Just In Case.

I was leaving my 6 week post partum checkup lugging a baby carrier and herding a two other children out the door. My midwife stopped me and asked ‘Are you thinking of having any more?’

I laughed. I always think it’s strange when people ask that question. I’m not sure if people just want to know or if they think they should have a say in the decision. I understand her questioning was probably medically related to some level but nevertheless, I laughed.

Having just spent 9 months housing the cutest little peanut around and then navigating life with three kids aged 4 and under, I laughed. That pregnancy TOOK. A. TOLL. My body screamed the entire time and let out a sigh as soon as she was born. My body basically told me that entire pregnancy that it was done.

‘I’m almost positive she’s my last,’ I replied.

‘Always treat each one like it’s your last,’ she called as I chased down the 2 year old.

Those words sank in. They sank in HARD as I watched my newborn turn into a baby and into a toddler. Each little milestone was met with wet eyes and a sinking heart. I cherished those days so much and tried to take in each first and last.

A few weeks ago our baby all of the sudden was a big girl. She didn’t need a crib anymore and we knew it was for the best to sell it so we didn’t have to store it. I was fine until the couple came to pick it up. They were expecting their first in a few months and I was all of the sudden brought back seven years to when we were expecting our first. It flew. It flew so incredibly fast that sometimes I don’t even know if it actually happened.

I was so sad just knowing that we had given up something that each of our babies slept in. I get so attached to things like that and I’m not sure that I should. But, here we are. Teary eyed talking about a beat up, chewed on, crib.

Each night I hear, ‘I want to Wock!’ It’s the phrase that comes right before actual crawling into bed. The rocking chair is still up there and I don’t think I can ever get rid of that. That thing has racked on so much mileage for the past seven years. Each night after stories and prayers, she bolts to the other room to get in some rocking, singing and maybe a book. She might just love that sweet time together but I think she has learned the art of stalling and manipulation.

But, I do it. Every. Single. Time. I agree to it.

Just in case.

Just in case she forgets to ask the next night.

Just in case she realizes that she’s too big.

Just in case it’s the very last time I rock my very last baby.

Just in case.

I’m sure every momma out there that has had a last baby can agree with this to some extent. For every momma out there that isn’t there yet, you’ll be there before you know it. When you’re in the thick of it you don’t realize it and before you know it, you’re wishing your last baby would just decide to be a baby for a little bit longer.

Do it.

Just in case.

DIY Tub Scrub

About 5 years ago I was cleaning the bathroom with a cleaner I had on hand. 24 hours later, I was hurting. I had a headache, nausea, my arms were numb and tingly. I instantly knew that it was a reaction to the cleaning solution I was using and I started researching.

I learned all about toxins, reactions to toxins and how things like this can lead to flare ups in autoimmune disease sufferers. Since my diagnoses, I have found myself cutting a lot of things cold turkey for the sake of saving my immune system and body from having to go on medication. I’ve done some pretty strange things for the sake of myself and some things that were pretty drastic. Switching out all of our toxic cleaning products was the easiest switch.

I’ve scanned Pinterest for DIY home cleaning products. I’ve been impressed by some and not so impressed by many. When I’m impressed, I am loyal to that recipe for life.

I could not for the life of me find a bathtub/sink cleaner that did the job quickly and with ease. This recipe is so simple and it works, even for someone who doesn’t have a lot of power in their scrubbing arm ;)

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It’s 5 simple ingredients that are relatively inexpensive and it lasts. Here’s what you’ll need…
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  • 1/8 cup Dr. Bronner’s SAL SUDS or Castille Soap (I love Sal Suds- a teaspoon in a spray bottle filled the rest of the way with water is what I use on the shower) I have found it cheaper locally but you can find it here
  • 3/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 15 drops Essential Oil (I use either Tea Tree or Lemon both from Plant Therapy)
  • Distilled water

-Pour 1/4 Dr. Bronner’s into glass container. Add 1/2 cup Baking soda and stir until it makes a paste (You can add more of either ingredient at this point to get it to your preferred consistency- I tend to shake in a little more baking soda). Add 1 tsp Hydrogen Peroxide and stir to combine. Add in essential oils. Slowly pour in distilled water until it gets to a consistency you prefer (If you like more of a ‘paste’ don’t add water) Stir one last time.

Just dip the corner of a sponge or bristled brush into the container. For a tub, I use about an 1/8-1/4 cup and for a sink I use about a tbsp. I do use this daily on my kitchen sink.

A Helpful Tip- Make sure the container you have this in has a little space between the scrub and the lid. It does expand a little.

 

Strength.

If any word could describe me in my post-partum days  and months with my sweet baby #3 it would be weak. I understand fully that my body had accomplished a remarkable task. I had just come off a 9 month journey of growing, nurturing and changing. I had also come out of that pregnancy so happy to not be pregnant anymore. That pregnancy was hard on my body and my mind. When she was born, my body screamed, ‘HALLELUJAH!’. I was up walking around and felt amazing. My midwife commented saying, ‘It doesn’t even look like you had a baby.’ I went home 20 hours after her delivery. I had rest. I had time to transition into our new family normal.

What came after left me weak. Drained and trying to grasp for stability. I’ve said it a million times but post partum hormones are a force. The fog. The anxiety. The mood swings. The absolute craziness of keeping tiny humans alive left me feeling weak. Thrown into that mix is the post partum looming flare ups that I’ve experienced in the past.

I came up with excuses for everything. I never had enough time for exercise. I never had enough time for peace and quiet. I never had enough time to pray (or when I did, I’d fall asleep). I never had enough in me.

In 2017 I began walking in the morning. My initial reason behind walking before the sun came up was to exercise the dog. I wasn’t walking her enough and, when I was, it was with the three kids in tow which was exhausting.

What I found was a new rhythm. A new way to start my day. What I gained were amazing sunrises over the lake. I found myself timing it perfectly so I would be able to catch that first peek as it rose over the lake. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my morning walk stories. My number one reason for doing that was to document to myself that I actually did it and keep myself accountable.

I realized that the quiet, the stillness and the ability to spend time in prayer as I walked my route was bringing me back stability.

Since my first morning walk, I have witnessed over 200 sunrises. I stood watching the lake one morning and received word that a close friend from college had passed away. I’ve cried in that spot just remembering that day. I have been able to pause on the frozen lake in below zero weather and give thanks (and I hate the cold). I have taken many deep breaths to prepare myself for a day of craziness. I have prayed. So much prayer for so many people.

As the year drew to a close and a new year began I decided to choose a word to motivate myself in the new year. I’ve never been one for ‘resolutions’ but this was an easy way to motivate without the pressure of failing.

Strength was my word. Strength in body. Strength in mind. Strength spiritually.

There was no magical formula for this other than to be more intentional. To clear the clutter in my heart and mind, make room for the important things, take care of my body and press into the Word. I also needed to give myself a hefty dose of grace on the days that it really just wasn’t going to go the way I planned.

How did I do this? I woke up early. I have to purposefully get myself out of bed before the house is awake in order to accomplish most of this. Is it fun? Nope. Do I do it with a smile? Nope. I say that I am not a morning person nor a night owl. I force myself to start my day with intention in mind. After a full year of attempting to grow in strength here’s where I stand…

  1. I am more self motivated to get myself up and moving. With my illnesses, I typically feel like I got hit by a truck in the morning. Getting up early, stretching, focusing and getting my body moving has been powerful. I feel like I’ve defeated the prior thoughts of ‘my body can’t do this today.’
  2. I have regained physical strength and stamina by incorporating things that are free and easy to do. Walking, pilates and HIIT/Tabata have given me back strength that I really haven’t seen since I was a high school athlete. I actually think I’m stronger than I was back then.
  3. I am much quicker to defeat the thoughts and lies that so easily crushed me. I find myself repeating God’s truth and promises about who I am instead of dwelling on negativity and lies.
  4. I find myself praying more intentionally and doing that FIRST

Obviously, I am human and not perfect so I definitely do not do all of these and pat myself on the back because I am perfect. It’s about growth. It’s about grace. It’s about seeing imperfections, giving thanks and praying for grace.

As the year winds down, I’m already trying to come up with a word to motivate me in the new year. The thing is, I think I’m very attached to strength so I may just make it my every year mantra but that seems like a lazy path.

 

 

 

 

Real. Raw. Beautiful.

I live in this constant limbo of feeling fully content in all things and always seeking the next best thing. I can look around my home some days and bask in the beautiful coziness of it all, feeling safe and warm. I can stand at the kitchen sink that very next day mentally writing a list of all of the ‘to-dos’ or ‘to-buys’ that will somehow make our home perfect.

It’s a trap I fall into with a simple scroll through Instagram. So many pretty pictures. So many beautifully decorated homes. So many women seemingly handling life with grace and poise. I know it isn’t all real. Seriously, anyone with a child knows the mess they can bring. But I still wonder every time I see a photo and think ‘Wow, that’s so perfect’ in awe and if there is some sort of magic (or maid) behind some of these images.

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So many claim that it isn’t what it’s really like. That the pretty images are not what life is like, that their life isn’t as beautiful as those images portray. They flat out tell it to my face but I still don’t believe it and still find myself in this strange place of trying to live up to a environment where all is perfect.

I can’t be the only one that does this and I probably have fallen into the trap that pretty images only belong in that space. I don’t know why I do that. I don’t know why I feel like I need to bring only my best while shoving the mess or chaos to the side.

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Actually, I do know why.

There’s this desire I’ve had my whole life. I have this silent desire to be seen but not in the spotlight. I like to highlight the good and the pretty for fear that anything messy, crazy or chaotic will bring criticism or comments.

I also have this desire for the real and the raw. When I edit photos I prefer the rich detail, the raw form of the subject and I absolutely cringe at fakeness (Nothing bothers me more than filters on photos. That one filter on Instagram that makes you look like you’re glowing can stay…this momma needs that one)

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I crave the real. I like the beautiful. I desire the raw. I am drawn to the pretty.

It’s a silly dance but the truth of it can absolutely slap you upside the face. How many times have I said ‘I’m fine’ when it’s not? How many times have I apologized for the mess in my home when I really cleaned beforehand? How often have I purchased new clothes or items for the house because I’m not satisfied with what I have? It all comes back to joy. This dance between being content with what the good Lord has gifted and falling into the ‘not good enough.’

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I come to the conclusion that I am not perfect. No one is. I really am never good enough because I fail, a lot. Perfection or ‘being good enough’ doesn’t exist, especially if I am measuring myself according to someone else’s picture of what their life appears to be.

So, what do I do? Do I still go on Instagram? You bet. I am a visual person. I love to be inspired and to hear other’s stories. Do I dwell on their ‘perfect’? Sometimes, yes but I am brought back to my own self. I know perfect doesn’t exist. I know that the real and raw business of being a mom includes the mess. It’s there. It always will be in some form. I am learning to embrace it.

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Truth time.

-My house is typically cluttered with toys, dog hair, and I am in constant wonder as to how the bathroom sink can get so messy in so little time.

-My photos of my art are my best. They are the ones that I put up for sale. I have a stack of artwork that has splotches or mistakes that is larger than my pretty art pile.

-My patience with my children comes a lot from my personality. I am generally a calm person but even the most patient person snaps every once in a while. It happens.

-My pretty house has flaws, mistakes and things that make absolutely no sense as to why they are that way. Some of that is because of my right brained way of painting and some is because our house was built in 1914.

-My basement looks like an episode of hoarders. I’m working on it.
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I will continue to post pictures of the pretty parts of my home, of the pretty food I make, of the pretty artwork and of my perfectly adorable and well-behaved children. I mean, for real, who wants to see my scary basement full of junk or the bathroom after the toddler learns how to take off a poopy diaper?

But to show the not-so-perfect may be worth it. Behind all that and more, is the mess. The real and the raw which when you think about it, is the beautiful.

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**Photos are from our annual trip to Madeline Island. Where the cell reception is bad and the biggest ‘to-do’ is finding rocks to throw into the lake**

 

 

 

Health, or lack thereof.

It was about 6 years ago that I first began experiencing symptoms. After having my first baby, this post partum downward spiral hit at about 6 weeks post delivery. I couldn’t even get off the couch, my body lethargic, in pain and I knew that something wasn’t right.

Many doctor visits following that and they couldn’t tell me what was wrong. Finally, a test came back positive for Lyme’s Disease. At the time, I didn’t think much about it because so many people here in Wisconsin end up getting it. There was something that didn’t sit well with me with that diagnosis.

Fast forward almost a year and right around the time of my son’s first birthday, he decided to quit nursing. Within a week my strange symptoms returned but this time with added symptoms like painful, achy joints. I also had numbness in my left side of my body. Fevers and chills. Brain Fog and fatigue. A few weeks of living like this and I returned to the doctor. Many times. and Nothing.

Finally, 3 months later one doctor decided to run what’s called an ANA blood test. Lo and behold, it came back positive.

Cue the google searching.

That’s never a good idea. It sent me into a not great place of anger, denial and self pity. I pretended like I had nothing wrong with me. All while feeling like junk. I would then do a quick search on symptoms or prognosis which led me to anger and questioning, ‘why me?’

After another doctor visit my rheumatologist prescribed me medication and steroids. I remember standing at the counter at the pharmacy listening to the pharmacist rattle off all of the side affects. Weight gain, dizziness, irregular heartbeat.

My head was spinning.

Blindness.

Say what?

I remember thinking to myself, ‘So, I might feel better from my diseases but a very common side affect is going blind…’

Great.

Cue the google searching.

‘Alternative ways to treat autoimmune diseases.’

Anti-inflammatory. Autoimmune Paleo. Gluten. Naturopathic. Holistic. Homeopathic. These are words that I may have heard in the past but never thought twice about. I researched. It. To. Death. I spent so much time reading from naturopathic doctors and nutritionists that have way more knowledge than I ever will.

The very top thing that was suggested was diet change. Cut out gluten. I read it so many times as it seems to be the top inflammatory food.

Done.

It wasn’t that hard. I did it more as an ‘I’ll try this and see how it goes thing’ and it’s stuck with me. I’ve cut out a lot more since then and altered the way our entire family eats.

I haven’t had near the joint pain that I had after my first flare up. I have had flare ups since (after baby #2 and baby #3) but nothing I couldn’t manage at home. I do still see my rheumatologist once a year for check ups and blood work as a precaution.

I do not know all of the science behind autoimmune diseases but I do know that my diet and lifestyle changes have DRASTICALLY improved my day-to-day. Do I still experience symptoms- Yes. Would I take medication if it was critical to my health- Yes.

Would I eat bread again if I could- Yes ;)

I am not a doctor or nutritionist but my advice to anyone that is dealing with autoimmune disease or just feeling fatigued or like they can’t eat healthy consistently or just anyone is to treat your body as a vessel. It needs fuel. It needs to be taken care of. You may not see the results right away but what you put in can be critical to how you live.

A few years ago I was so incredibly angry when I would see people at the grocery store checking out their food (Not in a judgy way…stick with me) Loading up the conveyor belt with pure JUNK without a care in the world. Without any health issues. Now, I know that I didn’t know these people or why they were purchasing these items but I was in a state of self-pity myself, angry with my diagnosis. I traveled in this state of anger whenever I’d see anyone not taking care of their bodies.

To be honest, I still feel that way sometimes. Most of the time I am more in a state of wanting to walk up to someone and say ‘BUY BETTER FOOD! YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU!’ but I’m brought down by my rational side that knows that every person has the right to their own decisions and that is ok.

While my diet and lifestyle has changed, there is still this strange limbo of I look fine but some days, I just can’t. even. do. anything. The thing about autoimmune diseases is that, most of the time, they aren’t visible from the outside. You can’t see what’s happening on the inside where the body is basically attacking itself, wreaking havoc on whatever system it targets.

My autoimmune journey has been one filled with denial, anger and frustration but, to be honest, it has brought me to better health and whole body wellness than before my diagnosis.

Paleo {Granola} Recipe

Every time I create or concoct a recipe and it’s awesome I always wish I had written it down. A few months ago I started making a grain free granola (For myself) and found that after 24 hours the jar was empty. The rest of the family would inhale it like none other.

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I started writing it down as I went and tried to perfect my measurements. I don’t always use the same nuts or dried fruit but those are easy things to sub out.

We love to put it on yogurt, smoothie bowls or in some almond milk. But, really, straight out of the jar is what happens the most around here.

Here’s the recipe!

Paleo ‘Granola’

2 tbsp. Ground Chia Seeds

1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1 cup Macadamia Nuts (or chopped Almonds, Cashews or Pecans)

3/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

3/4 cup Cranberries (or Dried Fruit of Choice)

1/3 cup Coconut Oil

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup Honey (or Maple Syrup)

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Ground Ginger

1/4 tsp Salt

-Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

-In a small saucepan heat coconut oil, honey and vanilla on Medium for 5 minutes

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-In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients

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-Pour the saucepan mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well making sure everything is coated

-Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently turn/stir on the baking sheet. Return to oven for another 5-10 minutes or until it starts to get a golden brown color.

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-Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight jar for 1-2 weeks (ours has never lasted that long..)

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Let me know what you think if you try it out- always looking for ways to make things taste better or add variety!

For Your Pinning Pleasure…

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It’s Been A Long Time.

I began this space a long time ago as a place where I could document my own experiences, talk about what was on my mind and share with others. As an introvert, I tend to bottle up thoughts and I tend to overthink everything. Here, in this space, I gave myself the freedom to share what was on my heart.

I took a break from it because I had three kids. Man, do they consume my everyday. It’s a good thing and a not so good thing. I sometimes find myself getting so wrapped up in what they are doing, not doing, eating or not eating that I forget to escape for a moment, catch my breath, savor the moment, process or rest.

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A lot has changed over these past few years. My children are growing, like crazy, and I feel like I have a slightly better grip on this stay at home/work from home mom thing. When I say slightly, I mean I can handle chaos better. I can multi-task a little better, I know what needs to be done vs what can wait, I can deep clean our house in 1 hour if everyone is out of it, and I have gained a bit more confidence in my parenting.

Do I have it all together? Absolutely not. Do I yell at my kids? Yup, sometimes. Do I want to pull my hair out at the end of some days? You bet. I firmly believe that striving for perfection will never produce perfection. Kids are messy. Parenting is hard. Staying at home with kids can be incredibly difficult. Attempting to work from home can feel pointless at times.

My goal is to share my heart, to make sure that I’m not just putting out pretty perfection but to show the pretty in the imperfect.

Here’s what I hope to share in this space:

Motherhood (because that is currently my biggest role)

Home (style, décor, DIY)

Natural Living (My auto-immune journey and how we transformed our way of eating and home)

Food (My DIY Recipes- So I can find them :)

My Shop (I love to paint/create and I’m finally creating a space to share it)

Giveaways (because I’m also DIYing something and always have extra)

 

I’m going to attempt to stay regular in this spot because, let’s be honest, I don’t get out much and sometimes comment conversation is my only social interaction in a day. 

 

 

 

Elodie’s {Birth} Day

I wrote about Liam’s birthday after he was born and I promised myself and any future children that I would stay on top of things like printing pictures and documenting life. I’m getting it done, just nearly three months after the fact…

A week before Elodie was born, I was able to see her in a sonogram and get her final weight check. She was weighing in at over 8 pounds and I was expecting another large headed, wide shouldered, rolls-on-rolls baby that wouldn’t fit into newborn clothes. That day I set my induction date for my official due date of June 5. Because of Lupus and the risks to her heart and lungs and my blood pressure going past my due date isn’t really an option. It was game on at that point.

I did everything in my power to help her along before my due date. Each ultrasound towards the end showed her low and ready to go. They said that, when she came, she would come quickly. I didn’t want to be induced so as each day went by without her arrival, I was disappointed. I had false labor for weeks and I was about one more contraction away from making the phone call on a few occasions. The contractions faded and disappeared.

By the time Monday came around, my mind was elsewhere. The nesting instinct was long gone and my house was proof of that. Monday was a quiet day without much action on the baby front {the calm before the storm ;) } Tuesday morning Liam and I went to buy some plants for our flower boxes. We were going to the park later that morning but before that we stopped at a coffee shop and I let Liam pick out whatever he wanted. It was a nice date with my little man. At this point, I started noticing that feeling. It was a feeling that I remembered from the day Liam was born.

We made it to the park and I carried my phone around timing contractions. At one point I went down the slide with Liam and about five minutes later Jeremy called to check in on his lunch break. I told him what was going on and he asked ‘is this it?’ I had so many ‘this is it’ moments the previous weeks that I didn’t want him driving all the way home for another false alarm. I said I’d call him back when I got home.

We made it home and at that point, I knew. I put Liam in front of the TV and gave him who knows what for lunch. I went to the bathroom and let’s just say, I knew it was go time. I called Jeremy and told him to get home. He arranged for us to drop Liam off {thanks Kendra!} and called my mom. I loaded the car {in between contractions- ha!} and waited. Jeremy came home and requested to take a quick shower and we were off.

My midwife wanted to check me before admission so I went to the clinic first knowing that I would be delivering in a few hours. I sat in the waiting room for what felt like forever and was finally asked to come back. As they were checking my weight, I was hit with my hardest contraction. My midwife came around the corner and said ‘Let’s get her to the delivery room.’

After 2 hours of labor in the delivery room my water broke and I went from 6 cm to 10 cm in 10 minutes. After 15 minutes of pushing my sweet little girl was born. I pushed for 45 minutes with Liam so I wasn’t expecting her so quickly. They put her in my arms and I instantly loved her. She was a petite, skinny version of Liam with dark hair and a good set of lungs. Apparently the ultrasound isn’t accurate for weight because she weighed in at 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long.

We named her Elodie Suzanne. We loved names beginning with ‘El’ and we discovered her name the day we found out we were having a girl. Elodie is a historical French name with medieval roots {learn about it here} Her middle name is after my mom.

Our little ‘Elle Belle’ is the sweetest addition to our family. She is laid back and loves to sleep {amen!}. She smiles easy and eats like a champ. She is a more feminine version of her brother but with darker hair. We love her to pieces and can’t even remember what our lives were like without her. We are so thankful for the Lord’s protection of her heart while in utero, a safe labor and delivery, and the overall blessing of our sweet little girl. Our hope is that her heart would be captivated by the Lord. That her life would reflect the love of Jesus Christ and that she would always strive to live a life for Him.

And just because she is too cute for words…

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On her birthday.

 

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One month old.

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At the beach.

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She’s a keeper.

Liam’s {Birth} Day

I woke up on March 24th with high ambition. I was going to clean the house, Jeremy and I were going to go on a walk (Jeremy actually wanted to go golfing and have me walk along…) and we were going to meet my parents at 5:30 for dinner. I spent the majority of the morning very uncomfortable and unmotivated to get anything done around the house. Something was off. Oh, and I was having contractions every 3 minutes. They weren’t painful or anything but enough to make me think that something was a stirring in my tummy.

 

Finally, at about 4 pm I called the hospital and told the doctor on call what was up. He didn’t seem too concerned and said that if we wanted to, we could come in to get checked out. In my mind I was thinking that they would just send me home. We arrived and the nurse hooked me up but also didn’t seem to concerned. She checked me. 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced which is where I had been for the past month. She was ready to send me home when she saw 3 contractions at about 1 minute apart. She was shocked I couldn’t feel them. She asked if I would stay and walk around for 40 minutes to see if they pick up.

 

We began pacing the halls of the hospital at 4:50. Jeremy was tracking the contractions and even counting down the seconds to when one would occur. We were laughing and joking around almost the entire time. We were just about to head back to the desk when my first ‘ohmygoshthatisreallypaintful’ contraction hit. I almost hit the floor. We went back to the room and the nurse hooked me up again and checked me. 5 cm and 100% effaced in that 40 minutes stretch. She said we weren’t going anywhere.

 

They transferred me over to the ‘active labor’ room where I became fast friends with the yoga ball. It took away some of the edge of the contractions but, man alive, it was painful. I don’t think I opened my eyes or talked for the next 2 hours. I had requested an epidural for when I got to about 7 cm. The doctor came and checked me at 7:00 and I was at 6 cm. He broke my water (weirdest feeling ever) and it came out green (I didn’t look- I wasn’t in the right state of mind to process colors). They said it might be an infections or he had pooped :) As soon as he broke my water the contractions became even more intense and even closer together. At that point, I had almost dislocated Jeremy’s thumb and was thinking that death seemed like a perfectly good options vs. the pain I was in.

At about 8:45 I was checked. 9 cm. Panic went through my mind. I thought they would tell me that I couldn’t have the epidural. I was tearing up and praying to God that I could get a little relief and be able to catch my breath. I was on oxygen and I don’t think my lips have ever been so chapped from all of the deep breathing. They still gave me the epidural but I was warned that it would only take the edge of. It was almost instant relief (well, sorta…). I could still feel every contraction, my legs weren’t numb but oh my, I could breath again. I actually began to enjoy giving birth. I could focus on what I was supposed to do and I was actually listening to everyone’s instructions. I began pushing at 9:35 and it took until 10:09.

 

10:09 pm is when time stood still for me. As they pulled him out I am positive that I stopped breathing and just stared at him. They took him away to make sure he was ok because of the green fluid from earlier. I was stuck to the bed but I used every ounce of strength to strain my head to watch everything they were doing. I tried to catch every glimpse of him that I could. I could get over how precious he was, how much hair he had, how absolutely adorable he was and how big he was. An 8 lb 10 oz baby was not what we were expecting but goodness, was he perfect in every way.

10:25 pm was when I finally got to hold this precious little boy that I had inside of me for 9 months. It took my breath away. I didn’t cry, I just stared in disbelief that such a beautiful little baby could come out of me. He was healthy and content.

 

We chose the name Liam Anthony. Liam has many meanings such as ‘strong willed warrior’, ‘protector’ and ‘helmet’. We decided that such strong meaning was perfect for a first-born son. Anthony is Jeremy’s dad’s middle name.

 

March 24th was one of the best days of my entire life. Yes, labor was no fun but it went fast which is what Jeremy and I had prayed for. I honestly cannot describe the pain and I can say that, now that I have a baby in my arms, it was worth it.

 

I love being a mom and I love my little boy. It’s hard to believe what life was like before this little man was in our lives and we are so incredibly thankful that God has blessed us with a healthy baby boy.