Stephen’s Birth Story: Part II

If you haven’t yet… read Part I first!

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The thought that I might actually be ready to push still had not crossed my mind.  I didn’t know why my body was telling me to push, but I figured it couldn’t possibly be because I was actually ready to push.  I had only been in labor for about 35 minutes at this point.  Regardless, the urge to push just became more and more pronounced.  My body started pushing on its own.  Three or four contractions after the phone call I knew I couldn’t help it anymore.  I told Jake, “I can’t do this anymore!”

I thought perhaps I needed to go to the bathroom and that’s why my body felt like it needed to push something out?  I wasn’t having much time in between contractions, but I needed to do something.  So, when my last contraction ended, I got up and walked to the bathroom.  I didn’t say anything to Jake; I was still in super-focus mode and needed to stay there.  Evie followed me, but Jake stayed in the living room, slightly confused.

I sat on the toilet and started pushing… then all of a sudden I realized… that was a head.  I felt his head come into the birth canal and immediately stopped pushing.  I was still concerned that I was pushing too soon, and I knew I was probably pushing too quickly.  I felt down to see where the baby was, and sure enough, he was crowning.

My very next thought was “My baby is not going to be born on the toilet!”  I don’t know why, but that was just extremely important to me in that moment.  I stood up and yelled for Jake, “Come catch the baby!”  He ran in as I leaned on the sink for support.  He knelt down behind me and said “I can see the face!”  Knowing he was there I gave one final push and out the baby came.  “He’s a boy!!” Jake pronounced and then handed him to me.

The cord was wrapped around his torso, so I untangled him.  He didn’t like being moved around at all and started crying.  That was good, as it seemed to clear out his lungs and we knew he was breathing.  Not having a midwife there, that was good to know!  Evangeline had done very well up until that point; his crying scared her and she started crying as well.

I sat down on the bathroom floor and brought the baby to my chest and comforted Evie in my other arm.  Jake made sure I was ok and ran out of the house to help our midwife carry everything in.  He really wanted her to be in there with us!  That was the last time I saw him for about an hour after the birth.  With all of the adrenaline from catching his son he was doing all sorts of things and couldn’t settle down!  I remember actually having to call him into the bedroom after a while and ask him if he wanted to come meet his son now.  😀

umbilical cordIt all happened so quickly it was hard for either of us to sit and enjoy the moment as we were all still processing what just happened.  Our little man was born at 4:08pm after only about an hour of labor.  I delivered the placenta in the bathroom and then we moved into the bedroom.  The umbilical cord had a true knot in it, which my midwife said was fairly uncommon.

He started nursing right away and continued to nurse for about an hour and a half after he was born!  He did cry whenever we moved him for the first couple of hours.  He must have been very sore after his speedy trip through the birth canal.  His face was also quite bruised and he had broken blood vessels in his eyes.  But after those first two hours he calmed down quite a bit and still doesn’t cry hardly at all!

Evie's oreosDaddy got to weigh him, 8lbs 8oz just like his Mommy was!  And Evie got to cut his cord.  She loved him from the very beginning and even brought in two cookies to the bedroom, one for her and one for baby!  It was super sweet, but we had to explain to her that babies don’t eat cookies!  The rest of the evening was filled with many phone calls and skype sessions, a very healthy dinner of McDonald’s (hey, it’s easy!) and enjoying our new family of four.

He was a few hours old when we decided on his name: Stephen Patrick Mueller.  Stephen, of course, for the first martyr of the Church.  And Patrick not only for St. Patrick, but also for Jake’s dear grandmother, Pat, who went to be with the Lord earlier this year.  Evangeline fell asleep and Jake, Stephen and I waited up for my mom who flew in that day from Denver.  She arrived a little after midnight to meet her new grandson, and then we all promptly fell asleep.

one happy family

Stephen’s Birth Story: Part I

Stephen Patrick

July 19th 2012 – 4:08pm

8lbs 8oz – 19 in.

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We hadn’t had rain in months.  It was one of the driest summers the area had seen, but that night we had a marvelous thunder storm, complete with plenty of rain.  In the back of my mind was the thought that many labors begin during a storm; I think it has something to do with the change in air pressure that can trigger labor.  And sure enough I had plenty of contractions through the night.

I was awake much of the night, whether from the contractions or from my mind’s inability to slow down I’m not sure.  I was cautiously optimistic; this was not the first night I had been visited by plenty of contractions; in fact, I had been having similar contractions for two weeks.  I tried to sleep and waited to get excited until the morning.  They always disappeared by morning.

And, as anticipated, these ones did too.  I woke up the next morning with no contractions and no real sign of labor.  I was slightly disappointed, but I was also expecting it.  I actually had a rather productive morning despite feeling crampy.  Our daughter, Evangeline, and I made no-bake cookies, cleaned a bit and went for a nice walk.

I remember specifically thinking during the walk that at this time (a little after 10am the day before my due date) in my last pregnancy I was in labor and preparing to meet our first baby.  I sighed and told Baby “It looks like you’re not going to be as prompt as your big sister.”  Like always, the bit of physical activity started up my contractions again.  I ignored them.

After lunch I put Evie down for her nap and sat down to rest.  We had had a busy morning, and I didn’t have a ton of energy by this time in the pregnancy.  I was playing solitaire on my computer for a while when I noticed that my contractions from earlier were still there… and they weren’t going away… and they seemed pretty consistent.  Out of curiosity I decided to time my contractions and sure enough, they were each about six minutes apart.

They were still very mild, but the consistency was enough to make me a little excited.  I messaged Jake to let him know.  I didn’t really think I was in labor, but it was fun to think that maybe I was!  After messaging my dear husband I got up to go to the bathroom.  When I pushed I heard a very audible pop!  There was a little bit of clear liquid leaking, but not much.  I went back to my computer and googled “Can you hear your water break?”  In case you were wondering… you can.  That was at about 2:45pm.

I called my midwife to let her know that I thought my water had broken.  She confirmed that it did seem plausible, but it may not have completely broken so just to keep her updated.  I knew Jake was on his way home from work, so I didn’t bother calling him.  My contractions had also stopped since my water broke, so it felt like we had some time.  At three o’clock Jake came home and I met him at the door smiling.  “My water broke!”

“No it didn’t,” he said in his I-know-you’re-just-trying-to-tease-me voice.

“Yes it did!” I insisted enthusiastically.  I didn’t have to convince him for long, however.  That signature “gush” of the water breaking made itself known about twenty seconds later.  We both went into high gear immediately.  I went to the bathroom to change, but realized that I was still leaking.  So instead of ruining all of my clothes before labor even got underway, I decided to take a shower to relax.  We were planning a home birth, so I shouted a few directives at Jake before I hopped in.  (Put in a load of laundry, get the birth tub ready, call my mom, etc…)

While in the shower I felt the baby drop onto my pelvis.  He had still been really high up, and without any cushioning left, it did not feel very nice.  It also surprised me with how quickly and forcefully it happened.  I swiftly finished my shower, and not a moment too soon as my first contraction began.  It was a little more intense than I would have liked for a first contraction!  I calmed myself with the reminder that in my last labor after we broke my water (several hours into the ordeal…) the contractions picked up noticeably in intensity and sharpness.  It was around 3:10pm when the contractions started again.

They were strong enough that I had to stop and focus on each one.  In between I was getting dressed, making phone calls and shouting more directions at Jake “Did you start the laundry yet?!?”  Evangeline (27 months old) was walking around the house chanting “Mommy’s water broke!”  I guessed Daddy must have given her that bit of info while I was in the shower.  After a contraction I noticed that she looked very anxious.

Evangeline and I have always been close and she is very in tune with me.  Sometimes she can tell I feel sick before I even notice I’m not feeling well.  She’s a very sensitive and compassionate little girl, so I knew I needed to reassure her.  We had wanted her at the birth from the beginning, so she had seen some birth videos and we had been preparing her for it.  I knelt down and told her that everything was ok and said “We are going to meet baby today!”  Her eyes lit up and her anxiety disappeared.  She began following me around and watching everything very intently.

After a couple more contractions I knew I needed to stop prepping and start focusing on my labor, so I went to the living room which was set up to be our laboring room.  I got a wet washcloth and sprayed some of my aroma therapy on it.  It worked wonders during active labor with Evie, so I was expecting at least some of the edge to be taken off of my contractions – but nothing.

I thought maybe I needed more, so I sprayed and sprayed to no avail.  I began to feel a slight bit of panic.  I turned on my birthing music playlist, and that was relaxing and helped me to focus.  When I was settled in I could tell Evie needed something to do to feel like she was helping.  I called to Jake to get her a wet cloth as well and she began dabbing my neck with it during each contraction.

I was leaning over the couch for support, but it wasn’t long before I began having trouble breathing through my contractions.  I called to Jake that I needed him, knowing full well that nothing was ready yet and we had no one else there to help.  The midwife, doula, photographer, mom, and everyone else were all on the way, but no one had arrived yet.  I tried not to think about those things, I just needed to concentrate on getting through each contraction at this point.  I needed the birthing tub, but I was beginning to realize it wouldn’t be ready.

I pushed all those things out of my mind and quickly found my “zone”.  Because my water had already broken I could feel every move the baby was making on his way down.  It was really kind of cool, but the contractions were incredibly difficult.  Knowing Evie was there I had to keep it together.  I remember saying “oww” during one contraction, and remembering that she knew that meant I was hurt I resolved to use the more useful noises that she knew as “good noises” from the birthing videos.

Her presence was very grounding.  She was quite intent on making sure I had a washcloth near my face during each contraction, so she would shove the washcloth in my face and she put it on my back and anywhere else she could get to.  Jake was telling her to stop and to leave Mommy alone, but I told him not to!  Strangely enough, she was helping.  I don’t know what it was about her attempts, perhaps just the love I could feel from her, but she was really making the labor so much better for me.  Afterwards I nick-named her my “Little Doula”. <3

After several contractions leaning on Jake, I thought that I was feeling a little pushy.  I ignored it thinking perhaps I just wanted to think it was time to push because my labor was so difficult.  I wondered if I was just being a wimp having so much difficulty so early on.  After a couple contractions came and went, and I still felt pushy, I told Jake.  He said “Ok,” trying to be reassuring while dismissing the comment.  I wasn’t offended; I was dismissing it too!

But it didn’t matter, my body was being persistent.  During the next contraction I said, much more forcefully, “I really feel like I need to push!!”  He asked if he should call the midwife; I nodded yes and he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket.  Our midwife told him not to worry, that it was normal and to just tell me to breathe through my contractions.  She said not to push and that she was on her way.  I knew she only lived fifteen minutes away, so I was determined to just make it until she arrived.

To be continued…

Ya’ll Ready for This?

I have officially sorted, packed, organized and repacked every single item we own.  Isn’t moving great?  It at least feels good to purge so much clutter!  And moving twice in two years sort of gives you that little bit of extra motivation to throw out those things you just couldn’t bring yourself to toss the first time.

One interesting piece of nostalgia I ran across was my old high school basketball warm-up CD that my dad put together for me.  I had to laugh at many of the songs on the mix… but good memories nonetheless.  And that was the inspiration for the name of my post today.  Although, it has absolutely nothing to do with my topic!  Well, maybe not nothing.

Music has a very strong ability to induce certain emotions and attitudes for the different situations in our lives.  That’s why I put together a birthing playlist this time around.  And although I don’t think my high school warm up CD and my birthing playlist will have even one song in common… I hope they will both share the legacy of bringing back good memories when I recall those events they were meant for.

So, back to the topic.  Ya’ll ready for this?

I will be live blogging the birth!!

I discussed it with my dear hubby and, although he thought I was crazy, (which isn’t anything new…) he also seemed mildly amused by the idea, so we’re going to give it a shot.  No worries… we won’t be posting any videos if that’s what you were wondering!  And I’m also not going to promise anything.  My hope is to have short and sweet updates at regular intervals until Baby is born.

Of course, if it just becomes too much of a hassle, I’ll quit.  Yup.  I’ll be a quitter; I won’t mind one bit.  So just be prepared to be cut off short during the most exciting part of the story :)  The plan is to have Jake give a few updates when it becomes too much work for me to type, but again… don’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen.  I’ve never done something like this before, so I’m really not sure how it will play out.  This is our test run, so we’ll see how it goes!

Our house is freshly cleaned, and I packed the just-in-case hospital bag yesterday.  I’ve got my essential oils all prepared for aroma therapy, and the birthing tub is set up in the dining room… so we’re about ready for this baby to be here!  Let me know if you want a text at the start of labor so you can follow along!  Can’t wait!!

All About Baby!

So… tomorrow is an important day.  Starting tomorrow I will officially be in full-on countdown mode for baby’s arrival.  Three weeks!  Tomorrow my midwife can legally assist me in a homebirth should I go into labor, although I do hope Baby waits a little longer than that.

Don’t get me wrong, I am SO excited to meet the little one!  But we have quite a lot left to do before then… or at least a lot that I want to get done before then.  Most importantly my oils haven’t arrived yet…  Oh, have I not told you about my oils? 😀

You see at my last birth a good friend came and sprayed some nice smelling water on a damp washcloth, and when I used it to cool off it took the edge completely off of my contractions.  It was heavenly.  I had stumbled upon the wonderful world of aromatherapy.

Unfortunately, at the time, I was not in a frame of mind to make sure they kept the damp washcloths coming!  I was a little distracted if ya know what I mean… but afterwards, when I remembered the experience, I made sure to ask her what she put in that magic bottle!  The funny thing is, it was actually a homemade diaper spray that she put together for Evie and she just happened to bring it to the birth.  And she just happened to spray it on the washcloth because she thought a scent would be nice.

The mix was water with tea tree oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil.  The secret?  Rosemary and lavender are both analgesics – meaning they work as pain relievers!  Since then I knew I wanted to be much more intentional about using aromatherapy for my next labor.  The last few weeks I have been researching oils and finally, after much decision-making, settled on the ones I wanted to use for my labor.  They are now in the mail, on the way here!  I think I will give them a post all their own.

In addition to getting the oils ready, we still have our birth supply list that we need to check off, and we need to get the house in order and finish all the packing I want to do before Baby’s arrival.  Since we move in August, and I really don’t want to do a lot of packing with a newborn… we’re going to try and get as much done before then as possible.  We have made lots of progress, but there’s still more to do!

I will be keeping you updated as we move forward!  Also, I’m trying to decide… should I live blog my birth?  Let me know if you’d like to get moment-by-moment updates.  If I have enough interested readers I might just try it; it could be fun!

Baby Mueller #2

img_1321In deciding what to write about today I thought I would pick from one of my Old Years Resolutions and go into more detail, since I did promise that after all… and scrolling through I found my favorite one: Have A Baby 😀

So yup, this post is all about Baby Mueller #2.  Yesterday I had my first prenatal appointment, and it went fabulously!  When Jake and I were expecting our first, we talked extensively about care options.  I knew I did NOT want a hospital birth; I wanted to avoid that like the plague.  Jake was fine with a midwife, but he was not completely comfortable with a home birth.  Unfortunately, there were no birth centers in the area at that time, so hospital or home birth were our only options.  We decided to interview a few midwives and see how we felt after that.

We did find a midwife we loved, she was a Certified Nurse Midwife, which made Jake feel much more comfortable, and she was able to answer all his questions about what she would do in difficult birthing situations, such as a cord wrapped around the neck or meconium aspiration.  With a bit of trepidation and a LOT of excitement, we moved forward with the home birth.  I loved the experience; you can read about it here.  There are only a couple of things I would have changed… like getting more pictures… but overall it was more wonderful than I ever could have expected.

However, due to our current housing situation, it may not be possible to have a home birth this time around.  Luckily, the wonderful midwife we found this time around is opening a birth center this year in Racine.  Woot!  It’s forty minutes away, which is a bit of a drive, but doable.  Our appointment was at the birth center; the area is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s right on the lake in the old part of town, so all the buildings and architecture have that character appeal to them.  There’s also lots to see and do, so if we can manage to get there in early labor maybe we can go for a nice lakeside walk and do some window shopping.  The inside of the birth center… well let’s just say I’m not going to make any judgments right now as it’s technically not open for another month.  But the rooms are very spacious, and each should have a built in birthing tub, woot!

We got to hear Baby’s heartbeat, which was amazing and totally unexpected!  We thought I was only about 11 weeks along, and usually you can’t find the heartbeat before 12 weeks.  But it was no trouble finding it at all, and the beat was loud and clear at 140 bpm.  I am also measuring around 13-14 weeks, which can be normal for a second pregnancy, but we won’t know for sure until 20 weeks when mommies who are measuring ahead usually level out again.  For now the tentative due date is July 25th, but it could be sooner than that!

My midwife is also going to be referring me to a local chiropractor for some pain that I’ve been having.  I was a little concerned at first, since we can’t really afford that on our own.  But I called Samaritan Ministries, the health sharing ministry Evangeline and I are on, and they said that chiropractor visits for pregnancy are eligible needs for up to 25 visits!  So, I should be able to start seeing a chiropractor sometime soon, which is great, because that was so helpful with my last pregnancy.

All in all, we are very excited to welcome our new baby and Evangeline’s little sibling.  I am so blessed to be a mommy of two!

Evangeline’s Birth Story: Part II

Check out Part I here.

My midwife asked if I wanted her to check my dilation.  I was concerned about the tub so I said sure.  I was only five centimeters, so she suggested I labor outside of the tub again for a while.  I got out and break time was over!  I was doing all sorts of squatty, squirmy moving without thinking much.  I was simply trying to get comfortable, but I couldn’t.  Later my midwife told me that was exactly what I needed to be doing!  The body truly is amazing and knows exactly what it needs to do.  The tub was still getting warmer and had reached a perfect temperature, so I got in again.  And again… my labor pretty well stopped.  At almost five o’clock my midwife asked if I wanted another check.  I was not even six centimeters yet.  Now I was frustrated!

It had been over an hour and I was assured the last five centimeters went more quickly than the first but not even six yet?!  Argh!!  My midwife’s assistant kept reassuring me that the baby was really really low and I was almost completely effaced, which were both good signs.  But I was not to be consoled.  I was beginning to feel like this was never going to end.  So my midwife offered to break my water and see if we could speed up the process.  Yes please!  Let’s get this over with!

Unfortunately I had to get out of the tub for this, but it was worth it I felt.  I got out with the agreement that I wouldn’t get in again until I was ready to push; this way my labor would stop stopping.  But after she broke my water the contractions were immediately more intense and way too close together.  I asked to get back in the water, she told me to wait three more contractions.  I could do three more, but after three I was right back in.

The water surely didn’t slow it down this time, but the weightlessness helped me get on top of the contractions.  I felt like I could labor in any position and it was effortless to move around.  Transition came very quickly.  I felt a little panicky and was trying to find a way out of this!  But there wasn’t… I kind of wanted to run out of the house and escape, but when I realized I would have to get out of the tub to do that I scratched the idea.  Before long I felt my body starting to push on its own; I told my midwife that I was pushing and asked if it was ok; she assured me it was fine.

And then I definitely felt the I NEED TO PUSH NOW feeling.  She checked me and said that I was 9.5 but there was nothing in the way of the baby coming out.  I could feel her moving down the birth canal on her own and with the next contraction I made the effort to push.  Her head crowned!  I reached down and could feel her head.  I told Jake to get in the birth tub so he could be there for the birth; I knew she was coming quickly.  The funniest part of labor, I thought, was when Jake said “I think I feel it, but I’m not sure.”  And my midwife responded, “It’s the part that’s not usually there.” I gave him a hard time about it afterwards :)

I pushed again and her head came half way out.  Jake and I were both surprised at how quickly that happened.  I could have pushed more but I was afraid of tearing so I didn’t as much as I could have.  There wasn’t much burning though; it was a lot easier than I had expected.  And when I heard someone say that the head was half way out I figured it was only going to get better from there.  I gave another great push and felt her head come all the way out.  With a third push her body came out and I leaned back to bring her up to the surface of the water.  She was all purple and waxy and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!  Jake and I stayed in the tub for a few minutes just admiring our little blessing.  We were so enthralled we even forgot to check the gender until someone reminded us!  We had a gorgeous baby girl.

After all the excitement had died down a bit, we transferred from the tub to the couch.  I delivered the placenta and Daddy cut the cord, as I marveled at how bright and colorful it was!  I had a lot of bleeding afterward, but nothing too major.  We talked about the name and decided she definitely looked like an Evangeline.  We named her about an hour after the birth.  She recognized her Daddy’s voice immediately and calmed down whenever he sang to her; it was so sweet!  Evie had spent a little too much energy breathing the first hour, so she was too tired to nurse.  My midwife had me give her a little powdered sugar on my finger to stimulate nursing.  It worked wonders!  So her first food was powdered sugar.   Boy are we in trouble!

We spent the rest of the evening cuddling and rejoicing.  And also enjoying milkshakes and fries… hey I earned it right?

The two of us the night she was born.

just the two of us

Evangeline’s Birth Story: Part I

Evangeline NellieMae

March 31st 2010 – 5:48pm

7lbs 7ozs – 20½ in.

I had been lying in bed for about a half hour, lazily considering whether or not I should get out of bed.  I had a couple of small contractions, but nothing too uncomfortable so I just ignored them.  At 9am I had my first “real” contraction.  It hurt and finally convinced me to get up, since lying down just made it more uncomfortable.  The last week I had two days where I had this same kind of contraction, but they subsided.  I was suspicious though, considering I hadn’t had any for four days now.  But, again, I was determined not to get my hopes up.

I went to go take a shower, but decided I didn’t feel like it.  After getting dressed and brushing my teeth I began noticing that the contractions were really starting to be uncomfortable and they were so close together I couldn’t really do much.  My sister came to be with us for the birth, so I woke her up and let her know I needed some help.  She made me breakfast, since I had been starving since I got out of bed.  But by the time she came back with the toast, food just did not sound like a fun idea; I wasn’t hungry, and I was too busy concentrating on contractions.  I managed to get down a couple of bites, but that was all.

She encouraged me to call my midwife; I was reluctant, not actually thinking I was in real labor.  It kind of felt like it, but my contractions were all over the place and not at all evenly spaced.  Weren’t they supposed to be nicely laid out for me like all the books said?  This was my first birth… I obviously had a lot to learn!  After talking with my midwife, she didn’t seem too concerned about heading over.  I called my dear hubby, Jake, who was at school.  Not at all planning to have him come home, just giving him an update.  But he could tell by my voice that I needed him so he came right away.  I thought that was fine even though I was sure this was not “real” labor yet.

After getting off the phone with Jake the contractions picked up a little.  They were lasting a long time and were not giving me more than a minute in between for breaks.  I think I probably just rolled around on the bed for about ten minutes, not really knowing what to do with the contractions.  They weren’t supposed to be this hard yet!  Jake got to the house relatively quickly, which was good; I was getting really frustrated at this point.  If this was early labor then what on Earth would active labor be like?  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

After a while Jake and Aubrey convinced me to call the midwife and make sure she was on her way over, so I did.  We also called my doula and a good friend who were planning on being at the birth, so they could make arrangements for the day.  At this point I was really hoping this was labor if we were going to call in all the troops!  I wanted to take a shower, partially because I needed one and also because I thought it might help all the back labor I was having.  Jake got in with me since I didn’t feel like I could stand for that long on my own.  The hot water on my back felt wonderful during contractions.  I stayed in there until the back labor seemed to have gone away and I was feeling the contractions mostly in front.  Then the shower didn’t help and I felt like I was just wasting my energy by standing, so we got out.

It felt nice and cool, since this was the first really warm day of the year.  By this time my friend had arrived and began showing me all of the things she brought to help with the labor.  I was concentrating too much on my contractions to want to pay attention.  The back labor had come back a bit so I had her and Jake tag team a back massage.  That helped a lot.  My sister and friend’s hubby were downstairs working on setting up the birthing tub.  I wouldn’t let my back massagers leave their post for that!

I informed Jake to call my doula, because I needed her.  Even though a little earlier I thought I would be fine without her for a bit.  At around elevenish my midwife arrived and her assistant was there probably about twelve.  I was still upbeat and chatty in between contractions, and I was “in the zone” during contractions.  My first routine was on the bed leaning in to Jake during the contraction, then I would stand up and walk around to get my circulation going again.  I wouldn’t let Jake talk or be distracted during my contractions; it frustrated me for some reason.  I felt like he needed to concentrate as much as I was, otherwise it distracted me.  It sounds silly now but seemed so important at the time!

active-laborAfter a while I couldn’t take any more pressure on my bottom by sitting down; the baby was really low at this point.  I tried standing for a few contractions, but it was taking too much energy, and I was feeling weak so I had Jake sit in a chair and I sat backwards in his lap in a semi-squatting position so I didn’t have to hold myself up but there was no pressure.  Also, I could feel my hips open up, which was a little more painful, but I could feel the contractions working better too.  My friend had brought some aroma-therapy sprays she made herself.  She gave me a damp washcloth with the spray on it and, I took a deep breath of it at the beginning of each contraction.  I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I knew it took a huge bulk of the pain away and I liked that!

The contractions started intensifying, but the birthing tub was finally warmed up enough for me to use it.  They were skeptical that it would be ready in time, as our water heater wasn’t very cooperative but my sister and friend’s hubby worked overtime on it!  My midwife was surprised they pulled it off, saying she had never seen a turnaround like that before.  After friend’s hubby left I walked carefully downstairs and got in the tub.  Jake got in with me, as I still wanted his help during contractions.  The water was very relaxing, too relaxing in fact.  I still had contractions but they weren’t as powerful and I had a lot of recovery time in between.  I could also feel them moving back up instead of progressing down as they had been.

To be continued…

Crunchy.

Heyllo! And welcome to my blog!

As you can see by the title I am a Crunchy Lutheran Mommy… so instead of writing one introductory post about who I am and what this blog is all about, I thought I would write three :)

For my first post, let me start with the crunchy.  What does crunchy mean anyway?  Crunchy is a term I have come across to denote the “back to nature” movement.  My parents lovingly refer to me as a hippy… however, I prefer crunchy.  What sort of things do I do that are crunchy?  Well, home birth, elimination communication, natural immune system development, baby-led weaning, baby wearing and home-made laundry detergent, just to name a few!  I love discussing these topics and sharing ideas.  I have also been quite blessed to learn about most of them from fellow bloggers.  It is one of the reasons I have felt motivated to start my own!

Bloggers, in fact, are the social phenomenon of our day that plugged me in to the world of crunchy goodness.  And am I ever-so grateful!

You see, it all started when my dear husband, Jake, and I were courting and I was first considering the idea of having a big family (not there yet, but we’re workin’ on it!  😉  I did what any curious 21st century gal would do… I googled it.  And lo and behold what did I find but blogs!  Wonderful blogs of families with more children than most people hope to have grandchildren.  I was fascinated!  I could not read enough about these endearing people; I took in every tidbit of advice I could about how to raise that many people under one roof.  And what I quickly noticed about these wonderful people was that they had wonderful ideas!  And many of them were, you guessed it, crunchy ideas.

The first outlandish, yet intriguing, idea that caught my attention was home birth.  Yes, Kim from www.inashoe.com, had her babies at home!!  What a most ridiculous thing, I thought to myself, babies are born at hospitals, not in living rooms!  But my curiosity had been tickled and I began a researching campaign, as I have been known to do.  After all, certain immodisties of the hosptial birth scene had always been discomforting to me, so perhaps there was some merit to it.  As I looked deeper into the subject I quickly realized I had been captivated and won over by the natural birth side of the debate, and I began to wonder… what else am I missing?

Ever since I have been devouring everything I can on homemaking and raising children as naturally as possible.  After all nature was created by our perfect God who deemed that it was GOOD!  Can we really with our technology and chemicals and additives and methods improve upon what God has declared to be good?  I think not.  Now, I have to be careful here, because first of all I am blogging on some quite advanced technology that I believe can be a great blessing!  But, when it comes to the fundamentals of how we live, I think we need to get back to the pure basics of the matter.

My line of thought is fairly simple and boils down to this: We should live how God originally created us to live, naturally.  I have two clauses that I add when I believe this should not be the case:

1. This should not be the case when confronted with the falleness of our nature and of creation itself.  For example, I believe that women can and should birth naturally, and can safely do so without manmade interventions or procedures.  However, because death has entered the world natural processes in life can sometimes go awry, if during the course of the pregnancy or labor, things veer off the natural, intended course that God created, doctors and manmade interventions can and should be used with great potential benefit.  God has given us creative intelligence and we can use it to dilute and stave off the consequences of our fallen creation.  However, when things are going along their originally intended path, they are good, designed by God and cannot be enhanced, but will only be hindered by our intervention.

2. This also cannot be the case when discussing activities or objects not found in nature.  For example: I might say that technology should not interfere with childbirth, however, it would be rather silly of me to claim that technology should not interfere with blogging.  Blogging is a manmade activity that utilizes manmade resources.  We have been given the ability to imagine and build and enjoy those things that we make.  This is a gift from God, and should be utilized with good stewardship in regards to the creation we have been given to enjoy.

Thank you for checking out Crunchy Lutheran Mommy!  I hope you will come again!

Blessings in Christ,

Dalas

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