Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Little Freya

I understand why some people might not like birth stories. I have to say I never used to care for them much either, until Seamus was born. But, ridiculous as it is to say, I feel like its something I am good at- and I want to tell anyone who wants to read about it all about it. Its not really fair that the thing I am good at in life is such a sensitive and awkward topic for people to talk about. If only I had ten foot arms and could swim like Michael Phelps.

But alas, I am cursed with average arms and a weird super power. So be it. If you wish to read about a women and her child's birth story, please stay. This is mostly here for me, but your welcome to experience through words how it felt. 

Saturday, December 19th, we had gone down to Ft. Collins as a family for the day. My due date wasn't till the 23rd, and I have always gone over, so I wasn't expecting anything to happen. We were headed back home around 6 pm, and there were still a few things I needed to get at the store that I felt very urgent I needed to get. They were things mostly to finish freezer meals, but just in case I didn't make it till Monday- I wanted to have them. So I planned on going to the store once we got home and dropped off the kids and Joe. Also on the way home, I felt two contractions. But they were small, and I didn't say anything about them, I didn't want to get overly excited.

Freya- 1 month
Sunday morning around 5 am I woke up to go to the bathroom and I started to have some more contractions. They were not intense or often, but I was to anxious to be able to sleep so after about 30 min I got up, and shortly after Sariah and Seamus both woke up (they have both been early risers since we moved). After getting them breakfast and just cleaning for a bit, I felt tired enough to try to sleep. I went back to bed, and fell back asleep till 8 am. When I woke up the contractions had stopped, so I decided to head to church (which we were late for, since it starts at 9). All through church I noticed that whenever I got up and walked around I would feel a lot of pressure. I wasn't having any more contractions, but I definitely could tell that walking was doing something. 

All through church I kept getting asked when I was due, and people were so surprised to here Wednesday! My mom was not arriving till Tuesday, and I was hoping to stay pregnant till she arrived so she was around to watch the kids- because we had no back up plan. Luckily, someone at church fully volunteered to help out if I went into labor before my mom came.
Church ends at noon, and when I stood up to go find the rest of my family after my class was done, I had to lean against the wall as a contraction started. I remember that specifically because I had to brace myself as my children ran toward me to give me a hug. That was the start of the contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart, and not strong- but they kept up. When we got home Joe asked if I wanted to go walking or do something to progress the contractions, but I couldn't decide. Ultimately I said no and though I wanted to finish my freezer meals, Joe told me to sit down and we watched a movie. Around three Joe had to leave to go Home teaching (visiting people for a church assignment). I sarcastically joked at him for making an appointment when I was in labor, but I told him to go and just keep his phone on him and be ready to leave if I called him. When he left the contractions were almost 15 min apart, they had slowed down, and I was almost thinking the baby might not come today.

Then around 3:30, the contractions went from 15 min apart, to the next one being 10 min apart, to seven min apart. I texted Joe that he should think about coming home. He said he would be home in less then 30, and asked how serious It was. And oddly enough, the next contraction went back to ten min, so I told him not so much. However, the contractions went even shorter after that, between 5-6 min. And while I still planned Joe on being home soon, he understood my response differently and wasn't home for almost another hour. In that time I never stopped pacing as I called the lady at church and told her we would be dropping the kids off soon, finished packing my hospital bag (wallet, Charger, etc.), and took the dogs to the bathroom (which is more difficult than it sounds seeing as we live on the 3rd floor). When Joe walked through the door my contractions were 3 min apart (at least), and the kids and I were ready to go instantly.

We dropped me off first, but I had only registered online- and had never been to the hospital before, so I had no clue where to go. After calling the hospital we finally figured out the right door. I guess Sunday afternoons are slow day, because the hospital looked as deserted as a scene from the Walking Dead. I walked around and finally found my way to the maternity ward. I walked in, had to make a phone call to a very calm man that I was in labor and needed help, who then walked out on door, past me, into the triage/delivery area to get a nurse, who calmly, asked me how she could help me.

Nurse: How can I help you?
Me: I am in labor (Trying to be very nice even though I was very frustrated about the lack of people around to help).
Nurse: Why do you think your in labor?
Me: Having contractions every 2-3 minutes.
Nurse: Has your water broke?
Me: No, but it never has.
Nurse: Oh, so this isn't your first baby? (Starting to believe me)
Me: No, it's my third. (Nurse gets it a bit more).

Unfortunately, not all my registration went through so I have to answer all the questions over again in between my peaceful breathing =). She starts to monitor the baby, and then she checks me and is surprised and asks the resident doctor to check me, who is also surprised to find that I am fully dilated! 
Apparently people don't normally talk and smile when they are 10 ml dilated? 
Anyways, they were very shocked and surprised and asked me to let them get gloves on before the baby came- I appreciated that they finally understood my discomfort. 
However, I didn't feel like pushing at all. 

The wheeled me into the delivery room, and the happiest thing I have ever seen was my Husband waiting for me. He had dropped of the kids and come back, and seriously- I was almost worried I would be delivering this baby without him, and having to answer all those questions by myself, I really missed that man.
So, I got into the bed and they had a third nurse check me (they were all very skeptical that I was already dilated), and called my dr. who said he would be here soon. And, true to his word, and definitely to his credit, he was there ten minutes later, breathing hard like he had been running to get there. That sort of action is appreciated by the women who had her legs open for her the world to see as she births a baby. 

And then we waited. Apparently it was now all up to me! And the baby. Whenever I felt like pushing, I was good to go! Except the problem was, that I didn't feel like pushing. And I was uncomfortable, I did not want to be sitting down- and my back hurt! I had asked if we could get an epidural, but the anesthesiologist came in and said that since I was fully dilated, they would rather not give me one and just told me to push it out! Which was actually nice, and so I said Ok, I can do this. So I felt foolish just sitting there while everyone waited for me, so eventually I began to push. I realized that it was all up to me- and I might as well start this process and get it over with.

Honestly, I was really scared about this birth. Sariah I had an epidural, but Seamus I didn't have a chance because I was already dilated and he came too soon. And I remembered the pain, it was lame.
Also, with Sariah and Seamus I lost weight and they were both 'big' babies (over 8 lbs.). This pregnancy I gained weight, and so I was convinced I would be delivering a 10 lb. baby. I was really scared of that, of the tearing and if I would be able to do it or not. So, anyways, that fear (and I promised I did a lot of exercises to get me pumped and ready for this), played a lot when it came to pushing I think. 

Anyways, I started pushing. But you know, it takes a while to get into the rhythm of pushing a person out of you. Especially when after every push I felt like rolling over just to get off my back (Yes, SPOILER ALERT, it was a back labor). 
The nurses were FANTASTIC, and I loved having Joseph next to me holding my hand, and being close to me. He has always been there for every delivery, but I just wanted him there even more this time. 
I felt very surreal. I knew that I had to push the baby out, but I was worried about the pain- so I would push, it would get painful, and then I would back off. And in my head, I had no idea how to get past that. 
The nurses kept talking to me, trying to "distract me" (like that's possible). My doctor was talking to the resident doctor like I wasn't there- which at the time bothered me, but looking back it was a blessing. Because I heard him tell the resident "She is pulling back when it get's too painful, which is stopping the baby from moving down" and I knew he was right. I knew I had to face it and just go for it. So I did. I finally figured where to push, and I just wanted her out. 
Did I pee? Yep.
Did I poop? Probably. 
Did I feel bad that I kept putting my foot down in whatever body fluids there were, and the nurse and Joe had to hold my feet? Nope. 

I was on a groove. I heard the doctor tell me how fascinating this birth was, watching the baby wiggle her head down, like she was trying to get out on her own. I heard him compliment my perfect pelvis. I heard them all telling me how good I was doing, smiling and breathing. I heard them tell me how close she was, and one more push. And then them all screaming and telling me to stop, and breathe- which I swear I try to do, but it is not easy.
Then finally I could keep pushing, and she was here. 
Best feeling ever. Seriously. Often I think of the best feelings ever. Like when you wait in a long line to go to the bathroom and when you finally get to go- best feeling. Of when you get to waddle out of a Chinese buffet- best feeling. Or when you wake up after sleeping through the night soundly- best feeling. 

But seriously. The comfort your body can resume after you push a person out of you, that is so amazing. Not so amazing? The 'massage' the dr gives your stomach to get everything else out. 

Sorry for the detour.
Anyways, they put Freya on me instantly. Goopy and purply baby goodness and everything. Her ears looked like little elves (apparently a sign she was early), and she was so little. 

She weighed in at 7.5, and 20 1/2" long. Approximately 6:29 pm. 

She is beautiful. 

Little Freya

Friday, September 11, 2015

We have arrived

We made it to Colorado.

It was a long trip. Not just the 500 mile drive. But the dealing of (almost) listing a house and movers and goodbyes and oh my goodness it never ends.

Let's just say we are quite happy to be together and stay put for a bit.

Hello, Colorado. Mind if we stay a while?


I regret spending time reading what my "friends" on Facebook think instead of watching my children grow.

I regret spending that week wathxinrf every episode of the newest season on Netflix that I can instead of reading more to my kids.

I regret that in a few weeks Sariah will tart preschool, and I want all those last 4 years back.

I think regrets are good. I think it shows that we have made mistakes and are growing.

I think if I did spent all my time with my kids I would be ready for them to leave the nest the day they turn 18, and I don't want to be ready for that.

I like this point in life. I like having littles. I want them to stay this way. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Facing our fears

I grew up in the same city, in the same house, in the same room. Things in my life were very consistent.  

Except, you know, change. And specifically, change with people. People were always moving and leaving. I hated it, obviously. 

But as we move and grow, I have learned to embrace change. It can still suck, and make me cry and angry, but the new fear I have learned to loathe is stress.

Every time our lives change, I become overwhelmed and stressed out. I try hard to stay positive, and know that this trial in our lives will too pass, but it's hard. It's hard not to just break down and cry in a corner. It's hard to keep working, praying, and staying positive. 

I have felt horrible about not keeping up better with my blog and our lives. 

I believe I have mentioned on here that we moved to South Dakota. We did this Sept of 2014. That November we bought a house. A "cosmetic" fixer-upper as I will call it. 
We have LOVED having a house.
The kids have LOVED having a house.
The dogs have LOVED having a house.
So many bedrooms, a laundry room, a backyard, garage, a place of our own with our own mail box even. 

But, Joe didn't care for his job here. You know, the whole reason we moved to South Dakota. He started looking and applying for new jobs back in February. His boss found out a few weeks later ("perks" of a small town), but soon it was realized that this was best for everyone and he got support. 

But nothing promising was happening. We had been told Joe had about 3-5 years with his current job to "prove himself", so we were not worried about not having a job, it just wasn't covering our family financially enough. I started a part time job, Joe worked hard and long hours, and we were both getting frustrated. 

We really do like Pierre where we live. But there is a certain attitude we both face, unprofessional and not respecting education, that we both resented.

Finally, a Jon came up that was promising within The company Joe worked for and he was perfect for it. All we were waiting for was the official offer. But after a few weeks, it never came. And the job closed, unfilled. 

During this time we went fishing, camping, celebrated birthdays and holidays and saw family. We were making the most out of this place that we lived. Joe had also been applying and interviewing for other jobs.

The day or two after that job closed, Joe was informed he was being laid off. Luckily, he had just had a really promising interview the week before. He called gem up, and they said "hold on- you will be hearing from HR soon."

Joe broke all this news to me by taking me out to lunch and saying "good news is, that I hated that job and now I don't have to go back!"

It really was the best thing we could have done for each other at the time. A date to celebrate the end of an era.

The next day Joe got the official offer with his new company, and it truly was more than we were expecting. We felt blessed. 

The only thing we had left to do, was all of the hard parts. Moving, working on our house, selling it, and starting over a year from when We had just moved and started over.

So that's what life has been like for us, just to get you all caught up a little bit more.

I am 23 weeks 1 day pregnant with baby #3, and go in next week for a follow up ultrasound for cervic Previa. 
Séamus just turned 2 on Tuesday, and Sariah turns 4 on Friday.

We are painting our house, replacing carpet, fixing holes, replacing windows, and causing a whole lot of stress for us that I can't wait to be over.
Every day I want, and normally do, cry. It's been a short journey, but I have to admit it's been hard. And I truly haven't even gotten to most of the "trial" stuff even.

But today, I am finally starting to see that end of the tunnel.
At least for this chapter.
And it looks oh, so good.

Sunday, August 23, 2015



life has happened.
We have lived in South Dakota for about 10 months, and last month I finally got my SD drivers license.
We bought a house in late November, moved in right before Christmas.
I got a job working at a daycare.
My parents came out to visit us early July, and we went camping. Sariah loved it.
We bought a camper, have gone fishing, made friends, and gotten to know this crazy stage that no one ever talks about.

And now, we are moving.
To Colorado, for a new job for Joe. In a few weeks. It's scary, exciting, and overwhelming. I am sort of exhausted thinking about it. 
I tell Sariah we are moving to Colorado and will go to a new preschool and make new friends. That excites her. Her excitement and asking when we are going to Colorado everyday helps. 

Because honestly, I am scared. Not hair of the moving process- but that for the last 3 years, ever since we moved to the Midwest, we have been trying to get back west. And now it's happening, and I fear I had succumbed to all the stereotype fears the Midwest talks about the west.

It's new, but we have had lots of new lately. 
It's unexpected. 
It's an adventure.

Monday, August 17, 2015

I live in a land of Pop and Supper

I live in a land of Pop and Super.
Of basements and tornados and all sorts of weather.
I still feel like a little girl, experiencing this whole great big world.
Going from place to place, and stopping in between.
To them I am crazy. 
"What brought you out here?"
"Oh you know," I say, "some robbery of a kind".

 I came from a place of soda and diner. 
Of land slides and earthquakes and all kinds of trouble.
People don't seem to understand,
How it is so grand.
But that's ok, they live in their own little bubble.

So I here I go walking 
Into the unseen
Looking for a new kind of destiny.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Let Them Be Little

Yesterday I went swimming with some friends and their children.

This is a weekly occurrence for our group, and with 7 kids 6 & under and 3 adults, we are getting this routine down to a science. We have been doing this for about 2-3 months now. I also noticed yesterday and that we becoming more comfortable with our bodies and selves around each other too. Not always running to the bathroom to change or hiding our bodies.

I learned yesterday, that sometimes its not bad to do that either.

As I was getting my swim suit on, my friends little 4 year old boy asked me
"Why do you have hair in your arm pits?"
(At first I thought he was asking why do I wear my armpits, which made it even more embarrassing.)
 "Because I didn't shave" I replied with a sheepish grin.

To which his older, 6 year old sister said, "YOU DON'T SHAVE???" Like I ate the last of the ice cream of something.

Let them be little. And let only a 4 & 6 year old make you question your body image...