In anticipation of the arrival of our third baby, I’m sharing my first two birth stories!

This is the birth story of my first son, Paxton. Looking back at his birth experience, there are things I wish I would have done differently {mainly not being induced and having an epidural}.  Even though I don’t agree with the choices I made then, we’re so thankful the induction resulted in an easy labor, delivery and healthy baby boy! 

On Monday, April 12th, we decided, under the guidance of our OB, that we were going to induce on Friday, April 16. I was 1 centimeter dilated and 70% effaced which my OB said was better than dilation. There wasn’t any medical reason to induce but according to my calculations I would be 40 weeks on the 16th.

I had some friends inquire about our decision to induce and honestly I wondered if we had made the right decision. I prayed about it and asked God to reveal to me through John David or my parents or someone very close to me if we weren’t supposed to induce. Over the next few days no one mentioned it and I had a peace about our decision.

On the 16th, we woke up at 5:00 and got ready to head to the hospital. We arrived around 6:00 and were lead to our room, room 405.


One last belly picture, me at 39 weeks, 2 days.

With our friend Megan who is a Nursery Nurse. She got off shift at 7 a.m. and came for a quick visit and encouraged me.

As Megan was leaving around 7:10, a nurse came in and hooked me up to the monitors. We were able to hear our sweet boy’s heartbeat.

At 7:30 another L&D nurse came in with our OB and he checked me, at this point I was 70% effaced and a tight 2 centimeters dilated.  Then they broke my water. I was unsure about how this would go, I expected it to be very uncomfortable but it wasn’t that bad at all.

After my water had been broken and before my L&D nurse arrived and I was hooked up to my IV.

I was able to journal throughout the process and I am so glad I did because my memory of all of the events of the morning are somewhat fuzzy now.

Around 9:00 my contractions started picking up and becoming more and more intense. John David and I worked through them. I breathed and he had me count 1, 2, 3…..we got up to 45 a few times. Contractions were so strange, on one hand they were not painful but then they were absolutely horrible! Around 9:30 they were about 2 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds.

Working through one of the contractions. (When this one was over I looked at John David and said “I know you didn’t take a picture of me!” I am glad he did now…this picture truly conveys the way I felt.

At 9:45 my nurse came in to check me and she said, “Oh my goodness, you are 7 centimeters.” We were shocked but it explained the intensity of my contractions. She told me if I was going to have an epidural that I needed to have it done then. She told me she thought I could go natural but I decided that I was going to brave my fear of the needle for some pain relief. She also saw a little meconium in the amniotic fluid and notified the nursery, it actually was very light colored so she thought it happened recently.

Around 10:00 I received my epidural. My anesthesiologist did a wonderful job and my husband did an even better job helping me through contractions while I was getting the epidural. In fact, the anesthesiologist told us John David was the best dad he’s seen.

Losing feeling in my legs was really strange but not feeling my contractions was awesome. I felt completely relaxed and wonderful and was able to enjoy the next 2 hours and continue my journaling (I never would have been able to journal otherwise.) Since things were progressing so quickly we started joking that we’d have a baby by lunchtime. Our doctor had been telling us hopefully you’ll come in and progress quickly and have a baby by lunch. (We thought that sounded wonderful!)


Our last picture as a family of two.

Around 11:50 I was completely dilated and our nurse said we were ready for pushing. We did 3 practice pushes with a contraction and she called my OB.  While we were waiting to start really pushing I asked our nurse what she guessed the baby would weigh, she said I think he is going to be a small baby, about 7 pounds. I told her I was guessing no more than 7.5 pounds.

At 12:05 we started pushing and even stopped for about 5 minutes as the baby was crowning to wait for my OB to arrive. My OB arrived, the nursery nurse came to the room and we started pushing. After 29 minutes of pushing, at 12:34 Paxton Graham arrived crying loudly. Both our OB and L&D nurse said that is a big baby. My OB asked where was I hiding him. After he was delivered I inquired if I had an episitomy (which I was really hoping to avoid). He told me yes, I had an episitomy and then ripped because baby was so big he had to tug pretty hard on his shoulders.


Seeing my baby boy for the first time. He was the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen and I was overwhelmed with emotion and crying.


Our beautiful baby. His daddy cut the cord and watched him get cleaned off.

Our OB had another patient almost ready to deliver but he waited for Paxton to be weighed before he left because he wanted to see how much he weighed.

Paxton weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces. I think everybody in the delivery room was shocked. I really was expecting a small baby but we got a healthy 8.5 pound baby boy.

After seeing meconium in the amniotic fluid and delivering an 8.5 pound baby we were confident that inducing was the best thing for us to do. Our OB said if we had waited until our due date he probably would have weighed around 9 pounds and since it was difficult to get him out at 8.5 there was a possibility that I would have had a c-section.

We are so thankful that I had an easy labor and delivery and a completely healthy, perfectly formed baby boy. Now the adventure truly begins, parenting our little miracle.

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Basics for Baby

What do babies really need?

After having two babies and expecting my third (due in just a few weeks!), I’ve learned that babies really don’t need much at all.

With each baby, we’ve pared down more and more and now are left with the basics.

Here’s my list of basics for baby:

Food

If you’re breastfeeding, you provide the food! (And, it’s nice to have a breast pumpand 2-3 bottles as well as nursing bras, camisoles and nursing pads for mama!)

For formula feeding you’ll need bottles, formula, maybe even a bottle warmer.

Diapers and Wipes

If you’re using disposables, you just need diapers, wipes and diaper cream!

If you’re using cloth diapers and planning to do it full time, I recommend a minimum of 20 diapers. Baby should average about 8 diapers a day so 20 is a good number with washing every other day. You’ll also need wipes, dirty diaper storage (either an actual diaper pail or a hanging wet bag) and a small or medium wet bag if you plan to cloth diaper outside the home. And, you’ll need a cloth diaper safe diaper cream and laundry detergent.

Clothing

Baby clothes are adorable but there are a ton of clothes out there that are impractical and maybe even uncomfortable for a baby. For little bitty babies, I prefer cotton body suits, pants and one pieces.

Here are the basics for newborns:

8-10 bodysuits (long or short sleeve depending on season)
4-6 cotton pants
2-6 one piece outfits (long or short rompers)
6-8 sleepers (I personally prefer snaps, others love the zippers)
10 pair of socks
2-4 hats
2-4 pair of mittens

You can get by with less if you are washing clothes regularly. I do a load of laundry nearly every day to stay on top of laundry so we can get by with fewer clothes. If you do laundry less often, you probably will want to have more.

Baby clothes are definitely a fun part of having a baby (especially a first baby) but it’s good to have limits so you don’t get overrun with baby clothes!

A place to sleep

This just depends on your preference. If you’re setting up the nursery in your room, baby can sleep in the crib from day one.

With our first baby, we had a (borrowed) Pack ‘n Play in our room. With our second baby, we had a (borrowed) bassinet in our room. Our second son actually slept better slightly propped so we ended up using our Infant To Toddler Rocker and some nights he co-slept just because it was so much easier!

And you’ll need 2-3 crib sheets and 1-2 crib mattress pad covers. The fancy crib bedding is not necessary. We used bumpers for about 6 months with our first and never with our second.

Car Seat

Infant car seats are not an absolute necessity but are nice. If you have a winter baby, they are more of a need since baby can stay snug in the seat while out and about. For a spring and summer baby, you can get by without one and just start out with a convertible car seat. We have an infant seat that we received when our first baby was born. We used it with our second too since we had it. (Although, we got it out of the car maybe 5 times ever – thanks to a mild winter). We still have that seat so we’ll use it for #3 too.

Blankets

I love muslin swaddle blankets, a four pack should be plenty. They’re great for swaddling, for nursing covers, and to use as crib blankets when baby gets older (My boys still sleep with them in the summer).

A quilt is nice to use as a play mat and thicker blankets (muslin, crocheted or knitted) are nice when it gets cooler. 1 quilt and 1-2 thicker blankets should be plenty.

Bibs/Burp Cloths

4-6 bibs as a minimum, if baby spits up a lot or is a drooler, you’ll need more.

10-12 burp cloths. I prefer thin ‘cloth diapers’, they make great ‘hankies’ too!

Baby Carrier

This is a must have for me because I believe having a baby in a carrier is much easier for mama than lugging a heavy infant seat around and baby would much rather be on mama than in a seat.

I had a Moby Wrap with my first baby. It was very comfortable but tying it up isn’t exactly easy, especially while out of the home.

For my second baby, I purchased a Baby K’tan which feels a lot like a Moby but is much easier! I used the Baby K’tan when he was tiny. When he was about 6 months, I switched to a soft structured carrier, a BOBA 3G.

Toiletries
A bottle of baby shampoo & wash and baby nail clippers. Baby lotion is nice but I almost never use it.

Babies really don’t need much.

There’s no need to spend a lot on expensive baby gear, the latest and greatest baby gadgets and huge wardrobes for tiny babies. Stick to the basics, you’ll have more money and your home will not be overtaken with baby things!

What’s on your baby basics list?

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February 2014 was a month full of baby preparations, playing outside (both in snow and spring like weather!), a lot of reading and savoring time with our 2 little boys.

Naptime

Weston is still struggling with napping on his own. We think he just needs the security of someone nearby to sleep. I’m still rocking him most afternoons (no clue what we’ll do when baby arrives but we’ll manage when the time comes!) On the weekends, John David often lies down with him – and sometimes I’ll find both of them snoozing away which warms my heart!
Preparing for Baby

Early in the month, I was feeling absolutely overwhelmed with what needed to be done to feel ready for baby’s arrival. I finally sat down and made out a list of projects for me, for John David and for us to do together. Getting it out of my head and onto paper immediately eliminated some stress. We posted the list on the fridge and all but 2 items have been completed!
Snow

We woke up to snow on February 11! It ended up snowing the next 2 nights so John David was home with us for those 3 snow days (remember, the south all but shuts down for snow!) The boys enjoyed playing in the snow with their daddy and I’m so glad they have been able to experience snow this winter.

Painted Dining Room

One of the projects on my ‘preparing for baby’ list was to paint the dining room and kitchen. The walls had been painted with flat paint which was very difficult to clean. My mother-in-law came down one weekend and painted for us. She and John David painted the kitchen and dining room walls and all of the trim in those two rooms! It looks great and will be so much easier to keep the walls clean. Kitchen Helper

Another before baby project is making some freezer friendly friends. I’ve made a few casseroles, muffins, beans, granola, soups and more to stock our freezers. Paxton helped me make some biscuits one afternoon. He really enjoyed helping me mix everything, roll out the dough and cut the biscuits out. And, of course he really enjoyed his sample once they were baked. My freezers are overflowing and I’ve had to stop freezer cooking even though I’d love to freeze more. (Something about expecting a baby makes me want to hoard food!) Mama and Weston

We took a few ‘maternity’ pictures – this is my favorite with Weston! I just wanted a few sweet pictures of me with my boys but out of all the pictures we took, only a few were decent. The reality of life with little ones – don’t set expectations!
34 Weeks

This is my favorite of me (and you can see Weston lingering in the background). I was 34 weeks 5 days pregnant here.

eBook Editing

Another big project for February has been finalizing an eBook about cloth diapers! I actually started on this eBook last January and worked on it off and on until this past summer. Then morning sickness hit and I abandoned the project. It’s exciting that the end is so near with this project. I’ll be sharing more soon!

We’re excited about March – unless baby is overdue he/she will arrive this month!

Gender Neutral Newborn Wardrobe

Deciding not to find out the gender of this baby has definitely helped keep things minimal.

I kept a few newborn items that my second son wore and most of those items were neutral so I had a small foundation for this baby’s wardrobe.

Over the past few months, I’ve acquired a few more items and now have a small gender neutral newborn wardrobe.

I’ve been intentional about not acquiring too many things because newborn babies grow fast and all 3 of our children will be sharing a room so I’m keeping their wardrobes minimal so we don’t become overrun with clothing!

All of the items that I’ve purchased have come from a local resale store and we were given some white bodysuits.

All of these clothes are basic, cotton baby clothes. After having 2 babies, I know that I prefer comfortable cotton clothing that is easy to put on a newborn – making those frequent diaper changes easier for baby and mama.

Here’s a glimpse into baby’s wardrobe:

Neutral Newborn Clothes

  • 1 gown
  • 4 white bodysuits (2 aren’t pictured)
  • 2 long sleeve side snap shirts
  • 1 short sleeve side snap shirt
  • 5 pair of cotton pants
  • 2 one piece rompers
  • 1 cotton hat
  • 6 pair of socks
  • 3 pair of mittens

In addition to these clothes, I have a ‘little brother’ bodysuit that was my second son’s and 2 boy sleepers that a baby boy will wear. And, I have several bodysuits and a few one pieces that belonged to my sister’s girls so if baby is a girl,  those items with mix in with these.

And, I am pretty certain family and friends will be gifting us clothes for the new baby – especially if we’re welcoming a daughter.

In no way do I think this is the perfect number of clothes for a new baby. I do think it is a good foundational neutral wardrobe for a newborn.

If we aren’t given any extra clothes for baby, I know this wardrobe will be enough for baby. We’re already averaging a load of laundry a day for our family of 4. I know we’re going to be washing a load daily once baby arrives – there will be 5 people in our family plus burp cloths, swaddle blankets and sheets to wash.

The fact that we do wash clothes frequently allows us to have fewer clothes. If you wash less frequently, it may be a bit scary to have so few clothes and there is nothing wrong with having more clothes for your baby!

With 5 weeks left until my due date, I’m looking forward to meeting the tiny person who will wear these sweet little clothes!

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