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.
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