Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rio and the Case of the Red Dye

So, if you've met Rio, you know. You know she's a wonderful mix of a child. She's hilarious. She is just genuinely funny without any effort whatsoever. You've seen pics my husband has posted. She is spunky and full of life. She follows her own set of rules, even if they go against normal rules. If she doesn't want to do something, she says so. She's honest. She's an antagonist. You say one thing; she'll want the opposite. She's spontaneous; I can't ever think "no, Rio wouldn't do that." Cause she will. She loves to be told when she's doing the right thing. Let her know. Encourage her. "Hold you". This is all she wants. She wants to be picked up. To snuggle. To be held. Jonathan says tickling is her love language. I think he's right. Anyways, you get it. Rio is precious. She is a beautiful darling spunky girl. 

Around New Years we started experiencing some difficulties with our dear Rio. She started getting really sensitive with clothing. And having what we called "episodes". They would come out of nowhere. I don't know if I can properly explain it, but it's like she had no control of herself. Like she couldn't handle being inside her own skin. They were difficult. There was no way to help her, to calm her, to comfort her. I tried every clothing she owned. Nothing worked. I tried every method of reasoning with her, helping her, calmly dealing with her. As a mother, this is so hard. That's my job, and I wasn't able to do it. It was so hard seeing my Rio, whom I know, acting like a different kid. The episodes were getting in the way of who she really is. I know Rio. I know she disobeys. I know she's 3. I know there's a new baby in the family that can cause issues. But this wasn't behavioral. Behavioral I could at least address. Discipline and move on. This was so much more. 

I was so anxious all the time. My stomach was constantly in knots. One day I was so discouraged, not knowing how to help Rio. I was crying, crying out to God for a solution. Help. An answer. 

That same day on facebook, a friend posted an article about red dye. The way she described her child sounded a lot like Rio. And then another unrelated friend posted anther thing about red dye. On the same day. And then I thought back to when we first noticed the behavior: when she was sick and we were pumping her full of medicine loaded with red dyes. Hmmm. And it was followed shortly after by us letting the girls pick their cereal, the colorful, dye-filled kind. I decided this needed investigating. I'm not good with food. I just don't know what's in everything and what defines healthy and all that just overwhelms me. So to cut out something, red dye, overwhelmed me immensely. But I decided to give it a try if it would maybe help. So we cut out red dye, which is not too drastic, but still not easy. 

And the effects were immediate. 

So, crazy. 

She was back to her 3 year old, spunky self. Without the flip-out episodes. 

I'm still kind of amazed. God totally revealing something so helpful to me in a really simple way. Him caring about the things that matter to me. Him providing what was needed for my child.  

So, don't give my kid a cupcake. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Breastfeeding, Bottles, and Swallowing My Pride

Disclaimer, I really don't think my choices are better than anyone else's. I had natural labors, but that doesn't mean I believe that's the "right" way. You wanna schedule that C-section, that's your business. I like to wrap my baby. You use a stroller, cool. I'm telling about my experiences, so don't think I'm declaring my way is the right way. I'm not. It's what was right for me. You do what's right for you. 


I loved breast feeding both Taylor and Rio. Don't get me wrong. It was hard, and I had to fight for it. But it was worth it. It helped me in bonding with them. I absolutely loved that only I could give them what they needed. They were completely dependent on me, their mommy. 

I was able to nurse Taylor a year and Rio 9 months. There were times with both girls where I had to really fight to keep it going by pumping and taking non FDA approved medication, but fight I did. 

So this my third time around, I was soooo excited. I thought this would be super easy since it was number 3. I planned to nurse by demand feeding, meaning I'd let her nurse all the time, whenever she fussed at all. Well, she was born, and nursed right away. Hooray. 

She didn't seem to be a very hungry baby. I would have to wake her up to feed to get my supply up, but after trying everything, she would not eat unless she decided to. Once in the first few days, she went 9 hours refusing to nurse. I was a nervous wreck. Walking around with her trying every thing I could think to get her to nurse. Sobbing. Pleading. Finally she gave in and ate. She seemed to latch on fine once she ate, and she nursed the normal amount of time at each feeding. She wasn't too fussy until night time. 

Then she would cry and cry and, I'd have to wait her out until she would finally fall asleep. I assumed it was just her fussy time of day. Then I go in for her 2 week check-up. She has not made it back to her birth weight. Okay. We can fix this. I will try getting her to nurse more. 

I borrowed a scale to weigh her during feedings and see how much she was taking in. The first time I did it, she nursed an hour and only took in an ounce total. She was casually sucking. I panicked. At each feeding, she wasn't getting enough. I frantically started pumping and supplementing, but it wasn't helping my supply. I was worried constantly that every cry meant she was hungry. I was feeding her, supplementing, pumping, and then doing it all over again. I did that for two weeks, but she still wasn't getting enough. I finally decided I can't keep this up. My other children are being neglected while I'm spending all this time pumping. I was devastated. But I knew when I was beat. So, I made the switch to just formula. 

After a week, I had a new baby. And I knew I had made the right decision. She was happier and sleeping better and gaining weight. 

But the guilt. And the grief. I mourned not being able to nurse her. I wanted to so badly. Grief would strike me out of nowhere and make me so sad. And I made myself feel so guilty. 

My pride. Oh my pride. I also was ashamed that I wasn't nursing. When anyone would see me feeding her a bottle, I immediately felt the need to explain everything, because I didn't want them to judge me for feeding my baby formula, because I was judging me for feeding my baby formula. 

There it is. Boom. Heart revealed. I did think my way was better. How silly of me. Bottle or breast, my baby was getting fed. I do think it's so awesome how God made us able to feed our babies straight from us. But that's not always the best or even possible way for everyone. And that's okay. I could never know all the circumstances that play into a mom making the decision about how to feed her baby. So what would give me the right to pass judgement. 

So, now I say, "Momma, you do what's best for your baby. I'll do what's best for mine." I'm just thankful that such a thing as formula exists. 

And I'll do my best to stop feeling the need to explain myself. 

Breast is best. 

Except when it's not. 

These are the only photos I have of our short-lived breast feeding experience. I will cherish them. But I'll also cherish feeding my baby with that bottle. 

Willow Drew at Two Months

Dearest Willow Drew,

You are the sweetest baby. You are two months old now and so very precious. At your checkup, you weighed 10.10 and were 24 inches long. That puts you in the 40th percentile for both, which is a record for one of my petite babies. Way to go, Sugar. You usually only wake up once at night, take a bottle, and go right back to sleep. Best baby. You've been sleeping in your own bed since 7 weeks old. You and I slept on the couch for the first 5 weeks, then moved into the bed once you were better at turning your head. You've almost always slept on your belly, which is why we were on the firmer couch. You were not the greatest napper unless mommy was holding you or wrapping you, and then you slept great. Right at 2 months old, I realized you were not enjoying being rocked to sleep anymore. You were fussing and having a hard time getting comfortable on me. So I put you in your bed just to see what you'd do. In 5 minutes of quiet fussing, you fell right to sleep. I thought it must be a fluke, but it happened again the next night. Then I tried it at naptime, and surprisingly, you fell asleep again on your own. This is a strange new development that I'm not too sure I like all that much. It is very helpful, but I am sad to miss all those snuggles. Don't worry, I will still wrap you whenever I can because you do still love it. I love wrapping you, and you love it too. As soon as I get you all wrapped tight, you instantly relax and snuggle. Best ever. 

You are such a happy baby. As soon as you make eye contact with anyone, mommy especially, you grin and grin and grin. You will coo and talk my ears off as long as I hold your gaze. Your eyes, pretty and blue like your sisters, are bright and wide when you are awake. 

Oh, and you adore your sisters. If they are in sight, you are focused on them. All I do is put you in your bouncer on the floor, and you are entertained just by watching sisters run around playing. They are always asking to hold you and hug and kiss you. Rio affectionately calls you "new baby". And they both copy whatever mommy does to you. I fake pinch your cheeks and make a kiss noise, they do too. It is an extra joy getting to watch how much they love you, kid. You are lucky to have them as your big sisters. (Don't do what Rio tells you, though she means well.)

No one needs to remind me to cherish every moment, because I'm doing that just fine on my own. Every. Moment. 

You're my favorite Willow. (Just so no one thinks I'm playing favorites. I also say "you're my favorite Taylor. And "you're my favorite River Jane. Notice the lack of comma before the names. 😜)

You are a gift. 

Love always,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Willow Drew Owen's Birth Story

This is my first time blogging in forever, I mean forever. I just wanted to document the birth of Willow. This will be long and graphic, fair warning. So here goes…


I have been dreaming about this birth since the first moment I found out I was pregnant, literally. I loved my other two births and could not wait to do it all over again. I quickly contacted Rachel, the doula that helped with River Jane’s birth, because I desperately wanted her again. Score, she was available!

Here’s a little background to this birth. I got back in shape before getting pregnant this time around, because a) I wanted to and b) I hoped it would benefit being pregnant. Wrong. Being pregnant the third time around was much more difficult than I anticipated. I was sicker the first trimester, tired almost the entire time, achy and painful anytime I slept, and I felt like my bottom would fall out at any second. Graphic, but true. I loved being pregnantdon’t get me wrong. Nothing compares to feeling that tiny baby moving around inside one’s tummy. I was always judgy when women would complain their whole pregnancy, but this time around I totally understood why women felt that way. Pregnancy is hard. And this is coming from me, when my pregnancy really wasn’t that hard. Anyways…


I naively thought that maybe the baby would come earlier since this was my third birth. I had my hospital bag packed weeks before my due date. Fool. This time we decided not to find out the sex of the baby, just to add a little mystery to it all. We took awhile but finally narrowed it down to one girl name and one boy name. So, week 40 came and passed by yet again (as it did with my other two births)I wanted a natural birth again, so I was willing to wait as long as possible to minimize interventions. My doctor’s office only wanted me to go to 42 weeks, so I began to get a little nervous. The 42 week date got closer and closer and my doctor mentioned scheduling inducting, and I have to admit, it freaked me out. I knew that was the next step, but still it really freaked me out. I called Rachel in tears because I felt like I had no control of my birth. I knew I really didn’t have control; God is completely in control and had sovereignly planned this birth. I mean I felt like my doctor wasn’t giving me any control. After talking to Rachel, I felt much better about the possibility of an induction. She informed me she was great at inductions with natural labor.


Friday, the 3rd of October came, and we arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am bright and early for my induction. It felt so weird arriving at the hospital when I wasn’t having any contractions. Usually they break your water and then start the pitocin, but I talked to Dr. Mac and he agreed to let me keep my water intact. Having my bag of water intact really helped manage the pain for the other births. (It didn't get broken until baby was coming out, FYI, so that was cool). They hooked me up to an IV at 7:00 am and began the dreaded Pitocin. I had imagined Pitocin was thick and black and that I would be able to feel it creeping into my skin. Oh, and that it was evil. Thankfully, I was wrong.


They started me out at 8 (insert measurement) of Pitocin. My doc had assured me I’d be able to at least walk around the room while hooked up to the Pitocin. One of my fears was that I’d be trapped in the bed the whole time. I knew I couldn’t handle natural labor while trapped in the bed. So, I began my slow walk around the room pulling my Pitocin behind me.

Contractions started right away, but they didn’t really hurt yet. They actually felt good. I had been craving contractions for so long, finally having them felt wonderful. I was able to still walk through them and occasionally rock when necessary. I bounced on the ball when I needed a walking break. 

My doc came to check me a little after 12 pm, and he announced my dilation. 3, maybe 4 centimeters.I was crushed. It had been 5 hours, and I was only dilated 3 or 4. Dr. Mac and Rachel could clearly see that I felt defeated. They explained that getting to 3 or 4 would be the longest part, and that it should go faster now. Also, baby had been way high, like still floating around when I got there but had dropped down to -2. He/She was moving into the birth canal, so that would speed things up. I thought they were just saying that to make me feel better. Rachel talked to me about having the right attitude. When a contraction would come, instead of starting each contraction with “oh no”, to greet each contraction with “this is helping baby get here”. So, they bumped my Pitocin up to 10 (whatevers) and the contractions immediately got stronger. Rachel wanted me to remain upright to aid baby in sliding down and cause me to dilate more. I had to hold onto Jonathan and moan through contractions now. Right before one would start, I would try and smile, take a deep breath, and welcome the contraction. I labored a little on the potty, slow danced with Jonathan, and sat on the edge of the bed. I would hold tightly onto Jonathan’s arm and burrow my face into his arm for each contraction.

They were getting to be really strong and difficult. I even told Jonathan no more being funny; it was starting to annoy me. 

I was so exhausted after each one, I just felt like going to sleep. They were intense. I cried a little at how tired I was. Apparently Rachel knew I was probably in transition, but didn’t tell me. I didn’t know how to gauge the contractions, since I was on Pitocin. I thought I had a long way to go, so I felt so sad.


I was sitting on the edge of the bed, moaning loudly through a really strong contraction, when I felt something strong, and yelled out, “What was that?!” Rachel said it was probably the baby connecting with my cervix. I realized that it felt like the baby had slid down. Awesome. I told Rachel I had to change positions, that sitting on the bed wasn’t working for me anymore. So she suggested a new position to rest a bit. Ha ha. What a joker. Rest.


She had me lie on my side and put the peanut balls between my legs. I HATED it. I frantically grabbed the sides of the bed during the few contractions I had to endure in that position. I yelled at Rachel, “I hate this thing! I don’t wanna use it anymore.” She later informed me that this was a distraction position while she sneakily checked me. Again, I hated it. Jonathan said she realized I was really close, so she quickly called the nurse to tell them to get in there. Rachel then had me change positions. She had me get on my knees, reach over the top of the bed, and grab the back of it. This was very helpful. 

At this point I was in my deliriously crazy stage. Screaming loudly, panicking, gripping the bed for dear life, unable to understand what Rachel was trying to tell me. She was right in my face trying to get me to breath slower and yell lower. I remember saying, “I don’t know what you are saying.” Once I finally understood what she was saying, I did my best to get control of my breathing. All of a sudden I felt the pressure. The pressure that told me it was time to push. I screamed out, “The baby is coming!” In my head, I still thought that Rachel didn’t believe that I was so far along. When in reality, she had already got the doctor and nurses in the room. Dr. Mac checked me to make sure I was dilated all the way before they wanted me to push. Rachel came and got in my face (cause that’s the only way I would listen) and told me that I was ready to push, and that I probably wanted to turn around so that I could actually see the baby being born. I was scared and panicked and screamed, “I can’t move! I can’t turn around! I can’t move!” And then another strong contraction hit me and more panic. The doc told them it was now or never for me to turn around. So, Rachel gently grabbed my arm and leg and ‘tricked’ me into turning around quickly. I’m so glad she did. Once I was sitting up on my backside, I felt great. Dr. Mac said okay push whenever you want. They were trying to set the mirror up for me to see while I pushed, but the lady holding the mirror turned it the wrong way. I angrily screamed, “I can’t see anything!” Jonathan said I also screamed, “Don’t you know how to use a mirror!” Whoops. I thought that I had only thought that last one. I pushed twice, I think, and out came the head. One more push and baby was out all the way. Pushing felt so great after all those intense contractions. Once baby was out, I immediately felt so much better. I did it! Victory! Hoorah! 

They gave my baby girl to me right away and I was overjoyed. She was finally here! Once everything was all cleaned up, I nursed her for the first time. Wonderful. So very wonderful! 

Willow Drew Owen was born at 1:27 pm.I went from 3-4 cm to baby out in about an hour. Rachel joked to the nurse that she knew I was in transition, but didn’t know that transition was only going to last five minutes. It was a very intense and painful hour, so glad it was so fast. I can’t believe how great it went. I was terrified of the Pitocin not working on me, but it worked wonderfully and got that baby out in 6 ½ hours. I am so thankful that I was able to have the birth that I had wanted. It was a wonderful wonderful birth. Jonathan was fabulously patient and calm and strong. Rachel did awesome again. She helped suggest things to progress my labor and to help me manage the pain. I could not have made it without the two of them. Dear Abby was also with us as the photographer. So glad she got to share in this with us. All of the fantastic photos are hers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Love...

I feel like it's all happening so fast, this growing up thing. I don't want to forget. Any of if. Even the frustrating bits. You are a delight, Taylor. I love everything about you. I want to remember you as you are now, a sweet 2 and a couple of months.

I love the way you beg me to snuggle with you. I love the way you'll cup my face in your hands, look carefully at my face, and give me a kiss. I love the way you demand I "wait" when you want to do something on your own. I love when you're polite saying, "Thank you so much" or "You're welcome so much". I love the way you say "soary" when you make a mistake. I love when you tell me you're scared, and I get to comfort you. I love the way you express yourself using your eyes. I love when you sing along with me. I love how you say "me help" when you want to do it on your own. I love how you refer to your animals as either "nice and kind" or "mean". I love how you squeeze Rio's face with love. I love that you love wrestling on the bed. I love that you always request "story time". I love that you say "whop em" for you're welcome. I love that you want to know new people's names. I love when you are a servant and offer others whatever you are having. I love how you say "ouch" when Rio is bothering you. I love how a soft blanket makes your fingers go in your mouth. I love that you show concern for others, especially when they are hurt. I love telling you about God. I love when you are shy. I love when you are brave. I love when you ask to pray for others. I love your hair. I love when you ask questions. I love how you protect Rio. I love that you always want to help. I love how you watch people. I love when you climb in my lap for a hug. I love watching you figure stuff out. I love when you make your thinking face. I love to hear you tell me you love me. I love dancing with you. I love all my moments with you, my sweet daughter. I pray I cherish and make the most of the time I'm given with you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

River Jane's Birth Story

So, River Jane just turned 6 months old, and I am just now getting around to writing her birth story (insert image of me hanging my head in shame). 

But, since I did all that work, you know, birthing a baby and all, this post needs to happen. I also figure she will feel cheated since I wrote one for Taylor.

As all birth stories go, there will be details about a birth. So, it might be a little more than you want. Do not read on from here if you can't handle the details. I warned you.

Here it goes:

We found out we were pregnant right before Mother's Day, so we decided to wait to tell our family on Mother's Day and make it all special. They were extremely excited of course. The due date was January 2nd, so I knew that was going to make for an interesting and crazy time with our anniversary, Christmas, my birthday, and New Years all happening around then. 

We found out we were having another girl; I knew it. I can totally see us as an all-girl family. Don't get me wrong, a boy would be fun, but I'm glad it was a she. I was so excited about Taylor and baby girl #2 being so close in age. They are 18 months apart, so I pray they are best friends. Sisters. Wonderful.

The pregnancy went great with no problems, thank you, Lord. I don't take that for granted; I am so thankful for that. I gained around 25 pounds, like with Taylor. I was a little more uncomfortable this time around, just with having another small child to care for. I was exhausted a lot, so I did a lot of napping when Taylor napped. I also wasn't where I needed to be physically before getting pregnant, so I think the lack of exercise played into me being more uncomfortable. I wasn't as comfortable being big this time around either. I felt more insecure and just full out large all over. Baby #2 I guess. 

December rolls around and we still haven't decided on a name; I knew we'd figure it out eventually. Not having a name isn't fun for other people. Everyone asks, and I just started giving a standard answer, "We have two names and we are going to pick when we see her. It will be a surprise." That's hard for people to handle, I get it. Our two names were Emma and River. For both names we liked the middle name Jane. We liked Emma a lot, but we also liked River because it was different. Jonathan loved River Jane. I loved it too, but I had a hard time with it, because I was worried about her hating it later on in life. I found the name on a blog. They actually were naming their baby River June, but I switched it to River Jane. Anyways, two names, River Jane or Emma Jane: to be decided at birth. 

It was a little stressful for me with all the unknown. There were so many little events coming up, so many things happening. Waiting on a baby was difficult for me. We were also having the Owens' down for Christmas, so I felt pressure (not from anyone) to have the baby before or during their visit. It was hard trying to make plans for Taylor and our holidays not knowing when a baby was arriving. I know I sound silly, but I'm documenting how I felt. It's my blog, and I'll cry if I want to. 

I wasn't counting on baby girl #2 coming early. I was preparing myself for way after the due date, like with Taylor. But still every day, I would think, maybe it's today. 

I had a few Braxton Hicks contractions earlier in the pregnancy, just a few times, but not enough to do anything. On New Years Day I started having some stronger Braxton Hick's. They were sporadic, but strong. I would have a couple then none for a few hours. Then a couple more, then none for a few hours. Jonathan and I went to a movie by ourselves (me having a hard time focusing due to contractions), while the Owens watched Taylor. I remember secretly thinking they were real contractions, but not allowing myself to believe or get excited. I especially didn't want to tell anyone, not even Jonathan, for fear of getting everyone's hopes up and then crushing them. I felt like everyone was just watching me, waiting. So much pressure. I really wanted to have her before the Owen's had to leave. I would have felt horrible if they missed another birth. I finally told Jonathan that I was having Braxton Hicks, but I totally downplayed it to him, so he didn't even think anything. 

The next day, January 2nd, the due date, I was still having contractions, but they were so sporadic. 3 really strong ones, then nothing for hours. 4 more, then nada. In the evening they were the strongest; I even had to rock and breathe through some of them. It was funny because I didn't want anyone (besides Jonathan) to know, so I did my best to mask my discomfort. I went to bed early, because I was uncomfortable. They were pretty strong. This time around, I knew better what to expect, so I think I had a better handle on the pain. I was in bed, rocking my hips through the contractions, and I decided to start timing them. But those silly things would not get regular in length or in time between each. I thought I was in labor, but I was waiting it out as long as I could. I contacted my doula, Rachel, to ask her advice. She talked to Jonathan, and based on how I didn't appear to be in a lot of pain, he didn't really think I was far yet. But I felt like I was in labor, and I decided it was time to go. Like I said earlier, I think I just had a better handle on my pain. P.S. The rocking of my hips worked well for awhile, but it was starting to get beyond that, so I thought I was ready to go. 

I was scared, scared that I was about to wake everybody up, get their hopes up, go to the hospital, and then, nope, you are not in labor. I would have felt a sense of failure. I finally let Jonathan tell his family that we were headed to the hospital, and I alerted mine as well. I remember someone trying to hug me in all that, and I held my hand up, and left the room. I was in labor; don't touch me unless you are asked. Insert winky face. But for real. 

Side note: Every night before the baby was born, I remember holding Taylor and rocking her and just cherishing those last moments of her as an only child. It was kinda sad. (But of course so happy as well).

Jonathan and I headed out, grabbed some fast food, and off to the hospital we went. I talked to the on-call doctor and Rachel to let them know we were heading to the hospital. In the car on the way, I had like one small contraction. Stink. I immediately began doubting that this was the real thing. I felt sick at the thought of having to go back home with a false alarm. 

We arrived at the hospital around 5:45 am on the 3rd. Rachel arrived shortly after. We were supposed to get the tub room, but it wasn't working. We were also supposed to get an inflatable tub, but they were out of liners. What?! Come on, Brookwood, you let me down. I just wanted the tub for the labor part, not the birth. 

Rachel being goofy. 
I got my fancy hospital gown on and got ready to be checked. I had only had like 2 contractions since leaving the house. I was so prepared to hear false alarm, but what do ya know, I was already 6-7 centimeters! Thank you, Lord! This was the real deal. We called our photog, Miss Haley Richter and told her to get on up there. As soon as I was allowed, I started walking around. I walked for awhile around the empty halls, and then went back in for them to monitor the heartbeat. There were a few decels (is that right?) so they wanted me strapped to a monitor. We walked some more and danced during contractions. Rachel suggested some squats and different positions to help with the drop in heart rates. I think they helped, but since I still had some, they were wanting me to have my water broken to see if there was meconium in with the baby. They decided to break my water at 8 am. (There wasn't meconium in the waters for your info.) I was 8 centimeters. Just like last time, as soon as my water was broken, I felt the pain so much more. 

Us walking the halls.
Rachel suggested several things to help with the pain. I labored some on the toilet. I also sat on the birthing ball a lot and leaned over the side of the bed. When I was losing it several times, Rachel would bring me back. Bless her. I remember one time she had me pat my hand to her counting. I had such a hard time focusing on keeping with her rhythm. It helped me though. She was great. I was much more "here" for this birth. I remember it being more painful, but i think that's just because I was much more alert during all of it. Rachel managed to keep me focused and relatively calm. Several times I lost it. I think I even hit Jonathan some. I kept trying to touch Jonathan's skin during contractions. It calmed me. He was a fabulous partner of course. He is so patient and supportive and calm and great. I moaned a lot. Rachel would remind me to breathe and moan deep and breathe some more.


I got to the point where I was starting to feel A LOT of pressure. It was really hurting. Rachel relieved some of the pressure by doing some magic thing where she pressed on my hips. It worked wonders. I could feel the baby sliding down...crazy. I had the strongest urge to push, but we didn't think I was at 10 yet. I finally requested they check me at 9:28 and victory! 10 centimeters! Time to push. I sat on the bed semi-upright and got my feet in those stirrups. Getting into the bed is the worst. I hate that part. It's so uncomfortable. Dr. Adcock came in and we were ready. I had already been bearing down, because I couldn't help it. It feels so much better to push. 
My super awesome husband at work.

Me pulling her up.
One of my goals this time was to look down while I was pushing. With Taylor I was so scared that I kept my eyes closed. I also didn't want an episiotomy. They brought the mirror over so I could see what I was doing while I pushed. Let me tell you, that was so helpful. I could see action when I pushed, so I could push better. I pushed a couple times while they counted for me, and I started to see a head. Awesome. I pushed again, and the head came out, with a tear, oh well. There was my baby's head! Right there! I could see it in the mirror. Dr. Adcock had me reach down and grab the baby's head, and he let me pull her up onto my belly. He did this when I had Taylor as well, but I had my eyes closed shut the first time. It was such a wonderful feeling. All that hard work, and then I get to pull my baby up onto me. So incredible. I held her and cried and praised God. Our baby was here. She arrived at 9:38 am. I only pushed for under 10 minutes. I don't know how long I was technically in labor, because I don't know when it officially started. You could say 2 days, but I think I'll just say starting from when we got there, so 4 hours.

Such an awesome moment. God is good.

They waited for the cord to stop, it didn't seem like it took very long at all, and then we did the rest of the delivery. I don't like that there is still stuff happening after the baby comes out. It annoys me, but I know God designed it just the way it's supposed to be. It felt like it took forever to stitch me up, I had two tears, but it didn't hurt as much this time. My legs were tired of being up and open though. I was so ready to just close them. I held her for a bit, then they took her to weigh. She was 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 3/4 inches. Our River Jane (we had already decided on the name, but we still kept it a secret). I got her back and River Jane immediately latched on and started nursing. Precious. I love that skin-to-skin time. 

River Jane Owen.

Our sweet doctor praying with us after.

The team.
So, there it is. The story of her birth. I am writing this 6 months later, so I may have missed some details. I did my best to remember everything. Thanks to our doula, Rachel, for an awesome job. She was such a great support and helper and encourager.  

Daddy's in love.

Mommy and Rio.

We are overjoyed with our sweet River Jane. She is a precious and snuggly baby, and we are so thankful. This birth was just as wonderful as Taylor's was, but I remember more. That means I remember more of the detailed pain, but that's okay. It's birth. It's going to be painful. But it is so worth it. I love natural birth. That's what was best for me. I highly recommend it. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Treasured Two's

Dear Taylor,

Where to begin? I guess I should start by telling you Happy Birthday, so 

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday,
Happy Birthday to You.
It's your Birthday, and you're two!

I sang that song to you all day on Monday, your actual birthday. I think you were wondering why. We didn't have your actual party until Saturday, so I'm not sure if you knew when your actual birthday was. Oh well. 

You are such a special little girl. So, very special. Your Daddy and I talk about it all the time. It amazes us at how much love we feel towards you. I am trying so hard to get you to say, "I love you!" back to us. But you have never been much of a copier. You say it when you want to. I remind you that "we love because He first loved us." We talk about love a lot, especially in learning how we treat our baby sister. 

Speaking of being a sister, I am so proud of the big sister that you are. You are the sweetest to your sister, Rio. I secretly watch you all the time and catch you taking care of her: giving her toys to play with, kissing her, entertaining her with your toys, helping her reach something out of her grasp, and even smiling sweetly at her to see her smile in return. When I leave the room for a second, I always say, "Can you watch Rio for me?" And you always take it so seriously and make sure to really do a good job. I love it. 

I want to try and sum up your sweet little 2 year old personality as best I can: so I can remember it and hopefully so you can read it someday. Here goes:

  • You are full of life and joy. So happy. A sweet and gentle spirit.
  • I see instances of your servant heart. You always make sure to include everyone. For example, if you are eating, you make sure everyone else eats something to. Or when we are going somewhere you always make sure that no one gets left behind. "Rio go?" "Mommy go?" "Daddy go?"
  • What a helper! You love to do little tasks that I give you throughout the day. And you love to help clean. And you love to help cook. 
  • We've got a chatterer on our hands and I love it. You will ramble on using words you know and tell us all about whatever happened.
  • Your face is very expressive. You like to act out something that happened to you. It amazes us at the little things that leave an impact on you.
  • You love to play in our bed. You will say, "Shh shh" and smile really big when you want us to wrestle around in it. As soon as daddy gets home everyday, you immediately ask him to play on the bed. 
  • You are not a copier. I will say words and try and get you to repeat them, but you say them on your own time. You are starting to say many more words and form sentences. So fun!
  • Your excitement always makes us smile. You are very expressive when you are excited about something. You say, "ya ya" and do a little jig. 
  • You love to go "lala" and dance around, but you mostly want a partner to dance with. One of your favorite things to sing is Dora the Explorer. "Hey hey" and "Aw man". 
  • You love a nice soft blanket. You must have multiple lovies to sleep with, your ugly doll pillow, and several babies or stuffed animals.
  • You are quick to accept discipline. We talk a lot about obedience and how it honors God. You know the word obey really well. If you are in need of a spanking during the day, mommy takes you calmly to your room, and we talk about it before she spanks. You are always quick to hug us right after we spank. And show us your happy heart. 
  • You love to pray. You will get all excited and fold your hands and close your eyes during the whole prayer. We pray everyday that God would draw you to Him and reveal Himself to you. 
Some of your common phrases:
  • "Ah me?" - Can I?
  • "Es go." - Let's go. Normally it's followed be mommy, daddy, rio, or issou.
  • "Us dat." - What's that?
  • "I eat." - Can I have some?
  • "Wee wee?" - Can I slide?
  • "La la?" - Can we listen to music?
  • "Dohwa?" -Please, please can we watch Dora?
  • "Shhh shhh" - Let's go wrestle on the bed and pretend to sleep.
  • "Wocka wocka" - I wanna rock in the chair and snuggle.
  • "Huh?" - You say this when you don't know the answer or are thinking.
  • "Nup." - I want a cup.
  • "Pull." - You say this for push and pull and mostly when you strain
  • "Up." - Up means I want down and I want up.
  • "Wawa." - You do the sign and say the word to ask for water.
  • "Baph." - Can I get a bath?
We love you, little girl! I cannot wait to see the beautiful young lady that you grow into. May your heart continue to be sensitive to those around you, and may you come to know Jesus. 

Love you,