Let me start by saying that I am so grateful to everyone that has been supportive as our family has planned for this homebirth with sweet...

Charlie's Birth Story- Part 1




Let me start by saying that I am so grateful to everyone that has been supportive as our family has planned for this homebirth with sweet Charlie. It has been such a fun pregnancy, despite it going on for way longer than I had planned. Also, my birth went totally differently than I had planned or even hoped. So, here goes.

We were at the dinner table celebrating Freddie's 5th Birthday! Here's the cake, double chocolate yumminess. Despite my better judgment I decided I would have just half a piece to celebrate with everyone. It seemed like I had just stopped eating and passed my plate away in agony when I had a hard contraction. I laughed and shared my pain with the family. Jason said, "If this chocolate cake sends you in to labor, I'm going to LOL." (Yes, he said, "lol") We got dinner cleaned up and I had another good contraction and decided we should go walking to help things along.
It was right at 8:00 p.m. and my mom was bathing the kids getting them ready for bath. I went to put on my pants to go walking and as I lifted my leg to put them on I felt a gush. I was pretty sure my water just broke. It wasn't a lot, so I knew it wasn't the whole shebang or anything. Jason and I headed out on our walk and called the midwife to let her know what was going on. I had a couple of contractions on our walk but nothing with any pattern. Our midwife, Mary, told me to call her when I got home and paid attention and had a time/pattern for my contractions. We got home and I headed for the bathroom. Labor really cleanses the colon, if ya know what I mean! I spent several contractions in the bathroom. The contractions still weren't regular and I could walk/talk through most of them. I took a nice shower and put on my nightgown. It was about 10:00 or 10:30 and they were coming anywhere from 4-7 minutes apart and getting stronger. Mary came over around 11:00 I think and checked me. I was only 3cm but almost completely effaced and she was pretty low but a little posterior. Mary suggested that I do some more pelvic rocks and get some sleep before active labor set in. With her suggestion I took a Benadryl and spent about 20 minutes on the floor basically laying my top half across my birthing ball, rolling my hips, and doing pelvic rocks between contractions. I eventually got into bed and tried to sleep. I was able to sleep between contractions for maybe 30 minutes and used visualization to help me through the pain. We practiced our "happy place" in birth class. Let me tell you about mine.

It's a foggy morning on the Little Red River. I'm 6 years old sitting on a lawn chair cushion in the bottom of my PaPa's flat bottom boat. The motor is off, we're stopped near the sandbar, and casting our lines. Behind me is my great grandmother sitting in her chair with her white curls barely moving in the breeze. Her pink frosted lipstick goes so well with her big 80s sunglasses. In front of me is my PaPa Coy, the best person my family ever produced. The pearl buttons on his Wrangler plaid shirt caught the bits of sun as it shone through the clouds. His mesh cap sat high on his head as he prepared to cast his line and slowly reeled it in just enough to tighten the slack. I could hear the whippoorwills calling in the treeline and the sound of our reels. I could smell the muddy water and my Granny Mable's perfume. I could see the water barely rippling beneath the boat and the faded red waist of my life jacket. In the back of my mind I was looking forward to the pimento cheese sandwich and coke that was in the little red cooler next to me. My favorite thing to see was my bobber on top of the water. I watched that thing, hypnotized, waiting to see it duck under the water to tell me I had a bite. I knew when I did catch a tiny perch that my PaPa was laugh and say, "Well, Mandy Bird, you skunked me!"

My happy place got me through several contractions, but eventually the pain would break through my scene and I'd have to leave and come back to my bed to focus on the task at hand. I so enjoyed my time there, even if it was short. Eventually at around 12:30 I had to get out of bed, move around, change position, and switch pain management techniques. I moved to Non Focused Awareness where you just basically let yourself take note of your surroundings while not focusing on any one particular thing or making judgment about your surroundings. It was so quiet so I had to focus on things I could see and smell. The bathroom was very crowded with supplies and such so I was able to lean over the bathroom sink and focus myself on all the items. I took note of colors, letters, shiny, flat, size, position, etc. of every item I could see. It was like taking an inventory during each contraction and moving farther away from myself to eventually notice the grout in the tile and the color of the door hinges. I had to move out of the bathroom once I'd inventoried everything imaginable. The focus was very helpful though. Then I moved to the bedroom floor and laid next to my sewing bin and made the inventory of each item, color of fabric, fold, ribbon, threads, patterns, etc. Smell was harder because it was more difficult to pinpoint. I tried things I could hear, but they were so repetitive; Jason's breathing (I was trying to let him sleep), my own breath, the fan, the sound of the chain clinking against the light fixture as the fan blew, the bathroom fan, rustling of blankets...it was too methodical to help move my attention away from the pain.

Soon, I moved to the shower. Once in the shower the only pain management that helped was vocalization. I had heard this from many moms but wondered how I would utilize this. Well, it was completely primal and unplanned or intended. I just began to cry out with each contraction with a strong "O" sound. At first it sounded like a whining boo hoo of suffering. So, I changed it to a little higher pitched and moved lower as the pain moved down. The contractions were getting so close together and I have no idea how long I was in the shower. Eventually I called to Jason to come and time them for me because I just felt like things were moving pretty fast. They were coming less than two minutes apart but were short, like 30-45 seconds. I had Jason call Mary and start filling up the birth pool. Of course, that meant I had to get out of the shower.

When I got out of the shower, I felt lost. I was in almost constant pain and felt spent of all my ability to handle it. I sat on the toilet again and called for my mom. Yes, I yelled, "Mommy, mommy!" That happened! My friend Andrea had made it in and I believe Rachel was there by then as well. My mom helped me move from the toilet to the foot of my bed and stroked my hair and my back as I continued to use my strong "oooohhhh" to get through each contraction. Jason was so busy trying to get the pool ready that I hadn't seen him much since he got up. I was definitely in "laborland" by then. I made eye contact with no one, remember very little conversation, and have almost a foggy image of things from there.




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Fried Green tomatoes and a totally retro corningware pitcher I found at a garage sale...full of sweet tea. :) Mom made a fried feast for u...

Fun with Nanny

Fried Green tomatoes and a totally retro corningware pitcher I found at a garage sale...full of sweet tea. :) Mom made a fried feast for us last Sunday with all of our Farmer's Market finds. Fried chicken, fried okra, fried green tomatoes paired with cornbread, purple hull peas, and lots of "yummmmmms!"

Several hours later we had some pool time!


We are enjoying our visit with Nanny, but really wishing that Charlie would come on out and join the party! Freddie told me yesterday, "Momma, I want baby Charlie to come out today!" "Me too," I said. He then proceeded to put his mouth next to my belly and said, "Charlie, come out and see us today." She didn't listen to her big brother at all!



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All myths busted 1) Spicy Food- no workie 2) Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- no workie (but did give me terrible indigestion) 3) Sex- no workie 4) ...

Myth Busters- Preggo Style

All myths busted

1) Spicy Food- no workie
2) Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- no workie (but did give me terrible indigestion)
3) Sex- no workie
4) Nuhnuhnuh Stimulation - no workie
5) Walking- no workie

Those are the ones I can think of for now that haven't been successful. Patience is a virtue, but not one that I really have mastered! :) I guess I'm not as great of a "natural" childbirth candidate as I'd hoped, hahaha!

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Today is the last day of work before my maternity leave! It's been hard to focus, but mostly because I've been crazy productive and...

Last Day of Work


Today is the last day of work before my maternity leave! It's been hard to focus, but mostly because I've been crazy productive and gotten everything done way ahead of time. That was likely due to my hopes of having a baby early, but oh well. :) I feel really good today and slept really well last night. My ligaments didn't ache so bad and I only got up to pee one time. I even went to bed super late because we went to see X-Men last night. I enjoyed it. Man that dude that played Magneto is a hubba hubba for sure. He was in Inglorious Basterds too and I loved him. The best is that he plays Mr. Rochester in the new Jane Eyre movie, which I have not been privileged to see yet. I can't wait until it comes out on Netflix!



Anyway, today is tank dress with pleats day! Others are wearing jeans, which I think is foolish in this heat! I've gotten several compliments rather than just those empathy groans when I walk by, so that has lifted my spirits. I think it is just the most helpful that today is my last day until August and my mom will be here at 8:20 this evening! I have not seen my mom since her wedding which was August of 2009. Can you imagine? I mostly feel sad that the kids haven't seen her in so long and Addie was just a tiny little 8 month old baby last time she saw her. It should be a very interesting visit as Nanny learns these little personalities again and helps us greet the newest member of the family. I'm also slightly excited that we may have a couple of days together to shop and have fun and do some nesting together before Charlie comes.




Anyway, I wanted to leave you with a picture of happiness and a reminder for myself in a few months of just how big my lips and nose actually got!!











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Hmmm, my tune may be changing just a little this week so I need to do a gratefulness recap. 1) I have had four days with no swollen ankles...

39 Weeks

Hmmm, my tune may be changing just a little this week so I need to do a gratefulness recap.

1) I have had four days with no swollen ankles, feet, or hands. That is a huge blessing.
2) I am getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, comfortable or not!
3) I have time to knit in the evenings and watch tv with Jason.
4) We got to attend our last childbirth class last night where we watched a video on The Happiest Baby on the Block techniques. It was awesome.
5) Jason will be finished with school tomorrow.
6) My mom will be here on Friday night.
7) The whole family was sick over the weekend and is pretty much all better now (thank goodness no baby when everyone was puking!)
8) I have gotten to work this week which is money we really needed.
9) I got to wear one more new maternity shirt this week!
10) I was able to finish reading the Husband Coached Childbirth book by Dr. Bradley.

Okay, I feel slightly better. I was starting to think about how heavy my belly is, how my ligaments ache when I move, how my skin is starting to break out again, how everyone keeps asking me if I'm miserable and I'm starting to believe the hype, how worried I am that she's going to be huge (considering that she was an estimated 6.5 lbs 3 weeks ago), and how freakin' hot it is outside! So, if I can just replace these yucky thoughts with my grateful ones, then I know I'll make it as long as I'm required. I just had this feeling that she would come last weekend. Addie came 8 days early...that was yesterday people! :) Oh well, no two pregnancies are alike. I have a midwife appointment today and I'm not even going to ask her to check me. I just don't need that type of disappointment! Good news, only two more days of work before I'm outta here until August, woo hoo! I need the rest!

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I posted a pic on facebook this morning of my round and jolly self at 38 weeks. I am thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy. ...

38 Weeks!

I posted a pic on facebook this morning of my round and jolly self at 38 weeks. I am thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy. Yes it is too hot, my ankles are swollen nightly, it's hard to sleep comfortably, and I'm pretty exhausted once I get home from work. That is all beside the point though. :)

My skin is playing nice, my hair is thick and I can go days without washing it, I love wearing maternity clothes, Charlie moves all around and reminds me of her presence constantly, I am anxiously excited about labor/birth, the kids love to touch my belly, put their hands on it and tell me Charlie is kicking them. They gave me a full checkup with their doctor kit, stethoscope and all the other day. I enjoy visiting with my midwives, childbirth class is a lot of fun, I'm not waddling too badly, my back is doing fine thanks to the awesome chiropractor, pelvic rocks feel silly but I don't care, reading all of these books with anticipation is incredibly fun, and I just generally enjoy this whole process of pregnancy! I've told Jason to just greet people at church for me with, "She has two more weeks left, there's only one baby in there, and she's not miserable." :)

Keep an ear out for news of baby's arrival!

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