Archives For Pregnancy

Belly

For the birth of our third baby, we decided a homebirth was the best option for the birthing environment we desired. After a very fast labor and chaotic hospital delivery with our second baby, we didn’t want the stress of worrying about whether or not we’d make it to the hospital. That coupled with the fact that my labors and deliveries have been uncomplicated, we felt that homebirth was completely safe.

Our baby was due March 31. I really had no feelings whatsoever regarding whether baby would arrive early, on time or late. My second son arrived 9 days early so based on that, I thought there was a strong possibility this baby may arrive early also. Of course, babies are unpredictable so I prepared myself for 40 plus weeks of pregnancy.

This pregnancy went well. I dealt with morning sickness and food aversions from weeks 6 to 14. The second trimester was wonderful and the third trimester started well. Around 32 weeks, I started to have severe hip and pubic pain. Thankfully, frequent chiropractic visits with hip and pubic bone adjustments with an activator helped tremendously, keeping the last weeks of pregnancy from being miserable.

On Wednesday, March 19, I woke up and decided that my first priority of the day was a visit to the chiropractor. The day before I had bad pelvic/pubic pain and knew I needed an adjustment as soon as I could get one. And, I definitely wanted to be freshly adjusted for labor. I think I subconsciously knew that baby would be arriving soon. A friend offered to watch the boys on Wednesday but I told John David, “I told her no because I think she’ll have them tomorrow.” I don’t remember saying this but he told me that I did.

After arriving home from my adjustment, the day proceeded mostly as normal. During rest time, I did crawl in bed to rest and started reading birth stories from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I read several birth stories which were encouraging, inspiring and just what a woman who subconsciously feels labor coming on needs to read!

A little after 5, my husband called to tell me he had a meeting at 6:30 and would be home late. Around 5:30, my sister called and we chatted a few minutes and I told her, “I’m pretty sure baby is a boy!”

The boys and I ate supper around 6 and by 6:30, I started cleaning the kitchen. As I began cleaning, I started noticing light contractions, nothing painful, just low pressure. I was able to keep cleaning through them and wasn’t timing them at all at this point because they were painless. After I finished cleaning in the kitchen, I decided on a whim to clean both bathrooms. I encouraged the boys to start picking up the playroom and when I finished my cleaning, I joined them in there. We were finishing up tidying the playroom when John David arrived home around 8:30. I told him that I was having some occasional contractions and he downloaded a contraction app to start timing them.

Then, John David’s parents Facetimed with the boys while I sat in the living room and timed contractions. They were light, not very painful at all since I was able to just sit through them. We finally started the boys bedtime routine around 9:15 and I texted my midwife, Michelle, to let her know that there was a 10 minute pattern in my contractions. (She had told me to look for a pattern).

Once we read stories and prayed with the boys, I ran a warm, lavender bath. I got in the tub around 10:15, hoping that the water would speed things up. It didn’t work – they stayed around 10 minutes apart the entire time. But, baby was super active the entire time I was in the tub. The feet were pushing against my left side and the bottom was against my right and my belly looked like a football – it was wild looking! I really tried to enjoy those movements and feeling baby move around inside since I was really beginning to think things were real and baby would be arriving soon. John David was in the bathroom with me and I told him, “my final gender guess is boy!”

I stayed in the tub through 4 contractions (about 40 minutes) and decided it was probably best to try and get some rest since they were still 10 minutes apart. I got ready for bed, read more birth stories from my Ina May book and then laid down around 12. I had contractions at 12:10, 12:21, 12:33 and 12:44. With each, I’d wake up, hit the start button on the timer app, hit the stop button and fall back asleep.

On the Birth Ball

After the 12:44 contraction, I decided to try my birth ball. The next few contractions started averaging 5-6 minutes apart once I was on the ball.

Since contractions were now 5-6 minutes apart, we decided to call my midwife around 1:15 and she arrived around 2:00. I continued timing contractions, which were still averaging 5-6 minutes apart, until 2:30. At that point, Michelle was at our home and didn’t need to know the frequency, I was feeling the baby descend with each contraction and I felt that keeping track and seeing that they were still 5-6 minutes apart was discouraging to me.

Contraction

Once I stopped focusing on timing contractions and the time, I was just taking contractions one at a time. I am pretty positive they stayed 5-6 minutes apart. They never were painful, intense or close. With every contraction, I felt baby burrowing further and further down. The sensation of the contraction was just from the pressure of baby lowering. I had absolutely no back labor this time which made the contractions seem easy.

Squatting

Finally, I started feeling a little pushy and sat on the edge of the bed. I was feeling like I wanted to push but when I tried I just couldn’t. Michelle told me maybe it wasn’t time to push so I just embraced the contractions and tried not to think about pushing. I did change positions and started to squat in front of the bed. After a few contractions, I kneeled on my knees and was given a pillow to kneel on.

Pushing

Finally, I was comfortable and started to really feel pushy. I started pushing and felt a little helpless for the first time during this labor but knew that this was transition and the end was near. I was trying to think about meeting our baby but couldn’t focus on that thought due to all of the pressure. Transition happened quickly and before I knew it I was pushing.

Baby's Birth

Pushing seemed intense and was definitely the hardest part of this birth. I pushed twice and felt baby’s head come out and felt some relief but knew I had at least one more push to go. I pushed hard and felt the rest of baby come out. Michelle put baby between my legs, right in front of me. I glanced down and thought baby was a boy, which was what I was thinking. I then put my head on the bed to rest and Michelle told me, “look at your baby, pick up your baby.”

Baby Girl

I looked back down and saw the cord draped between baby’s legs and again thought it was a boy. I moved the cord and saw that we had a girl! I was surprised at that moment – a daughter, our Cecilia Rae! I scooped her up and started crying.

Holding Baby

Mommy, Daddy, Baby

John David, my midwife and her assistant helped me onto the bed where I started nursing my baby girl and easily delivered the placenta. My midwife  mashed on my belly and had me drink juice while I was nursing. Then I was given toast and honey to eat and it was so, so good after labor!

I asked about the time of her birth and they told me that she was born at 5:21 am. I was amazed that she was born so late. I was in active labor for 4.5 hours and nearly 11 hours total labor from the start of contractions. Of course, the 4.5 hours were slow, steady labor but I was amazed it took that long.

Herb Bath

About an hour after the birth, the midwives helped me get out of my clothes and walk to the bathroom for a warm herb bath with baby. How wonderful that felt and it was nice to get cleaned off in such a soothing way. After the bath, I was partially dressed and climbed into bed to be examined- no tears with this baby that needed stitches!

Then, we started focusing on Cecilia. She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20.25 inches long and everything looked wonderful during her newborn exam.

After Cecilia’s exam, my midwife dressed and swaddled her and gave her back to me to nurse. She gave us some instructions about the baby and me and then left around 7:30.

John David and I put Cecilia between us and were able to sleep, in our bed, until 8:15 when Weston woke up.

Weston walked into our room, saw Cecilia lying in the bed and asked, “whose baby is that?” We told him that she is our baby. Weston climbed int the bed and started looking at her. We let him hold her and oh, how precious that moment was!

A few minutes later Paxton staggered into the room. He was still half asleep and climbed into the bed with us without noticing the baby. After a few minutes he noticed and we told him that he had a baby sister! We let Paxton hold her and then spent some time in bed talking with the boys and admiring our new baby – a memory I’ll cherish forever.

We’re so thankful for our calm, relaxing homebirth. Everything was so peaceful and our boys slept through everything which is exactly what we were hoping for.

The births of all of our children have been wonderful moments in my life but this birth evokes nothing but positive thoughts and memories. The calm atmosphere, the comfort of home, the care of nurturing midwives, not being separated from my baby and being able to sleep in my own bed after the birth are the wonderful benefits of having a homebirth.

And, we’re still in awe of our sweet baby girl.

My other births:

First Baby – Paxton’s Birth Story 

Second Baby – Weston’s Birth Story

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March 2014 was all about baby! From the last weeks of pregnancy, to baby’s birth and the first few days with a newborn.

37 Weeks

On March 3, I was 37 weeks pregnant! The next day, was my 27th birthday. We celebrated simply – we had planned to go out to dinner but both boys had runny noses and didn’t feel well so we decided to cancel our babysitter plans and celebrate at home. John David brought home ice cream and we enjoyed that after the boys were in bed.

Belly Coloring

One lazy Sunday afternoon, we took some belly pictures and then let the boys color my belly. They both had fun creating a masterpiece.

Belly Comparison

We took a 38 week picture of my belly wearing the same dress I wore in my 38 week pictures with both boys. Based on the shape of my belly alone, I was pretty convinced that baby #3 was a boy.

Cecilia

On March 20 (the first day of spring), we welcomed our baby GIRL, Cecilia into our family! We were so surprised to find out baby was a girl!

Big Brothers

Our boys are completely enamored with their baby sister! They both kiss her every chance they get. It has been fun watching them in their new roles of big brothers to a baby sister.

Family

We’re slowly settling into life as a family of 5 – Cecilia is a very laid back baby and has made the adjustment pretty easy so far.

We’ve also been blessed with family and friends taking care of us. Both sets of our parents have visited and helped out with laundry, meal preparation, kitchen clean up and have taken care of the boys, allowing us to rest. Friends from church have blessed us with several meals which we’re so thankful for.

Baby K'Tan

I’m soaking up these fleeting moments with a teeny newborn. After having 2 babies already, I know how fast these days pass and I’m trying to just savor it all. There really is nothing quite as sweet as a newborn baby.

Baby Girl Clothes

My sister visited for a few days and brought a huge box of clothes from her girls! It was fun sorting through all the adorable baby girl clothes. We now have a storage tote full of clothes for Cecilia to grow into over the next 2 years. Between hand-me-downs and clothing gifts from family and friends, she needs very little!

Mama and Daughter

I was pretty certain we were going to have another boy and I was completely content being a mama to only boys. When I was younger I dreamed of having a daughter but once I had the boys, it was hard to picture our family with a little girl. However, once she was born, I realized that dream of having a daughter still was there – I am excited about our mother-daughter relationship.

And, those brothers of hers love her and their mama! We’ve both been receiving flowers from them now that flowers (and weeds) are blooming!

Sweet Big Brothers

This sweet picture was taken on March 31, Cecilia’s due date!

I hope to get back to posting weekly here soon and am excited to share Cecilia’s birth story!

Cecilia Rae

We welcomed our daughter, Cecilia Rae, on March 20 at 5:21 am.

She was born at home, weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 20.25 inches long.

Cecilia’s Birth Story

Minimal Maternity WardrobeI prefer to have a minimal wardrobe. It costs less, makes getting dressed easier and I love only wearing clothes that I feel great in.

When it comes to building a maternity wardrobe, it really makes sense to have a minimal wardrobe since you wear most of the items only 6 months or so.

At the end of my second pregnancy, I purged my maternity wardrobe, getting rid of things that were ill fitting, non-flattering and pieces I never wore. (I look back at some pictures from my previous two pregnancies and cringe at some of the ill fitting clothes I wore. I had a much larger wardrobe for those two pregnancies but it would have been better to have a smaller wardrobe with flattering clothes!)

At the beginning of this pregnancy, I once again went through the box of maternity clothes and donated a few things that I didn’t love, didn’t think I’d wear and weren’t my style (tastes change over the course of 2 years!)

I was able to wear most of my regular tops until I was 25 weeks – with maternity jeans (I embraced those around 10 weeks!). Once those shirts were getting too small, I evaluated my maternity clothing and saw there were a few gaps – mainly I needed shirts.

I purchased one pair of maternity jeans for $6, a purple tee for $5 and a maroon tee for $5. (All of these were purchased at a local resale store!) And, I was given a black tee. These 4 pieces, mainly the comfy shirts, really helped expand my maternity wardrobe.

Here’s my maternity wardrobe:

Maternity Shirts

Tops:

1. Grey Sweater (long sleeve)

2. Purple Tee (long sleeve)

3. Black Shirt (long sleeve)

4. Pink Shirt (3/4 sleeve)

5. Maroon Tee (long sleeve)

6. Black Tee (long sleeve)

These 6 tops are worn just about every time I leave the house. I also will wear the tees on days I stay home.

Since all of these tops are solids, the look of them can easily be changed with a scarf or a chunky necklace which makes me feel like I have more options than just 6 shirts!

Maternity Dresses

Dresses:

1. Red Polka Dot Dress

2. Blue Paisley Dress

3. Purple Dress

4. Pink/Black/White Dress

5. Black Sleeveless Dress *

6. Black/Grey Sweater Dress

*A few days after this photo was taken, I tried the black sleeveless dress on and it was way too small! So, it was decommissioned at 32 weeks!

**Only two of these dresses (the two in the middle) are actual maternity dresses, the rest are regular dresses that have enough room for a growing belly.

I typically wear dresses to church on Sundays with leggings and a black cardigan. I also will occasionally wear a dress with leggings at home because honestly, it’s just about as comfortable as being in pajamas except I look like I put forth effort in my appearance!
Maternity Pants

Pants:

3 Pair Jeans

1 Pair Black Dress pants

Comfortable jeans are a must! All 3 of these are very comfortable. In my past 2 pregnancies, I had a few pair of jeans that I hated to wear because they were so uncomfortable – I passed those on and am much happier with these – especially my new pair (in the middle – that belly panel is so comfy!)

I don’t wear the black dress pants too often because I prefer to wear a dress and leggings to church and on the rare occasion I need to dress up. I’ve worn them with my grey sweater a few times with this pregnancy. I also think they’d look cute with my maroon or purple tees and scarves.
Maternity Pieces

Other:

1. Black Yoga Pants

2. Grey Yoga Pants

3. Black/Grey Flannel Shirts

4. Black T-shirt

5. Black Tights

6. Grey Tights

7. Black Cardigan

**The only maternity items in this photo are the black and grey yoga pants, the rest are staples in my non-maternity wardrobe that work during pregnancy too!

These are essential pieces in my wardrobe. Most days I’m home, you’ll find me in the yoga pants – being comfortable while pregnant is a priority of mine! I wear the black t-shirt and flannel shirt quite often on days spent at home. (I also have a couple short sleeve t-shirts that I’ll wear if I’m not caught up on laundry!)

With 7 weeks to go, I’m hoping that I won’t outgrow too many more clothes. If I do outgrow pieces, I suppose my wardrobe will become even more minimal and I’ll fully embrace wearing my husband’s shirts at home. Honestly, I don’t want to buy anymore maternity clothes – I’d much rather spend my money on a few flattering pieces for my postpartum body.

Other posts on my Minimal (non-maternity) Wardrobes:

The 33 Items in My Wardrobe

Small Fall and Winter Wardrobe

A Minimal Wardrobe

 

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