Elias James – A HBAC birth story

Given that today is E’s 1st Birthday I figured I would finally get around to writing out his birth story.

It was a snowy day, I was thrilled. We really don’t get much snow here on the West Coast. It just rains a LOT, there are many types of rain and I was wanting more of the frozen fluffy variety. I had visions of have the baby by the Christmas tree with snow falling softly in the background. I really didn’t think today was going to be the day, I had hoped the baby would arrive 5 days earlier on the 15, just to give a bit more distance from Christmas.

In the morning my Grandma had gone outside to shovel the front walk, and the older three were helping her. I stood watching from the upper floor window. thinking I should go help but knowing that my pregnant body would not hold up to it.1476211_10152067370925042_1113720901_n

I continued to wander around the house trying to figure out a way to keep myself busy. I decided the best course of action was to go out side and get some pictures of the kids in our rare snow day. I bundled my self up as much as I could and headed out. Taking pictures of course turned into a snowball fight and making snow angels

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We of course had to get a picture of my rounded self. Not knowing it would be one of the last ones of me pregnant.

After some snow fun we had some lunch and then it was time for a nap as both C and I were tired. I know Grandma went down for a nap as well. The bigger boys headed downstairs to watch some TV.  Here is when things began to get started.

I remember about 2pm waking up to a sudden though of  “GET OUT OF THE BED NOW!” I got up and rushed to the bathroom as fast as my waddley self could go. Once I got the en suite toilet I knew something didn’t feel quite right. I drooped my pants as fast as I couldDSCF2208 and assumed the position. GUSH Yup there she goes, a bust of amniotic fluid. My plug had gone a day or two before so there was no surprise here. I was pretty sure things were going to go into gear from here. I didn’t want to wake the sleeping house though so I called my Doula and let her know what was going on. After talking we had decided to see how things are progressing and she would get her affairs in order so that she could head over. I then sent my hubby probably the most interesting text. Thankfully he actually was on high alert and checking his phone at this time. ( He doesn’t most of the time)

The text- Are you committed to working the rest of your day? Really who asks their husband that? Clearly I was kinda going into my birth space at this point because that is just not a normal thing to ask, when your waters have release and you are having regular birthing waves. Alas that is the question I asked.  His response was one to question what I was talking about and to quickly call me. I explained that my waters had released about 45 minutes prior and things were kinda getting started. I then asked him again if he wanted to come home. He naturally made the wise choice to cancel the rest of his day and was home in about 7 minutes.

When he arrived I still hadn’t told anyone in the house that things had started. Grandma was still having her nap and none the wiser. With David’s arrival it was clear that something was going on to the everyone else, because why else would he be home 4 -5 hours early. David came to the bedroom to find me where I was still keeping things together for the most part but things were definitely getting more intense. I had him start getting the pool ready as we were having a waterbirth at home with this baby.  Now here the exact series of events get kinda hazy I’m pretty sure David had the pool set up before I had him me to the living room so I could start listening to my birthing time hypnobabies soundtrack. He may have been doing that while I was listening but those details don’t really matter. I know by about 4 or 4:30 David had called our doula back to know that things were definitely going and she needed to get here quickly. I just know she showed up at one point.  Remember being glad that she was there because I was getting done with listening to my track and I wanted her to tell me I could stop doing it now. ( Our doula was also our hypnobabies instructor)

Shortly after she arrived I remember something being decided that i needed to go to the bathroom. I hadn’t been since my water release a few hours previous. I’m pretty sure my hallways was longer than it had ever been, they tricked me somehow and took me through a fun house maze maybe. But either way we got there and whoa doodle movement made things get moving. I’m not sure how long we were there it may have been 10 minutes or longer. I felt like a long time but not at the same time. It is crazy how your perception is so wonked out when you are in the moment.  Anyways after that experience I then wanted back in the living room. I wanted to see my Christmas tree and see if things were the way I liked it. I couldn’t walk by myself at this point because things were so intense. My hubby and doula then got me all set up with my ball and a chair for support. That way I didn’t fall off the ball. Which is something I do when I am in fully control of my body, let’s not take chances while my primal self is in control.

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At one point C brought me some rubber duckies to hold. They were really the best things for me because I could squeeze them with every wave.

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On our way back to the living room I had asked David to start getting the water in the tub because I was ready to get in.  This is where a series of funny little events happened. I sat there watching David get the water filled and I saw that he had forgotten to put the liner in. It took me awhile to put together the words to tell him that he had forgotten it. By the time I did there was an inch or so of water in the bottom of the pool. so cue dumping water and getting a liner in place 🙂

After awhile I asked when I could get in thing were really starting to feel very intense. I don’t tend to be super vocal and the environment was very peaceful. I was calm but I was starting to doubt myself. ( which should have been a clear indicator that we were almost done)

When It was finally time for me to get into the pool it was quite the process. Both David and our doula had to help up to standing, which prompted another release of waters.  then out of the clothes I was wearing. Two steps another birthing wave and then another two to get me to the pool. I was then assisted into the pool. The water felt lovely. I often use baths for a method of relaxation and this was so wonderful.

Things happened very fast at this point. I had a birthing wave but it was not the same intensity as they had previously been. I relaxed back into the pool edge, sinking into a level of peaceful bliss. I was aware of things going on around me  but they didn’t simply matter at all. I’m pretty sure something could have been burning down and I would have smiled in peace. Speaking of burning, next came a slight burning sensation, I thought to myself. “huh? this just maybe the ring of fire the people speak of “. The thought that followed was ” how do I know I am dilated enough?” Oh had I forgot to mention there was no midwife in attendance? Yeah we weren’t really into that sort of thing this time around. More on that later. Or you can go back to last year and see the issues surrounding that. 🙂

So back to the topic at hand. as I lay there contemplating how my body was actually doing its job in birthing a baby. I decided I should let everyone in on what was happening. As the next wave hit I rolled to my side and announced that the baby was coming.  There was a flurry of activity, as the bigger boys were downstairs and had expressed that they wanted to be present for the birth. The video camera was on and children were called. D wanted to video the birth C DSCF2234thought he should as well, thus a fight had to ensue. My rock awesome doula came up with a solution and had a little battery-powered candle that C  got to hold for mommy.  I was hearing most of the goings on but was pretty much numb to it.  I really had my own thing going on.

I remember telling Dave that I think the baby is coming and that the head was there. He checked and then I am pretty sure I told him to not touch the baby. One more wave and out he came. David assisted me in getting the baby as I was up on my knees and wanted to sit back. Out he came from the water and he was a healthy screaming baby boy. WOW 4 boys for us. How blessed are we 🙂 He was born about 7:10 pm, 5 hours after my waters had released and 3 1/2 hours after the birthing waves really began to kick in. DSCF2256

We then decided to call the midwives now that the baby was born and the birth couldn’t be interfered with. I snuggled my sweet baby boy in the water for quite some time after. He latched and started nursing within about 5 minutes of his birth.  after about 20 or so minutes it was decided that I needed to get out of the pool. I had tried but was unable to move. I think my body was pretty exhausted from the butt whooping that it just got from a very fast birthing time. I had David pretty much pick me and the baby up out of the pool and we headed to the bedroom where I then birthed the placenta 20 is minutes later and I could rest.

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The baby and I remained connected until the placenta delivery and then after we separated him from the placenta. Mostly just because I was worried about the older boys knocking it over and making a mess. I was then able to lay back and rest a bit. My wonderful doula kept my hydrated and nourished with water and dates all they time. It was like she knew I needed stuff before I did. It was wonderful to have such a help.

Unfortunately my body it had scar tissue from my first two births and I torn again so that needed to be fixed. I think that is why I felt the need to have the midwife in attendance. The stitching was a very interesting and educational component for little boys who  felt that they had to be part of everything. There were some things said and statements that made everyone laugh. Needless to say I don’t think they will be shocked when their future wives have babies of their own. Thankfully it was an easy one and she was able to get things done right there.  We then weighed our little monkey. 8 pounds! Bigger than his last brother but smaller than the biggest two

DSCF2294After all was said and done The midwife was present for maybe about 2 hours most of it being paperwork. My doula left after about 2 hours post birth I think. Then it was time to settle everyone down for rest for the night.  I stayed in bed and life was really quite wonderful no one moving disturbing me or anything. I just got to relax in the comfort of my own home after my baby.

For the record my Doula was Gina Snyder of Truly Pure Birth. If you live in the GVRD and are having a homebirth you should use her.

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Away he went…..

Did you ever go to summer camp? My first time was when I was 13. I spent most of my youth going between parents homes in my summers and camping. But as a child I never went to summer camp. This year after much discussion and pondering, we decided that Damian could go to camp. He will be 8 this year and we found a camp that a friend of mine had been attending her whole life. Plus she was going to be there the week that D was able to go so he would have a familiar face. ( and someone for mommy to check in with, on stealth mode)

D at Camp

 

The camp he went to was a small non denominational Christian based camp. Both of these things were important to us. It is a small camp with a great staff to camper ratio, 1:3. They keeps the kids so busy with activities, theme nights and lots of personal building. The have a chapel time where they can keep things focused on the saviour, but not too much that the kids are bored with it. Activities include archery, rock climbing, skateboarding. They have a challenge rope course, they do drama times, campfires, water activities. I’m sure there is more that D didn’t tell me about that they did in his 6 days of extreme fun.

I loved when we picked him up that other staff members knew who he was and said bye to him by name. When I checked him out his cabin leader told me that he had some wonderful scripture based talks with Damian. It filled my heart with immense joy that I sent my son somewhere that he was loved and cared for, for the week. While I missed my biggest boy so much that week I know it really was a great choice for us to have sent him to camp.

 

 

Not Qualified……

Some days I looks at the boys and just wonder how the heck this all happened? How did I become a mom to 4 little boys? Am I even qualified to do this?

Honestly, probably not. But really who qualifies parents, nobody. Really just about anyone can become a parent. The question that usually there ends up being is how good of a parent are you. That, though still depends a lot on what your definition of being a good parent is.

Back to my point though. Am I qualified for this position? Technically I am pretty qualified. I have done child development classes, I have read the books. I took a class running a preschool/ day care in high school. I Have a few psychology classes about life span development. I have dealt with children with different needs. Heck I even ran my own daycare in my house at one point. Sounds pretty qualified to me, but not really.

Let me tell you a story. I was the the best parent before I had kids. I really was, because I had read the books. I had taken classes. I knew kids needed consistency and structure. They needed to sleep in their beds, they should fall asleep on their own, no coddling necessary. They will be properly behaved in all social situations and respectful. After all that is how they are supposed to be. ( yeah right….

Now here is reality. When D came along I had such high hopes for my plan. We had his own room set up, loving painted and decorated, with a matching bed set. it was adorable. We did have a bassinet for him in our room but that would just be for the first little bit. Well he had other plans for us. He hated sleep, it was the worst thing ever, unless he was held tightly to fall asleep. Then if you tried to even think of putting him in his crib you might as well just rip his arms off, for that is how he screamed. As he grew so did his energy. D wasn’t your normal typical textbook kid. ( are any of them really? ) Then A came along  and that was a whole new ball of wax. In every way that he looked like his brother his personality was different. He was a whole different kid. and then C boom, different kids and E is being a whole different ball game too.

Seriously I am constantly learning and making this up as the days go by. Each child is teaching me to be a better mom and a different mom. My views change with each child and my approaches adjust with each child. Most days I feel like I’m just staring at them wondering what I got myself into. With all the reading and all the books I still have 4 very different human being that I am in charge of rearing to be respectable members of society…..  I’m not qualified for this.

Then again as their mother is there anyone more qualified for this position? I know these boys better than most people ever will. I know their quirks I know their likes I know their passions. I know their hearts and their breath. I know every little bit on their sweet little head. I may not be qualified but they, I’m pretty sure, qualify me.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

It’s that time of year again here in Canada. Time for reflections, and expressions of gratitude. Looking back on the year we have had some amazing times and celebrated wonderful things. We have also had down times, but those help us remember the better times.

From our table to yours Happy Thanksgiving.

The Modesty Issue. Is it a state of mind?

Modesty is always a hot topic. People have some very different views about what is considered appropriate or not. The thing is, it tends to cause more blasting and lashing out at others than it really should. People of all different cultures wear different clothing. What is considered modest to one person is over dressed or even underdressed to another.

When I hear about modesty this comic often comes to mind. I have no idea where it originated so it you know please let me know so I can credit the source. 
Really when it comes to modesty I don’t think it is all about the clothes you are wearing but the attitude you have about yourself. Do you behave and think modestly? I think you can be wearing any amount of clothes but your actions and behaviour depict your modesty. If you put on an outfit with the thoughts in mind of attracting sexual attention and engaging in immodest behaviours. Then you are not going to exactly but putting out modest thoughts.
Modesty I think can also be about your comfort levels. If you are wearing something where you are feeling uncomfortable where you feel exposed then that is what people will see. 
The way you think and act is often a direct reflection in how you will be treated. Now yes there are always extenuating circumstances that change things but it s a pretty close correlation. 
Now when I talk to people about this often I get asked if I think that then girls are “asking for it?” Simple answer is not always. Now that can get a bit of a blasting but it goes back to the thought of your thoughts matter. Are you sending invitations? Are you behaving in a sexual manner or are you behaving in a modest tone? 
No I do not think that just because the thoughts and actions are towards one another are sexual in nature that there shouldn’t be respect. Any behaviours should always be consensual. AT ALL TIMES. That is non negotiable. and  should always be in a sober manner. 
Both men and women need to move towards more modest behaviors I think. I think our children are too sexual in this day and age. I think our media is far to sexual and lacks a general respect to others. Now I’m not saying we all need to wear big baggy clothing that covers everything. But your clothing and your actions should reflect how you want to be treated.
We need to start blurring the lines. It will be better for everyone if the line and boundaries that go with it can be easily seen and respected.

Call to Moms of Boys!!!!

We need to help our boys!
We need to have our boys know that they are good human beings!

With all the news of rape this past few days it is appalling the rape culture we live in. The confusion between what is and isn’t consent. The lack of respect for another person just is wrong.

As mothers of boys we have a responsibility to raise up boys that quash this stereo type. We have to talk to our boys. We need to love them and we need to show them how to love others. We need to teach them about respect for them selves and others. We have to tell them that they are responsible for their actions, right from an early age.

It more then teaching them about sex and that when a girl says no to stop. It is so much more than that. The respect needs to start before. It is not just about saying no or yes it is about the respect that is mutually there before sex even come up.

We have a stigma that needs to be changed and it needs to change with the boys. For years we have been attacking girls telling them that they must act differently, dress differently, just be different so they didn’t lure our men into situations where they would rape them. Yes things need to change, but how about giving our men some control and telling them that they are responsible. I don’t know of a woman who gets dressed in the morning with the thought of ” This is so going to get me raped, this is what I am going to wear today!”

Accountability needs to be on both parties some times but really there needs to be a really big change on the male half. They need to know that no matter how much money they spend how much they are attracted to her, there is never NEVER EVER an excuse to take something that does not belong to you. Just to also clarify, since we don’t have slavery, she doesn’t belong to you!

Moms we need to help our boys. They are going into a world where in general it is believed that all men are potential rapists. How are we going to hep them? We can start by opening the conversation NOW! Talk to them about what is going on. It is a reality and you can’t hide it. If you don’t talk, someone else will and it wont always be the message you want. We need to encourage them to stand up for injustices, we need need to let them know that being a good person is good. We need to stop putting our head in the sand and thinking that it will never happen. We need to respect and love our sons enough to talk to them about this. They need to learn about sex and what is really is. We need to change this rape culture so that women can stop living in fear and men can been seen as respectable individuals.

Now I am going to have to put it out there that yes I am aware that rape goes both ways but the stats are far against the men. The discussion should be with both girls and boys, but as a mom of boys I am very passionate about working to change this world where you can effect change. I can effect change with my sons. I encourage you to do the same with your children. You will each have your own set of values and morals that works for your family. I would prefer to teach my children to wait till they can see themselves being with some that they would want to raise a family with. Everyone is different and will raise their children with their own values, but the conversation needs to start.

Sex should not be hidden away in the family setting, children should know that they can come with questions. They should have a safe environment to talk in, where they know they will get honest answers. If you don’t talk they will seek out the answers, through peers and the internet. Children are resourceful they will find the answers but will they be the answers you want them to find?

Have you opened the discussion in your home?

2012 What a year!

What a year 🙂 So much has happened in our little family is the last year.
Thinking back and reflecting on 2012. Cael celebrated his first birthday and has learned so many things. He can walk, talk use a spoon, fork and a cup. He is so full of fun and it has been an amazing time,
In April a series of events lead Hubby to getting surgery on his ankle for a bone infection, that I guess he has had for years. We are so lucky that it was finally diagnosed and the issue has been solved. So happy that he has been pain free since then, which hopefully means no more flare ups.

Home Learning was really in full swing this year. We have gone on amazing field trips, met some amazing people and looking forward to continuing on this path for us. Damian joined beavers last year but really has gotten into it this year. I have joined on as a colony leader who who knows how long? 😉

This summer was truly amazing  it started off with the Stampede and the 100 year celebration. Damian got to ride in the parade with Great Grandpa. We also got to go to the Ponoka Stampeded with Grandpa, the boys had so much fun with that.  We we on rides, played some games and had a blast. Nothing quite like partying cowboy style!
 After a few weeks with family in Alberta we headed home to prepare for the Epic Extravaganza. What else could you call a 17 day road trip with three children across Canada and the upper USA! 4 provinces and I think 13 states we crossed while driving. We started off the trip with Hubby and mine 10 year high school reunion, and some fun on the lake. .  Saw my sisters, they both live far away from me, and their kids. Saw Hubby’s Dad & his little family,stayed with them for a few days.We went to Niagara Falls, one of my bucket list places, we even took a ride on the maid of the mist
 We stopped to see Mount Rushmore, or the “Mountain Men” as I called the last time I saw them ( I was 4 I think) Next to Yellowstone, where we got to see Old Faithful, and buffalo. At both National parks the boys worked towards their Junior Ranger badges, and still talk about them to this day.
Then we stopped in Salt Lake city  for the night to see the temple, So thrilled to be able to have been there as a member this time. Hopefully next time we go we can spend more time. We camped along the way with the children and yes the baby stayed in his cloth diapers for the trek. ( I have that many and with the stops at family I was able to do laundry )
Then fall came, back to reality….. and packing. You see before we left on the Epic Extravaganza we found a new home, A place that was going to meet our need more fully

I celebrated my birthday.I harvested my first successful garden. :)Then the move, I thankfully went off without a hitch. Next came the Damian and Ainsley’s birthdays, wow 6 & 4 I can barely believe it. November then December and I can barely believe it is over again. We have done so much this year but it still feels like 2012 just started.

I’m looking forward to 2013, I’m sure it will be amazing. We have plans and goals, I hope it works out for the best 🙂

Does post Christmas get you down?

The presents are opened. Thank yous are exchanged. The turkey dinner is done. The friends and family have gone home There should be a feeling of peace and happiness from everyone. Tis the season of good tiddings and all!

But there isn’t     😦

The phenomenon that I have heard referred to as  “The Christmas Letdown”

There is so much build up to Christmas months of prep hours shopping. Time spent decorating and planning, all leading up to one day. The when it is done….. now what?

Often I heard people say “never again”. Though the reality is we are creatures of habit, we’ll do it again just like last year and the year before.

Why do we have this desire to have one day of the year filled with presents and glitz and so much stuff? Does it make us happier? Maybe for the day but how long does it last? Far too many people have stuff of Christmas day then run out boxing day and buy more stuff. Or exchange what you didn’t like to get something better.

Then you have stuff. Does the stuff make you happy? Does it fill you life with joy? Maybe it does for for now but in a week will it still be the best thing ever?

Small and simple Christmas

We really worked hard on decreasing the stuff this year. We didn’t make a big deal over Christmas stuff we focused on what was important, FAMILY. It may have been just us but it was one of the best days we have had in awhile. I didn’t stress over a fancy dinner, we had meatloaf.

We kept gifts to a minimum and they were mostly useful gifts, books, watches, blankets, PJ’s and a few small toys. Honestly unwrapping was done in like 45 minutes. The kids were happy they got what they had wanted. I suppose I’m lucky that they didn’t want much. ( definitely an advantage to no TV and homeschooling 🙂 )
We are fortunate that our families are very understanding about our desire to keep the stuff to a minimum. They understand our desire for memories and quality over quantity. 🙂

Do I feel a sadness that Christmas is over? No. Why not? Because other then a few extra presents, snow and Christmas carols, and a tree we didn’t do really anything major. Christmas will come again and I will continue to keep it stress free.

Time spent together is better then money spent on each other

Maybe next year there will be a big dinner but I don’t get stressed about having people over either. I enjoy good tidings and fun.

Avoid the Christmas let down by keeping things normal and keep your focus on what is important. The stuff isn’t, the people and memories are!