The birth of Aubrey Lynn: An accidental, unassisted home birth story

I’m still trying to process everything that happened, and I really don’t have a great time line because it happened so fast – but this is my recollection of how Aubrey came into our lives in a super fast & furious manner.

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Monday started like the last few days had started for me – extremely early because I was unable to sleep. I woke up around 3, couldn’t fall back asleep so I went in our guest room to read and to use the breast pump for nipple stimulation.

I should probably say now that if you don’t like details about labor/birth/boobs, then, exit now. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended.

I previously read that a breast pump could be used for nipple stimulation, which can help to bring on contractions. This needs to be done at regular intervals over a couple of hours time. I lasted an hour. 15 min on each side, rest for about 15 min then repeat. That was all I could handle. I went back to sleep for a few hours and then Paisley woke me up at 7:30 crying because she had taken all the slippers off her dolls and couldn’t find one of Belle’s. #toddlerproblems

After everyone was awake and fed we went over to the preserve near our house for a walk. I was having some braxton hicks type contractions after our walk; but nothing that I would consider to be a “real” contraction. When Paisley was born, my water broke at home and I don’t remember having contractions with her – I got an epidural before the serious stuff started. Everything I had read or listened to said that “real” contractions would feel like period cramps.. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve had period cramps,but nothing I was experiencing felt like that.

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Paisley laid down for a nap; Chris & I had some alone time…. you know they say sex helps induce labor. Sex at 40wks 1 day is about as awkward as it sounds. HA! Earlier in the morning I had found a recipe for “labor inducing” cookies, so I that was up next on my list of things to do. While I was making those cookies I was semi aware that my contractions were somewhat regular. I attempted timing them but I was having a hard time figuring out when they were stopping & when they were starting, so I gave up. At some point I laid down in bed to see if they would stop or if they continued. They continued – but with some irregularity and nothing that I needed to stop doing what I was doing to handle it. This went on for hours –  I was convinced that these were just braxton hicks and that they would stop over night, as had happened many times over the course of my pregnancy.

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Again, my time line is fuzzy – but at some point I had started timing contractions and they were 3-5 min apart, but really mild in intensity. I needed to let the birth center know that I was in early labor, so I called them around 8:30pm just to give the midwife on call a heads-up. Chris was getting Paisley in bed so I grabbed some pillows and went to law on the couch. I was also doing an accupressure point on my achilles tendon which seemed to get my contractions going a little more. Again, nothing serious. I asked Chris if he would rub my feet and the pressure point. I also notified my doula around this same time that I was having contractions.

As I was getting up to move over so he could sit on the couch, I felt this insane pop and then instant pain. I stood up and I knew immediately something had changed. I told Chris to call his Dad because they needed to come get Paisley – this was at 9:45. That first contraction doubled me over. I could no longer talk or function through the contractions…and they were coming fast and hard.

I started to get worried because it would be at least 30 min before Paisley would be picked up – I got in the shower to try and slow the contractions down some. Failed attempt. I told Chris to call the midwife because we needed to be leaving ASAP. He called the midwife at 10:04 to tell her that the contractions had gotten really intense and we needed to come now. I made it out of the shower but a contraction hit & I fell to the floor on all fours. This was the ONLY way I could tolerate the pain. I started sweating like a crazy person and seriously wondering what I had gotten myself into. I think I also text the doula that we were getting ready to head to the birth center.

I was also thinking there is absolutely no way on God’s green earth that I am getting in the truck and riding 45 minutes with these contractions. I stayed on the floor through a few contractions while Chris tried to persuade me that I needed to get up and get dressed because his Dad would be there soon. At some point during this my water had broken, and then I started to see some mucusy type stuff. No clue what this is, but I knew right then that this baby was absolutely not going to wait for us to drive to Brandon. I crawled to my closet to find some clothes, had another contractions. Rocked on all fours through the contraction. At this point Paisley was still home, in the next room, and I’m basically screaming. I think it was at this point that I was feeling like I needed to push – which REALLY freaked me out because there was no way that I already needed to push! I knew from reading some books that I needed to try and relax because being tense was making the pain worse, but I’m here to tell you that there was no relaxing. I tried really hard, but, the pain was incredible.

Paisley left at 10:17 – Chris tried to sneak her out in between contractions so I didn’t wake her up. I think he said she did wake up, he told her Mommy was okay and that she was going to go to Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

For the next few minutes Chris tried to convince me to get dressed because we needed to go. I kept telling him there was absolutely no way I was getting in the truck and that we weren’t going to make it. Finally I told him to take Paisley’s seat out of the truck and I could try to ride in the back seat. I started the walk towards the truck and had 3 contractions and with each one I just knew that this was not going to happen. Each contraction had me on the floor. I had a contraction right before I made it out the door to the garage and I could feel Aubrey’s head with my fingers. Again, I told Chris we weren’t going to make it out of the house.  At some point during all of this Chris had put water in Paisley’s tub. I guess maybe he was starting to realize that we actually weren’t going to make it out of the house & he knew that I was planning on having a water birth a the birth center.

I made it out to the garage – had a contraction fell to the floor and I felt Aubrey’s head come down and then slide back. I was seriously worried at this point – I had no idea how dilated I was but I knew that I needed to push. I’ve heard/read that your body just knows, and that is no joke. With Paisley I had an epidural so I NEVER felt that urge to push. This was an undeniable OMG IF I DON’T PUSH RIGHT NOW I WILL DIE urge. It was INTENSE.

I some how made it back into the house and into the tub. Chris called the midwife at 10:43 to tell her that we weren’t going to make it that Aubrey was coming now. She called back at 10:45 and Chris couldn’t answer because he was literally catching Aubrey. When Aubrey’s head was delivered she was already screaming – I can’t tell you what a relief that was for us. To hear her, and know that she was probably okay was a HUGE relief. Chris is telling me that I need to push one more time so that he can deliver the rest of her. It seemed like forever before I had another contraction so that I could get her out. Chris called the midwife back at 10:47 to say that Aubrey was born & she was crying. He asked the midwife for instructions on what to do next.

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Cheryl gave him a few things to look for and a few things to do but to mostly just hang tight until she could get there. She had just arrived at the birth center when Chris called her to tell her that we weren’t going to make it there. My doula, Brandi, had also text saying that she was at the birth center waiting for us…. My response to her was a picture of Aubrey, HAHA!

Then our Midwife, Cheryl, arrived and got right to work. She & Chris cut the umbilical cord – We were able to do the delayed cord clamp for 39 minutes, no one was even there to do anything for the first 25-30 minutes!! Eventually, Aubrey’s placenta was delivered and then it was time for me to get out of the tub. My Doula, Brandi, also arrived at some point. Not sure when – She helped me get out of the tub and settled into my OWN BED! (this is so crazy!)

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This part blows my mind because with Paisley I had an epidural and I could not move for hours, and then when I could move we found out I had nerve damage in my leg/foot so I still couldn’t really walk. So, to be able to stand up, rinse off in the shower, and then WALK TO MY OWN BED was CRAZY!!!

After I was settled in bed I got Aubrey back and we had some more skin to skin & nursing time. Aubrey is much different than Paisley in the nursing department! She latched right away – something that I really had a hard time with when Paisley was born!

After answering some questions about her birth, and getting everything recorded in our chart, it was time to take Aubrey’s measurements! (look at her little foot sticking out! so sweet!)

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She clocked in at 9lbs 2oz!!! THIS SHOCKED ME! I said ” NO WAY!” So Cheryl weighed her again! Yep, 9lbs 2oz !!! She is 21″ long! Head circumference is 14.25″Chest is 13.25″

And because people are strange, and always want to know…. I did not tear. LOL, let that soak in for a minute! I’m STILL letting that soak in. This is as crazy to me as having a baby at home in my bathtub with no one but Chris around!

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The body is a powerful powerful thing, and thankfully my body did what it needed to do, and with the help of our Lord & Chris I was able to deliver a very healthy baby girl without any medical intervention.

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Thanks for letting me share our birth story with you! This is not something I’ll ever forget but getting it down in writing is a great way to process everything that happened!

Jena

Preparing for Aubrey

I think I’ve almost set a record between my Grandmother, Mom, Aunt & my Sister…. for being pregnant the longest. Not really a record I want to set, but here I am, none-the-less. Still going strong at 39wks 2 days.. I realize I haven’t even made it to my “due date” yet, but no one thought I was even going to make it this long.

Every day is a challenging head game of wait & see; please note: I am REALLY NOT GOOD at these type of games that test my patients and have no end date. Sure, there is an end date, BUT WHAT IS IT???

So since I’m still pregnant, I decided that maybe I actually do have time to make a few freezer meals. I had kind of been putting this off because the task itself seemed really daunting. Planning & preparing multiple meals at one time!? I can barely cook dinner without a meltdown from a certain toddler I know – How was I ever going to spend hours in the kitchen? I had a few weekends where I planned to do it, but then I just never did it.

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So Sunday afternoon I pulled out my Make it Freeze it cookbook and flipped through it until I had a few recipes. Then I went on Pinterest and found a few recipes for meals that weren’t in the book but that I wanted to make.

I wrote out my grocery list, and then text my Mom to see if she could come watch Paisley for a few hours on Monday so that I could knock out these freezer meals. I’m not a dummy, there is absolutely no way Paisley would tolerate me standing in the kitchen for hours on end. Naps are so hit & miss these days that I couldn’t really count on that either. Grandma to the rescue!

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15577899_10209420675727286_9110571610914870032_oOkay, back to my freezer meal plan.. but Paisley is so cute, right? She had a blast taking pictures with Grandma! Lot’s of twirling & singing was involved.

I planned out 6 meals, and each meal would have 4-6 servings;

Upstate Minestrone (from the Make it Freeze it cookbook)
Rustic Italian Tortellini soup (MIFI cookbook)
Zesty Hamburger soup (MIFI cookbook)
Baked Spaghetti (MIFI cookbook)
Chicken Pot pie (pinterest)
Shepherds Pie (pinterest)

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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup: 

Prep: 20 min  / Cook: 20 min
Makes 6 servings (2 quarts)

3/4lb Italian Turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 c water
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (9oz) cheese tortellini
1 pkg (6oz) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 1/4 tsp minced fresh basil or 3/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Crumble the sausage into a dutch oven; add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water & tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the tortellini; return to a boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; add the spinach, basil, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tortellini are tender. Serve with cheese if desired.

FREEZE OPTION:

Place individual portions of cooled soup in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth if necessary.

 

Let’s wrap this up, shall we? I’ll post the other two recipes tomorrow!

 

Jena

When you just feel inadequate

“Mommy, play with me.” She says as she grabs my hand and tries with all her might to pull me away from the stove.

It’s time to get dinner started, Paisley is bored and wants me to play with her. I have to start dinner. It’s not going to cook itself. I need to wash the dishes in the sink. I need to finish charting from today’s patient load. I need to put away the clothes from this past weekend. I need to hang the clothes that have been laying in a basket for a few days.

She pulls my hand again and asks me to play with her again. “I can’t,” I tell her, again.

My heart breaks. I feel like crying. My child wants my attention, and I can’t or won’t give it to her because so many other things also need my attention.

This scenario happens all too often around here. It’s been happening more & more frequently as she grows older and is less entertained by her current toys. Her attention span is short; it’s not her fault. She’s not even 3 yet.

Am I doing her a disservice by keeping her home with me? Am I teaching her enough? Is she getting enough engagement? We don’t play with friends nearly as often as we should.

We can’t. I don’t have time. I don’t know that many people here.

Should we send her to school? We can’t afford it. Maybe I should get a regular job that pays more, No, not an option. I don’t want her to go to school yet. I want to stay home with her.

My house is a disaster. I’ll never be able to stay on top of it because I can’t even get ahead of it.

These are all my thoughts; the things that make me feel inadequate. I’m not a good enough Mom. I’m not a good enough employee. I’m not a good enough housekeeper. I’m not a good enough Coach. I’m not a good enough friend.

I honestly never realized how many of these, “I’m not good enough” thoughts I had in my head until just now.

It is hard to feel like you’re good enough when you feel like you’re drowning in the simple day to day life.

They say the days are long & the years are short. I know that’s true, but in the middle of a shit storm, everything feels neverending.

Today is a new day. All I can do is my very best.

We went to Disney…. I’m so tired

Oh my goodness, y’all. We went to the Magic Kingdom this weekend, and I am exhausted! We started the weekend with a Friday night visit to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween.

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Paisley’s first glimpse at Mickey & Minnie2016-10-21-20-39-00Here they come in the Boo to You Halloween Parade!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween. We’ve never gone before, and although I have friends that have gone, I never thought to ask what it was like.

The event starts at 7pm, although we were told that you could enter the park at 4pm with MNSSHP tickets. The pre-parade entertainment started at 8:15 with the parade starting at 8:30. The parade was pretty neat, there was quite an array of characters. Paisley doesn’t really know who the majority of the characters are, but she had fun waving and screaming HI to everyone!

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After the parade, we were funneled towards the back of the park, and on our way to find candy and Ariel. What I didn’t know until the night of the event was that the candy stations are spread out through every “land” of Magic Kingdom. Needless to say, we did not get much candy (which I’m okay with, BTW). Honestly, I wasn’t super impressed with this aspect of the event.

I did like that most of the characters were still at the greeting areas, and plenty of rides were still open. Paisley got to meet Minnie, Daisy, Donald & Ariel on Friday night.

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Paisley was a little shy with Ariel during her first encounter – a real live person in a mermaid costume is probably pretty intimidating to a kid! But her 2nd encounter on Saturday, while we were at the Magic Kingdom, was much better. (Waiting on pictures from that encounter, there is a super sweet one that my Mom took.)

The fireworks show was pretty awesome – Paisley hates fireworks, so this part was not awesome. She sat cuddled up on Daddy with her hands over her ears for the duration of the show. I can’t recall what time this was, I think it was around 10:15. I do remember that we were in line to meet Minnie, Daisy & Donald… yeah, still at the park.

We started our trek back to the front of the park, but got a little lost, and ended up getting stuck behind the final parade at 11:15. I don’t know what time we ended up leaving the park, but we didn’t get back to our room at Port Orleans – Riverside until after 1am.

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30 weeks pregnant, and ready to do The Magic Kingdom with my Princess’ & Prince

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My mother in law, Mary, scored us all an awesome breakfast reservation at Chef Mickey first thing Saturday morning. This was an AMAZING experience, but OMG, getting up at 5:30 after going to bed after 1 am was HARD!!

But the breakfast, that was super worth it! Chef Mickey is at the Contemporary Resort, which is amazing all on its own. We had 7:45 reservations and were seated pretty quickly. I don’t know if all of Chef Mickey is character dining, or if it’s all buffet style, but that’s how our breakfast was.

Paisley got to meet Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto & Donald! She loved every second of it!
The food was excellent. I’m not typically a fan of buffets but in Disney style, the food was excellent.
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Shout out to Mary for this AMAZING outfit! She found this gem on Etsy! It is seriously adorable, and Paisley loved it!

I am planning on doing a Minnie themed birthday party, so we will be able to use the skirt again! I am all about dual purpose specialty clothing!
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Next up was our first monorail ride to Magic Kingdom! As soon as we entered the park we headed to Ariel’s Grotto because Paisley wanted to meet Ariel (again).

The wait was 40 minutes, and we explained to her that we would have to stand in line and wait for a long time, but she insisted on meeting Ariel.

and then she fell asleep on Daddy while we waited. 2016-10-22-10-49-34

We stopped for lunch at Pinocchio’s Village Haus . Decent food for a decent prize. As with all things Disney, food is extremely overpriced, but I didn’t find this place to be horribly ridiculous. Except for water still be $3. That is crazy. I drink a lot of water. Chris said I spent his monthly beer allowance on water this weekend. #sorrynotsorry

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The carousel was our final ride at The Magic Kingdom – of course there is so much more to do, but we were all so tired. Paisley was barely staying awake, and her attitude was starting to show just how tired she was. Actually, we did do the train ride that goes around MK, but she AND Chris fell asleep. So we headed back to our hotel for a little down time before we had to venture over to Disney Springs for our dinner reservation at The Boathouse.

We took the boat from Port Orleans – Riverside to Disney Spring Market Landing. When I inquired as to how long this would take, I was told plan for 45 minutes. It took about an hour. The ride itself didn’t take that long, but the boat is only so big and quite a few people had the same idea we did. So we had to wait a little bit longer for a boat.

It was also a little bit of a walk from the Market Landing to The Boathouse – we arrived just a few minutes after our reservation, but all was well. Thankfully we had a reservation because people were looking at 2 hour wait times!!! YIKES!

I had a super delicious pasta dish. It was called Vegetable Pappardelle, so good! I’m currently looking for a similar recipe on Pinterest. Chris had shrimp & grits, which he said was great. My Mom had coconut shrimp, I think she liked it. Paisley had a cheeseburger & fries, which she ate without having to be asked 700 times.

We sat outside on the deck; it was perfect. We had such amazing weather this weekend! We really lucked out with the weather. Florida is so temperamental in October!

We called it a night after dinner and headed back to our hotel via bus.

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Sunday morning we “slept in.” Paisley woke up around 7:30 requesting to get in bed with Daddy. So we lounged in bed for a little bit before getting up to go get breakfast at the Riverside Grill on the Port Orleans property. It was a fairly simple process – self-service kind of thing. Again, the food was decent & not astronomically priced. I think the prices were pretty similar to what you would pay at a regular breakfast join. 2016-10-23-09-58-33

After we packed up the truck we parked in the main parking lot at Port Orleans and then got on a bus to head over to The Contemporary. I wanted to take Paisley on one last adventure, and I knew she would enjoy riding the bus & monorail one last time.

When we were at The Contemporary on Saturday morning for the Chef Mickey breakfast, I noticed that they had quite a few of those machines that smash pennies and put designs on them. You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

Paisley LOVES these! Sadly Disney has done away with the crank machines, but she still enjoyed putting in the coins & pushing the button. So we let her choose a few designs that she wanted to do, and then I did two different 2016 designs. We ended up with 7 smashed coins, and one coin book to keep them in.

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It’s interesting how much a child’s perspective can change your own perspective. I have never been into Disney. It has always blown my mind that people travel from all around the World and spend tens of thousands of dollars to make these trips happen.

Now that I’ve experienced Disney through Paisley’s eyes, I can totally see how that happens. Self-control is hard in that place, and those crazy magic bands with your credit card information do not help that situation what-so-ever!

I’m already planning our next trip! HA! It’s not for a while, like December 2017. I think we will go for the girl’s birthdays (and mine)! Isn’t Chris lucky that all his ladies birthdays are in December? (that’s sarcasm).

Until next time, Jena

Waiting for something, but what?

From my prayer journal this morning,

“It seems that we have been waiting on “What’s next” since we moved to Lakeland. I don’t feel settled here. I don’t know why, I just feel like something is missing. I feel like we are here, but we are waiting on something else – waiting….. I don’t remember feeling this way when we lived in Hernando Beach. Am I waiting on our next adventure/trip? On a new job? On the next move? I’m feeling totally unfulfilled, like there is just something missing from our every day life – but I have no idea what it is.”

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It is hard to wait when you don’t know what you are waiting for – What would I even do to make the waiting stop?

Am I anxious about what is to come in the next 7-9 weeks? Probably. But the feeling of something missing has been going on much longer than just the 8 months I’ve been pregnant. So here I am, waiting. Praying over the wait, reading while I wait, and learning more about our God while I wait.

I love these verses from Psalm 139

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous ways in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”

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On wanting to do more

 

Oh writing how I’ve missed you. I’ve been longing to write again, but I’ve been kind of hesitant, again.

What do I even write about? My life is not really all that exciting. I’m a work from home Mom who struggles to balance everything that comes with being a work at home Mom. That is not super exciting or even the least bit glamorous. I’m struggling with finding my place in life – one of my closest friends said this to me today (I wrote it down because it was so true & I didn’t want to forget it) She said, “you’ve struggled with finding your place in this grown-up life.” I think that’s 100% accurate. I absolutely have.

I think it became more prevalent when Paisley as born. I really can’t remember what life was like before she was born – what did I even struggle with? Nothing that I can remember. Life was pretty simple. Chris worked a lot, traveled a lot. I spent a lot of time with my friends, who were also kid less. I went to the beach a lot, ran a lot, worked out a lot, and went to work in a regular office 35-40 hours a week. A seemingly normal life.

I do remember wanting to do more for people. I remember encountering my first breast cancer patient & her story just broke my heart in a way that it had never been broken before. I began to see healthcare in a way that I had never seen it before. Despite being in health care for 6 years at this point – I was just seeing the side where the uninsured truly struggled to get adequate healthcare. You’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering how I managed to go 20 something years on this earth without realizing this – but to be honest, I’ve had health insurance for as long as I can remember; and it’s not something I’ve ever worried about or had really encountered up until this point.

I remember wanting to do something more for this patient – wanting to help her find resources that could help her get treatments she needed, and other services that you need when you’re a breast cancer survivor. She was not the only cancer patient I watched struggle with treatments & doctors because of the lack of insurance. It was these encounters that made me realize that I wanted to do something more with my life – that I really was compassionate about helping others – but I’ve never known HOW I could do that. What is my platform? How can I reach a large amount of people, and then when I reach them, what am I going to say?

It’s hard to distinguish if I’m being called by God to write, or if it’s just something that I want to do. So, I’m going to write as I can, and about what I want until I’m told, or feel otherwise.87fc4ac3a6620019dde7418d1d2ca415

Something to say

I haven’t written lately because I haven’t felt like I had anything of any real value to say; so instead of just rambling on here & sharing my life, I’ve said nothing. But if I say nothing, what is the point of this blog?

A friend messaged me on fb earlier this week and her message made me realize that just because I don’t feel like I have nothing of value to share doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t find value in what I have to say.

I love that you share so much of yourself on FB bc sometimes I read something & just think “yes!”

Her message was so important to me – It’s important because I use my facebook has an outlet & a way to reach other Women & other Mom’s. Being a Mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and sometimes it can be so isolating.

It’s like this is this unwritten rule that Moms can’t have bad days, and if we do, we surely shouldn’t talk about it because by God we are so blessed to have these little monsters that wreak havoc on our lives 24 hours a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so blessed to have Paisley, and I wouldn’t trade her. I wouldn’t go back and change anything about the last 2.5 years, but being a Mom is hard. No matter if you work in a regular job, if you’re a work from home mom, or if you’re a stay at home Mom. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for raising these tiny terrors that have taken over our lives.

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so maybe I don’t have something profound to say, but I do always have something to say.

 

Until next time,

Jena