A few weeks ago we had Porter’s baby blessing. This was a sweet experience and rare opportunity to have all of our family together. Joe’s dad was even able to make the trip, which is something he hasn’t been able to do since our wedding. We are so grateful to have Porter in our lives and that he is officially ours in the records of our church. Even though he pooped on his white outfit and popped off some the snaps, lost one of his shoes, and whimpered through the blessing, it was one of those moments we will always cherish. Thank you to everyone who made the journey to share this moment with us. All photos were taken by my mom.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Your Dad and Your Mom.
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.
Your belly looks like a basketball. People also like to mention this a lot.
You get to look like a druggie. No I did not take up IV drug use but was being tested for gestational diabetes. Thankfully with the longer, much less fun test my results were in the normal range.
Your belly is the perfect shelf for your water bottle. Hands free hydration!
You get to buy fun little outfits like this one. Our little man is going to be well dressed.
You get excited by the passage of time. Each week seems like a huge landmark. You may also get very skilled at finding different ways of counting down to your due date. Right now I have a little over 8 weeks or about two months or less than 60 days til my due date.
I recently read a statement from a pregnant woman that made me cringe. She stated that she loved being pregnant, when I read that statement I burst into tears. I cannot say that I love being pregnant, one of the reasons being that I cry pretty easily. That day had been particularly stressful and I found myself feeling deeply guilty that I am not loving every moment of being pregnant. After some introspection I decided that even though I have been blessed with a relatively comfortable pregnancy, it is ok that I do not love every moment. However, there are many moments to love. In order to focus on the positive, here are my top ten list of lovable pregnancy moments.
- Hearing the baby’s heartbeat, especially for the first time. That moment reassured me that the exhaustion that I felt during my first trimester was indeed doing something more than making me fall asleep every night at 8:00.
- Reading the weekly updates on my baby’s development. I have three pregnancy apps that I regularly check, it may be a bit excessive but they each give me a little different information which I enjoy.
- Seeing the baby on the ultrasound. I don’t think I can even describe how exciting that was.
- Finding out the gender of our baby. I feel that finding out that we are expecting a boy has made it easier to bond with our little one. It has also made planning for the future easier.
- The kindness of others. Even though I am just barely past the halfway mark of my pregnancy, I am already amazed at the kindness of those around me. We have received several beautiful gifts from friends and family as well as several gracious offers to throw me baby showers.
- Feeling the baby move. Every week I feel the baby move a little more, I can’t help but smile (for now) when he kicks surprisingly hard.
- Dreaming of bringing our baby home. Sometimes I’ll sit in the baby’s room and look through the clothes and other little baby things we have and imagine what our little boy will look like.
- Reminding myself that pregnancy is truly a miracle. There are many women who would love to be in my position, we are lucky to have this baby on the way. In the end we’ll have a little person who is a little bit of me and a little bit of Joe, which is terribly exciting.
- Seeing Joe in a new light. Joe has been so supportive in doing little things to help me through this pregnancy. He’s gone with me to all of my appointments, he lets me sleep when I’m exhausted, and he’s been doing extra chores around the house.
- The support of those around me. Even though I sometimes get sick of people asking me how I’m feeling, it’s great to know that there are people all around me who support me and are concerned about me and the baby.
I am also coming to realize that pregnancy takes a lot of patience, nine months is a long time. Dreaming of the future moments also keeps me more positive. Here are the top 5 things I am looking forward to in the coming weeks and months.
- Seeing and holding my baby for the first time. (Of course that has to be number one.)
- When Joe is able to feel the baby kick.
- I look forward to the 18th of every month because that means I am one month closer to my due date.
- Baby showers. Who doesn’t love getting cute baby things? After the baby showers I will also allow myself to buy more things for the baby which I am looking forward to.
- Definitively deciding on a name for our little one.