Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Want, Need, Wear, Read

Happy Tuesday! 
It is a pretty drizzly fall day here. I'm cuddled up on the couch with a cold, praying that I'm not called to any births anytime soon (ha, yeah right...) and the kids are watching Daniel Tiger on repeat. 

How's your Tuesday? 

I'm linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday today!
We usually do the Want, Need, Wear, Read for all of our Christmas gifts. This year John and I agreed to just do one gift to each other and we're still doing Want/Need/Wear/Read for the girls (with the addition of a pair of pajamas, a DVD in the stocking, stocking stuffers, and a big gift to open on Christmas Eve {We're currently on the fence about Santa, but usually that would be the Santa gift})


Want
This year I am going simple on the Want, and since it's a smaller item, I've allowed myself two want items. I have recently jumped on the Washi Tape bandwagon. I've seen it for years on Pinterest but I hadn't realized that it's for more than just being pretty. I don't have time to these big crazy calendar spreads - but it's so nice to stick a couple of pieces of washi tape on there & be able to see the difference in events and notes. And on that same note, I need to replace my colored pens for my calendar (yes, it's all color coded). My sweet daughters have run off will all of the colors and either broken them or lost them.


Need
A Fit Bit! I actually would prefer an Apple Watch, but I'm too cheap/lazy to switch to an Apple phone from my beloved Android. I'm also pretty hard on watches, so I'm afraid I'll also break the Apple Watch screen in nothing flat. 

Now, you're thinking you need a fit bit?? And the answer is yes, of course there are the obvious health benefits. But actually those are just icing on the cake for me. I need something that vibrates on my wrist when I get a call so I can stop obsessively checking my phone when I'm with my kids, at church etc while I'm on call. 
This is the one I'm considering. Do you have any tips or recommendations? 

Wear
I am on the search for the perfect pair of Ankle Boots. I haven't found what I want yet (this is what I'm requesting in our family gift exchange) so if you have any suggestions please send them my way!
My criteria: leather (I'll just ruin suede), Very little to no heel (if it does have a heel, I'd prefer a wedge), comfortable, and around $50.

If I can't turn up the perfect pair in time for Christmas, I'll just revert to my stand-by obsession in the clothing department and request Lu La Roe! Guys, I'm not fashionable. It's just not where I spend my interest/time/money but I love LLR. It's so easy and I've been so pleased with everything I have. I get lots of complements, it has me wearing patterns and prints instead of my go-to almost all black wardrobe. I just love it! 


Read



I love everything I have made from Shay's blog & got my sister-in-love her bundt cake book which she loves. I prefer having a cook book in front of me, it's just easier to make notes etc so having her recipes in print form would be perfect!

What is on your Christmas Wish List for this year? 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Life Lately

This past week has been so much slower than the past couple, but it's also been jam packed with some crazy! 

Tuesday I had my MOMs Bible Study at church. I absolutely love getting together and fellowshipping with these wonderful women! After study, the girls and I met John for Taco Tuesday (Love me some tacos!!) and grocery shopping (necessary evil... I'm so glad I have a husband that wants to go grocery shopping with me!)


Wednesday was a "normal" day around here of work, I had a networking coffee date with a new local birth doula. It's been so very nice having John work from home, he can watch the kids while he works or log out and take a "lunch break" if he needs to so I can go do some of my out-of-house work when necessary.  Fast forward to Thursday and the crazy train started!

Josh is still in town but he was going fishing with a friend so I wasn't rushing out of the house to go spend time with him over at my Dad's house. Around 4 my Dad calls, I assume to tell me he's finished working and what am I doing. Wrong, he's had a car accident and needs me to come up to the highschool. I was in sweat pants, so I threw on something a little more reasonable grabbed up John and the girls and away we went! He's okay, but his car is totaled and he's really sore. He was driving a little Toyota Matrix and a big 4 door truck ran a red light (in a school zone...) and slammed into him. We're so very grateful that it was not worse than it is! 



While I was standing in the ambulance getting a report from the paramedic about how he's doing my "on call" ring tone started playing repeatedly. I checked the text quickly and sure enough I had a client in labor! I cancelled the nights plans and stayed at Dad's caring for him. 

Friday I spent the day waiting on the "come join me" call to go help my laboring client. I left at about 4 that afternoon and finished the birth about 5 the next day. My 2nd longest birth support yet! One of the hardest things about being a doula is that when it's all finished I go home and still have real life to face. I came home and snuggled my girls who were beyond happy that mommy was home! We loaded up and went to dinner (so happy to not be cooking after being awake for 35 some odd hours!!)



Sunday was a typical day, church, lunch with the family and lots of cuddles with my girls that were afraid I'd be walking out the door any minute (which is totally possible since I was still on call for another client and the birth center!). 




What's life been like lately for you? 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Guys Behind the Blog // November

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies for one of my favorite series ever, Guys Behind the Blog! You can find a link to join in too here


1 // What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What is your least favorite?
Pecan pie (which he pronounced as "pee-can pie" LOL) or green bean casserole, as long as there aren't mushrooms! (he's allergic) Canned cranberry sauce, or fruit cake!
2 // What is a Thanksgiving tradition you liked growing up that you want to continue with your family? For example: Do you eat super early around 3pm or regular dinner time around 6pm? Do you watch football? Do you all go to a particular family member's house? Do you nap after the big meal?
We always eat, then watch football and afterwards start gearing up to decorate for Christmas! 

3 // What are your thoughts on Black Friday shopping? Yay or nay?
Absolutely "nay". Online shopping is okay I guess. I really dislike the crowds and getting up early from a tryptophan induced coma ;) 

4 // If you had it your way, would you set up your holiday decorations (Christmas tree, Hanukkah menorah, etc.) before or after Thanksgiving?
After, because before is obnoxious! My wife wants to put up a "thanksgiving tree", basically a Christmas Tree with fall stuff on it. I'm not so sure about that either.

5 // What are you most thankful for this year?
Good health for our family. For job stability, and for Rebekah's business doing well.  My good looks... haha don't put that down! (I didn't listen... shhh!)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Life Lately

This past week has been a fun and memorable week! On Tuesday morning John woke up to his alarm and saw a text from his boss that the office had flooded and that he should work from home. Turns out that flooded puts his office building mildly so he worked from home for the rest of the week and will probably be working from home the better part of the month! 

Of course Tuesday was also a historic day in America! 
I dressed the girls in their patriotic gear, because regardless of the election outcome, we are still Americans! Ada is wearing Cora's shirt from Joshua's home coming last year. I never could get her to sit still enough to where you can read it in a picture, but it says "My uncle is my Hero. Proud niece of a U.S. Marine"



It also took dum dum suckers to bribe them to sit for the picture. 
The quilt that they're sitting on has scriptures written on it and was presented to my younger brother after he joined the Marines by our home church. There are sweet ladies involved in the quilt ministry and they pray over the men and women they are preparing the quilts for as they sew. Such a neat ministry. 

That evening I went to a leadership planning meeting for our local Birth Network and then went to my Dad's house to join in on the family's election watch. We had expected results to come in quicker & it be a landslide one way or another. After it got so late waiting on a definitive answer as to who won (and both girls having fallen asleep) we decided that we were just going to crash at my Dad's house that night. 

Wednesday morning we got up so early and loaded the girls still in their diapers (the way they slept) and headed to Dallas for Cora's check up with her Rhumatologist at Scottish Rite Hospital.



Cora's knee doesn't have active inflammation right now, and none of her other joints are showing active inflammation (which is the extreme swelling you see with JRA) but the knee still cannot fully extend. She's also been having some trouble with stiffness and pain when the weather changes or we have a storm (Monday was rough for her, I cancelled all of our outings so she could just stay inside and rest) so the doctors are recommending that she go back onto a therapeutic dosage (read: insanely large doses for her little body) of an anti inflammatory drug. She responded very well to this last time, so we are praying that it is effective (along with some therapy & exercises) and that her body continues to tolerate the meds well.


After the appointment we stopped by John's office that isn't far from the hospital so he could clear his desk & pick up his dual monitors to make working from home easier. Then, because the day hadn't been exciting enough, we headed to Fort Worth for Cora's check up with her Ophthalmologist. That check up went perfectly! The JRA hasn't affected her eyes yet & she's good to wait another 3 months before being seen again. 



John went on home and worked until well in the evening while I kept the girls out of his hair at my Dad's house and prepared for my brothers arrival the next day!

Thursday my brother Jacob drove in from Tyler to join us to pick up Joshua from the airport! It ended up being a crazy morning. The website showed that Josh's flight was delayed so we stopped and had breakfast, basically wasted time & as we were finally leaving Denton Josh texted to tell us he was at baggage claim and where were we? I realized it was silly for me to drive all that way just to pay to drive through the airport so Ada & I ran some errands while Dad, Jacob & Cora got Josh from the airport and then I joined them with Robert for lunch.


A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on


Friday was a full day of errands, a quick play date and more errands - mostly trying to stay out of the house while John's working at home so he can actually work.

Saturday I co-hosted a baby shower for some sweet ladies I know from Mom's Bible Study at church with Angela and Alyssa. I'll share more pictures in a separate post. It came together so well & we had a lot of fun! 


A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on
The rest of the day was spent with family, Jacob and Stephanie were in town. It's so rare to have everyone under the same roof these days, we soak up the time when it happens! 

Yesterday was a typical day, church (we managed to make it to the early service and go to Bible Study after for the 2nd week in a row! Celebrate the little things!) lunch after services at my Dad's house and then I went to a friends Lu La Roe pop up party & bought this Nicole!! 

I love LLR clothes so much! I am not a person that likes to clothes shop, at all! I also don't like spending money, at all. But, I really love LLR and the way the clothes fit and when it comes down the price per wear, I'm not dying over the cost! I feel like that's likely going to get it's own post too! 



I'm looking forward to another full week with friends and family and I can't believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner!! I started meal planning for the various holiday events today. It will be here before we know it!

How was your weekend? 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend Recap & My Favorite Food Hack

This weekend was honestly one of my favorites in a long time and it was so simple!
I'm linking up with Momfessional's for Let's Talk - Recipes. At the end of the post I've shared one of my favorite food hacks for cooking chicken! 

Friday John stayed home with us. He has a few days of personal time that has to be used before the end of the year and everyone else is out of town for a conference so he couldn't be productive at work anyway...
So, we cleaned house! It was a much needed cleaning (and isn't done, if I'm being honest...) but we got the living room and dining room furniture adjusted so there's more room for the girls to play!

Saturday John was playing in a softball tournament on the other side of the metroplex and I was on call so I had to stay close to home. I hung out at my Dad's house all day while I baked! We were taking a cake to share with the Sunday School teachers at church for a training Sunday afternoon and Sunday night I was taking a meal to a family from church that has a sweet new baby.
It required a trip to the grocery store which is always a blast with 2 kids, so of course PawPaw went along! 
We were all sporting our Texas Tech gear, even though we still managed to loose the game...

Ada showing PawPaw what she wanted at the store! She was a girl on a mission.
 
 I made Salted Caramel Mocha cake from Mix and Match Mama's recipe. It was delicious!!



A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on

Sunday we went to church, but for the first time in the better part of a year we made it to the early service and then to Married Bible Fellowship during the 2nd service (basically Sunday School for married couples). We tried Cora in the service for the first time in about 9 months. Last time we tried having her in "big church" with us, we decided we'd wait and start working on that after she turned 3. It's really important to me for my kids to be in church, not back in childcare (though our childcare is awesome and they have great lessons!) the whole time. My mom never put us in nursery, I'm not really sure how she handled teaching us to sit through church though and Dad doesn't remember the specifics.
So, for my food hack...
After lunch Sunday I started cooking dinner for us & for the family from church. I was making a chicken tortilla soup. This is the recipe I started using years ago, but really it's what I call a "dump soup" as in I just dump whatever we have around the house in. It's so easy and always tastes delicious, no matter what random ingredients I put in (different beans, rice, vegetables etc).

When I buy chicken I purchase fryer thighs or a similar cut of meat from the butcher (you usually have to purchase this in a store that has an actual butcher). It's dark meat, usually a big thigh attached to a drumstick with bones, skin etc. Then I go home and cook it with whatever vegetables I have around needing to be cooked or what would go in that weeks soup (I usually make a soup at least once a week) to create broth for that weeks soup! After I boil the chicken, cool it, and debone it I have enough chicken for the soup and usually one or two other meals for that week and a huge batch of broth that's healthy and preservative free!

On Sunday, I stepped up my game and made the broth using my pressure cooker. I have had an electric pressure cooker for years but just recently started using it after the Instant Pot gained popularity and recipes started popping up everywhere. I use it probably once a week but this was the first time I cooked the chicken in it like this. Y'all, it was life changing! It made the most hearty broth I've ever made!! It was so rich and deep. The chicken just fell off of the bone, I had a hard time getting it out of the pot. Deboning it was just a matter of picking it up with tongs. I will do a tutorial on this soon, it's that amazing and so simple to make a healthy, whole food staple for your family! It took the same amount of time as it did to boil it on the stove top, 30 minutes in the pressure cooker (plus the 10 or so minutes while it built pressure), but I could just walk away from the pressure cooker and do other stuff where as I watch a pot on the stove much closer to make sure it doesn't boil over etc. Also, since it was so easy to de-bone the chicken, I saved a ton of time not needing to cool the chicken enough to handle it (normally the most tedious part of the process), I just picked it up and it fell apart!

Do you have an electric pressure cooker? What are your favorite things to cook in it?



Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Favorites


Today I'm linking up with Andrea, Erika and Narci for Friday Favorites.

One
My youngest brother is coming home! He left Japan early this week and is actually already state-side visiting his girl friend! These two years with him living in Japan has been hard on all of us. I am beyond excited that he'll be living in the contental US! We'll get to see him late next week and I already have lots of fun things planned for while he's home!

Two
Listening to the Happy Hour while cleaning after a birth

Have you heard of the Happy Hour Podcast by Jamie Ivey? It's what I'm listening to right now, and I just can't get enough! I was never a podcast listener before, but my friend Lauren introduced me to the Happy Hour and it's been love since first listen. It's literally like sitting down to chat with a good friend over coffee, you know, if your good friends were people like Beth Moore or Shay Shull (one of my favorite episodes!).  I'd love to be on her show one day, but pretty sure no one wants to hear me ramble ;) This is the perfect podcast for moms who are home with their kids! I just put it on our Apple TV and listen while I wrangle kids and referee fights. 
Do you have a favorite podcast? I feel like there have to be other great ones out there that I just don't know about yet!

Three

Sixlets, you know the candy... I've recently become obsessed and that's obviously not a good thing. We bought some a couple of months ago when we shopped at our new Winco for the first time (I'm also loving Winco!) just to buy something in "bulk" from the bins. It was fun to scoop them out and have a treat for the girls! Then we started potty training Cora in earnest, which is still not going great, but sixlets became our go-to potty training treat for both her and me (because heaven knows I need chocolate to survive teaching this child not to pee her pants... or the rug at my friend Angela's house!)

Four
Leisurely reading... I have just made the effort to carve out time for me and right now that looks like reading! At a good friends insistence I read Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. I really liked it! I read the whole thing in one day, I just couldn't put it down! (It's definetly rated R, just be aware) I haven't picked up another book because work has needed my attention but I did just pre-order Stand by Jennifer Rebecca (who is my cousin, by the way!!) and am looking forward to reading that on the 10th! (you can see her cover release here!)

Five
Fall scented candles! I got a new wax warmer stand on the freecycle table at my Moms Bible Study and I'm loving the timer feature, I'm unfortunately really bad about forgetting lit candles in the house so I stick to warmers most of the time. It hasn't really felt like fall around here (not a favorite thing for the record) and I'm not decorating the house for fall this year so my candles are the only fall indulgence I have right now. 

What are your favorites this week?



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cover Reveal of Stand By Jennifer Rebecca

Title: Stand
Author: Jennifer Rebecca
Release Date: Nov 10, 2016
Add to Goodreads
Cody Reynolds had the world at the tip of his fingers: a beautiful fiancee, a promising NFL career, and a Super Bowl ring within his grasp. He was living the American Dream, until a tragic accident threatened everything he knew... Sending him home to Tall Pines, Texas.
The best pediatric trauma nurse in New York City, Angellic Andrews' life revolved around her career and her boyfriend. Until the night there was one more tragedy on the job--it seemed like one too many for her heart to take... Until her aunt convinced her to give Tall Pines, Texas, a chance for a new life. A new adventure.
What happens when the two people least interested in love meet in a small town?
Have you visited Tall Pines yet?
Cody
This is it. This is that moment that changes your life. The lynch pin for the life you know you are supposed to live. This moment, this one right here, is mine.
It’s the fourth quarter of the biggest game of the year. The biggest game of my life. This is the Super Bowl. My team and I have busted our asses for the last year to be here and we are here. We are mother fucking New York, baby.
My parents and my girl are in the team box watching. My parents, they’re proud. I busted my ass as a kid in a small town in Texas to get to the NFL. I’m going to give my ring to my dad, the best guy I know. My girl on the other hand, she’s not proud. She gets off on being my fiancĂ©e. She’s after a different ring and I’m going to give it to her in the off season.
So here I am running to the end zone, fourth quarter of the biggest game of my life. Timmy, our quarterback and a crazy mother fucker all around waits until the very last moment to snap the ball across the field to me.
I leap up into the air like a mother fucking gazelle. No, they’re weak. Like a mother fucking mountain lion on the hunt for my prey. I arch back to grab the ball from the air and see all the flashes. This image. This picture of me is going to be on the front page of every paper in the morning.
My fingers just touch the ball when I’m hit from behind by a Mack truck, or at least that’s what it feels like. When my body hits the ground, the ball is in my arms underneath me and the human truck hits me again. I will never forget the sickening crack we all heard before everything went black…

Lights. Lights are bright. And blurry. Where the fuck am I? I blink again, trying to clear my eyes, when I see an angel. From the light up above me comes the most gorgeous girl with bright blue eyes and big, light blonde curls bundled up like my Granny’s yarn on top of her head. She smiles a toothpaste commercial smile at me.
“Welcome back.” But that’s all I hear. Because when I try to ask my angel if I’m dead, everything goes black again. And the last thought I have is what a dumb fucking question to ask an angel. Of course I’m fucking dead. And now, now, I’m also a moron.
Jennifer is a 32 year old lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta.
10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 7 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.
   

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Coffee Date



If we were having coffee...

... It would probably be at Starbucks because I am there more often than I've ever been in my life! Interviews, prenatal meetings, child-free work time. It's quite the expensive addiction! I'm already looking forward to a much needed work session on Friday while the girls are playing at Grandpa's between prenatal appointments with clients.

... I would tell you that I'm working hard not to say I'm "busy". I am, busy that is, but "busy" sounds negative and while I really wish I had more time for different things in my life (more blogging, playdates, a cleaner house, homeschooling the girls...) - the things that take up my time are good things. Work - which is my business and passion, so a good thing! My girls, friends and family! After that there's very little time left over, and right now, that's okay! As my sweet  friend Angela pointed out to me recently when I was talking about this being a hard season of life #harddoesntmeanbad

... I would tell you that for the first time in a really long time I have managed to consistently have a Bible Study. I've never been one to use an e-Bible. There's something that just feels off to me about flipping the pages of the Bible like I scroll through Instagram. BUT, that's what I'm doing. Using a Bible app & going through a couple of studies on the She Reads Truth app. It's been great, exactly what I need and meeting me in my full schedule (see that... trying really hard not to say "busy"). It really helps to set my day off on the right foot and when I don't get it done first thing in the morning I make it a point to do it before I sit down to do other work on my iPad later in the day.

... I would tell you about Cora's 3rd birthday celebration! I can't believe my baby is already 3! We had a very small celebration and it was honestly the least stressful hosting I've done in a long time!

... I would tell you that I *hate* the weather we're having. Where the heck is fall?!?

... I would tell you that I think I have a thrifting habit. I'm always getting things we "need" (or legitimately need) or things I've had my eye on but don't want to spend retail etc. and it's always great deals! I just find it becoming a little too easy to spend $10 here & there when it isn't really in the budget, I'm probably going to have to go back to a cash envelope for my thrifting budget.

... if I were being really vulnerable and honest I would tell you that I need to find time to work out again. It has been a rough year for my body. The first year postpartum, still breastfeeding, school, working, starting a business, other life stresses. My weight has been a bit all over the place, literally fluctuating up and down about 20 pounds. The icing on the I need to loose weight again cake would be that two people have asked about my non-existent pregnancy. *insert side eye emoji here...*

... I would tell you that I'm excited about Halloween, or Make Believe Day as we're dubbing it with our girls. This year Coralie will be Abby Kadabby and Ada will be Cookie Monster. I've finished the cookie monster costume but am only about a quarter of the way through with Cora's, I've got to get busy with that!

... I would jokingly tell you that I think I need to start writing what I wear each day in my calendar. I don't have a huge wardrobe (but it's growing!) but it's still decently sized... I'm pretty sure I accidentally wore the same shirt (different pants and accessories though...) when I met a couple in a birth class, again for their doula interview and yet again when I met them for their first prenatal. This isn't the first time something like this has happened either.

If we were having coffee, what would you share with me?


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life On Call

One of the biggest adjustments to life as a Birth worker has been life on call. I feel like our family has finally settled into our groove of things but it has undeniably been an adjustment for our friends and extended family too. 


A little bit of what my life looks like as a birth worker over the last 6 months 
(I'm sure there will be more fun tales in the future)...

Getting your doula clothes gathered and laid out because it's beginning to storm (storms really do bring babies!)

Answering text messages and calls at all hours of the day and night.

Keeping a well stocked snack stash in your doula bag, and car, and purse because you've skipped a meal (or three) while with clients.

Driving around with your doula bag and on call bag of clothes every place you go, just in case!

Asking for the check and a box at dinner as you're placing your order, because you know the odds of making it through the meal aren't great.

Taking two cars to church, or to my Dad's or to the store because your client is "warming up". 

Having friends and your sister-in-love "on call" to host a birthday party because your client is past her "guess date". 

Going to so many births back to back that you remember what you did on Monday but now it's Friday and you're just not sure what happened to the rest of the week. Honestly you're impressed when you know the day of the week! 

Waking every 30 minutes for an entire night because you know your client is in labor and it's just a matter of time until you get the call to come.

Being half way home from the grocery store with 2 asleep kids and a trunk full of frozen food when you get called in. 

Perfecting sleeping sitting up and feeling re-energized and ready to concur the world after a quick trip to the bathroom and washing your face after 15 hours of giving every ounce of yourself. 

It's saying "I know" and "you can do it" when it is the absolute truth but doesn't help the exhausted laboring woman. 

There isn't a single thing about this job that is 9-5, unless you count trying to jam all the back office work into typical office hours while being the best work-at-home mom I can be. 

Being a birth worker is more than a job, it's a lifestyle. 
It is exhilarating, exhausting, beautiful, unpredictable, hard, and bittersweet. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Long Days, Short Years.

The saying is true. These days are long, so very long; but the years are short! I can hardly believe that my sweet baby is a year old and my big girl is almost three!

This year has been a bit crazy. Well, absolutely crazy.
To recap:
Ada was born at the end of July
at 2 weeks postpartum I started training to be a Birth Doula
at 4 weeks postpartum I started a new job teaching 2 days a week at a Mothers Day Out program the next town over
at 5 weeks postpartum we started suspecting that the limp Cora developed at 2 weeks postpartum was something more serious and she was later diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Until almost December every time someone would ask how old Ada was I would respond 6 weeks old... because I felt like we were in survival mode 100% of the time. God is good, and I'm not complaining, that job was an answered prayer and it was a year of hard work in school but it's paying off now that I'm running my own business and I love it!

In February I finished my training as a Birth Doula and went to my Certification Workshop for a weekend (that weekend was a hoot - if it could go wrong it basically did!)

March through May I worked diligently on getting my business off the ground while still teaching two days a week. In May I had turned down 4 inquiries for doula clients because I couldn't be on call while teaching. I took a leap of faith, literally trusting God that this was His plan for us and said I would not be returning in the fall to teach.

In June I was really worried I'd made a big mistake by giving up my "day job" because I didn't have a single inquiry for doula services. God is good and he had a plan! I was contacted about training to be a Midwife Assistant at a local birth center. It's been a busy summer, I've learned more than I could ever imagine and as of today I have finished my training as a Midwife Assistant and I'm booked for doula clients through the New Year!

I really think the theme for the past 12 months is God is Good, God has a plan and trust God!!

I have really missed blogging. I think about it at least once a week but I just couldn't justify taking taking the time to sit down and write when so many things needed my attention. Life is still busy but I feel like we're coming out of survival mode and learning to live our new normal. Tonight I sat down on the couch and didn't know what to do with myself, I literally finished training as a MA this afternoon when I passed my skills check off for neonatal resuscitation and CPR so I don't have anything to study for the moment. So, blogging it is. I really hope I'm able to keep it up.

I'm glad to be back - how are you?!?


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Disturbing

Back in January a woman, Laney Sweet, who is a birth doula that lives nearby lost her husband. The DFW metroplex is a big place, but the birth community is small; while we may not all know each other, we usually know of each other and interact in groups online. The loss of her husband has become my nightmare, my literal nightmare, and while my blog doesn't have an expansive reach its time I say something about it. 

You see, Laney's husband Daniel, was murdered by a police officer. 




If you know me, I'm not one to say inflammatory things like murdered by a police officer. I support our police and don't believe they're out to get us. I tie blue ribbons on my car antenna and put a blue line on the back window of my car in support, but the fact is he's a murderer. I've sat around believing that justice will come if we wait for the courts but unfortunately it's looking less and less like that will be the case, because he's a cop. 


Laney and her husband Daniel lived in Fort Worth but Daniel traveled most of the month for work in Pest control. In his line of work, he used large rifle like pellet guns. He was working in Mesa Arizona and staying in a hotel. At the hotel, he had befriended two other people staying for business and they were hanging out in his hotel room eating pizza and playing video games. Sometime during all of this Daniel called Laney to check in. As the testimonies are being told, one of Daniels guests asked what he had in the large case by the window. It was his rifle. So Daniel opened the case and showed it to him. The guy picked it up and looked it over and they went on with their evening. (A perfectly innocent, *legal* evening!)


What they didn't know was out by the pool witnesses saw them through their window with the gun and had hotel staff call the police. Several police officers arrived outside Daniel's hotel room and with guns drawn ask him and his guest to exit the room. (The man that had been holding the rifle had left a few minutes before to call home and check in.) Officers began shouting commands at them. Daniels guest was taken into custody without incident. Daniel was being told to put his hands above his head, to crawl towards the cops and to cross his ankles. He was complying with all of the officers commands and said "please don't shoot me". As he crawled on the floor towards the officers feet he reached back (to pull up his basketball shorts? Trying to comply with the commands to put his hands up? Who knows) and Officer Brailsford took this as a threatening gesture from a man crawling on the floor and shot him five times. 

The next day, Laney hadn't heard from her husband. Work is concerned that he didn't show up. She can't reach him for him to wish their oldest daughter a good day at school, as was their routine. She called the hotel, they wouldn't connect her to his room, instead they gave her the number of a police officer. The police officer wouldn't return her calls or the calls of her frantic family. They called the police station but no one would speak to her and tell her what was going on. Finally she called the Coroner and only then did she receive Condolences and the news that her husband and father of her two children had been murdered. It took several days for the police to get back with her at all. 



As time has gone by, several more facts have unfolded. Like that Officer Brailsford was using a personal weapon when he shot Daniel and on the gun he had it inscribed to say "YOURE FU**ED". He was temporarily put on leave, 3 days I believe, and then cleared to return to work. When the investigation was turned over to authorities other than the Internal Investigations (that Brailsford's father recently retired from....) it was found that he was at fault and he was charged with 2nd degree murder. 

He wasn't taken into custody, but directly charged and appeared in court for the first time on the 15th. There he pled "not guilty". The judge did not place a bail for him to meet to maintain his freedom. What other individual do you know charged with 2nd degree murder that doesn't have to post some kind of bail??? After the hearing the prosecution offered him a plea deal with a lesser charge of Negligent Homicide. If he takes the plea his sentencing will be left to the judge (the same one who has already show preferential treatment) with the minimum being Probation and maximum being 3.75 years in jail. If he takes the plea, a jury will never see the body cam footage of him murdering an innocent man. A father, a husband. 

This is wrong. This is not justice. This could just as easily be my husband John, or your husband, or your brother or my friend. It wasn't like he was innocent but doing something fishy that we can all shake our fingers at and shame him saying oh you shouldn't have... He was living his life and through a huge misunderstanding he was murdered! I would like to think that if my husband, or your husband or Laneys husband were murdered by anyone, including the police, that justice being blind would bring some retribution but that isn't happening here. 

Unfortunately, this gross injustice isn't getting the press coverage you would expect either. According to this reporter who is choosing not to cover it, it is because he's white. So apparently we only care when those with a dark skin tone are killed by police, justifiable or not? I would like to think that my life matters too, that Daniels life mattered even though we are white. ( http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2016/03/09/montini-mesa-police-department-bill-montgomery-police-involved-shootings-maricopa-county-attorney/81540332/ ) 

This nightmare, this story that sounds too crazy to be true is Laneys reality. 
If you'd like more information, this is the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForDaniel/ ) where you can find pictures, articles and anything you want to know about this horrible situation. #JusticeforDaniel


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Beginnings - January Goals

When New Years rolls around I usually don't make resolutions. It's just not my thing. Sometimes I'll make goals for the year a few days later on my birthday, so basically New Years resolutions but less about the year and more about personal growth and goals. 


This year I made several resolutions and have many goals of things I want to get done this year. This year it's just different. I feel like I'm finally getting back on top of my life rather than letting life rule me. This is really the first time I've felt this way since about October 2014 when we moved out of our rent house. We moved, which is always a crazy time plus it included tons of work on our project house so we were staying with my dad. Love my father and that he was able to help us in this way but my Dad, Uncle, brother, John, Cora and I under one roof with one bathroom... that was a challenge. Then we learn I'm pregnant in November. Pregnancy, winter (cold and complicating house repairs), prenatal depression... we didn't find a "normal" until almost April. Even then our "normal" was trying to stay on top of our life until Ada's arrival. 

After Ada was born I was sure we'd get out of the fog and find a good, new normal routine but I started training to become a Doula at 1 week postpartum and took a job at 4 weeks postpartum. For months if you asked me how old Ada was I would reply 5 weeks old. It seemed like we got to that point and time stopped turning because we were in survival mode for what seemed like forever. I love my girls with all my being but being a mom of two girls is hard! (and every parent of more than one child said "Amen"... while moms of 3+ are laughing)

Life is finally, not easy, but manageable. I'm so excited to try new things, see what works for us. Start new routines! This year, New Years has felt like a clean slate and a new beginning.

My January Goals are:
- To finish all my required readings for Doula Training!
- To blog at least 4 times
- To get caught up on housework
- Plan a Date Night for our 5th Anniversary!

In my 2015 Year in Review Post I listed my New Years Resolutions as:

- To increase our savings account for building our house (we have a specific goal, I'm just not sharing it here for the world to see :) )
- To eliminate (again...) some of our unsecured debt (medical, credit card). 
 
I have personally set goals of: 
- Running a mile without stopping (one of my goals on my 101 list)
- To improve my language (I don't curse much but I don't want Cora and Ada picking up and saying words like "shut up" "stupid" etc.)
- I'm giving up cokes entirely (wahhhh!)
- Cutting back on the paper products we are using in the house and to start recycling again.  
- To be intentional with the girls. We're planning to do a homeschool preschool program next fall, so I need to start planning that out and getting prepared. We'd like to start having a family devotional together with the girls too.
 
For my business and blog:
- Have 4 doula clients by year end
- To blog more. I haven't decided exactly how to measure this but I wish I had spent more time blogging this year. Mommy of 2 and Doula training has created a bit of a blogging time challenge. 
 
I'm also really looking forward to marking some of my goals off of my 101 List

Did you make any New Years Resolutions?
What are your January goals?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ada Mayme - Birth Story

Ada is 5 months old now and I have finally finished writing her birth story. It's long and involves birth and associated details (and images) so if that's not your thing, please skip this post!
If you'd like to read it, you can find Cora's birth story Parts 1, 2 and 3.



On Wednesday, July 22 at 10:41 pm Ada entered this world and made us the proud parents of two beautiful girls.

L&D Day


My estimated due date had been Saturday July 18 and much to my surprise there were next to no signs that Ada would be making her arrival any time soon. We saw Kathy, my Midwife, the day before my due date and she did a cervical check & swept my membranes. I was 4 cm, 40% effaced but at a -3 station. I wasn't having any useful contractions that would be effective at bringing Ada down, while I was grateful to not be experiencing prodromal labor like I had with Cora, it was frustrating that we weren't seeing any signs that my body was preparing for labor. Earlier that week I had come down with some nasty virus that gave me a high fever (for being 39 weeks pregnant) that I just couldn't kick so I spent a day in Labor & Delivery getting fluids and monitoring baby.





After that ordeal and the fact that Ada wasn't moving a bunch (passing kick counts, but she was always pretty mellow with her movements & my anterior placenta liked to hide them, plus running out of room...) Kathy scheduled me for a Non Stress Test on the following Tuesday (3 days past EDD).
My "guess date"

The weekend, my due date & Monday all came and went with no labor signs to speak of. John decided to work from home Tuesday to be with me for the NST and to hand hold as I planned to also have my membranes swept again, this time by the other Midwife, Holly, who according to Kathy has "magic fingers". Ada gave us a bit of a scare as she totally failed her first non stress test. We were pretty sure she was just asleep, but our best attempts to wake her with Holly pinching her foot, juice and crackers weren't working. Holly & Kathy stood over the NST tape with concerned looks & sent me out for a good lunch and to come back & try again. We found it hysterically amusing and ironic that two midwives who discourage sugary drinks like Gatorade told me I should drink a coke with lunch! After a nice burrito from Chipotle and the coke they really had to twist my arm over, Ada passed her 2nd NST with flying colors. At my cervical check I was found to be at 5 cm, 50% effaced, still -3 station but she could feel my bag of waters bulging. We did the sweep & they talked to me about making sure that I called as soon as I was in labor to give everyone time to get to the birth center since we were all 30 + minutes out. Holly was adamant that I'd go quickly once contractions started.





We went home grateful that Ada was healthy and we weren't faced with needing to induce and give up my natural out of hospital birth. That evening I had some contractions. They were "real" enough to justify timing them but I was pretty sure they were associated with the sweep from earlier that day & knew deep down it wasn't the real deal. I didn't bother to tell anyone other than John.







Wednesday rolled around and Cora was kind enough to let me sleep in a bit. The morning went by uneventfully. I had a few contractions, again like the night before they were real but not close together at all. Nothing out of the ordinary for being 40 + 4. After lunch, Cora and I laid down for a nap together on the couch. As I laid there I started doing a mental kick count but kept loosing track because her kicks were so far apart. I usually did kick counts at nap time since she was usually pretty active after lunch but I figured I'd just try again after I'd slept a bit.

After our nap we got up and Cora
played while I put away laundry and did a few chores. John called at 3:00 and said he was headed home early, that he was distracted and he'd just finish working at home that evening. At that point I had just had 2 or 3 back to back contractions that required my full attention and moaning helped focus so I was beginning to suspect that early labor was on the horizon. I kept with my tidying the house and put dinner in the crock pot (cheese ravioli) to keep my mind busy and was so glad John was going to beat traffic headed home. 

My Dad texted me at about 4:15 to suggest that I hang out at his house the next day. He was nervous that I was alone and an extra 15 minutes out from him if I went into labor when John was at work. I was sure enough that early labor had begun that I admitted the contractions to him. I didn't do that lightly as I didn't want to create any undue worry. At the same time I was getting really antsy for John to get home already (and I was really regretting asking him to stop & get me Gatorade before he got home). I called him but he didn't answer much to my displeasure, he was in the store purchasing my Gatorade and called right back, he was just a few minutes from home - thank goodness!

I hadn't been timing contractions up to this point but decided I should start so I could recognize any patterns to the waves. When John walked in the door I was leaning on the couch, moaning through a contraction as Cora danced around the living room in her diaper with a pair of pajamas on her head like a hat. I quickly drank one of the Gatorade John brought home and knew I needed to get in the shower. Between hydrating and the shower, I knew it would officially be the real deal if the contractions didn't stop. Just before getting in the shower I texted Sarah, my doula to let her know what was going on since she had the furthest drive into us and kiddos to make childcare arrangements for.

John worked on tidying the house and getting bags loaded in the car while I showered. The warm shower slowed my contractions but I was certainly in labor. After I got out I notified the rest of my birth team that I was in labor (6:15). I rode out a couple of contractions but they weren't bad at all. I was able to handle them on my own easily. We decided this would be a good time for John to take Cora to my Dad's house. I gave my baby hugs and kisses as John carried her out the door with promises that "when I see you again, Sissy will be here!".
John hadn't been gone long at all and my very next contraction was really hard. I was beginning to panic that I needed his support and round trip to my dads house is about 30 minutes. I called John & asked him to please hurry. Then I called my dad to make sure that he was waiting for John at the street so John could immediately come home. My next several contractions weren't nearly as bad, but I was glad to have John back. We spent about the next hour with me alternating labor positions standing and swaying or sitting on my birth ball while John finished up some stuff for the office.
(the picture of me above is eating dinner between contractions as I swayed on my birth ball)

In between contractions I was second guessing my labor and myself. I was handling most of them leaning over, hips swaying and quietly moaning. Occasionally I'd have one hard enough to ask John to help with double hip squeezes. It just didn't feel challenging enough. I don't know if it was just that I was better equipped this time around since I had done this once before, or if maybe my labor just wasn't as difficult? Maybe all that red raspberry leaf tea I had drank did its job in making my uterus strong? Whatever the reason, it left me feeling that I didn't need to go to the Birth Center yet, I was pretty sure I hadn't had hard enough contractions to dilate further but I knew my midwives were antsy about how quickly I'd progress, especially if my water broke. I was however worried about the drive to Inanna, the birth center, it's about 25 minutes away and I know from experience that riding in a car during labor is pretty awful.



I picked up my phone to text Kathy that we'd go ahead and come in and saw that she had just texted me at 7:10 saying she needed to go check on another laboring mom and to see how I was doing. I called her back and told her we were coming in but only because I was nervous about the drive & that she should have plenty of time to take care of the other mom. She said she'd call in Holly just to make sure all our bases were covered.  I told Sarah we were headed in & she said she'd see us there. I triple checked that we had everything off the last minute labor grab list, gathered up a pillow to hold on the drive, and a towel and absorbent pad to put in my seat just in case my water broke on the way. I wasn't in any particular hurry, I rode out a couple of contractions leaning on the hood of our car. John finally got me loaded in the van and away we went.



Just off our street I tried texting Kathy to let her know we were actually on our way. My brain was foggy and I couldn't remember if that had been clear in our phone conversation before. As I texted a contraction started and I somehow ended up calling her. Since she got to hear me work through a contraction on the phone she decided she better stay at the Birth Center and another midwife was sent to tend to the laboring mom two towns away (poor momma, throughout the night I'd occasionally hear Kathy on the phone getting updates from a nurse on her. Each time her response was "give it another hour then call me back and we'll see where she is" sounded like a less than fun labor!). On the drive I also texted Kaity, our birth photographer, letting her know we were headed in but to wait until I was checked to come. I was certain this was still going to take a while. 

I had maybe 3 contractions the whole way to the birth center and other than the one on the awful bumpy road that Kathy got to hear me work through, none of them were all that hard. I was beginning to second guess my decision to go in, just sure I was wasting everyone's time. At Inanna, Lauren, my birth assistant (who we know from church as she kept Cora in nursery) met me in the parking lot. She got me inside to Kathy while John got all our stuff inside. Kathy did a check and I was at 6 cm and 80% effaced so progress had been made but I was disappointed it wasn't more. I just wanted this all over with. Sarah arrived as Kathy went to track down a thermometer and to see if the birthing room was ready. Holly arrived somewhere in all of this too. Lauren came and took us into the birthing room and we started getting set up. Lauren put our frozen chicken & dumpling casserole in the oven for my post-birth meal. I told her I expected it to take about an hour and a half in the oven so we might want to wait. Everyone disagreed and thought it aught to go in then, they were all just sure this was going to be quick. There was even a discussion of getting something from a restaurant because the casserole may not be done in time (which I seriously doubted). 

John put on my labor playlist (Pandora's Praise & Worship station), Lauren was tending to her tasks and sang along quietly to the songs. While I went to the restroom, John and Sarah got the essential oil diffuser going (lavender & lemon). During all of this Lauren asked if I wanted her to fill the tub for a water birth. I told her that I'd likely want to labor in it some and definitely do an herbal bath after the birth but that I didn't plan on a water birth. If it happened okay, but my heart wasn't set on it, so she started the process of filling the huge bathtub.


I had contractions here and there but again, nothing all that awful. I'm not sure if they were getting longer/closer because John & I weren't timing them anymore but I didn't notice a progressive change. John would do hip squeezes in contractions, we'd slow dance. I spent a couple on the birth ball with Sarah massaging my back as I read over my birth affirmations on the bed in front of me.



Kathy had me squat through a few, which I found to be pretty uncomfortable, but of course that's because it made the contraction far more effective. She also told me she would break my water whenever I was ready. I discussed it with John and we knew it would speed things up, which I wanted but I also knew it would make my contractions more intense. We decided to give it 30 minutes, see where I was at & decide then. We kept at this for the next half hour. It was a very peaceful environment during contractions, I would chat and cut up with the birth team between contractions. I was content but really felt kind of like I was the watch pot everyone was waiting on to start boiling and I wanted the process to be over with already. 

The half hour passed quickly and about that time I had a couple of hard contractions back to back. John helped me to the bathroom. As I slowly scooted into the bathroom with John's help (I was finally having the frequent, hard contractions I'd been expecting), Kaity arrived and I gave her a quick hello. Movement triggered several more close together contractions. Labor was reaching my "hard" memories.

We left the bathroom and went to the bed. Kathy checked and I was at 7 cm and maybe 80% effaced (I don't remember exactly the effacement).


I didn't feel like I should be beyond that based on the work of my contractions but it's still frustrating to hear you aren't progressing quickly to the end of the process you so desperately want to be finished with. I was also nervous about whether or not Ada had passed meconium in her water as Cora had. If we were going to have potential complications from that I didn't want to find out at 10 cm like before. So, we broke my waters. No meconium!! During all of this I was rather annoyed with my hair on my neck, I suddenly remembered that I'd seen Sarah with her hair French braided and between contractions ask her if she could pull my hair back. We all had a big laugh that my hair is what I was thinking about at that moment. Breaking my waters didn't immediately change my dilation/effacement and I decided to get in the tub for a change of pace. 

Once in the tub I felt much more relaxed. Sarah braided my hair and John poured water over my belly in contractions. At Lauren's suggestion I moved to the other end of the tub to use the shower sprayer on my belly in contractions. That was so helpful!


We labored in the tub like this for what felt like forever. I was definitely in transition and my thoughts weren't bright and happy anymore. I knew what was coming. This was about to get a lot harder and then it would only be more and more difficulty until finally it was over. That was one of the big differences between my first and second labor. I knew what was happening, I feel like I almost knew too much making it harder to get out of my own head and deal with each contraction as it came. 


After a couple of particularly miserable contractions Kathy checked my progress. I can't remember if I asked her to check,or if she offered when she was checking heart tones but I wanted to know my progress. I was only at an 8. This is when birth became much of a mental game. I knew too much. I had too much "book knowledge" about birth. In my mind I was calculating that a rough estimate would be a centimeter per hour so I was thinking that I had another 2 hours of this hard labor. The old saying is true though. When you think you can't anymore, it's because you're right there at the finish line. In hindsight, I only had another 30 minutes or so of labor.



John and Sarah kept cool rags on my neck and forehead. My next few contractions I had to work really hard to hold it together emotionally. I wanted it over and all those painful contractions had only brought me to an 8. I wanted to cry out that I couldn't do this, but I knew I could. I wanted to quit, but the only way out of this is to go through this. I regained some emotional control and had John read me some of my birth affirmation cards while Sarah took over the water sprayer. This helped so much. Listening to him say words of Truth that I will come through this and it is just temporary were such restorative words. I would focus on the lyrics of the worship songs, thinking through them between contractions. I would ride the waves of contractions that we're getting longer and longer requiring multiple breaks to gather more breath to maintain my moan. My internal montra was the same as it had been with Cora's birth "Strength, God give me Strength".


 I told Kathy I was feeling "pushy" after a long contraction. Kathy gave me the go ahead to blow the baby down with practice pushes to help take the edge off the contractions. This helped the pain, giving each wave a tangible purpose that I could work with it. John joined me by sitting in the corner with his feet down in the tub giving me his hand to hold in the waves. It went on like this for several more contractions, I'm not sure exactly how many. I knew I was getting close based on what I felt and I could hear everyone moving and shifting around getting ready for delivery. In a contraction I had an overwhelming urge to push. I wanted to make sure they knew I was really pushing and I couldn't tell if they knew based on my moan. I made a rather loud announcement to the room in general that I was "Pushing!!". 

Kathy and Holly came to the tub, Holly was telling me to get into the pushing position they had told me about earlier when I got in the tub. I could feel the next contraction rising up in me as I began to move and really didn't want to move. I don't know if I told Holly "no" but I was sure thinking it. She reached over to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me into position as the contraction began. I locked my feet into place grabbed John's arms and pushed with the wave.


As I pushed Holly exclaimed to Kathy that "she's coming!". Coming she was! The contraction ended and I could feel Ada retreating back so I flexed and held her in place waiting for the next wave. There was some chatter about making sure Kathy didn't fall in with me. The next wave came, Sarah reminded me to open my eyes. I used all my might and pushed her head out after a big rupture of fluids. One more push and she was here! Kathy caught her and pulled her right up onto my chest! Her time of birth was 10:41 pm.

I was beyond happy to have my baby here in my arms! I could hear John quietly crying behind me as I settled down In the water holding our baby. She was crying and everything was perfect!!


They draped warm towels over her and we were snuggling enjoying our first moments together. I'm not sure what all was going on in the room but I heard either Lauren or Holly say something about "oh, your placenta is coming already" with an obvious air of surprise. I looked down and sure enough the remaining water was quickly turning bright red. I knew from my doula training and first birth that this was a bit quick to already have my placenta come. 

They checked the cord, it had stopped pulsing and was white so it was clamped and John got to cut the cord. I passed Ada out of the tub to her Daddy's waiting arms and then was helped from the tub.


 There was a lot of blood coming already and I wasn't at all cold but from the moment I stood I began badly shaking (which was probably more hormonal than anything). They got me to the bed and John brought Ada to me to be skin to skin as he laid on the bed next to me. The placenta came quickly but it felt like I was birthing the placenta over and over again with waves of blood and clots gushing out of me. Holly, Kathy and Lauren were constantly working on me to get the bleeding to stop. Sarah stood at the foot of the bed handing my midwives supplies. 

Holly came up to my side and checked Ada's lungs, she was kind of grunting rather than that typical newborn cry. We suctioned from her mouth some and that let Ada cry out like they wanted.




Just a bit later Lauren came up to my side & explained that Holly needed to check me for clots or retained placenta. I have to say, this experience was worse than birth. This is the part I wish I had drugs for the pain. The hemorrhage sometimes indicates retained placenta but it was complete, I was passing some larger clots. Lauren was sweet and explained that Holly would need to put a couple of fingers inside me to check for those clots trying to prepare me for what was next. Well I'm here to tell you that she had those 2 fingers, plus her whole hand and a good bit of her arm in me clearing out clots. I'm so glad Lauren didn't exactly describe what was about to happen.

She cleared many clots but the bleeding wasn't stopping with the manual removal (while my fundus was being pressed on from the outside - a very hard physical massage of the top of my belly). They administered pitocin with an emergency shot to my thigh while Kathy got an IV going in my arm. They repeated the manual removal a couple more times (it's a bit fuzzy I'm not sure how many times this was done) and though I had now received two more doses of Pitocin through the IV my bleeding was still very concerning. I was given two doses of Cytotec which also failed at stopping the hemorrhage. Finally as a last resort before calling for emergency hospital transport a dose of oral Methergine did the trick. 

It's not a pretty picture, but John snapped this shot as they were working on me, I was not handling the pain very well (as you can see...). For the next several days the back of my head hurt from pushing it back into the headboard while they worked on me. I found it amusing to take stock of the sore muscles and random bruises I had acquired and compare them to the ones I got while birthing Cora. It's seriously a full body workout! 




I choose to birth naturally without drugs and only certain interventions but I believe Western medicine has a time & a place. I'm so grateful for the access to drugs we had as they certainly saved my life. It took three separate drugs and about an hour of constant care and treatment to get my bleeding to slow to an acceptable pace and I stayed on the methergine for the next 72 hours. I'm a prefect example of the emergencies that they're fully equipped to handle at birth centers! 


At 12:21 I went to the bathroom since I was finally stable and Kathy did Ada's newborn check.









Ada's birth was so different from Coralie's in so many ways! I loved birthing out of hospital and the freedom that allowed me. I loved going home a few hours after birth and sleeping in my own bed! Birth is such a beautiful and natural thing - I am so blessed to have the opportunity to bring my precious daughters into the world! 


The next morning with both my babies!


I've been asked if I would birth out of the hospital again and I plan to! I have always wanted a home birth but that won't be possible for me. We simply live too far from a hospital and it would just take too long to get an ambulance to us if we needed emergency transport. I absolutely will use a birth center again though and cannot imagine having a hospital birth again! Knowing that I'm a high risk for repeat hemorrhage we will balance some preventative measures that you would find in a hospital setting with some of the freedom of birth center. I'll choose to have a hep lock put into place as soon as I arrive at the birth center in labor so that if they need access for an IV the line is already established. We'll also do some homeopathic prevention during labor. I will drink some very concentrated Red Raspberry Leaf tea (and be religious about drinking it throughout pregnancy with more regularity than before) and there have been some studies that show that Dates are a natural hemorrhage preventative so they'll be a big part of my diet before and during labor.

Even with the complications, this was a beautiful day and I have no regrets. I look back on Cora's birth and have remorse about how certain things were handled under hospital policy. I seriously question whether a NICU stay would have been necessary at all had she been born out of hospital. With Ada's birth I'm confident that the interventions I received were warranted and done with consent. It was a much better birthing experience and I'm already looking forward to when the Lord blesses us with another and that baby's delivery!