11.19.2013

Everett's Birth Story


 

Everett Michael

 
November 19, 2012 (41 weeks)
6:46p (48hr 1min "labor")
9lb. 4oz. 
21" long

 

 
Nov 17
6:45p-had just finished vacuuming living room and kitchen. Then started washing some dishes in the kitchen and felt something running down my leg. Went to the bathroom and my pee was clear, crystal clear. I came back out and said, “umm, I think my water just broke”

I kept going to the bathroom and feeling dumb not knowing if it REALLY broke or not. I kept thinking. “this is the 3rd baby, surely I should know for sure, right?” (yes. my water broke with the first two)
We texted my midwife (Sandra) and told her that we were almost sure my water broke, but contractions had not changed any. Around 8min apart and 2min each
JD blew up the pool and started filling it with warm water

Went to bed around 11. Took me a while to go to sleep.
Contractions still 7-8min apart 1 min each

Nov 18
Woke up around 3am

Contractions were very sporadic 10min, 3 min, 4 min, 6 min, 3 min, fell back asleep
Up at 5a - Took a shower, ate a piece of peanut butter toast, an apple and cup of raspberry leaf tea. Laid down on couch and fell back asleep
Kids woke me up at 7. We ate breakfast (I had a spinach smoothie) contractions were consistent 7 min apart 1 min each

Pads were dry all the time so I stopped putting them on and would lose a lot of fluid every time I went to the bathroom
Baby was moving and heartbeat was great

Starting taking caullophyllum, cimicifuega & pulsatilla 3 of each every 20 min on rotation
Kids, hubby and dog went for a walk, I walked in circles around the house and sat on excersise ball

12:00n - Midwife came to check me for the first time. Thick and 2 cm, cervix very posterior. Started doing squats, hip circles, and lunges during contractions to help move cervix forward. Started to have stronger contraction. 5-6 min apart 1 min each
1:30p - Had half pb sandwich pear and blackberries
Everything is the same as earlier..

4:45p - Tried the breast pump and pumped half an ounce of colostrum…it was so hard to dump that!!

Contractions went to 6-7 min apart then 4-5 and back to 6-7 getting frustrated, but could feel them starting in my pelvic floor and building up my stomach
5:48p- 4-5 min apart 1 min ea

6:15p-Still able to talk through contractions, but can’t really walk or move during them. Ran out of pulsatilla started only doing c&C
6:45p - Sitting at the dinner table with legs on each side of the chair and leaning with my belly hanging. I was trying so hard to keep things normal for the kids and be a part of our family dinner, knowing it was going to be the last one as a family of 4.
Now contractions were 3 min apart but same strength as early in the day

(all the above was written down…but this is when I stopped tracking so the rest is from memory)
Sandra came over to check me again and see if I was progressing. Cervix was still very posterior and slightly thinner than earlier and now a 3. Not at all what I was expecting and I started crying I think or maybe I wanted to cry. At this point it had been 24 hours since my ‘water broke’ and law says she has to tell me that I should be transported to the hospital, but law also says I can decline. We declined. Risky, maybe, but we weren’t 100% sure my sac had broken because it was only leaky when I was on the toilet. So, we took the risk of staying at home.

We eventually went to sleep around 10,  I think. Sandra slept on our couch and came in throughout the night to check our (mine and baby) vitals. I only know this because she told me. I had no clue and apparently slept really well all night.
Nov 19

Woken up around 5 or 6 by a voicemail alert on J.D.’s phone – non baby related and stirred emotions.  We let it off our chests and prayed it would not affect our day, our baby’s birth day.
Sandra came in and we discussed the night, the vitals she got through the night, how we were thinking the day would go.

We got some breakfast and showers and of course I tried to tidy up the house despite Sandra and J.D. telling me to relax.
At some point the kids woke up and my parents came over to keep the kids busy so we could concentrate on getting baby ready for birth.

Most of the day is a blur and times are really blurry, but that’s every day for me, ha!
Mid-morning Sandra checked me again. I had made some progress, but not a lot. She went home for a little bit and we texted throughout the rest of the morning/afternoon.

I think it was around 1 or 2 that Sandra came back over. Things were getting very intense and we could tell it was the real deal. I kept wanting to get into the birth pool, but not wanting to rush things. I was laboring well on the bed on a pile of pillows. I would sit up and chat and laugh with J.D. and Sandra then as soon as a contraction came I would fall forward with my face in a pillow, on my elbows and knees rocking my hanging belly in all directions while praying and imagining baby making its way through the birth canal and breathing as slow and normal as I could stand.
I attempted to use Hypnobirthing again like I did with Kennedy, but I just decided to use the principals of it and use a playlist of calm Christian songs. I listened to it a lot throughout the pregnancy. Many of the songs became prayers and some of them were literal-my favorite was Hold me still by Forever Jones.

“Cause you hold me still when the waves around begin to build…Oh, I see the waves I’m not afraid…My ground is stable…”
If you have read Hypnobirthing you know the significance of waves with contractions. So I held this words of truth close to me and sang them out (maybe…I think I did, but I never asked anyone if I was singing out loud)

At some point Sandra checked and my cervix was maybe a 5 and still very posterior and I had told her about my birth experience with Kennedy and ‘stalling at 8cm’ so she pulled my cervix forward with several contractions. Yes, incredibly painful, but Sandra was so gentle and the experience was far better than it was with Kennedy’s birth. I told her I thought that was enough and I was ready to get in the pool. Around 5-5:30 we think.
Big kids joined me for a bit at some point. Things were getting intense with contractions and kids were getting crazy so Sandra suggested they leave the room so I can stay in my zone.

J.D. notified his parents and our birth photographer (who was already on her way) that it was time to head our way.
It was hard to labor in the pool. I wanted to get back to my routine with the pillow pile, but I knew I also wanted the water birth (that I did not get with Kennedy) and of course the warm water feels so good and it offers so much relief. So, I would relax in the sitting position slightly leaned back between contractions. When the contractions came oh boy..my stomach would contract and take over my whole body. It would pull me forward and I had to follow and throw myself over with my arms on the pool and my face just on the inside with my belly hanging and my legs tucked under me.

Sandra kept dropping homeopathic tablets under my tongue to help me out. She was a God sent and I could write for days about how much I love her and how thankful I am for her.
With the other two births I had tried to push them out-their births did not go the way I had wanted and it was a lot of frustration that I was trying to get them to me as fast as possible. With this birth I was able to let my body completely take over. What an amazing experience to see how God created my body for this very thing. My abs would pull towards the middle and push down with more intensity than I could ever do on my own. Amazing!!

At the end of a contraction (I remember seeing the clock say 6:?? ) I heard and felt a bomb explode. I sat up and asked if they heard it. They did not hear or feel anything. They did tell me later than I had a lot of bubbles pop up. Oh..NOW my water broke. Ok..huge relief. Now, that 24 hour ‘rule’ is no longer an issue. We have as much time as we need..phew!
After a few more contractions his head was out and I reached down and said, “ohhhh there’s his nose” (So glad my mom got it all on video)

It seems like forever before the next contraction came and I asked if they could just pull him out.
Then J.D. says “baby, it’s your song” and turns up the music. It was !0,000 reason by Matt Redman. I had had dreams about the baby being born to that song..a very specific point in the song.


The last contraction finally came and baby was caught by daddy for half a second before I snatched him up to the face to cover him in kisses. There are no pictures of baby being born and after watching the video and hearing Carey’s camera clicks…now I know just how fast I pulled him up. Oops..I wanted those amazing photos of baby still in water, give baby time to adjust and all those other benefits to a water birth.
daddy catching baby-you can see the splash from my arm
After a couple minutes (now Jesus loves Me by Christy Nockels – so happy God made my random playlist not so random at just the perfect time) J.D. walks to the side and announces that he was right, he called it before I took a pregnancy test. It’s a BOY!!
 
 
 
 
a HUGE thank you to...
-my amazing husband for being my biggest supporter and best birth partner. you are my strength. I love you!!
-my midwife, Sandra McDonald. I don't even know how to put into words how much she means to me. If you need a midwife, you're in the Houston area, use her..unless we are due at the same time, I get dibs :)
-my friend and photographer, Carey. I roped her into birth photography, but she is an awesome family and senior photographer.
 
 
all photos are copyright of carey anne photography.
 

10.04.2013

Purchase with a Purpose

Christmas is around the corner and will be here before we know it.

Jesus is the reason for the season. 
Why not make this season a season of change. 
A change in our purchases. 
Make our purchase speak. 
Purchase with a purpose. 
A purpose to change the world. 
Change lives. 

Here's my list of some of my favorite places to purchase with a purpose: 

Gorgeous scarves and leather products. 
The Genet is my favorite!

Awesome bags (lots of size options) that you get to design yourself. Look at these new fall fabrics!! 

Adoption Funraisers:
Adoption are expensive and there are a lot of people who sell items to raise money to being their babies home. 
Here two of my friends selling cute shirts-

One for one rain boots. Comfy, cute...and new styles and colors are coming next month!! AND they are based in Dallas..texas proud!


Probably one of my favorites. Such a brilliant idea and they sell accessories, shirts and scarves too! 

Accessories made with love from all over the world. A lot of great options that are perfect for teacher gifts..like this stationary set!

I love Haiti. I love Heartline Ministries. I love Haitian creations and their partnership with heartline. Accessories made with love...check out their mother/daughter line!!

Who doesn't love coffee? Added bonus-they offer adoption fundraising!! 


Tips: Create your own wish list with some of these items. Making others learn about new amazing companies that are changing the world with our purchases! So sneaky! So worth it! 

Most of these companies offer gift card options so you can gift those to help pay a portion for a friend or family member! 

Oh and I'm guessing you probably came over to see who won the cubist cuff?!??
Well...
I'm new to blogging. 
I don't know what I am doing most..or all the time to be honest! 
So giveaways and fancy random winner picker things just stressed me out so we did it old school. 

I put everyone's name in a hat, woody's hat (most of you got your name in twice--thank you!!!) I had Kennedy pick a name, but then Cameron wanted to pick a name. 
It's been a tough week and today was well..let's just say a good fit to end the week. So another fight brewing made me move fast..
"You each pick one and let Everett pick one from that"
Phew..crisis #946 for the week was just avoided! 
....and the winner is 


Congrats, Mindy!! 
Email me at debra.rice@yahoo.com to claim your bracelet!!

9.30.2013

Noonday Caboose

Welcome to the Caboose of the Noonday Collection blog train.

Back in March I signed up to be a Noonday Ambassador. 

"...satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."
Isaiah 58:10

The accessories are AHHHH-mazing.

I love getting to wear such beautiful, unique, handcrafted accessories all the time..not to mention get out of my 'stay at home mom' attire more often. My heart is not only for my small family here, but my family of ambassadors and artisans around the world. I can no longer stay at home, raise my family the way I have been. My eyes have been open and now I must act to care for my new family.

While the accessories are amazing, it's about so much more!  Noonday Collection is about advocating for our artisans.  It's about education. It's about helping provide sustainable income.  It's about family. It's about community. It's about life change. It's about love. 


My most favorite part about being an ambassador is educating women at trunk shows how their purchases are changing lives. Our artisans stories are beautiful, life changing, and full of love. When you wear a Noonday accessory, you are wearing a story of life change, of love, of a brighter future for the hands that created it as well as our world. Because our world is a better place with love. 

Do you want to style your friends while changing the world? 
Why not have a trunk show this fall in place of a your annual girls Christmas party. Shop for Christmas gifts while changing lives. 

My challenge to you this season is to start purchasing with a purpose. Even if you aren't into accessorizing - I wasn't either until Noonday- there are clothing, home decor, shoes, food companies and so many others that you can shop from that help you change the world with your purchase.

I am giving away one Cubist Cuff in silver!



Here are 2 ways to enter...
1. Go to www.debrarice.noondaycollection.com come back here and tell me what your favorite item is.
2. Share this blog post on facebook (be sure to comment and let me know you did)
*BONUS* For FIVE extra entries (if you live in The Woodlands, Conroe, Magnolia, Montgomery, College Station, Katy, or any city around one of those) book a trunk show before December 8th


Thank you so much for stopping by.

Check out yesterday's post by Carrie and if you want more and missed the train start at the beginning with Krista 

Come back Friday afternoon to see who wins and to see my list of place to shop this holiday season!

9.04.2013

Kindergarten

So hard to believe this sweet little baby is now 5 and starting Kindergarten.

         

We are homeschooling. Yes, we have our reasons and yes, I will share them at later.

We decided pretty early on after Cameron was born that I would stay home and educate them the we felt led to. We have been doing 'school at home' (which it what I call it because most home school groups don't count pre-k as home school) since Cameron was little. We have not used a curriculum or a specific path until this year. It has been fun letting our life teach, but very challenging to be incredibly intentional all day, every day. 

This year we are still trying our best to let our life teach, but we have made our own 'curriculum' that we feel will work for us...more on that later too. 

I am feeling incredibly blessed and overwhelmed that God has called us on this journey. So happy I get to keep my babies at home and not send them to school...for so many reasons. Yes, I do wish I could have a free day or a mom day and just get things done, but those are my weak days and few and far between, honestly. I love this life and I cherish every moment..or at least I try!

If I was required to sign him up for public school 5 weeks ago, I would of held him back. He had zero interest in learning to read, learning more math, learning anything beyond his current level. He just wanted to draw. 

'Oh great. We will have a starving artist with no degree' thought may or may not of gone through my head a few times. 

However, lately he has learned to read and has the desire to learn. THANK YOU, JESUS!!    

Cameron's thoughts (out loud) on school:
- I want to ride a bus
- We need a bell so you can ring it and we can all come running to school
- you need apples because teachers like apples
- I need put my lunch in a bag

           

Here is Cameron and Kennedy with their signs that they wrote all by themselves for the obligatory first day of school pictures.

Cameron walked around outside for a while looking for the perfect spot, gathered sticks to put the sign on. 

Kennedy went to the same spot, but had to clean it up since Cameron made it messy with the sticks...and of course she had to accessorize herself a tad!

Our first day was a huge success. HUGE. 

We didn't ride a bus.
We didn't have a bell.
I didn't eat an apple
We didn't eat our lunch out of a bag.

However, Cameron was begging to do more school after lunch..
Slow down little man, you have the rest of your life ahead of you and mommy wants to go cry about having to say I have a kindergartner now..

9.03.2013

sad seven. part seven.

...and almost a year later I will finish this up, SORRY!!


To read part six go here or if you want to start at the beginning go here


I hate that I never finished this series a year ago. To my defense...
1. I stink at sticking to something new and scary
2. I had a baby
3. I have been sleep deprived
4. we moved


So...my top tips for surviving the depths of a miscarriage

1. PRAYER

God is so much bigger than anything we are going through. He has had this planned for your life all along. He is desperate for us to cling to Him in good times and even more in bad times. With out prayer and His strength, I would have been in that crappy valley for a lot longer than I was.

2. HUSBAND

Even thought they do not understand what you are going through..they are going through something very similar on top of not knowing what to do or say or how to do anything to help you through this time. They want to talk, but they want to listen to you more. Talk, talk, and keep talking...let it out! Your husband can handle anything you throw his way and help you sort it out later (if you wish). Don't forget to let them talk too though, they also will need to heal from the miscarriage.

3. FRIENDS

This one is a tough one for me. I am some what of an introvert. I hate crowds, I hate being center of attention, having the spot light on me. Not a fan at all! So, when I had my miscarriages..I wanted my friends to know, but I didn't want to talk about it. If you have good friends they will ask questions, they will want to know how to help you, they will stick with you even though you want to sit inside and curl up in a ball 3 months later. Those are the friends you need to let in and share with. Don't let Satan attack your friendship's because you are afraid to share a dark part of your life. They care, let them care.

4. OTHERS

Seek out others who have been in your shoes. Growing up, I was friends with two girls, Mel and Kristin, the 3 of us were inseparable in Elementary. I moved away and we lost touch. In high school we found each other again and thanks to facebook where staying in each others lives. It was super fun when we found out that all 3 of us were due with our babies in the same month. Then, Kristin lost her baby. I felt awful for her and honestly just thanked Jesus that my baby was OK. Little did I know that my baby had also passed. I reached out to Kristin in desperation. I will never forget her words and the strength she had. I owe a lot to her and how loving she was towards me in my dark days. I pray that one day I will get to hug her neck and thank her in person!
So many woman have gone through this loss and we can all help each other. Don't hide, let your light shine and share so we can all help each other.

10.16.2012

sad seven. part six.

if you are new here, you can start this journey at the beginning with 
 
 
part six.
 
I had no idea what I would write for part six, but I knew I couldn't end with a 5 part-er about a 7 month journey. However, not something grand and new happened every month for that time. It just took me THAT long to grow out of the ashes.
 
there is no doubt in my mind that God is the one writing this portion of the blog. Every time I am stumped...the next few days/week, He is there with all the words to say.
 
our church has been doing a series called 'masquerade' and talking about Christians wearing masks to hide behind and not being authentic people inside and out.
 
a couple Sunday's ago...
 
sitting in church service our pastor opens with 'hurt. you've either been deeply hurt or will be hurt because that's the world we live in'
 
I usually always take notes in church because it keeps my focus and helps my memory retention (which to be honest...I have the WORST memory EVER and my wonderful husband would completely agree!). When these words started coming out of our pastors mouth, you could of seen smoke starting to come off my journal. I felt compelled to take the best notes that day. THIS is part six. THIS is what you need to hear and need to share.
 
So. here. we. go.
 
life is full of hurts.
there is hope BEYOND the hurt.
 
I have been hurt (in pain). physically. mentally. spiritually. However, my God is an almighty, loving, comforting God and He will get me beyond my hurt!
 
Psalms 62:5-6 (NIV) says...
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
 
 
I have to let your whole self find rest in God, he is the hope beyond the hurt. He is my rock and will hold me up when I don't think I can go any further.
 
Our local christian radio station's slogan is 'God Listens.' I hear it a lot. however, does God really listen when all I am doing is crying, does He understand my tears and what I mean by them?
Yes. He does. God hears even when I don't know the words to say. He knows my heart. my thoughts. my desires. He knows me. He is there for me. And He can be all those things for you too.
 
 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) says...
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
 
God's son, Jesus, went though all that he did and God never left his side. Why do I think that when I am at my low He will leave me?
 
comfort.
as a christian, I have the Holy spirit to stand with me, walk along side me...God is not leaving me. not then, not now, never.
 
God is the God of all comfort. He literally holds you up. He IS COMFORT.
 
comfort is in the midst of pain.
not away from it.
not in the absence of it.
 
my soul want comfort.
 
troubles.
to be weighed down exceedingly. to be pressed and crushed.
it keeps us from living in the moment.
but God gives me the comfort in that trouble to be free.
 
our souls want comfort.
 
Yesterday, October 15th was pregnancy and infant loss day. I pray that all of you that have been through this pain will find comfort in God and know that all good storms must come to an end. There is hope beyond this pain.

9.19.2012

sad seven. part five.

part five.

I am not going to lie. when I set out to start this story of our sad seven month journey, I had no plan. It of course needed to be 7 parts. duh. I am kind in like with the number, and well it is fitting...
but where to start? when to change it around? how much to include? what will each part contain? will I get it all out? will it be written well enough to change someones life if even for a moment?

all of these things floating around in my head. I knew I needed to get all this out in writing before it was another part of my life that I couldn't remember details of. So, part one I just sat down during nap time one day and typed it out, through a lot of tears. part two and three I wrote together and it just came to me with more tears. part four was more difficult to write because those people who I pushed away would more than likely be reading. It was very emotionally challenging for me to get all those honest emotions out. I honestly thought that I would write this for myself and pray that one day someone would read it. Then as I started posting them, you all started texting, emailing, facebook messaging, facebook commenting and it blew me away. God was yet again using my story to touch people, but now that I knew people were reading, I felt like I had to 'bring it'.

I have been struggling now with how to transition from the sad/difficult times to the happy times, when God shows Himself in the way that we all marvel at. I have typed out this part five about 3 different times and just keep starting over. I was starting to feel pressure. then yesterday at church it hit me like a ton of bricks. the band closed with this song. Please take a minute..ok I think it is really like 5 minutes, but this song is so beautifully written and sung. PLUS I love how the person did the lyrics for it.
 


{beautiful things by Gungor}

During this song I realized that these words are my transition.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

Will my life really change at all or will I just revert back to the old me after God had put all this in my path?

All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
Could something good really come of my life? come of all this mess I have made?

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Yes, He makes beautiful things out of us.

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

Every week it seemed like something else was happening...those "God moments" when you know He had put it all in motion and perfected it with a fine tooth comb. Out of my chaos, my new life was being found in Him.
You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new

He made me new. He gave me a yet another chance...

The steps that got me out of the valley weren't things that I did. It was more what others did for me. I allowed them to pull me out one step at a time. Yes, all the friends that I had pushed away from my mountain, were the very ones pulling me up from my valley.

For a few weeks it seemed like I was learning about people being pregnant. people around me, friends, close friends, distant friends. Some told me straight up, some avoided telling me in case it was a sensitive topic. While I was appreciative of them guarding my heart from more pain, it killed me to know that friends were afraid to share good news with me.

Every time I read or heard of someone else getting pregnant, I felt sick, dead, my insides hurt. however, with each one it healed me, my heart was happy for them to be able to experience the joy and miracle of life inside them.

It made me realize that God is still performing miracles on life...He just wasn't ready to use my womb again, yet, ever again..whatever it may be. I needed to be rejoicing in the life for others and not continuing to float around in my self pity.

So, one by one...others pregnancy news healed my broken heart and womb.

I know with out a doubt that God was using those precious babies to heal me in a way I would of never expected. He could not of used them if my heart was not open to change and healing. It took months and months of prayer to get to that point and like a flood the healing came in and began to work.

I am not completely healed. It still hurts. I still cry every time I hear of a miscarriage, see one on TV, read about one. The pain never goes away, but the pain I feel is a reminder of what God has taken me through to get me to where I am today. I am proud of my pain and proud of who it has made me. I am not proud of how I acted/treated/reacted to myself or others during my time in the valley, but I have definitely learned from it and hopefully those around will be able to forgive me as I have forgiven myself.