Archives For Pregnancy

Our fourth baby’s birth and the days leading up to it will always be remembered. After years of looking for a few acres of land, we finally found a property and made an offer with less than 2 months until my May 21st due date. We put our home on the market, had an offer within a week and started to prepare for closing on both properties.

On May 2 (only 19 days away from my due date), we closed on both houses and moved into our new home. The days leading up to the closing date were full of hope that I just wouldn’t go into labor early (my previous 2 babies had arrived 9 and 11 days early!) May 2 came and went thankfully with no baby.

In the next few days, I was able to get our bedroom, kitchen, the living room and the kids rooms organized and felt somewhat settled.

On May 7, I was 38 weeks pregnant and anticipating that baby could come at any time! Cecilia was born at 38 weeks, 3 days and Weston was born at 38 weeks, 5 days so I figured I was probably getting close.

We didn’t find out the gender this time (we did with both boys but not Cecilia). We were all kind of hoping for a baby girl so Cecilia would have a sister but would have been thrilled with a baby boy too! I really had no feelings regarding gender since this pregnancy was so similar to all of the others (minus the horrible hip and pubic pain I had with Cecilia’s pregnancy).

A week after moving, on May 9, my midwife, Michelle, had my home visit scheduled (it was scheduled so late since we were in a new house). She had to cancel due to another birth. I had been waiting for the home visit to feel fully ready to go into labor.

On Wednesday, May 10, I had a check up with Michelle. I was 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant (Cecilia was born at 38w3d). At the checkup, Michelle told me that she had driven by my house and knew exactly where it was so a home visit wasn’t necessary. That made me feel better, knowing that she knew where to go when the time came.

I started having contractions on the way to my check up Wednesday morning and had them off and on throughout the day but they were not regular or unmanageable.

I had contractions about every hour that night and thought things were going to start picking up and that we’d have a baby but I woke up on Thursday, May 11 still pregnant! When John David woke up, I told him I was up about every hour during the night with contractions so he went into work late that morning and I was able to sleep until 10:30. When I finally got out of bed, there was some blood tinged mucus which was somewhat encouraging knowing that those contractions were probably doing something.

I was very tired all day and still having contractions about every hour or so. These contractions were different than any of my previous labor contractions. They would start out low in the abdomen and work their way up instead of starting high and working down. I took a long nap and rested in bed that afternoon and let John David know that I wasn’t feeling well. We got the kids in bed around 9:30 and I sat on the couch and rested for a bit. Nights had been hard (trouble getting comfortable and sleeping) and I wasn’t quite ready to get in bed and try to sleep while having contractions.

Around 10:30, we went to bed and the contractions started up as soon and I laid down. I got up, went to the bathroom and came back to lie down but never was able to sleep. I did this every 10-15 minutes for about 2 hours before I was completely uncomfortable lying down and needed to start trying other positions. At 1:00, I downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing contractions, hoping to start to see a pattern. There was a pattern – they were about 10 minutes apart at this point.

I sat on my birth ball and worked my hips for awhile since I labored the entire time with Cecilia on the ball (and it was wonderful). The ball was not providing any relief so I stood up for awhile and went back to the ball. I probably labored about 2 hours while John David continued to sleep. I pulled out the large flannel back tablecloth (which my midwife recommends for keeping floors clean) and put it on the floor because I kept hoping contractions were going to get closer together and things would start happening.

I started dealing with back labor around 3 and woke John David up at this point because I was feeling very discouraged since my contractions were still 10 minutes apart and painful. (Contractions with both Weston and Cecilia were not painful at all to me, so this was new.) I labored on my hands and knees, on the ball, leaning against the ball, standing and swaying my hips and nothing was providing back labor relief. At this point, I was pretty sure that the baby was in a bad position because of the back labor and the fact that I wasn’t making any progress with contraction spacing after 2 hours of timing.

I was so confused as to whether I was even in labor. With my previous births, contractions have fairly quickly gone from 10 minutes to 8, to 6 and so on. We went to the hospital with Weston and called Michelle with Cecilia when they were about 5 minutes apart.  John David and I talked about calling Michelle but I didn’t want to wake her up for nothing.

After laboring through intense back contractions, I was very discouraged (I even told John David that I just wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural!) I asked him to run some warm bath water in hopes that the tub would provide some relief.

By the time I got into the tub, the contractions were averaging 7 minutes apart so John David texted Michelle at 4:42 to let her know we thought something might be happening and that contractions were averaging 7 minutes apart and that I was getting into the tub. She texted back that the tub should help to speed things up (and I was hoping that would happen!) The warm water felt so good and the first few contractions in the tub were more comfortable but then the back labor started up again and the contractions were averaging 8-10 minutes apart which means they actually had slowed since getting into the tub.  At this point, I thought I might be dealing with prodromal labor because I had been laboring over 6 hours with very little progress – I thought I should have had a baby in my arms by this point if I was really in labor! (All 3 of my previous labors had been fairly fast, Paxton was born 5 hours from the time my water was broken, Weston’s was born less than 3 hours from waking up with contractions about 8 minutes apart and Cecilia’s was about 5 hours from the time my contractions started coming less than 8 minutes apart.)

John David sat with me through several contractions and since nothing was changing, he went back to bed and I stayed in the tub. (And, no, this didn’t bother me, I don’t like to be touched at all during labor so him going back to bed was no big deal, especially since we thought it was prodromal labor or just the very early stages.)

I got out of the tub around 6:00, the sun had risen and I was very discouraged. The water was cold and my back labor was not letting up so I knew I needed to try some other positions to try to get baby in an optimal position. I had the big flannel back tablecloth in the bedroom floor so I got down on hands and knees and rocked back and forth for a few contractions, then I leaned up against the ball for a few minutes and tried sitting on it. I was still timing contractions and they were ranging from 7-9 minutes apart. I started to feel like I needed to poo (which in hind sight should have been a sign but I had been a little gassy in the tub and with contractions ranging from 7-9 minutes apart, I was pretty sure it wasn’t pressure from the baby.)

Around 6:45, I sat on the toilet and I was still timing contractions which were about 7 minutes apart. John David was still sleeping at this point. I tried to go and felt myself really opening up and started to think that I might be getting close to delivery (which didn’t make sense because of the contraction pattern).

I started to notice a lot of mucus (or bloody show) which made me realize that the baby was probably getting close. I started to feel pressure and started vocalizing through contractions which woke John David up. He told me I needed to get off the toilet because it’s not good to sit there too long. Then I had another contraction and I think he realized what was happening. I think at this point, he texted Michelle (my phone says it was 6:56).

He ran and moved the tablecloth and under pads into the bathroom and I asked him if he saw anything and he said he didn’t. I couldn’t feel the baby’s head with my hands, nor did I feel like the baby had descended so I didn’t think I was about to have a baby.

He told me I had to get off of the toilet but I couldn’t move. He helped me get off and my water breaks as I’m getting up (into the toilet!) I drop down on all fours and start pushing (and yelling!) With the next contraction, I pushed baby’s head out. John David starts yelling “push, push, push” so I gently pushed but realized that I need to wait for another contraction before pushing to decrease my chances of tearing. With the next contraction, I pushed again and out she came, into her daddy’s arms and he tells me, “we have a baby girl” before I even get her in my arms. She was born at 6:59 am on Friday, May 12.

John David helps me sit down, puts our daughter on my chest and starts drying her off. I am completely in shock and crying (well, really bawling) at this point. Tears of joy for a daughter, that everything went well and that it was over which was such a relief after dealing with horrible back labor.

John David changed out the towels, covered us both up, put a hat on the baby’s head to keep her warm and propped a few pillows behind me (Michelle had given him instructions for what to do at our last appointment since I have a history of quick deliveries). I just laid in the floor with baby, waiting for Michelle to arrive and started nursing.

Michelle arrived around 25 minutes after the birth, delivered the placenta and had John David cut the cord. The baby had pooped into my hand while we were lying on the floor so John David took her and cleaned her off and wiped my hand off!

Michelle helped me into the herb bath and then put the baby in the bath to get her good and clean too.

By this time, Mary (Michelle’s assistant) had arrived and they helped me get dressed and into the bed while John David held the baby. All 3 kiddos were awake at this point (they had slept through everything) and anxiously awaiting to come into our room and meet the baby.

At some point while waiting, Paxton slipped a note under the door that said ‘let us n’!

Once I was settled in bed, they handed me our baby girl and let the kids come in and meet their new sister, Laura Kathryn. It was such a sweet moment, watching their excitement. All three were completely mesmerized by our tiny baby girl.

Once all of the kids held her, Michelle started the newborn exam. Laura weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces (just like Weston who was also born at 38 weeks, 5 days).

Michelle asked some questions about the delivery for her records and John David told her that the baby came out with her hands crossed and tucked up on her chest. Michelle said that is why my contractions stayed spaced so far the entire time and why I had back labor. So, it was somewhat encouraging to know that there was a reason the labor was so slow (as far as labors go for me.) It was 8 hours and 29 minutes from the time I tried to go to bed and started having contractions 10 minutes apart until the time she was born. And, up until probably 8 minutes before she was born, my contractions were still about 7 minutes apart. I went from 7 minutes apart (early labor) to delivery so this birth was technically considered a precipitous birth which I consider funny because it really was my longest and definitely my most discouraging labor.

And, thanks to pushing with the contractions and not being panicked, I had no tears and didn’t even feel like I had a baby which was amazing! My recovery was so, so easy.

Even though Michelle missed the delivery, this birth was so much like Cecilia’s – everything post delivery was exactly the same and I definitely appreciated the care that Michelle and Mary provided.

John David played a huge role in Laura’s birth! I probably would have delivered our baby in the toilet if it wasn’t for him. He knew exactly what to do and followed the instructions Michelle had given him. He kept such a clear head during the delivery, except for that 30 seconds when he was yelling ‘push, push, push’ because all he saw was a baby’s head and he had never delivered a baby before. Our kids said we should call him a ‘mid-husband’!

Once Michelle and Mary left around 9:30, we just took it easy all day. I stayed in bed with baby and John David took care of the kids and fed me. And, of course, I had little visitors in my room all day, wanting to look at their baby sister.

We’re so thankful for another complication free birth and a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

My other births:

First Baby – Paxton’s Birth Story 

Second Baby – Weston’s Birth Story

Third Baby – Cecilia’s Birth Story

We’ll be welcoming our fourth baby this May! We’re excited and can hardly believe we just have a little over 3 months to go!

Cecilia is thrilled to become a big sister! She’s such a good little mama to her baby dolls.

This is a picture of our littlest from January 6 when we had our anatomy scan. We did not find out the gender and are looking forward to our surprise when baby arrives!

This is my 24 week belly on January 29.

I’m learning with each baby we have how little babies really need. I purchased a few new cloth diapers for this baby (we have a decent size stash of diapers from Cecilia) and we need to purchase a new car seat (planning to buy Cecilia a new one and let the baby use her current convertible seat.) I have a minimal gender neutral newborn wardrobe that was Cecilia’s and have managed to thrift a few muslin swaddles over the past few months. At this point, we pretty much need some newborn disposable diapers and a Rock N Play for the baby to sleep in for the first few weeks/months and we’ll be all ready to welcome baby number 4.

The Sizing of Baby Clothes

When I was pregnant with my first son, we were blessed with a ton of clothes from our showers and hand-me-downs.

I had so much fun organizing his little clothes. I sorted everything by size, putting newborn items in one drawer, 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes in another drawer. I had two totes underneath his crib containing clothes that were 6-12 months and the other stored clothes that were larger than 12 months.

I thought I was super organized and ready for baby. The 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing would get our April baby through the summer and we had a ton of 6 month sizes for fall and 9 months for winter. He was set, I thought I wouldn’t have to buy a stitch of clothing for him because everything was so perfectly planned out!

I look back and laugh. I believed that because a little tag said 3-6 months on it that my child would wear it when he was in the age range of 3 to 6 months. I never even considered the fact that some of those 3-6 month items were as small as some newborn items we had or as large as some 12 month items. The tag said it, so I believed it!

My son was born weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces and quickly began growing, my organized system was thrown out the window. He was wearing 9 to 12 month rompers and bodysuits by 3 months because he was so long! Items that he could have worn, never were worn just because the tag didn’t say he should be able to fit in the garment. And my perfectly planned out fall and winter wardrobe didn’t fit him so perfectly.

Once I finally realized that the tag doesn’t matter, I started talking to friends who admitted to me that they also thought the same thing when they were a first time mama.

With my second and third babies, I organized their clothes based upon what they looked like. If the tag said 6 months but was teeny tiny, I put it in the drawer with the newborn clothes. If it said 3 months but was big, it went in the bin of clothes to grow into.

So mamas, the reality is the size on the tag doesn’t really matter since all babies are different.

Of course you can still stock up on all sizes of baby basics like cotton bodysuits, pants and sleepers since babies wear them year round. And those new baby clothes you receive, leave the tag on them until after baby arrives in case you need to exchange.

As my children have grown, I’ve stopped focusing so much on what the tag said. Cecilia currently has clothes ranging in size 6 months to 2T in her wardrobe, the majority are 12-18 months but depending on the garment, the size may be smaller or larger. And, Weston has clothes ranging from 18 months (shorts) to 4T.

At the end of each season, any item that currently fits with a bit of room is tucked into their off season clothing storage bin. I’ve been surprised at the number of items, both tops and shorts, that they’ve been able to wear over the course of 2 summers or 2 winters.

Did you focus more on what the tag said than what the garment looked like with your first baby too?

All Babies are Blessings

When we were expecting our first baby, I didn’t have a gender preference. I knew that having a girl or having a boy would be wonderful!

When we found out we would be welcoming a baby boy, we were excited – I hoped he’d look like his daddy.

When he was born, he was just as I pictured, a dark haired baby boy and he did look like his daddy.

When we found out we were expecting our second baby, I just knew the baby was going to be a boy. Sure enough at our anatomy scan, we found out we were having a baby boy and we were so excited that Paxton was going to have a brother.

We did not feel like having another boy was disappointing, we were thrilled to be adding to our family.

I was quite content with my two boys. I started seeing myself as just a boy mom and couldn’t imagine having a baby girl in our family.

We decided not to find out the gender of our third baby and I was completely convinced that our third baby was a boy too. And, I was excited about the possibility of three boys and brothers so close in age. I did not view having three boys as anything but a blessing!

All during our third pregnancy, it seemed like everyone told us they thought we were having a girl and that we needed a girl. We were still sure our baby was a boy. We didn’t feel like we needed a girl for our family to be complete.

When our baby was born and we saw that we actually had a girl, we were shocked and surprised. We had a daughter! We were thrilled to welcome a baby girl into our family but we would have been just as excited to welcome a baby boy.

It seems like people think that you need one of each gender in order to be happy with your family. I think the excitement from others with my third pregnancy was because I already had two boys and everyone was just hoping I’d have a girl.

I have a feeling if/when we have a fourth baby (we hope to add to our family in a few years) that the pregnancy announcement won’t be met with as much excitement because we have one of each gender. Since Cecilia was born, when people ask me if we’re finished having kids, I jokingly say no, she needs a sister! (And, while I’d love for her to have a sister, adding another baby boy would be wonderful too.)

What is wrong with having two boys or three boys? Or two girls or three girls? Do people really think that families that have one boy and one girl are happier? Or do they think my family of two boys and one girl is better than a family of three girls or three boys? The mindset that everybody wants ‘one of each’ is crazy!

I’ve heard people make comments like, ‘maybe you’ll get your girl next time‘ or ‘you can try to have a boy next time,’ to women who are pregnant with their second (or third or forth) of the same gender. The baby they’re carrying is important and should be celebrated even though there is a same gender sibling.

Forget the silly one boy, one girl ‘perfect family’ ideal and celebrate each and every baby regardless of its gender.

All babies are blessings!

Brothers

Having same gender siblings is quite wonderful. These 2 boys are loud and full of energy but they love each other and really are the best of friends.

Babies are Blessings