Sunday, December 30, 2012

Grace's Birth-Part 1

This birth story is much different than my previous stories.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would need to deliver back in the hospital.  After my last home birth, and my second significant hemorrhage, the hospital would be the safest place for me.

It is really difficult to return back to the hospital after home birthing.  Even though I'd had seven wonderful hospital births, something changes psychologically after you've home birthed.  At least, for me it did.

About a month before my due date, my husband and I asked my doctor when he would be on call.  One very important aspect of the impending birth was that I delivered with my beloved and trusted OB doctor.  If I had to be in the hospital, I had to have my own doctor.   I realized that it was not so much the birth itself that I needed him, it was the potential post-partum issues I needed him for.  If I would require any type of emergency intervention at all, I must have the doctor with whom I've known for 12 years, and whom I would trust to make a quick decision on my behalf. 

The day we would shoot for was November 8th.  We knew that day my doctor would be on call for 24 hours.  We also knew that having baby number 10 would pretty much squelch any questions about my being in labor if I wandered in a week before my due date.  :)

So, it was time.  November 8th was here and we had to decide if we really wanted to proceed with that day.  I struggled off and on about going into the hospital before it was "time".  I am all about waiting for things to happen on their own.  So the thought of going in before made me a nervous wreck.  But after more discussion about facing a possible emergency situation and having my own doctor, we knew this was the best decision. 

The ride to the hospital was very quiet.  My husband I both were secretly wondering how everything would play out.  We were very excited about meeting this precious baby, but we were both nervous about what would unfold after the birth.  No matter how much we prayed, how much Scripture we read and recited, or how many people told us to "give it to God", we were just plain nervous!  It's just something you can't understand unless you've been there.  We trusted God with all our hearts and minds, but it didn't take away the fears of what His plan might be after the birth.  I don't mean to sound ominous here.  We new my life was not in danger, it's just that hemorrhaging is a scary thing, and it feels terrible.  I didn't want to face what I had in the past, and was praying I wouldn't have to.

We arrived at the hospital about noon.  And as I predicted, the nurses didn't hesitate to get me right into a room upon hearing I was in early labor.  Thankfully, I had been having enough contractions to genuinely say that I was in early labor.

Once I was settled, I was started on antibiotics for GBS.  Shortly after that, we discussed the possibility of an epidural.  Leading up to the birth, this was another decision we tossed around, again,  because of my post-partum issues.  If I would need quick attention, an epidural would prepare me for whatever needed to be done.  If I didn't have an epidural, it could mean possible general anesthesia. 

So many decisions.  I felt lost.  This birth challenged me in every possible way.  Everything pointed toward intervention and I didn't like it.  After one more discussion about an epidural, we decided it would be best to go ahead and do it. 

Just before my second round of antibiotics, I received the epidural.  It was a challenge getting it in, and it took quite a while for it to kick in.  I had second thoughts about having received it, but it was too late.

It was now time to get the show on the road.  The doctor came in and broke my water.  This is something I opted for to avoid pitocin.  We were officially on our way to meeting our baby.  My two older daughters and friends had arrived and we all had a great time talking and laughing.

The labor was a bit slow going (for me), but after about five hours of labor, it was time to push!  Thankfully, despite the epidural, I was still very much in control of my pushing and I could feel our baby move down.  And at 9:55pm, she was here!  We were all surprised she was a girl since the whole family had guessed a boy.  But we were thrilled and completely in love with our seventh daughter!  She was perfect! 

My doctor laid her on my abdomen, skin-to-skin, and waited while allowing the cord to stop pulsing.  As soon as Grace was born, the nurse turned up the pitocin to get my uterus contracting to minimize the bleeding.  I held my sweet baby and took in all that I could, trying not to worry about whether or not I was bleeding too much.

My doctor massaged my abdomen steadily for quite a while and then said everything looked good!  I was speechless!  No hemorrhaging?  I couldn't believe it!  God had allowed everything to go as smoothly as possible, and I was absolutely fine!  Praise God!

After about an hour of wonderful bonding time with our baby girl, the nurse came over to administer the vitamin K shot and the prophylactic eye ointment. 

But we kindly refused them both. 

At that moment, things changed and before we knew it, we were being told that we would be reported to CPS.

To be continued......

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Security From Yesterday

At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.
Oswald Chambers

Friday, December 28, 2012

A New Look

I've never been a huge fan of my blog "look".  I spent hours trying to customize it, but never really achieved what I was hoping for.

So on a whim, I thought I'd change things up a bit.  I still don't looove it, but it's something new.  Maybe someday I can hire a designer or invest the time to learn design myself.  However, I had fun changing some elements and I'll probably even play around with it a little more.

In addition to a new look, I also added my labels on the sidebar.  Just scroll down a bit and you'll see all the categories on the right.  This will help significantly with navigating my blog.  And on a cool note, changing the template has helped my page to load much faster now.  Hooray!

So what do you think?  Do you have any design ideas for me? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Impromptu Family Photo Shoot

You may remember in my last post when I said I was going to drag my family to our neighborhood trails to finally get family photos.
Well, I did it!
Saturday evening, I decided that after church on Sunday, we would get some family photos.  I knew my married daughter, Cheyenne, was coming over for dinner, so all 10 kids would be present.  In addition, the kids would be presentable since they would have their church clothes on already.  A two for one deal.  ; )
So after naps, we took our brood to the trails and did our best to get photos.  Can you believe it was 80 degrees on Sunday, and that we actually got eaten up by mosquitoes?  Crazy!
While there isn't a single photo where every kid is looking at the camera, or someone isn't sporting a goofy face or squinty eyes, I love them all!  And I'm so glad we just went out there did it.  I know that in the years to come, I will look back at these and laugh at those sweet goofy faces, and wonder where the years have gone!  And I will be so thankful we took the time to do it.  And that makes this photo shoot a success...goofy grins and all!  I hope in the near future we can get professional photos done again, but until then, I will treasure these!
I posted one photo from each set.  Here they are!
The bench shot

The bridge shot

Another on the bridge

The newlyweds....Cheyenne and Nathan

 My beautiful 17 year old.....Celeste

The leafy path shot

The pond shot....what?  You see no pond?
Yeah, so I posed everyone next to the pond (which is to the left).  This was our last set before calling it a day.  Everyone was hot and cranky, so when I realized the pond wasn't actually in the shot, I just went with it.  Otherwise, everyone would have thrown rocks at me if I dared re-pose them AGAIN!
And speaking of photos, have you entered my Shutterfly Giveaway yet?  Click here to enter.  The giveaway app takes a few seconds to load, so I didn't want you to think it wasn't there.  Deadline to enter is Friday!
Good luck!  :)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Our Family Photo Plight (and a Giveaway)

I don't know about you, but trying to get a family photo is an exhausting job. Even the thought of it overwhelms me!

There are clothes to gather, hair to fix, poses and locations to consider. Then, there's trying to get everyone to smile, get the little ones to be still, and get the baby to not spit up all over her outfit!  Sometimes it's all just too much!

The proof of my plight hangs on our wall in the family room. Our last family photo was taken SIX years ago. Oh, the shame of it all!  We've had FOUR children since then!  Thankfully, we did get a wonderful photo of our nine children at my daughter's wedding.  (Somehow, we missed the photo that includes mom and dad!)  But now, with sweet baby Grace here, we're behind again!

After being inspired by some of my bloggy friends and Shutterfly, I've decided to take the plunge again. I've realized that I don't have to go to the ends of the earth to get a family photo. We  don't all have to have coordinating outfits or a pricey photographer.

No siree, Bob!

I am simply going to drag my kids, with my trusty inexpensive camera, out to our walking trails and get some shots in front of the beautiful oak tree, or on the rustic bridge, or in front of the pond. I'm just going to DO IT!  We'll make do with what we have, and not make it bigger than it needs to be!

What's important is capturing the NOW of our family!

We're much better at getting candid shots of life.  Well, sometimes.  Maybe.  Anyhoo, Shutterfly has a wonderful video showcasing many ideas for a great family photo as well as candid shots.  So, even if you don't get that whole family photo you hoped for, you can 'collage' your candid shots onto a beautiful card.

Are you inspired to get out there and take a family photo?  If not, I've got a great Giveaway to really motivate you!  I am giving away a $50 Shutterfly credit.  How's that for inspiration?

There are several ways to enter.  Begin below.  The Giveaway ends December 14th.  Good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to also enter Shutterfly's Cardworthy Sweepstakes, which runs through the 9th, so hurry!

*This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
Photo Credit

One of the kids' favorite breakfasts is Baked Oatmeal.  We were given this delicious recipe from my good friend, Tami, years ago.  I love that I can prepare it the night before, and put it right into the oven in the morning.  It's easy, it's yummy, and just perfect for a chilly fall or winter morning!

Here is the basic recipe, but it's so versatile, you can add anything you like to change it up a bit.  We like to add raisins, or bananas, or apples, or blueberries.  But we love it "as is" too!

Baked Oatmeal

4 cups Old Fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar (this can be reduced if you're adding fruit)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add in wet ingredients, mixing well.  Pour into an ungreased 9 inch square pan.  Chill overnight in the fridge.  Then put in a cold oven and set to 350* for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve either "coffee cake" style, or place in bowls and pour milk over it to give it more of a traditional oatmeal consistency.  Enjoy!

*We double this for our family and place in a 9 x 13 dish.

Friday, November 09, 2012

It's a Girl!


Welcome Grace Makenna! She was born at 9:55pm on November 8, 2012. She weighs 7 lbs. 3 oz. and is 18 1/4 in. long. We are praising God for this gift, and thankful for her safe arrival and protection over momma during delivery!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

5 Tips for Scheduling Your Homeschool Day

Photo Credit

As most of us are just beginning our new school year, we're relying on our tidy, new schedule to keep us on track, right? Trouble is, we're finding it difficult to actually follow that schedule!

Sound familiar?

Don't be discouraged! Especially if you are a new homeschooling mom! It will get easier, and you will figure out what works for your family! Here are 5 helpful tips I've learned, and am still learning, when putting together a schedule!

To read the full article, head on over to The Marathon Mom.

Friday, September 07, 2012

How A Mom of Many Keeps Her Sanity

# one hundred and twenty

As a mom of many, other moms are always curious as to how I keep my sanity with so many children.  "I would lose my mind with that many kids!"  But the truth is, whether you're a mom to one, two, or ten, we will all face moments when we feel like we could very well lose our minds!

My friend Vicki hits the nail on the head when she says, "If you have two children, God gives you what you need to handle those two.  If you have ten children, God gives you what you need to handle ten." 

It may be that sometimes moms of many need to be a bit more creative in how we maintain our sanity, but I think overall, it's important to maintain a routine and be consistant no matter how many children you have!

For the rest of the article, head on over to The Marathon Mom!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Day 320- Buffalo Chicken Salad
Photo Credit

I love a good Buffalo Chicken Salad.  And sometimes, my husband and I can't resist a Buffalo Chicken Salad from Chili's. But a traditional Buffalo Chicken Salad is riddled with fat and calories.

Years ago, my good friend, Hollie, shared this great, much healthier version....and our family has enjoyed it ever since. For those discriminating Buffalo lovers like us, it satisfies that rich Buffalo flavor, but cuts out most of the fat and calories.......

For the full, delicious recipe, head on over to The Marathon Mom!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

26 Weeks: I'm Still Here

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.   My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139: 13-16


Hello, third trimester!  I am loving this stage of pregnancy.  The baby is moving so much and getting soooo big.  In fact, I'm measuring nearly three weeks ahead.  Yowzers!  And if I were to go into labor now, God forbid, the baby would have an excellent chance of survival.  I always tend to breathe a sigh of relief when I reach about 25-26 weeks for that very reason.  I've never had any reason to worry, but you just never know. 


Oh wow!  I feel like I'm all over the map.  For the most part, I feel good.  But every so often, mild feelings of depression will strike.  I've never experienced this before.  I've had my share of other hormonal issues during pregnancy.....especially as I've gotten older, but none that I would classify as depression.  Thankfully, it's mild....I say mild because I can recognize that it's not real, and remind myself that it is a temporary feeling.  Nonetheless, it's no fun at all when I'm feeling blue.  For example, I was at Chuck E. Cheese recently for a birthday party.  I was talking with a friend about life in general and began to get weepy!  WHAT?  Who gets weepy at Chuck E. Cheese?  It's a happy place for crying out loud!  There's no crying at Chuck E. Cheese!!!  Will somebody please return the normal, much less emotional Candace please?  Sheesh!

I notice it strikes more when I'm tired, so I really need to ensure a good night's rest, and make a point of laying down at some point during the day. 

In other, less dramatic news, we're transitioning from a full summer into a full school year, so I've been busy working out schedules, gathering information for potential colleges with my daughter, making sure we have all our school material and supplies, and just getting organized in general.  I want to have as much taken care of, and be well on our way into the school year before baby arrives in 14 short weeks!  YAY!

Well, since I actually put on real clothes and brushed my hair, I thought I'd take advantage of the rare moment and get a 26 week pic.  Trust don't want to see my "everyday" look!  ; )

It's been a while...I'd love to hear how your pregnancy is going!  If you're not pregnant, I would love to know how you're doing too!  :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday: He Supplies My Needs

It's been a while since I've written a Thankful Thursday post.  I've certainly been thankful for much, but as you can see, I haven't posted anything in two weeks.

It's been very busy around here.  Busier than I'd like it to be during the summer.  And when I'm not busy, I'm just too tired.  I'm sure you've been here, right?

As I've reflected upon the things for which I am thankful, I am reminded that despite the busyness of life, and the fatigue of pregnancy and running a large family, God truly supplies all my needs

*When I am overwhelmed, He reminds me to lean on Him. (Zech. 4:6, Psalm 121:1-2)

*When I am tired, He reminds me to rest and not feel pressured to do more than I can.  (Matt. 11:28, Psalm 23:3)

*When I am too busy, He reminds me to focus on what's most important, paring down where I can.  (Psalm 46:10, Luke 10:38-42)

*When I am hormonal, He reminds me that it is temporary and that He has faithfully seen me   through the ups and downs before.  (2 Cor 4:17)

*When I am anxious, He reminds me to trust him in ALL circumstances. (1 Pet. 5:7, Prov. 3:5-6)

*When I am unmotivated, he reminds me that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  (Phil. 4:13)

These are all feelings and emotions I have been experiencing over the last few weeks.  I've been here before.  And each time, He grows me a little more.  I've learned a lot from being in this season many times.  And for this, I am grateful.

In between the busy, the fatigue, the overwhelmed, and the anxious, I've also had much joy.

*I'm thankful for the growth of our sweet baby...and wonderful movement I feel every day.

*I'm thankful that all the kids love on my belly and look forward to this little one's arrival.

*I'm thankful for God's provision of our daily bread, our roof above our heads, and for energy at the very moment I need it.

*I'm thankful for the carefully chosen activities that nurture and benefit our children.

*I'm thankful for a phenomenal husband who takes such good care of me and the children.  And who, even now as I write, is upstairs reading to all the kids so that I can have a moment of peace.

*I'm thankful for a house full of children who wear me out and sometimes push me to my limits, but who bring so much joy, laughter, vitality, helping hands, and love beyond measure to our home.

Thank you Father!  You are good!

What are you thankful for this week?  Please share!  And if you blog, consider linking up with The Marathon Mom!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quick Tip: Take the Itch Out of Mosquito Bites

Distilled White Vinegar

Did you know that plain old, cheap vinegar will take the itch out of a mosquito bite?  It's our "go to" remedy, and has been for many years.

Simply dab a bit of vinegar on a cotton ball and rub gently on the bite.  For small children, sometimes it can sting, depending on how much they have scratched the bite.  To avoid the possible sting, you can dilute it in a bit of water. 

We give it to our kids straight!  It toughens them up! ; )

Photo Source

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Raising Teens Part 2

You can read Part 1 here.

In Part 1, I shared with you the joys of raising our teen girls.  I think it's important to talk about the joys of teens because often our culture says that the teen years will be difficult and should be feared.  You've heard it before, "Just wait until they're teens!"  So encouraging to new parents, right? 

If you are parents to little ones, don't be afraid!  Pray that God will give you the wisdom to shepherd your children into God-fearing teens, and then adults.  If you're parents to teens already, enjoy them.  Talk with them and pray for them continually!   If you have a teen who has rebelled, pray that God would turn his/her heart around, and trust that He is in control and has a purpose for their lives.

No matter how perfect we may perceive a family to be, we all have the same thing in common.  It's called our sin nature.  None of us are immune to it, so we can expect some tough spots along the way. 

You can find the rest of the article over at The Marathon Mom.

(After reading the full article, if you have any questions pertaining to specific areas, please feel free to contact me, or leave a comment.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raising Teens Part 1

I don't often write about raising teens.  My primary focus at Sacred Mommyhood is encouraging moms with littles.  However, I do have two teens (one of whom is married now...she's 19), and would love to share a bit about our journey through 'teen hood'. 

You can read the rest of the article over at The Marathon Mom.

Monday, June 18, 2012

18 Weeks: Almost Half Way


I had an OB appointment a couple of days ago.  I always enjoy watching my measurements grow, and listening to my baby's incredible heart beat.  We've never found out the gender of any of our babies, and we won't with this one either.  However, we do enjoy trying to guess the gender based on fun old wives' tales.  So far, the whole family is guessing we are having a boy!  This is the first pregnancy with a unanimous vote.  One of my favorite wives' tales is the rate of the heart beat.  If the baby's heart beat is on the fast side, it's supposedly a girl.  If it's on the slow side, it's a boy.  In my last three pregnancies, the heart beats have been right down the middle, so this wives tale didn't help much.  Well, this pregnancy, we have a markedly slooow heart beat.  So it makes our family guess of a boy even more fun.  In addition, the Chinese calendar predicts a boy, too.  It will be quite funny if we end up having a girl!  We will rejoice in whomever this little person is....but it sure is fun to guess!


I think it's safe to say that morning sickness is gone.  Over the last few weeks, I've had it sneak up on me, especially at night, but I think that was mainly due to needing a little snack.  Once I began feeling better, I was happy to not have to eat again after dinner.  But turns out, I still need a light snack around 8pm. 

My energy level has been on the low side.  I can still get through my day, but I just don't feel like doing much!  I pray things turn around...or it will be a long pregnancy! :) 

I'm beginning to feel movement, mainly in the evening when I have a chance to sit still.  I love this point in pregnancy, when you feel the reality of this little one growing stronger!

Here is my 18 week belly pic.  I've definitely grown...and not just in my belly.  This is the point where I begin to get a little puffy in the face, and my rings get a little tighter....or maybe it's that I've gained 15 lbs already! ; )  You can compare this to my last pic at 14 weeks, in the same outfit.  (I apologize for the poor quality.  Our flash is out and the lighting was bad.)

(18 weeks)

So what's new in your pregnancy?  How far along?  Any movement?  Even if you're not pregnant, when do you begin getting "puffy"?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

How We Celebrate So Many Birthdays

(Jonathan's 3rd Birthday 6-3-12)

The month of May begins our steady string of birthdays.  And a question I am asked quite frequently is, "How do you celebrate birthdays in your large family?"

Since our older two girls were little, we knew we would not plan elaborate parties every year.  And actually began our "method" back then...when we only had two.  The only difference now is that with so many people in the family, it's always a party anyway.

Here's how we do it!

We decided that the BIG parties would be reserved for certain ages...5, 10, 13, 16, and 18.  One, for sanity's sake, and two, for budget purposes.  We chose 5...because they're big enough to enjoy/appreciate a real party, 10...the excitement of turning double digits, 13.....hello teen years, 16.....sweet sixteen, and 18....official adulthood. 

A "big" party means inviting friends, having fun games and party favors, and pizza or a BBQ.  But they also have the option of going to Chuck E Cheese or the like, but only inviting one or two friends.  They always go for the party so they can invite more friends.  Our summer birthday kids always choose a pool party.  We have a nice clubhouse in our neighborhood that accommodates pool parties nicely.  And since we pay association dues, we can use the clubhouse for free!

On the "in between" birthdays, we still want our kids to know how special they are, but we do it with just the family.  Our tradition is that the birthday kid gets to choose what he or she wants to eat for breakfast and dinner.  Meals made at home, but they pick their favorites!  For lunch, the birthday kid gets to choose a place to go with just mom and dad!  Inevitably, our little ones always pick Chick-fil-A, which is a win for the budget.  Our older, smarter teens go for the real restaurants, which is a win for us since we don't go out often! ; )

(Celeste and Seth agreed to have dual parties since we had family in was a packed house! 6/2011)

In addition, they also get to choose their birthday cake, which Mommy always makes (though my big girls have saved me a time or two when I was unable).  They pick a theme/colors/flavors and I do my best to create it.  After dinner and cake, they open their presents.  We usually buy each kid 3-4 things depending on what they asked for and the cost of those things.  We take the little ones to the Dollar Store to shop for the birthday sibling so they can afford to buy the gift themselves.  They love it!

So as you can see, each year is special for our children.  Even on the non-party years, the kids enjoy their day and know how thankful we are that they were created!

How do YOU celebrate birthdays in your family?  What are your special traditions?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

14 Weeks: Feeling Better

First, let's just get something out of the way....

I'm a blogger slacker!

Something about early pregnancy, feeling sick, and eating 24/7 that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for blogging.  Actually, it's more about motivation (or lack there of) than time if I'm honest.  And I am.  ; )

It shouldn't be too much longer before I'm blogging about my usual home schooling, homemaking, large family fun...yada, yada, yada....again.  So I apologize for only posting preggy updates lately. 


Baby is about 4 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.  Eyes have been gradually moving from the side of the head to the front.  Ears have moved from the neck to the sides of the head.  The neck continues to get longer and the chin no longer rests on the chest.


I am so happy to report that I am feeling better.  Still not out of the woods, but definitely getting there.  In fact, yesterday, I was telling a friend that I was able to make it from breakfast to lunch without eating two meals in between.  I am still chewing on my pumpkin seeds, but I am not eating every hour now.  Hooray!!! 

So here's my 14 week pic.  I almost think I look smaller than I did at 12 weeks.  What do you think?

Do have an update?  Would love to hear about your progress!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

13 Weeks: Second Trimester

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.  Psalm 139: 13-14

My sweet little bundle is about 3 inches long and weighs about an ounce.  External genitalia are almost defined.  Bone is beginning to replace cartilage and the ribs are appearing.  Baby is flexing arms and kicking legs....and I can't wait to feel it!

I'm so happy to be entering a new trimester.  Even though I am still dealing with morning sickness, it just feels good to know I'm a third of the way there!  I am looking forward to morning sickness being completely behind me, and I pray soon.  I have been experiencing a little bit of swelling, which is not normal for me this early.  I think it's due to my sodium intake.  I have been chewing on Pumpkin Seeds all day long to cope with the nausea and the excess saliva.  I have been very vigilant in making sure I take in enough water, but the mild swelling reminds me to do even better.

I finally got a belly pic!  This was actually taken last week right before my night out with local bloggers, but I haven't changed much since then.  This is the point when my belly growth begins to balance out and slow a bit.  I pop out and show very early, and continue to get fairly big in the first trimester, and this is when things slow down a bit.  In fact, while I was at the grocery store buying flowers, the florist asked me when the big day was.  I'm so early, that I didn't even think of the pregnancy.  I thought she was referring to the flowers and a possible event.  But then she clarified by looking at my belly.  I laughed and said that I had quite a ways to go...until November.  Her eyes got very big as she said, "Wow!  You do have a ways to go!"  By the looks of my belly, especially in the evening after a rather large pre-Mother's Day dinner, I looked at least 5 months along. 

What do you think?  Big for 12 weeks? 

How is your pregnancy going?  How far along are you?  How are you feeling?  Please share!

Top Photo Credit

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grandma's Fried Rice

chef's fried rice

I am honored to have my Aunt Melissa guest posting today.  I asked her to share a few of her favorite recipes.  The first recipe she chose is my Grandmother's Fried Rice.  I hope you'll try it!  Please check back for her next recipe coming soon...Verde Burritos!  Mmm....

Guest post by Melissa Whaley

When we were growing up, Mom used to put all of the rice into a deep bowl and really pack it in. Then she would put a plate over the top and invert it, removing the bowl carefully to make a pretty "mold" of pork fried rice. :)  It looks really pretty if you reserve a few sprigs of green onion to poke into the tops of the mountains. I used to tell my kids it was Mt. Fuji and the green was the lava/steam shooting out. ;-)  Honestly, this is a meal in itself, but you can obviously add as many other things to it as you want to make it more Chinese style.  :)

It's yummy and easy for the little ones to eat!  You can adjust it to fit the size of your family, but I'll try and "guess" at the quantities for each item in order to serve 12 (leftovers are always good!). Here we go:


Basmati OR Jasmine Rice (follow serving directions for 12)
6 Whole Eggs
1 lb. Bacon
2 Bunches Green Onion (chopped in 1/4 in. pieces, including greens)
1 Bag SLIGHTLY Frozen Petite Peas (C&W is the best!)
Peanut Oil (or Canola)
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Seasoning (I like Spike)

Prepare rice according to directions (I use my rice cooker).

In HUGE skillet (or use 2 large), spray a generous amount of non-stick spray. Chop raw bacon into small pieces and cook over medium until brown and perfectly crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the drippings.

In separate bowl, beat up the 6 eggs and add to warm drippings. Stir vigorously with a chopstick to create stringy pieces of cooked egg. Remove and add to bacon bowl. If necessary, add a T. of peanut oil so that there is enough to sautee the peas. Toss the peas around long enough to warm them through, but not make them mush! Remove with slotted spoon to bacon and egg bowl.

Next, add 2 T. oil to pan and scrape the goodies from the bottom of the pan. Add 1/4 C. Spike to oil  and add all of the cooked rice. Stir the rice, oil and Spike until well mixed. Next, add the bacon, egg, peas and chopped green onion back in. Stir just until combined. You want the onion raw because green onions wilt so quickly. The hot rice will cook them to perfection as you stir.

Finally, add the soy sauce, using just enough to flavor and "wet" the rice to your liking.  Enjoy!

What do YOU like to add to your Fried Rice to make it special?

Photo Credit

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

These delicious scones have been a long-time favorite of ours.  With a light and crumbly texture, these babies melt in your mouth!  They are easy to make, and anything made with heavy cream and butter is always at the top of my food list!

Give them a try and tell me what you think!

Blueberry Scones

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing scones
1 cup fresh blueberries (I use frozen, thawed and drained well)

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon butter

*I actually half this glaze and feel it's more than enough.  Even halved, I still use 1 tablespoon of butter.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until you get a coarse crumb mixture.  Lightly toss in blueberries to coat with flour.  Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries or they will bleed into the dough.  Make a well in center of mixture and pour in heavy cream.  Ohhhh yeahhh!  Gingerly, fold everything together just to incorporate.  Do not overwork the dough. 

Press the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Carefully, shape into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches.  Cut the rectangle in half, then cut the pieces in half again, giving you four (3-inch) squares.  Cut the squares in half on the diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape.  Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until beautiful and brown.  In my oven (on lower rack), 17 minutes is perfect.

To make the glaze, mix the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Add the lemon zest and butter.  Nuke it for 30 seconds on high.  Whisk glaze to smooth out any lumps.  Drizzle glaze over top of scones.  Enjoy the yummy goodness!

*If you don't have a microwave, you can use a double boiler.

What are your favorite types/flavors of scones?  If you have a favorite recipe, please link in the comments!

Recipe and Photo Credit

Monday, May 07, 2012

My Night Out with Area Bloggers

Saturday night I had the privilege of gathering for dinner with eight other San Antonio area bloggers. We gathered to learn more about a new company called  It was a treat indeed! treated all of us to a feast at PF Changs.  The food was incredible and there was an abundance of it. 

After stuffing ourselves to the gills, we watched a short presentation about If you're not familiar with it yet, it's a new division of Shutterfly. is pretty nifty! There, you can choose a card for any occasion, customize it, and will mail it directly to the recipient for you! In addition to this great service, you can schedule out ALL of your cards for the whole year, and will send them just in time for the special occasion. How cool is that? You can even import birth dates from Facebook and add other important dates so there is never a missed card! And yet, there is more!

I know, right?  More?

At you can even choose a gift card from major retailers such as Target and Amazon and include it right inside your card. Can it get any easier? Go to and see for yourself!

My night out was so much fun. A fantastic dinner, fun and lively fellowship with a group of very cool bloggers, and fun gifts to open. also showered us with gifts from the company!

The fun didn't end there. We all decided that we were having too much fun and that we had just enough room to spare in our tummies for ice cream. We headed on over to the ice cream shop and continued getting to know one another. 

If you want to visit these awesome bloggers, go to my Blogroll tab and you'll find them listed under SA Moms.  And don't forget to check out  :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

11 Weeks

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Psalm 139: 13-15


This little one is about the size of a large lime.  Although, if you saw my belly, you'd say a cantaloupe.  The baby swallows and urinates amniotic fluid, and the fluid is continually replaced.  Tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under the gums.  Baby is busy kicking and stretching....and I can't wait to feel it!


I am so glad to be nearing the end of the first trimester.  I am still dealing with all day nausea, but I'm still so thankful it's not as severe as all my previous pregnancies.  I'm praying that perhaps I'll begin to feel better around 12 or 13 weeks, as opposed to my usual 16-20 weeks.  It could happen!

I haven't been all that tired in the first trimester.  I've had some tired moments, of course, but overall, I feel fairly normal energy wise.  I am still nursing my sweet Amelia pretty often, so technically, I'm eating for three.  I have to really make sure I keep up with good nutrition so that everyone gets what they need.  I must be doing a good job of it since I am not experiencing fatigue.  Speaking of eating, I usually gain 10 pounds in the first trimester.  But so far, I've only gained 5.  And since I don't plan on gaining 5 more pounds in one week (though, for me it's quite possible), I should escape the first trimester with no more than a 5 to 6 pound gain.  Woohoo!

It's your turn!  Please share your pregnancy stats, or anything else that sounds good!

Join the linky fun over at My Joy-Filled Life.
Photo Credit

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Girl Got on a Plane...

Ethiopian B757
Photo Credit

Two Weeks in Africa.....

Tomorrow, my 16 year old daughter, Celeste, will embark on a journey of a lifetime.  She will travel half way around the world to serve and visit orphans in two incredible countries....Ethiopia and Uganda. 

She is traveling with an organization called Visiting Orphans.  They travel to thirteen different countries to fulfill the biblical mandate given in James 1:27 of "visiting orphans" in their distress. 

On this particular trip, Celeste will have the blessing of visiting several orphanages in both countries.  She can't wait to go and love on these children, knowing full well that she will be the one blessed by them!  She will also visit the Fistula Hospital in Addis.  This is pretty exciting because before we even knew about this trip, our family had watched A Walk to Beautiful, a documentary about women who suffer from the medical condition, Fistula.  This hospital was built specifically to treat the condition.  It's a beautiful story, one I highly recommend watching. 

Sisters (Celeste on left)

Celeste and the team will also go to Amazima, the ministry Katie Davis began at the age of 18.  Amazima feeds over 1,600 orphaned and vulnerable children of the Masese community a lunch meal Monday through Friday, and also operate a school for the local children to attend for free.  This is another exciting aspect of the trip.  Again, before we knew about this trip, a friend had recommended a book to us called Kisses from Katie.  We watched this YouTube video and were amazed by this young woman with so much love and compassion.  It was through our visit to the Amazima website that we learned of Visiting Orphans, which led to finding this trip, which included visiting some of the very places we had already been studying as a family.  God had clearly gone before us, and opened this door for Celeste!

The team will be very busy, serving in a different location nearly every day.  I will try to give regular updates on my Facebook page if you would like to keep up with her travels.

I found this video on YouTube of another team that went to Uganda.  I don't know if they were with Visiting Orphans or another organization, but Celeste will visit several of the places in this video.

If you wouldn't mind, please keep our daughter, the team, and the people they will encounter in your prayers.  For Celeste, this will be her first trip away from home by herself.  She's nervous, but even more excited about all they will do and see! 

If you would like to know more about any of these organizations, please visit their sites.  There, you also have the opportunity to sponsor a child and change a life.

Have you or any of your children gone on a mission trip?  Where?  Please share your experience.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coping with Morning Sickness


There's nothing more exciting than the news of a pregnancy.  Such a blessing.  So much to look forward to.  A new child to love and nurture.

But as soon as morning sickness makes its grand entrance, that seems to be all I think about.  My whole day revolves around my level of sickness.  And then there's the food.  Eating constantly so that there is always something in my belly, even though nothing sounds particularly appetizing.  I call this "preventative eating".....though it doesn't so much prevent as it just helps from feeling worse!

I don't know about you, but I'm one of those who is willing to try just about anything to help with the nausea.  I'm one of those worst case scenario women who enjoys the blessing of morning sickness all day...and lasts upwards of six months.  Seven months is my record.  But I've also been one of those who don't find much relief in remedies and even a couple of prescriptions I've tried.

But this time, something is working.  No, morning sickness is not gone, but I am not nearly as sick as I usually am at this point.  So I'll share what I've been doing.  But first, I'll share all that I've tried in the past...'cause it might just help someone else.

In The Past

Phenergan-Ugh!  Made me super sleepy and didn't take any of the nausea away.

Crackers before getting out of bed-Really?  Does this help anyone?  I must know. 

Ginger- Mostly in tea form.  For me, helps with the saliva issue.  Anyone else deal with that too?

Zofran-Very expensive!  I was told it was a miracle for most women so of course I said, "sign me up!"  Unfortunately, wasn't my miracle.  It did take the edge off, but wasn't worth the high cost for me.

Unisom and B6-Out of all the remedies, this one helped the most.  While it didn't take away the nausea, it did take me from vomiting all day to just once or twice a day.  It helped me to get off the couch and function.  I would take one half of a Unisom (store generic version) and a 50mg B6 twice a day.  Usually at 7am and 7pm.

The Bean Cure-I tried this in my last two pregnancies.  It did help temporarily, but I got so tired of eating beans that I would give up on it fairly quickly.  You can read the fascinating article here.

If you're struggling with morning sickness, these things above do help many women, so give them a try.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time, I began scanning the Internet for anything new that I could try.  I read about every theory behind morning sickness and made a list of things that could help.  And basically, I've incorporated all of them into my day.


Cut waaay back on sugar and caffeine-Yeah, yeah, I know this isn't new.  It's just that I never put much stock in cutting back on them.  I don't do a whole lot of caffeine anyway, but sugar, you betcha...we're bakers around here!  I read that sugar and caffeine can exacerbate morning after years of ignoring it, I decided to give it a try.

The Bean Cure-Okay, I know I mentioned this above...but this time, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I began eating beans twice a day!  Yes siree!  In theory, I should not be having any nausea, but I am. 

Alas!  There's a difference. 

I didn't start feeling icky until much later than normal...and at nine+ weeks, I am not nearly as sick as I usually get.  I am still eating beans twice a day and am determined to keep doing it as long as I need to.  Thanks to Pinterest, I found myriad new bean recipes that have made eating beans twice a day much easier.

Alkalizing-I read that keeping your pH at an alkaline level can reduce morning sickness.  So far, I have not had access to pH or alkaline water, but I did do a search on alkaline foods.  Celery, watermelon, cucumbers, almonds, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and avocado (to name a few) are on the list, so I've been eating those often.  The watermelon is great for thirst since it is packed with water.  And I've made sure to keep celery, cut up into sticks, on hand.  I make myself a little baggie of celery, carrots, and red bell pepper sticks to take with me wherever I go.  (Update: A friend gave me some pH water, and it seemed to help a LOT the first day.  She said it was time/light sensitive, so after 12 hours, it didn't help as much.  Must go get more!)

Unisom-I read recently that B6 can exacerbate the nausea and that some women were finding relief with the Unisom alone.  At about 8 1/2 weeks, I felt another rise in my level of sickness (but still not as severe), so I decide to begin taking a half of a Unisom just at night.  So far, it seems to be helping.  Almost like it shifted my level back down.  I should say here that I am getting plenty of B6.  I get it in my food, that I can now keep down, and in my SuperMom vitamin that I can also keep down!  If you suspect you are B6 deficient, you may want to take the B6.  Oh, and also, caffeine destroys B6, so yet another reason to cut back or eliminate it.

Lots of protein-I usually get plenty of protein in the meat and beans I eat, but I have also been eating LOTS of nuts and seeds.  In addition to my veggies, I eat handfuls of nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts) and seeds (sunflower and pumpkin) throughout the day.  And Greek yogurt, which has twice the protein as traditional yogurt, has become my new dessert. 

Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon water-I read that using about 2 teaspoons of ACV in warm water can relieve nausea.  I was very hesitant to try this since it doesn't sound appealing.  But to my amazement, it does help.  It settles my tummy pretty quickly and helps with the excessive saliva that  is a huge issue for me during morning sickness.  Since ACV was working, I also tried squeezing a half a lemon's worth of juice in hot water...and that works too.  I tend to feel great the first half of the day (which has never happened), and then begin feeling a bit more queasy as the evening goes on.  This is when I reach for my ACV or Lemon "tea"!

Peppermint Oil-My sweet friend, Kim, sent me a sample of Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil.  In addition to the hot lemon water for those sudden waves of nausea, I put a drop of Peppermint oil on my tongue.  Or even just smell it.  This also offers quick relief for those sudden waves of nausea.

I think it's important to add that I started doing all of these things (except the unisom) as soon as I found out I was pregnant...before morning sickness came.  I think it's important to mention because all this collectively may be what has helped.  For example, once I am in the throes of morning sickness, I usually cannot eat raw veggies...and most things good for me just don't sound good.  So I eat what I think I can tolerate, but probably make me worse in the end.  Maybe?  I also think because I made a habit of eating these things, they're what sound good now. 

Some Additional Coping Tips

Prepare if you can.  As soon as you find out you're pregnant, and before sickness sets in, do what you can to make things easier when it comes.  Stock your freezer with meals for your family.  Make individual portions of foods you can eat quickly when the need arises.  Have a variety of high protein go-to snacks like nuts and seeds in your pantry.

Accept help!  If you have a friend or church family willing to provide meals, care for little ones, or clean your house, accept it!  Allow them to be the hands and feet of Jesus!  It blesses you, and it blesses them as well.  Don't be stubborn!

Embrace it!  If you're like me, where nothing truly takes it away, you've got to come to the point where you can embrace it.  I've learned over all these pregnancies that God uses this time to draw me near.  I am in constant communion with Him.  Even if I am crying out in despair, begging for Him to have mercy on me, I am talking with my Lord.  He teaches me what it means to trust Him and to rely on him every second.  It also helps to keep in mind that this won't last forever and that a wonderful gift comes at the end.  It's not for nothing.  It's worth it!  God is faithful!

What are your favorite remedies?  Please add to this list the things that have helped you!

Photo Credit

Sunday, April 15, 2012

9 Weeks


I never grow tired of tracking a new baby's miraculous and rapid growth. At nine weeks, my baby's brain waves can be measured. The main construction of the heart is complete. The baby has begun movement and can flex at the joints. Fingerprints are evident, and the most fascinating fact is that the baby can even curve its tiny fingers around an object placed in its hand. My baby is about an inch long, and happily swimming around in the tiny bag of fluid.


I am hanging in there.  I am feeling pretty queasy, but I can't complain.  At nine weeks, I am not nearly as sick as I usually get.  I am so thankful...and hopeful that maybe this time it won't be so challenging.  In fact, I am finishing up a post detailing the things I've done differently this pregnancy, and new things I've tried that may be helping this time around.  I want to share them for other mommies who may be struggling with morning stay tuned. 

I am also still somewhat enjoying food.  I have a few aversions, but a lot of things actually still sound good.  I don't seem to be suffering from my usual super-human sense of smell that exacerbates the nausea.  So I think that's made a huge difference as well.  All considering, I am doing well and so thankful that this pregnancy has been more manageable.  I have my first OB appointment on Wednesday, so looking forward to seeing this sweet baby, knowing it will give me that extra boost of perseverance through the morning all day sickness!

Are you expecting?  Care to share your stats here?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Sacred's First Video Post

A couple of things before you watch.  One, I apologize in advance for my loudness....still getting used to filming on my Flip Share.  Two, pay NO attention to the kids who are misbehaving during prayer.  ; )

As you can see, the younger ones were very distracted by Mommy filming mealtime prayer, and felt the need to show off a bit.  I told them beforehand that I was testing the camera (which was true)...and for them to just listen to Daddy while he prayed.  HA!  Some of them didn't even catch on until after the prayer! lol

Anyway, we are very excited and SO thankful for the sweet life growing inside of me, and we're humbled by God's goodness.

I am almost 8 weeks along, and due Nov. 18th.  Of course, morning sickness has arrived, so I'm taking it one day at a time, and praying that it won't get as bad as it normally does.  So far, it's been manageable, so I'm thankful for that as well!  I would appreciate any extra prayers if you think of me.  : )

What are you thankful for today? 

This post is linked up with The Marathon Mom.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Amelia's Birth-Part 2

You can read Part 1 here.

Our baby was finally here.  We didn't know whether we were having a boy or girl, so the added excitement of meeting our baby girl was wonderful.  Greg went to wake up all the kids to meet their new sister.

I remained in the tub, snuggling this precious life while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing.  Once it did, Daddy cut the cord and I passed off baby Amelia so that I could get out of the tub.  Amelia had her newborn check up in the meantime.  All was going well and my bleeding was minimal.

I am a bleeder, so the midwives were prepared with Pitocin and Methergine just in case I needed it.  I was so relieved that everything was going well.

But as soon as I stood up to get out of the tub....GUSH!  Janet and I looked at each other with the look of "uh oh", and I quickly jumped out of the tub and ran for my bed.  After what had happened the last time, I did not want to be stuck in the tub.  I felt that as long as I made it to my bed, I would be fine.

I wasn't.

My uterus did not want to cooperate.  I was immediately given the first shot of Pitocin to help my uterus contract.  Janet worked diligently to massage my lower abdomen to help my uterus to stay firm.  It would firm up, and then get boggy.  Meanwhile, my blood pressure was dropping quickly and everyone was beginning to get nervous.  I was given a second shot of Pitocin, but it still wasn't helping.  This cycle continued on for some time.

I could feel myself slipping away.  I knew instinctively to lie as still as possible as to not exert any energy to allow my body all it needed to work.  I began praying.  I couldn't believe this was happening again!  I kept praying that I would not pass out like I did after Genevieve's birth.  I felt that as long as I stayed conscious, I would be okay. 

While Janet continued checking my blood pressure and massaging my belly, Robin tried to start an IV line.  I was already on oxygen by then, but needed fluids.  Robin could not get a vein.  Suddenly, she darted out of my room and I began to get scared.  I didn't know where she was going in such a hurry.

She came back quickly and gave me a shot of Methergine.  Methergine helps to coagulate the blood.  I've had it before in other births, and it's helped.

I could feel myself getting closer and closer to losing consciousness.  I kept praying.  I was thinking about my mom and older girls, and how scared they must be to see me go through this again!  Thankfully, my husband had a hunch that things were going to get bad, and had already ushered the little ones back to bed.

As I laid there, and things kept spiraling downward,  I heard Janet say my blood pressure was 50 over 30.  I looked at my friends and family, who all stood at the foot of my bed watching this unfold, gather in a circle to pray.  Let me just say here, that as much as I appreciated the prayer, this really scared me!  I felt that my life was on the line and that if I lost consciousness, I would not wake up.  I prayed that God would keep me awake!

Right at that moment, after the blood pressure reading, Janet very calmly told everyone that she was going to call 911 as a precaution.  My uterus would not stay firm and I was losing a lot of blood.  My husband's fingers were already on the buttons, and he called for an ambulance.

My mom stood at the foot of my bed and mouthed the words "I love you, Candace". 

Meanwhile, baby Amelia was being held by the people who surrounded me.  I was so thankful that she was safe and with the people I loved while all of this was happening. 

The ambulance arrived and they worked quickly to get me onto their gurney.  They asked if the baby was going too.  This is where it got really hard for me.  I wanted my baby to come.  I hadn't even been able to nurse her yet and I just wanted her near me.  But, if she went with me, she would have to be admitted as a patient along with me too.  A quick discussion ensued.  How would I leave my newborn?  But once I realized that I didn't want her to go through all the hospital checks, which would have been more involved coming from a home birth, I knew she had to stay home.

My heart was broken! 

I didn't know how long it would be before I would get to see her and nurse her.  I asked if someone would bring her to the hospital soon.  Janet said that as soon as she was finished with her full check up, someone would bring her.  The midwives spent at least an hour trying to stabilize me, that Amelia had not been weighed and measured yet.

I was comforted to know that she would be with me soon.  As the paramedics were wheeling me out, I heard friends discussing who could come and feed Amelia.  They mentioned my friend, Shannon, because she had just had a baby a couple of months before.  As much as I wanted to nurse my sweet baby, I was glad they were planning to call Shannon to bring some of her breast milk.  And she lived nearby.

Once in the ambulance, the paramedic tried to get an IV in me.  He had trouble, so I was stuck multiple times.  Janet remained with me, right by my side, still massaging my lower abdomen.  My husband followed behind the ambulance.  Finally, my uterus was staying firm and my blood pressure was rising.  Of course, the whole time I was thinking, "See, if we had just waited TEN more minutes, all would have been well!"  But I know Janet was doing what she needed to do and wasn't going to risk anything!  I love Janet! 

We arrived at the hospital about 4:30 am.  I had to endure a very uncomfortable exam in the ER, and then was sent up to L & D.  Thankfully, the paramedics were able to take me to my hospital, so I felt at home in a sense.  But I still worried about how I would be treated as a home birth transport.  The doctor in the ER was not nice....and even scolded me for delivering at home.  But the rest of the staff was wonderful.  Everyone treated me with kindness and respect!

As soon as I was taken upstairs, I immediately began asking when Amelia would get here.  I was told in the ambulance that she was a little cold, and couldn't leave the house until her temperature came up.  Robin, the assisting midwife who stayed with Amelia, gave her to my mom for skin to skin contact to regulate her temp.  Amelia had also had all of her newborn checks by then.

A bit later, after Janet called home to get another update, she informed me that my friend Shannon had just nursed my baby.  I guess the look on my face said it all because Janet asked if I was okay with that.  I told her that I didn't really have a choice at that point.

Honestly....I was crushed!  Another woman nursed my baby.  That was a hard one for me to grasp.  When I heard the discussion about calling Shannon to help, I had envisioned her bringing extra milk from her freezer and bottle feeding Amelia.  Not actually breastfeeding her.

But once I had a chance to process everything, I eventually saw it as a blessing.  I realized how sweet and precious it was for Shannon to come and nurse her friend's baby!  And in the middle of the night too!  Poor Amelia was hungry!

I think most moms can relate to how I felt.  I was physically exhausted.  And I was emotionally fragile since I had to leave my newborn.  I just needed some time to see the beauty and God's provision in all of it.  And when I heard that sweet Shannon saw it as a privilege, I was so grateful!  I will be forever thankful for Shannon's loving heart! 

At last!  Robin and Cheyenne (my oldest daughter) finally brought Amelia to me.  I was SO happy to hold her and to get a good look at her!  She was so beautiful!  From that point on, she was able to stay with me in the hospital.  The staff brought me a baby bed for her and she never left my side!  The staff was phenomenal.  They welcomed me and Amelia and took very good care of me!  Later that morning, I was able to see my own doctor.  He ordered a couple of tests just to make sure everything was okay.  All the test were good, so I was able to go home later that evening! 

It was so wonderful to be back home with my whole family.  My poor younger kids went to bed with me still in the tub.....but woke up to find me, and the new baby gone! 

I am so thankful for God's protection over me that night.  I'm thankful for the midwives knowledge, how prepared they were, and for their calm, sweet spirits!  Unfortunately, this means I will not be able to birth at home again.   Due to my bleeding history, it's best that I deliver at the hospital in the future.

Just in case anyone is asking either of these two questions, I'll just go ahead and answer them here. 

*If you had an emergency situation after your first home birth, why did you feel it was safe to have another home birth?

So glad you asked!  The cause of my bleeding after my first home birth was due to a tiny piece of placenta that did not fully detach.  So my body continued to feed a placenta that was not there.  Once the midwife did a manual D & C (lots of fun!) to remove the tissue, the bleeding stopped.  That had never happened before and it was something we wouldn't expect to happen again.  This time, it was a result of my uncooperative uterus!

*If you have a history of bleeding, why would you consider having more children?

Great question!  Well, I thought the same thing!  After what had happened, I really thought that I should not have more children...that I would be risking my life.  But when I spoke with my beloved doctor at my 6 week post-partum visit....I asked him this very question.  I was prepared to heed his warning about future children.  But he reminded me that I did NOT have to have a blood transfusion.  And that if we did decide to have another baby, that he would start pitocin immediately after the baby was born, instead of waiting to see how my bleeding does, like he's done in the past.  He would take every precautionary measure necessary.  Janet and Robin came prepared.  I just needed more than what they had on hand..

So that's my story....and why I've been reluctant to relive it through writing it.  I am still a huge advocate for home birth!  I feel that if a woman is a good candidate, home is the best place to be.  But I'm also thankful that I have a great doctor, and feel comfortable at the hospital where I've delivered five of my babies in the past!

God is good!
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