Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amelia's Birth Story

This pregnancy took me on a personal journey unlike any of my other pregnancies. At the starting line was me, in my bathroom, starring blankly at a positive pregnancy test in shock. At the finish line was me, surrounded by people I love, welcoming a new love into my life. I'd like to give you a little peak at my journey, focusing mostly on delivery (we don't have all day, do we!).

I must admit, I handled the little double pink lines better than I thought I would. I was a bit shocked, but mostly relieved. You see, I had been feeling quite sick and was thinking, I either have some weird disease, or I am pregnant. So yeah, I was relieved that I was not seriously ill! I walked around in shock for a couple days, because I had a four month old, and really had not even processed through his birth (you too would take a while to process through giving birth to a 10 1/2 lb. baby), and here I was making another baby! Most people have more time to recover from (and forget about)the labor, the pain, the recovery period, the newbornhood, etc. It was all too fresh in my mind. I'd like to point out here that we were being responsible and using birth control, but there's not much we could do when that failed us. We won't be using that brand anymore! 'Nough said.

Over the next few months, as the reality of having 3 kids under 3 set in, God just took me by the hand and led me through the feelings, one step at a time. It was a process, but I felt more prepared for what was coming, and excited to complete our family. God is so good- he really gave me a peace about it all. He also assured me that this delivery and this baby would be different, and easier than the last.

In my third trimester I decided I just couldn't do a hospital birth as I had planned. After having 2 homebirths, and seeing how different a hospital birth is with all their silly rules, I decided it wasn't going to work for me. Since a home birth was not an option in Redding (I couldn't find a midwife I was willing to trust with our lives), I decided to travel to Sonora to deliver with Ellie, the midwife who delivered my other babies. She graciously agreed to take me on as a patient, my parents agreed to me having baby in their home, and Daddy Man's boss graciously gave him the time off he would need to have the baby so far from home. Everything was set and ready.

God helped prepare my heart for the birth as well. As I experienced with my other births, if I can stay focused and calm labor is manageable, but if I am afraid of what is happening, it hurts like heck!! This time around I was determined to have an easier birth with less pain. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear. God is love, so what better thing to focus on than Him during labor? I knew God had something special for me in this delivery, so I prepared myself to focus on Him and His love, and just have "God time" with Him during labor. So when my contractions finally kicked in and got more intense around 2pm on Saturday, July 31st, Daddy Man put on some worship music for me, and I felt God's presence so strongly. So I labored, with tears of joy in my eyes, experiencing God's perfect embrace and enjoying his presence so much. I sang along (in my head) with the songs during contractions to keep my head and heart in the right place. The songs that most helped me were "Liquid Love" and "I Love it When You Sing" by Janna Adams (check her out on or iTunes) and "Healer" by Leah Valenzuela (on Bethel's "Here is Love" CD). Not only did I experience God's love in a powerful way during active labor and transition, but I experienced no pain. Yes, the contractions were super intense, but manageable. around 20 minutes before Amelia was born, I was still speaking the words of the songs in between contractions. "I believe that You're my Healer, I believe that You are all I need...." When I started pushing a few minutes later, my declarations and "God time" sounded more like "JESUS HELP!!" It's a good thing that I only pushed for 8 minutes, because oh man did that hurt! In the moment she was crowning (head almost out, in case you don't know) I felt that awful burning that feels like it will never end (all the mom's out there, feel free to cringe now....I know you remember the burn!) I said, "get her out!!" and she came out (you can breathe now). I pulled her up out of the water (forgot to mention that I did a water birth) and instantly felt relief and joy and pride as I gazed at my beautiful, crying, red-haired, itty bitty baby! God had prepared me, walked me through, and loved me through the whole process, leading me into such intense love for my new baby girl. What an amazing time. She cried for about 10 minutes before we could calm her down, and I jokingly said, "maybe she's getting all her crying done now, so she'll be done after this!" But in the back of my mind I thought, "uh-oh, is she going to be 'a crier'?"

After my other births I was light headed, dizzy, and exhausted. I had to sit on a stool in the shower. But this birth was different. I felt so much better, and almost immediately was ready to take a shower and be up talking to people. Since I didn't need stitches this time (yeah!!!!) I could even sit pretty comfortably. A few days later I was even walking around pretty normally. Wow, what a difference.

And baby girl? Well, she sleeps four to 6 hours at night (since day one) and goes 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours between eating in the day. She never cries, puts herself to sleep, and eats well. Wow, I have not had a baby like her before. I guess God knew that with two toddlers, I needed an easy baby. I am so thankful for her, and thankful that things are not as crazy as I had imagined. I have my sanity, I still have a little time to myself in the day (next post I will show you the diaper bag I am making!) and my kids are amazing. Don't think all is perfect, because I have plenty of freak-out moments, but the good times (usually) outweigh the hard times.

Welcome to the world, baby Amelia. You have brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Well, we have a baby girl! Her birth story is coming soon, I promise! But for now, just wanted to share why I feel so incredibly blessed these days.

I am so blessed for this sweet girl. Do we have a newborn, not yet 2 weeks old (2 days old in above picture)?? I'm not sure.... Aren't newborns supposed to cry? Aren't they supposed to wake up every 2 hours at night to eat? Aren't they supposed to take a long time or lots of soothing to fall asleep?

As for me, shouldn't I feel like I just had a baby? Shouldn't I be tired beyond comprehension with three babies at home? (Ok, well Muffin is not a baby, but she's is not even 3 yet!) Shouldn't I feel overwhelmed at home by myself with all of the kids? Hmm.....

The answer is, No, it doesn't have to be that way. God, in his infinite grace knew what I needed, and graciously provided: Angel baby-sleeps-4-6 hours at a time and at least 2 1/2 hours during the day-never cries-puts herself to sleep-girl.....quick labor with no stitches needed (Thank GOD!!) and super quick recovery....and a relatively sound mind! Even the kids are adjusting beautifully.
Above picture is the first time the kids met baby girl...she was about 12 hours old.
Proud big sister was soooo happy to finally hold baby sister.
And the biggest surprise of all: Mr. 13-month-old hasn't even said his first word yet Baby knew exactly what was going on! It was like he had listened to me preparing big sister for the new arrival, and already knew her and loved her so much! When he first saw sister all he wanted to do was kiss her. He was so gentle and loving- he proved to us that he knows WAY more than we give him credit for. He is such a loving big brother.

A sleepy Daddy man with his girls.

Other blessings: a super helpful Daddy Man who continues to get up early with Muffin before he makes us all lunch in the morning too!

An amazing 3 weeks spent at my parents house with love and help poured on us from all sides.

The best in-laws ever and their many days of helping with the kids while we awaited sister's arrival.

Having baby at my parents house with the best midwife ever and the best doula!

So, I am soooo blessed to have our family complete, and so far it is looking like it (or I) won't be as insane as I thought! Stay tuned, next week Daddy Man starts school again. Sure, lets add one more thing into the mix and see how we handle it! ;)