Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Birth of our Second Daughter

For now we will call baby number 2 "Belly".

“Belly” was born on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 12:03 am, eleven days past her due date, just like her older sister. As far as similarities of birth's go, that's about it. This story actually starts though, on September 13, 2011, the day after I had given birth to a 6 lb, 13 oz baby girl via emergency c-section. When my Dr. came in to my hospital room to discuss my surgery the next day I asked her if a was a potential candidate for a VBAC, a term I had learned during my pregnancy. She said that she would give me about a 60% chance of success. That was all I needed to hear to make my decision. If God ever allowed me to become pregnant again, I would do my best to try for a VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean. We were encouraged by our Dr. to wait a year between pregnancies to give my scar plenty of time to heal. A little before my daughter's 1st birthday we stopped trying to prevent pregnancy and decided to just see what would happen. As I was still nursing, nothing did until a few cycles after I stopped. It took about 5 months of actually trying, but by the end of January we found out we were pregnant with number 2! Right from the beginning I was already focused on the end. I went ahead and made an appointment with my current OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy and begink the process, but I had a strong feeling that I would be switching providers. At my first appointment I asked about VBACs and how long they would let me go past my due date as I knew this would be a determining factor for me. They confirmed what I suspected, they would not let me go past my due date. Knowing how late I went with my daughter, I decided that was not a battle I wanted to fight and went in search of a provider that would be more sympathetic to my wishes. I knew of a birth center that my best friend had given birth at and made an appointment with them. Although I could not legally deliver at their center, I still had options with them. I could either birth at home with their assistance, or they had just had a mid wife join their practice that had hospital privileges, meaning I could see them for my prenatal care and then deliver at the hospital. I also found out that this hospital was the most VBAC friendly in my city and would be willing to work with me. My plan, if all went well was to hold off going to the hospital as long as possible so that their wouldn't be much to debate on anyways. My pregnancy was pretty uneventful and  sure enough, 40 weeks came and went. I made the decision to have the midwife check me at that appointment to see if I was even dilated any, and if possible sweep my membranes. I was a soft 1 at best. Fortunately, I had 2 friends with me so it was a little easier to hide my disappointment. At my 41 week appointment, a Wednesday, I was a little more dilated and she was able to sweep my membranes. Although the baby was in the right position and had been for some time, still nothing happened. I went about the next days trying my best to keep spirits up and rest and hoping against hope that I would not have to go in for my appointment on the following Monday to have my membranes swept again. On Friday I woke up to the sheer delight of the beginning of the loss of my mucus plug. When you are that far along, I think it's safe to assume that loss of your mucus plug means that labor is imminent! That night we went to my parents house for dinner and I pretty much took it as easy as possible. The next day, Saturday, both my husband and daughter woke up sick. I sent my husband back to bed, “just in case” and cuddled with my daughter on the couch, watching cartoons. My husband slept until almost noon. When he got up I had a burst of energy (and frustration) and wore myself out cleaning up the front porch. After lunch I tried to take a little nap myself. I was having Braxton Hicks, but they weren't painful, just a little uncomfortable and they weren't super frequent, maybe 5-6 an hour, but they were enough to keep me from resting well. I more or less tried to find comfortable positions for the rest of the afternoon, including sitting on an exercise ball. At about 5 pm, I went to use the bathroom, when I stood up I felt a pop and had a little gush. It wasn't a big gush but I still was pretty sure it was my water as the same thing had happened with my first child. I went back and sat on the ball (on a towel!) and called the midwife. We had quite a long chat and made the plan that if I hadn't gone into labor by 5 the next morning that I would need to head to hospital by then. We also decided that if I felt like things were progressing, that she could meet me at the birth center and check me to see how things were going. Either way, I would be having a baby in the next 36 hours. I then called my parents so that they could make plans to come get my daughter. We asked them to stop at Mcdonald's since we hadn't eaten yet. I had been sitting on the ball for about 30 minutes at that point and when I stood up again I had a major rush of fluid. If there was a question if my water had broken, there wasn't anymore! Timing starts to be a little bit of a blur at that point but it was then that I started having a bit more serious contractions. My parents made it to our house by 7 and around that time I ate a cheeseburger, thinking it was the last thing I would eat for a long time. My parents were probably gone by 7:30 and by that time I wasn't really wanting to talk much to anyone through contractions. They weren't crazy by any means, I could talk if I needed to, I just preferred not to. I had sort of been timing/counting them, so after they left I decided to try to time them for real. At that point they were about 4 minutes apart and about a minute long so after half an hour we decided to call the midwife and head to the hospital. It was a 15 minute drive that I really didn't want to make while having a lot of contractions. By the time we got there I had to stop for every contraction as we made our way into the hospital. As we were filling out the paperwork I had my head on the desk, trying to answer questions the best I could. I finally got checked in and settled in triage and the on call doctor checked me around 9:30 PM. I just remember thinking how young she seemed, my age maybe! When she checked me I was 3-4 cm. Not good. Here I am thinking things must be really progressing with how much pain I'm in and I'm only that far! Not even active labor. All along my midwife had told me that epidurals were not the enemy so I decided to get one. I figured that since my water had already broken that they were going to have to use pitocin anyway and I did not want to be on it without an epidural. Well, things really get fuzzy from here on out. I think they had moved me to labor and delivery by 10:30 and I remember just hanging on for dear life on the ride over. It wasn't a crazy ride or anything but my contractions were getting really serious. I was also stuck in the bed this whole time because it seemed like we were always waiting on something (waiting on the doctor to check me, waiting to get an IV, waiting on blood work, etc.) and also, that they wanted me to stay on the monitor. I did not like the monitor as I had to be somewhat still for it to work but at the same time I knew that it was important to make sure the baby was tolerating labor well as distress is one of the signs of uterine rupture. I knew that it was a very low chance of that happening but I still wanted to be safe so I did my best to stay put. I don't remember when they took my blood but I knew that it took an hour for them to process it for the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and started asking questions and doing his paper work and it seemed like it took FOREVER! I don't know exactly when he finally started working on me but when he did, I was really hurting! I think my nurse was as ready for me to get that epidural as I was. I remember thinking that I was such a wimp! I was making a lot of noise during contractions now and really wanted to yell, but was just a little too dignified for that. When the anesthesiologist had me get into position I just went into this zone because I knew I had to be perfectly still. As I was having contractions I remember thinking that the only way I was going to be still was to bear down through them. On the fourth one I realized that I was pushing and told the nurse that it was coming. “What's coming?”, she said. “The baby's coming!” At that point things happened really fast. She told the anesthesiologist that done or not, he was done and made me roll over to check. Sure enough, she was coming. Suddenly the room was full of people and I was having a baby without an epidural! In less than five minutes, our daughter was born. I definitely remember thinking “Ring of Fire!” but only once. They threw her up on my chest and I couldn't believe that I had just had a baby. She was born at 12:03 AM, just 7 hours after my water broke. I was on top of the world after that. I was shaking like crazy but I didn't care. It was also a good thing that the epidural was in place as they were able to set it so they could sew me up as I had torn pretty badly. During that time she was cleaned up and weighed and then Daddy held her. When they finished me up I was able to nurse her for the first time and she took to it right away. Looking back, the whole thing was such an amazing experience! I'm so grateful!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Few Things I've Made

Baby stuff is expensive so rather than pay $10th for car seat strap covers that I didn't even like, I decided to make some! I found an easy tutorial and had all the supplies on hand. After making the first set I decided to make some more for my friend's babies. I used stuffing instead of batting and it worked just fine.

Speaking of babies, I also threw 2 baby showers and had one thrown for me. The one given for me had a book theme and my awesome friend made the paper wreath as part of the decor. I loved it so much I took it home! I also had burlap that was used as table runners left over from one of the showers so I used that to make some more wreaths to go along. Now when I see them on my walls I think of both my closest friends!

Postpartum Style

I'm trying the Blogger app on my phone for the first time as well as "typing" this post using Swipe. We'll see if I can handle it. If so, I may be back in the blogging game. My husband is using my laptop currently and it needs to be replaced anyways. I got my first smart phone a few months ago and I know I'm not using it to its full potential. Basically I use it to text, browse Facebook and play Solitaire, so here goes.

I had very little interest in style posts for a while due to having few clothes that actually fit for a few months, but Baby Belly (not sure if this is going to be her new nickname but we'll use it for now) is 5 weeks and things are getting back on track. I will be posting all about her and her birth soon. Meanwhile, I still have 10 lbs to go to get back to pre pregnancy weight so style is still a challenge. This is an outfit that I put together via Pinterest for a lunch with family and then driving to a meeting. Until further notice, all outfits will be nursing friendly.

You can see the outfit inspiration here:

Hopefully I can figure out the finest points of phone posting soon!

Denim shirt, skirt: modified, sweater: Vanity, belt: Rue 21, shoes: Payless 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Style: All Neutrals

I came across this inspiration photo on Pinterest and knew it would be pretty easy to replicate. It wasn't until that I got a new camel colored necklace and shoes though that I decided to try it, with some modifications for summer and pregnancy.
Tee - JC Penny
Vest: - Wal-mart
Gaucho's - Wal-mart
Shoes - Payless
Necklace/Earrings - Flea Market ($1!)

I can totally see myself wearing versions of this again and again when we travel as these are all great pieces that I can use with other outfits!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Date Night!

Because we have traveled sooo much in the last several months, the last time we went out without our daughter was in April. And that wasn't actually a date because we were out with a group of missionaries and pastors. So a real date night? Just the two of us? I honestly can't tell you the last time that had happened. Recently, we were staying in a missions house in the U. P. for about 5 days and the pastor of the church we were out offered to have his daughters watch ours so we could go out. My first thought was, "And do what?" I hadn't seen much of the town we were in but I knew it was pretty small. Never-the-less, we decided to take him up on it. We ended up having a really nice time. First we went to the Three Seasons Cafe. The hubs got "Broasted" chicken which was really good and that we later found out was a middle eastern thing. Go figure. I got a cheese steak sandwich. Told ya I liked 'em!
After that we drove over to a little stretch of Lake Michigan beach that also sported a lighthouse that you could walk out to. At this point I was glad that we were solo as I would not have enjoyed walking out there for fear that my daughter would fall off the edge!
The weather was beautiful, if a bit cool for July, so I was wearing the $2.15 Old Navy shirt that I had gotten from Goodwill the week before. Every Goodwill should have a daily half price color! But I digress. Although the lighthouse looks really far away, it actually wasn't that far so we walked all the way out to it. The wall was lined with rocks on either side and turned at a right angle to help make a marina. 
It was neat because occasionally the waves would be a little bigger and would make a big splash against the rocks sending up a really pretty spray. Not enough to give us more than a mist if we stayed on the far side. My husband had a good time trying to predict when a big wave would come. I tried to be artsy with the camera. I don't think I will ever be that good at photography but I did think this one was pretty cool!
After our walk we went to the nicest grocery store in town and picked out some dessert. We started doing this after we got married when we realized that we could get just as nice of a dessert from the Publix bakery for half the price of the restaurant dessert which we were never hungry for just after dinner anyways. Then we took it home and shared it with our daughter while we all watched a movie. I'm glad we were able to go out alone as I don't see us getting in more than one or two more dates before our next baby comes. Do you date your spouse? Do you think date nights are important?

Thursday, July 25, 2013


One of the perks of deputation is getting to see things that you would probably NEVER otherwise see. For me, the Upper Penninsula of Michigan is one of those places. I have to tell you, I am truly glad that we are here in July though. The weather has been pretty cool. The high today was 64. In July. The hottest time of the year. But, third trimester me doesn't mind so much right now! Not sure I would be up to coming here if it was much cooler though. There is not much to do around here, but there are some beautiful sights. One that we decided to check out was Kitchitikipi at Palms Book State Park. It is a natural spring that connects with Indian Lake. I have always wanted to see a natural spring so we decided to pay the $8.50.

The park itself was just beautiful, if a bit small. The real attraction was a boat that you could take out over the water for a better view. It was attached to a pulley system that took it in a straight line over the spring. You could make it move by turning a large wheel. We had about 30 people on it with us and did not have to even worry about making it move.
Our daughter loved looking down into the water from Mommy and Daddy's arms. She kept saying "fish" and "boat" very excitedly!

I was told that the water was about 45 feet deep but you could see all the way to the bottom the entire way. There was a cut-out in the middle of the boat so you could look straight down. One side had a railing and one had plexi-glass, but even with Mommy by her side, our daughter still wasn't too sure about it.
Funny story: I stepped out of the house that morning and thought, wow, it's a bit chilly. I should grab jackets. Then I thought, nah! That's silly. It's July! When we got there we were the only ones without them! If you ever find yourself near Manistique, MI, you should check this place out! Just bring your sweater!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Philly Cheesesteak Croisants

Ever send your husband to the grocery store and have him come back with things totally not on the list? Eh, at least he did the shopping, right!? Well that's how I ended up with this:
A pack of frozen cheesesteaks. We had real Philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia for our anniversary 2 years ago and I have loved them ever since.
 Apparently, a "real" one has cheese wiz on it. I tried it and didn't think it was that bad.
This version calls for all real cheeses however. I had pinned it pretty recently, so it was the first thing that came to mind when my husband brought his prize find home! 
You can find the original recipe here, but I did make a few modifications and would make a few more. I started by cooking up some onions. Mushrooms and peppers would be good too, but peppers we all I had on hand. Next, I started on the meat.
The package suggested that I break the meat up and microwave it but when I tried that it didn't work very well, so I just threw in into the pan with the onions and it cooked up great! Next I added the broth and cream cheese. I would not use as much cream cheese next time as it was a tad overpowering. And that is coming from someone that loves cheese! Next I rolled out my crescent dough and put some shredded mozzarella on each one. I prefer mozzarella to Swiss. I then crammed as much filling as I could into each one, but after cutting the recipe in half I still had more than would fit in 1 can of jumbo crescent rolls. NBD, I just ate the rest of the filling! I justify those kinds of things at this stage of pregnancy. Then I baked them at the magic 350 until they looked like this (about 14-15 minutes).
For once, a new recipe that my husband loved! We had no problem finishing these off in 2 meals. He can be a tough critic so this one is a keeper for sure!