Thursday, August 25, 2016

Selah Elizabeth's Birth Story

I have debated for a couple weeks writing and sharing the story of Selah's birth. Part of me feels like, "who will want to read this? It is my 3rd baby... aren't these getting kind of old already?" I know that I want to remember it, so I considered writing it in a physical journal and keeping it to myself. But I also know that when I was pregnant or right after I had a baby I was fascinated in hearing others' birth stories. And, after all, even though this IS my 3rd birth story, every one of them is different and has changed me in so many ways. I have come to the conclusion that I want to share my story, and her story, because these are the kinds of stories that should be shared! Stories of struggle and pain; stories that are not based on fear but instead on determination; stories full of love and support; stories with the happiest of endings.

Selah's birth story begins a few days before her actual birthday, on July 22nd. Throughout the pregnancy I had been having what felt like constant Braxton Hicks contractions starting around 34 weeks. Any time I was in the heat, on my feet for any extended period of time, or walking around my belly would tighten. However, nothing ever progressed and I felt like I could distinguish these fake contractions from the real deal. On Friday July 22nd I woke up around 6 a.m. with real contractions - the kind that start in your back and wrap around to the front. Right away I felt like this was different, so I timed them and they were 5-6 minutes apart for an hour. Long story short, we all thought I was in labor, and I think I was experiencing early labor. David stayed home from work, we had my sister and brother-in-law come get the girls for the day and I alerted my doctor and doula. As soon as things picked up we would go to the hospital. So we waited, took walks in the (HOT) weather, did lunges on the stairs, tried to nap, and tried to eat (even though I had no appetite). The contractions continued to be about 4 minutes apart for about 9 hours straight, but they never got any stronger. Then, around 3 p.m. they stopped. And I cried. We made the phone calls, got our kiddos back and I went to bed knowing that she wasn't going to come any time soon.

The next day was my birthday and it was Saturday. We went through our weekend as planned and Sunday marked 39 weeks gestation. On Monday David went back to work (with no baby to show for it!!!) and I felt so embarrassed that this was my THIRD kid and I still didn't know when I was in labor. I felt normal all day on Monday, and even cooked dinner! We ate our bacon and pancakes and as I cleaned up I started to feel super sleepy. I told David I needed to lay down just for a minute on the couch and meanwhile he took the girls outside to play. An hour later I was slowly waking up and he asked me if I was feeling okay. You see, it is very unlike me to fall asleep so quickly and stay asleep for so long, AND I had laid down on our new couch (which I had been avoiding for about a week convinced my water would break on it). I said I felt okay, but that I had had 2 stronger contractions in the past 5 minutes or so, but it was probably nothing. He told me to keep resting while he put the girls in the bath and started vacuuming - I was still nesting like crazy, and like any good husband he was totally humoring me. Minutes later I felt it; my water was breaking! On our new couch!! I literally rolled off of the couch (at 39 weeks pregnant, HAHA!), slapped his back while he was running the vacuum, and went straight for the toilet. Sure enough - ruptured membranes, and meconium. Shoot.

While sitting on the toilet with the girls playing in the bath tub beside me I called my doctor and left a message, then called my doula, Molly. She confirmed that since there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (since what I was leaking was a yellowish-greenish color, not clear) that baby had had a bowel movement. Sometimes this means the baby is in some kind of distress, and that means we needed to go to the hospital rather than laboring at home, just so we could monitor the baby intermittently to make sure everything was okay. She said she would meet us at the hospital in a couple hours, and the doctor called back saying a similar thing. We packed up our stuff, Jen and Thad (my sister and brother-in-law) came over to stay with the girls, and we left for the hospital.

The drive to the hospital was kind of surreal. I wasn't having contractions yet and it was about 9 p.m. so the sun was setting. I felt like I had time to let it set in, "I am going to have this baby. Tomorrow (in my head, I was thinking around 3 a.m.) I will meet my little girl." We parked the car and walked in together, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and checked into triage. As usual triage was completely awful. Has anyone out there had a decent triage experience? They asked me all the questions that I already answered during my pre-registration, checked my dilation (3 cm), and had to confirm the fluid was in fact amniotic fluid. This led to the nurse asking me to cough WHILE she was checking me (so that she could get a sample of the fluid), which, if this means anything to you, you know is the most laughable request you have ever heard. She confirmed it was amniotic fluid, and also confirmed there was a little bit of meconium. Really, the nurse was very kind and funny, and she let Molly come back into the room once she got there which is usually against the rules. Dr. V checked in and said she would be taking a nap until I felt like I needed her, and she gave the nurse permission to monitor the baby 10 minutes every hour as opposed to the "standard" 20 minutes an hour with meconium. Before I was officially admitted and sent back to the labor room the nurse had to take my blood and put in a hep-lock. Unfortunately my notoriously difficult veins led to me being stuck with a needle 5 times, 2 of my veins being "blown", and awful bruises on each arm before any success. Finally, around 11:30 I was in my room, ready to have this baby!

The night was LONG. Definitely the longest night of my life thus far. Contractions started slowly - about 5-7 minutes apart, but not very intense. Molly "lit" a fake candle and spread a little essential oil around the room with a tissue. We chatted in between contractions which was nice, but I kept feeling this dread creep up inside of me as I thought about what was ahead. Could I do it?

Every hour at the 45 minute mark my nurse, Becky, returned to monitor the baby. At first she insisted I needed to be on my back on the bed, but as the contractions got more uncomfortable we began to monitor with me sitting on the ball and holding the monitor in place. In some ways the monitoring was annoying, and I noticed that each time my contractions would spread further apart after the interruption of the nurse coming in and the distraction of the monitor. At the same time, it was wonderful to hear Selah's heartbeat and know that she was doing great and it kind of provided a rhythm to the night. After the nurse left I would choose a position to labor in, make it through about 10 contractions, and then she would be back and we would switch things up.

It felt like things were slow forever. I finally hit the point where I needed to go to "labor land" (as Molly called it) during a contraction, but in between I felt totally normal. I was hungry, I wanted to go to sleep, I wanted to be able to skip over the hard part that was coming. But then another contraction would hit and I would melt away from reality and into that place that is so natural and yet so far from your normal self.
Around 3 a.m. there was still no sign of baby coming soon, and David was falling asleep sitting up. Molly suggested we turn on the lights, that David go get something to eat, and we change the music. This was a moment that I was SO happy we hired a doula again. It was the perfectly right call, and when David returned from the cafeteria we turned on Gavin Degraw and sang together as I swayed in the shower.

The contractions started coming faster, and around 5:30 a.m. I hit transition. I remember the moment so clearly - I had a contraction while facing backwards on the bed and just felt her head move down into my pelvis.

I silently let out a few tears when it was over knowing it was time. "This is the really hard part," I thought. "Once this is over I just have to push a couple times and my baby will be here."

I felt like in some ways I handled transition much better this time around. During the contractions I remained calm and breathed deep. I found that place inside myself where I could focus only on that one moment; on getting over that one mountain.

But once "labor land" began to fade I struggled. In between the contractions I got all whiny. "I don't want to do this anymore. I am so tired. I just want her to be here." I was in the shower (my most favorite place) and things were getting more intense. She was lower, it was painful, and I was vocalizing a bit as each wave hit. "Do you feel like you are pushing?" Molly asked. We have a picture of David bending over and looking to make sure a baby's head wasn't out. I think we were all a little bit nervous that this baby was just going to come out! Nora did in only 2 pushes, after all. "I don't know," I answered Molly (red flag #1). "Do you want to ask Dr. V to check you?" "Sure", I agreed.

My doctor came into the bathroom and asked how I was feeling. Then she checked me, which was painful and felt like it took forever because my cervix is apparently difficult as well. To my surprise she said I was 10 centimeters and I could push if I felt ready. "Yes!!" I thought. "Of course I am ready - I want this baby OUT and I want to SLEEP!" I tried pushing while standing there in the shower. Then I said I felt like the warm water was numbing me too much and I couldn't feel what I was doing (red flag #2), so we moved out of the bathroom back onto the bed. When I came from the bathroom back into the main area there were 5 or 6 extra people there. Since meconium was present there was a team of people who had to be there when Selah was born just in case she had trouble breathing. I knew ahead of time that this would happen, but in that moment I suddenly felt kind of self-conscious and interrupted because all of the sudden there were all of these strange people there. I climbed onto the bed facing backwards again, and with the next 3-4 contractions pushed with everything I had.

Nothing. It felt awful. I was trying so hard! And was already so exhausted. At one point I said, "I can feel her, she is right there!" and it was true. Her head was outside of my cervix, but I just felt like with each push I couldn't hold on quite long enough to get her out. I was losing control, so Dr. V suggested I stand up and tried to squat. I tried to push again with the next 3-4 contractions and with the last 2 the yelling started. "I can't do this!!!" "Get your hand out of me!!" And then my doctor's words... ,"As it turns out, you are only 8 cm dilated. What I thought was just a lip on your cervix isn't. Her head can fit, but her shoulders can't."

I started sobbing as I climbed back onto the bed. The special "meconium team" all turned around and left. 45 minutes of pushing and nothing... She still wasn't here.

Dr. V held the fetal monitor to my stomach and rubbed my arm telling me that was her mistrake. That I am in fact capable of pushing my baby out. I just needed to breathe, settle down and let my body relax. For a full 12 minutes the contractions stopped. In this moment I was completely convinced I couldn't do it.  I was too tired and I didn't have it in me - I was resigned to needing some intervention so that I could meet my baby. David was staring at the fetal monitor in front of him, his heart racing each time her heart rate had a slight drop. Molly said she considered suggesting an epidural because she knew I had given those 8 "fake" pushes all that I had and thought I may be too tired now.

But as my breathing slowed and the contractions started once again, I could feel it. The actual, undeniable, insanely strong urge to push. "Okay, I CAN do this."

At 7:35 a.m. on July 26, about 25 minutes after the "meconium team" left the room, they rushed back in to hear Selah's first cries. Turns out, it did take only 2 pushes once it was actually time. 

Even once Selah was here, I felt so incredibly exhausted that the euphoria took a while to settle in. I remember them trying to hand her to me and feeling like, "Can't someone else hold her for a minute while I take a nap?!?"

As it turned out, her cord had a knot in it AND was wrapped around her neck a couple times. Luckily the cord was really long and she was never in any real danger, but I kept saying how she was such a crazy mover all pregnancy! Here is proof.

Once I delivered the placenta (ouch) and Dr. V did the terrible punch-on-my-stomach thing to encourage my uterus to contract (OUCH) I started to feel a lot better. I was still utterly exhausted, really hungry and begging for some pain medicine, but Selah Elizabeth was here.

Look at those rolls!! I thought she was going to be my biggest baby, but she turned out to be the smallest. 7 lbs, 2 oz and 19.5 inches long.

She latched within about 30 minutes of being born, and soon after I fell in love, again, with this tiny, squishy, helpless person who made my world feel complete.

Oh, and her daddy fell in love again too.

This time around I definitely said the words, "I am NEVER doing that again" within about an hour of giving birth to our third incredible daughter. But now, about a month later as I sit typing while she snoozes next to me, I know that I totally would. The happy ending just gets me every time :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Nora Belle's Birth Story

On January 5th, 2014 my second beautiful daughter entered the world surrounded with love, support, and a lot of intensity. The day she was born changed my life forever, and I can feel that the details are getting hazy even though it was less than two weeks ago. In an effort to remember everything I want to tell you all about it - and as usual there is a little back story :)

You can read Lydia's birth story here. It was a wonderful day (isn't it always when a sweet baby is born!) and I am so thankful for every detail. Because her birth had so very few complications (aside from those brought on by the epidural), David and I decided early on in this pregnancy that what would be best for me and for our new baby would be to cut down on any unnecessary interventions. We discussed a home birth but decided it wasn't for us. I tried hard with no avail to find a birthing center close by. I started my prenatal care with a midwife who unfortunately wasn't able to help me sufficiently through my hyperemesis. So there we were around 20 weeks knowing I wanted to try to have a natural birth, but also knowing we would be delivering at a hospital with an OB. We had been through this before, and we knew that if we really wanted anything to be different we needed some support, so we decided to hire a doula (a birthing coach/ labor support person). Around 30 weeks I became uncomfortable with my large OBGYN practice and decided to switch doctors again, to a more naturally-minded doctor with her own practice.

Looking back, these two decisions really helped me to have the birth I wanted. As I approached the end of my pregnancy I didn't do much to "prepare" for the birth. I was working part-time and not feeling great, and David was working a TON as well as finishing up an accounting course. I borrowed the Hypno-birthing CDs from a friend and listened to the birthing affirmations a couple of times, I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I had two prenatal appointments with my doula, and I prayed about it... a lot.

Everything was pretty much a mad rush until Christmas, and by the end of December we felt so ready to meet our baby girl. But then I woke up New Year's Day with bronchitis - I had been battling cold and sinus stuff for about 6 weeks, but on this day I stayed in bed coughing and sleeping all day. My doctor ordered me an antibiotic and steroid and I started them the next day, convinced I was at least a week from labor. On Saturday January 4th I was starting to feel better, so we woke up and ventured out into the freezing weather to walk the mall. We shopped with gift cards from Christmas and had a great morning together as a family. We came home and Lydia and I took a nap, and that evening we went to my sister-in-law's for dinner. I ate a full meal and we had fun hanging out and playing with the kids, and I left her house with a dull back ache but no other signs of labor.

At 3:00 am on January 5th (my due date) I woke up to pee.. typical. I went back to sleep, and then at 3:30 woke up at the peak of a contraction. It started in my back and wrapped around to my front, and I immediately remembered the sensation from Lydia's birth. I went back to sleep, and at 3:40 another one hit. I laid in bed, falling asleep in between contractions until about 5, and they were consistently 10 minutes apart. At 5 I woke David up just to let him know what was going on and I asked him if I should keep resting or get up and walk around. He suggested I rest for as long as possible and he went back to sleep. I was so excited, so I got out of bed at 5:30 and watched some TV. At 6 I turned on some quiet music and laid on my side as I timed contractions. They were 5-7 minutes apart for the next hour.

At 7 am I woke David up and suggested we start our day. I told him I thought today would be the day, but that we probably had a long way to go. We thought about going to church, but after talking to my doula decided it would be best to stay home, create a calm environment and rest for as long as I could. I drank half a cup of coffee, ate a poptart, got Lydia her breakfast and hopped in the shower. As I started to move around more I could tell my contractions were getting closer together. I couldn't feel a definite beginning and end, but soon enough I was having to stop and breathe at the peak of each one. I powered through and dried my hair, finished packing my hospital bag and packed Lydia's overnight bag. By 8:30 I felt like I needed to sit down and focus more on breathing and I pulled out the contraction timer again. I asked David to call my sister and suggest that she come over soon just to entertain Lydia while he finished up his last minute things. My contractions were 3 1/2 minutes apart for the next 45 minutes, and so I called my doctor. She suggested I take a warm bath and drink a big glass of water and call her back. I called my doula to update her, and she said she would be over in an hour.

Once I got in the bath tub things definitely picked up. I wasn't timing them, but I could feel a "wave" as each contraction started and passed. I couldn't find a comfortable position at each peak, and I was starting to focus on exhaling slowly rather than holding my breath. I listened to a labor playlist a friend had given me and closed my eyes as my sister got Lydia ready to go and David brought me oranges and crackers that I nibbled on. Around 9:50 I got out of the tub, got dressed and went downstairs to our "laboring space". I had my yoga mat, music and some lit candles. Lydia was gone and the house was so quiet and peaceful - and within 30 minutes my doula had arrived. Things get a bit fuzzy here - I called my doctor again to let her know contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart and I had to stop and breathe through every one. She said I could come in, or I could wait and I decided to wait. I talked to Molly (the doula) and David in between contractions, but now when they hit I needed to sway my hips on my hands and knees and breathe/verbalize a little bit. I told Molly I was most nervous about going to the hospital; about deciding when to go and also about making the transition there. She said she thought we could leave whenever I wanted since I was "clearly in labor". I remember hearing this song on my playlist, and then David read an encouraging text to me that my sister-in-law had sent him. After that I felt I was ready to go, so we called me doctor, packed up the very last of our things, got through a few contractions and left.

The car ride was the thing I was dreading the most, but it actually wasn't so bad! It helps that we live 5 minutes from the hospital and that it was a cold, snowy day so there weren't many people out on the road. I leaned over the back of the passenger seat during contractions and pushed back through my hips. All of the pain was in my back, just like with Lydia. We made our way into the hospital slowly but surely, pausing each time a contraction hit.

We checked into triage and an awesome nurse gave me a hep-lock, asked me questions, and monitored baby in between my contractions. At this point I would turn on my side and hug on David as he would rub my tail bone during each contraction. They were about 1 minute apart and all of the pain was in my lower back. Once all of the formalities were taken care of the nurse checked me and said I was 6 cm and 90% effaced. This was at 12:25 pm.  Immediately after the check I had a strong contraction and she said, "And now you are probably 100% effaced." As we were about to leave she told me that she thought my desire to go natural was inspiring and that at some point I would want the epidural but I should just remember I could do it. It was so encouraging. She passed me off to another nurse, named Alicia, who helped me to the delivery/recovery room. It was only a few yards away but I had to pause 4 times for contractions. I saw my doctor on the way there and she said she had the birthing ball all set up in the room and that she would see me soon. She was wearing her jeans and bright orange Bengals sweatshirt which I thought was funny.

I think that as soon as we got into the room I began to hit the transition part of labor. All of the sudden nothing was comfortable, I moaned through contractions and there was almost no break in between them. I really started to block out everything and felt myself turning inward and focusing hard. I tried to sit on the birthing ball and lean forward onto the bed, kneel on the bed and lean over the back, and stand and sway. All of it hurt and I was starting to feel out of control. This is where Molly stepped in big time. I remember her asking if I wanted to try to get in the shower, but I don't think I answered. Then before I knew it I had moved there, someone had brought the ball in, and I was sitting on it as hot water was sprayed across my low back. It definitely provided some relief and helped me to regain control of my emotions. It also helped me to continue to block out the outside world and focus on working with my body.

 This is when things got super intense. I could feel the baby descending and I could feel my body starting to push. Things are fuzzy and I can't remember what order anything happened in, but I do remember specific details that will always stick with me. I remember hearing this song on my playlist and how it reminded me to surrender to God. I remember asking David, "Why am I doing this!?!" (meaning to add "without the epidural" to the end), and him saying "So that we can all meet Nora." I remember being so, so thirsty but not being able to tell anyone. I remember saying "There is so much pressure" and Molly reminding me to keep my moans low rather than yelling. I remember her saying "You sound like a mom who is about to meet her baby", and encouragement from the nurse that I was doing a great job. There were 2 times I remember feeling so out of control and scared. During one Molly said "If I can do it, you can do it" and I thought about my friends Melissa and Amy who had done it (twice!) and knowing that I could too. There was so much love, so much support and so much emotion wrapped up in these moments and looking back it was by far the hardest and most beautiful part of the experience.

At some point Molly and the nurse decided it was time for me to start "officially" pushing and they somehow convinced me to get out of the shower and walk over to stand by the bed. My doctor was there, still in her jeans, and she was sitting on the floor. She told me to squat down low during my next contraction so that she could check and make sure I was fully dilated. This was the second and last time I was checked. When that contraction was over I sat on the ground because my legs were so exhausted and my doctor pulled a stool around, sat on it, and then pulled me up onto her lap... not kidding. Then with authority and kindness she told me what was going to happen. She instructed the nurse to raise the bed and David to go to the other side. She told me to stand up, grab David's arms, and with the next contraction to bend my knees and push my baby out. I said, "Really?!?' and she said "Yes. You can do this". Everyone assumed their roles and with the next contraction Nora Belle was born.

The doctor "caught" her, suctioned her quickly and then handed her up to me. I was still standing as I looked into her eyes and heard her first cries. Once the bed was lowered I climbed up into it and gazed at my baby girl, in shock that it was over and that she was here. David and I were simply in awe.

Nora was born at 2:05 pm and weighed 7 lbs, 3 oz and was 19 and 3/4 inches long. She was perfect.

We are so thankful for her health and my lack of complications and are still talking about how different aspects of that day changed both of us forever. We are totally in love with our little girl and our new family of 4.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Off my chest

Just dropping in this morning to say hello...

I have 3 unfinished drafts currently sitting on the blog. One about weaning, another on Lydia's 18 month update, and the title and one sentence about my 14th week of pregnancy. They all seem a bit irrelevant now... So I think I will just move on. As much as I love having this blog for myself to look back on I probably just need to let go of the few months that I lost being so sick and just write about what is happening now. 

Lydia is weaned (and has been for 3 months). We went the cold turkey route not by choice but by necessity. After no eating for two weeks and then throwing up close to 20 times in 3 days David stepped in and insisted that we stop. He was right - I needed to be keeping any nutrients I had for me and the new baby - and it really wasn't too hard on Lydia. After a few days she no longer whined for it, and after two weeks there was no mention of it. This whole pregnancy has made me feel like I am losing my one baby to another... But I think that is a really natural thing to feel. Weaning Lydia definitely contributed a little to the sadness that comes along with this, but also allowed me to start to see her as the amazing big sister that she will be soon.

Lydia is now 19 1/2 months and is just a joy. Perhaps I will revise her update and start on her 20 month one ;)

And this pregnancy is going much better. I am sitting here drinking coffee after having a bowl of cereal and in a few minutes I will leave to go do yoga. The belly is growing and I have energy each day to do a reasonable amount of things. I have been feeling the baby move more and I try so hard to be still in those moments an soak in the gratitude. We will find out the gender in about three weeks and then we will start on a nursery which I am so excited about. Lydia never had an official nursery, and we are planning on finishing her room before the new baby comes as well. I am really looking forward to decorating our kids' (plural!!!) rooms and making our house feel more like a permanent home.

So, now I feel caught up and I hope you do too! I also hope you have a wonderful day :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hyperemesis: Round 2

The beginning of my first pregnancy was not easy, and as David and I were talking about the possibility of another baby we were aware that this time could be rough too. I prayed and hoped and sincerely believed that it could be - that maybe this time I wouldn't be as sick; that taking Zofran from the beginning would make things better; that my body wouldn't "freak out" as much this time because I had already done it. However an easy, healthy early pregnancy has alluded me again and here I sit 15 weeks along looking back at the blur and nightmare that the last 11 weeks has been.

This time I was diagnosed early on with hyperemesis. I suspected that I had the illness with my first pregnancy, and after reading more about it and devouring other women's testimonials I was sure that this time around I was suffering from a moderate case of it. The doctor who diagnosed me was so wonderful - he was the first who didn't ask why prenatal vitamin I was taking, or suggest I try putting crackers next to my bedside table so I can eat them before I get out of bed. Finally, someone who understood that what I was going through wasn't morning sickness. He explained to me why I was salivating at a disgusting rate and what I could do to help. He assured me that my labor type pains during digestion were normal. And he didn't give me the "as long as you are urinating twice a day, you are fine" line, but instead suggested that on days when I feel terrible I should come on into the office for a couple IV bags. I left that appointment finally feeling understood and justified. I wasn't a wimp; I wasn't a drama queen. I was legitimately ill with a disease that needs to be taken more seriously.

Many people have asked if it has been worse this time around, and the answer is yes, and no. 

I have remained in a physically healthier place this time. I lost 5 lbs instead of 17. When I went in for IVs my potassium and sodium levels were not as abnormally low as they were in my first pregnancy. I also feel like I kept some of my strength up - although I didn't walk or shower often, I could do these things on my own instead of needing assistance. However I attribute these differences to the fact that I had the intense help of my family this time rather than relying on David while he was working. During the day I was either at my parents' being cared for, encouraged to drink and being handed prepared food, or I was at home with his mom or our sister-in-law checking on me every couple hours. I am not able to explain how grateful I am to family and friends who helped us through this crazy journey by nursing me to health and by taking care of Lydia.

In most other ways things have been much more difficult this time around. I started feeling nauseous at 4 weeks and began vomiting non-stop around 6. Although I had the Zofran the vomiting and extreme nausea did not fade until 10 weeks. Even after 10 weeks I could not eat anywhere close to normally until about 12 weeks, and only in the last couple weeks have I had moments where the nausea has lifted. With my first pregnancy Zofran was my miracle drug - once I had it in my system at 10 weeks I felt a noticeable lift in the nausea and immediately had an appetite. 

Another reason this pregnancy is more challenging is the obvious added responsibility of Lydia. I have had such feelings of guilt about the struggles I have put our little family through. It isn't just me anymore - I am responsible for another person now, and I felt as though I all but disappeared from her life for 3 months. Like I said, our family helped us in amazing ways on this front, and my husband, oh my dear husband, picked up my slack in areas of the house, our bills, grocery shopping, etc. But it was a hard, long 11 weeks and it affected me emotionally I ways that the first pregnancy did not. 

The story is not over, and I know that. On the other side of this challenging season I am beginning to regain perspective and to celebrate the gift of pregnancy. I am starting to get excited to have another baby and to be grateful again for the things in my pregnancy that are going smoothly. I know that other people have it worse, and I know that some people can't get pregnant. I have reminded myself over and over that these sacrifices will be undoubtedly worth it (100 times over) when we meet our new baby. 

At the same time I think it is important to share my story. I know that I have gained so much from reading other women's battle stories. And I think it is important for me to document how I am feeling now so that in the future when (or if) we talk about having another biological child I can look back and attempt to remember what it has been like. I am quite aware that now would be a terrible time to make any kind of decision about future babies, but I also know that this season has been hard in legitimate ways that I don't want to take lightly. 

I hope this post wasn't too awful to read, and I hope you can forgive me for failing to write anything for quite a while. I want to document this pregnancy as well as tell you all about our amazing Lydia, but I have also learned that all I can so is take each day as it comes and focus on what is most important. Thanks for your understanding :) 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Maybe this explains the silence... :)

Lydia already loves her new baby brother or sister... Coming in early January!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Technical difficulties...

Hello everyone!! So for the past week or so I have been trying to figure out a way to renew my current URL ( with no success.

At some point it will expire and so for now I will be going back to the old URL ( until I can get things figured out. 

 I wanted to keep you updated because I promise posts are coming soon that you won't  want to miss! I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... Life has just happened and the blog has needed to take a backseat. But I will be back soon. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Move

We have officially been sleeping at our new house for a week now and at this point we have 99% of our stuff here as well. Unpacking is a different story - it just takes time and I do what I can during the day with Lydia. Each evening David and I stay up later than usual sorting clothes, unpacking books and trying to organize everything. We have a split level, and currently that is working our really well because we are settled into the upper level and all our stuff is strewn about in the lower level.

After being here for a week I feel like I can pick out my favorite parts about our new home, and can also reflect on what I miss about living with David's dad and stepmom.

My Top 5 Favorite Things

  1. Our fenced in backyard - I love, Love, LOVE our yard. I can just open the screen door and feel the morning breeze, hear the birds and let Rooney out to play. Lydia loves to just walk around and sit under the big tree in the afternoon and it offers us so much privacy and space. We knew a big, fenced backyard was important to us and now I know why. I love it.
  2. Our own full kitchen - I can cook again!!!! I always had the option to cook where we were too, but even at our old apartment I didn't have the space and convenience that I do here. We have a full fridge, plenty of cabinets and a dishwasher (for the first time!). Everything is just so easy - and because of it I have been cooking oatmeal for breakfast, making sandwiches for lunch and cooking dinner most nights since we have been here.
  3. Privacy and rhythms - David and I are able to establish habits again just our own little family, and it is wonderful. I am a routine person and the last year taught me so much about flexibility in really good ways. But I also think that having space to be our family of three is really good too. It has been awesome to find that again. We are finding our own identity with Lydia and without graduate school and it is a beautiful thing.
  4. Natural light - I am not going to lie; sometimes last summer I got depressed by living in a basement. There were just days when I needed the light! But with a baby you are stuck indoors for hours due to naps... so light just wasn't available below ground. In our new house there are lots of windows so I get the good vitamin D all day long.
  5. A place for everything - Since we got married (almost 4 years ago) David and I have had our STUFF everywhere -  my parents' basement, in boxes, stuffed in closets. But now we have a place for all of it; where we can access it and actually use it!

The Top 5 Things I Miss

  1. Being in the place where Lydia grew - Lydia learned to pull up to standing on the piano bench in the living room, and learned to crawl in the downstairs nursery, and took her first steps in the den at David's dad's house. It was hard to leave those places where are baby girl grew so much. She gained confidence and personality surrounded by grandparents and cousins an we truly saw her blossom in that home. But, this is just a part of life. I definitely understand now why people live in the same house their whole lives.
  2. Seeing other people - It hasn't happened yet, but I know the day will roll around when I will be lonely, and I never had this problem at our old house. I loved that there were always people to talk to - always people to hand Lydia to when I just needed a minute - always something happening in our old home. That was really a beautiful part of living there.
  3. Living within walking distance of a really nice park - I miss President's Park! It was an awesome park that was 1 mile away from our old place. It had swings, baseball fields, slides and memories. We aren't much further from the park now and it would be an easy drive, but walking would involve crossing some busy streets and would just feel a lot longer.
  4. Having awesome food that someone else prepared - I guess this contradicts number 2 above, but there are some busy nights when I miss just going upstairs and (most likely) having dinner already there. And there is something awesome about gathering around a big table with lots of people for a good meal.
  5. Cable - So shallow but so true. I miss House Hunters! And What Not to Wear. But it is summer, so I shouldn't watch TV anyway...
All in all I have just felt so blessed lately, both for the home that we had and the new home that we have. God had provided in so many ways and we will be forever grateful for the generosity of Jamie and Chip.