Saturday, February 18, 2017

Obsessed Mama Posts Too Many Pics of Her Newborn

Sorry in advance. That obsessed mama is me.

One of my birthday gifts this year was a 1-year-long online photography course, specifically designed for folks with kiddos. Emily posted about it here and I decided to join her! (Side note -- I'm hoping she posts some of her pics soon because they're all GORGEOUS like whoa.)

The teachers send us weekly lessons via email, which include themes and prompts for photos, plus Photoshop lessons. I feel like I've already learned so much!

So now I'm taking about a bajillion more pictures than I used to. Big sorry if this blog becomes a picture dumping ground.

Don't say I didn't, say I didn't warn ya.

Anyway, this week's theme was DETAILS! So I decided to capture some of Jude's sweet newborn details, including . . . 

His general cuteness.

His pouts.

His streeetttchhhhhh.

His yawns.

His alfalfa hair.

His hair swirl.

His baby blues.

His wittle feet.

His cloth diaper bum.

All the little things that are so easy to forget as time speeds along. And sleep deprivation piles up. :P

Thank goodness for photography!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jude's First Week


This little guy is a dream baby.

His favorite things right now are eating, sleeping, and snuggling. 


I hate to compare him to John Paul because who likes to be compared to their sibs? But seriously. Night and day. Night and day. 

John Paul was a terrible eater because of his undiagnosed lip tie. Feedings took 30-45 minutes, and he never got enough so he was cranky and bad at sleeping too. The kid fought sleep SO hard. 

Jude, on the other hand, is a milk guzzler. It's amazing. Feedings take 15 minutes. And then he's ready to pass out. He'll fight naps here and there, but once he's down, he's OUT. He's even given us a 4 hour stretch of sleep already! #mombrag

I feel like a completely different mom this time around. Way less stressed. Way more go with the flow. It's so refreshing! 

This advice has helped a ton too. 

Plus having my husband home for this whole month. He's basically on John Paul duty all day. And I'm on newborn duty. Divide and conquer, FTW! 

Btw, have I ever mentioned how amazing my husband is? I could not be doing this parenting thing without him. He helps in the middle of the night when I'm just too tired to rock Jude or change a dipe or wash my pump. He feeds Jude bottles while I'm pumping. He lets me sleep in with Jude in the morning while he gets up bright and early with John Paul. He runs out to the store and back just to buy me the sushi I've been craving but not been able to eat for the past 9 months. We're so SO blessed to call him ours.

Ok, mushy stuff mostly over.

Breastfeeding isn't perfect, but we've come up with a routine that's working really well for us for now.  I pump with a manual pump for 1/2 his feedings and he gets a bottle of that milk instead of being fed at the breast. This gives my achey nipples a break 50% of the time, which has been a game changer. The nips are like THANK YOU WOMAN! And when he is feeding at the breast, ahhhh, so nice! While it's a little painful, we still get all those lovely milkie hormones. And I can tell his latch is already improving.

We're thinking the issues are due to a bad nipple-to-mouth size match. So yeah, the nipples are a little beaten up. But the hope is Jude's mouth will grow over the next month and then everything will be hunky dory. Howevz, if we're still having issues after a month, I'm totally gonna push for another lip-tie eval. We're pretty sure he has a tie, but it's not restricting his lip movement, or so we think, so for now we're living with it.

And he's gaining wait like a CHAMP. So that's super reassuring. After all of John Paul's feeding and weight gaining issues, we decided to buy a scale this time around. And it has take a lot of the "am I feeding him enough??" stress out of the equation. We're able to do weighed feedings and confirm that this kid is a little porker. Jude is already more than a pound above birth weight. At 11 days old!!

Proud baby right here . . .

My sister-in-law organized a meal train for us, so folks in town are being so generous and bringing us meals every other night. We're so spoiled! And I also prepped a bunch of freezer meals, so we have that too.

In case you're curious:

black bean and sweet potato enchiladas
chicken enchilada soup
beef, tomato, and acini de pepe soup
moroccan vegetable stew
cheesy turkey chili mac
bolognese sauce

We haven't had to use any yet, but I'm thinking they'll be so helpful when we do!

In the weeks leading up to Jude's birth, I would just double my dinner recipes when I was already cooking. So it never felt like a huge effort to get all those extra meals prepped. We call that a win.

Also a win (but not very nice to mother nature), we're using lots of paper plates and bowls and cups. Less time doing dishes = more time snuggling up with our boys.

John Paul is adjusting very nicely! We have seen a few extra tantrums in the past week. And he's has these really sad moments when we're trying to put him down for his nap or bedtime. Like crying out to us and, with tears in his eyes, saying "sweet dreams" and "I love you" as we walk toward the door. Ugh. Kills me. But overall, he seems really excited to be a big brother. He asks for Jude all the time. We hear "Baby Jude?" on repeat. Always thinking about his lil bro. And he loves giving him kisses or bringing him his bottle or pacifier. So dang cute. I can't wait to see what kind of adventures they have together. The adventures of John Paul and Jude. :)

So far, they both seem to enjoy taking a nap at the same time and being ready for bed at the same time. How did we get so lucky? 

(And that is how I was able to write out Jude's birth saga so soon after his arrival. Sweet napping babies, y'all.)

We also enjoy watching movies together snuggled on the couch before bedtime. John Paul is currently obsessed with the Cars movies and the Finding Nemo movies. So we watch a little bit of one or the other as a family bonding activity and enjoy all the snuggles as we wind down for bed. 

It's such a joy to be their mom.  

And of course, our little guy has already accumulated about a hundred nicknames.

Jude Baby
Sweet Jude
Jude Bug Bear
Jude the Dude
Juju Train
Jude Frank
Jude Frank the Tank

I'm sure there will be more by tomorrow.

For now, we're just gonna keep soaking in all this newborn preciousness. While he's a champ at eating and sleeping now, I'm positive there will be hiccups and regressions and all that ahead. No biggie, though. It's the life of a parent. And we love it. 

God has been so good to us. I think Jude agrees . . . 


Monday, February 6, 2017

Jude's Birth Story, Part 3

For part 2, click here

I was not, in fact, pushing the baby out. Thank you very much for your concern tho, Mrs. Nurse Lady. Happy to keep ya on your toes.

Once I, ahem, wrapped up that awkward moment, I walked over to the bed and climbed up to be checked. I think the nurses were trying to get in touch with my OB at that point, as he still wasn't at the hospital, but it was clear this baby was getting close to his moment of debut. So the on-call family medicine resident checked me again. You remember him, right? Mr. Conservative-At-Rating-Dilation. Thankfully this time he gave it to us straight.

At 3:11am, he announced: "Fully dilated with bulging bag."

Woohoo! From 6-ish cm to 10cm in less than two hours? I'll take it!

Not even a second after the doc said "bulging bag" . . . POP! My water broke.

I was lying on my back from the check, but was determined to push in any position but that one. Back pushing = working against gravity and pushing for longer and higher likelihood of tearing. I had stressed this to John and my doula for months leading up to the birth, so they knew it was time help me move. I think I even exclaimed, "I really don't want to push on my back!" just to remind them. So they helped me climb up and lean myself over the back of the bed. Even though I was exhausted, I had the option of resting all my weight against the bed, yet I was still completely upright. It seemed like a smart move.

Except as soon as I got upright, I started to feel like my entire body was splitting in half. The pain was so overwhelming, but with some heavy breathing and super loud moans and shouts of "THIS HURTS SO BAD!" I made it through.

In those first few seconds in that upright position, I was worried the position itself was causing all the pain. But in reality, it was baby rushing his way through the birth canal. I wasn't even pushing! But he was ready. Making his way out, and fast! And it was shocking everyone in the room.

There was no time for my OB to arrive, so suddenly there were 2 on-call family medicine docs in the room. Mr. Conservative and some 3rd year resident. They very clearly did not read my birth plan (womp wommmmp), so they kept asking me about things -- in the middle of delivering a baby no less -- that they should have already known the answer to.

So Dr. 3rd Year has the ballz to ask me, "Can you turn around please?" as I'm just getting myself situated in the upright-against-the-back-of-the-bed position. Umm. SAY WHAT?! This baby is about to be crowning and you're asking me to turn around so that you can deliver him more easily? Shyeah. How 'bout no.

Then he's all awkwardly putting his hands and some blue sheet under me to catch everything, while my doula is desperately trying to massage my perineum to help avoid tearing (something I had requested). But she can't get in there because Dr. 3rd Year is being all sloppy.

Meanwhile, I basically have no idea what's going on because BABY IS COMING and suddenly crowing and suddenly halfway out and I seriously don't remember having to push at all. That upright position, you guys. AMAZENESS.

Next thing I know, Dr. 3rd Year is asking me to stop pushing and I don't exactly know why in the moment, but later find out it's because baby has the cord wrapped around his torso. My doula and the nurses kept telling him to deliver the baby through the cord, but Dr. 3rd Year kept trying to unwrap the cord. And kept telling me to stop pushing. Sorry, dude, but if I had any control over this birth train, I would.

Eventually he got the memo to stop trying to remove the cord and instead birth baby through it, and suddenly baby was crying before he was even completely out! What a beautiful, wonderful sound!

Our baby boy arrived at 3:17am on January 30th, exactly 5 minutes after I got upright and didn't even push once. Wowz.

We still didn't know the gender, and I was facing the wall, so I couldn't see. And for a few seconds after we heard that sweet cry, John couldn't see either. So many people in the way. But as soon as he got a glimpse, he excitedly said, "It's a boy!" And I smiled. Because secretly I just knew baby was going to be a boy. And it was a joy to finally confirm it!

Wendy encouraged Dr. 3rd Year to pass the baby through my legs to me, since I was still facing the wall and hadn't gotten a peek yet. And the first thing (I think) I said when I saw him was, "He's so beautiful!" Which then quickly followed with, "He has hair!!!!" The amount of hair and dark coloring totally shocked me. It was adorable.

With placenta not birthed yet and baby still attached, I somehow figured out a way to turn my body around and finally sink down into the bed. Ahhhh! Sweet relaxation!

I was completely naked, so we easily snuggled up skin-to-skin and tried to establish breastfeeding while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing and the placenta to be birthed.

Dr. 3rd Year and Mr. Conservative seemed a little clueless about delayed cord clamping, asking if it was ready yet. Wendy gently encouraged them to keep waiting until there was no more pulsing. Thankfully they did, and then John got to cut the cord.

Then the placenta was taking its sweet time making its way out. Which can be totally normal. Except Dr. 3rd Year wasn't used to it. So again, he asks a question that he would have known the answer to had he read my birth plan: "Can we give you pitocin?" I just simply replied, "No pitocin please." Man, these docs are in such a rush to get the show on the road sometimes.

(To their credit, my birth was a bit of a rush, especially toward the end there, so I don't really blame them for not reading my birth plan. Nobody really knew my OB wasn't going to be there until the final few minutes. All the issues ended up being very minor and really just annoyances more than anything. The experience would have been a teeny bit more enjoyable had it been with my doc, but no big deal in the grand scheme of things.)

Sure enough, with a few extra minutes of waiting around, the placenta showed up on its own and all was well. Wendy remarked on how small my placenta was, which doesn't necessarily mean anything, but figured it's worth remembering. Just an odd little detail there.

A few minutes later and my OB finally arrived! Just in time to stitch me up. I ended up tearing again, somewhere between a 2nd and 3rd degree, just like John Paul's birth. I asked Wendy if it was because he came out too quickly, but she said no. And my OB chimed in and said usually you tear along the same line as the first birth since that's a weak point in the perineum. So there's that.

We spent a little over an hour snuggling skin-to-skin and it was blissful. Baby boy didn't quite figure out latching in that time because he was mostly interested in crying . . . a lot. It was such a sweet cry, though. And if I had to guess, probably related to the shock of flying out of his comfort zone so quickly. ;)

After all those great snuggles, we were happy to finally let the nursery staff weigh our little buddy and check his vitals and all that.

We had a feeling he was going to be a little smaller than John Paul just based on how he felt in my arms. John and I both guessed 7lb 6oz, and we were super close! 7lb 8oz, a whole 7oz less than John Paul was!

They took care of him quickly, and then it was back to mama and baby snuggles, and continuing trying to establish breastfeeding. It took him a while to latch for the first time, maybe 2 hours? But he's been a nursing champ ever since!

The next 36 hours in the hospital were spent snuggling up with our little man, napping when we could, enjoying a visit from the in-laws and our sweet John Paulie (who was so excited to meet his little brother!!), and wavering back and forth between two names.

Our little Jude wasn't officially named until a few hours before leaving the hospital. In fact, the whole first day of his life, we practiced calling him by our other favorite name, Blaise, and really thought that was going to be it! . . . until one of the nurses thought we were naming him Blaze. And then we just didn't feel like we could go through with it. Maybe next time though ;), if we're so blessed.

And there you have it! Jude Francis's birth story. It really was perfect in its own special way.

Welcome to the family, little bud. We love you with all that we have and can't wait to see where this life adventure takes you.

All praise be to God!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jude's Birth Story, Part 2

For part 1, click here.

In triage, everything looked great! All my vitals were good, baby sounded great, and contractions kept progressing. I really needed to squat and slow dance with John to get through them, which I took as a really good sign of my progress.

So I was a little shocked when the doc (the on-call family medicine resident) finally checked me and said I was 4-5cm, 80% effaced, and baby was at a -1.

What?! For reals? I was definitely feeling around the same level of pain I had when I was around 6cm with John Paul, but I was possibly just a 4? And no progress at all with cervical effacement? Eep! Did this mean we were in for a lonnnnngggg night of labor?

But once the the doc and nurses left the room, my doula and husband both assured me that they thought he was wrong. And probably just being . . . conservative. Why? No idea. Perhaps because he was still a bit of a newb at the whole labor and deliv thing, being a first-year resident and all. But based on the length of my contractions and the level of pain I was experiencing, we all thought I was probably more like a 6. Phew!

From there, we all walked a few feet over to the delivery room: room number 2071. It was around 2am when we settled in, and I immediately changed into my L&D dress, the same dress I had worn for John Paul's delivery. I don't actually have any pics of me in it from this delivery, since I only wore it for approximately 2 seconds. But here's a pic of it from John Paul's labor . . .

Snaps all the way down the back and front for easy monitoring, and snaps at the shoulders for easy access to the bubs for breastfeeding. Pretty floral design for enjoyment. Much cooler than your average hospital gown.

So why was it only on for a few seconds, you ask? Right after I put it on, Wendy filled up the bath tub and recommended I hop in soon, since we were at a good point for tub laboring. So off it went!

I grabbed my bikini out of my hospital bag, but my rib cage has probably grown a bunch of sizes since I last wore it, so it didn't fit. Eep. So naked bathing it was! I was a little embarrassed by my complete nudity, so I knew I wasn't in the 8-10cm stage of labor yet. You know you're there when all modesty goes out the window.

Wendy found a mini towel I could wear over my upper parts, so that made me feel a bit more comfortable. Modesty restored!

Just like John Paul's birth, we lit LED candles and listened to Tibetan monk chant music while in the tub. It was so peaceful. Aside from all the painful contractions that is.

John stayed by my side the whole time, letting me squeeze his hand through each contraction, telling me I was doing such a great job, all that cheesy sort of stuff. But I needed it. The positive, gentle encouragement was my lifeline. Words of praise for the win!

While the water definitely slowed the contractions down just a little and made them a tiny bit more comfortable, they were getting more intense by the minute. Pretty soon, the moaning started.

Before giving birth to John Paul, I thought moaning was the most embarrassing thing ever. I would hear moms do it while watching birth videos and think, yikes! That's awkward. But during the really painful parts of labor, there's nothing better than letting it all out through your vocal chords.

Wendy kept encouraging me to relax all my muscles, so that I wasn't fighting against the contractions, and to keep the moaning at a low pitch, since that also helps keep things relaxed. When you moan in a higher register, you're tightening things up everywhere and essentially fighting against your cervix. Weird but true. So I tried to keep things low.

Actually, the moaning almost sounded like it was part of the Tibetan monk soundtrack. I joked at one point that it was like a sing-a-long in the tub. Or maybe John made that joke. I was quite in the zone at that point, so the details get hazy.

Pretty soon, it was getting reeeally really hard to keep the moans in the lower register. And I was squirming in pain all over the tub through every contraction. The pain was getting rough. Like probably 9-out-of-10-on-the-pain-scale rough. I even started to think to myself, "If this goes on much longer, I don't think I can do it." Contractions were long and painful and I was only getting like 1 to 2 minutes between each one.

At that moment, my body thankfully decided to take a break. A nice 4 minute break, or something like that. It was seriously glorious. No contraction for 4 minutes. Heck freaking yes.

But! IT'S A TRAP! Following the break, I had 3 HUGE contractions right on top of each other. Bam, baaaaam, BAMMMMMM. So much squirming and moaning and hand squeezing ensued.

I made it through, but after that, I was pretty much exhausted. It really was hurting quite nicely and if I was due up for another triple-traction soon, I didn't think I was going to make it.

I recall turning to Wendy at that point and saying, "Do you think I'm getting close? I really don't think I can do this much longer." And, thank God Almighty, in that moment she responded with the sweetest thing a laboring girl could ever hope to hear:

"You are so close. You're gonna have this baby in your arms very soon."

Amen, sister. Amen.

When the next contraction hit, I started feeling the urge to push. Which brought me right back to John Paul's birth, when I was in the tub and felt the urge to push, but was only 8cm dilated. Eep! If you push when you're not fully dilated, you can really hurt your cervix, so I was scared that's what was happening again. And I didn't want to get out of the tub to get checked yet because getting out at that point was going to require a huge effort on my part that I didn't want to do if I still had a few more centimeters to go. If the contractions were that rough in the tub, I didn't even want to think of how bad they'd be out of the tub.

We decided to use the ol' "blow through the contractions" trick, where you blow a brrrrrrrrrrr sound like a horse. For whatever reason, blowing like that helps you to stop yourself from pushing. Which sounds weird, right? Can't you just not push? But no. You can't just not push. Trust me. When your body wants to, it just does it. So you really of have to fight against it to stop it when your cervix isn't ready yet. I brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr'd my way through the next contraction and all was well.

And then Wendy advised me to hop on out of the tub. She thought my body was trying to push because I actually was at 10cm! And since she's seen about a bazillion labors, I trusted her. So at around 3am, she and John helped me up, and I started to make my way back to the bed to be checked.

But not a step away from the tub, I suddenly had the intense urge to have a bowel movement. I think I may have shouted, "I NEED TO POOP." Gah! So embarrassing to think about now. But like I said before, all modesty goes out the window when you're in that 8-10cm zone.

I immediately plopped down on the toilet and started pushing.

And then the nurse immediately started freaking out.


For part 3, click here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jude's Birth Story, Part 1

In case you missed it, our sweet baby boy, Jude Francis, arrived on January 30th! Yay baby!! And now I present to you, his birth story. For your reading pleasure and for my memory preservation. ;) 

Baby Schweitz was due January 28th.

As you may recall, we were doing everything possible to naturally induce labor, so that my wonderful OB could attend Baby Schweitz's birth before he left for St. Lucia on February 1st.

In addition to all the pitted dates and red raspberry leaf tea and borage oil pills and neighborhood walks and eggplant parm and sex . . .

On January 23rd, I got my membranes stripped. Ummm. Yeah. OUCH. Doc gets his fingers all up in your business and SWOOP, runs his fingers along your cervix to separate it from the placenta. Not fun. But a low risk way to naturally induce if baby is ready. So we did it. It obvi didn't work, but it caused me to lose my mucus plug. And doc checked me and discovered I was already 3cm dilated AND 80-90% effaced. At the very least, we were pretty pleased to hear that!

On January 24th and 26th, I went to the chiropractor to get aligned for labor. I wasn't expecting this to  really induce, and it didn't, but I was happy to be lining up all my bones and such to make an easier escape route for baby. And I think it actually helped!

On January 27th, I went all hippy and tried acupuncture. When booking the appointment, the receptionist claimed the last 3 pregnant mommas they treated had their babies in their arms by the next morning. SAY WHAT?! Sign me up! First, the acupuncturist burned a moxa stick over my lower back for about 5 minutes. Then, she put needles in 15 different points all over my body and left them in for about 45 minutes, popping in my room every once in a while to wiggle them around and activate the points. Each needle and point had a different purpose: one in my forehead to calm me, two in my legs for cervical dilation, two in my feet for pain management, and so on. Every point used was specifically related to labor and delivery, so if my body and baby were ready, it would have sent me into labor. Throughout the procedure, I felt one Braxton Hicks contraction, but that was it. Nothing the rest of the day, nor the next day. So I'm not sure it worked. But it definitely was relaxing!

On January 28th (THE DUE DATE!), I drank a hyper concentrated version of my red raspberry leaf tea. It was bitter and so so so strong. I had been drinking red raspberry leaf tea pretty much daily for my entire 3rd trimester, to tone up the uterine muscles for labor, but this hyper brew, called Labor Day Tea, was supposed to get things going if body and baby were ready. It may have helped, as I started to feel contractions less than 24 hours later, but who knows, right?

Also on January 28th, I was starting to get antsy about castor oil, which was basically the last natural thing I had left to try to induce labor. My plan was to drink it on January 30th if baby still wasn't making moves. But I was so nervous about how sick I would feel. Was it going to make labor even more painful? Was I going to have continuous castor oil diarrhea and great bowel discomfort while also going through labor contractions? Ick! It didn't sound fun. But of course I was also desperate to deliver with my OB, so I was pretty determined to try.

While listing all my worries to my dear husband, he says, "Well, why don't I try it first? And that way if it's terrible, we'll know and we won't have you do it." Ummm, prince charming, much? He's seriously a doll. So as mean as it may have been, I took him up on his offer and he drank the crazy castor oil concoction and, well, paid the consequences.

4 oz castor oil + 2 oz vodka + 6 oz orange juice.


He said it tasted like an oily screw driver. Yum, right?

It went down so easy and then for 8 hours after, absolutely nothing happened. And all was right with the world.

But then, it hit him ALL at once. Poor poor guy. Through the entire night, he was in and out of the bathroom, clearing out his system, one gush of fluid at a time. Oof.

He was pretty much recovered by the next morning, a little less than 24 hours from that gross dose of castor oil. In summary, he said it was rough, but not so rough that he thought I'd need to avoid it. But he wasn't going to be trying it again any time soon. I also ran it by my doula, who said it would work a little differently on a pregnant woman, more like a natural prostaglandin, and labor would start after I was entirely cleared out. That all made me feel a little better.

So by the afternoon of January 29th, with John fully recovered from all the castor crazy, and me still definitely pregnant, we decided I would, in fact, try the castor oil bright and early the next morning.

Except God laughs.

Not even a few hours after making that decision, right around 3pm, I had my first contraction.

Lolololololol. Sorry, John!

But seriously, PRAISE THE LORD! Castor oil avoided.

The contractions started off super mild, actually without pain at all, just tightening in my belly. But predictable tightening. They lasted a bunch of seconds and happened every few minutes to every 20 or so minutes. I know, not very specific. But I could tell things were progressing. They weren't just your average, run of the mill Braxton Hickses.

We were due over to John's parent's house for Sunday night dinner (which we do every Sunday night) just an hour after contractions started, but with them being so mild, we decided to go anyway and just not tell anyone, cuz I'm pretty private like that.

Turns out, dinner was a lovely distraction and we got through the whole affair without anyone knowing what was going on.  Win win.

Upon arriving home, around 8pm, we put John Paul to bed and decided to play a board game, to keep the distractions going. Contractions were getting a tiny bit stronger and longer and closer together, but still nothing serious. We stood through the whole game to keep me in a good position to keep the labor progressing and it definitely helped. Oh, and in case you were curious, our game of choice was Forbidden Desert, a co-op game that we love and that night we totally won. Boom. Labor luck.

The game ended around 9:00pm, and we still weren't exactly tired, so we decided to rent a movie: The Girl on the Train. The more distractions you have going during early labor, the better. And this was yet another good distraction.

During the movie, contractions started to get just a tiny bit painful, longer, and closer together. They were coming every 2-4 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds. Progress! I bounced on an exercise ball and it was honestly way comfier than I was expecting. Great labor tool, as it turns out!

By the time the movie ended, around 11pm, we decided it was time to call my doula and make a plan. She suggested trying to sleep for a while while things were still low-pain. If we were about to labor through the night, getting in just a few extra hours of shut eye was going to be super helpful. She figured once they were painful enough to wake me up, it'd be time to get things into gear for our trip to the hospital. So up to bed we went.

But sleep didn't happen. Within 10 minutes of lying in bed, the contractions really picked up. They went from a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale to a 4. While that doesn't sound like much, it was enough to make me anxious to get a move on. We still had to alert the in-laws so they could drive over and watch John Paul and we had a 40 minute drive ahead of us to the hospital. Plus, I knew I had been 3cm and 80-90% effaced before any contractions had started, so I didn't want to suddenly be in a HOLY MOLEY THIS BABY IS COMING OUT situation while driving because we decided to wait too long.

Contractions got even more intense while we waited on my MIL to arrive, so I was happy with our decision. We slow danced through the contractions and I squatted by hanging on John to work with the contractions and keep baby low.   

One last pic of the belly . . .

And by 12:45am, we were off. And in the snow! We've barely had an inch or two all winter, and the night our baby decides to make moves, snow is sticking to the roads. Perhaps, even with all that natural induction stuff, all I really needed was a change in barometric pressure to kick things in the gear. We may never know. ;)

Labor in the car got even more intense. I prayed for everyone's intentions between contractions, each followed with a Hail Mary to our sweet Heavenly Momma. And when a contraction hit, I'd pause and squeeeeeeeze John's hand. All while he prayed along and navigated the snowy roads. Seriously, I married super dad, folks.

After what felt like an eternity, (because seriously, car contractions are the woorrrsttttt!) we finally arrived around 1:30am. Wendy, our doula, met us at the doors of the L&D unit, and we all walked up to the nurses' station together. A little oversight on our part . . . we forgot to do all the pre-registration stuff, so between my contractions, I filled out a pile of who-knows-what paperwork as quickly as humanly possible and then we were moved into the triage area so they could check my vitals and my cervical dilation.

For part 2, click here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Jude Francis!

Born on January 30th at 3:17am, which means . . . 

Your prayers worked! He arrived before my doc went out of town. :) BUT, because God laughs . . . 

Little Jude decided to arrive SO quickly, my doc wasn't able to make it to the hospital in time to catch him. Ha! 

Despite that little glitch, it was still an amazing birth experience, which I'll be sharing just as soon as time allows. Stay tuned!

This little peanut was 7lb 8oz and 20 inches, which means he was actually smaller than John Paul, who weighed in at 7lb 15oz at birth. And here I was expecting an 8+ lb baby. Crazy! 

Speaking of John Paul . . . 

He's already so in love with his little bro. This morning, he excitedly exclaimed "JUDE!" when he first saw him. Heart-size doubled? CHECK! And then some. ;)

By the way, it was an honor praying for all your intentions throughout Jude's natural labor. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! <3 

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