Creations By Hope

When I was pregnant I quit my job a week and a half before my due date. I was hoping that by doing this the baby would come sooner. But he didn’t and that last week of pregnancy seemed like an eternity. To pass the time I sewed bibs in anticipation of one day opening an Etsy shop. Maneuvering around my huge belly in order to cut and sew fabric was about the only workout I could handle.

I am grateful to have the baby out and that cutting and sewing fabric is physically much easier now (though finding the time is much more difficult). With some work I have opened my Etsy shop named Creations By Hope. As I continue on this new journey of motherhood I sneak in some time to do a little sewing and work on my shop.

Stop in and check it out. As an extra bonus the first two people to comment on this post and leave an email address will be sent a 15% off coupon.

Creations By Hope

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Porter’s Birth Story-The Short Version

Midnight: Contractions were getting to be consistent and closer together.

2:00 a.m.: Called the hospital and they told me to stay home for a few more hours. I watched The Incredibles while Joe unsuccessfully tried to sleep.

6:00 a.m.: We headed to the hospital and successfully beat rush hour traffic.

7:00 a.m.: After some skeptical hospital staff checked me I was dilated to 5 cm and admitted to the hospital.

2:00 pm.: My water broke with a loud pop, I was dilated to 9.75 cm.

2:30 p.m.: Started pushing

4:10 p.m.: Porter was born!
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Porter’s Birth Story-The Long Version

Just before midnight the night before Porter was born I woke up with contractions. Actually I had been having contractions off and on all day, this was the point that I finally gave up on sleeping. I hopped in the tub and started timing my contractions. They were 5-7 minutes apart. Around this time Joe woke up from me continuously running water in the tub trying to get the right temperature. He reminded me of some of the breathing techniques we had learned in our birth hypnosis class, which helped tremendously.

Around 2 a.m. contractions had been 4-5 minutes apart for over an hour. Since this was the point we had been told to come to the hospital, I called to see if I should come in. The nurse told me that since this was my first pregnancy I could labor at home for a few more hours or until I couldn’t handle it. I was grateful that I made this call before heading in. Joe tried to get some sleep and I put on a movie.

At 6:00 a.m. we decided to head to the hospital. Joe didn’t believe I was really in labor but decided we should go to the hospital and check and that we should do it before rush hour. Once at the hospital we got lost trying to figure out where to check in, even though we had taken a tour. When we checked in I was irritated that we had to wait in line and there were no chairs. Eventually we got placed in a triage room and I was connected to all sorts of monitors. We waited for about a half hour until a skeptical nurse came to check me. She looked at me and I’m sure she didn’t believe I was actually in labor. She asked me if I had been checked at all. I told her that I had been 2 cm dilated the week before. She seemed surprised, and was even more surprised when she checked and I was dilated to 5 cm.

I got admitted to the hospital at about 7 a.m. After being hooked up to monitors and started on an IV (I was GBS positive) I got in the tub for a while. I tried a few different techniques I had learned in our birth hypnosis class, but the thing that I stuck with was ratio breathing. Over the next few hours I continued to dilate steadily. As contractions got more intense I started to do some rocking motions through contractions. I also started thinking of the contractions as waves, I knew that if I made it to the peak of the contraction I would be just fine. Joe was incredibly supportive. He got me water and ice chips, let the nurses and doctors know of my preferences, gave me verbal encouragement, and helped suggest different techniques from our class.

A little before 2:00 p.m. Joe and I heard a pop and my water broke. A few minutes later it was time to push. Pushing was the most intense part of the experience. I pushed for about 2 hours total. At the very end Porter’s heart rate was dropping and they used the vacuum one time to get him out. Immediately after delivery Porter and I both had some minor complications so we didn’t get to have delayed cord clamping and immediate skin to skin after delivery. Joe was able to escort Porter to the nursery for monitoring and an hour later we were reunited as a family of three.

Unmedicated childbirth is the most difficult thing I have ever done, but wouldn’t have done it any other way.

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One Week Old

We sure love our new baby boy. He is adorable and cute, even if he poops and pees all over the place while we are changing him. We frequently find ourselves replicating his facial expressions.

Porter has been a lot of fun and I love having him as my new adventure buddy. Last Saturday I took him for a walk around the neighborhood testing out our new ergo-baby carrier. On Sunday we walked around the Silver Lake boardwalk. It was fun to be taking him outside already exposing him to nature early. We even saw a younger moose who was probably a year old.

I recommend being a dad. It’s a treat to see a mixture of me and Hope and we think he is one handsome man.

Nothing Yet.

To Our Baby Boy,

Today is June 13, 2014. We really want to meet you. Your mother especially wants to meet you. We love you already. We have been waiting for you and will continue to wait for you always. Personally, I want you to come sometime this weekend. Today is Friday the 13th and that would be awesome to say that you were born today. Tomorrow we plan on going on a full moon ride and that would be also be awesome to say that you were born on a chair lift under a full moon. But the moment that would have the most meaning to me would be if you were born on Father’s Day. That would be the best Father’s Day gift ever! No rush little one, but if you want to have a cool birth story, come this weekend.

Love,
Your Dad and Your Mom.

My Mindful Marathon

After a five year break, and actually following a training plan I ran the 2014 Ogden Marathon last week. Unfortunately it was my slowest time out of the three full marathons I have ran, but I still finished in 4:38. Many factors may have contributed to my calves cramping up around Mile 11. In the midst of my pain and stress I decided to try a relaxation exercise. It seems a little funny to say that it might have been almost instinctual as I agonized about getting through last 15 miles. I counted a breath in through my nose and a breath out of my mouth as a cycle and attempted to run for at least forty of those cycles. As soon as I felt tired, I walked for about twenty cycles. I started to enter a state of mindfulness where I was only aware of my breathing and nothing else. I was able to keep this up for about 5-6 miles and during this time it was a pleasant surprise to fully open my eyes to find that another few miles had already passed by and I was at another water station.

There were several funny quotes, poster boards, and themed water stations that kept me entertained, but around Mile 23, when I really started to feel depressed about my slowing time, I saw a quote written in chalk that was very inspirational to me. It read “Embrace your pace”, and it was what I needed in that moment. It was a perfect example of a radical acceptance statement to help me accept the moment for what it was. Finally, during the last mile, my smiling, beautiful 8-month pregnant wife was there cheering me on and I was able to finish as strong as my cramped legs would let me.

Pregnancy Through a Child’s Eyes

I am currently 18 weeks pregnant, and as I am starting to look pregnant I have gotten interesting responses from people. The most entertaining being from the kids at my job. I hadn’t planned on saying anything to the kids I work with, mostly because my due date is far enough out that the actual birth of my child shouldn’t interfere with my job. But I knew that my growing belly would cause some questions as it had for a coworker. When my coworker left for maternity leave I was left to field questions such as, “Do people die giving birth?” “Do you have to be married to have a baby?” “Isn’t she like 19, isn’t that too young to have a baby?” “Why do people not work for a while after having a baby?” I struggled to answer these questions in an honest and age appropriate manner. “Ummm…it’s very rare for people to die during childbirth, but it used to happen more often. You don’t have to be married to have a baby, but it is nice to be married before you have a baby. She’s older than 19, but 19 might be too young to have a baby. People like to take time off after having a baby to spend time with their new baby.”

This past week the kids have started to pick up on my pregnancy. In the middle of a worksheet on problem solving one of my students questioned, “Are you having a baby?” while staring intently at my stomach. I stated that I am. He replied, “I knew it! You’re belly keeps getting bigger and bigger.” I agreed and we moved on with our lesson.

While working with a younger set of students a similar interruption happened. When I answered that I am indeed pregnant they became extremely curious. One child exclaimed, “You’re pregnant!? But you’re not even fat!” which I decided to take as a compliment. This left me to explain that my baby isn’t due for several months still and I will continue to get bigger and bigger as time goes on. This information led some of the students to be confused and I explained to them that pregnancy lasts 9 months, but a lot of women don’t say anything until they start to look pregnant. Apparently the fact that pregnancy is 9 months long was new information because the kids were stunned. I decided that it was time to move on with my lesson.

The curiosity of young children never ceases to amaze and entertain me. I like to believe that these moments at my job will prepare me for the curiosity and difficult questions that my own children will inevitably ask.

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18 weeks

Birthday Celebration 2014

What is better than celebrating a birthday? Celebrating it over the course of the week! I felt the birthday love last week as it started with my aunts wishing me happy birthday before my birthday even started. Hope and I enjoyed lettuce wraps and other Chinese deliciousness at P.F. Changs the night before my birthday. I arrived at work the next day to find my desk decorated. Several coworkers gifted me candy, and one even bought me an exquisite strawberry shake. That night I lived out a childhood dream as I fought other kids for the driver’s seat in a fire engine at a fire station open house. To top it off Hope gave me an awesome gift: a giant cast iron skillet to cook my bacon in. I could not have asked for a better week.

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