Lumen’s Birth Story.

If you’ve been reading my posts, follow my Instagram, or are my Facebook friend, you know I’ve been excited and impatient about my second daughter being born. The end of my pregnancy, I was just TOO excited. I couldn’t wait to hold her. But I thought I’d be pregnant for longer than I was.

38 weeks!

38 weeks!

Maybe baby girl picked up on my impatience, or maybe she was just impatient herself. At 38 weeks pregnant exactly, I surprisingly went into labor. That day I was feeling a little weird at first. I decided to take a walk, drink a couple glasses of raspberry leaf tea, and help with our horses, hoping I’d get things moving. I really didn’t expect much to happen because, even though I had noticed my belly hanging much lower and the pressure was getting very annoying, I didn’t have any sign that anything was happening. *TMI ahead* I hadn’t lost my plug. I wasn’t dilated when I was checked at 36 weeks, I didn’t even have any softening. I thought this baby was going to make me wait forever.

That night, while dishing up my plate for dinner to be exact, I experienced a strong contraction, that was in my lower stomach. I assumed it was a mixture of Braxton Hicks and stretching. I went about my night normally. I lay in bed watching Walking Dead, chillin’. I had a few more irregular contractions. No biggie, I had been having practice contractions from 14 weeks. I didn’t think anything of it. Later that night I started getting more and decided to time them. They were 20 minutes apart, 15, 12, back to 20, then 45, then a whole hour went by without one. I tried taking a shower to see if they would go away. I still had them, but they felt a lot better in the water. After I got out I was convinced this wasn’t the real deal because they were so irregular. I stayed in bed listening to my Hypnobirthing tracks, breathing through these “practice contractions” that happened to be getting stronger. I managed to fall asleep for an hour, then woke back up around 2 something am with more contractions, still irregular, but strong. I had a couple that were 20 minutes apart, then jumped to 10 minutes apart. I had only a couple that were 10 mintutes apart, but the strength grew. At one point I tried getting on my hands and knees and swaying my hips. But it just felt worse, and I couldn’t get up until it was over. At that point I decided maybe I should wake my mom, and just let her know what’s been going on. Real or not, she should just be aware. So I woke her and assured her she didn’t have to jump up and rush to the hospital or anything. However, right when I woke her up (3am), my contractions went from a couple at 10 minutes apart, straight to 2-3 minutes apart, strong and suddenly regular.

I stayed calm, did my breathing. I wasn’t afraid. In fact, I don’t know if it had even hit me at that point that I really was in labor. I even did a little bit of make up before leaving. At 3:30 am we headed to the hospital. The whole ride was not easy. We drive a large Ford, diesel, with bad breaks and barrings, which causes the truck to bounce and shake way more than it should. A rough ride indeed. I was having regular very strong contractions, with slight pressure, the whole way there. I cannot recall how long it actually took to get there. But I’m sure we made it there around 4 am. I walked through the doors with my mom, and stopped to hold the wall while I swayed to a contraction. A male nurse with a pretty sweet beard came out and helped me into a wheelchair. I was hoping to walk, but looking back, it would have taken forever to get there if I were walking. We made it to labor and delivery and I got into a room quickly. I didn’t want to be hooked up to everything the whole time, and the nurse assured me it would only be 20 minutes (liar). I changed into the robe, and climbed into the bed and was hooked up to the monitor. Also, I had tested positive for the Group B Strep, so I had to get an IV for antibiotics. My contractions continued, stronger. I was informed my doctor wasn’t on call and couldn’t come in. I was disappointed because I didn’t want to have to explain or defend my birth plan to someone new. Luckily, the wonderful doctor who was there, kindly read my birth plan sheet, nodded, and seemed pleased.The nurse wanted to check me to see how far along I was. Now listen ladies, if you’re going to have someone check your cervix while you are having strong contractions every 2 minutes, make sure they don’t have the worlds shortest fingers. I swear she was purposely digging around in there just to torture me. Anyways, I was 4 cm. 4 cm! I expected to be much farther by then. At that point, I admit, I said, “I don’t know if I can do this naturally thing if this is what it’s like at only 4 cm”. But, I swallowed my bitchassness, and declined the pain medication. 5 minutes later I was checked again because I was having more pressure. 7 cm. In 5 minutes I went from 4 to 7 cm. It was all going so fast. I remember this was the point where the contractions got to their worst. I stayed in my zone, and didn’t let myself tense up. I did start vocalizing a little, because for me, it helped with the pain. Not to mention my body started shaking uncontrollably. I remember holding my right hand up for some reason. The nurse held it. I never squeezed her hand or put any pressure on it at all. I kept as relaxed as I could manage. Suddenly, with every contraction my body was pushing itself. Everyone always says, “Once your body is ready to push, there’s no stopping it”. SO TRUE. I never purposely pushed throughout my labor. I let my body do whatever it wanted to do all on it’s own. The doctor kept speaking in hypnobirthing terms, which made me much more comfortable because it told me she had experience with this kind of birth and approved. She just sat and waited for my cues, encouraging me with birth affirmations I had been listening to for the past weeks to prepare for this moment. I was so grateful she was there. At that point, I held up my hand and cued the doctor over because something was happening. She checked and said, “Baby is right there”. I knew it. My step dad exited the room, and my mom joined me by my right side. I first tried the side laying position while my body pushed my baby down. It wasn’t very comfortable for me, and the awesome doctor (I’ll be referring to her as the awesome doctor from now on), read my mind and asked to put the squat bar on. It was quickly assembled and they helped me up. My body felt weak and shaking. I could hardly hold myself up. I managed to get my arms around the bar, holding my weight. I think I was on my left knee, while I rigged my right leg up on the side of the bar, holding it in place so it would stay out of the way. I loved that I wasn’t being told what to do. I did what my body wanted to do and what I felt I needed to. That was when shit got real. Every contraction, my baby was moving down and I was vocalizing. It felt like I was being loud, but my mom said I really wasn’t loud at all. I did remain calm at all times. I wasn’t afraid. There was only 4 or 5 pushes until the ring of fire graced me with it’s presence. The awesome doctor asked if I’d like to feel her head. I wanted to but replied with, “I can’t let go”. I was trying very hard to hold my body up. My eyes were closed the whole time. Within seconds I was feeling my baby coming out into the world, and before I knew it I was swooping her up into my arms with everyone telling me to be careful of the cord. I lay back with my just born baby on my bare chest, and kept telling her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. I was amazed. Amazed that I had really just done that.

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October 21st, at 5:53 am, Lumen Jane was welcomed into the world.

First latch!

First latch!

She laid on my chest, and naturally began to breastfeed when she was ready. Her father wasn’t able to make it to the birth, so I was lucky enough to cut her umbilical cord after it was finished pulsating. When she finished eating her first meal, she was weighed and bathed. A dainty 5 lbs 14 oz. And 19 1/2 inches long.

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Because it happened so fast, I didn’t get all the antibiotics that I was suppose to receive before she came. So, I had to stay two nights. I really didn’t want to be trapped at the hospital, but the nurses were so kind, helpful and respectful, it wasn’t that bad.

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After I gave birth, the awesome doctor held my hand and told me I was amazing. She paid me what was probably the best compliment I had ever received. “Most girls your age don’t have their shit together to have a hypnobirth”. Then continued to call me a “dream patient”. As you can imagine, I was over the moon. 

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I was blessed with an awesome birth, and awesome people around me.

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Phew! Birth Plan, Check!

Today I had my check up/ NST. I was a little nervous because I would be presenting my birth plan, or what I named “My Birth Preference”.

I thought it would be a little too natural for my doctor, but as she was reading, she kept saying, “Mhm, Perfect”. Which made me feel better. I told her that if there was anything she wasn’t comfortable with I would like to discuss it. The only thing she asked for me to change slightly, was the part where I asked to not have an IV. She said it’s if fine for me to self hydrate, but she would like to have an IV put in, but not hooked up. Just in case something happens and I need medication or hydration through it, because it might be harder to get one in place if I were say, to hemorrhage. Which I understand completely, and agree. I would rather have a ‘just in case’ than have to get poked a bunch in an emergency. 

But, besides that, she agreed to everything! I was worried because a lot of what I asked does take up more of her time. But she is awesome and was happy with everything! 

What exactly did I put in my birth plan?

  1. Natural birth, no pain medications and avoiding all unnecessary interventions.
  2. Because I am Hypnobirthing, I ask for a very peaceful, calm environment. Dimmed lights, soft speaking, limited interruptions and as much alone time as I can be allowed.
  3. Self hydration.
  4. I would like to be allowed to move around as I feel comfortable.
  5. I would Like to deliver in a position comfortable for me.
  6. I will be delaying clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord until after it has stopped pulsing.
  7. Immediate skin-to-skin or “Kangaroo Care” is very important to me.
  8. I would like to delay all newborn procedures until after we have had time to bond and nurse.
  9. Baby will be exclusively breastfed and will not have any formula or pacifiers.
  10. Baby will room with me at all times.

Honestly, I could ask for more. But these are the things I found very important or a “must have” for this labor and birth experience. I’m so glad I can feel confident that I will be able to have the birth I want without being opposed. It’s a major weight off of me for sure!

Good News Alert!

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know I’ve been struggling with the fear of possibly having pregnancy Cholestasis. I’ve been going in weekly for NSTs (non-stress tests). When my doctor responded to my itchy hands and feet with these NSTs and a blood test, assuming it was Cholestasis, my heart broke. I had been having a perfectly normal pregnancy, everything going well, until that appointment and that stupid annoying itching. Suddenly we had to monitor my baby and possibly discuss induction depending on my bile levels, which would really cut into my hopes for a very natural birth. Not to mention the stress of never knowing if baby was doing okay from one minute to the next. Thank God, so far, baby has passed all the NSTs with flying colors, and my first blood test showed negative for Cholestasis. However, my doctor did say that it usually takes awhile before showing in a blood test.

As time has gone on, the stress has eased a bit. And the itching has just gotten down right confusing. With Cholestasis, the most common symptom is intense itching, usually on the hands and feet. My itching has been really on and off. Luckily, it has been mild-moderate when I do have it, but I can go long periods of time without itching at all. Even having mild itching, it is terrible. For most of last week I would go to bed at night, only to wake up an hour later itching, then be up all night! It was exhausting. When the weekend came on, my itching just stopped. It was like a miracle from God. Seriously, I was like, “THANK YOU,GOD!!” 

So, today I mentioned to my doctor how on and off my itching is and that when I do have it, it’s not nearly as bad as it has been at times. My doctor was glad to hear it, because according to her, in most Cholestasis cases, the itching only gets worse and worse. And doesn’t really become harmful to baby until it is really bad itching. Since mine isn’t bad and sometimes not even there, she’s not concerned about it harming baby, and even thinks it might not even be Cholestasis! HELLO! GREAT NEWS! She even wants to postpone the blood test she wanted to do, because she really don’t think it would show anything. 

PHEW!

So, as of now, we’re keeping an eye on the itching, still doing NSTs every week just to be extra safe, and everything else looks great! I was so relieved to have this conversation with her today. I feel like I can finally relax and my natural hypnobirth is STILL ON! YAY! I definitely feel that my prayers have been answered, and have no fear that anything will rear it’s head to harm baby or myself. And if it does, I’m already 34+ weeks, so there isn’t much more time left in this pregnancy.

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Totally chillaxing with some hot cocoa and a danish. I deserve it after all the stress I’ve been through.

 

 

Oh, AND, when I got home, my package of BumGenius cloth diapers had arrived! Double yay! 

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Seriously, guys. So happy.

There’s a diva in town, but she comes with rewards.

In the past 2 weeks, I’ve noticed Rayne seems so much older. She’s been talking a lot more and being even more independent (if that was even possible). She’s acting like an older child. Just the way she walks and talks is impressive.

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She dresses to impress and wears her sunglasses like a movie star.

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She even has a diva attitude to match.

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She doesn’t seem to care what I have to say. She does what she wants to do and doesn’t do what she doesn’t want to do. It’s difficult to deal with but that’s her. I knew before she was born, that was her personality. I could just tell. Now we’re so much alike, we butt heads everyday. The only difference between us besides physical, is that she likes to dance and I’m not a dancer at all. Other wise, we’re exactly alike. She’s my personality clone. 

After my friend having his new baby yesterday, It makes me miss the 6lb Rayne who just wanted to look at me. But with her growing and changing comes many rewards. I get to see my daughter’s sense of humor, her smarts, her independence, her kind heart, her creativity, her individuality, her stubbornness, her feistiness, her wildness. She’s such a blessing to have in my life.

 

One great day.

Today has been unexpectedly great. I was very nervous this morning for my interview, but I fought through it. I got there a half hour early, and waited for the woman named Ruthie to come to greet me. About a half hour later I notice 4 other people standing around holding papers. They were there for interviews too. I really was hoping it wasn’t going to be a group interview, and it was. We went in the back and sat around a table. She asked us all questions and we all showed our outfits we had chosen. She was a nice woman. Outgoing and quirky. Very likable. Before I went in, I said, “I’m just going to be myself. If they like me, cool. If they don’t, oh well”. Even though I was nervous, I tried to not let it cripple me as it had my whole life. I cracked a couple sarcastic/smart-ass jokes, which is me being myself, but afterwards I worried I made a bad impression. They did laugh, but you never know how they perceive you. Then she had us walk the floor speaking to customers. I don’t think I was very good at it seeing as how I’m quiet the anti-social. But I tried. And that’s what counts. If they don’t hire me, I don’t really care. It’d be nice to have a job, but I’m not going to let myself get bent out of shape over it. I answered honestly and was genuine. That’s all that matters now.

While I was in the interview, my Mom was walking Rayne around the other stores. When I walked outside I saw them walking with bags in hand and Rayne covered in chocolate. Come to find out she picked out a Mother’s Day gift and card for me all by herself. I’m so excited to see it! She also got a pack of lip balms, which she ate. 

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We went straight to Dutch Bros. to get some drinks. The kind woman working gave her some whipped cream on her straw. I love the people who work there. They always remember my drink!

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When I woke up this morning I got a text message from my closest friend saying his son was about to be born! I’ve been so excited for him, so I texted him back right away. Izaak Able Asselmeier was born at 12:24pm. 7lbs 5oz. 20 inches long. I can’t even explain how happy I am for him. Immediately he was gushing about him. Saying how adorable he is and how he can’t sleep because he keeps hearing him coo, and how he’s cried multiple times. He’s already such a good father. That little boy is so lucky to have him. Rayne was excited, too. She loves babies. So when I told her what was going on, she wanted to take a picture and send it to Izaak. 

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“Happy Birthday Izaak!!! Welcome to the world. ❤ Rayne”

I hope they grow to be friends like Josh and I are. 

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Rayne and I enjoyed our Dutch Bros. on her patio set. The weather was nice. Warm with a cool breeze.

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I also got this amazing Macaroon for only 79 cents! And it was giant and the best I’ve ever had.

Today turned out pretty well. In this moment, I am content. 

 

 

11 Steps to take for anyone thinking of having a baby.

I found this on a friend’s Facebook. I find it rather hilarious and true.

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.

2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.

3. Go home.

4. Pick up the paper.

5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…

1. Methods of discipline.

2. Lack of patience.

3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.

4. Allowing their children to run wild.

5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)

2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.

4. Set the alarm for 3AM.

5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.

6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.

7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.

9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out…

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.

2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.

3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.

4. Then rub them on the clean walls.

5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.

6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this – all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.

Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.

2. Make a small hole in the side.

3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.

4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.

6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say ‘it’s all worth it!’ Share it with your friends, both those who do and don’t have kids. I guarantee they’ll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you’ll need when you become a parent!