5 1/2 Years

Today is a big day over here. It is the first day in five and a half years that I am neither pregnant, nor nursing!! That’s right. I have been either growing a baby inside, or nourishing a baby outside for 5 1/2 years- non stop.

I feel blessed to have been able to carry all three of my girls to term. Three healthy births. Three beautiful healthy girls that call me Mama. It’s an honor I feel unworthy of.

IMG_2828

IMG_2820

IMG_2826

Nursing was my only option. I never imagined any other way. Thankful that God honored my plea and I was able to nurse all of my girls for over a year. Liesel and Moira nursed until 15months and Emaline until nearly 14 months. I enjoyed my bonding time with each of them. Time to sit and be still and fall deeper in love with my three miracles.

IMG_2817

IMG_2819

IMG_2822

IMG_2824

IMG_2825

IMG_2827

But the time has come for a (much welcomed) break. We still talk and dream of a fourth. Will we be blessed with another? Only God knows the answer. For now, we are taking some time. Time to grow and mature as a family. Time for ourselves. And time to enjoy a glass of wine…or two😉

Advertisements

Emaline’s Birth

Cannot believe a month has gone by since our Emaline was born. According to the books she is no longer a newborn but an infant😭. I know she will be turning one before we know it, so I’m glad to be sitting down and writing her birth story before the details start to get blurry.

The days leading up to her birth were hectic. Christmas was just around the corner. I was definitely ready for her arrival and prayed our baby would come before Christmas ( Due date was Christmas Day). I so desperately wanted to be home and feeling somewhat normal by the holiday. At my 38 week appointment I was shocked to learn that I was 3 cm dilated and 60% effaced. With both Liesel and Moira I was nowhere near that far along before labor began. I tried not to get my hopes up, but that small voice was always there, maybe tonight is the night! The following weekend I could tell things were really beginning to start. I had lots of on and off cramping and my brax and hicks were very strong, especially in the evenings. They would even become consistent but eventually die off and I’d fall asleep and wake up not in labor.

On Tuesday December 17th I woke to, what I thought would be, a normal day. I began getting the girls ready for the day and dressing Liesel for preschool. At about 7:30am my contractions began to come more regularly. I didn’t think much of it at the time because of the previous few nights of consistency to no avail. But 15 minutes later I could not ignore them, I was beginning to feel the pain in my back. Still unsure if this was for real, I calmly went upstairs to talk to Eric. I told him I’d take a bath to see if the contractions went away or remained and then we could go from there. Still unsure whether Liesel should go to school or not ( hated for her to miss so close to christmas break). However after only 15 minutes in the tub I knew this was it. The contractions remained about 5 minutes apart and the back pain made even these early on ones painful. I quickly told Eric that we should call his mom over to get the girls.

The next few minutes were a challenge. I was already having to breath through each contraction, and at the same time remain calm for my girls and continue getting them ready. It was wonderful having this time with them, knowing this would be our last moments together as a family of four. We were able to tell them that today was a surprise Mimi play day ( not wanting to bring up the baby aspect for fear of a repeat Liesel labor). The girls were so excited to get to play with Mimi and Papa! Once Eric’s mom arrived I kissed my girls one last time and sent them off. It was such a relief having them picked up, knowing they were in the best hands and going to have a blast! Now I could focus on what lay ahead of me. The contractions were getting stronger and closer with each passing minute. Eric ran around getting last minute things together, I remained on all fours ( being the best position to relieve my back pain). A little after 9 we got into the car and headed for the hospital. Eric called our doctors office to tell them we were on our way, they told him since we were a week before our due date, they’d prefer we come and get checked at the office before heading the triage. hahaha!! Eric took one look at me, breathing through contractions that were now 3 minutes apart, and knew there would be no office stop, we were going straight to triage.. After two labors he knew the signs loud and clear😃

The ride to the hospital was intense. I was able to close my eyes and get into the zone. Breathing and handling each contraction as they came. We arrived at the hospital just before 10am . Remembering back to Moira’s birth, Eric went directly to get a wheel chair. Although I probably could have walked to the L and D floor, it was nice being able to not break my concentration the whole way up to triage.

Once checked in they found that I was between 6-7cm dilated and 100% effaced. I breathed a sigh of relief, the pain was at least making progress! I had forgotten how terrible back labor was! I experienced it with Liesel, but had none with Moira. Each contraction was more difficult from the next. I stayed focused imagining my sweet little one in my arms, and I knew I had to get through the hard part to reach my reward and to finally find out if we were having a boy or girl!

It wasn’t long before I was being wheeled down to our L&D room. The contractions backed off some, now more like 3-4minutes apart, but still strong in the back. I prayed quietly through each contraction, Lord, you made me to do this! I know with your strength I can do anything. Please bring our little one here safely and Quickly!. I repeated this prayer over and over in my mind. The back pain was getting almost unbearable that I requested the birthing ball. Remembering how good this felt in Liesels labor. However, once on the ball everything catapulted into high gear. I was on the ball for only a few minutes when I felt a burst and water gushing! I instantly had the urge and the contractions were coming one after the other. It was 11:30am.

The nurses, our absolutely amazing nurses, rushed me into my bed to get checked. They found that I was almost 10cm but still had quite a lip in the front. It wasn’t pushing time yet. Insert balloon deflation. As calmly as I could I breathed through these ridiculous contractions. Still coming one after another. At about noon, my doctor arrived. After all the work I just went through, surely it was pushing time.

When checked our doctor looked at me and said, we still have a little lip. All of a sudden I was flooded with doubt. Were we headed into a repeat Liesel birth? One of 3 hours in transition?? I tried to remain calm. Breathing and remaining in my zone. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! Phil 4:13 I said this over and over, trying to convince myself. About every 5 minutes or so I would break my concentration. Not being able to stand the pain. maybe we needed the drugs this time?

They tried putting me in different positions to work on the lip. But each position made my pain stronger, I was loosing control. My doctor said she believed our baby to be posterior because of the back pain and front lip still being present. At this I was definitely feeling defeated, this sounded too familiar to Liesels birth.

At 12:45, I looked at Eric and my doctor and said, if this is going to go on for another hour or more, I need drugs. I don’t think I can do this! . Eric assured me I could and my doctor, so lovingly said it won’t be long now! I tried to trust them, but was doubting everything at this point.

A little before 1 I was checked and still not quite there. Not sure if it was the look on my face or my manor in general, but dr. Bemenderfer said, why don’t we try pushing? That will focus us somewhere other than the contractions. Try pushing? really? Were we just going to wing it? I had no urge at this point. Eric and I exchanged glances and shrugged as if to say, why not?

So at 1pm the pushing began. It seemed to last an eternity! I held on to my legs while Eric counted, trying to force this little one out. I felt so out of control. Until the pressure picked up tenfold. I felt like I was sitting on my baby. After a few pleas to get this baby out and a few more big pushes out our baby came, it was 1:14pm. I exhaled and looked at another precious little one, it’s a girl!. I remember locking eyes with my husband’s tear filled eyes and being overcome with emotions. Our little Emaline Noel took my breath away. I could not stop looking at her and kissing her. Another miracle, another gift from God!

20140116-160917.jpg

20140116-160927.jpg

After having some skin to skin time, they took Emaline to get her stats. I remember looking at the weigh table in disbelief as it clearly read 9lbs 14.6oz! Was this correct, did I really just birth a ten pound baby??!!

20140116-161115.jpgThank you Jesus for bringing her one week early! Although she was big she seemed so small and absolutely perfect to us! We loved every ounce of her and could not stop thanking and praising God! We are so undeserving.

20140116-161308.jpg

20140117-134037.jpg

20140117-134109.jpg

20140117-134124.jpg

Moira’s Birth

I cannot believe my little baby turned 10 months on Saturday! Where has the time gone?! I decided I needed to put all my birth notes together and, finally, write her birth story before she turns 5!  Liesel’s will be uploaded soon. I wrote hers just days after she was born! Funny how things start to slip once you have more children…

My pregnancy with Moira had been very easy. Honestly, I love being pregnant! Both my girls have spoiled me.  However, once February rolled around I was ready to be done and finally meet my little one.  And as you can see there was barely any more room at the inn!37 weeks 003

The week leading up to MJ’s birth was busy! Liesel had come down with a fever and I prayed we would all be sickfree before our baby made her entrance. Thankfully our prayers were answered and Moira waited until her big sister was feeling 100%!

To say I was nervous about having to go through labor again would be a HUGE understatement! From the moment I saw two lines on the pregnancy stick I began worrying about my labor and delivery. I tried to convince myself that this L&D could not possibly be worse than my 28 hour one with Liesel! Everyone I talked with seemed to say that labors were always shorter with number two and I prayed it would be true for me. Thinking maybe this labor would be only 15 hours or so. I tried not to dwell on it and with chasing after a very busy 18 month old, it was very easy to do!

The Monday before I went into labor I could tell things were beginning to happen. The nightly stomach cramping was more frequent and my brax and hicks were more consistent. I tried not to get my hopes up remembering back to my pregnancy with Liesel and the seemingly unending waiting game. Tuesday was a wonderful day. Liesel was finally back to her old self and Eric had a slower day at work, so we were able to spend the afternoon together for what would be our last time as a family of three! That evening I put Liesel to bed as normal and had a nice quiet evening with Eric. No real baby signs besides the cramping.

At 4am I woke up to some strong, yet inconsistent, contractions. I went to the bathroom and when I came back to bed Eric joked, “Are you in labor?” To which I just laughed off, remembering having these exact kind of contractions days before Liesel made her entrance. For the next hour I was in and out of sleep until finally at 5am I decided to get into the tub to relax. Still thinking this may not be the real thing, and even if it was, we were still probably hours away from leaving for the hospital.

While in the tub the contractions started to become more and more regular. And man did they hurt (funny how you forget the pain, yet remember it in the moment instantly)! I had my phone with me so I decided to start timing. Every 5 minutes I would have a strong contraction with a small, and what I thought to be, unrecordable contraction every 2 1/2 minutes. Around 6am I decided it was time to get out of the tub and begin packing for the hospital. Side note. After our extremely long labor with Liesel I remembered a friend saying a way they stalled going to the hospital was by packing once labor began. This idea seemed perfect for us! So weeks before our due date I made a detailed list of what we would need to bring and hung it on the refrigerator. The moment I stepped foot out of the tub my contraction hit me like a ton of bricks and I instantly fell to my knees. I decided now would probably be a good time to wake Eric.

I told him things were progressing and he should call his mom to come over for Liesel. “Tell her not to rush, but maybe come over by 7 or so, when Liesel would usually be waking up.” We are forever grateful that Teri went against our better judgement and came over as quickly as possible!

I started for the door to gather my list when I had to stop again for a ridiculously strong contraction requiring concentration and breathing. Eric was up trying to gather phone numbers for his members whom he had appointments with for the day. Of course labor would be on a day Eric had 4 appointments set! It seemed as though the moment I would be back up on my feet another one would hit keeping me from being able to complete any task. Why did I think it was a good idea to wait to pack our bags again?? I finally called for Eric demanding he pack the hospital bag. Both of us were unsure as to what was going on. Eric not understanding that the contractions were as hard as they were. And me believing this was still early labor and I had somehow become extremely weak since my labor with Liesel.

Teri arrived by 6:30, while Eric was scurrying around trying to locate all of our belongings and I was on the floor barely moving. Finally we were ready and, just as Liesel was starting to wake up, we hurried out the door so she wouldn’t see us. At 7am we were on the road heading for the hospital. My contractions seemed to be one after another. Neither of us were timing them. Partly because we were rushing and partly because we both still believed we couldn’t be that far along already! Once on I-69 I got into a zone. Everything was blocked out, I could focus on breathing and remain in control. Until Eric slammed on the brakes. 7am rush hour. I gasped! Focus broken. I remember thinking if I get to the hospital and I am only 5cm, I am getting an epidural. End. Of. Story.

We pulled into the hospital around 7:30 and Eric pulled into the parking garage. This is what we had done with Liesel and we both thought I would be able to walk to the elevators. Wrong. It took me forever to even get out of the car. Once out of the car I took about 3 steps and fell to my knees again. I could not believe I was so weak. My water was not even broken yet. Why can’t I do this? A man passing by asked Eric if everything was ok, to which Eric automatically replied ” oh yes, we are fine.” HA! Again neither of us believed we could be far along, its only been 3 hours since my contractions began!

Luckily there was a wheel chair for me when we entered the hospital and I was able to get into a semi- zone as we headed to the L&D floor. I began dry heaving and losing my concentration as I was wheeled into triage. And, for some reason Eric was needed to fill out paperwork even-though we had preregistered!!

The staff in triage immediately looked at me and said “page her doctor quick. She may deliver in here.” I remember thinking they have no idea what they are talking about!! My water hasn’t broken and they haven’t even checked me! Once they do they’ll see. I’m sure I’m only 5-6cm at best. However, it turns out they did know! thank God. The moment I sat on the bed my water broke. At that same moment Eric walked in. A few moments later Dr. Bemenderfer stepped in. Wow was I glad to see her! I absolutely adore our obgyn! She has such a loving, motherly calmness to her. Once she checked me she looked at me, smiled, and said “you’re almost there, Tricia. 9.5cm. All I need is one more contraction and it’s time to push!” Some of the most amazing words I could ever hear. I could have cried, come to think of it I did! One strong contraction came and went. I quickly flipped into pushing position. Eric held my hand helping me breathe with every push. Three pushes later and out came another absolutely beautiful, amazingly perfect baby at 8:03am. “It’s a girl!” Dr. Bemenderfer exclaimed, “Liesel has a little sister!” Praise God from whom all Blessings flow! Moira Jane was instantly put on my bare chest and every loving and wonderful emotion came rushing through. It is true what they say, love multiplies! I loved this little girl completely and entirely from the moment I felt her on my chest. She immediately latched on and nursed the entire time they wheeled me down the hall to our room.
wpid-2012-02-089508.19.24.jpg

Once in our room. [Our extremely large Natural Birthing Suite. Big enough to fit our birthing tub:) Better to be over-prepared than under;)] Eric and I held eachother with our little girl, and exhaled. We both had adrenaline kicking in high gear from all the excitement! And we both could not believe it was only 8:30am and we were already holding, kissing and loving our sweet Moira Jane! God is good! SAMSUNG
wpid-2012-02-08-17.44.12.jpg