Saturday, June 21, 2014

Welcome Naomi!

On April 17th we welcomed Naomi Grace into the world and into our family. Forgive me for taking so long to post, but between the newest addition, her big brother and sister and all the happenings on the farm, life has been crazy busy.

Naomi's Birth Story

Both Nicolaus and Carleigh were born via C-section.With this pregnancy I really wanted a non-medicated Vaginal Birth (or VBAC).  I found an awesome OB who supported me in my goal as well as a Doula (Megan Diveley) who experienced a successful VBA2C herself. We agreed that if I did not deliver on my own by 41 weeks I would have another c-section because I tend to have large babies and risk to the baby and mother starts to increase at that point. Three days before the scheduled C-section I was dilated 3cm and about 80% effaced. My doctor told me that when I arrived at the hospital for my surgery, he would check me again and, if I had made more progress, we could try breaking my water to see if I could deliver vaginally. At about 4:30 am on the 17th I woke up to very strong contractions about 5 minutes apart. John and I headed to the hospital since we had to be there at 5 am to prep for what could possibly be another C-section. Since I was having consistent and strong contractions, I was pretty hopeful Naomi had decided to come without surgery. At 7:20 am my doctor checked me and I was 6cm and 90% effaced! So he went ahead and broke my water to give me a chance to deliver on my own. I couldn't believe it! No turning back now!

My contractions were consistent and strong. I really had hoped to be able to walk around as well as use the birthing tub to help ease some of the pain I was experiencing. However, since I had the two previous C-sections, my doctor really wanted a monitor on the baby at all times. That was very frustrating to say the least, but I was able to use the birthing ball close to the bed. John and Megan were so helpful with coping techniques. I seriously couldn't get enough counter pressure on my lower back so they took turns. Even though I REALLY wanted to have a med-free delivery, the pain from the contractions was incredibly intense. When I was checked at noon I was about 8cm dilated and I decided to get an epidural. The anesthesiologist gave me what he called a soft-block which started relieving the pain after about ten minutes. About this time John decided to get something to eat since he hadn't had anything yet that morning. I was so happy to have Megan there, not only to help me but also to enable John to have a break. Thank goodness he didn't take too long to eat because around 1pm my doctor came to check me and I was 10cm and 100% effaced. He told me I could start pushing and I just couldn't believe it. I was actually going to have my baby without surgery! With the soft block I could still feel pressure with each contraction and also move my legs a bit, so I was not as "paralyzed" as I thought I would be. I could actually feel the contractions before the monitor picked them up on the screen. I had my nurse, a nursing student, Megan and John all there to support me with each push. I couldn't have asked for a better team. After about 45 minutes my amazing nurse suggested I lower the top part of the bed just a touch and this slight change in position made the whole process take off. I literally felt Naomi make a huge shift forward and she was born about 15 minutes later. I even had to stop pushing to wait for the doctor to get there!

Heading to the hospital

Thinking of my "happy Place"

After epidural took effect

Naomi makes her debut (see her waving hand)

John cutting the cord

The most amazing moment/feeling ever

I am so thankful to have had this birth experience. As much as I wanted the med-free birth, I am happy I opted to get the epidural. I also strongly recommend having a doula whether its your first or, as in my case, third child. The care and attention she provided leading up to the birth, during and now after is amazing and so much appreciated. Andplusalso she took these wonderful pictures.

Hospital: Augusta Health
OBGYN: Dr. Thompson with Augusta Healthcare for Women
Doula: Megan Diveley 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday Carleigh!

My Dear Little Girl,
You are Spring Sunshine and a Summer Thunderstorm all rolled into one. A girl of fantastic imagination and a loving heart. I admire your honesty and your ability to take life in S-L-O-W-L-Y. You equally enjoy playing battle with your brother and having girl time painting your nails or playing dress up. You love princesses, ponies, singing songs and snuggles. You wear your heart on your sleeve and have more empathy at four years than many adults I know. Be patient with me my sweet girl as I learn to understand your constantly changing needs. I love witnessing who you are becoming. You are strong-willed and admittedly a challenge some days for Mommy and Daddy, but we wouldn't change you for anything and thank God for blessing our family with you.

Monday, February 17, 2014

So Much Going On

Our family has had quite a bit going on the last several months. As most of you know, a little more than halfway through his internship at Polyface this summer, John and I discovered we are expecting our third baby. Not the timing we had intended, but HE always has a plan. Shortly after receiving that good news, John was invited to manage one of Polyface's contract farms outside of Staunton, VA in the Shenandoah Valley. Additionally, he is now responsible for the school group tours of Polyface.

Immediately after Christmas we packed up and here we are at Briarmoore farm living in a 100+ years old farmhouse. Quite a change from our built-to-suit home in suburbia. I had planned on documenting more of our changes via this blog, but between packing, moving, unpacking, parenting, trying to homeschool and being pregnant on top of it...well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. Polyface also asked me to join their Henhouse blog and I am now the Polyface Chick featured on Sundays. I will try to link those posts up to this blog, but following the Henhouse is the best way to catch my ramblings there. Not to mention the fact that every "chick" has quite a different take on life as part of the Polyface family.

32 Weeks

Pregnancy: 32 weeks

Weight Gain: 18 pounds

Sleep: Most nights I sleep well, minus getting up to pee every couple of hours. Sometimes my reflux is bad even with the medication I'm taking so those nights I have to sleep practically sitting up.
Gender: Its a girl!

Name: Naomi Grace

Feeling: Actually pretty good except for feeling like I have to sit like a teenage boy slumped in my seat with legs spread wide. I swear this girl couldn't be any lower and I feel like I am squishing both of us when I sit normally or bend over.

Movement: She moves a lot and is developing sleep and wakeful patterns. Most of the time her arms and head are way down low in my belly and her feet get stuck up in my ribs. We are wondering if she will be he longest baby yet.

Belly: Big 

Next Appointment: at 34 Weeks. I'm very happy with the OB practice I decided on in our new town. They are supporting my decision to try for a VBA2C (Vaginal birth after two cesareans) as long as neither the baby nor I are compromised. I also met a Doula (or birthing coach) who successfully had a VBA2C a year ago). John and I are excited to have her help us in our birthing process.

Friday, January 10, 2014

27 weeks

At the end of this week I will be in the third trimester. What was that? Third trimester already? I cannot believe I have reached this milestone with baby number three!  When you already have two children to parent and need to pack up your home and move because your husband is changing careers time really does seem to fly.

Pregnancy: 27 weeks

Weight Gain: 16 pounds

Sleep: Some nights I sleep great, others not so much. I have to pay attention to what I eat in the evenings because certain foods trigger my pregnancy induced reflux. Chocolate seems to be the worst culprit (ahem--the chocolate peanut butter donut I ate the other night at nine after the kids went to sleep was not one of my best ideas.)
Gender: Its a girl!

Name: Naomi Grace

Feeling: Actually pretty good as long as I can prevent reflux at night.

Movement: Moving like crazy! She has hiccups all the time. Nicolaus loves to feel his baby sister move and especially likes to lay his head on my belly and have it pushed up and down by the movement. Carleigh isn't patient enough to wait, but she does talk to my belly and has already informed her sister she will share her hair bows and dress-up clothes

Belly: Definitely getting bigger!

Next Appointment:  Either the end of this month or in February. Since we moved I have to change providers...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Seeing Santa

For the past three years I have been taking the kids to see Santa in Downtown Winchester at a community center. Its such a great opportunity for parents because the photos are free with your own camera and they have crafts to keep the kiddos busy while you wait. Andplusalso, the people in charge really wised up last year and assigned each family a number as they entered so you don't even have to wait in an actual line. Sounds perfect, right? Except for one thing...the wait. Last year we literally waited 4 hours to see the big guy in red. Crazy, I know. But this Santa is awesome...real beard, very personable, and takes his time talking with your children about what they want and if they have been naughty or nice (thus the wait). So tonight when we walked into the community center to discover it was a totally fake looking different Santa, my heart sank. But guess who didn't care? That's right, my AMAZING kids. The wonder and excitement of the season was still there. There smiles just as big, their eyes just as wide. And to top it all off...when they each received their very special candy cane after sitting on Santa's lap, they explained to all who would listen the symbolism behind the confection. Now THAT touched this momma's heart more than any picture with Santa ever could.

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!