Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fresh start!

Life got busy. A new baby and a huge move just made me feel like I needed a fresh start. 

I'm now blogging regularly over at Freckled in Florida! Come visit and stay a while! I can't wait to reconnect!

Monday, December 29, 2014

natural birth mondays: preparing your body

Real talk: I am not a health freak. At all. I eat what I want, when I want, and hardly ever exercise. God blessed me with good genes and an adequate metabolism.

I don't say that to glorify my life or say by any means that it's good to live like that. It's just what I've always done and it's hard to shake!

I just wanted to preface this post with that little nugget of info because I want you to know my frame of reference when I talk about ways to prepare your body for birth. I'm not going to be the 8 months pregnant woman hiking 5 miles every morning and eating a perfectly balanced diet. I'm just not. I'm looking for practical things I can easily fit into my life to prepare my body to get this baby out the old fashioned way!

When doing my research (which sounds way too offish for me haha), I found some things that I seriously loved!

One of which is sense association. The idea here is really basic. Choose some things that you think will help you relax during labor. "Practice" relaxing with them regularly through your pregnancy and when the time for labor comes, your body should naturally be more relaxed when your use the items because your brain associates them with relaxation. For me, that would be my playlist, full of worship music to keep my mind focused on God, and lavender oil. I've already been listening to my playlist a lot (actually, I am right now!) and use lavender oil in the evening to calm down. I'm hoping these will treat me well in the spring!

Another one that I used all the time when I was pregnant with Reuben was my exercise ball! The week before I had him, I even brought it to work and replaced my office chair with it because I was determined to get him locked, loaded, and ready to go! I might've looked ridiculous, but I bounced, wiggled, and swayed on that thing at least 8 hours a day and dilated another cm and effaced another 25% in 6 days. I don't think that was purely a coincidence! Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to sit up straight, spread your hips, and allows plenty of space for baby to get nice and cozy and positioned well.

Walking and squatting were two physical things I saw over and over again. Talk about manageable, especially in the spring. They both help baby work its way down and also help with the physical endurance and strength labor will demand. Both seem like something I could easily work into my daily routine. I may even do a squat challenge starting in March and try and make it fun!

I saved the best and craziest for last. Eating dates, y'all! Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. I read about it in a group I'm in on facebook and women were swearing by it so I had to check it out for myself. I found this study and was blown away by the facts! Now, I do understand it was a small sampling of women, but the results are enough to convince me it's worth a shot! The study showed women who ate 6 dates every day the last 4 weeks before their estimated due date had significantly shorter early stages of labor, were checked in further along in dilation, had stronger bags of water (kinda gross, but good!), lower use of pitocin, and a higher chance of going into spontaneous labor. I've got zero idea why they work and I don't entirely care. I may not even like the way they taste, but I can choke down 6 a day if it ups my chance of all those good things!

There were several others like teas, acupuncture, and oils/vitamin supplements that I probably won't really look into since I either don't like them or can't afford them.

But I seriously feel like the few things I did find will really help give me a head start on the birth I want!

What are some things you did before labor and delivery that you felt really helped? I'd love to check them out!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry christmas!

From my family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas! 

Gather 'round, ye children, come
Listen to the old, old story
Of the pow'r of Death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man

Gather 'round, remember now
How creation held its breath
How it let out a sigh
And it filled up the sky with the angels
Son of God, Son of Man

So sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God, but He made Himself nothing
He gave up His pride and He came here to die
Like a man
-Gather Round Ye Children Come by Andrew Peterson

Monday, December 22, 2014

natural birth mondays: the basics

I've got (theoretically) 19 more Mondays until baby girl gets here. I'm working hard on learning all that I can about natural, unmedicated birth and what it will take to accomplish that. There's so much more to it than I realized!

I thought it would be good for me (and you!) if I shared it all here. It always helps me to put what I learn into my own words. I feel like it helps it stick and fully sink in to the little crevices of my brains.

Obviously, I am NO medical professional and have been/will continue to talk with my midwives about all of this. These posts will be based on research based with my opinions that will help me draw to my own conclusions. I hope you find them useful, encouraging, and simple to understand. BUT I encourage you to use it as a part of your research. Do some for yourself and come to your own conclusions! That way when the going gets tough, you can go back to what you know and believe about birth and stick it out!

These are just a few topics I figured I'd cover:

  • Preparing Your Body
  • Doulas
  • Birth Partners
  • OB vs. Midwife
  • Positioning and Movement
  • Pain Management Options
  • Interventions
  • Skin To Skin Contact
  • Delayed Cord Clamping
I may throw in more or combine a few, but I'm really looking forward to diving into this with you guys! Let me know if there are any specific topics you'd like to see covered!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

new camera=more real pictures!

Clint and I decided to take the money his parents were going to use on us and put it with the money we'd spend on each other and get a nice-ish camera. We really love it so far, and it's nice to have one that will auto focus since our last one is on the fritz. It works about 70% of the time, so we're hoping we can sell it for a little something and recoup some of what we spent on this one. We'll see!

I've been having a LOT of fun with the new one, though! It's so fun to capture our every day lives with something nicer than an iphone.

We spent some time with our friends celebrating "friendsgiving" when we were in Nashville last weekend and we snapped this one there. I just can't believe how big this kid is getting. He LOVES wearing his hood and always asks to have it on, even if the jacket he's got on doesn't have one. haha

We've seriously cut back on his use of our phones because the amount of times he'd ask for them throughout the day was getting ridiculous. He'd spend most of his time on educational apps and has learned a lot of animal names and noises (which are always entertaining), but for the most part, he only gets it for very short times if we've offered it to him. His concentration face cracks me up though!

We got a cuddly Elf on a Shelf for right now, and kid is LOVING IT. He'll come downstairs every morning and get excited when he sees "Felf" and plays with him regularly throughout the day giving him water and sharing snacks. I know, I know, the kid isn't supposed to touch the elf or else he'll lose his magic. But honestly, I'm not too keen on the idea of him behaving just for presents from Santa, so I'm not sure we'll emphasize that part. I see the elf evolving more of a fun guy who comes to live with us for the month of December and likes to do crazy things while Reuben's asleep. Of course, Felf is pretty boring right now because Reuben is too little to understand funny stuff and mama is too lazy to think of fun things when sitting him on the couch is thrilling enough for a 21 month old!

The places I find him nowadays crack me up. And no matter now easy it may be for him to get down, he'll always look at me with a smirk and say "Mama, 'tuck." and want me to get him down. If I'm feeling particularly nice I'll grab him and get some snuggles before letting him down, but the boy somehow miraculously knows how to climb down himself if I'm doing something else. It's amazing. ;-)

We made cookies the other day and this was about as happy as it got. Reuben was in to everything and was over it before the dough was even done. He then decided he HAD to have his craisins leftover from school the week before and threw an absolute hissy fit the last half of me rolling and cutting them out. 

I'm loving this phase of our lives and I'm so happy we've got a camera to capture the sweet moments!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

it's a...

We're a little over a week into knowing and I'm still having the hardest time believing it!

Finding out was actually hilarious. Clint and I went in convinced we were having another boy. He was sure his family only makes boys and I really wanted Reuben to have a brother. So we started the ultrasound and watched the baby practice breathing, wiggle all around, and even look like it was yelling at us face on. Finally, we told the tech we were ready to know. She got the screen centered on where we'd be able to see the goods, but baby was being proper and not showing anything. It stayed like that for a couple minutes and the tech decided to change the direction the wand was pointing.

When she did that, Clint said "What were we told at Reuben's gender scan? Something like a hamburger or three lines means a girl?" And right at that moment the tech went "Yea, that's what you look for. One. Two. Three." as she drew arrows to point to the three lines so clearly showing up on the screen. We both went "WHAT?!?!" and then immediately asked her to double check. We were in shock!

Since then, it's sunk in a little more. A name is picked out (I may put it on here eventually), a few outfits are bought, and we're just overall getting used to the idea of having a daughter. I'm honestly a bit freaked out, but I know the Lord intended this baby specifically for our family and I can't wait to meet her!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

vbac thoughts

This baby was such a surprise that I think I'm still kind of in shock about it. I'm 3.5 weeks away from being halfway through (theoretically, of course) and I'm just now getting my head wrapped around the fact that this baby has to come out. And I am honestly oh-so-ready for that to happen based on how I've been feeling lately! 

Reuben's birth was nothing like I'd had planned. I had a whole birth plan that was full of naturally minded birth things and not many, if any, interventions. I ended up with a non-emergent but really, really needed to happen very quickly c-section and a 5 day hospital stay thanks to HELLP syndrome.

Almost two years later, I stand by the fact that I fully needed that to happen to save our lives and I'm so thankful for modern medicine.


I do NOT want another csection. I felt miserable afterwards, couldn't get out of bed on my own for weeks or lay on anything but my back for months, and had a really hard time getting breastfeeding going. Not to mention we'd like the option to have four children and doctors frown upon having a 4th csection. I don't want a voluntary procedure to determine the number of children I can have. I've found a group of midwives here who I've heard wonderful things about and fully support an attempt at a VBAC and I'm so thankful for that and excited about that option. My OB in Nashville said that I have an 85-90% chance of being successful, which is super encouraging.

All that said, I'm absolutely terrified too! This time my plan is to have absolutely zero interventions because I know every intervention I have raises my chance to have another csection. That plan is fine and dandy and I totally get it mentally, but physically I'm terrified of the pain! I never felt a single contraction with Reuben and I have ZERO idea what to expect! 

As the time draws closer, I'll be researching more and more and plan on sharing what I'm finding and any sort of prep I'm doing. I look forward to sharing with you guys!

Disclaimer: I in no way, shape, or form look down on women who choose to have repeat csections! As a mama it is YOUR choice to do what is best for YOU and I would never shame that. These are just my personal opinions on VBACs. :)
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