Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Week In Pictures

Taking a cue from my friend Robyn, I'm going to attempt to capture my week in pictures via Instagram and do a 'week in pictures' post fairly often.  While this is not the weekend, I have pictures from last week to share!

Church family love!  Our fridge has been filled to the max since Ella arrived!

Comfort cookies.  Our sweet neighbor had to take their dog to be put to sleep while her husband was out of town.  When I'm sad, I appreciate baked goods.  So I baked giant ginger cookies for her.

Weeknight jam session.  Daddy was proud to be accompanied by a Yogi the Bear flute.

Does this need words?

The crepe myrtle in our front yard suddenly exploded into fiery reds and oranges.  So it actually looks like fall around our house.

Gluten free molasses bar batter!  

Brother helped sister eat for the first time.  He thoroughly enjoyed this and would protest if I even so much as touched the bottle to help him.  Mr. Independent.

Semi-homemade liquid hand soap via Robyn.  If you can't tell, I like that girl a lot and what she does. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!

I love collages.  When I don't feel like writing a lot but I have a ton of pictures to share, I pop them in a collage (or three) and call it done.  

We've had a busy fall so far and it isn't over yet!  Little miss Ella is doing very well with life here on the outside.  Brother seems to care very much for her and likes giving her hugs and kisses.  So much so that we had to put Ella's swing up on a large side table so that she wasn't so... accessible. 

I am feeling almost 100% and have been for a while.  I cannot describe the huge difference between recovery from Wyatt and from Ella.  We went to church two days after she was born and have been out and about since then.  I just feel good.  Alleluia since I'm chasing around an almost two year old in addition to the newborn activities.  But let's be honest, Nonie is still here and does most of the chasing.  I kind of call out commands and admonishments to Wyatt from the wing back chair in our living room where I'm in a constant state of nursing. 

On to the good stuff.  This season in pictures:

Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ella's Birth Story

Since Nonie and Opie came into town the night of the 20th, Rob and I went on a date to see Moneyball and go out to eat.  We were the only people in the theatre and about half way through the movie, I started having pretty regular contractions that were stronger than the Braxton Hicks I'd been experiencing. However, this was the first date we'd been on since July and I wasn't about to cut it short for a few measly contractions.  So on we watched and Rob never knew a thing. We got back to the house and went to bed.  

At precisely 4 am, I woke up with contractions that I could no longer sleep through.  I got up, showered, shaved my legs (just in case), washed and dried my hair and generally wondered if this was it.  By 5 am I was pacing through the contractions up and down a long stretch of our bedroom.  Rob woke up and asked if my water had broken, I told him it was just contractions and he rolled over and fell back asleep.  He didn't snooze long, though, and soon he was timing my contractions with an app on my iphone.  I texted my doula and reported the stats.  She told me to call her when I wanted her there with us.  It being so early in the morning and knowing she has 4 kids, I didn't want to call upon her too early. (big mistake) 

They were getting stronger so we went for a walk in our neighborhood.  Never before had I noticed how hilly this area actually is!  We only went about 3/4 of a mile and decided to turn back.  On our way back Rob looked up the intervals of my contractions on the internet and told me he thought I was in transition.  I told him he was nuts, that I had at least 10 more hours of labor and please don't talk to me while I'm contracting, I need to focus!  Well that set him to worrying as he had just read that "women in transition will feel very focused during contractions and not want to talk..."

When we got back to the house I was dealing with the contractions by putting my hands on my knees and doing little mini squats.  We never made it to any childbirth classes, that's just what felt best.  Within 5 minutes of being back, I'm moaning through them and thinking maybe we'd better high tail it to the birth center.  I call my midwife, Vicky, to tell her that she'd better get up there and step on it but halfway through our conversation I have to put the phone down to deal with a contraction.  She told me later that while hearing me go through the contraction she jumped out of bed and started throwing scrubs on.

Since I thought I'd have all the time in the world when the contractions began, we hadn't installed the infant car seat in our car yet.  There I am, leaning on the trunk of my parents car, moaning, listening to my dad and Rob try to figure out how the freaking thing goes in.  I nearly jumped in the driver's seat and drove myself.  But they figured it out after what felt like an eternity and off we went, with me kneeling in the floorboard of the passenger seat and holding onto the headrest.  Let me just say that I now know why people have home births.  That 10 minutes in the car was possibly the second most intense part of the whole labor.  Rob was flying up Broadway with his flashers on, cautiously careening through red lights.  I told him as kindly as I could to please try not to gun the motor so much and send me rocking back and forth when I'm contracting, as it feels like utter he**. 

We got to the birth center but Vicky was nowhere to be found and the door was locked.  Somehow it escaped me that she lives 45 minutes away or I'd have called her sooner.  I think it was only 10 minutes before she arrived but it felt like an hour and a half.  The two contractions right before she got there give me a stunningly urgent urge to push.  So I did.  Vicky arrives and we barrel up the stairs into one of the birthing rooms and she is literally running from here to there getting things ready.  I ask if I can get into the giant bathtub and she tells me, "Honey, there's no time!"

I pushed for 20 minutes with Wyatt, a mere glimpse of time compared with most labors.  We thought that would be the case with Ella, too.  We were wrong.  Later on, Vicky told me that as soon as Ella crowned, she and Mica, my doula, saw her little head actually turn 90 degrees, indicating that her head was cocked funny coming down the birth canal.  Combine that and a bag of waters that refused to break and you get an hour and twenty minutes of pushing.  Let me tell you, God has designed labor so well.  The escalating pain in contractions gets you pumped, so to speak, for the final few contractions.  In other words, you just want that baby OUT and I mean NOW.  Also, when you feel the pain, you really want to push through the contractions because it relieves the pain.  It's crazy.  I didn't want to take a breath in between pushes the relief was so great.  

Honestly, a few minutes before Ella was born I thought, "Ok.  I'm done with the labor thing now.  I don't want to do this anymore and I don't really think I can."  But then she was here.  And I couldn't believe it.  This precious life had entered the world and I had done it.  God had given us a daughter. 

Ella Bethany
October 21, 2011
8:23 am
7 lb 12 oz
20.5 inches long