Friday, December 20, 2013

Brigham's Birth Story

Today is Brigham's 7th birthday.  What a fast 7 years with my sweet man!  I wanted to share his story here.  

He was our first home birth and first boy. I researched all the information while we were TTC so I could 'convince' my husband to have the baby at home. When I told him I wanted to have our baby at home, he said he felt the same way.

Luckily, I didn't do all that work for nothing. All our parents were very against this. They knew I or Brigham would die. We showed them the statistics on how home birth was safer than hospital birth. They didn't get any say in the matter anyway. We found a wonderful midwife the next state over (we lived in MO and was near impossible to find a home birthing midwife.) She did all the prenatal visits at my home. She made me feel very empowered and educated me about pregnancy and birth more than I could have known. I had 3 children before and didn't know squat. Funny how uneducated I was when I put my faith in the doctors. 

I had a friend ask me to call her as soon as I went into labor so she could take pictures and document the entire thing (she's a photographer). She wanted a home birth so badly, but at that time her husband didn't like the idea very much.

I went to bed around 1am and thought, "Tomorrow morning I'll put the waterproof pad on the bed so it won't get wet if my water breaks."

I'm a procrastinator and was a few days overdue. Two hours later I woke up and water hit my knees. Funny! Too bad I didn't get that waterproof sheet on before I went to bed. :) I went to the bathroom and used a little strip to make sure my water broke (I thought what the heck! May as well make sure.) I went to my husband and kind of woke him up. I told him I had good news and bad news. The good news was I didn't wet the bed. I never told him the bad news. He guessed it on his own... No sleep tonight. 

We called the midwife and my friend. I walked around for a while in the house and ate some breakfast my FIL brought to us. I didn't want to eat but they made me. After a while my contractions stopped so Suzanne (my midwife) checked me. She said that my water broke on the top and asked if I wanted her to she could break my water again. I agreed because I was so tired and yet so excited. I couldn't wait to hold my baby.

I labored in the living room. We had a hammock stand and I hung from the hammock. I hung from my doula (who I almost bit). Glad I got my senses back before that happened. I pushed from the hammock for a while, but I was so exhausted that I just couldn't push any more.

They helped me to the couch and I decided to push while on my back. I didn't want to do this position before then, but I knew I could push from that position. I let out a huge scream and, after a few pushes, our little man's head made it into the world. I hear about the ring of fire, but I don't remember that. I do remember how bad his shoulders hurt when I pushed again. He was born a few minutes after 12pm.

What a wonderful experience. I always want our future children born at home. It was so wonderful and spiritual. I appreciated the births at home much more than those in the hospital. It is something else to feel it and know how hard your body is working to bring this wonderful little child into the world.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My First Time On Stage

I grew up as a painfully shy child.  In 5th grade I cringe remembering my English class.  My teacher had everyone recite poems in front of the class.  We couldn't JUST say the poem.  We had to say it with feeling.  Emphasize the emotion in it.  In other words, act it out.  It was miserable for me.  I broke out in tears at one point.  By the end of the year, though, I had begun to come out of my shell. I shocked my English teacher by doing an amazing job (for me anyway) of performing one of the last poems of the year.  He was so impressed, I was asked to skip part of my Science class to do it again in front of his next class. 

Years later, in high school, I wanted to go on stage.  I loved watching the plays.  They looked like so much fun.  I always found a reason to talk myself out of trying out.  To this day I still wish I would have at least tried.  

This weekend was my first time I acted on stage, in front of an audience.  I thought I would be a nervous wreck.  I had a small solo (2 lines), a small duet (2 lines), a skit, and a few jokes, along with group songs, and dancing. 

We prepared and rehearsed for weeks.  We put on Gee Haw 2 (like Hee Haw).  Come the day of our first 3 performances, I was calm.  No nerves.  Then, just as we gathered to go on, I had this overwhelming feeling of bursting into tears.  No time for that!  I took a few deep breaths, gathered myself together, and walked on stage.  

I want to say that that was the most fun I've possibly ever had.  It was a whole different experience.  The whole 3 performances on Saturday I had different little moments of nerves popping up.  Come Sunday, we only had 2 performances (1 of each, as we had 2 different shows).  I wasn't nervous at all.  I was excited to go out, to sing, to dance, and do my skit.  I am looking forward to my chance to do it again.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Would You Eat Your Placenta?

This is my first placenta I encapsulated.  These are like gold to me.  They are my 'happy pills'; my energy pills; my pills to help my milk production.  They are a way to bring my body back to normal after birth.  The only thing I haven't done is a smoothie and actually cook with it.  However, I will say that I've come across some mighty interesting recipes using placenta... such as Placenta Chef (although it is not 'human placenta' it could be used), Chocolate Placenta Truffles (which I am tempted to make), Placenta Smoothies, and there is even a book on Amazon... 25 Placenta Recipes.

Back in 2009, when I was pregnant with Bekah (baby 6), and was planning a possible unassisted birth (due to anti midwifery laws in KY), I first heard about placentography.  My first thought was what is to be expected.  That it was possibly the grosses thing I'd ever heard of.  However, as time drew closer to her birth, and I did a lot more research into it, I decided to go for it.  I thought she could be my last baby (so wrong with that one), and if I was going to do it, I needed to do it that time.  Only once had I had baby blues (not PPD), and I was more than happy to have something natural to try that might possibly help with that.

I'm sure my husband thought I was crazy.  He still leaves the house when I'm planning to process a placenta.  I also tend to schedule my encapsulation time for when he's going to be gone a few hours, so he's not grossed out. 

I remember the first pill I swallowed.  I looked right at my husband, and said "I'm officially crazy!".  I'm sure he agreed.  I went in a skeptic.  I was just starting to study and understand natural remedies.  I was moving out of the pharmaceutical culture.  This was a HUGE step for me, in more ways than one.

I have now encapsulated 2 of my placentas. I have also made placenta jerky, as well as a tincture. It is amazing the difference I feel when I take a bite of jerky, or a couple pills from the placentas (now located on the top shelf of my freezer).  It has made me a believer, and after researching other ingredients used in widely accepted drugs, has lost it's "ick factor". The great thing is that the placenta ends up looking like any other pill you swallow. 

After all my talking, what are these possible benefits from consuming your placenta? 

Benefits Include:
• Increase general energy
• Allow a quicker return to health after birth
• Increase production of breast milk
• Decrease likelihood of baby blues and post natal depression
• Decrease likelihood of iron deficiency
• Decrease likelihood of insomnia or sleep disorders

"There are a variety of potential benefits to placentography. For one, the placenta contains vitamins and minerals that may help fight depression symptoms, such as vitamin B6. For another, the placenta is considered rich in iron and protein, which would be useful to women recovering from childbirth, and a particular benefit to vegetarian women.
Research on placentography is still in its infancy, although there is a large body of research beginning to develop on postpartum hormone fluctuations and health. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study that focused on CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone). CRH is a stress reducer, and is generally produced by the hypothalamus. 

During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes so much CRH that the levels in the bloodstream increase threefold. However, it was also discovered that postpartum women have lower than average levels of CRH, triggering depressive symptoms.(1) They concluded that the placenta secreted so much CRH that the hypothalamus stopped producing it. Once the placenta was born, it took some time for the hypothalamus to get the signal that the CRH levels were low, and to begin producing it again. This is just another sign that there is likely a biological cause for the baby blues, directly related to hormone levels. 

Interestingly enough, in 1954, researchers conducted a study on 210 women who were expected to have insufficient milk supply. They gave dried placenta to the women, and discovered that 86% of them had a positive increase in their milk production within a matter of days."

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Days It's OK To Lose Your Mind

I'm pretty sure that some days it is quite fun it lose your mind.  My house is small. My family is big.  At least, bigger than the average family.  We all get along, for the most part.  There are fights and bickering.  The normal stuff.  However, some days I just want some quiet time.  Not likely to happen unless I'm sleeping.  That doesn't really count, in my opinion.  

What else?  Well, I miss my hubby.  We live in Missouri.  He's been in Arizona for a week.  I'm not sure how long he's going to be out there.  Maybe a week longer.  Possibly a month or two longer. It just depends on how many jobs he gets out there.   

I miss him terribly.  We don't get to talk much due to the time difference.  Normally it's a few minutes at night before bed.  I can't wait for him to come home.  It's been kind of hard to keep my sanity.  

He's going to miss Moses's 5th birthday too. Mo turns 5 on Wednesday.  What a big guy.  My mom is coming up, and if it's nice, we'll go to the park.  I'm looking forward to his little party. 

I would really like to give a shout out to all the single moms, as well as the moms with husbands who are deployed or away a lot for work. You ladies rock.  This stuff is hard.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest Blog - Pelvic Health Risks with Transvaginal Mesh

Pelvic Health Risks with Transvaginal Mesh (

Many women are unaware of the importance of pelvic health. The pelvis houses the reproductive organs as well as the bladder and rectum, all of which are supported by pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the baby during pregnancy, play a role during labor and childbirth, control continence, control sexual function and contribute to balance.

Pelvic Floor Disorders

Once the pelvic floor becomes weakened, women tend to develop stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Coughing, sneezing or laughing can trigger unintentional urine leakage. Many women accept this as a part of life, however with the proper therapy SUI can be reversed.

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to support the pelvic organs, allowing them to drop out of place. Some women do not need treatment, but for women experiencing symptoms like pelvic pressure, pain during sex or a bulge in the vagina, there are treatment options available.

More than half of women will suffer from a pelvic floor disorder at some point in life. Supporting the extra weight of the baby while pregnant, and straining the pelvic floor muscles during labor can stretch and weaken pelvic floor muscles. Smoking, high-impact activities, heavy lifting, obesity, chronic cough and constipation can also weaken the pelvic floor.

Risks with Transvaginal Mesh

Transvaginal mesh hit the market in the 1990s and is used in surgeries to repair pelvic floor disorders like pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The synthetic device is implanted through the vagina to support the bladder and other pelvic organs.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety warning in response to increasing reports of serious meshcomplications. Three years later, the FDA issued a follow-up warning, stating that mesh complications are not rare.

Surgeries that do not use mesh can be equally effective in treating prolapse and incontinence, without the added risk, and should be discussed with a doctor. Treatments that do not involve surgery – including weight loss, Kegel exercises, pelvic physical therapy and pessaries -- should be considered longbefore surgery is scheduled.

Health Risks

After implantation, transvaginal mesh is known to shrink, which can cause shortening and tightening of the vagina and makesexual intercourse painful. Erosion is another serious risk of transvaginal mesh—sharp edges of the mesh can perforate nearby organs, which can make sex agonizing for women and painful for partners as well.

Women also report infections, unusual discharge, irregular bleeding and vaginal odors. Some women report that transvaginal mesh has left them with debilitating pain. They report being unable to work or participate in activities they once enjoyed. Some women are not even able to walk comfortably after mesh surgery.

Correcting these problems is not as easy as simply going back in and removing the mesh. Revision surgeries are often more complex, as the body’s tissues grow into the mesh, and aretherefore more dangerous than the original procedure. There is no guarantee that complications will be resolved with removal of the mesh, and there is no guarantee that all of the mesh can be removed.

After months or years of suffering, many women have brought lawsuits against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh.


Linda Grayling is a writer for, a consumer advocacy website. She stays up to speed on the latest medical news, including recalls and clinical trials.

Friday, May 24, 2013

C25K - Week 3 Days 2 & 3

I'm combining these posts.  I'm thinking about just writing each week.  

I am going to repeat Week 2 & 3.  Basically, week 3 is just really hard.  There's no way I can see myself being able to run 5 minutes on Sunday.  I was not able to run the entire last 3 minutes today.  

I hate not being able to do it.  My knee is really killing me and I have horrible side stitches.  Poor Hannah has had to stop at least once each day this week.  I've stopped on day 1 and again today on day 3.  

I think moving back is the best way.  We're going to repeat week 2 and give our bodies time to get stronger before going back to week 3.  

It's not exactly the post I was wanting to make, but I think it's a good update anyway.  I need to get stronger before moving up.   You gotta know when to walk away, and know when to run.  I'm just walking back a bit to get a running  start.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

C25K - Week 3 Day 1

I really didn't feel like running today.  Yesterday I wanted to.  Today, not so much.  

Come 5 PM it was 79°.  We had bad storms last night.  It was pretty nerve wracking.  Today has been nice, but more storms are expected.  I knew if I skipped today, I would have to run 2 days in a row.  Not happening.  

So, I got Hannah and out the door we went.  

After my first run of 90 seconds, I was winded.  After my 3 minute run, I was done.  I kept going.  Did my next 90 second run.  At the lady 3 minute run, I thought I was going to throw up.  I pushed myself.  I kept going, even after Hannah stopped.  I made it all the way to the last 5 seconds.  Then I had to walk.  I wish I would have kept going, but I was spent.  I almost got sick.  

We ran though.  That was great.  However, if I can't run day 3 without knowing I can go further, I'm repeating day 3.  I will not go up a level if I can't finish the one I'm on.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

C25K - Week 2 Day 3

It is finished!  Week 2 is over!

Hannah and I took a different route today.  We ran to the river and back today.  I lost Hannah a couple times.  She caught up though.  

It was a beautiful run.  It's a straight dirt road.  Trees and fields on both sides.  Long steep hills to run up and down.  

Today was a great run.  I went slower than yesterday.  I felt great.  I was hot, but not exhausted.  I know I'm ready to advance when I make it through my run without wanting to die.  I've decided I like what I did this week.  I'm going to try it with week 3 where I run day 1 slower.  Push myself day 2.  Then run day 3 normal.  It seems easier that way.  

I'm excited for Monday.  

Week 3 is run 90 sec; walk 90 sec; run 3 min; walk 3 min and do that twice. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

C25K - Week 2 Day 2

It's been getting hot the last few days.  Up in the 90's.  I decided to run this morning.  It ended up being later than I wanted since I had to nurse Joy before I left.  That delayed me 30 minutes.  

Anyway, I really pushed myself today.  Yesterday a friend on Facebook shared a 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Run this fall.  There's a 5K run and 1/2 Marathon Run.  I know I will be able to do the 5K by then.  I want to see how far I can push myself.  It's a "virtual run", so it's by honor system.  However, I'm only going to register for the one I can do.  No cheating.  I want the Doctor Who medal. LOL!  That motivated me to jog faster today.  

I did it!  By the end, on my second to last run, I thought I was going to pass out and/or throw up.  My skin was prickly feeling when I was walking. Kind of like a mixture of the feeling of limbs waking up after they fall asleep and a burn.  I kept on going though.  

I did lose Hannah at the half way mark, but only for the run.  She caught up when I started walking.  I told her it's good to push yourself.  It's good to know how far you can go.  However, walking is not a failure.  You need to know when you shouldn't push any further.  

One more day of week 2.  I'm scared!  Brent had me look at week 3 and week 4!  I need to keep pushing myself on my running.  Like I said.  I'm scared.  LOL

Here's today's picture.  I'm making progress on my tummy!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Planet Natural Detergent Giveaway

I am holding a giveaway of a 2 Load Sample of Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent.  (

You will get one entry for every comment.  

Mandatory Entry:
* Follow my blog publicly and comment you have done so.  

Extra Daily Entries:
* Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this post.  Comment with a link to your tweet.  (One entry daily)
* Share this blog post on a social media site (Facebook, Pinterest, etc...). Leave one comment with a link to the post for each share.  (Once daily per media site)

Winner will be chosen May 25, 2013 using  

This giveaway starts on Friday May 17, 2013 (12am CST) and ends Saturday May 25, 2013 (12am CST).  

Planet is dedicated to providing you with a line of household products that are designed to be effective and powerful, while at the same time being gentle on you and our environment.

All of Planet's products have been independently certified in order to verify our environmental claims and ensure that we are indeed providing you with true "green" products.

All of our cleaning products are:

Strong And Effective
Certified 100% Biodegradable
Not Tested On Animals
Free From Animal Ingredients
Unscented And Uncolored
Packaged In Recycled Content Containers
Non-Toxic To Aquatic Life
Safe For Septic Systems
Phosphate Free
Free of Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs)

** I received a free sample of Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent.  For more information about Planet Laundry Detergent go to their website at  **

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

C25K - Week 2 Day 1

YAY!  I started week 2 today. I did it!

Today we ran 6 periods of 90 second runs and 6 periods of 60 second walks.  It was the opposite of last week. 

It was hard, but not as hard as day 1.  I was able to make it.  I did feel a little sick at one point.  I ran through it.  

When week 4 is finished, I will post my new weight and measurements.  I want to do my measurements, but I will not until after week 4.  I don't want to get stuck with disappointment.  

However, I want to say that I did weigh myself today.  With my jeans, undershirt, and shirt on I weighed the same as I did without clothes on day 1.  I'm pretty excited. 

C25K - Week 1 Day 3 (Sunday)

Hannah and I ran again today.  It has been getting easier.  I could have gone another lap.  

I am, for the first time ever, enjoying running!

I have discovered something though.  Running makes me very hungry.  Normally exercise makes my hunger lessen.  

C25K - Week 1 Day 2

I got a little behind on my posts.  

Week 1 Day 2

I was dreading running today.  After the exhaustion I experienced on my first run I was not wanting to run.  

I did keep my word to myself.  I ran.  My 11 year old daughter has joined me now.  

Guess what?  It was much easier.  I felt amazing!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Abby Turned 9 Yesterday

So my Abigail is 9. How amazing that she has grown so much.

Yesterday we had a little party at the park. Her sisters Sadie and Hannah designed and decorated a Dalek cake for her. They all love Doctor Who. Abby loves the Daleks. It turned out great. She loved it.

I made chili for dinner. After we ate, we went to the park for cake and ice cream. Her friends Jenny and Michael came and they all got to play and eat. It was a great time.

C25K - Week 1 Day 1

Today I am starting the C25K program. It is a program to get you off the couch to running 5 kilometers (C25K). I have been exercising the past couple months with both weight training and cardio. I'm going to add in running as my main cardio. I am so excited to get back in shape. Now that Joy (my 8th baby) is 4 months old, I am ready.

My husband is doing the C25K as well. We are alternating days, so he will run day 2 tomorrow, while tomorrow will be my day off.

-- After My First Run --

I'm back. Oh my heck. I truly thought I was going to throw up. I feel much better now that I've showered, rested, and eaten. Yes, I even ate after my run.

I started off and it said to begin warm up. Warm up? What am I supposed to do? Yeah. If I would have read the little blip on the top right corner of my iPhone app I would have seen the 5 minute warm up.

So after my warm up walk (I figured that's what it wanted me to do), I'm already a little tired. Maybe not a good start to my run.

Then I begin my 60 second run. Now, I didn't really think I was all that out of shape. I'm 5'4". I weigh 148 as of today. I've been exercising for a couple months. I am glad I was doing my exercises. This was pretty hard. Not so hard it couldn't be done. It was a good workout.

I was thankful for my 90 second walk times between the 60 second runs. By the time I got about 3/4 done, I was walking with my hands above my head. I needed that extra air. My calves hurting and my struggling to breathe were my biggest problems.

I was thrilled when I finished. The cool down was much needed. I also made sure to stretch after I was done.

Then I came inside. My oldest daughter said I looked like a tomato. My husband laughed saying he though I turned into a lobster. I turn very red when I'm hot.

Overall I am both excited and dreading my next run. I feel FANTASTIC right now. I feel like I accomplished something huge!


I am going to get healthy!

My current pictures are posted below, as well as my Why Did I Do This To Myself face after my first run.

My measurements:

May 8

Weight 148

L - 23.5
R - 23.5
L - 13 7/8
R - 13 7/8
Waist (around belly button)
Waist between belly button and hips (baby tummy)
38 7/8
Triceps (around biggest part)
L - 13
R - 13.25

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vaska Detergent Review

The past few months I've been using Vaska Laundry Detergent for our cloth diapers. It is the only detergent I've used during this period of time.  I was using the Lavender scented Vaska detergent.  

I've been cloth diapering for the last two years. Over that time, I've found my diapers tend to get soap buildup from the detergents, as well as ammonia buildup from general use with my baby and toddler. I have tried several different well known store brands. However, I decided I'd rather use a more natural brand of detergent for my diapers. After all, I am cloth diapering for the healthy and natural aspect. 

Two things I want to mention. The first is that we have very hard water. It doesn't help with keeping the funky smell out of diapers.
The second is I am using a top load, non water efficient washer. I have never had success with getting my cloth diapers clean with a front loader or with a water efficient (uses small amount of water) top load washer.

After a little trial and error, I figured the proper amount I needed for my diapers.  Some detergents I have used in the past I could not use the full load amount or it would not wash out of the diapers.  I tried a half cap of the liquid detergent, and the amount for a full load. The half (medium load size) was never enough to keep the diapers odor free. I found that using the amount for a full load was the best for my washings. Each load of diapers I wash are always either a large or super load.

I have my normal routine.  I always dump the soiled diapers and wash them off in the toilet.  I soak my diapers overnight in plain water. Then put them through a cycle until the first spin. Once it drains, I start it over, adding the soap. I try to get any urine and fecal residue out of the diapers before the main wash. I then put them through the wash, with an extra rinse cycle.

The diapers dried both on the line and in the dryer, depending on the weather.

Vaska did a very good job of keeping the diapers odor free. Yes, I will occasionally sniff my diapers to see how clean they are.  Previously, every few months I would notice my microfiber inserts getting an odor. I would then gather up all my diapers and strip them. They would go through about three wash cycles of plain water before the soap was gone from the diapers. So far, I haven't had the need to strip my diapers.  

I'm not one to pretreat my diapers, because I don't want the soaps to absorb into the cloth, causing me to strip them more often. I did pretreat one insert to show the difference in the stain.
Without pretreating, and just going through the wash, it was not great at getting dark stains out. When the diapers were pretreated, however, it did a great job with the stains.  

I included a before and after picture of an insert.  This insert had been through many washes.  It had been line dried as well as through the dryer multiple times with this stain.  I put Vaska liquid soap on the stain.  I let it pretreat for 24 hours.  Then I put it through my normal wash with a load of diapers.  I was amazed at the insert.  The stain was gone.  I was impressed at how well the pretreating did.  

Overall, I am very happy with Vaska detergent.  It did a great job keeping my diapers clean and free from odor.  

Vaska liquid detergent is definitely one detergent I would be happy to have on my laundry shelf.  

** I was given two free bottles of Vaska detergent for this review.  This is my opinion on the product given.  For more information on Vaska products go to their website at  **


A Year Long Review

A while back I posted about how I was going to do a review on cloth diaper detergent. I have not forgotten. I am slowly making it through my detergents that I was graciously given. I just finished the Vaska container. I will be writing my review shortly.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Getting Ready To Run

In my weight loss journey, I've been able to shed 10 pounds. This morning I weighed in at 147.8 pounds. Hooray!

Along with weight training, my husband and I have decided we want to start running. I've never liked running. I have always WANTED to like running. I just tire way too easily.

We are going to start doing the C25K program. It's the Couch To 5K. In about 8 weeks you can go from a couch potato to running 5K. It's running 3 days a week, and 2 of the days I'm not running I'm going to add in my weight training.

The only thing I have to figure out is how to carry my iPhone. I really dislike having anything attached to my arm, so an arm band is out. I'm looking at a few options. I'll let you know what I decide.

Knitting - Day 1

Today I learn how to knit.

I have thus far learned casting on. I like it. I think I'm going to learn this quickly.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Simple and Makers House Party

Makers House Party Pic

FedEx dropped off my House Party pack.

I love the free parties they let's us throw!

Uploaded with Imgupr

I got 11 face wipes, 7 travelsized facial wash, 11 coupons, 11 quote magnets, 8 word cards to hold up in pictures, and 11 grocery tote bags.

Opening the box we saw the totes. My oldest dd mentioned the bag. I said I like bags (have a bunch of them). Then we pulled them out and it was 11 bags. She was like, "You hit the jackpot!" LOL

I can't wait for the party.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

When You Believe...

Two nights ago we watched The Prince Of Egypt for the first time in years. I love the music in the movie. My favorite part is in 'When You Believe', when the children are singing in Hebrew.

I will leave you with that part as my song for Sunday...

Ashira l'adonai ki ga'oh ga'ah
Ashira l'adonai ki ga'oh ga'ah
Michamocha, ba-elim adonai
Michamocha nedar-bakodesh
Nachitah v'chasd'cha, am zu ga'alta
Nachitah v'chasd'cha, am zu ga'alta
Ashira, Ashira, Ashira...

I will sing unto Adonai for He has triumphed gloriously.
I will sing unto Adonai for He has triumphed gloriously.
Who is like You, O Adondai, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness?
In Your mercy, you lead the people You redeemed.
In Your mercy, you lead the people You redeemed.
I will sing, I will sing, I will sing...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tomorrow Bekah Turns 3

Tomorrow is Bekah's 3rd birthday. She was our 1st unassisted birth. What an amazing birth, amazing baby, and amazing little girl! I can't describe how much she is loved.

Here is the link to her birth story.

Since tomorrow is going to be busy with church and Brent's play practice, we decided to celebrate Bekah's birthday today. She had cupcakes, ice cream, and presents. Brigham gave her his little soccer ball. Abby gave Bekah her Tinkerbell hat (Bekah loves Tinkerbell). We got her a tin Tinkerbell lunchbox, a My Little Pony DVD, and I made her a red tutu. She loves it all.

Happy Big 3 my big girl.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Her Birthmark

Did I mention Joy's birthmark? A speckled toe!

Joy Is 4 Weeks Old Today

Joy is 4 weeks old today. I put her in the sling and weighed her. She was 12 lbs 1 oz. I was surprised because she felt so much heavier. LOL! A baby brick.

I'm so happy to have her in our family. I smile every time I look at her.

Friday, January 25, 2013

So Sweet!!

Just a quick post! I had to share because it was such a sweet picture if Joy taking a nap today while I finished making Rebekah's tutu.

Rebekah's Birthday Soon

I can't believe Rebekah will be 3 soon! Where does the time go?

I've been busy thinking of what to get for her birthday. She loves Tinkerbell. She loves dressing up. What I've been contemplating is making a "no sew tutu" for her. Someone on our Facebook group also mentioned making a fairy wand. A great idea! I think I'm going to try it out. If it doesn't work, I'll get one from Listia. I will have enough credits by this coming week to get one if needed.

I'm pretty excited! If it looks good, I'll post a picture.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Sleeping Smile

I finally captured the elusive 'sleeping smile'. It seems that when I get my camera ready the smiles would stop. Yesterday I finally got it. Of course, I did have to hover over her, camera in hand, to capture this sweet face.

Happy 2 week picture of my Joy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back In Shape

Ok, so baby is 1 1/2 weeks old. I'm 1 pound above my pre baby 8 pregnancy weight. I'm 156 right now. :(

My weight was NOT where it should have been when I got pregnant. My fault. I was lazy. I didn't exercise at all. I ate junk food.

I am getting back on track (minus the little raw (eggless) cookie dough binge last night). I've been drinking lots of water, eating (mostly) healthy, limited pop... I am SOOO looking forward to being able to exercise again!!! I got in shape FAST after my 5th when exercising and eating healthy! I CAN DO IT!!!

Anyone want to join me in a healthy body challenge?

My goal...

In 6 months I want to be between 125-130 pounds.

I want to cut out the vast majority of soda. Maybe once a month as a 'treat'.

No more than 1 sweet a day (which should be easy as we don't generally buy sweets.

When my body is ready (about 6 weeks after baby -- around Feb 19) I will exercise 30 minutes a day. Until then I will stay active. Not over doing it, but not sitting around.

Right now:

156 pounds
34.5% body fat (according to my scale)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Joy Christine - Our Third UC

For some reason things aren't as clear as my other births. It was like a blur of time and events this time. I'll do my best to write it down as I remember.

I woke up early on January 8. Over the period of weeks I had been having night contractions. This was nothing new. I slept between them, estimating them to be about 15 minutes apart. Around 8:30 I decided to get up and get around. I halfheartedly started timing them, just to see if my guess was right. Yep, 10-15 minutes apart.

After an hour, I began to think this might finally be it. I was afraid to really allow myself to believe it. I was 42 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I was "due" on December 20, 2012. Which was also big brother Brigham's 6th birthday. Unfortunately, on that day all of us, except Brigham, ended up with a violent stomach bug that day. It took another 2 days to get my energy back from that. I had very little contractions after that bug. I think that really set the birth back, as we were also around family after that with the same bug.

I had been waiting so long that I began to doubt my dates. I knew my LMP was correct. I knew just a day or two after my GMIL passed in May that I was pregnant. It wasn't from a test. I 'felt' a spirit child enter me. Yes, I now sound crazy. However, I had felt that once before with our 6th baby, Rebekah. I knew that feeling instantly. I felt strongly it was a girl. I wanted her named after my GMIL, Joyce. Brent thought of Joy Christine, and that was the name. It was perfect.

Back to January 8. I told Brent that I was having contractions about 10-15 minutes apart. They were low. Not like the ones I had been having.

As the day progressed, I began to think it might be a long slow labor. It had been hours, and still 10-15 minutes apart. I then made a funny discovery. I found that when I went into the bathroom, my contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. When I went out with the family, they went back to 10-15 minutes. I labored in the bathroom for a while, and took a nice shower. Then went back out to the living room when I needed a break.

The kids wanted to play a new board game (Beat The Parents), so we spent an hour playing and laughing. I only had 2 or 3 contractions that whole time. After the game, I went to lay on the couch. I put on my headphones and dozed on the couch, and Brent sent the kids outside to play. As I dozed, my contractions began to pick up and get stronger. I had to breathe through several. I then went back to the bathroom.

At 3:30 I texted Brent (who was in the living room) that I was going to get in the tub to relax. That things were hurting. I spent a while in the tub, but moved to the toilet to labor easier. I began to get louder. Moaning to the point where Brent came in to check on me.

He asked if I was ok. I said yes, then no. Then I had another contraction. They were not giving me much time between them. Some just doubling over the other. Brent then joked about how if I have the baby in the toilet, he's not going to hold it for a while. That made me laugh, and I responded that it would be a water birth. I always love his humor when laboring. It pulls me through so much. He asked if I needed a blessing. I said yes. He went out to find the oil, and I heard Rebekah (1 month shy of 3) keep asking him if mommy was going to throw up. She was very concerned about me throwing up. He told her the new baby was coming, and she got so excited.

He came back in, and held me as i had another contraction. when it was over, her gave me a blessing. As he anointed my head, and blessed me and the baby, all contractions stopped. I was able to focus on his words, and feel the comfort of them. Then, as he sealed the blessing and ended it, the contractions returned.

I then moved off the toilet and just stood in front of the sink, holding onto it and rocking my hips back and forth through the contractions. I had managed to move from moaning to crying out and yelling through the contractions. I was trying to stay focused, but it was fast and hard. I was not able to keep hold of my ability to relax. All I could do was yell.

I moved back into the tub, getting a little comfort from the water. I labored on my hands and knees and also sitting with one leg in front of me, the other more behind. After getting in the water, I was able to focus more, stopping the yelling and more swaying through the contractions. I put my hands out, skimming the water. Feeling the water pushing on my hands helped distract me. However, things began moving again.

I got really hot, and Brent opened the window. It helped, as I was feeling nauseous. I kept checking myself, and hadn't felt anything. I then told myself that in a couple hours I would be holding my baby in my arms. I checked myself again, and felt the sac. I told Brent, who updated the kids in the other room that it would be very soon.

I pushed, and checked again. Still a lot of bulging sac, but no baby to be felt. I waited a few minutes, but then made a decision that as cool as it would be to try for a baby born in the caul, I was wanting baby out. I wanted to break my water now. I pushed on the sac with my finger. It was very strong, but it finally gave and burst. No meconium.

Brent said how that would speed things up. He was right. A few more contractions and pushes. I said I felt the head. I pushed again. Time blurs. I could feel her head. I had her to where she was crowning. Still leaning over the edge of the tub, I pushed. I was reaching back and could feel her head crowning. Getting bigger and bigger. I had to stop and rest a few times. Taking it slow. Oh she hurt.

I finally began pushing again, determined to get her out. As her head was emerging, I was running my finger around her head to stretch the skin. It hurt too much to go on. At that point I stopped, but her head kept coming. Knowing I wasn't ready, I did something I still find amusing. I held her head in my hand, and I pushed her back in. I needed more time. I was afraid of the pain. I was afraid of tearing.

I pushed again. This time slowly guiding her out. Time seemed to slow down. Her head just kept coming and coming. I had to break and push slowly again. I finally thought it was out. I felt, but no face. Just smooth. I then started to feel a slight panic rise up. I asked Brent, "What IS that!? Is it a head, or a butt?!". I couldn't see. I couldn't tell by feel.

Brent laughed and said, "I see hair. It's either a head, or a really hairy butt.".

I pushed again, and her head was out. Oh my goodness!!! That was the absolute hardest single things I have ever done. She had a huge head! I felt her head. I felt an ear, and said out loud how I felt it.

Brent then gave me some mistletoe tincture, to help prevent bleeding.

I thought then how the hardest was over. The body is the easy part. I then felt her wiggling. What a crazy feeling. Her head was moving back and forth. Her body was wiggling back and forth inside of me, as if she was trying to crawl out. I told Brent she was wiggling, then asked him if he could feel it. I wasn't really thinking about how she was inside of me. That he couldn't feel her. So funny. You can tell I was caught up it it all.

I pushed again, then realized she wasn't budging. I tried again, but nothing. I told Brent I needed his help. That I needed him to help pull, because I couldn't push her out. I reached back and pulled gently as I pushed. Brent took over, as he had a better ability to be more guided in where baby was going. He kept telling me to be careful of her head. I guess I was close to sitting on her a few times.

As she slowly, oh so very slowly, came out I felt arms fly out. Brent said later she came out with her hands up by her face. Instead of a single push to get the body out, she took 3 or so pushes. It was not easy like the other babies. Finally, she was born. What a relief!

I turned and sat down. Brent handed her to me. I noticed two things. Her cord was shorter. It was wrapped around the outside of my right leg, instead of coming up from between my legs, due to how I birthed her behind me and then flipped around. I could hold her on my lap, but struggled to get her to reach my breast. She was also covered in vernix. It was thick, sticking to my hands and fingers in globs. How great that was.

I held her, and had Sadie get a towel to wrap her in to stay warm. I pulled the plug in the tub and drained a lot of the water as Sadie got the water running to fill it up with fresh, warmer water. The kids all came in and got to see our new bundle of Joy. After a while, the cord was limp and ready to cut. Brent tied it off in two places with hemp twine and cut it. I then said good bye to Joy as he took her to weigh her and to let me wait for the placenta and then shower.

As I was in the tub, I heard them say something about 10 pounds! Then I heard 1 ounce. I was shocked. Brent came in again and I asked, "10 pounds 1 ounce?". He said no.
10 pounds 11 ounces!!! THAT explained A LOT! My baby piggy!

What a precious baby! She was so worth all the work! The cutest cheeks! They stick out past her head! She's so snugly and came out loving to eat. I love her so much!

Jan 8, 2013
Born at 5:17pm
10 lb 11oz
21 1/2 inches
15 inch head

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby Joy Is Here

I have yet to write her birth story.

Baby Joy was born on Tuesday, Jan 8 2013, at 5:17pm.

10lb 11oz
21 1/2 inches

We're both doing great. Although my lower half is NOT happy right now. No tears, although I thought I was birthing a toddler. She was so big!

I'll write more in a bit.