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Selah Rose birth story

Warning, long post and slightly graphic birth details.

you can read about Gideon’s birth here and Faith’s birth here

Selah Rose was born on Jan 26th, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. I was under quite a bit of pressure from my midwife about not going too late, and she was very concerned about how much weight I was gaining. It was a stressful few weeks/months leading up to Selah’s birth. I was trying to watch what I ate so as not to gain too much weight and I had the thought of “what if I go too late” hanging over my head.  I like for my babies to pick their own birthdays, and not have it pushed on them. 🙂 I started having a lot of stop and go contractions the night of the 16th that continued until she was born. Often I would have them in the evening until 12 or 1 and then they would stop. In the end these stop and go contractions were what saved me from having to induce (even naturally) labor. Several times my midwife suggested stripping my membranes or drinking castor oil to push my body into labor. But I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that and it would stress me out so she said it was fine (again, because I was having stop and go contractions she let it go. I think if I wasn’t having those she would have been more pushy about getting things started). I was trying to walk twice a day, about a half a mile each time. It was terribly uncomfortable, and didn’t seem to help much. On Sunday evening the 24th I lost part of my mucus plug. I woke up on Monday the 25th around 6 in the morning with pretty strong contractions. They continued through the morning but were pretty far apart. Because I can’t get a hold of Titus when he is driving the bus he decided to take off the rest of the day just in case we needed to leave for Lander. Now these contractions were really strong, but very far apart. I told Titus they were at the point when we normally call the midwife to come, except they were sooooo far apart. I tried staying up in the bedroom to keep them going but they stopped in the afternoon. This was pretty discouraging. Emma and Titus took the kids to our church to play for a few hours that evening.  I think I went to bed around 12 or so, but didn’t sleep. I got up a few hours later because again the contractions were so painful. I have never had that painful of contractions that early in labor. If I tried lying down they would get strong and close together, but if I got up and sat on the exercise ball they would stop or slow down. This is very odd because I have always prelabored on my beloved ball. 🙂 It got me through James long prelabor and Gideon’s prelabor! But it just wasn’t working this time. Luckily for me Netflix had just added a new season of “When Calls the Heart” to keep me busy. I normally read through prelabor, but again these contractions were so much harder to get through than normal. Around 3 in the morning I finally figured out that if I lied down on the couch until a contraction came I could jump up and sit on the ball to get through it. This kept them coming closer together I finally decided I was getting somewhere. I was pretty discouraged at how much pain I was in. I have always joked about going to the hospital and getting an epidural while in labor, but that is later in labor, not in prelabor. And when I thought about the epidural I wasn’t really joking, but seriously wishing for one. 🙂 At 5 I woke up Titus and said I thought we should drive to Lander. Lander is 75 miles, and we have never had to drive somewhere to have a baby before. The town we live in is so far from a hospital that our midwife wanted us to come to her home just in case something would go wrong. I told Titus I wasn’t sure I could get through contractions without the ball, so he took a back seat out of the van and I actually sat on the ball all the way to Lander. 😀 ha ha! It worked pretty well, although I had to concentrate pretty hard on keeping my balance since the road to Lander is pretty twisty and curvy.  We made it to Lander in an hour, (around 6 a.m). a record time. 😉 Heidi, my midwife, check me right away and said I was a 6ish. I told her I needed to be at least a 7 for my own sanity and told her to lie to me. Heidi had a doula named Betsy there to help with the birth. And she was wonderful! Like I said, I had been having really hard contractions early on and was pretty worn out and discouraged, but Betsy made all the difference in the world. She started squeezing my hips and rubbing my back right away. It helped so much and really improved my mood. I really wanted to get in the birth tub, and all night and during the trip to Lander I kept thinking about that hot water. But Heidi didn’t want me to get in yet. Despite trying to get the baby to lie on the left side of my belly she had moved back over to the right side of my belly. This really concerned my midwife. So for several hours I had to labor in different ways. At one point I was on my hands and knees with a thin scarf around my belly. Betsy (doula) held the ends up over me and would rock my belly back and forth during contractions. I also labored lying down on my left side, and at for a few contractions in the yoga child pose position (that was pretty hard and cut off circulation to my feet). Every so often I would ask to get in the water, but Heidi kept putting it off, saying she didn’t want me to get in too early. She encouraged me to walk around the house, or even outside. I have never ever been a big walker while in labor. I would much rather sit on the ball. I did try walking around a little bit, and then I sat on the ball. Well sure enough the contractions slowed considerably. So that was the end of the ball. I was really tired at this point and would lie on the bed for a few minutes at a time just resting. Betsy, the doula, was amazing. She gave me hand massages, back massages, head massages, she used her own essential oils and would remind me to keep me voice low through contractions. She even french braided my hair. Finally Heidi had me get in the water. I have no idea what time that was, or how long I was in the tub. I don’t think it was very long, but I had really lost track of time at this point. I labored for awhile in the tub, but I was getting impatient, something else that I have never done in labor before. I started asking if I could push, even though I had no urges to push. I just wanted the whole process to be over. Heidi kept feeling for the baby’s head, and I even did that once too. I haven’t done that in labor before, it was pretty neat! Baby’s head was about a knuckle or two in, so I was close. But I didn’t feel like pushing. I decided to get out, with the hopes that I would start pushing right away because that was how Faith’s birth went. I don’t think it was quite right away but the urge to push did come pretty soon. So I decided to lie on the bed on my left side. My water still had not broken yet.With each birth it is taking longer and longer to break. Both Gideon and Faith I pushed a bit until it broke and they were born soon after. Well this time it didn’t break and I had a lot of pressure. I started saying I couldn’t do it anymore, and in my head I started thinking a c-section has to be better than this. Seriously! ha ha! I was really really done at this point! My water kind of broke at the same time I pushed Selah out, and that created so much extra pressure. I have read about other moms talking about burning, or a ring of fire. I think I actually yelled out, “It burns!!”.  I also felt like my body was going to split in two, which is also a first for me. I really think it was all the extra pressure from my water not braking until the end. With both Gideon and Faith I felt a huge release of pressure when my water broke, and I never had that this time. I actually thought Selah would be born in the sack, and my midwife told me later she thought it was going to happen too. And then it was over. And I started saying my customary, “It’s all done. It is over. I am done” over and over like I always do. I didn’t even care if the baby was a boy or a girl, in my head it was just all done. You can’t imagine my surprise when I found out she was a girl. I really really thought I was having a boy. Her cord was really short so we ended up cutting it a little bit earlier than normal because I couldn’t get her up on me. Selah also pooped right away all over the place, and continued to poop constantly for 24 hours. Our midwife said she wouldn’t have any trouble with being jaundice, and she was right. Selah’s color always looked good. This is the first birth I was starving afterwards. So Titus went and got us some hamburgers and fries from a nice little restaurant. I ate a whole bunch of food. But then I started having some problems. I kept bleeding clots that wouldn’t stop. So Heidi had me take these little white pills. Then I got the chills horribly. Titus had to take the baby because I was too cold to hold her. I was planning on Selah and I taking an herb bath together but I was too dizzy to get in the tub. The dizziness and chills and bleeding continued for several hours. Heidi and Betsy had me covered with bath towels while I shivered but it didn’t help much. Selah cried more than our other babies have after birth, but I think she was cold. All of my midwives have put a hat on the baby as soon as they were on my stomach, but they never did that. They didn’t really clean up Selah either, even though she had pooped all over the place. She was just wrapped in a receiving blanket. I do feel like the midwife and doula didn’t pay much attention to Selah. Titus held her in the sun in front of a window and she really warmed up then, and stopped crying. I however kept freezing under the towels. Selah was very alert and wide awake after birth, both Heidi and Betsy commented on it. I am kind of sad I missed that, but I was too tired, sick, and cold to really hold her. Heidi decided to give me some more white pills only rectally this time, and boy was that awful! Selah was hungry after that so I was nursing her in the bed when I suddenly got really really sick. I told Titus to grab something but it was too late. I leaned over the baby and threw up. I remember Titus yelling, “We need some help in here!” Both Heidi and Betsy came running. I kept throwing up, at least three or four times. It was everywhere, on the bed, the floor, Heidi’s shoes, my hair, but some how I missed the baby! I also lost a lot of blood when I threw up. I think Heidi was starting to get worried about me because I remember hearing her mumble something about getting more help. But throwing up actually did help because the bleeding slowed after that. Heidi thinks by my throwing up I really really cleaned out my uterus. I was still terribly dizzy and weak. She had me guzzling electrolyte drinks, bone morrow broth and warm tea. Titus really really didn’t want to stay all night, but there was just no way to get me to the van. Plus I was a bit worried if I started doing poorly again we would be 75 miles from an ER. By 8 (7 1/2 hours after Selah’s birth) I was finally able to get up with help and make it to the bathroom. We did end up staying the night, and after a good McDonald’s breakfast we went home.

  Selah was 13 days past her due date. My midwife had expressed concern that I would have a really big baby because of my “excessive weight gain”, but she was an even 8 pounds! 🙂 Selah was born on the perfect day too. If I had gone into labor even a day earlier we would not have had Betsy as a doula. Heidi met with her on Monday afternoon and asked if she would like to help with my birth. Selah was born the next day. I have had a doula before, but Betsy was the best doula I have ever had. Titus and her really got me through this labor, when I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I owe getting through this tough labor all to them. 🙂

 

How (not) to get a tree in Wyoming

Let me start off this blog post by saying we are very new to this whole chop down your own tree thing. Until this year we have always gotten our trees from tree farms. In Hawaii we did pick out the tree but then the little attendant chopped it down for us. Plus it was like 80….we won’t talk about that.

Here in Dubois all you have to do is get an $8 permit, drive to the National Forest (just a few miles out of town) and pick which tree you want. Easy (and cheap!!!) I was terribly excited about this. This is the real way to get a tree people! The snow, the trees, the ax! Not to mention it is in every book that people just chop down their own trees. I have been reading Christmas books to the boys for weeks now and they are filled with pictures like these:

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We didn’t have to drive far and it was beautiful!

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Titus scouting trees, it even started snowing! How perfect!!

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Once Titus found a place with several trees we bundled up the kids to walk out and look at them. I figured Gideon would start crying pretty fast since he is really sensitive to the cold right now. But to my surprise not only was it Gideon but James too. We hardly got a few steps out of the truck before they were both crying. We followed Titus but we were walking in knee deep (on me) snow, under which were thick bushes and sticks.

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At one point I was carrying Gideon (he is three and I am 37 weeks prego) and half dragging James by the hand, up hill (oh this was after all three of us fell in the snow too). Both were crying, they had snow in their boots and down their legs so finally I gave up. I really wanted a picture of all of us together getting the tree, but it just wasn’t worth it. So I took them back to the truck. No tree hunting for them!

Faith on the other hand was just fine. She was carried by Daddy and didn’t have snow in her boots.

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So when it is about 20 degrees, snowing, windy, and just down right cold you start thinking every tree looks pretty good. So we picked one pretty fast.

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And a little one for the children’s bedroom:

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The three of us that stuck it out tree hunting!

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Titus dragging the trees back to the truck.

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On the way home I gave the children candy canes, which was probably the best part of Christmas tree chopping for them.  Once the tree was in the house it looked terribly small, shabby, and thin. I married a slight tree snob (his words not mine), and I think I heard him whimper a bit after getting it into the tree stand. However it did perk up some after we added lights and ornaments.

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So how not to get a tree in Wyoming? First don’t have high expectations of a 5 and 3 year old. Wear warm clothes! And for goodness sakes take a big sled to pull the kids on!!!! Also remember that wild trees aren’t shaped, fertilized, and colored by anyone like the trees grown on farms. 😉 Merry Christmas!

Pumpkin fun!

After Thanksgiving is done and we are heading into Christmas there is always a debate about what to do with the pumpkins. We had nice pumpkins all the way from Minnesota from Grandma’s garden, we had one from the pumpkin patch in Riverton, and we had one from the library. A squirrel had been scratching at one so I decided to chop up the pumpkins and feed the wildlife instead of just throwing them away. I thought this would be great fun for the kids too. So armed with hammers and an ax we went outside to chop the pumpkins.

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James got into it right away.

Faith decided to drive from the back yard to the front yard. She just watched the pumpkin pounding, her dolly safely tucked inside her coat.

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Gideon on the other hand did not have fun. He never did pound any pumpkins either.

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We didn’t have to wait long at all for the squirrel to figure out that we made his job a little bit easier. The very next morning we got to watch him run pieces of pumpkin up the tree.

It has been several weeks since we chopped up the pumpkins. We have watched countless times the squirrel working on hiding his pumpkin bits. James even found some pumpkin pieces way up in the tree branches where the squirrel hide them. We also haven’t had any bunnies lately because the squirrel chases them out of the yard. He doesn’t want to share. All that was left was a big pumpkin that really didn’t get chopped very well. I have been planning on throwing it away and writing this blog post with just the squirrel. But then a few days ago our snow was covered in deer tracks and a big bite was taken out of the pumpkin. Every morning less of the pumpkin was left. I was sad the deer was eating the pumpkin during the night when we couldn’t see it. And then today this happened!

I might have been just as excited as the children!

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This buck ate every bit of the pumpkin pieces in the yard and even licked our bird feeder for a bit before walking calmly out the front gate and down the street. Broad daylight, and we live in the middle of town. Crazy!! I am so glad we didn’t throw the pumpkins away!

Faith’s 2nd Birthday

I can’t believe this little girl is two. She is full of fun and life! Our little family would not be complete without this little princess in our lives!

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Faith really likes kitties right now. So she got a cute kitty cake.

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For being two she really caught on to opening presents fast. Much faster than our boys did at two. She did have a big brother pushing her on though. Maybe that makes a difference.

For .60 I got this little bucket of necklaces and bracelets for her. She loved them!

When we lived in Hawaii Titus got a whole bunch of sunglasses free from somewhere on base. I put these cute pink ones in my gift box. I never thought 6 years later I would still have them and be giving them to our daughter!

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And of course, eating cake! Faith also blew out her candles by herself, something I don’t think our boys could do at their 2nd bdays either.

Happy Birthday Faith!  We love you so much!

Thanksgiving 2015

This year we had a very special Thanksgiving because my mom, Tessa and Emma all came for the week. After two lonely Thanksgivings in CO it was terribly special to have lots company! One of the things I miss the most since moving away is cooking with my mom and sisters on Thanksgiving. And we got to do that this year!

For the children the best part of Thanksgiving was hanging out with their aunts!

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Our pretty table!

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Faith

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Little pumpkins that Grandma grew in her garden and brought all the way here for us!

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Hanging out with Aunt Tessa watching fun videos on her computer.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Leaves

We have just one tree the gave us beautiful fall leaves. I was surprised we had enough to make a leaf pile for the kids but we did and the kids had lots of fun!

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James soccer class

James was just old enough to play soccer this year. He loved this class so much! He had practice twice a week, and not really any games. His coach was great! He looked forward to soccer practice all week!

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Faith also liked to play with the balls that weren’t being used.

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James coach came up with lots of good games to play to teach them soccer skills. His favorite game was some kind of tag where you had to hold the ball over your head if the ‘it’ person tagged you.

Gideon and Faith played on the bike ramps for the one hour practices. They also had fun! We can’t wait for soccer next year too!

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Our little all star!

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Most of the time when we got home Daddy was next door picking up kids to take home. So we would drive by and wave to him! We are so proud of him that he got his bus license and he is working hard for us!

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