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Author Archives: mytimeathome

Logan’s Birth Story

I had been having labor pains off and on for a couple of weeks.  Most of the time I would have contractions at night while I was trying to sleep and mostly just Braxton Hicks during the day.  Over the course of two or more weeks each time I would have the contractions at night they would get more intense and more painful.  Once I was 39 weeks pregnant there were a couple of nights I got up thinking it might be real labor.  Early Thursday morning around 3am, I was having contractions that were about 10 minutes apart and they were fairly intense.  Chase and I thought it might be the beginnings of real labor, but it ended after a couple of hours once again.  All day Thursday I felt crampy, but I didn’t have contractions, so thankfully it was a day of rest.  I went to the chiropractor to have my hips aligned and make sure everything was adjusted.  That night and into Friday morning I started having contractions again.  They were much more regular and really felt like early labor.  I had been tricked into thinking it was the real thing so many times, that I didn’t get my hopes up.  I even took Jacob to the park that morning so he could play outside.

Later that afternoon, around 3pm, I couldn’t lie down and rest anymore or do much of anything to stall the contractions like I had in days past so I figured it must be true early labor.  I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything at that point, so I called Carie, the person who was going to take care of Jacob for us while we had Logan, and she came around 5pm to get Jacob.  Chase also got off early because he finished all his work and was able to be home around 5pm.  I ate some supper and kept laboring.  At that point the contractions were more like 8-10 minutes apart but they were contractions I had to stop everything and work through.   We labored at home until around 9:30 and my contractions were about 5 minutes apart.  I really wanted to know what kind of progress I had made so we headed to the hospital to get checked.  Brittney was our labor and delivery triage nurse assigned to us.  She checked me and said I was dilated 3-4 cm.  I was crushed.  I really thought I would be further along.  She said she could tell I was in real labor though and hooked me up to the monitors.  I didn’t want to stay and labor at the hospital, but they made me stay on the monitors for just over an hour to watch me.  I didn’t dilate much more within that hour so they let us decide what we wanted to do.  We could have stayed, but I really wanted to labor at home.  While we were at the hospital, our substitute doula, Tammy, came to help.  Our doula was supposed to be Jana, but she had just helped someone through labor and delivery for over 24 hours so she wasn’t able to be there.  Tammy was amazing though.  At the hospital before we left we tried the Rebozo wrap.  She wrapped a sheet around my tummy and lifted it to give me some support and relief.  It felt great!

We got home around 11:30pm and I ate a snack and kept laboring.  My contractions were always stronger and closer together when I was moving around, but less extreme and further apart when I was sitting.  I couldn’t lay down because the contractions seemed worse and harder to work through in that position.  Tammy explained to me that to really get things moving the contractions needed to be completely regular and not slack off when I was in different positions.  We talked about the baby’s head still being a little high for helping with dilation, so she suggested I do the abdominal lift and tuck from spinning babies.  It’s where you stand with your back flat on the wall, squat, and lift your belly up during the whole contraction, and then lean over once the contraction is finished.  You have to do this for at least 10 contractions to help the baby move down more into your pelvis.  This was one of the hardest things I had to do that night aside from transition.  It was around one o’clock in the morning, I was exhausted, and I felt like I barely had the energy to do this.  But I wanted to be done, and I wanted my labor to progress quickly and without Pitocin, so I tried it.  After about the 6th contraction and time of doing the abdominal lift and tuck, I felt it work!  The baby had moved down and not too long after that I started having crazy contractions that were about 3 minutes apart.  And they were all the same even if I was sitting or standing.  Around two o’clock in the morning Tammy suggested we might want to go back to the hospital, and I agreed after a few more contractions.  I didn’t want to go through transition in the car!  In the car the contractions seemed to speed up!  But I think they were just more intense because I had to sit through them with no help.

Once we got to labor and delivery, we requested Brittney again.  She said she wanted us if we came back because we “were fun!” haha.  She checked me and I was dilated 7 cm.  This news crushed me again, because I was so sure I was currently going through transition and I thought I would be more like 9cm!  Hopeful thinking.  Once I was hooked up to the monitor so I could be given my antibiotics for GBS, it was around 2:30am.  30 minutes later they were able to unhook me from the monitor and the IV and I was able to labor however I wanted instead of just sitting.  But I chose to mostly sit because by that time I didn’t want to move much.  During the majority of my labor either Tammy or Chase pressed on the small of my lower back and the other would be in front of me for me to hold on to.  They would switch positions as needed, but as a team they were incredible.   They did this for me for hours on end through the night.  Brittney was an amazing cheerleader and she told me I was doing amazing and it was going so quickly!  My birthing team was so amazing I didn’t need an epidural or any pain medication, which is exactly what I had hoped for!  Both of my births were without an epidural! Around 4am she checked me again and said I was almost dilated to a 10, but I had some lip I needed to work out, so she and Tammy suggested I switch my labor position to hands and knees.  I labored here for a little while until I felt the need to push.  I had to turn back over to make sure I was being checked the same.  And lying down to be checked felt awful for the minute it happened.  It turns out I still had a tiny cervical lip, but nothing that was truly in the way.  She said the doctor could pull it back as I pushed.  It was after 4:30am and my water hadn’t broken yet, and that was all that was in the way.  The bag was right there in the way of the baby’s head, so it was suggested I have the doctor break my water.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do and I was a little nervous to make the decision.  I really wanted everything to happen naturally, but I also wanted to push!  They went and got the doctor to check on me and potentially break my water, but as he sat down at the end of the bed, I felt a gush of water.  I asked if my water broke and I saw smiles and heard “Yes! Yes it did!” and I was so relieved.  So then I was ready to push.  I asked to push any other way then on my back because first of all, on my back felt horrible during contractions, and secondly I had read you tear more if you deliver on your back.  The doctor suggested I push while lying on my side so they got me set up for that within minutes.  I started pushing with each contraction.  I believe I only had to push through two contractions total.  It only took about 6-7 minutes for Logan to come out!!  It was amazing!   Up until it was time to push I had been using low tones during contractions and I had been able to control my breathing and the pain with the help of Tammy and Chase.  Even some of the staff said we should have been filming and posted it on youtube because they couldn’t even believe I was even in labor!  But during the pushing phase, I let it all loose.  I yelled and screamed and said I just wanted him out and I wanted it to be over.  Ha!  I saved up all my emotion for those last 6-7 minutes.  He came out perfectly in the best position for laboring and delivering, head down in the anterior position.  And then I heard him crying and I almost started crying.  They put him on my chest and he was beautiful.  After several minutes I let him nurse and he had a perfect latch right away! It was amazing.  Even Tammy and others said it was amazing he was able to latch so well.  He nursed both sides for almost 20 minutes.  Logan was awake for almost an hour or more after he was born.  After a little over an hour in my arms and in daddy’s arms, they took him and weighed and measured him.

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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Things to Remember

Chase, J and I were riding in the car and J had just learned the word darkness so he was trying to use it in sentences.  Chase asked J, “Can you stop talking about the darkness?  It’s creepy.”  J said, “It IS creepy!”

When my nephew was here over the summer were all riding in the car and we were pretty much all really tired and hungry and well, just hangry.  I said, “Would you stop freaking out.” to no one in particular.  Chase said, “I’m not freaking out.” My nephew said, “Who’s freaking out?” And J said, “NO ONE is freaking out!”  😀  And at that point we all pretty much just burst into laughter.

One day it was raining close by and we could hear the thunder.  J walked to the window, looked outside, and said, “It’s raining in the city, over there in America.”

While walking down the street in our neighborhood we saw an extremely large overgrown bush.  J exclaimed, “That’s one of the biggest bushes I ever seen!  If you fall down in there you get allergies!”

A few words J still says incorrectly but he’s super cute at it.

He DOs that. (instead of He does that)
I saw a reedy reedy big spider. (instead of really)
I’ll put it in the fridger. (refrigerator)  I don’t know about you, but that word tripped me up the longest as a kid.
Let’s put even moreder in. (instead of a lot more.  Moreder is more than just regular more)

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Taking care of our children

In February of this year Chase and I decided to look into respite and foster care.  Baby steps are sometimes a good thing when you are trying something new so we decided to get our respite license first.  The process took several months.  We had to wait until March for our mandatory meeting.  Whenever you start respite or foster care you first have to go to meetings.  The meetings are mandatory because they teach you so many things you never thought you would need to know.  How the system works, why it works, what you need to do, what should you not do, how you can help a foster child, how you can help a foster family if you are respite.  There are so many ways to help and encourage the many families and children, it’s amazing!

After the meetings it took several months for all of our background checks, screenings, and our interview before we received our license for respite care.  For those of you who are new to this idea of respite care in the foster system, it basically means providing respite for the foster family.  If you provide respite care, then you are supporting the foster families who pour their lives into children every day.  If you have ever been a parent you know this can be the most exhausting rewarding job in the world.  And sometimes a break makes you realize exactly why you pour your life into these little ones.  And a break is what a respite parent gives a foster parent.  It’s a beautiful thing.  A respite provider can be a parent, a sister, a friend, or a neighbor.  Sometimes it’s someone you may know through others.  But the respite provider has to be approved by the state so it can’t just be your parent unless your parent decides to be licensed for respite.

Respite is so many things.  It is giving a couple a weekend break or a date night.  It is getting to know a beautiful child for one night or one week. It is knowing this child and loving them for who they are.  It is welcoming a child into your family and keeping them safe.  It is knowing how to pray specifically for this child and for the foster family and maybe even the biological family!  It is heart changing because you realize this world does not revolve around you and your family  It is heart breaking because you realize you cannot save every child you meet.  It is heart growing because you realize you can still make a difference by being there, loving this child, and constantly praying for them. What respite is not, is it’s not scary. It is so amazing.

Several people have told me they couldn’t do this.  Yes you can.  All you have to do is be willing to open your heart and your family to one or two little children for a short time.  Respite can be for as short as a half day and up to 14 days.  You know exactly how long you will have the child.  You have the ability to list what ages and gender you have room for.  You have the option to say yes or no when a foster family asks.  You will not be roped into anything you don’t want to do.

We have only had our license for about 6 weeks now, and I have heard so many comments from many people.  One of the main ones is: Why would a foster family need respite?  There are so many varied answers to this.
~Sometimes the foster family planned their vacation before the foster children were placed with them and they can’t change their plans to accommodate.
~Sometimes the foster children can’t go on the vacation for some reason or another and need to stay in the area.
~Sometimes the foster parents just want a date day, date night, or even a date weekend!

I will leave you with a scenario of why respite is so important to a foster care family.

Imagine you are painting your whole house and you have been working on it all day.  It’s just you and your spouse working to get the whole house painted and you are exhausted.  Would you ever think to go across the street to a neighbor at the end of the day and ask them for help?  Honestly, I wouldn’t.  It’s my job, I started it, I’m going to do it.
This is how a foster family sees their job as a foster parent.
But what if your neighbor came up to your door around 5pm and said to you, “Hey! I noticed you were painting!  I am actually really good at painting trim and I would love to help you out while you guys take a break to eat.”  Would you say no?  I wouldn’t!  I would be so relieved.  I might even feel like painting again once I ate because I knew I had help.
And this is how the respite provider helps the foster parent.  We help shoulder the amazing task of loving all these kids.  We are there to ask, “do you need a break? I can do this, grab something to eat.”  It’s amazing what we can all do if we work together.

There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the US. Yet there are only about 184,000 families who are licensed in foster care.  Look at those numbers again. There are just not enough families to love all these kids.  Around 1/4 of the children in foster care are adoptable.  That is about 100,000 children in our country that need families.  We need to be concerned for the children that are living right here, right in your own city and in your own county.  And there are so many ways you can help.  If you don’t feel the call to foster, there are so many ways we can support foster families in our community so they don’t have to shoulder this responsibility all on their own.  You can donate items like children’s clothes and toys or money to places that support foster families, your church can host foster family date nights, fun nights, or events that support foster families, you could provide respite care for foster families in your community, and you could pray for the families who open not only their homes to children but their hearts, and pray for the children to find a loving stable family to call their own.

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Posted by on September 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Marriage

So many of my friends are close to hitting their 10 year anniversary or have already hit that milestone.  Other friends of mine have been married many more years than that and some are just beginning their lives together.  All of it is beautiful.  I was reminded by my neighbor on Saturday, that every anniversary is a milestone.  It is one more year that you and your spouse have gotten to spend together.  When J and I visit some of the older people, we often hear about how they were married for 50, 55, 60 years.  The tears glistening in their eyes tell a story so deep that you know you won’t even touch the surface of it on a one hour visit.  So many years, so many memories, so much good and so much bad.  Think about how much can happen in the span of one year, a birth, deaths, job losses, job offers, moving homes, moving states, making new friends, saying good-bye to people you love, and more.  Multiply that by 50 or 60 years.

The thing that people forget once they are married, is the beautiful part of being married.  You decide, at possibly a very young age, to promise to spend your life with someone.  You promise to experience all of life’s high and low points with this ONE person.  This is HUGE.  When you become a parent, you promise to take care of this baby you made, but one day, the baby grows up into an adult and leaves (most likely).  You are not forever living with this person and sharing every part of your life with your child.  Some people forget this.  You get to spend all those awesome moments, awful moments, and all of those in between with the one person you promised.  You made a vow.  It’s a beautiful vow.  Let us not forget that.  Let us not forget that in our daily rut of alarm going off in the morning, rushing to get the kids to school, rushing to work, using up all your energy, and then rushing home to see the kids.  Let us not forget the one person we made the vow to 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 30 years ago.  The vow of “I want to do this with you, all of this. We are a team.”  Don’t let routine, life ruts, quarter life, mid-life crises, etc, get in the way of remembering why you are living with this person to begin with.

If you get a chance, talk to someone who is 90 years old, and celebrated their 70th anniversary the same year they said good-bye to their partner they had for life.  The look on their face says it all.  So much love and so many memories.  The thing is, not one of us is perfect.  We all falter, fail, and fall in life.  Having your spouse by your side who says “it’s okay, I’m here.  I know you will get my back when I fall.” is what every one of us wants.  And listening and watching someone’s face while they talk about having that for 50, 60, 70 years is beautiful.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Things to Remember

Here are some things J has said recently:

In response to J yawning a lot:
Me: “I think you are tired! Do you need a nap?”
J: “No, I’m not tired! Sometimes I yawn all day, but that doesn’t mean I’m tired!”

Me: “What is that black spot on your nose?”
J: “I don’t know?  Maybe Jesus did it.  He can make noses black, white, red, and yellow!”

Chase changed J’s shirt, and he mentioned it was a T-Shirt.
J: “I am going to wear this to the tea party! Momma when is the tea party?”

In the car talking about signing up for respite care:

J: “I am a big brother to all the babies.  When a baby cries, I will give it a bottle, but you will need to help put the milk in it.  Remember, don’t go to sleep if the baby is awake!”

Driving home from church after a baptism:

J: “Remember when I watched that guy get sanitized?”

Discussing arm hair:

J showed me his arm and said, “Look! I have hair on my arm. It means I’m growing up!” I showed him my arm and he said, “You have hair on your arms too! Are you going to be a grandma?”

After telling J I wasn’t happy with him not listening to me (in my “mean mommy voice”) he looked at me and said, “I’ve been thinking about something. I really like you. And I really love people. Let’s have all the people over and we will be happy.”

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

If you can’t take the heat…

Today I took Sonic up on their offer of a 79 cent medium slushy.  At the drive thru the lady told me to have a great day and said to be careful in the heat.  Heat? It’s 86 degrees with a heat index of 92.  Oh yeah, it is hot, but I guess I haven’t completely acclimated yet since I am still waiting for the unbearable 100 degree temps or heat indexes to come.  And that’s when I remember, this IS that kind of hot here, and I get a big smile on my face.

For six years we lived in Central Arkansas.  There are some wonderful things about living there.  Climbing Pinnacle Mountain, the Big Dam Bridge, the Two Rivers Bridge, so many nature trails, fun happenings in Little Rock, and the best part was all the friends we made. So many cool things about Little Rock, and yet it was always just so HOT.  I have never lived anywhere as hot in my life.  Granted, that is also as far south as I have ever lived.  My genes, my DNA, my body, was not made to handle 100+ degree weather all summer long. And to be honest, there were plenty of days it only got into the 90s, but the heat index was usually pretty high.  I also don’t really remember much Spring or Fall weather.  I guess in the south you mostly have summer and a short cold spell called winter.

Living a little further north has put me back in the climate similar to where I grew up.  3-4 months of Winter, 2 months of Spring, 3-4 months of Summer, and 3 months of Fall.  I LOVE the super cold mornings in the Spring and Fall, where it is so cold you bundle up, but by afternoon it’s in the 70s and you have to shed everything.  I LOVE summers where the super hot days are in the 90s and when and if you see a 100+ day everyone hides indoors.  I LOVE all the snow in the winter, because it’s the best part of the season!  If it’s going to be cold, it should snow!

So today I hope you enjoy the weather where you are and if not, well, you could always move…or drive by Sonic for a 79 cent slushy.  😉

(And no, I did not move because of the weather. 😀  It just so happens the move worked for me in that department!)

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Visiting Arnold

Last Friday we visited a man at an assisted living place.  He was one of the sweetest men I have met.  As soon as we walked through the door his eyes were on J.  I’m actually pretty sure he heard us coming down the hall, because J is pretty loud, and he opened his door before we had a chance to knock.

His daughter was there to visit him and J instantly knew this.was.a GRANDMA!  “Let’s play!” he said.  At first I was resistant because I wanted him to give his attention to the man we were there to visit.  But I should know by now, that these visits always work out awesome, and I have absolutely nothing to do with how great they turn out.  Arnold enjoyed watching J.  While we watched J play with this man’s daughter, he told me a few things about his life.  My favorite treat of visiting.  He told me his daughter was 62 and that he had lost another daughter long ago.  There were paintings hung up on the walls in his apartment that were absolutely beautiful.  I quickly learned that he painted almost all of them, after he retired!  He had never painted before retirement.  His wife painted some too.  Some of the paintings were of his childhood home and school and he painted those from memory!  They were extraordinary.

Arnold was a watch maker and one day his wife said she wanted to be one too, so he sent to her to the trade school where he learned and they both were watch makers, and once they retired they became painters and lived long lives.  He also preached at different churches for 40 years!!  I told him I loved hearing him talk and I was sure he was wise.  He coughed and politely told me he wasn’t sure what wise was, but he was sure he wasn’t it.

Halfway through our hour of visiting he leaned over and asked me if I knew how old he was.  I wasn’t sure what to say!  I knew his daughter was 62 so I guessed he was in his 80s.  Nope, 97 years old.  97!  And his wife just passed away last year.  They were married for 75 years.  When I told him my husband and I have been married 11 years, he patted the space on the couch between us and leaned in and said, “oh, you’re just starting out”  with a tone of voice that made me think he was thinking back to his first 10 years of marriage.  He then said that he and his wife loved being married and they never fought once.  I kind of chuckled to myself.  Amazing.

When it was time to leave, J gave Arnold and his daughter hugs, high fives, and kisses on the cheek.  When J turned to Arnold to give him a kiss, I saw Arnold tear up. It took me a minute to realize what was happening.  This is why we go.  The impact a 4 year old can make is amazingly huge.  And the impact these wise grandparents have on me is huge.

I can’t wait to see what next month holds!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Uncategorized