Adventures of a wife, mom, personal trainer, and certified yoga teacher, with a passion for living a healthy, natural, balanced, and transparent life without borders. All things life, love, food, fitness, marriage, parenthood, and lots of YOGA!<3
It is so hard to believe that I’ve been a mom now for 1 whole year! Our baby boy (who’s more big boy than baby now) turned one this past week, the 2nd of November. “Where does time go?”, was a term that I used to think people overused when they didn’t know how to make real conversation. But now, I realize that it really is overused because, for the love of Father Time, IT’S TRUE! Where does time go? One minute I was peeing on a stick, and then the next I’m trying to keep my 1 year old out of electrical outlets, and the bookcase, and the computer chords, and all my office stuff– “Drop the stapler, Harrison!” It’s almost scary how fast time flies…
But, I can say this, this year has been so fun, so grand, so amazing! It has taught me more about life, love, God, and MYSELF than I ever thought was possible. It’s showed me that when you think you’re heart is so full it will explode, it can actually grow to house MORE love. It’s also showed me that when you think, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I just want to sit down for five minutes, why is he whining, do I really want to do this again, etc…” That one giggle, one smile, one sweet pat, and kiss, can make you melt into the biggest pile of mommy mush and instantaneously you don’t how tired you are, or how much you need a shower, or how 2 minutes ago you considered running away, no. All you know and feel is crazy, radical, ridiculous love, and your heart just grew a little bit bigger.
It showed me that I would really lay down my life for my children. That there is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for them. That if you cross them wrong, you will most likely see a side of me even I’ve never seen. That you will give up on a “rule” you “should” follow from that baby book, or do that “thing” that could possibly create a “bad habit” down the line for the sake of finding balance and learning that while some of those are great guides and everyone has to find what works for them and their family, every baby is different and you must learn said baby in order to find your middle ground between all that black and white.
Motherhood after 1 year showed me some things I will do differently with the next baby and some things that I won’t. And speaking of babies, it showed me that even though I thought I wouldn’t want to share my love with more children for quite some time, that I actually can’t wait to give more love to more little Dermott humans-like soon. My husband is telling me to get control of my ovaries for a little while longer, but I’m just being real…when can I do this again?!?!
It showed me about true selflessness and that it’s actually a joy to serve someone other than myself. That to give of myself humbly to raise a generation of beautiful souls that love the Lord fiercely, and love others with that same passion, is one of (and will always be) the biggest, best, dream of my heart.
It is continuing to show me about patience………
Wow! This one. To not just react but to really think through how my action and my response back to something might affect him and which way would I want it to affect him. Do I want it to be more positive or more negative? Do I want him to walk away feeling respected, honored, and loved? Or do I want him to feel wounded, hurt, and alone? Patience in realizing that they are learning things that come second nature to me, but that I was once at that stage. Patience to just let him make a mess because he is learning–as long as it’s not plugged in, sharp, or glass…why not?
Patience to be patient when he isn’t patient with me…got to practice what I preach. 🙂
And a big one that was huge for me: Remember that he is a little human. I know that may sound totally weird, but I think often times we treat them as little machines-get them on this schedule and that, don’t do this, don’t do that, they need this and they need that or….blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe God gave children parents to help guide them and lead them and train them up; and I did implement consistency and routine and guidance. Always will. But, what I’m saying here is that when I would remember that he was just a miniature version of myself (that being a human being), it caused me to really step back and look at things from a different perspective. It helped me find balance. For one example, instead of just going, “Oh my gosh, he’s just screaming!”, it helped me take account that we had been in a very noisy, busy restaurant for awhile and he’d been up awhile, so how would I feel? How do I feel sometimes after a long day full of tons of activities, noise and people? Tired! That’s how! So it helped me try to understand him as a true person and really helped me relate to him.
It showed me that God sure knew what he was doing giving me a little boy named Harrison Thomas. He is my little buddy! He’s my laid back, joyFULL, big blue eyed, independent-yet snuggly, busy, full of personality, full of Grace, lover of books, and music, and worship, and blueberries, and sweet potatoes, rough sometimes, but gentle spirited little big boy, who’s cheeks are enough to make me go crazy they are so squishy; along with the most adorable birth mark on his left pinky finger. Seriously, how can someone be so cute?
He is our total textbook baby…he has hit every milestone right on the dot. He isn’t walking yet, but any day now.
Being a mom has opened up so many new realms of possibilities, and truth, and light that it could be a 4 part blog series. But, I would venture to say that any mom reading this doesn’t need me to write it out because–they already know.
Harrison did so much fun stuff in his first year of life-aside from the milestones-like:
-Had major lip tie fixed via laser surgery at 2 weeks old. (ok that’s not technically fun but it was over in a flash, healed quick, and everyone was better off for it)
-Had a lot of pool days over the summer
-Went on a roadtrip to Florida and played on a beach and in the ocean
-Got to meet his GREAT Grammy and Papa
-Got to see his daddy coach his first football game and win
-Had a whole “guys” weekend with dad while mommy went away.
-Got to turn forward facing in his big boy seat (that’s a really big deal!)
Here are a few pictures of our munchkin from his 1 year photo shoot. Shout out to my sister for being…AMAZING!
Also here is a video slideshow I put together for his first birthday showing him from birth to now!
So, it is the end of week 1 heavy weight training with the hubster and YEEEEESSSHHH! I’m toast! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I mentioned I haven’t trained this extensively with weights since we were engaged! But, boy, do I love it! I love watching the body tear down and build and repair and take shape and look healthier! It’s fascinating to me!
Below is a little recap of what our week looked like. I am getting my bearings before I really start sharing some WOD’s with you, but this will give you an idea!
Chest and Triceps
3×10 (Lower weight/high rep)
Back and Biceps
3×10 (Lower weight/high rep)
3×10 (Lower weight/high rep)
3×10 (Lower weight/ high rep)
HIIT 30 min
Week one and two is 3 sets of 10. Week three and four we are increasing weight and lowering reps (i.e. 5 sets of 6)
The goal is that by week 5 when we go back to 3 sets of 10 we should be able to keep the weight we were doing in 5 sets of 6. This is one form of pyramid strength training. We incorporate toning as well as just strength builders. Once I get my strength up some more, I will probably lower my weight slightly and increase my reps, but do the same excercises as my husband. For women that is more toning/sculpting and also fat burning. I think I will mix it up because I want strength as well so I really want to focus in both areas.
We hit the beach in a little less than 4 weeks and by that time I will be 8.5 months postpartum. I will be posting progress every week just to see how much I change in the coming weeks.
Here’s Week 1
I’m still maintaining a VERY lean, clean, and green diet so that I can get the most out of all the effort I’m putting in. It takes at leasttwo weeks to get really set into a routine. If you are trying to cut out the junk and start cleaning your eating, be patient with yourself, you will get there. If you need to remodel a lot in the way of your eating, you are best to start with one thing you can wean from instead of cut it all out cold turkey–which may lead to binging and discouragement. AKA: vicious cycle.
I am in the process of putting together my grocery list of sorts. I have been asked if I count calories, do I food journal, also can I post what I eat on a daily basis. I figured the best way to answer that would be to put multiple option of the many foods that I eat to not only give you a look into it, but to also give people options. When it comes to the food we eat, that seems to be a hard place for a lot of people. It’s one of the areas that people just have a hard time knowing what goes in the way of eating. While it can be overwhelming, I hope to assure you it’s not as hard as you think to eat well. Be on the lookout. The summer is full of an upcoming vacation and busy busy busy so I will try to get it out as quickly as I possibly can because I know summer means swimsuits and you’ll want healthy snacks and meals to make you feel better in them!
Sitting down to right this on this day (February 14th) brings back a little nostalgia. I remember this time last year surprising my hubby with a “staycation” at a hotel and going out for a fancy dinner. He took me to this really expensive steakhouse and I remember feeling weird. My emotions were all over the place and then I couldn’t eat. I felt a little queasy and didn’t know why…so then I cried some more. Although he didn’t say it, my husbands thoughts were, “Really? She’s not going to eat? We’ve wanted to come here for a long time and now, she doesn’t eat?” I felt awful! Literally and figuratively. Turns out when we got a positive pregnancy test 3 weeks later, it explained it all. Now we look at our little boy, laugh and say, “Remember when you were mad at me cause I didn’t eat that expensive steak? This was so worth it!” So, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day then with writing our birth story?
The Birth Story of Harrison Thomas
October 31st, 2013
Two days overdue, I was still feeling wonderful. At 10 p.m. the night before, I noticed that I was having contractions about every 10 min on the dot. Not a big deal, I’d had Braxton Hicks for about the whole third trimester. The only difference was (as expected) my body was doing something different. They didn’t feel like regular BH contractions. There were more crampy feeling and more in my back. I knew it would be any day now. Kalen was on pins and needles just waiting, timing everything. It was so cute. By the time we woke up that morning they were coming about every 7 minutes. They weren’t extremely intense, but he told me when he left for work that if they got to consistently 6-7 minutes apart that he was just calling it a day and taking his leave. We knew at this point, three days past due date, that it would be the real deal.
By noon, they were still 7 min apart and I went out to do some grocery shopping. By 3p.m., although not timing them, I noticed they were closer together-about 5 minutes. What I noticed even more, however, was that in the middle of Trader Joes, I had to stop and breathe through it and grip the cart handle. Kalen calls and in the middle of our conversation I get another one. I tell him they are consistently 5 min apart and getting more intense. They didn’t hurt, but it was definitely different. He says that he had a feeling and was already about home. By the time I get home, we eat dinner, watch some tv, it’s around 10p.m now. Kalen’s timing them (pen, paper, watch-the whole nine yards), still 5 minutes apart. I am definitely in early labor. YES! We decide to call the midwife and give her a heads up. I want to labor at home as long as possible so she tells us to get some rest and labor at home until they are 3-4 minutes consistently for over an hour, then we can go ahead and head up to the hospital. I tested positive for Group B strep which is not harmful to me, but it did mean that I needed to get at least 4 rounds of an antibiotic in my system or it could pose some respiratory issues to Harrison as he passes through the birth canal. As much as I wanted to labor at home for as long as I could, Kalen and I wanted to find a good balance of not laboring at home too long so that, in case of a quick labor, I made sure to get all the antibiotic I needed. Kalen and I were believing and praying for a very swift labor and delivery and there was not a doubt in my mind that God could answer that prayer for us.
November 1st|3 a.m.
Early labor confirmed. Start the clock.
My contractions are intense enough that they are waking me up. I can’t sleep anymore. I have to walk around. Kalen can’t sleep either so he gets up with me. They are 3-4 minutes apart consistently for an hour, so at 5 a.m., I call my sister and tell her she might as well get up and get ready. My sister and Kalen were the only two people I was going to have in the delivery room. My sister was going to be taking pictures to document our birth, but she became so much more. She was my own personal doula. (more on that later)
I finish packing my bag, take a shower, shave my legs, put on some worship music, and we eat breakfast. When my sister and brother-in-law get to my house, we head for the hospital.
4.5 hours of labor
Due to the drive (contractions SUCK in the car, by the way), my contractions went back to about every 5 minutes. We get checked in to Harris Methodist Downtown, they monitor me and H for about 20 minutes, check me, confirm I’m definitely in early labor and tell me to go walk and get these contractions to pick up again. They want to check me again in an hour, so we decide to go walk. I’m definitely uncomfortable by this point and walking feels like I’m trudging through mud, but the good news is that I it just feels like a tough workout. I am still happy and strong and not in immense pain. I am actually taking this as a challenge: How hard can I power walk with contractions.
6 hours into labor
I am 2 centimeters dilated, 75% effaced, and my cervix is posterior. She says I have two options. I am definitely going to have this baby at some point today (so we thought) but no telling when. My midwife tells me I can go home and labor some more, or I can go ahead and get admitted. If you could only see into the future right? I was CERTAIN I was going to have him that day and I really thought my labor wouldn’t be that long. I thought, “Eh, he will be here by 3 p.m.” and so it didn’t make sense to me to drive all the way home. I was here now…let’s do this. We call our family and they arrive about noon and we socialize in the waiting room, have lunch, and walk some more.
I am feeling really worn out physically at this point. I have walked, walked, and walked some more. My contractions are very uncomfortable, my pelvis is so sore from walking around, and my back is hurting. However, if you need to know where anything is at Harris Methodist Downtown Fort Worth, I know the in’s and out’s of the place by now.
Skip forward six hours to 3 p.m.
Active labor|12 hours
Well, no baby. I am feeling a little disappointed, but my sweet husband is right next to me telling me it’s okay and that God knows the hour. I am feeling like me and God need to have a discussion about his time tables because I’m ready. I have now walked and walked. Squatted, labored on the ball, labored on the hospital bed, walked some more. I am so sore! And honestly, I’m very exhausted.
My midwife, husband, and sister tell me I need to get some rest, but really don’t want to rest. I want to have my baby. But, after convincing me that if my body doesn’t rest it will slow down, (which it did-contractions went from 4 minutes back up to 6) I reluctantly give in.
My amazing sister brought her essential oils and she is giving me the best treatment. She begins to rub my feet, my legs, my back, my arms, my hands. The whole room now smells of essential oils and the nurses loved it! My sister is such a servant, truly, and I know that she must be so tired like everyone else. But, she continues to rub all my sore areas and it helps me relax. I am trying not to feel down because I hear that family is now coming and going. I don’t expect them to stay around, but I’m upset because it meant I wasn’t progressing very fast and the reality of this long here at the hospital, in labor, with not much improvement, starts to weigh heavy on my mind.
Contractions laying down are about the worst thing next to laboring on the toilet (sorry for the visual) so resting is a little hard but I manage about two hours. Meanwhile, since I’ve been checked in, I have to get the antibiotics every 4 hours for an hour. This was the only time I needed to be hooked to anything. Otherwise, my birth was to be unmedicated, no intervention unless there was an emergency, laboring on my own (in and out of the tub), and ultimately-a water birth.
As I continue to labor on through the night, the word “exhaustion” isn’t quite describing just how tired I am anymore. The contractions are every 3-4 minutes apart and sheesh, they are intense! I am so ready to see my baby. The ache of wanting him to come is almost greater than the aches that continue to wrack my body. Surprising myself, I am still mentally and emotionally strong even though I feel my physical body weakening by the hour. I have moments of wonder where I am in awe of the female body and just how much God created it to withstand, and then I have moments where I just plain wonder how much longer I will be able to go. I know this is natural and so I continue to just take every one contraction, telling myself, “I don’t know how many more I will have, but I will never have that one again.”
19 hours of labor
My midwife comes in to check me. I am 7 cm, 85% effaced, but my cervix still has not moved forward. Both Harrison and I are fine. His head is locked and loaded in my pelvis, and even though this is becoming a very long labor, it is no cause for alarm if everything is progressing; even if at a turtles pace. I start realizing I need to just remain positive. That’s all I can do and I know God has it under control and I just need to focus on the here and now.
As our family continues to come and go, it’s obvious that we are still not having the baby for awhile. I now start to doubt myself and wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I start to doubt God too, because I don’t really understand why this should be happening. “Why is my labor so long?” This and many other questions begin to plague my mind and, whether I knew it yet or not, it began to takes it toll on my mental strength that had been keeping my ever waning physical body in tact. The natural says, “First baby=long labors.” But I knew that God could give me a swift delivery and from the day Harrison was conceived, every ounce of my being believed wholeheartedly God would do that; and that God could do that. This is why I start feeling some inner turmoil.
Now, everyone has gone home but later I find out that my Mother-in-law comes back and stays on through the night interceding and keeping many other prayer warriors covering this birth.
24 hours of labor
My midwife comes in to check me again. I am now on my third midwife. There are seven midwives at Harris Downtown. You meet with all of them during your pregnancy so that they can get to know you and you can get to know them because you never know who will be on call. Kalen and I look back on how perfectly God orchestrated the times that each one took their shift and are thankful. Every midwife was exactly what I needed for that particular stage of labor.
I am SO worn out, but amazingly, still going strong. I wasn’t upset by the pain of the contractions because if it’s pain that is productive, I’m good. However, after this long, I am beginning to really have to work at not feeling like I want to give up and wondering how productive this really is. It’s taking everything in me to remain mentally and emotionally strong. It’s now a fight to stay strong more than it is just a constant reminder to my mind and body like in previous hours. Kalen tells my sister that I just want some time alone with him. I knew that I was really in turmoil. Spiritually. If anything was becoming unbearable, it was feeling like God wasn’t with me anymore. In my head I knew he was, but not understanding why I was already in labor 24 hours really caused me grief. I started to feel angry at him. I was feeling abandoned. I knew that I didn’t have answers, but I knew that I needed to come back and focus. Align myself with Him again. Deeper than the feelings of turmoil was the knowledge that He was still with me. THIS needed to be my focal point and I needed to find rest again. Once my sister left the room, Kalen and I began to just release Heaven over my body and in the room. We began to worship and fill the room with thankfulness and praise. No longer were we trying to call Harrison forth. It was time to just be. This was hard, but the more we thanked and praised, and just meditated on Him, the more we felt our souls come back into balance.
Shortly after this, I find out that my Mother-in-law, who I affectionately call Milly, is sitting out in the waiting room. It’s 3 a.m. and she’s still here. When I get this news, something in me just knew I needed her. And now! I tell my sister to go get her and she comes back and immediately begins to love on me like she does so wonderfully.
I have been at peace and am feeling good. Feeling a little more balanced and I am now laboring in the water. I love the water. It’s so peaceful and really helps me relax.
A little while later, my midwife comes in and performs a check. I find out I am still 7 cm and my cervix has still not tipped forward at all. When I get this news, I feel any strength I had left (so I thought) escape my tired body and my heart actually feels broken. I begin to cry and say, “No, no, no…” over and over. I am hurting so bad and the news of having made no progress really takes its toll. Because his head was so low in my pelvis (which on one hand is a good thing) it was preventing my cervix from coming anterior (to the front); and in order to give birth, that has to happen. Also, because of this fact, my labor is heavy on my back and unfortunately, on my sacrum due to the posterior cervix. This REALLY hurts! And every time they have to check me I want to cry because of the effort it takes to get up around Harrison’s head that is lodged so low. My midwife tells me that there is a natural intervention that may help. This involves having to reach up behind our baby’s head, again, but this time actually pulling my cervix forward (stripping the membranes). Sound painful? Let me tell you, I don’t feel sane anymore at this point. I actually felt like I might pass out. I see white and then I see black begin to fade in and out.
I slowly manage to get up and go to the restroom with Kalen’s help and when I get back I decide to labor in the water. It’s already been a struggle to try and keep that place of peace I felt I reached, but with this news, my emotional and mental reserves are maxing out.
My water still hasn’t broken and my sister suggests having them break it. I am scared to do this because I know it will make the contractions much more intense and I don’t know if I can handle it. If you know my husband, and you know me, you will understand that he is just what I need, and what I need sometimes is a swift kick in the hiney and some blunt truth. He tells me that whether I like it or not, at some point, it’s going to get more intense in order for me to have this baby, and that unless I want to be here for ten more hours plus–I need to just suck it up and do it. I don’t have anything to lose, but everything to gain if it helps bring baby H sooner. This may seem harsh but I’m telling you, that’s just what I needed. I cried a little because emotionally I’m weak, but I knew he was speaking truth and he was really speaking to my spirit in that moment and calling it to wake up and be strong. Kalen was one of the biggest reasons I made it through that day next to God, my sister, and my Milly. He never left my side, never slept, barely ate, went through every contraction with me, kept me positive, kept me focused, rubbed my back, did hip squeezes, and tenderly loved me with a fierce strength through it all. I can’t even properly put into words what it was like, but he was like an angel and he was an anchor.
I tell Kalen I need to talk to his mom. When she comes in I’m laboring in the water and she begins to rub my hair and reassure me that I can do this and breaking my water is going to be okay.
Transition stage|25 hours
I have since moved from the tub back to the bed. This process in and of itself is exhausting. With every movement I get another intense contraction and I am so cold. When I shiver, I tense up, and hence have another contraction. My midwife breaks my water on the bed and IMMEDIATELY I hit transition. My contractions are 1 min apart lasting two minutes each time, and Kalen tells me after it’s all over that I used some expletives in those moments. We laugh because 1) I don’t remember and 2)Hey, shit happens! Yes, even nice Christian girls lose it once in awhile. Just being real. I am also having triple peaks at one point, meaning I have three, 2 minute long contractions in a row, without more than 10 seconds of rest. Since his head has not moved forward I am still having them on my sacrum and I begin to wonder if that’s where I will end up having him out of…(again, sorry for the visual.)
They also begin to monitor H every thirty minutes instead of hourly. They don’t tell me why, but I can put 2 and 2 together. They know that after this long, they need to make sure he doesn’t go into distress.
The biggest thing I loved about our nurses and midwives was that they never opened the door to let fear take over. They were informative, smart, and careful, but never talked negative or got in a hurry or freaked out about anything. This was one of the reasons I knew that I could trust them if they were to tell me, “We have to go to C-section and get this baby out.” I knew they would ONLY say that if it truly was an emergency.
27 hours of labor
Here we are again. They tell me I need to rest, AGAIN! I become angry because, if I didn’t want to rest before, I sure as heck don’t want to rest now! I WANT TO HAVE MY BABY! I am on midwife #4, Amy. Ahhhh Amy! I love her! She gently looks at me and says that a lot of times if a mom can just rest for an hour or two it can sometimes get them over the hump and their body refuels and they wake up ready to push. With as bad as the contractions are however, I can’t fall asleep. She tells me that she can give me a gram of something, that I don’t even remember the name of, and it will take the edge off just enough that I will be able to rest. Kalen finally tries to rest while I rest, as well as my sister. My mother-in-law stays up and continues praying and keeping all the other intercessors alert and praying. I am beyond grateful for these mighty warriors! Kalen can’t rest very well, because at this point, he begins to feel a little angry. At God. He spends about two hours on the couch hashing out with Him why, after everything we’ve prayed and stood on and believed that nothing seems to be happening.
Although, I’m able to rest, I can still feel the contractions, just not as bad. Unfortunately, when the pill began to wear off, it was not gentle. I immediately felt the contractions in full force again, but I was so loopy from the pill that I had no idea what was going on. I was so very disoriented and this is the worst feeling: to feel like you don’t have control.
29 hours of labor
Feeling a little more coherent with the world, Amy checks me. I am 8cm, fully effaced and…my cervix has tipped forward to “1” they said. PROGRESS! HALLELUJAH! I admit that in the moment however, this doesn’t feel like good news to me because I am so done. Meanwhile, Milly, Shel (sister), and Kalen are thrilled and celebrating. At this point it’s hurting so bad on my sacrum with every contraction. I remember thinking, “I might die here on the floor. Surely my body is going to break!” I look at Kalen and say, “Baby I am hurting so bad. I need you to hear me…I don’t know that I can take anymore of feeling this pain.” I make him look at me and understand because he knows what a high pain tolerance I have and so I really need him to understand that I really can’t take too much more. I tell him I want to ask if it’s too late for an epidural. You know I’m in pain if I say that. I HATE NEEDLES and I don’t like unnecessary intervention or drugs. Yet, I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this.
Amy knew how strong I was even when I didn’t. She tells me I can have one if that’s what I want, but to understand that everything about my birth would change. I would not be able to have a water birth. She reminds me this was my dream. She gives me freedom and time to choose, but she doesn’t just give in. She knew my emotions were talking. She KNOWS I can do this. She tells me that she will give me time to think about it, and when I look back, I remember that I never revisited it. It’s like I didn’t even think about it again. I just remember saying, “I want to get in the tub right now.” The only problem was, I was due for what felt like my 100th dose of antibiotics. It would be another hour until I could get in the water. I am feeling pretty pissy at this news. Kalen steps up again and tells me that as I’m having contractions my “sounds” sound like I am saying, “No, No, No”. He says, “This is too negative sounding, let’s actively make it positive.” So, with every contraction, we both begin to say, “Yes.” Wow what a difference! There was a huge shift in the atmosphere when we did this and I actually felt a little stamina come back…God bless this man!
30 hours of labor
The minute I finish the antibiotic, I basically strip down and run (well waddle more like) to the birthing tub. I never understood until that day what women meant when they said you will have no shame or have a care in the world about what parts of your body are bared and hanging out for all the world to see. I am not a super shy/overly modest person as it is, but I really didn’t care if I knew you or not and I guess that would be the first time I could say I went streaking. The tub was calling my name! I probably wouldn’t recognize every nurse that came in and out of that room, but I’m sure they remember me. Ha
Not more than 30 minutes in the tub and ALL OF A SUDDEN, as if someone jolted me, I felt Harrison’s head shift forward. He was no longer toward the back and I felt his head. I look forward at Kalen and say through kind of a laugh, “I feel his head, I feel his head!” Kalen, with eyes wide, says, “Really? Are you serious?” I shake my head and say I am certain. He is coming. In that moment, the pain felt productive again and I was like, “Let’s do this! I can do this!” At this news, Kalen goes to get our midwife.
November 2nd| 10 a.m.
31 hours of labor
I begin to push. This was my FAVORITE part. Why? A lot of reasons, but just to name two:
I was about to meet my son, and I was actually getting to rest in between contractions now. Holy Heavens what a relief!
I’m in the water by myself and I feel so powerful, excited, tired, sore, and beyond ready. I am on all fours and my midwife tells me to just give in to the feeling of pushing when it comes. My sister is right in front of me and told me later (cause I really don’t remember a lot of little things I said) that I cried, “Ow, ow I can’t push.” My sister responded, “Caitlin, push!” At which I responded with a really angry, “NO!” Thank God for sisters with thick skin, because she shoots back with , “YES!”She told me I kind of cowered and said sheepishly, “Okay…” I still laugh remembering hearing this a week postpartum because I didn’t recall it at all.
My midwife tells me to go ahead and flip over in the tub and I remember asking the sweet nurse next to me if I can grab her hand and then, while I’m pushing, checking on her to make sure I’m not hurting her. At this point, I am in the room, but feel like I’m having out of body experiences.
Kalen was behind me outside the tub, my sister was in front of me as well as my mother-in-law, and Amy was to the side gently coaching me on.
10:55 a.m. on November 2nd, 2013
31 hours and 55 minutes of labor
I gave birth to Harrison Thomas Dermott weighing 8 lbs. 11.5 oz. and 20 inches long!
The feeling in that moment catching my baby and having them thrust this BIG ol’ baby boy on my chest was so surreal and amazing. Along with the shock of the fact I did it and it was over was the shock of realizing this was not a 7.5 pound baby like even my midwives thought. I can’t put into words the joy, excitement, release, and relief I felt all wrapped into one moment. My mother-in-law told me that as I was crying and laughing I yelled out, “I just had a baby!!!” It was so awesome!
All I remember right then and there was shaking, not knowing what time it was, not even caring. I just remember holding my son, smelling him, and saying, “He smells like a baby!”
Kalen teases me because of the obsession I (along with just about every woman) have with the newborn baby scent. It’s like smelling Heaven on earth!
In that moment, it’s so surreal that every bit of pain I felt, exhaustion, frustration, doubt at times, was replaced in a matter of a split second with a rush of love, relief, unspeakable joy, and it was just…over. I was done. My baby was here, and all of that was now in the past. And, just like that, my new life was beginning!
And that’s our story. Thirty-two hours of labor for a moment so timeless that I will never be able to put words to.
I, in no way, write any of this from a negative standpoint and don’t post this for others to feel afraid of birth. It’s actually the complete opposite. My labor was hard, it was long, at times it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, but this is what I went through. This is what happened. It’s our story. It’s real and through it all, it was so good. It was healthy. It was productive. It was just….slow.
My midwives called it “phenomenal”. And it’s true. It took me about a month or so to see it, and I admit, I had a lot to work out and hash out with God because I was a little angry, initially. I really believed I was going to have a quick and easy labor and for weeks following his birth and even in the development of writing our story, I didn’t understand why it had to be like that and I didn’t even want to ask him why because I didn’t just want a “bigger picture”. But the Lord so kindly began to show me how beautiful it was and how, through it all, He was there every step of the way. He held me, kept me and Harrison safe through the whole thing. He made me to do this. He made each of our female bodies able to handle this and it’s a miracle. Giving birth is a miracle! A miracle that happens about every minute of every day throughout the world. A miracle we often take for granted.
It has taken me so long to write this because I have been afraid. Afraid to let myself feel these things again. Afraid to revisit this. I realized that although I have walked through a lot with the Lord concerning H’s birth and come to a better place with it, writing this actually opened my eyes to see that there was a lot that I was trying to forget. I thought I was dealing better when really I was blocking a lot of it from my memory and calling it healing. I don’t want to do that because my heart isn’t angry. So why was I afraid? I was afraid because although I loved my birth and am not bitter about it, it was still an experience that hurt on many levels. It was an experience that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough to have a quick labor. I realized I was afraid to revisit all these details because it would be a Pandora’s box of emotions that I didn’t know how to handle. Feeling so happy to have my son, but wondering why I had to go through 32 hours of labor for it. Why did it have to be like that? Did I do something? Why didn’t you answer my prayers? Why does everything have to be a lesson? I felt afraid, as well, because I felt like if I wasn’t happy about it then that meant I didn’t love my son. I didn’t want to be misunderstood by any readers. Do I want to do 32 hours of labor again? Well no, but I am so happy and I would go through it all again to have my healthy, precious boy. Writing this has been a healing for me. Choosing to walk back through this and not being afraid to allow myself to feel the emotions again has brought me to a place where I can actually cherish all of my labor and birth. Not just some… I’ve had to write some and walk away when it became too much to process and feel again. But then I would come back, reread, and let myself feel again. And the truth is that every day God is showing me-in His kind ways-what that 32 hours did in the natural and the supernatural. He is showing me every day what the purpose was, not only in the moment I was going through it, but even yesterday I saw a correlation of that time in the hospital with a season Kalen and I are walking through in the present. And He is showing me things that are happening right now that mimics the “fruit of my labor”. Literally.
Kalen and I knew from the beginning that Harrison has a huge destiny (just like every child does), but God is showing us every day how much that long labor was tied in with that. It’s so easy to look at things negatively at first. The human mind immediately thinks, “If he has such a grand destiny then it means things will be swift and easy because of the favor he carries.” That was a part of my struggle. But the kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom. God doesn’t do things in terms of what our natural mind can comprehend. He began to show me the deeper connection of a powerful destiny and my labor. The things Harrison is called to and the favor that rests on him allowed him to stay in there without complication or sign of distress for 32 hours because it was not time to come yet and he was not going to force it. He found peace. He waited. And when it was time. He came. It’s positive. It’s beautiful. And, looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s amazing how your own experiences you once found hardship in can actually heal your heart in more ways than one.
Thank you for taking time to read about one of the best days of my life and allowing me to share my heart freely about a journey that grew me. I will never forget God’s faithfulness through it all and the ways that I am forever changed because of it. He had things to show me. As always, everything that we go through in life happens for a reason (even when that’s the last thing we want to hear in the moment) and sometimes it has something entirely different to do with the situation we are even in. They are opportunities to grow and to learn. Well, we grew and we learned and will have new knowledge that we will carry with us forever, along with an ocean-sized capacity to love our beautiful breakthrough that we made out of our love for one another; and our hearts were opened to see deeper into the Father’s Heart and embrace that in our lives.
It’s a cloudy morning and I’m just sitting here doing a little work before I head off to the gym. I thought I’d pop in quick and just give you a little bumpdate! I annoy the heck out of all my facebook followers with my super-sized love for my baby boy, so it’s about time I annoy my blog followers, too. 😛
how far along? 33 weeks 3 days
total weight gain: Officially hit 20 lbs. this week. I’ve never been more happy to put on weight in my life! Not once have I looked at weight gain as a bad thing during this pregnancy or felt self conscious that I won’t get back into shape; instead I’m overwhelmed with joy that I’m a tool used to keep my precious little one healthy. And healthy means me gaining healthy weight, which I have. Thank you Jesus for that!
how do you feel? I feel sexy pregnant. I think it’s such a beautiful thing. However, I’m starting to hit that “uncomfortable” stage. I don’t feel like I have any more skin to stretch, I feel like I have to pee every two min, and my feet get sore. My mother-in-law told me that just like in our spiritual seasons of life when we get comfortable and God is ready to take us to the new thing, we hit transtion point. The “in between”. Where we start to get uncomfortable enough in the place we are so we can embrace the new thing He has for us. She said, “I believe that’s why almost overnight we get uncomfortable being pregnant. Otherwise, we could stay pregnant forever because it’s so amazing.” I couldn’t agree more!
maternity clothes? One pair of white shorts. And that’s cause I needed some white cutoffs desperately. I love my cutoffs.
stretch marks? Nope! Again, praise the Lord, cocoa butter, and genetics.
sleep: Thanks to my snoogle, better than I would be getting. I just find myself going over lists in my mind of things to get done in this last month and half and before you know it, it’s 1 a.m. and I have yet to drift off.
miss anything? Hmmm…I’m starting to hit the stage where running is becoming less and less of a reality because of my loosening pelvis. Not to mention he sits straight on my bladder. I just wanna run 5 miles…soon enough…soon enough.
movement: Oh boy! Does he ever! He will be a perfect mix of mommy and daddy’s favorite sports. He’s got his dad’s soccer feet, but now he swims around all the time in the most beautiful of motions. Graceful, gentle, and yet strong. That’s a good man right there! Just like his daddy!
food cravings: Not really… My biggest craving this pregnancy has just been for something fizzy to drink. I love Apple Cider Vinegar, Izze’s, Zevia (natural sodas), and the occasional Cherry Limade from Sonic.
anything making you queasy or sick? In this third trimester, I find I can only eat very frequent, small meals or I start to not feel good. Too much room taken up already by this boy. Too much meat…ick. I eat pretty vegetarian with meat in about one meal.
symptoms: The Braxton Hicks have started (whoa!)
belly button in or out? top half out. If I lay flat, so does the button.
wedding rings on or off? On. Praise Jesus, I’ve not had any swelling in my hands or my ankles.
mood: I’m an emotional person as it is. This third trimester…I cry ALL THE TIME! I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, but a cute kitten vine…here come the waterworks.
looking forward to: Our next set of Maternity photos because my belly is finally big. Our baby shower. Finishing his nursery.
So, as I was typing this, the Lord said to go to Jeremiah 33:3. I did, and this is what it says in the Message version:
“Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.”
The last few days I’ve been in a little emotional turmoil where my soul has raged a little and I’ve had a hard time coming back to a place of peace…wow! Did I need to hear this! Funny, that it’s Jeremiah 33:3 and I’m 33 weeks and 3 days. God. Is. So. Cool! And, He really cares!
It has been a crazy couple of weeks for the Dermott’s! We have been preparing Baby Boy’s nursery little by little and I have to say that, besides recovering the rocking chair, getting a lamp, window panels, a rug, and the ever unavoidable “last minute essentials”, we are almost done. Yay! Time has flown (and is flying) so fast, and I can’t believe he will be here before we know it. I also had my Maternity pics this past weekend. My sister took these for me, and I’m in love! On top of that we had our 29 week check up for our little man and everything is going great. He is one healthy dude…we are so blessed! We have seven midwives at our center, which is located within one of Fort Worth’s big hospitals, and we are slowly making our way through meeting with all of them. We are actually doing pretty good. We have met with 5 of the 7 there and still have 11 wks to go. I love that about our midwives. They never want you to only meet with one of them. They all want to know you so that no matter when you go into labor, you are comfortable with whoever is on call–and the midwives are familiar with you and your body, and your baby.
This experience was a pretty funny one. If you know me, you know I carry all baby and pretty small, which is fine for me as long as baby boy is healthy (which he is), but it’s funny to see peoples faces, and has been annoying at times when you get asked,”When are you going to pop” or “Are you sure you’re actually pregnant?” Yes. I’m positive (+)…ha little play on words for you. What’s extra hilarious however is when the nurse who always takes me back, checks my weight, blood pressure, etc (you know who I’m talking about), she’s been there from day one with me, not only does she do a double take when she saw I was 29 weeks pregnant, but then the midwife and 3rd year student have to make me stand up to prove it. It’s just becoming the norm now and you just have to laugh, I guess. But the highlight of our visit was when the midwife kept looking over at my husband and finally says, “Oh my gosh, do you know who you look like?” I knew what was coming… She says, “Do you know who Adam Levine is? I keep doing double takes like, oh my gosh, this is Adam Levine in our hospital!” We both just burst out laughing, to which I reply, “Yes, I’m married to Adam Levine.” “Lucky girl!” our midwife says. It’s true, Adam is some eye candy for sure, but I definitely think my hubby is hotter–so yeah, I’m one lucky girl! 😉
I wanted to share some of the nursery process with you, along with some of my favorites from our maternity shoot last Saturday. Hope you enjoy!
We got his crib on Craigslist for $60! It is an Athena Nadia crib that normally retails for about $200. It was in great condition, a really pretty brown, but the hubs and I wanted to add a fun touch to it, so we decided to paint it navy blue and I’m so in love. We, well more like he, as in my husband, used Valspar spray paint and it took about two and half days start to finish. He didn’t have to sand which was awesome, but he did seal it with polyurethane at the end–which unfortunately he had to do by hand. All in all, we think this was a pretty quick process considering I’ve heard it can take a while to do things like this. Here are some pics of the crib.
I began working on his wall art the end of July, partly cause I couldn’t help myself, and partly just because I don’t like waiting to the last minute. ha I DIY’d all his art, which I was so excited about, because it made it feel just so personal! Here are a few pics:
The pictures in frames are actually gift bags that I received at my first baby shower that I cut out and framed with some cheap dollar tree frames. The canvas with the Dr. Suess quote I made by taking a canvas, scrapbook paper, gluing it on the canvas and then I hot glue gunned the wooden letters on. We are keeping his name a secret until birth so I have to cover up his initial and name, but the other canvas you see I painted with a giraffe stencil. His initial and name are wooden letters that I painted white and then added a special touch with some red paint. I can’t wait for you to see. I will upload the picture of the whole thing once we have him and his name is broadcast. Next, the vintage frame you see I got from a garage sale for $2, I added some brown paint with a paint sponge so it wouldn’t cover too heavily because I really like the sage it was already, but I didn’t want it totally green. This gave it a shabby chic look which I love. I bought chevron scrapbook paper, found a google image of a boys silouhette, printed it on regular print paper but then traced it onto sticky back foam paper from Hobby Lobby. Honestly, everything crafty I get is from this store. They are my favorite! The piggy bank was a gift, along with the stuffed animals. The only wall art I actually didn’t make was the wooden elephants, also from Hobby Lobby. I saw it and just couldn’t help myself. $14. I already had the shelves and the mirrors you will see in the last picture and knew they would go perfectly. We aren’t really doing a theme in his nursery. We love elephants and giraffes and so those are the two main animals we are using. (Every kid needs animals) But otherwise, we just wanted it to be raw and rustic (in a non-hick sort of way haha). Earthy and natural, rust red and sage greens with lots of neutrals. Wicker and burlap touches. Here’s his art up on the wall. *Remember: I have to blot out his name–these black blobs aren’t just some eccentric art thing I’ve got going on. ;-p
His rocker($40) and dresser ($50) we got from Goodwill. My husband sanded some areas on the dresser to make it a little more rustic. All total for furniture we only spent $150. I’m a bargain fiend, and I get a high off of saving money so this is really exciting!
That’s all I have so far for Baby D’s nursery progress. There will be more for sure! Especially once it’s all finished…
Last, but not least, here are just a few of my favorites from our maternity shoot last Saturday. Huge shout out to my awesome sister for sacrificing her time and enduring the Texas heat to take these.
These next three are probably my favorites. Our little family!