; ) 

We joke that we expect her to someday treat us to a CSO performance of Handel’s Messiah. Of course the second part of that joke is that thank goodness my water didn’t break in the middle of the Hallelujah chorus. Our punctual daughter is also considerate ;)

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Getting ready to go home.  Despite being full term she was tiny.  6.0 lbs.  We had to go to Babies R Us the next day to get her some preemie clothes as everything else was too big. We used the crib from day one but ended up putting the Moses basket inside the crib and then she slept in that.

Everyone (myself included had bought lots of 3-6 month clothes as everyone always advises you to do.  The fleece is supposed to be a jacket not a nightgown : ) 

 
 
What a sweet angel girl!  Make sure yall stop by and say hello to Liz!  
 

Labor of Love – Tiffany’s Story!

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Hey yall!  Welcome my good friend Tiffany from blabbering thoughts.  I heart her and her babies are adorable and shes hilarious and I could go on forever!  Ill let Tiffany do the talking today though..

I love being pregnant & it was my last me being pregnant, unless God has other plans. I had 2 amazing pregnancies & births, but today I am going to share my 2nd ones birth because it is the most fresh to me.


I was about to hit 40 weeks, went into the doctor as every pregnant woman does, hoping, praying for great news that you are dilated 3cm & effaced 100% {what? I told you I was hoping}. But no that was not the case. 1cm & maybe 25% effaced. BORING. I was ready to get this show on the road. With my prior pregnancy I was induced a week early, everything went accordingly, so I asked my doctor say my due date comes around will I get induced? This was on a Wednesday, my due date was on Saturday. She said she would. So I had my appointment to show up at the hospital at 9am on Sunday. Now, I tried every trick in the book to get that baby to come out but it just didn’t work.

Sunday morning rolled around.. 9am.. I mean that’s a perfect time, not too early. We left our house at 8:30, rolled through Starbucks just in case it was a really long day for daddy. Of course the line was out the wazoo. So I waited impatient & anxious. Of course we were 5 minutes late. 

Walk into the hospital & into the labor & delivery unit all smiles because I was hoping today was the day we got to meet our baby boy. I get all checked in, comfortable in my bed. My doctor strolled in around 11:15am with the intentions of giving me some sort of pill to start my labor, but as she checked me I was 4cm dilated & 50% effaced :) I was a happy camper MINUS the whole she stripped my membranes, she let me know she was doing it while DURING IT. Painful

Obviously my contractions started then & very frequent. They were hesitant to start the pitocin, but then did but monitored it so closely.

They came in at around 2pm to give me my epidural, yes ladies, I am not a super hero. Props to all you out there that could handle it. 

3pm – knock knock .. Change of shift, a male nurse. HEY I’ve had male doctors before never bothered me, I looked at Chris and he thought the same thing. 

BEST NURSE I’VE EVER HAD. His name was Ron. He spent so much time with us the next couple of hours, checking, talking to us, answering questions, being comforting. And I mean come on we all need that comforting feeling from your medical provider during this amazing experience. Chris, loved him. I think I can say that ;) {A little insight about this nurse, a few months after Henry was born we were at Sears buying appliances & chatting with the sales man that just had a kid at the same hospital. His comment was, we had the best male nurse ever. And I said RON?!! I told you he rocked.}.

Now, I got to fall asleep for about 5 minutes. Then I woke up with the statement, “Chris, this catheter is becoming so uncomfortable it needs to come out or something.” {Previous pregnancy they did not do this so it was a first for me}

Ron came in & I told him so he checked me & he said no my dear that is you are 10cms & ready to push. Oh I am sorry, it was 6pm. Where the heck did the day go? Already? AHH.


He came back, and when I said he, I mean like 234352 different people to help with the process. 

So the pushing began. I pushed maybe 6 times. And welp there came little Lloyd Henry. His little head poked out & everyone is saying, oh my I wonder how big he is. I mean really? Can we wait for that until after he is completely out

All 8lbs 15oz of that baby boy came out squealing at the top of his lungs, at 6:43pm. 







Everything was perfect. 





That night, everything was perfect. He didn’t cry. I woke him up to feed him. That night I had my 2 boys sleeping next to me & then to go home & complete our family of four.

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Labor of Love – Hailey’s Story!

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Healthy baby boy. 7lbs 1 oz, 19 1/4 in long.

 
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I still have a difficult time remembering those numbers because the first time I heard them I was in a dream. It all happened so fast. Suddenly the life that was growing inside of me that I had been praying for was on my chest. That moment and the first few days that followed are indescribable. The feelings of love were overwhelming. Breathtaking. Something only God could create. I remember sobbing as I held you for the first time. There I was a new mom with a beautiful new life.
 
 

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You did need a little coaxing to help bring you into this world-maybe you’re a little shy or maybe you’re not a fan of change (like your mom).
 
Thursday, December 22nd 12 a.m. we arrived at the hospital. We checked in and then rode the elevator to the second floor. A nurse showed us to our room and after barely getting settled and changing into my gown they started my IV, drew some blood, and placed Cytotec to help get the induction process going. We tried to get some sleep that night, but with the anxiety and all the in-and-outs from the nurses, sleep was far from us.
 
 

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At 8 a.m. they started me on Pitocin and my doctor came in to break my water. This was very uncomfortable and she wasn’t able to break it the first time.
 
At 9 a.m. my doctor came back for another try. She was successful this time.
 
 

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By 10:30-11 a.m. I was dilated to about a 4. I was shaking, curled up on one side of the bed clinging to the bedrail and this was when I decided that I wanted the epidural. The epidural was, by every meaning of the word, a lifesaver. However, getting it was not so pleasant.
 
 

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At about 12 p.m. we were told by the nurses to take a nap because they weren’t expecting any more progress until about 3-4 p.m. They made a joke and said I could prove them wrong though. So we told our parents to go have lunch and we tried to take a nap. We laid there talking for a while and then I started feeling some pains. Mr. Baker went to get a nurse for me and when she checked I was dilated to a 10. In one hour I went from being dilated 4 or 5 to a 10. The nurses started scrambling and kept telling me not to push. Nothing was set up and no one was ready for this baby to come!
 
At 1 p.m. it was time to push. I was in this zone, almost like I was outside of my body. I could hear all the voices telling me to push. I closed my eyes. I was determined.
 
At 1:35 p.m. on December 22nd, my son was born. A moment in time that was perfectly and wonderfully made. A moment of no words. A place forever frozen in my mind.
 
Beautiful. Precious. Life.
 
 

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Labor of Love – Tygre’s Story!

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Thank you Kelley for putting together these precious moments!  I enjoy reading about the adventures of these cute kids and their mommies.  I’m a mommy of two little goobers, but I am so happy to be sharing our daughter’s birth story.
 
Our daughter, Maevri Kate, made an early entrance into the world…
 
It was late June of 2010 and I was at about 35 weeks when our little girl started showing signs that she wanted out of my tummy.  I was still working part time, but had been segueing out of work responsibilities.  It was summertime and I was working at the museum, so I was on my feet the majority of the day.  Late July was our due date, but my boss went ahead and took me off the schedule to let me rest.  I went to work my last day on Sunday, but left early because of some rib and back pain.  I felt like a big sissy, because I definitely teared up in front of my boss, who thankfully urged me to go home and rest.  I thought that my massive kankles and back pains were just part of pregnancy and being on my feet all day.  I was seeing my doctor the next day though, so I didn’t worry about it much.  I had also scheduled another appointment a week earlier and we were all a-OK.  My parents were coming into town the next day too, so I was looking forward to relaxing with them.
 
The next day, I went in for my regular bi-monthly, check-up appointment.  My body was still achy and I felt like my feet were going to explode.  Remember those massive kankles? (My lovely hubs is rubbing my kankles below.)  2:30 p.m. rolls around and I finally get called in.  I do the normal sprinkle in a cup, weighing and blood pressure check.  
 
Hold the train… 
 
I had gained fifteen pounds since my last visit and my blood pressure was about 150/80.  For those of you that don’t know (I didn’t.), that’s ridiculously high.  And who gains fifteen pounds in one week?! Well, it’s definitely possible, but I had not been eating any more food than usual.  I remember my sweet nurses, who I loved being pampered by, cautiously saying, “Uh, your blood pressure is really high… how do you feel?” Another nurse walks into my room and says, “Girl, why is there blood in your urine?” She gives me the judgmental look that asks, “Have you been drinking your water, sinner?” and runs to get my doctor. (Too much information? Sorry.)  Meanwhile, I’m freaking out.  My mind was racing with questions and concerns. 
 
My doctor walks in casually, but concerned and says, “Hey, it looks like we’re going to have a baby today.  How do you feel? You might want to call your husband.”
 
Hold the train again.  
 
“Hey. Wait, what?! Is everything okay??” were the first words out my mouth.  “We’re having our daughter today?! How is she?!” I was so ecstatic to be meeting our baby girl that day.  I would be pushing our daughter out soon, but I felt like I hadn’t even processed that yet.  I think I was expecting that classic labor story.  You know? Where I’d be at home doing laundry, start having contractions and frantically call Tod to tell him that my water broke.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen.  
 
First, my blood pressure needed to drop drastically and then I could be induced for labor.  She would be arriving a month early!  It turns out that preeclampsia crept in the last week or so of my pregnancy, so our baby girl needed to come out quick.  She was doing great, but there were dangers of her heart rate decreasing and my blood pressure continuing to sky rocket. 
 
I was really nervous and scatter-brained, but called Tod with a grin on my face to tell him that we’d be meeting our daughter that day.  He definitely didn’t believe me at first and thought I was pulling his leg.  He excitedly gave in though after my preeclampsia spiel.  Yes, I was a big girl and teared up on the phone.  I basically told him to hurry and get to the hospital too. They would be walking me over to delivery really soon.  I was SO thankful that he was off of work that day and at home.  He hurriedly packed me and our daughter an overnight bag and got the car seat ready.  (Did I mention that we had not picked a name yet? Well, we had not even picked a name yet, hence the “our daughter” references. Talk about not being prepared!) Tod also called my parents to tell them that we would not be meeting them at their hotel pool later that afternoon.  They had just driven into town!
 
Tammy, one of my nurses, walked me to labor and delivery and reassured me that everything would be easy peasy.  I changed into my gown and was quickly prepped for those lovely IVs of labor inducing and blood pressure meds.  I was on pain medication too and was shaking so much because of nervousness and not feeling up to par from the preeclampsia.  They set up heart monitors on my belly too to monitor our daughter’s heart rate.  I was elated and relieved to see my husband walk in the door.  
 
My parents and in-laws arrived at the hospital too, but weren’t allowed into my room.  The nurses were still monitoring my blood pressure and didn’t want to take a chance on it getting higher from socializing with visitors.  My anesthesiologist didn’t scare me at all either (insert sarcasm) when he wrapped my bed rails with sheets in case of a seizure.  Still shaking with nervousness…
 
Maevri (finally… we picked her name) was doing great, but her heartbeat began to slow down after a couple of hours into getting my pressure down.  My doctor decided to schedule a c-section.  Pushing in labor was a risk for Mae and me.  My husband teases me about pre-delivery because he says that I was really loopy and out of it.  I was thrilled to meet our little Maevri, but everything was happening so fast! I completely trusted that God would protect us, but my fears got the best of me.  I just wanted Mae baby out and safely in our arms. 
 
At one point, Tod was out in the waiting room with our family and we were waiting to go meet Mae.  Of course we can’t forget when my doc jokingly told me to tell Tod to *ahem* “Get his ass back in here. We’ve got to go.” Prepped and ready to go for a c-section, I held Tod’s hand (really) tight.  He was prepped too in his good lookin’ hospital scrubs.  A few minutes later, we welcomed our daughter into the world! (See her Lion King birth pose picture a few rows down.)
 
Maevri Kate
Born on June 28, 2010
 4 lbs 7 oz
9:09 p.m.
 
 
Maevri was born a month early and was so tiny, but she was also completely healthy.  We did not want to break her!  I love telling her delivery story because it was all unexpected and happened so fast, but we love to look back on God’s provision through it all.  Our Lord gave us a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  I remember crying and praying with Tod the night Mae was born in the wee hours of the morning while we were still in the hospital.  It was the first, quiet moment together that we had as a new family.  Amidst a crazy, new schedule and learning to nurse and care for a baby, it had been a long and worrisome day, but we were so grateful.  
 
Some of God’s provisions that day:
-My last day of work was the day before Mae was born.  Mae and I had remained healthy amidst the mysterious preeclampsia.
-My prenatal check-up appointment was scheduled.  I could honestly say I probably would have thought nothing of my massive kankles and achy feelings. It’s normal… isn’t it? ;) 
-Tod had opened and prepped Mae’s car seat the night before labor.
-My parents happened to drive into town that day.  They live about seven hours away.  Little did they know they would get to meet their granddaughter on her birthday. 
-My in-laws (Mae’s other grandparents, Ma and Pa) brought over tons of preemie gear and clothes for lil’ Mae baby. 
-We were in the hospital for about a week.  Tod was itching to go home, but I was scared to leave our nurses.  If anything went wrong, they’d come to the rescue right?  I was very grateful for my doctor and nurses that checked on me and Mae frequently.
-Our church family and friends also provided meals and other goodies for us later that week.  
It was good to reflect on God’s protection through the pregnancy and reflect on His goodness. Two years later and we’re still blessed with a precious, baby girl.  Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! 
Love this story!  Tygre is such a sweetheart and her daughter is too!

Labor of Love – Angela’s Story!

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Hey Ladies! I’m so excited to be here with you today, sharing one of my birth stories. Since I was a little girl, I’d always dreamed of being a mom and also having completely natural birth experiences. I know, that sounds crazy, right? Well, I always wanted to fully experience the birth of my babies and thankfully, God has blessed me with two amazing kids and also, two amazing and all-natural births. It was hard to know which birth story to share with you today so, I decided to share the birth story for our youngest child, Paisley. Enjoy!

 
Saturday, October 23rd, I was 6 days over due. I woke up at 4:30am to use the bathroom and couldn’t seem to fall back asleep. After laying there for about 15 minutes, I realized that I was having some light contractions, about 7 minutes apart. I waited for awhile before waking Jeremiah up to make sure that I just wasn’t imagining the contractions. Indeed, it was real. Hooray! I was actually in labor!!!
I woke Jeremiah and told him that I thought something was definitely happening. We got up, had some coffee and some breakfast. While I ate my Cheerios, the contractions started getting more intense and closer together. I called my midwife about 5:30am and told her I was in labor. She was excited and warned me not to wait at home too long because she knew how fast my labor with Judah was. I told her I wanted to take a shower and get ready and then we’d head off to the hospital. I called my mom, told her to head on over to our house (to be with Judah) and then got in the shower. Contractions increased and got more painful. I got ready and I could tell that we really needed to leave the house soon.
 
We left the house about 6:45am and got to the hospital slightly after 7am. The drive there wasn’t very comfortable but, it seemed to go fast (maybe that’s because Jeremiah did go fast!). My sister was also on her way to the hospital to support me during labor. My midwife, Natalie told the front desk that they didn’t need to monitor me in triage because she knew that they’d be keeping me. So, they went ahead and took us to our room. Natalie met us in the room and told the nurse that she didn’t need to prep me for an IV, I loved that! I can’t stand IV’s, they totally gross me out and I didn’t want ANYTHING being placed on me or in my veins. Yuck.
 
About 8am, I finally got into the jacuzzi tub. I worked through contractions in there with towels on me and Jeremiah and Sally in the room. They brought me tons of water to drink and a Bakers cookie to eat. If you know me really well, you know that I have a thing for Baker’s Cookies, it’s quite ridiculous. The nurse only came in to monitor Paisley’s heart beat about every 15 minutes and each time, it showed that she was handling the contractions just great! Contractions were very close together and it was very intense. At one point, Jeremiah turned some music on and we listened to “Lifesong” by Casting Crowns. Going through a contraction while listening to that song was really emotional, in a good way. It made me cry and it was such a special moment.
 
At 8:50am, I told the nurse that it felt like the babies head was basically between my legs. She ran to have Natalie check me and sure enough, I was fully dilated! I remember saying “Thank God!!”. It had been so intense that I’m glad I progressed fast. I got on the bed and pushed for 3 contractions and then Paisley Rae was born at 9am!!!! 8lb, 8oz and 18.5 inches long.
She is perfect and so healthy. Jeremiah, Judah and I are totally amazed by her.
 

A little about Angela: Angela’s Adventures is written by Angela, a stay at home mom of two little ones. Angela loves writing about daily life with her 3 year old and 1 year old and also, her crafting and cooking adventures. Creating tasty recipes and making her home beautiful, without spending much money is a passion of hers. To read more of Angela’s Adventures, please visit her blog at http://www.angelastrand.com/. You can also find her on Pinterest or facebook.