beauty for ashes

30 April 2011

birth story

okay...time to put this in writing!

about a week before delivery

me days before Jonah arrives

3 am on January 14th, I wake up to pee (big surprise!).  I climb back into my cozy bed and drift off into slumber...until I feel liquid sliding down the back of my leg.  In my half-asleep state I wonder if I just peed on myself.  I had heard of pregnant ladies doing this, and I was slightly embarrassed (not that there was anyone to be embarrassed for...certainly not Joshua!).  So, I drag my sleepy behind out of bed and try to pee again.  I noticed that every time I would bend over, more liquid would squirt out.  I now have the sneaking suspicion that my water just might have broken.  I let Joshua know, and we have a quick yay! moment.  At this point I am one day shy of 37 weeks.  I start having mild contractions.  Nothing major, so I decide to get some sleep.
At 9 am I call my midwife to let her know that I think my water may have broken.  She has me come in around 11 to double check.  Still no major contractions, by the way.  She determines that my water did break and checks the baby's heart rate.  For a few terrifying moments, she cannot find his heartbeat, and I start quietly freaking out.  Finally she locates it - up near my ribcage!  She is concerned that the baby is too high and does a pelvic exam.  Jonah is nowhere to be found and I am not at all dilated.  So, we take a trip to Dr. Nova's office.  At this point, it is noon.  Still no contractions.  Apparently Jonah used the car ride over wisely, because he returned to his proper place in my pelvis, relieving my fears of a c-section.  Alice is getting very concerned about my lack of contractions and lays out my options:
I can proceed to hospital and get started with pitocin (boo) or I can make a castor oil milkshake and see if that will get the party started (also boo).  I still wanted my perfect birth experience, so I went with...

At about 3 pm I mix up a chocolate ice cream, banana, and castor oil milkshake (yum).  Now, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 28 weeks and completely cut out sugar and carbs (and only gained 4 lbs total with my pregnancy!), so I had my concerns about ingesting this much sugar.  Luckily things went smoothly, for a bit anyways.  I will save you the gross details of what commenced after I took the whole bottle of laxative, but I am sure that you can figure it out!
Anyways...after that, things really picked up!  I went from no contractions to really really excruciating ridiculous contractions.  I always thought that those women who yelled and screamed during labor were crazy...until my rolling contractions started.  Just as one would end another would begin.  I was in agony, and yelling about it really did ease the pain a bit.  My husband was AMAZING.  I seriously could not have done it without him.  During a contraction, I was hot, so he would throw the blanket or robe off.  Between contractions, I was freezing, so he covered me back up.  I found that there were two ways I preferred to labor.  Standing with my arms around Joshua, middle school dance style, and bent over with my hands on the bed or couch while Joshua applied counter pressure to my hips or lower back.  And keep in mind that the castor oil was still working it's way out.  I ended up with intense back labor for just about the whole time.  It sucked.  Also, my husband was trying desperately to get me to eat something.  But my contractions were too close together to even consider eating a chicken nugget.
I got in our bath tub twice.  The first time was about two hours in (around 5pm).  The second time was closer to 8.  It was this dip in the tub where things changed.  It went from exceedingly painful contractions to my whole body curling in on itself.  I noted this change with something profound like "ooooh dear"  At this point, Joshua determined that it was time to head to the birth cottage.  It took like thirty minutes to get from the tub to the car because my contractions were  counterproductive to getting dressed and out the door.  We called Alice on the way, letting her know that I had started pushing in the tub at home and we were almost to the Cottage.  We spent about ten minutes in the parking lot, praying the whole time that we would not deliver the baby in the parking lot staring at the wine loft across the street.  Once Alice arrived, we headed to the back room and Joshua let everyone know that we were at the Cottage.  I continued pushing in a ballerina plie/squat position until Jonah's head was out.  Then I climbed onto the bed and delivered him on all fours.  It was an incredible moment, looking at my tiny baby.  He took a heart-stopping moment to start breathing properly, but then he was in my arms, all 5 lb 3 oz of perfection.  We were at the Birth Cottage for 28 minutes.

We stayed there until about 2 am, during which time my parents, Jason and Kelli, Sarah and Ryan (and Verity), and my Uncle David all came to meet my sweet baby boy.  Joshua and Jason hung the "it's a boy" sign out front and I took the best shower of my life.

Jonah and Daddy - first day together

He was so tiny!   My sister go to town about 2 am and came to see him.  The next day, my mama and Jess tore apart the town looking for preemie clothes that would fit my petite little boy.  Pretty much the best day of my life...

27 April 2011

Easter Eggs!

Last week Haley, Benjamin, Jonah and I made natural dye for Easter eggs.  It was fun and cheap, and pretty easy.
To start with, we grabbed three dyeing agents:


purple cabbage
and turmeric.

Basically, we added each ingredient to a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for a good long while.  Benjamin was a great help, pouring water into the pots and keeping a close eye on the process.

And Jonah...well...


And of course we needed a little snack break!

Finally, the colors looked good and rich!

At this point, Jonah and I had to leave and Haley and Benjamin had to carry on without us.  Vinegar was added to the mixtures and eggs were boiled and set to soak.  Here is the finished project:

So lovely!  And no toxins!  And super cheap!

23 April 2011


so...why is it that once I get one area in my life under control, all the others seem to fall apart?  a couple of weeks ago I was doing great with my eating habits.  I had lost 5 lbs and felt really good!  no gluten, no cheating. house and car were a mess and I had tons of grad work to do and I was neglecting my Bible reading and prayer time.
so I decided to work on some of these other areas as well.  and I am happy to announce that I have kept my house clean all week!  and I only have one more grad school assignment!  and I have read my Bible a bit more  but...I have gained like four pounds back :(
I just do not know how to juggle all these different things along with caring for my son and spending time with my husband.  especially in the food department.  I keep justifying poor food choices because of how busy I am.  and I really want to be skinnier.  and healthier.

I need someone to help keep my accountable...but I can never find someone willing to get all up in my business the way I need them to.  oh well...

One more grad school assignment!  then a break until august!

21 April 2011

avoiding grad work

I always find that I am more interested in posting on here when I should be doing something else. Why is that, I wonder?
I have recently become obsessed with the food network. I realize what a dork I am for this, but it is what it is. It used to be that Joshua and I would just as soon go out to eat than me cook. Since Jonah got here, we are quite broke and I am forced to figure out how to make each dollar stretch. And eating out is NOT that way! So now I have started to get a little creative with our meals. And watching the food network helps.
Not that I necessarily cook anything they show on there. It just reminds me that I am capable of cooking. And since my main ingredient is pretty much always chicken, and I cannot have gluten, creativity is a must.
My current favorite a variation on chicken and rice. It includes long grain wild rice, chicken, peas, corn, and a LOT of melty cheesy goodness. And since I am trying to get skinnier (which may just be a pipe dream), I am also counting calories. This meal ends up around 400 calories for a good size serving. Not too shabby.
Clearly the worst part of cooking is the clean up! If I could have one super power, it would be to wave my hand and have things magically clean themselves...bippity boppity boop.

weeelll...I should probably go write this paper...

07 April 2011

baby slings seems that I have become a little obsessed with baby slings. I absolutely LOVE wearing my baby. He is really content in the sling, and he gets a great view of his world (when he is awake). And, as an added bonus, I can use both hands to complete any task ahead of me. There is very little I cannot do with Jonah in a sling. I have painted sets for Raa's musical, cooked, taken long walks, peed, name it. In fact, I like it so much that I own five, that's right, FIVE different slings.

This is my Moby wrap. I used this constantly when Jonah was teeny tiny. It is perfect for newborns. I also use it whenever I know he will be in the sling for a while. It is by far the most secure feeling choice, and it is the easiest on my back, since it crosses over both shoulders.

This is how he prefers to sleep in it. This has earned me many comments from well-meaning individuals who assume that I have no idea what my son is doing. I try not to get too irritated. I know they mean well, and it is sweet that they are concerned for my son's well being.

This is my Maya wrap.

Actually, it is not really a Maya wrap. My darling friend Melissa made this for me. I love it. I like that I can adjust it in the front and back independently. I use this for running into the mall. Shortly after I took this picture, I tried on a pair of pants with him still in the sling. I have skills! Now that Jonah is bigger, he likes for me to sit him upright with his back against my chest. This way he can see what is going on around him.

This is my jellybean wrap. I got it for $20 from target.

This is the sling I use for messy activities. For example, this is where Jonah hung out while I was painting sets. The sling now has some paint spots, but it was perfect for this task! I have also nicknamed it the "sleep sling" because every time I put Jonah in it, he falls asleep! Very handy!

Similar to this one is my sling I ordered from Seven.

This one is perfect for the warmer weather because it is made of a light weight fabric. Clearly he loves to sleep in these things!

The last sling I own is made of blue mesh similar to basketball shorts. It is for taking Jonah in the pool or the ocean. I cannot wait until it is warm enough to put that one to good use!

Anyways, there is my obsession!