Friday, December 28, 2012

Burlap Curtain Topper

Briggs is transitioning into his big boy room.  So that means I've been slowly changing things.  His previous window looked like this..

When G-Maw (justin's mom) came for a visit, she gave me a little assistance on how to make what was in my head, come out in real life.  

Started by measuring the window from the outside to the outside of the frame and then we added 3 inches to account for the rod it was on. 

Cut one piece of burlap and liner the dimensions you need...

Front face them to each other and pin around all the edges...

We started out sewing like this with the burlap on bottom and liner on top.  
Tip:  burlap frays pretty bad and it kept getting stuck in my machine, so..

we flipped it over and put the liner on bottom and it worked out great..

Here is G-Maw marking the curtain for the rod pocket.  
All we did was lay the rod on the fabric, make a mark on how wide the pocket 
needed to be and marked the fabric all the way down.

We went ahead and pinned it since I'm a rookie sewer, didn't want to mess up.   
I did a back stitch real good at both ends b/c when you turn the curtain right side have to rip out the end stitches where the rod goes and didn't want anything coming unraveled. 

Then it was time to turn out the curtain.  G-Maw had a little helper for this part.

Final product...

It's simple, but that's the look I was going for. 
 I'm very happy with it and thanks to help from  G-Maw, it looks great.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baby #2 Hospital Wreath

Some of you know, the hospital wreath is quite the big deal here in Birmingham.  Click here to see the one I made last year for Briggs.  This year I decided to go a very different route...
here is what I came up with....

uh, uh (throat clear)...just want to say...notice there is no link to pinterest for this...that's because I came up with it in my own head.  So maybe I'm not a copy-cat for 
every. single. project. I do around here.

Supplies needed: shoe box, scissors, grapevine wreath, fabric, burlap, 
paint and wooden letters (found at hobby lobby)


I started by cutting a piece of cardboard from the shoebox, the size I wanted.
Then I laid out a scrap of burlap that covered both sides of the board and laid out the letters to make sure it was what I wanted before I put it together.

Next I sewed the edges of the burlap (with the cardboard inside) 
using light blue thread, with a zig-zag stitch.

I got some fabric I don't need much..
can just use scraps of some you already have if you want.

I cut it into strips...

Painted the letters brown...

Hot glued it all together..notice my little assistant :)

Last, I wove some light- blue ribbon into the grapevine wreath for another 
"blue" touch and here is the finished product...

Finished product...simple. cute. inexpensive. and
easy to reuse the wreath for something else fun after Parker gets here.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Yes...unfortunately this is a picture of me...IN the hospital...AGAIN! 

These girls with me are my two Amy-ies (they both are named Amy).  The one on the far right, you might remember from our birth story post.  She was the one who helped deliver Briggs.  And the one in the middle is my new special nurse friend.  She took care of me when I went in during this pregnancy at 27 weeks and she had me during this admission (last week) too.  We connected and are now, just like old friends :)

Most of you read this post that says I was already progressing.  Justin and I went in the next day (Wednesday) b/c I didn't feel right and kept having contractions...I am now 1.5 cm dilated, 70% thinned at 32 weeks.  They sent me to Labor & Delivery and put me strait on Magnesium...some nasty stuff...BUT, it did the trick and stopped my contractions.

There was some pretty quick juggling.  Let me start by saying...WE ARE SO BLESSED with wonderful friends and family who helped to make this experience a little less stressful.  Briggs' school is wonderful and worked closely with us to get him where he needed to be and when.  Our neighbor picked him up, Aunt Celeste and Uncle David, dropped everything and kept Briggs overnight at our house.  My mom was in Baton Rouge keeping my sisters kids, but came to the rescue as soon as she could get away.  I'm telling ya...this whole experience is brought to a whole new level when you have a little one at home!

Thankfully we were pretty prepared.  I already had a plan for Briggs, we just had to implement it, bags were packed for Justin and I (he just had to come home and get them), both of the boys rooms are pretty together, baby clothes washed and in the drawer, and Christmas presents have been brought and wrapped for a month now (bc I was afraid this might happen).

Currently, we are at home, on pretty strict bedrest.  I'm basically parked on the couch all day b/c even standing for short spurts, I start contracting.  Swindle said if I can't get them to stop within an hour get up there quick so they can stop the labor.  We have almost had to go back twice since I've been home!  If I have to go back up there OR if my water breaks, the hospital is my home until Parker comes.  THAT makes me sick to my stomach to think about having to spend Christmas in the hospital away from Justin and Briggs...  I'm trying to focus on the positives. I am SO THANKFUL I'm at home right now and even though I'm really restricted, at least I can be here to watch Briggs.  We put a stool by the couch so he hops up here with me throughout the day and I get lots of snuggle time when he wakes up and is ready to sleep.  I can't pick him up...I have a strong correlation to contractions when I even tug on him any.  So I have to wait for somebody to give him to me when he his crying and all that, which is kind of hard, but at least I'm here when he needs me and not stuck in the hospital.

I'm now taking procardia (for contractions) every 4 hrs.  They sent me home on it every 6 hrs, but my contractions kept getting bad, so I called and they moved it up to every 4.  So far, that's maintaining things. 

We haven't officially "announced" these changes because things have been changing so quickly since Wednesday of last week.  We have honestly just been trying to keep our heads above water around here.  Trying to get Briggs settled with a plan, getting the basics done at home with laundry and some food in the frig,  us packed back up again, IN CASE, we have to go back... and on top of that, I haven't felt awesome since the hospital. 

Specific prayer requests...
  • Briggs' adjustments during this time of transition
  • Make it to 37 weeks with Parker (I'm 33 now)
  • Mom to be here when Parker arrives (she wasn't able to be here when Briggs was born)
  • No progression from here until we are in a safe window for Parker
  • Clarity for us to know when/if we need to go back to hospital
  • Not needing to return to the hospital (this one makes me cringe every time I think about being away from my family during all this...I don't know if I could handle it)
I've been asked many times how I'm doing...
This has been quite the rollercoaster of emotions and we are pretty bummed for many reasons, but this is the road we are on...AGAIN :(   There is a constant fog of worry over me (even though I'm trying to fight it).  My mom is here at the moment...THANK GOODNESS, but with Christmas coming up..she will be traveling back and forth from Florida some.  Every twinge, ache or pain is stressful at this point.  I think the worst part is the dread and reality of having to spend time away from my guys and in the hospital but also balancing when to take action and do what is best for Parker.  Then the reality of slowing your activity level from min-moderate to practically zero...I'll just leave it at that.  It's so hard when you're a "doer" and you have to ask for and accept help for everything.  Bedrest with Briggs wasn't fun, but at least Justin and I were able to make it with just us.  Since we have Briggs, we require much more assistance and are having to just ask for it.  We have had so many people offer their time so graciously and I can't even put into words how blessed and loved we feel right now.  It is a very helpless position to be in, but we are thankful to be surrounded by such a great support system.
You all know I don't want to end my post this way, all negative nancy...

So let's end with the things we are so very thankful for...
  • being  proactive and catching things early
  • Parker is at a viable age, would just spend some time in NICU, wouldn't come home with us and would have a few challenges which we would work through
  • We are all at home together right now
  • We have such wonderful medical care at our hospital and they are doing a great job staying on top of things
  • So thankful for my mom and her dropping EVERYTHING to practically move in with us, run our household and take care of Briggs...I don't know how I can ever thank her enough.
  • And our friends who have also been supportive and have cared so well for our little boy.
  • I went back for a recheck today and had closed up some..I'm now 1 cm and 50% thinned!  I really needed that good news to help me settle to just maintain that for a few weeks!
I will try and do better at updating from here.  None of this was a secret or anything and with social media, it's easier to get the word out, it's just weird when YOU are the one the message is about.   How to share info with others and what to share, while focusing on how to get better and keep things going as smoothly as possible...anyway, for now we are doing ok.  My mom is here for the week and at this point, every day Parker can stay put, the better.

...until next time

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pregnancy Update

I guess it's time to spill the beans about what has been going on at our house.  I have had a good pregnancy up until now.  I mean a few aches and pains but nothing too uncomfortable and from what everybody says, the second one is harder on your body.  Briggs and I have continued to stay active, walking our regular 2-5 miles a day.  We play hard, eat good and sleep well at our house...up until about a month ago.

 Short version...Briggs had gotten a cold, diaper rash that turned into yeast, vomiting and diarrhea, poor appetite, not sleeping good including waking up 3-8 times a night that lasted a little over a month...oh and even a trip to the ER in an ambulance. 

Needless to say times were tough around here.  My doc feels like all this excitement might have had something to do with this next part.

A few weeks ago I was having some pretty good contractions (at 27 weeks) and called the doctor.  They wanted me to come in...I wasn't dilated but contractions were between 3-5 min.  Apparently they don't like you to have contractions that close together that early in the ballgame...why in the world not ?!?!?!  They gave me a shot to stop them, which worked...thank goodness it wasn't a repeat of what happened with Briggs...yet :)

Sorry no pics of that little adventure b/c I was by myself most of the time and was a little freaked out with it being so early and all.  Taking pics to document wasn't top on the priority list :)

I was sent home with orders to rest, hydrate and oral meds to stop contractions when they happen. I've been going back weekly to keep a close eye on things.  I do have contractions pretty much daily, but the oral meds along with hydrating and resting (as much as you can with an 18 mo old) has helped.  I'm now 32 weeks with no dilation, but unfortunately today, I have progressed to 50% thinned.  As Doctor Swindle said today...this isn't ideal..but for now she is ok with where things are and we will just take a week at a time.  If I dilate it's automatic bedrest.  Until then, we will watch things closely.  I did get a steroid shot today to help Parker's lungs IF he comes early and Justin will give me another one tomorrow from home.

I also have been taking progesterone shots every week since I was 16 weeks.  This has been quite the stresser for me since I'm not a needle person and they hurt like the dickens.  I'm bruised all over both sides of my back where they give them and I have permanent puncture holes from the shot.  It's a HUGE needle.  But I only have FOUR more to go and I guess the saying "you do anything for your kids" is true.  Thought I would include some pics of my special shot nurses who see me weekly...

 and a few have been given by my special nurse here at home...

Needless to say...during all this precious MIL came up for a whole week to rescue us.  She spent some fun time with Briggs, cleaned my entire house, cooked some food and got it in the freezer.  I think I was at the end of my rope with all the sickness and then the contractions....
When I called to update her on what was going on, crying...I think she felt sorry for me :)

We appreciated G-maw so much and were so thankful she came and helped me get things whipped back into shape around here.  

So at this point we have made a few changes to help get us 5 more weeks. We added Briggs one extra day at MDO.  He only goes 9-2 but that's still good rest time for me.  I've been officially promoted to full-time stay at home mommy.  I basically was before this anyway.  I just filled in at my old work when they are busy, on Briggs' MDO days, which isn't often.  We got a lady to come clean the house every other week...insert hallelujah choruses here.

Anyway, goal is to make it to 37 weeks with no hospitalization, dilation, bedrest or baby.  I'm just having to slow way down, listen to my body and rest (which seems to only be slowing down the progression, not stopping it completely).  It's been emotional and stressful with all this going on for many different reasons.   I am trying to keep perspective.  Maybe this is the Lord's way of slowing me down to prepare my heart and body for this new precious blessing that is soon to come.  Either way, we have many things to be thankful for and trying to hold on to that for encouragement. Prayers appreciated  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Tips

Thought I would share a few tips that we use around here at Christmas that might save ya a few bucks and make things a little easier.

I got a little creative with our name tags this year.  I just used stuff we already had in the closet.  

Supplies: scrapbook paper, special scissors that cut a decorative edge 
and hole punch to attach it to the packaging.

These are little scarfs (below) I make and usually get quite a few orders around holidays (sidenote: if anybody wants a cute and inexpensive Christmas gift for somebody special or they are great for teachers me).
The point of putting this in here is to show you can get creative with your wrapping and by using stuff you have at home...

I used brown paper bags, cut into strips, 
some rope to tie as the ribbon and scrapbook paper as the name tags.

 Christmas present wrapping...
I get a spool of tulle at the craft store and make bows for our presents..
very inexpensive and gives it a cute touch.
Then I layered scrapbook paper that was cut for the name tags.

On this present, I cut out a letter from wrapping paper 
I already had and glued it on the present

We have learned from experience to keep boxes and receipts, especially on things a little more pricey.  I tape the receipt to the inside of box top and we throw it in the attic.  
It's a good way to keep things organized and makes it easy if something breaks or needs to be returned.

Last but not least...

You know those Christmas wreaths you hang outside on your windows...
To store them...we stuff the bows with paper towels (just reuse the same ones each year), cover with garbage bags and hang on nails in the attic. 
Then they are ready to go every year with minimal work.

None of this was earth shattering...just thought I would share a few tips we use at the Poland house.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ornament Tradition

I shared last Christmas about our ornament tradition that has been carried on since I was young.  Just wanted to share the additions we added to our collection this year.

I think we can all guess whose this one is...

Justin and I got this one from our babymoon a few months ago...

This is one of the ways we preserve memories and traditions in our home at Christmas

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Hair Cut

We are almost 18 months old and JUST got enough hair for our first haircut.  Here are a few pics of our sweet little man.  I couldn't pick just one so I'm just putting them all..b/c he is SO STINKIN CUTE!

He was such a big boy.  Didn't cry at all and the only problem we had was when he realized the chair would rock and he would rock back and Staci (the hair cut girl) had a little buckin bronco on her hands but she did great and he came out of there looking sharp.

Well technically we all three did...we just made it a family affair b/c we all needed a little trim and we kept Briggs busy with the iphone and snacks and Gmaw :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Burp Cloths

 I have been needing a few baby gifts. When my MIL came in for a visit, she helped me get some projects done...this was one of the things she taught me how to do.

As I have mentioned before, I recently got a sewing machine which has opened the door for lots of fun projects.  I started out this project with buying a pack of white, tri-fold burp cloths from Walmart.  I used some fabric I already gingham, blue gingham and green polka dot.  

Lay the fabric on the cloth and cut it a little wider than the middle section of the burp cloth.

Your two pieces look like this...

Get out the iron and press down the outside edges 
so it's the width of middle part of the burp cloth.

Pin it down and sew each side...

To finish off the ends, fold the fabric one time, 
so you don't have any unfinished edges sticking out

And then fold one more time...this is the part you sew with the machine

Finished product...

These were super easy and would be really cute monogrammed. 
 I made up a bunch while I had all my stuff out and 
now I have some ready for a quick gift when needed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Natural Childbirth - Briggs' Birth Story

If the term "natural/unmedicated childbirth" wigs you can go ahead and stop reading NOW.  However, if you have ever, will ever, hope to ever or soon will be having a baby, this post might be of some interest to you.  I have debated on whether or not to share this post with the world, but now that we are coming up on the birth of our second little boy, I've been revisiting our first birth experience.  In conversations with friends and others, I realize this is a foreign concept to many and most people don't understand or even know what natural childbirth is.  This is not an attempt to get any recognition or an 'at a girl,  but just to share our experience and bring awareness to a pathway that is often overlooked or not even considered by many for childbirth. is our story..

Most of you know I had been on bedrest for 4 weeks prior to delivery.  Which was the springboard of this whole blog idea.  Anyway, my first day off bedrest was any normal day.  I went to the doctor that morning.  I had dilated another cm, so I was to 3cm (while on bedrest and oral medicine).

I had officially made it to 37 weeks gestation, so I got the green light to do whatever I wanted.  So I did what any bedridden girl would do...headed to Smoothie King, even brought one to Justin and off to the mall I went.  I didn't even get in the door good and felt a warm gush of water down "there".  I went strait to the bathroom, and there was more.  I started to get a little nervous.  Went to sit down in the food court, called the doctor, they said come back NOW.  So yes, I drove myself to the hospital...flashers on, deep breathing and all.

Note: don't know that the deep breathing was necessary b/c I wasn't in full labor or anything, I was just nervous and was trying to keep myself calm.  Ha...I'm sure was a sight for sore eyes to say the least.

Justin beat me to the hospital.  When I got there, they took me strait back in the office, Dr. Swindle checked out the situation...CONFIRMED...water officially broke and they sent me down to HAVE A BABY!...AHH...I had always wondered how it was going to happen and so here it goes...

They checked us in, I got changed into this lovely shade of green "gown", they started me on pitocin, and we just waited.  Even though my water had broken, I wasn't into full labor yet b/c I wasn't having very strong contractions at that was used to get things rolling.

At first nothing was too bad.  We were just hanging out.  Justin had time to run down to the car and get our stuff (yes I had been driving around with it in the back of my car for a couple of weeks), changed clothes, I of course was on the phone with my mom a lot, read some of my book, chewed on a little ice, texted A LOT of people...

Sidenote:  my sister had just had her little boy, Brooks, one week prior (exactly to the day) in Baton Rouge, LA.  We live in Birmingham, AL (6 hours away).  The plan was for my mom to come strait to Birmingham when all this went sister's family all got a stomach bug...which wasn't coming until they were all germ-free.  Yes it was hard knowing my mom or sister would not be here for any of this, but those things happen sometimes.  We made the best of it, talked a lot, took lots of pics and videos and had to just make it work...thank goodness for technology.

Oh yeah..that's just me chillin with my ice, talking on the phone (probably to mom or Abs)...just about to have a big deal.  I keep asking the how much stronger are these things gonna get?  If this is as bad as it gets, I can do this all day long (as I'm sure she is chuckling to herself)...famous last words!

Since I was planning on going "natural", Dr. Swindle had them get all these things together for me and have them available.  I'm still not sure what that chair looking thing is, but the exercise ball I used

We actually missed the birthing classes since I was on bedrest, but we had been told to make sure nursing knew I wanted to go natural so they could put us with a nurse who specialized in that kind of thing.  Apparently most people get an epidural these days...I mean why would you want to do that when you could feel every single contraction, pain, movement...yeah I know, I'm crazy :)

Anyway, we told them that as soon as we got there.  Our first nurse made me stay in the for everything...bathroom, contractions, the whole sha-bang.  If you know me, you know I'm a rule follower so I didn't push too much, but I was thinking in my head...geez, this is gonna be a long, slow, grueling day if I can't even move around.  Well soon after, like not even an hour, this lady (below) walks in...
 (for the record...that pic is just after I had Briggs, not during)

Amy Campbell...I have gone back up to the hospital many times to see her since Briggs, but it never works out that she is there when we are.  Maybe we will see each other again soon.  Justin and I both agree...we never could have gotten through this experience without her...she was AMAZING!

Her first words to me are..."get up".  Me and Justin look at each other and are like...well ok then.  She lets me walk around, if I needed to go to the bathroom, she would check me first (b/c apparently you have the urge to push when the baby is ready to come out...she was just making sure what "urge" I was having) and let me go to the potty.  You don't get many moments of privacy during childbirth, but it sure was nice to be able to have that one.  I rotated between the rocking chair, the exercise ball, the bed... we go...things are starting to get fun now...

Justin of course, went to get himself some Starbucks.  That boy loves him some coffee.  The hallelujah choruses were playing the day he found out there was a Starbucks in the hospital :)

This is what 37 weeks looks like  in between contractions...

And this is what it looks like during...

The screen below was Justin's friend during labor. 

He would talk me through the contractions as they got more intense.  See the peaks and valleys...when one would be starting he would let me know so I could start breathing and trying to relax and the most important part was when I hit the top/peak (hardest part) and then was coming down (contraction going away) helped me know I was done with that one and never had to do THAT ONE again.

If you're one of those people interested in going natural...a few tips.

RELAX...easier said than done I know b/c things get pretty intense, but one thing the nurse told me that made need to be as relaxed as possible so your body can do it's job. able to move your fingers and toes throughout a whole contraction.  Don't clench up your body...that's why breathing is so important.  I actually really liked the exercise ball (seen below).  I would sit on it and during a contraction they (Justin and Amy)  would help me rock from side to side on it, to help me relax and in turn it was helping Briggs to move down in the birth canal.

After the above picture, Justin wasn't allowed behind the camera anymore.  He assumed position right next to me and can I just say was....A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!....I mean, really, he really was.  People say the birth of your child will bring you closer together (I guess sometimes unless you're screaming at him b/c "he" put you in this position...I still don't understand that philosophy)...well this was teamwork if I've ever witnessed it.  I actually felt kind of bad for him b/c he felt so bad for me.  It's one of those things, where you have to watch someone you love experience pain and you can't do anything about it or take it away.  So he was seriously my biggest cheerleader, coached me through every single contraction, got me chapstick and ice when I needed it, kept putting cold rags on my head and neck (which helped a lot), rubbed my back when I needed it, didn't rub it when I didn't need it, he was with me every step of the way making sure I knew...I could do this.

So, to paint a picture of what is happening during this lapse in camera time...Things are VERY INTENSE.  From what the nurses tell me, most people don't try to go or don't make it, going natural when pitocin is involved.  The main reason is because it amps up your contractions to a pretty intense level and quickly. I guess one thing in my favor was that I was already dilated to 3cm and thinned some when I started this whole process.  

When things got to a certain point, I remember having to go to the bathroom.  Amy made sure that's what it really was and it was a process just getting there.  I was having to move in between contractions.  So they were getting me up as fast as they could, I'm sitting on the edge of the bed breathing through one, then move to the bathroom, breath through one standing and holding onto the wall, have one on the potty, get back to the bed get the idea.  

One major thing that helped me...everybody is different, is to set goals for myself. Amy would check me periodically and thankfully every time I had made progress with dilating another cm or so.  So we would set a goal for me to get through 10 more contractions and she would check me again. Some people don't want to be checked that much if going natural b/c if they haven't made progress, it's discouraging and you might opt for epidural.  In my case, I was progressing well, so 10 contractions (or whatever # we picked) was a good number.

They did change my position some during labor (when I was staying in the bed).  I moved to my side, onto my hands and knees.  Yes that was as awkward as it sounds (just for the record, I was fully clothed...if you can call that gown "fully clothed").  But...the way it was explained to me, Briggs was moving down in the birth canal and when that happens they turn from facing out toward your belly to facing toward your back as they move into position.  He needed some help moving into position so me moving would help him..and it did.  I forget what number of contractions we had set for that position, but after about 3, I started telling her I felt like I needed to push.  She came to check me and determine if that was the "urge" we had been waiting for...then the fun really began.

Apparently I was dilated to 10cm...sooner than expected.  I remember them getting me positioned on my back again (but I was inclined...not laying flat or anything)...then all these people start coming in with the baby warmer, all robed up, trays with all kinds of stuff on them, the end of the bed came off, Justin is holding one leg, another nurse is holding the other leg, they are all telling me to PUSH, counting to 10 (not everybody counting to 10), but one person was. 

At first I was pushing really hard, but Amy kept saying...push harder.  I guess in a sense I was holding back just a teeny bit b/c I didn't know what it would do if I pushed with everything I had.  She would put her hand on a spot and say push right here.  Well, because I could feel her, it sounds weird, but I could make myself push right where she was telling me to.  And when I gave it EVERYTHING I HAD, she would say, yes...that's what I want you to do.  Well that's all she had to say.  After that, I pushed as hard as I possibly could.  You might be asking..did it hurt.  I'm not gonna lie...the part before this, hurt.  Like there were a few times, if I hadn't dilated when she checked me, I didn't know if I could keep going, it hurt that bad.  But, this part, the pushing part, it actually felt good...if that even makes sense.  I guess the best way to say it...I had to be such a  passive participant prior to this part, relax and breath through all the pain.  But now, I was able to actively participate.  I pushed through every single contraction, as hard as I possibly could and it helped with the pressure. You have an urge to push so to NOT push is almost impossible at this point.  They got the mirror out during this part.  I never thought I would want to see that, but it did help give me a visual and know I gotta work harder and get that little guy out.

Sidenote:  After the birth was over...I had busted some blood vessels in my eyes from pushing so hard.  I mean I seriously looked like I belonged on Twilight or something...but at least I did my job :)

There were a few things during this part...I started to tear during one part of it.  Amy told me I would feel like someone had a lighter down there...that's exactly what it felt like.  I had to lighten up on the pushing for a few minutes while they helped stretch things...didn't hurt..was just a sensation and I was still able to push which was all I cared about at that point.  

When I saw Dr. Swindle's face come through that door...I knew we were there.  That was the best feeling.  I figured she wouldn't be there unless we were about to have a baby.  I was tearing more.  We had talked about this part before now.  I didn't want to be cut a lot, but I also didn't want my bottom to bust open (she had told me a horrible story about a girl who that happened to).  So she is down there saying "Now Iris, I'm going to have to cut you just a little bit so the baby will come out, I'm not going to cut a lot...blah blah blah".  I was like..just do it Dr. Swindle!  They wouldn't let me push during this part b/c she needed to be able to cut without a baby popping out in her face.  That was the hardest contraction of the whole six NOT push during an active contraction.  I had 3 or 4 people around me talking me through that one...they kept telling me to act like I'm blowing feathers.  That was a good tip b/c it did help.  

As soon as she cut, Briggs popped out.  That was the only thing holding him in.  Now...THAT was the weirdest feeling....a whole baby coming out of your body.  I can't even put it into words.  It was like this big thing sliding out of your body that felt like was from your rib cage all the way down.  It was the hugest feeling of relief and kind of overwhelming and AWESOME (that it was all over)! 

Here are a few pics once Allison Lewis got there (click here if you want her version of how this part happened).  She barely got there to catch the end...but here are a few pics..

This picture (below) is right after Briggs came out

After most births you see that picture of the baby laying on the mommy.  Well, the chord was wrapped around Briggs' neck when he was born, so they had to take him strait over to the table to give him oxygen.  I didn't realize that at the time.  I guess I didn't put it together..why they had not given him to me yet.  Dr. S did hold him up so I could see him, but that was it. 

And this was my view...

I'm laying back trying to recover a little bit
Right after he was delivered, you get to deliver the afterbirth.  I never saw it and didn't want to see it, but I remember the contractions.  I was thinking...geez...I already did this part, why am I having these again.  I don't remember how long that took, maybe 20 min?  So I was a little occupied by that too while they were getting Briggs stabilized.

First person I talked to...MOM
Kind of funny but this is while Dr. Swindle is stitching me up.  She had numbed me for that too, but I could feel some of it.  Nothing in comparison to what I had just been through, so I just called my mom and talked to her to tell her all about it.

Here is a pic of my my side...making me laugh (which just goes to can enjoy things right after you pop a baby out).

Love this woman...Dr. Swindle.  She had come to check on me all day, she came down at 5pm to see where I was at...she knew I really wanted her to deliver Briggs and knew my mom wouldn't be there...she stayed late just so she could be the one to do it.  
Really meant so much to both Justin and I.
And here you can see...she was so proud of me.

Melt my heart...I just thought I loved this man...
then I saw him with our baby... what I worked so hard to get here.


Look how alert he was.  People say no pain meds = more alert babies.  I don't have anything to compare it to, but he was pretty wide awake right here

And here...

Closing thoughts...

Why decide to go natural?  I guess I've always been interested in it.  My mom went natural with all three of us, I was there during the birth of my little brother (he is 11.5 yrs younger than me), that peaked my interest.  I'm not a huge fan of needles and I guess I just feel like our bodies are designed to have children so I was wanting to go as natural as possible to get the whole experience.

I will say...a HUGE plus to going natural...the recovery!  It was awesome!  I guess going through that much pain, it puts everything AFTER in perspective.  I never had to take the first pain pill...just used Advil and Tylenol.  I did have some stitches and hemroids, but most people do after they have a baby.  I had to work through being uncomfortable with that part.  And I was up, showered, moving around 2 hours after having a baby.  It was great.

Here is evidence...
(BTW...I look horrible in this pic, 
but I just had a baby so I'm gonna give myself a break).

Hear me well...I don't think anything less of someone who chooses to get meds during childbirth.  We have medicine for a reason and you should use it if you need it, I just opted not to.  I wasn't completely set against any meds.  Dr. Swindle and I had talked a lot about this before the day.  I trusted her medical judgement on certain things I was worried about and we had also said I wanted to "try" to go natural.  If I didn't make it...I didn't make it and was no big deal.  Also things can take unexpected turns during labor and who knew if it would all work out the way it did.  I have plenty of friends who end up with C-sections and weren't planning on it.

I guess my biggest thing is..end result is the most important.  You get your baby here as safely as possible and that's what is the ultimate goal.  We all have a birth story and this was ours.  I am very grateful for the way things turned out and definitely couldn't have made it without strength from the Lord and without my husband.

As a woman, we all have different avenues of becoming mothers... adoption, birth (natural, medicated, cesarean) and in the end, we are all mothers.  There is no greater joy that fills your heart than to hold that precious miracle and know it's yours.  Your heart automatically becomes bigger and has a special spot for that baby.

We do plan on taking the same course of action for this next baby.  Already praying for a successful delivery for our next son.  Can't wait to see how much my heart grows as we welcome baby Parker Blake  Poland.