This picture pretty much sums up our girl! Happy as can be. 11 days old and we were finally able to capture her smile on camera – so what if she was smiling in her sleep? I’ll take what I can get! She is absolutely a dream baby so far. She sleeps great at night, only sometimes waking every couple hours to eat and goes right back to sleep. The only times we’ve really heard her cry is when she’s hungry or has a dirty diaper that we didn’t hear her make. We normally hear them though since she likes to make it known (like her dad). She sleeps in bed with us and loves to be swaddled at night…which is surprising because when she isn’t swaddled, her hands are always up by her face. Her umbilical cord stump came off Tuesday night, which made me a little more sad than I thought it would. I mean, I even considered keeping it! Gross. Kevin talked me out of it and I’m glad that he did, but it was the last little bit of that bond we shared. As uncomfortable as I was being pregnant, she was safe in there. That’s the most I was able to protect her and now as happy as I am that she’s here, I can’t protect her as much. She’s already got what sounds like could be a cold and it breaks my heart. T has had a slight runny nose and Kevin just got it too. Nola had been sneezing a lot which I read was normal for a newborn, but just recently snot started coming out. She also sounds somewhat congested when she’s nursing. Luckily she hasn’t acted like it bothers her at all.
We’ve had our fair share of breastfeeding problems, but I see things improving daily and it makes everything worth it. She is now eating regularly and gaining weight perfectly, I’m so proud of her. I already sound like “that mom”, don’t I?! The mom that thinks her kid is already a genius by day 12. I just can’t help it, she’s perfect! As of yesterday, she was almost back up to her birth weight. I look at her and wonder how in the world she fit in my stomach at this size, it still blows my mind!
I think T is still a little confused as to what’s going on. He has been extra clingy since Nola has been born, but otherwise he doesn’t really seem to care. He’ll sometimes try to touch her nose, or put a toy next to her to play with. He just started saying “sissy” which is super cute. He is getting a lot better with his words. He knows so much more than we realize. He kept trying to grab her blanket, so Kevin told him to go grab his and show it to sissy and he did just that. I’m not sure why, but we were both taken back. I guess just because he hasn’t been able to say a lot, so we just assumed he couldn’t understand a lot either but that’s definitely not the case.
We did her first bath Wednesday night and it went over surprising well. I thought she might hate getting wet but she didn’t mind it at all. She whined for maybe 10 seconds and then I think realized it wasn’t so bad.
My life still feels a little surreal. To think a little over a year ago, it was just me and Kevin. Now we have two little lives we are responsible for. God has this funny way of working things out in His timing.
I’m soaking in every second because I know how fleeting it is. I’ve never felt so blessed.
I left out some of the graphic details on purpose . . . you’re welcome!
Friday evening 10/15 around 6pm I started having some random contractions that felt like bad period cramps. I didn’t want to overreact and think it was labor because I really didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was going to be 41 weeks on Saturday, but had myself somewhat convinced it was never going to happen and it was very possible I was going to be the one person who ended up pregnant forever. I kept complaining about them to Kevin so he had me call our midwife just to be safe. The pain came on and off all night and into the day on Saturday. There wasn’t any kind of regular pattern that I could tell, so I figured it was just false labor tricking me. We made plans to go have dinner at my parents house Saturday evening and I was determined to make it happen despite the pain getting worse every hour. We were over there for a couple of hours and headed home around 8pm. I was in touch with my midwife letting her know what was going on and by 9pm, she decided she should go ahead and come over. I called our doula, Becca and told her she might want to head over as well. They both had about an hour drive.
They arrived sometime between 10-10:30 and after a quick check, it was discovered I was only about 3cm dilated. After a while, our midwife Kim decided it would be best if I tried to sleep since we most likely had a long day ahead of us and I needed the rest. Definitely easier said than done. Kim and Becca dozed off in our living room and Kevin in our bed, while I dealt quietly with the contractions getting more intense every hour. I tried laying down but it seemed to make the pain worse so I spent most of the night in our rocking chair with a pillow against the wall, trying to sleep in between contractions. I kept thinking to myself “this is horrible, why is nobody coming to check on me?!”. Once I realized it was labor that I was going through, I mentally started preparing for ways to deal with the pain instead of trying to hope it went away. Countless prayers, different breathing techniques, and focusing on letting my body relax instead of tense up during a contraction are the best ways I found to cope. After laboring quietly to myself all night, it was finally morning and I was hoping to hear the news of “you’re 6-7cm dilated…way to go!” but that didn’t happen. I was surprised to find out I made little progress the whole night and was only dilated 3.5-4cm at this point. I started to think I may not be pregnant forever, but I was most definitely going to be in labor forever. We went about our day. . . eating breakfast and going for a couple of walks, mainly just trying to keep myself busy and not too focused on the pain. Kim recommended that I find a craft to do or something to bake, so I decided to use our ripe bananas for some banana bread. It’s a recipe I make all the time but with contractions coming every 3-4 minutes, it took me over 30 minutes to get out all of the ingredients and throw everything together.
Nola was incredibly low the whole time which was causing a lot of pressure but my cervix was still high and posterior and wasn’t budging. It was also discovered later on into the day that there was some scarring on my cervix that needed to be worked out. Kim had me take a herb that helped with getting the contractions a little stronger and closer together, and started working on my cervix. Most of the day, I felt the pain was bearable. I felt so strong that I was doing this and it was finally happening, but exhaustion started to set in and I wondered how much longer this might really be. It all hit me and I had a mini breakdown. Tears were streaming and all I could do was focus on the pain. I stood there praying, telling God I couldn’t do this alone and I needed Him to take control. At that point, I gave it to Him. I gave Nola and this birth to Him and I felt such a strong peace that I could keep going. I labored a little in the birth tub earlier in the day, but once I hit 7-8cm it was time to get back in. It was instant pain relief. I got somewhat of a break and then transition hit and it was one contraction after another. There was no telling when one stopped and another started. By this time, my mom came over and everyone was in the bedroom getting things ready to prepare for her birth. The support that I felt was amazing. No one seemed nervous or overly concerned at any point. Everyone was calm, quiet, and had the most positive things to say about how amazing I was handling it all. By this point, all I could think about was my girl. She was my focus. I knew I was going to meet her soon. I didn’t want to be touched or really talked to. The water no longer helped, nothing did. Just knowing I was going to see her perfect face soon.
Next thing I know, I’m being told I’m 9cm and have just a little bit to go. There was a position Kim wanted me to get into on the bed to help Nola get past the last little bit of cervix left. So I got out of the tub and onto the bed and was told I should stay like that for 10-15 minutes. She said I could start pushing once I got the urge. She told me to push with the contractions but by this point I had no idea when one started and stopped…it was one big contraction, so I just started pushing. The position I was in felt horrible for pushing, so she asked what I wanted to do and I decided to use the birth stool. With Kevin positioned on the yoga ball behind me, my mom with the video camera, our doula with the camera, I began to push. I’ve always heard once you get to the pushing stage, it becomes somewhat of a relief. Me? I didn’t get that. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced, but such a beautiful pain. I knew that I was the only one that could get her out and as much as I wanted the pain to go away, I knew pushing was the only thing I could do. After a few minutes I was given oxygen to help with my breathing and after shouting a few times that I couldn’t do this, they were all yelling about how much hair she has! I WAS doing it! We were so close to meeting. I could feel her head. With my eyes closed, and everything in me I was told to keep pushing and not to stop and next thing I knew…I was being told to reach down and grab my baby girl. I’m pretty sure I reached down and maybe said “where is she?!” because my eyes were still closed so tightly shut. At 9:35pm Sunday night 10/17, our baby girl was born. I brought her up to my chest and held her with everything I had. I sat in Kevin’s arms, both of us sobbing uncontrollably at the sight of our perfect little girl. 8 pounds 14 ounces, 21.5 inches of pure perfection. Instant relief. Every ache and pain was gone and the past 9 months was completely worth it. That moment is permanently etched in my brain and it is so, so beautiful. I’ve never felt as close to my husband as I did then and do now. I’ve never felt closer to the One who gave us this perfect baby and this amazing experience. It was so intense and has changed who I am. I see things differently now. I want to protect this little life and I even have a new appreciation for our boy. He is such a miracle as well.
After two years of wondering why, when, who, and how. . . it all makes sense. God took care of us and although it didn’t seem fair most of the time…He knew what was best and I know He was in all of it.
She is here. She is healthy. She is absolutely perfect! Thank God!
After 2 years of waiting, our perfect little miracle, Nola Penelope is here. She was born at home on 10/17 at 9:35pm after laboring for 27 long hours! She weighed 8lbs 14oz. and was 21.5 inches long, with a full head of dark hair – we still have no clue where that came from! I’ll be posting the birth story and some pictures as soon as I can get away from staring at her long enough!
This picture makes me smile, so I thought I would share. Kevin and his dad were working in the yard this weekend planting some new trees and Thrasher was their little helper. This bucket entertained him for quite a while! Dirt, sticks, shovels, and buckets . . . he is definitely all boy!
To say there has been a lot of changes in the last week is probably a huge understatement. As of a week ago, we were planning on delivering this baby girl at a local birth center. Long story short, there was quite a few things going on there we weren’t happy with and decided to try to find a homebirth midwife. Halfway through the pregnancy I had started talking about homebirth, but assumed it was too late in the game to change our plan. I knew it could happen, I just didn’t know if I was mentally prepared for it yet. A little bit before I got pregnant and started thinking about the kind of birth I wanted, I knew I wanted to do things as “natural” as possible but still assumed that would need to be done in a hospital. What if something happened? I needed that backup. What if I needed the pain medication? It would be readily available. The more I thought and researched though, the more I realized I didn’t need or want that. I wanted to deliver in a birthing center that felt like a home with a midwife who I felt comfortable with. So that’s been our plan since the beginning. My sister in law has had 3 successful home births and I know some girls locally that have as well. The more I started talking with our birth assistant about the idea, she confirmed it would be absolutely no different than being at the birth center, except having all of the comforts of home. We aren’t far at all from 2 different hospitals if anything were to happen and needed to be transferred. So at 39 weeks pregnant, we changed the game plan and found a midwife that we are so happy with who will be delivering little Nola at home! That is, if she plans on coming out anytime soon. We have had three estimated due dates, and our midwife is going by October 9th. So, she has 12 more days to get her cute self out here or else I guess the game plan could change once again. Today our birth tub is being delivered and I’ve got all the supplies needed. It still amazes me how quickly everything has come together!
Last week we had to deal with another challenge but this one involved our sweet boy. He started biting at school again. He bit three different kids in one day and got sent to the office where we had to come pick him up immediately because he was a threat to the other kids. Uhh, rip my heart out. That wasn’t easy to hear by any means. The school offered us no real advice except the ones we keep hearing over and over (teething rings, washcloths, yada yada). He was extra clingy last week and had the rash on his cheeks that he always gets when he’s teething something terrible, so I know that’s what it was but we felt hopeless. The next day the school called us 30 minutes after he was dropped off saying he needed to be picked up because of another “attempted” bite. Needless to say, I was frustrated. I spoke with the school director and once again, no help. I LOVE his teachers, but it seems nobody is willing to work with us. I guess if it keeps happening, our only option is to find a new daycare. Part of me feels like they are getting paid to watch him, and although it might be a hassle for a little while. . . .one of the teachers should be following him a whole lot closer. He has never tried to bite a kid in the church daycare where he is every week, or at playgroups. . . so I just don’t get it.
We’re really hoping it was just an off week and today will be better.
I'm living a dream life, with the love of my life. In a lovely home which happens to be in a lovely city. Just trying to soak in every detail, thought, and breath God has given me. I truly believe every day is precious and worthy of being treasured.