Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Weight Loss: Week 7 Results

Sorry I skipped posting last week.  To be honest I was feeling embarrassed because I gained a little less than a pound.  So this past week I started doing P90X3 (Thank you Meredith from Beginning New Chapters for loaning it to me).  I also have stopped eating sugar so that has helped.  I was pretty sure I had a sugar addiction until I drank some kombucha and then my body went into detox mode, so now I am positive I had a sugar addiction.  I am glad to be on the up and doing better, sugar free!  So with all that said I will tell you my results.  When I weighed myself yesterday I weighed 211.6 pounds!  Wahoo!

I am excited to see what I will weigh next week with this new mindset, exercise routine, and eating habits.  I am leaving today to go to Tennessee with some friends and our kids and we will be doing lots of hiking and playing so I know it will be good for my body there too.  Plus fresh mountain air is just good for the soul!  Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week! Oh and stay tuned... on Wednesday I will be posting who the winner of the giveaway is... if you haven't already you should enter!

                                                                                   Starting Weight: 224.4
                                                                                   Weight this week: 211.6
                                                                                   Total weight loss: 12.8 lbs

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Green Living Giveaway ($200 value)

Green, crunchy, healthy, hippie, granola, environmentally friendly, natural, and sustainable are all words you could use to describe the items in this giveaway.  I decided to sum it all up with three words: Green Living Giveaway.  I am doing this giveaway to mark the milestone of reaching 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel!  Thank you to all of you who have subscribed to my channel and for those of you who are about to!  Good luck to everyone and I am excited to see who wins!  I will announce the winner on April 2nd.  Everything will be done via Rafflecopter so it will be very well organized and the winner will be chosen at random.  The thingy to enter the giveaway is near the bottom of this page. Now for a look at what is included in this giveaway! (over $200 in value)

 3 Sets of Cloth Nursing Pads: Made with a top layer of flannel, a soaking layer of unbleached cotton batting, and a backing layer of anti-pill fleece.  The fleece keeps the moisture in the batting and prevents any milk from leaking through to your bra or shirt. ($12 value) Made by The Sustainable Mama.

Set of 3 Wee-Wee Wigwams:   They are made with soft flannel on the top and an inner layer of super soft terry cloth.  The terry cloth is very absorbent and helps to soak up any pee that your little indian may shoot.  These make a perfect baby shower gift for a expectant mother of a baby boy. They are saving face one wigwam at a time..... literally! ($10 value) Made by The Sustainable Mama.

Set of 3 cloth pads: These super comfortable pads are made with a top layer of super soft flannel featuring three different prints: Celtic, Red&Purple, and Owl, followed by two layers of unbleached cotton batting, and backed with anti-pill fleece providing a water-resistant back They are made for regular to heavy absorbency and measure approximately 10" long. These feature two snaps, one for snapping during wear, and the other to snap closed to keep clean while in your bag or to enclose it once it is dirty.  These pads have surged edges with a reinforcing topstitch.  The middle vertical stiches only go through the top three layers, so there is less opportunity for leaking. ($24 value) Made by The Sustainable Mama.

Carrying Case for Cloth Pads: This adorable flower carrying case is perfect for your cloth pads.  It helps to keep the clean and organized while you are on the go.  The case also makes it discrete when you are carrying your pads to the restroom.  Is made with an outer layer of cotton flower print material and an inner pink layer also made of cotton.  The case has three snaps placed on cotton bias tape.  This case can fit several pads and is the perfect size for my regular/heavy cloth pads.  This case is a MUST HAVE for any cloth pad user! ($15 value) Made by The Sustainable Mama.

A Dozen Cloth Baby Wipes: This reusable wipe set is made of super-soft durable flannel. Wipes are made of TWO layers of flannel with serged edges and reinforced corners. Wipes measure 8 x 8 inches each. This is a mixed set with all girl and boy prints. In addition to wiping little bottoms, they work great as washcloths at bath time. You can keep a few in your pocket, purse, or diaper bag for those runny noses and messes while out and about.  They make great cloth napkins for those little hands and faces too! These are great for adults too! Perfect for the family cloth system, makeup removal, or washcloths. When folded in half, these wipes fit perfectly into a standard wipe container or travel wipe container! ($16 value) Made by The Sustainable Mama.

Set of 6 Family Cloth: These super soft flannel wipes measure approximately 5" by 7" so they are the perfect size to use as toilet paper or tissues.  These are the ideal family cloth.  They are made with two layers of super soft flannel featuring owl print and fish print.  The wipes have serged edges with a reinforced corner. ($7 value) Made by The Sustainable Mama.

5 Packs of Shakeology: Two packs of vanilla, two packs of chocolate, and one pack of strawberry.  Also included is some helpful tips for Shakeology, recipes to use with them, and some other helpful papers put together from Meredith. ($25 value) Donated by Meredith at Beginning New Chapters.

3 Newborn Alva Cloth Diapers:  These diapers come with 2 inserts for each diaper.  There are 3 homemade terry cloth inserts and 3 Alva inserts (two cotton and one bamboo).  So there are six cloth inserts in total.  ($18 value) Terry inserts made by The Sustainable Mama.

Nursing Necklace: Made with woven cotton material and organic wood free from chemicals or finishes.  This is the perfect necklace for your little nursling to play with during breastfeeding sessions or even use as a teething ring while babywearing. ($12 value) Donated by Kasondra
Muscle Ease Herbal BathIngredients are arnica flower, lavender flower, comfrey leaf, Epsom salt, and ginger root. To use this hebal mix for the bath all you have to do is simmer for 30 mins in 4 cups of water then strain and add to your bath water.  Then soak in the bath for 20 minutes and you will feel your muscles loosen up as you relax in the tub. ($8 value) Donated by Kasondra.

Booty & Body Balm: Safe for use on newborn-adult, safe to use on diaper rash, eczema, and even as a nipple butter. Ingredients: Organic Coconut oil,  Calendula oil , comfrey oil, beeswax, aloe, therapeutic grade melalueca and lavender essential oils. ($10 value) Made by Burba's Botanicals.

Healing Salve: Made with herbs that aide in rapid healing such as comfrey leaf, calendula flower, lavender and various other healing elements! This is a must-have in a house with kids and during the super dry winter months! Ingredients: Organic Comfrey Leaf, Organic Calendula Flower, Organic Lavender, Aloe, Melalueca, Olive Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax ($10 Value) Made by Burba's Botanicals.

Magnesium Lotion: Transdermal magnesium therapy is a form of magnesium supplementation that is easy, convenient, and affordable. Transdermal, or “topical” magnesium is particularly helpful for those seeking a safe method of increasing magnesium intake beyond that possible with oral supplements, which can cause diarrhea or other intestinal complaints. Ingredients: Organic African Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Magnesium Chloride Flakes from Dead Sea, Lavender Flower Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Therapeutic Grade Lavender Essential Oil, Olive Oil. ($10 Value) Donated by Burba's Botanicals.

Talc Free Baby Powder: Safe for use on newborn-adult, safe to use on diaper rash. Ingredients: Organic arrowroot powder, umbrian clay, organic corn starch, therapeutic grade sweet orange essential oils. ($3 value) Made by Burba's Botanicals.

Dreamsicle Lip Balm: Ingredients- Oragnic African Shea Butter, Coconut oil, Calendula oil, beeswax, therapuetic grade sweet orange and vanilla EO. ($2.50 value) Made by Burba's Botanicals.

Young Living Citrus Fresh: Citrus Fresh is an exclusive Young Living essential oil blend. The single oils used in this blend are: Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, Mandarin, Grapefruit and Spearmint. It may be diffused, used topically or ingested as a nutritional supplement.  Denise is also including a roller-ball attachment for ease of application should the winner desire to use it. Citrus Fresh stimulates the right brain to magnify creativity and well-being and may be used to decrease anxiety. It is also a great air purifier. ($20 value) Donated by Denise at A Heart for Oils

To learn more about Citrus Fresh watch this video:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the video of all the items in this giveaway!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weight Loss: Week 5 Results

Not much to say today.  I weighed myself this morning and I weight the same as last week. Wah Wah.  Oh well, at least I didn't gain weight.  This just means I better find time to exercise this week and try to eat a bit better.  I am not going to post a picture or my weight because I am sure I look the same as last week and I know I weigh the same so if you want to know just go the week 4 blog post.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Don't mess up your kids mind because you are uncomfortable with breasts.

No I am not talking about being uncomfortable with a woman showing off her cleavage for attention.  Sadly too many people are completely comfortable with that but are perturbed when they see a baby, or God forbid a toddler, suckling on a breast.  This week a dear friend of mine was ridiculed..... by another mother.  My friend Kasondra was at a children's museum with her husband, toddler, and newborn baby.  They sat down to have a snack in the area for such purposes and Kasondra began to feed her baby because, you guessed it, the baby was hungry.  Kasondra fed her baby as God intended, with her breast.  Completely normal if you ask me.  But for some reason another woman, actually another mother in the room thought that this was not only abnormal, but gross.  She proceeded to tell her children to not look in Kasondra's direction and that Kasondra was "being gross".  Now, we know as parents that our words can stick with our children and that they are watching our every move.  This woman really did her children a disservice.  She told them that breastfeeding was gross, not just with her words but also her body language.  Now her daughter might not fully understand this now, but when she comes of age when her breasts start developing and she starts to wonder why and what their purpose is, she might subconsciously come back to this moment.  I mean, she is already being told from every other angle that breasts are for sex and the enjoyment of men.  She is being told by the media that women's bodies are to be looked at, mocked, picked apart, and played with.  That woman telling her daughter that breastfeeding is gross, that doing something with her body that is good, healthy, right, and down right near sacred is instead disgusting is setting her daughter up to completely devalue herself and her body just like the rest of the world is already telling her to do.  And that is coming from her mother, the most influential woman in her life. 

This woman did not just do a disservice to her daughter, but also to her son.  Because everything that she just told her daughter, with that one statement, she also told her son.  Her dear son is going to grow up in a world where he is pressured to see women as objects and not the amazing, powerful, beautiful, creations of God that they are.  If you don't believe me, seriously just look around you at the billboards and commercials you see.  I just saw a Hardee's commercial that primarily focused on a woman in a bikini very slowly and sensually attacking a fish sandwich.  They were selling sex, not the sandwich, because they know that sex sells.  Those advertising executives know that if they sell sex they will sell their sandwich.  It's appalling really.  And that is the world that her son is going to grow up in, scratch that, is ALREADY growing up in.  The comment so quickly made by his mother will stick with him.  That breastfeeding is gross.  When the time comes he will make the connection, he will think, "So if breastfeeding is gross, then what else could breasts be for.  Oh yeah.... for me, for men, for sex.  Just like I saw on t.v., just like my friends told me, just like that magazine showed me." And this thought will be innate in him.  It will be so easy to confirm all the bull crap he is being told by the world because his own mother taught him at a very young age that "breastfeeding is gross."

But the disservice doesn't just end with her children, this woman also was teaching all of the children within earshot of her voice.  Her disgust which was simply fueled by her discomfort was heard by all the other little boys and girls (about 15 in total) within hearing distance, including Kasondra's own 2.5 year old, Nate.  Thank God the little guy still nurses himself and he has parents who are going to correct the damage that woman could have done to his very impressionable mind.  So he won't be easily swayed, but who knows what impact her words could have on Nate.  What if now all the sudden he starts to wonder if he and his baby brother are being gross by drinking milk from their mommy?  All because of one women's discomfort and quickness to judge and mock.

Now I am not going to go into all of the advantages of breastfeeding.  I don't care if you breastfeed or formula feed your kid.  That's your business.  But don't completely screw up your kids mind about a woman's body and it purpose just because you are uncomfortable with breastfeeding.  If your kid asks "Mommy (or Daddy), what is that lady doing?" Just simply state what she is doing. Just tell them that she is feeding her baby milk.  Then you can go on to remind them that other animals feed their babies milk and this is how human babies eat too.  If they proceed to ask about bottles and why do other babies eat from a bottle then you can go on to explain that some mommy's can't produce milk or they choose to use bottles but this is the way that God designed or nature intended for babies to eat.  Just answer their questions, that's all they want.  They don't want to know your opinion on the matter, they just want to know what's going on.  Children are not as opinionated and judgmental as we adults are, and thank God for that.  So just tell them what's going on.  That's all they want anyways.

P.S. Praise the Lord another mother heard what was going on, came up and told Kasondra she is doing a good job, sat down next to her and started nursing her own baby.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weight Loss: Week 4 Results

This morning when I weighed myself I was excited to see the numbers 213.6 on the scale!  I am getting so close to being under 200lbs again.  It is really encouraging to see that number on the scale go down a little bit more each week.  I feel better in my clothes and in my skin.  We are all starting to feel better and the weather is getting nicer.  Tomorrow I am meeting up with a bunch of natural minded mama's at the zoo for some fun mama and kiddo time.  I am so excited to see Elijah's reaction to the animals!  The last time we took him to the zoo he was only a little over a year, so he wasn't too impressed with the animals.  This time he knows the sounds different animals make and I think he will be quite excited to see them in person.  The weather should be super nice so it will be great to have the kids outside and walking around.  I will have Micah on me in a carrier all day and I will be pushing a stroller too so I should get a good workout.  I am loving the nicer weather.  As it continues to warm up we will be outside doing gardening, playing, going on hikes, and going on bike rides.  The spring and summer bring some great family time.

                                                                                    Starting Weight: 224.4
                                                                                    Weight this week: 213.6
                                                                                    Total weight loss: 10.8

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weight Loss: Week 3 Results

This week has been very challenging to say the least.  My son had been dealing with a fever, cough and runny nose and I caught what he had.  He seemed to progressively get better as the week went on.  I was getting slowly better, still dealing with intense coughing and some labored breathing when all of a sudden on Friday night my body completely broke out in hives.  It was the strangest thing and I still don't know why it happened.  So I had to take some Benadryl to try and lessen the hives.  They were off and on for about 2 days and then they finally went away.  On Friday Elijah had been doing really well and I thought he was almost well.  Then on Saturday morning his fever returned and he was very lethargic and whiney.  I noticed that he had some fluid draining from his right ear.  It was then that we decided to take him to urgent care.  We found out that he not only had an ear infection, but also had a ruptured ear drum.  I asked the doctor if it were bacterial or viral.  She stated that their was pus in his ear and that is normally indicative of it being bacterial.  So we got him on antibiotics for the infection and children's Tylenol for his pain and fever.  Since we started giving him his medicine he has been doing exceptionally better.  It is so nice to hear his little voice and see him smiling and playing.

So because we have been dealing with sickness I knew I probably lost a bit of weight from the stress, loss of appetite, and focusing on the kids needs more than my needs.  When I get sick I tend to loose a bit of weight, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.  For where I am at right now, I look at it as a good thing. This morning I weighed myself and was happy so see that I weigh 216.2, which means I have lost 3 pounds since last week!  It is so nice to continue to see my weight dropping and for me to get closer to a healthy weight for me. I hope this week continues to bring healing for us and I pray my family has great health from here on out.  I don't want to deal with sickness again.    Starting Weight: 224.4
                                                                                        Weight this Week: 216.2
                                                                                        Total Weight Loss: 8.2

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weight Loss: Week 2 Results

I weighed myself this morning and I was 219.4!  Yay for being under 220!  It feels really good to see my weight going down.  I know that the slow and steady way is the best way for me to keep it off.  I also woke up with a fever, so I will be dealing with sickness this week.  Which is probably good in a sense because it will force me to eat a ton of fruits and veggies.  I caught the illness from my toddler who has been sick quite a bit this winter. I can't help but feel it is partially my fault.  He is a picky eater, and so at times I just give him whatever he will eat and it won't necessarily be good for him.  I want to change that.  I want to find creative ways of getting him to eat some healthier foods.  I sometimes puree veggies and sneak them into food that I make.  For instance, when I make chili or spaghetti I will add some carrot puree to it, and in mashed potatoes I add cauliflower puree.  I also need to start juicing and/or making a smoothie every day for my son, and it wouldn't be such a bad idea if I had some too.  So this week I am going to focus on doing some of those things and hopefully it will get my son and I up and out of this sickness.
                                                                                                                  Starting weight: 224.4
                                                                                                                 Weight this week: 219.4
                                                                                                                 Total weight loss: 5 lbs

Monday, February 17, 2014

Weight Loss: Week 1 Results

I weighed myself in this morning and my weight was 221.4 so that is a loss of 3 lbs from last week.  I feel pretty good about this.  I am excited to be closer to being under 220, so hopefully I can get there next week. Three pounds in one week is pretty good.  I would have liked to seen myself loose more but this is good momentum for me and will keep me focused.  Yesterday I had my husband bring in our weight set that was in the garage, so I am excited to start lifting.  Weight lifting is one of the few exercises that I actually enjoy.  I also like hiking, walking, and playing competitive sports.  But I hate running just to run, and I don't like biking for very long because, honestly it hurts my crotch. I could play pickup basketball or volleyball all day long, but tell me to run a mile and I will be so mad at you.  I have had to do too many timed miles during my lifetime and  I don't ever want to do one again! I also am very prone to stress fractures and have had multiple knee injuries over the years.  I played competitive basketball from the time I was seven all the way through college, so I have had a lot of wear on my knees.  This limits the type of exercise I can do now.  So I am excited to start weight lifting and I am also going to start some mommy &baby yoga this week.  So stay tuned for my weigh in next week.  Hopefully I will get under 220!
                                                                                     Starting Weight: 224.4
                                                                                     Weight this week: 221.4
                                                                                     Total Weight Loss: 3.0

Monday, February 10, 2014

Beginning a weight loss journey

Like many women do, I gained quite a bit of weight with both of my pregnancies.  With my first son I gained 72 pounds and with this pregnancy I gained 74 pounds.  I was lucky enough to have gotten down to only five pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight with my first son before I got pregnant with my second.  But I was still about 20 pounds above a healthy weight for me.  I am 5'11 so a healthy weight for me is 160/165.  The day I had Micah I immediately lost 20 pounds.  But since that day I have only lost about 10 pounds. I am sick of being stuck there, so I am going to start trying to get back to a healthy weight for me. 

I think I will do better if I have others to hold me accountable, and a great way for me to do that is to blog it.  So you guys will be my accountability partners in my weight loss journey.  Yesterday I weighed myself and I was 224.4 pounds.  I would like to drop a few pounds by next Sunday.  My plan is to do some form of exercise each day and to eat a healthier diet.  Here is a picture of my body today, Monday.  I will do a new picture every week.  Thanks for reading and please help me be accountable!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An "In the Mom Zone" Kinda Day

I am having an "in the mom zone" kinda day.  You know, one of those days where you are on it... wiping the noses, changing diapers, washing clothes, baking... etc.  I think to have a ,"mom zone" day you have to start off on the right foot.  Start off the day by doing something productive and it really gets you rolling.  Today I started by making some whole wheat pumpking bread, and I have been in the zone ever since.  It has been a really productive day.  I folded some laundry and put it away immediately, which is something for me because I hate putting away clothes. I have been cleaning up small messes, changing diapers, wiping Elijah's nose and face, gave Micah a bath, nursed the baby and got him to sleep, and did some sewing... and its only 1:00.  I love these kind of days.  Now I just need to make sure I squeeze in some bible reading and prayer time.  Those are the things I tend to forget about.  Now off to try and get the toddler down for his nap!  Mom OUT!!!!! *Drops Mic*

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One Big Push: A Home Water Birth Story (with pictures and video)

I woke up about a quarter to four in the morning on December 31st to my 23 month old son crying. So I went in his room and got him back to sleep.  He went back to sleep really fast that time.  I then went into the bathroom to pee for probably the fifth time that night, as I have been peeing a ton at night during this pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.  As I was on the toilet I noticed I was feeling some cramping in my back along with tightening of my uterus.   I had been having a lot of strong Braxton hicks contractions lately and I had been wondering a few times if they were early labor contractions.  I had even posted on a few facebook groups asking people what the difference felt like for them between Braxton Hicks and early labor contractions.  Well, I sure remembered the difference that moment while I was on the toilet, and it was at that point I realized I was in early labor.  So I went back to bed, excited, and laid down for a bit waiting for the next contraction to come.  The next one came eight minutes later, and the one after that was six minutes later.  I wasn't surprised they were so close together from the get go, as it was that way with my son as well.  I have never had contractions be more than 10 minutes apart, they mostly stay about 5 minutes apart for me.  Well now that I knew I was in labor, I was just too excited to sleep. I had been waiting for this baby for a long time, and going by my measurements this baby was quite overdue.  We weren't really sure when I had gotten pregnant so we were just going by fundal measurements for a guess date for the baby, which was December 5th.  I had even "had a feeling" that the baby was going to come the last week of November, so needless to say I was super excited when I realized I was finally in labor and I was going to meet my baby.

I went downstairs, sat down on the couch in the living room and got on the computer.  I messed around on facebook for awhile, and then played some spider solitaire.  I realized I was hungry so I fished in my homebirth kit for the granola bars I had put in there.  I grabbed one and ate it, drank some water, and messed around on the computer some more.  My husbands alarm started going off at 5:30 for work, so I excitedly went up the stairs and let him know that he didn't need to go into work because I was in early labor and we were going to have a baby.  He was so excited.  He called into work and let them know he was not going to make it in because his wife was in labor.  We talked for a bit and joked about how just the night before when we were heading to bed he was saying how he wasn't holding his breath that the baby was going to be born before the new year.  He asked me how far along I thought I was and I said we still had quite a few hours to go, so he decided he was going to go back to bed because he could use a half hour more of sleep.  I said okay and headed downstairs.  I was too excited to try and go to sleep.  It wasn't just a few minutes later that I heard my sons door open so I headed upstairs to help him get back to bed.  He climbed into our bed so I climbed in with him and layed there awhile while he fell back asleep.  It was so peaceful lying there with my beautiful son and husband while in labor with my next baby.  I felt very peaceful and content.  I just felt very blessed and wanted to enjoy that moment of lying next to my amazing little boy while feeling the excitement and pain of labor, though the pain was very moderate for what was about to come in a number of hours.

After lying there for awhile I decided to get up and head back downstairs.  When I got back on facebook I noticed my midwife, Denise, had posted something, so knowing she was awake I sent her a text message letting her know I was in early labor and today was going to be the day.  I then ate some yogurt with raspberries and granola and continued playing spider solitaire (I have a slight addiction to that game). I won the game, which made me feel good and for some reason assured me that I was indeed going to have my baby that day.  Then my husband came downstairs shortly followed by my son.  Joe ate a poptart, Elijah ate cereal and we all sat around for a bit.  I then asked my husband if he could run and get me some breakfast, so he headed out to Mcdonalds and picked me up some breakfast sandwiches.  While he was gone I called my parents house to let them know what was going on.  My dad answered the phone and told me that my mom and sister were in the hospital all night because my sister had fallen while getting out of the hot tub and was pretty banged up.  She had gotten 12 stitches on her chin and had to get tests on her head to make sure she was okay.  He said they got home just a few minutes ago and had just gone to bed.  I told him to let my mom sleep another hour but then he might want to let her know I was in labor because I thought the baby would come anywhere between 11-1 and it was almost 8 am.  My son had come in 8 hours, so the eight hour mark put the birth at 1pm.  I had always heard that subsequent babies usually come quicker so I thought maybe this baby might come within six hours.

I then went to the bathroom and noticed I had my bloody show, so that reassured me even more that I was indeed in labor and going to meet my baby.  My husband got back from his food run and we all sat in the kitchen for a few minutes eating breakfast and watching blues clues with my son.  My midwife had texted me back letting me know she had an apt. with another mom at 11 in an area about 50 minutes away.  She asked if I wanted her to move the apt. or if I thought I wouldn't be having the baby until after 1pm when she would be back.  I told her I wasn't sure.  She said she would be leaving her house around 10am and so she would contact me then, see how I felt and we would go from there.

So I did some things around the house to get ready for the labor and baby.  I put the sheets in the wash, lit the candles people gave me at my blessingway and I put on my blessingway bead necklace they gave me as well. My husband started pumping up the birth pool which was fun to see my sons reaction to it.  Once it was pumped up we let Elijah play in it for a little before we started filling it with water.  It was so cute to see him play in it and his excitement about having a new bouncy toy in the dining room.  That was just another part about having a home birth that was nice.  I got to spend time with my son and still play with him while in early labor.

Once ten rolled around my mom had already arrived at the house and I texted my midwife saying that she could go on to her appointment and I thought I was a few hours from having the baby.  She said okay.  Well it wasn't but probably 15 minutes later when I texted her again letting her know that things were getting more intense.  She then called me and after hearing the apprehension in my voice she decided to turn around and head this way.  She said she could always move the other appointment and she will just come here and check fetal tones and see how things are going.  When my midwife arrived I was still in early labor.  She could tell I was in early labor because I was still really talkative and I was cracking some jokes.  She saw me go through a few contractions, then took my blood pressure and listened to baby's heart rate.  Everything was looking good.  I went through a few more contractions, each one getting steadily more intense.  My midwife noticed how I was "fighting" the contractions.  She explained that grimacing my face and shaking my head was showing that I was fighting them and needed to relax my face and accept the contractions.  I asked her how was I supposed to not grimace.  She said just to try and relax my face, breathe deep, hum deep, and sway through the contractions.  I said I'll try.  So on the next few contractions I tried to do as she said, and I had to talk my self through them saying "accept it, don't fight it".  Sometimes I would jokingly say, "be nice to the contractions."

My in-laws had taken my son downstairs to play with him down there and keep him preoccupied while I continued to labor on the main floor.  My husband was maintaining being my main support, tracking contractions and doing hip squeeze when I told him to, which really helped ease the pain of the contractions. A few contractions later I had hopped into the birthing pool and Denise noticed I was grimacing again.  She said "Your fighting them again."  Well that kinda irritated me and I am a bit of a jokester so I replied, "Denise, your killing me here because you are just sitting there eating crackers." thinking...while I am here in pain and in labor.  But I knew she was right and the more I relaxed through the contractions and tried to let them come without fighting them, the more effective they were and they were slightly, and I mean slightly, less painful. My mom and dad decided to run down the road to get some food and asked if I wanted anything.  I told her some eggs and bacon would be fine. 

While they were out things got more intense.  I started feeling nauseous, but for some reason I wanted some beef jerky.  So my husband ran out and got some really fast. It was pretty impressive how quickly he was back.  I took only a few bites of the beef jerky and couldn't eat anymore.  I was just too nauseous.  I had been drinking coconut water, juice, and water throughout my whole labor so I knew I was hydrated, but I figured the nausea was because I was either hungry or getting close to transition.  My parents got back with my food but I was in no mood to eat.  I continued to labor in the living room and after a few more contractions I thought I would take a crack at eating a few bites of food.  Well I only got in probably three bites before I felt like I needed some relief so I got in the birthing pool.  The water helped with the pain but it slowed my contractions a bit.  If I switched to my hands and knees it brought on the contractions more than sitting on my butt, but the water didn't cover my lower back (which is where I typically felt the contraction pain the most) so then I would switch back to sitting position. 

After a few contractions in there I decided to get out.  I wanted to sit on the toilet.  While on the toilet things got more intense and I was extremely nauseous.  My husband was in there with me and I requested my midwife come in to because things were getting intense.  Denise came in and my mom stood at the door.  My husband stood by my side and I went through several contractions on the toilet.  I held my husbands hand and squeezed it.  At the next contraction he said not to squeeze his hand too hard and I said "shut up".  And he said he was serious.  But I didn't care, though I did try not to squeeze so hard the next few times.  (Later he told me the reason he said this was because he remembered from our birthing class a few years ago the instructor had said to try not and tense up your hands during labor, so try not to squeeze hands.  However, in the moment I thought he was just complaining about me squeezing his hands too tight.  He is so sweet that he didn't go against my direction to "Shut up", so he didn't tell me this at the time.  I felt bad about my reaction to him after I found out what he really meant. Its funny how stuff like that happens in labor.)  I was so nauseous and definitely in transition.  After being on the toilet for awhile Denise suggested I try and walk around a bit.  So after the next contraction I got up.  My husband and mom had walked out of the bathroom already.  As I was trying to leave I got another contraction and it was very intense.  I hugged onto Denise saying it hurt so bad.  She said I was doing great and she knows it hurts.  I then leaned against the door and she rubbed my lower back and it helped ease the pain.  

I did a few more contractions in the living room while Denise got the birth pool back to the right temperature.  My husband was rubbing my back and said he felt the bulge that Denise had mentioned earlier, which is the baby's head moving down.  Denise checked it and confirmed that was what it was.  As soon as I could I got into the birth pool.  I then leaned against the back of the pool while sitting on my bottom and my knees bent.  This is the position that I stayed in the rest of the time.  The contractions were so painful at this point.  I was trying my best to maintain breathing through the contractions and not fight them as I found this was very helpful for making them effective and not so long and painful. 

I found a spot on the ceiling that looked like a leaf to me and I focused on that through every contraction.  It gave me some sort of peace, bringing nature into my birth.  I also had Indian flute music on which made things more peaceful.  Denise would remind me to relax during the breaks in between contractions.  Between a set of contractions I let myself relax so much that I almost fell asleep.  I heard Denise whisper something so I opened my eyes and softly asked "what?".  She said "It almost looked like you were falling asleep.  That's good." Reassuring me it was good to relax that deeply in between.  My mom, husband, and Denise had been reassuring and encouraging me the whole labor process and they continued to do so at this point, but very softly and quietly as things got very quiet between contractions.  During the contractions I started praying out loud to God, though it was more like crying out to God.  I was saying "Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus please help me.  Please take away the pain.  It hurts.  Help it be over.  Help me Lord!"  I cried out like that through several more contractions.  All the sudden on the next contraction I felt the urge to push.  I was trying very hard not to force any pushing and go with my body cues.  This was my body telling me to push.  I started crying out "Baby! Baby!" but nobody really knew what I was meaning.  All I could say was "Baby! Baby!"  Denise stood up quickly and looked closer.  My husband stood up.  I kept pushing feeling that urge.  All the sudden my water broke.  Denise said "okay there's your water."  I kept pushing and then she said "Oh and theres the head!"  I put my hands down there and felt my baby's head.  There was a ton of hair.  I kept pushing with my bodies urge, screaming out.  Then my baby literally just shot out.  It happened so fast.  I saw him come flying out and I saw the cord trailing behind my baby, still connecting him to me.  He slipped trough my hands and I remember thinking he must have hit the wall of the tub, but I wasn't worried because it was a blow up tub and I knew he was safe in the water.  But Denise had caught him and I said "give me my baby."  She handed him to me and I laid him on my chest. He was covered in vernix and I loved it.  My mom said that it was a boy.  Denise put some towels over him.  I layed there holding my baby in shock of how fast he came.  He started crying.  He had a loud strong cry just like his brother.  I could feel the tingly pain in my vagina from having just pushed him out.  All I could think for the first minute or so was how he came so fast and feeling the feeling I was down at my vagina.  I also told my mom to get out the camera and record.  I wanted the birth to be recorded but he came so fast, probably in 30 seconds or so, that we didn't get it on camera.  After that I could concentrate more on my little boy.  I double checked to see if he was a boy and he definitely was, sporting a huge scrotum.  His little face was so puffy.  He had a ton of hair and it was dark.  He was healthy and strong, and he was mine.  I stroked his head and kissed him, enjoying my sweet new boy.  I talked with him and the people around me.  I thanked my sweet baby for coming so fast.  I thanked him and God for coming together to answer my prayers.  With my permission my mom went and told my in-laws and my dad that they could come up.  They came up and saw me and the baby in the tub and celebrated with us.

Born at 3:22pm
Denise let me know to tell her when I felt the urge to push out the placenta.  I started to feel the urge to push.  I tried but I didn't want to try to hard for fear of hemorrhaging.  I asked Denise if it was okay to push and if anything bad would happen if I did.  She assured me it was fine to push.  So the next time I had the urge I pushed hard a few times and the placenta came out.  When I was ready I had my mom take the baby and my husband carried the bowl with the placenta in it, cord still attached to baby.  They took them to the couch.  Denise had someone put towels in the dryer and bring them up to the baby to keep him warm because he was a little cold.  Then Denise helped me out of the tub and asked if I wanted to shower off before I settled down with the baby.  I said sure.   I went into the bathroom and started the shower.  My husband came in to help.  I sent him upstairs to get me some clothes.  Then I hopped in the shower.  I had Denise run up and get my bar of soap.  I then showered off my body, Denise helping me.  After I was out and dressed Denise said she needed to check me.  I told Josiah, my husband, I wanted him to hold the baby now and in about five minutes to bring the baby upstairs.  Denise and I headed up to my bed where she checked me.  Everything looked good.  I didn't have any tearing, only a slight "skidmark".  Which I was happy about.  I was worried I might have tore a little considering how fast the baby came. 

Then my husband and mom brought the baby to me.   He was puffy and he was beautiful.  I then nursed him and he latched on great and nursed a ton on both sides.  My son woke up and my mom brought him in to see the baby. Again we didn't have a camera on hand so unfortunately we didn't get my son's initial priceless reaction, which was a huge smile and him saying "baby!" which sounds more like "Dee Dee!" His second reaction was more whiney and was probably due to the fact his nap was cut short from all the noise of us upstairs (but later that night we did get some cute footage of his third reaction to the baby, which was really precious).  So I had my mom take him downstairs to be with my in-laws again. Denise stayed in the room and filled out the birth paperwork for us.  After the baby was done nursing and we cuddled for awhile I then asked Denise if we could go ahead and cut the cord.  She said that would be fine if that's what I wanted.  So my husband cut the cord and Denise put a cord band on the cord stump.  After that we weighed him and Denise checked him out.  He was 8 lbs 4 oz and 22 inches long.  He was healthy.  He was beautiful.
We cuddled back into bed and then Josiah held him.  My mom came up and said she and my dad were going to go home to take a nap and they would be back later.  I stayed in the room with my husband and we enjoyed some precious moments with our newest little man.  I then headed downstairs to see how things were going down there.  My in-laws said they were going to take Elijah out for some food and playtime, and then they left.  The birth pool was slowly draining.  I talked with my midwife for a bit, we scheduled our postpartum visits, and then she packed up her stuff to head home.  I gave her a big hug and thanked her for everything and I saw her out the door.  The house was quiet for the first time all day.  I headed upstairs and climbed into bed next to my husband and brand new son.  It was beautiful.

I had such an amazing home water-birth.  During my whole pregnancy I was trying not to think of labor and birth as painful. I would use words like "pressure" and "uncomfortable" instead of  "pain".  But you know what?  Labor and giving birth is painful.  It hurts a lot.  But it is short lived and at the end of the pain you get the greatest gift you could ever be given: a sweet little baby.  So every second of pain, pressure, and discomfort is totally worth it and I would do it over and over again to get my sweet babies.  There is no more worthwhile pain in life than the pain of labor and birth.

Here is the video I have put together of this birth: