Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo recap!

Tell ya what - when the kids are bored and it's 5 degrees outside, here's a way to liven things up... bring a couple of twin mattresses out into the living room. Fashion a tent above them with a king sized comforter, chairs, clips and other various objects. Blow up balloons and let the kids go crazy.

Poor kiddos. They always look like overstuffed pillows in their winter duds. They love sledding, though -- and lest you think I outfit my boys in helmets for run of the mill snow fun, fear not - we were downhill sledding on a hill where a young girl actually passed away after hitting a tree a few years back. :( They really can move in this stuff, promise.


My hubby's creation:

Deep in the heart of Alaska!
These snowflake clings are really fun and easy to make, just use dimensional fabric paint on wax paper, let it dry, and then stick 'em up.
Another super easy craft even for littles, puffy scrapbooking stickers on clear ornaments. Voila!
This one is a bit more labor intensive. We loosely followed these instructions.
They turned out really pretty!
I can't get enough of the view above!
Photo evidence of why the sliding glass door is NEVER clean.

Where's baby Jesus?
We're having a most merry Christmas season!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How did three months pass me by?

Seriously. The days are long but the years truly are short, huh?

In the months (wow!) since I last posted, Chickie and I went to visit my best friend and her new baby girl in Texas. Chickie started crawling and is now standing for a few seconds on her own. (Sniff! My baybee is totally growing up. I'm sad.) She's got a super toofy smile, with 6, or is it 7 now...? little pearly whites in there. Bug is reading (!!?) and writing (!) and doing it all without much instruction or help from his mama. We find outselves leaning more toward unschooling every day. He self directs and retains so much... and he's so curious and bright. I don't want to squelch that spirit with what the curriculum dictates any given day, so we tend to meander and follow his interests. Monkey is very much 2, going on 3... I seem to recall three being worse than two with the Bug. Yikes, I am so in for it.

We're gearing up for Christmas with some serious craftin' round heyah'. The boys have been making ornaments and all manner of snowflakey-inspired items, we've had our fill of hot cocoa and Christmas movies, and I'm totally jazzed for the big day. We got the kids some things I'm really looking forward to enjoying with them and watching them enjoy. Christmas is so much fun as a mama of littles. I don't think it was even half this much fun when I WAS little. The anticipation is so fun to experience through their little eyes.

I'm working on several things.
  • My diet/health. I had some allergy testing done and discovered that I react highly to wheat, corn, and dairy. :( I also joined a gym and have been working out a few times a week.
  • Frugality/financial solvency. We switched to a cash only budget (again) a few months back, and it's a fun challenge for me, but I've realized how often I went shopping out of boredom. Not doing that has been difficult. I used to stop by a local department store or the new Target once or twice a week. Now I never go. Good for the budget, but my boredom meter is ever rising. Trying to find new things to do with three kiddos in the deep winter is interesting. Seeing the savings account grow is encouraging.
  • The art of homemaking. I'm trying to devote time to making my house our home, and doing those things I really love; decorating, scrapbooking, sewing, cooking...

Anyway. Next up, pictures!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A is for Apple

Caramel Apples, that is!

We washed.

We unwrapped.

And unwrapped some more. Great hand eye coordination activity!

Then we stirred.

Getting melty!

We dipped.

We looked in awe at such beauty.

(Yes, laugh. I know. But they are 5 and 2 after all!)

We cheesed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My little second cousin is sick.

Little Caden is just 3 years old, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia two weeks ago. Would you please send healing thoughts and prayers his way?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fort building 101.

Apparently the blue and grey coats are getting along better these days. They even share a garage peaceably in Bug's latest fort.

On birthin'

A meme meant for labor day, from Wife and Mommy.

How long were your labors?

Bug: 20ish hours
Monkey: 12 hours
Chickie: 6ish hours

How did you know you were in labor?

Bug: went to the hospital in early labor, induced.
Monkey: spontaneous ruptured membranes.
Chickie: took castor oil at home, but didn't realize I was in labor until about 2 hours before she was born.

Where did you deliver?

Bug: hospital, AK
Monkey: same hospital, AK
Chickie: my entryway, also in AK. (Ha!)


Bug: Stadol and an epidural, which wore off while pushing for.3.hours.
Monkey: Stadol and an epidural.
Chickie: None



Who delivered?

Bug: my then OBGYN
Monkey: the on-call OBGYN
Chickie: delivered into mama's hands.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One week into this homeschooling thing...

and I can honestly say I am the best teacher my son's ever had! Pftthhttt!
So seriously. We started Kindergarten last Wednesday and I want to post a review while it's fresh.

We dig Winter Promise. It's all laid out for you so nicely, read this, do that, try this. Add this if you feel like it, choose from these crafts and projects. It's really versatile, very engaging, and the books are fanTAStic!
The phonics review is very easy for Bug at this point, but I think that's a good thing. He's feeling confident and capable, and is excited about "doing school" every day. We're doing some fun games with phonics cards, and he especially enjoyed being blindfolded and having to pick the right letter from a bowl just by my saying the sound the letter makes.

The most challenging aspect of the LA part of our day is handwriting, but I only insist on one page a day, usually 4 or 5 letters, repeated 10-12 times.

I am thrilled with the Animals Encyclopedia by DK. Both Bug and Monkey will pull this out and look at it for hours. We read a few pages a day, and they won't let me get away with skipping a word, they both love to hear all about habitats, homes, bodies...

I am not as pleased with the selection of Socks as the first read aloud chapter book. The first day, I had to omit/change the words "stupid" and "idiot". We don't use either of those words, and I didn't want my sons hearing it in a story, even if the character was a grumpy big brother. It was easy enough to change to "silly" and "not nice", but it did bug me.

I am very pleased, however, with the Big Book of 5-minute Devotions. The kids really seem to enjoy the pictures and the lessons are short and easy to understand. We've had some good talks later on in the day referring to our devotions, too.
Our school day usually starts around 9:30 or 10, with devotion, prayer, and the pledge. Then we work through our read alouds for the day since we're already all piled onto the futon. After that, we move into phonics and language arts, usually ending with a craft or game.
We have a snack and I usually lay Chickie down for a nap by this time, and then we come back to work on Math - Math U See Primer. We watch the video if need be and then do three workbook pages a day. Math is coming very easily to Bug at this point, but again, I'm happy that he's feeling very confident. We'll step it up if he needs to move through a little faster to be challenged.
After Math I let him move on to doing his GeoSafari Phonics Pad, I save this even though it's part of his LA program, because he absolutely loves it, and would play it for hours if I let him. Three days a week he does Spanish with the Hooked On Spanish program from HOP.
Our total "school" time daily is about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how deep his questions go and how much time he wants to spend on various activities. He will spend time on his own working on the phonics pad and playing with his MUS manipulatives.
On Tuesday mornings we go to an open gym tumbling class, and on Wednesdays we go to the library for family story time. We're also considering a homeschool PE class during the week.
Today we made play dough, yellow at Bug's request.
We haven't had fresh dough in a few months, so the boys were pretty jazzed and played with it for about an hour.
Fresh pizzas were made, along with cut out letter names and a few weapons.

Here are some pictures of our not-yet-completed schoolroom. I have The Papa working on some rain gutter bookshelves for the wall behind this storage bench. This works well for now, but I want to have the books more accessable for the kids.

Here's where we do all of our read-alouds, pray, do our devotional, listen to music, watch DVD's on occasion... where I nurse Chickie, etc.
The worktable and craft caddy.
Computer desk, craft supplies on the shelf above.
Closet with shelving, more craft supplies, paper, etc... Games are in the top of the closet where mama can control them. This works for now, but I want a closet organizer system eventually. Monkey uses the easel while Bug works at the table most days.
So that's it. I have never felt more confident with our decision to homeschool. And Bug is thriving and excited for each new "school" day. (I always want to say "school", since this feels so much like a continuation of our life, not like something forced or strange... if that makes any sense.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh, the irony.

I borrowed The Complete Tightwad Gazette from the library a few weeks ago. Great book. Full of useful, thoughtful, interesting and creative ways to save money. Like washing out ziploc baggies, which I'm not about to do, but I digress.

We went to the library again today and as we were checking out, I was informed that I had a $1 overdue fine.

You guessed it. I got a late fee on a book devoted to frugality, dedicated to not wasting a single penny... Nice.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Camping is supposed to be fun, right?

So why am I always having to convince myself that I'm having it? Fun, that is. Consider the prep work:

Plan meals, write a grocery list, shop, pack.
Drag bags out of the recesses of the closets.
Clothes for the kids.
Toys for the kids.
Comfort items for the kids.
Various accoutrements for the baby. (Somewhere to sit -- saucer... somewhere to be in case it's muddy - pack n play... backpack carrier for hiking...)
Diapers for two. Wipes for two.
My clothes and toiletries. The Papa's clothes and toiletries. (Yes. He could do this, but I like to be sure he has his toothbrush!)

Clean the house before we leave, because there's nothing I hate more than coming home to a mess.

Make sure all of the camping gear is packed. Don't forget toilet paper!

Drive an hour to a campsite. Set up the camper. Roast weenies and marshmallows while choking on campfire smoke. Sleep (if we want to call it that) on a less than comfortable bed with a baby attached to my boob all night since she won't sleep in the pack n play.

Wake up the next morning to rolling thunder and sit under a tarp (pat myself on the back for remembering the tarp) to wait out the rain for about 4 hours before deciding to pack up and come home.

And I wonder why I find myself muttering, "We're making memories here! This is FUN. Really."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I am a fool for the school supply aisle.

There's nothing like the smell of a fresh box of 64 crayolas.

Or a pink pet eraser.
Mmmmm... Elmer's, I could sniff you all day!

I love to unwrap a new pack of wide rule filler paper, sharpen #2 pencils, and to crack open a 3-ring binder for the first time.

I was that kid. You know the one -- backpack packed two weeks before school started, new clothes all laid out for the week, up at 5 AM the first day of school, too excited to contain myself. And the nerdiness just lives on, as we prepare for our first official homeschool year with 5 y/o Bug. Kindergarten starts in just a few short weeks. We went through the magical aisle the other day, and I couldn't keep the giddy smile off of my face.

Washable markers? Check
Colored Pencils? Check
Crayons? Check
Ruler? Check

I think the real reason I always dreamed of being a teacher was the stuff. Mead composition books, peechee folders, protractors, calculators. Ahhh, bliss...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This about sums up our day so far.

My firstborn is not trying to drive me insane. My firstborn is not trying to drive me insane. My firstborn is not trying to drive me insane...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oooh! Ooooh! Melanie tagged me!

Melanie tagged me with the "six quirky things" meme!

Here are the rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag 6 other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

So 6 uninteresting quirky facts about myself are......

1. I clean out my ears at least 2 times a day, but often more. I'm q-tip obsessed. It's a sickness.

2. I can put my feet behind my head. One at a time, but I used to be able to do both at once. Interestingly, Bug has never seen his mama do this, yet he does it all the time. Weird, no?

3. I am obsessive about getting to see/open the mail first. And it's one of the highlights of my day. Sad. Even on weekends, the Papa brings the mail to me to open, since he knows the joy it gives me, and the wrath he'll suffer should he rifle through or open anything first.

4. I hate socks and will wear flipflops as far into winter as I possibly can. As long as the snow isn't deeper than the flipflops, I'm good.

5. I love to dance to good booty shaking music.

6. I have to have my feet out of the covers when I sleep, I feel really claustrophobic with the sheets tucked in at the end of the bed, so I always yank them out and kick my feet out completely.

I'm tagging...

Wife and Mommy

Long time no post...

Whoa, how did a month go by without a post? I'm so easily distracted! I've been meaning to get a few things posted, have had thoughts swirling around in my head for a bit...

But first, here's a recap of the last month or so in pics.

My little lady has two teeth and learned how to sit. She's also scootching herself all over the place backward, and rolls like a madwoman. I'm not ready for three mobile children, but there's no stopping this crazy girl.

The girl is sleeping on her own in her crib now, and going almost all night. The last week or so, she's gotten up once per night around 4-4:30 to nurse, then goes right back into the crib until around 8. I'll take it! She's such a sweetie pie, very smiley and giggley. She gets all kinds of attention with those big bright eyes and happy cheesy grin.

I love how she humors me. I'm a goofball for the hats and hairbows, you know...

Big brother love.

Grandma and Grandpa visited for a week or so in July. They met Chickie for the first time.

The boys caught a frog by the creek in the backyard.

We worked on some crafty projects.

That's about it. Just enjoying what's left of summer.

We started receiving homeschool materials last week, and I am so jazzed. Who knew it would be so much fun to open boxes of school stuff? I'll post about that soon.

We have a big camping weekend planned with a bunch of families from church, Bug is beside himself with excitement. Every morning he wakes up asking, "How many more days, mama? 3 days? I can't wait to camp!" We're going out to the same lake where we ran into a big brown sow last year... has me a bit nervous, but I'm sure all will be fine, we'll be in a large group. There has been so much more bear activity/maulings this year than usual. Has everyone a bit paranoid.

I was feeling really guilty about my poor neglected blog...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"That's BAD!"

We had a group of men digging postholes for our new fence last week. The Bug was on the deck watching them work, when he noticed that one of them was smoking.

"My mama says smoking is bad for you, but you can if you wanta!" he yelled out. I was cringing, half proud of him for remembering, half wincing that he might have been offended by my 4-year-0ld. He seemed to take it in stride, though, saying, "Yeah, it's a bad habit..."

Bug went on, "Well, you'll probably have to get a hole in your neck to breathe out of. That's BAD!"
That's my boy. What can I say?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stuck on a boat in the middle of a lagoon...

Yeah. The Papa, Bug and Monkey. They went camping this weekend with a friend of The Papa's and his two young boys. Camping on an island, about 5 hours drive on land and 40 minutes across the bay by sea...

Only as they were trying to make their way home Monday evening, the boat's motor overheated and they wound up having to bail onto a raft and make two trips back to shore. CRAZY, no? My hubby, my 4-year-old, and my 2-year-old. All while I am 5+ hours away and helpless to assist in any way other than fretting over my kids. Are they warm enough? Do they have enough food?


Happily, all's well that ended well, and they made it out the next morning via very expensive water taxi ride. And the pictures are incredible.

The view from their cabin.

A little kite flying:

The hot tub. You fill it with sea water and burn wood to heat.

Fishing hole:

I guess Monkey's favorite part was the fish they dug up for bait out of the sand:

And remember, no matter what...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I cannot comprehend the grief...

A little girl is dancing in Heaven today.

I'm praying for the Chapman family.

Chickie's unexpectedly unassisted homebirth, January 24, 2008

On Tuesday, January 22, I was 41 weeks, 6 days pregnant. Huge. Puffy. Cranky. See?

I was still feeling pretty good physically, but growing tired of waiting and wanting to meet my baby. I was also really concerned that I was going to wind up in the hospital, after months of planning for our first out-of-hospital, birth center delivery with midwives. I’d had hospital births with OB care for my two other births, including pitocin and epidurals, and had transferred my care to a group of three midwives associated with an amazing birth center at 26 weeks pregnant. I had my heart set on going to the birth center, and wanted to do everything in my power to make that happen.

Knowing my “risk out” deadline of Thursday, January 24 (their 42 weeks date was one day later than mine, and I wasn’t going to say anything!), was coming very soon, my midwife K suggested inserting a Foley Balloon catheter in an effort to help dilate and efface my cervix. At this point, I was about 1 centimeter dilated and 40% effaced. I agreed, and had the catheter placed at 1:30 on the 22nd. It is basically a balloon put in between the bag of waters and the cervical opening and filled with saline, and it puts pressure on the cervix much like the baby’s head usually does. It came out at 3:30, much to my surprise, since K had said it would likely take between 4 and 12 hours. I called to make sure she thought it had worked, and she reassured me that I was likely between a 3 and 4 and probably thinned some more. She told me she would call me the next day if I hadn’t gone into labor, to decide whether to break my water, or go forward with herbs and/or another method of helping our baby along.

On Wednesday, the 23rd, The Papa and I took Bug and Monkey to Home Depot for some serious walking. We walked every aisle! I was trying to encourage baby to move down. Then we surprised the kids and took them to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch and some fun playtime, knowing it would likely be our last day as a family of four.

When we got home, there was a message from K asking if I’d like to come in and have my water broken than evening, to give me the full advantage of having all day Thursday to labor and deliver at the birth center. We decided that sounded like a great idea and set up an appointment for 5:30.

We dropped off the boys at their grandpa’s on the hillside south of town. The Papa drove the van with the boys, and I drove the Tahoe alone. The whole way there, I spent time just talking with God and praying for a safe, easy delivery, asking Him to be with me and help me. As we drove past the inlet, there was a gorgeous red sunset over the frozen water, and I smiled, feeling such a peace from God that I was going to have a wonderful birth.

When my other midwife, B, checked me at the birth center, she found my cervix 3 cm, 70% effaced or so, and when she gave babe's head a push, it moved up enough that she wasn't comfortable breaking my water. She said she would if I were in the hospital - but she was afraid to break it, have babe move, and then have a cord issue. Also, she didn't want me to have to stay there needlessly, and she wouldn't have been comfortable sending me home with broken waters and an unengaged babe.

So instead, she suggested going home, taking 4 oz. of castor oil in Orange Juice, pumping (she lent me a double electric), and gave me an herbal B&B blend (Black and Blue Cohosh) to swish and swallow once contractions got going steadily. We decided that if it didn't kick labor into high gear within the next 8 hours, we would call first thing in the morning and I would go in to see if the babe had moved low enough/engaged enough to have my water broken the next day in a final attempt to stay at the BC.

And if all else failed – at that point, I knew I’d done everything within my power to have the babe at the BC. I was OK and at peace with going to the hospital if the “plan” didn’t work. B reassured me that she assists beautiful births in the hospital all the time, and that all would not be lost if I did wind up there. She also said she had a gal just last month who was 42 weeks, wanted to be in the BC, with an unengaged babe - she encouraged the same oil/cohosh/pumping regimen, and the gal went into labor and had a great birth at the BC.

We left the center, went to the grocery store to pick up Castor Oil and OJ, and then went out to an awesome Teppanyaki dinner. I ordered Yakisoba noodles and Fried Rice – subconsciously carbo loading? Hee. It was super yummy, and we laughed and joked and enjoyed ourselves, excited about our little secret “get this baby birthed” plan.

We got home around 8 PM, I took the castor oil in two doses, about 2 ounces in as much OJ, and then again. It wasn’t so terrible tasting, and I didn’t mind the oiliness so much, but the texture of the bubbles (I could feel them floating on top) going down was just horrid. I gagged once or twice, but got most of it down. Then we settled in to watch some movies and try to get some sleep. We watched How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and I posted online a bit, read a few castor oil birth stories, and tried to relax.

A couple of hours later, I was afraid it wasn’t going to work, since I was still feeling ok. I had pumped for about 20 minutes around 8:30 PM, and that brought on some good contractions, and an hour or so later I pumped again for another 20 minutes. Around 10:30 PM, I started getting some cramping and needing to visit the toilet, and I started to feel sick to my stomach and threw up. I started having regular contractions, around every 10 minutes or so, sometime around 11 or 11:30. They were still hard to distinguish from menstrual-type cramps, and I thought it was mostly just the castor oil doing it’s work of clearing me out. The Papa went to sleep around midnight, and I turned on Fever Pitch to distract me.

I got in the shower at 12:30 or so and would lean on the back wall during contractions, letting the water run on my low back, it seemed to help. I didn’t need to breathe deeply at this point, it was just annoying to me – I wanted the castor oil to finish up it’s job so I could get some sleep before “real labor” began.

I got out of the shower and into bed for a couple of hours, waking up about every 10 minutes or so to breathe lightly through minor contractions.

From 2:30 to 5:30AM is mostly a blur of getting out of bed to go to the toilet, getting in the shower for 15-20 minutes at a time, then going back to bed for a few contractions sitting Indian-style, rinse, repeat, over and over. I would sit on the toilet for a couple of contractions, then get into the shower, then back into bed, back to the shower, pace in the kitchen, lean over the counter. At some point, I even ran a bath and tried to lay on my side in it, but it did pretty much nothing to alleviate the contractions - I couldn’t get submerged enough - and I had thoughts of not being able to get out on my own. They got progressively more intense during these few hours, but I still wasn’t having to do much other than slow, deep breathing.

At 5:30 or so, I got in the shower and stayed in for a while. I was starting to make a little noise at the peak of each contraction, just a low “Ohhhhh” sound, imagining my cervix opening and thinking I was likely fully effaced and maybe 4 or 5 cm. I started imagining the birth center tub and thinking I wished it was time to go. Leaning on the back wall wasn’t cutting it any longer, and I started having a lot more pain in the front rather than in my back. I couldn’t have the water on both sides, and it was irritating to me.I think I got out at 6:15 or so, and made my way back to the bed. I remember putting on my bra, thinking that I would probably want to have a bra on in the birth center tub if we did go soon. (I was totally in my head the whole time – constantly thinking, focusing, telling myself I was doing well, to breathe deeply, make low noises, don’t fight the contraction, just get through this one… coaching myself. That was a major part of why I really thought I had a long way to go at this point.)

At 6:30, after a few rough contractions sitting in my bed, I told The Papa (TP), “Maybe you need to go get your cheat sheet or something?! I need some help here!” I was more irritated that he was sleeping through my laboring than anything – and I wanted some counterpressure on my back. He groggily said, “Mmmkaaay… where’s my cheat sheet?” and went off to find it. I made myself a tower of about 7 pillows on my bed at this point, and threw myself across them on my hands and knees. I wasn’t handling contractions well out of the shower, and once I knew he was up, I wanted his support and wanted him near me, touching me during contractions – just firm pressure on my low back. I started to moan into the pillows, reminding myself “low – low – low”, as I wanted to let myself yell in a high pitch.

At 6:40ish I told him I wanted to call the BC, so he did and handed me the phone when B called back. She asked how far apart my contractions were, and I said, “I don’t know, 4 to 5 minutes for the last couple hours or so?” then had a contraction while she listened to my deep breathing. She told me to time them and be sure they were all under 4 minutes apart, and then call back, that it sounded like I was close but should wait maybe another hour or so. I told TP to get out the laptop and go to so that I could time them. I knew they were getting intense, and that they were probably 4 minutes apart, but didn’t want to go in to the birth center too soon.

At this point, I was on my birth ball at an end corner of my bed, with a stack of pillows to lean on and the laptop in front of the pillows. At every contraction, I would hit the space bar to start the timer and TP would rub my back until I hit the spacebar again. We got into a great rhythm, and I started to moan loadly through every contraction, still reminding myself in my head to keep it low. TP would repeat little things I had typed up for him on his cheat sheet, “You’re doing great.” “Good sounds!” “Would you like your hair brushed?” during contractions, and I remember thinking “Shut up! Shut up! Shut Up!” but didn’t say it. He would ask me questions during contractions, and I would just shut him out, focusing on breathing. Finally, after I had ignored him long enough and he wasn’t getting it that I couldn’t focus on anything while I was breathing/moaning, I told him during a contraction, “BE QUIET, PLEASE!”

At 7:10 I told him to call the midwife again and tell them we were coming in. He got K, and she said to meet her there at 7:40. TP started running around between contractions, loading things into the truck in two minute intervals, and racing back to our bedroom to apply counterpressure.

He brought me my robe to get into for the drive over, and I stood up and leaned over my pillows, then felt the urge to poop. “Ugh, not now!” I thought, not wanting to spend any time on the toilet during a contraction. I peed a tiny trickle down my legs and started to cry, thinking I couldn’t do it, didn’t know how I was going to get to the bathroom and then downstairs and into the truck.

TP helped me get to the toilet and as we walked there, I said, “It feels like my body is pushing.” I could feel pressure and it did feel like my body was bearing down, but I thought I just needed to poop. I had fear that I was pushing against a 5 cm cervix and was going to cause myself to swell, and actively worked not to push, even told myself in my head “PANT! I’m supposed to pant!” I got onto the toilet, pulled off my pants, and asked TP to get me more. I had two horrible contractions on the toilet and had an extremely hard time keeping my moans low – my instinct was to scream, but I just cried and yelled “Aaauuuuuuugggggggghhhhhh!”

TP helped me get clean pajama pants on my legs and pulled me up, guiding me toward the stairs. I saw the laptop at the top of the stairs and asked, “Did you get the cord? It won’t last long enough without the cord!” (Totally ridiculous! I was thinking about the laptop cord at 7:35, heavy labor, on my way out the door to the birth center.) He reassured me that he had already packed the cord in the truck.We got downstairs into the hallway between the front door and the garage, and I got hit with the worst contraction yet. TP was holding my three pillows in one arm and trying to support me with the other, and I sank into one wall. I yelled, “I need to poop. I’m pushing! My body is pushing! I’m going to poop!” When that contraction was over, another one seemed right on top of it, so I leaned into the other wall and then said, “The baby is coming. We’re not going to make it. The baby is coming!” I could feel the head moving down, feel my pelvis opening, and TP helped me down onto my knees. I yanked my PJ pants down to my knees, leaned forward a bit, and put my left hand down to feel the baby’s head sliding out. I guided the head and my body just pushed it right into my hand. I looked up at my husband and said, “Look, honey, the head is out…” He looked and then looked right at me, wide-eyed and smiling. I think I said, “Maybe we should call 911…” (He had the same thought just before I said so - that if anything was wrong, we wanted someone there, fast.) Almost immediately, the shoulders slid through and then the baby was completely out, warm and wet and slippery in my hands. The water bag broke as the shoulders slid through. I heard a little gurgle, and I rubbed the baby’s back for a couple of seconds, until I saw the arms jerk a bit and heard a cough and little cry. Then I turned the babe over and said, “The baby! Here’s the baby!” I noticed the super-long cord was loosely around the back of the neck and down between the legs, and thought I should unloop it. When I moved it from between the legs, I realized that we had a little girl, and said, “Oh, honey! It’s a GIRL! We have a baby girl! We have a -----(name)! I can’t believe it!”

TP had gotten the phone and dialed 911, and almost immediately after he did, I said in my blissed out, just gave birth joy, “Oh, we don’t need them. Never mind. Just hang up… I’ll just call my midwife and she’ll come here…”

The 911 operator wouldn’t let him off the phone and asked if everyone was breathing, told him to find a clean shoelace (Ha!), cover me and the baby with blankets or towels, and that the paramedics were on the way. I asked TP to hand me his cellphone so that I could call K. I dialed her and told her that the baby was here, and she said she’d be right over in a few minutes.

Within 10 minutes, two paramedics arrived and came in the front door to find me holding my little towel and blanket wrapped bundle right by the front door. They were so incredibly wonderful, stayed back, offering assistance but not insisting on helping in any way. They asked if I wanted them to clamp the cord and I said no, that I’d rather wait, and that my midwife was on the way. They were tickled and so excited for us, and didn’t even come close enough to bother me. They never touched the babe, just peeked to be sure she was breathing and had good color. They asked what time the baby was born. TP and I just looked at each other and giggled. We later estimated it to be 7:39, based on the time of our 911 call at 7:41. They even offered to go outside so that I could get moved back up to my bed. (I was getting pretty uncomfy, sitting in the hallway all cockamamie.

First picture, about 10 minutes old:

I passed the baby to TP and wrapped a towel around me and through my legs, and then we slowly made our way upstairs. The cord was so long, and I’m sure we were a sight, TP trooping up with a towel wrapped babe, me with the cord swinging between my legs. I got set up in bed with pillows and towels, and my brand new little girl set right to nursing before my midwife arrived, and didn’t stop for nearly three hours.

K arrived around 8:10 and sent the paramedics away with many thanks. She checked us over, helped me to deliver the placenta, checked me for tearing (just a couple tiny skidmarks! Woo!) and told us we did fabulously.

About 30 minutes later, B arrived along with one of the birth assistants, and they busied themselves doing laundry, making me breakfast, and running the babe and I a wonderful herbal bath. They stayed for about 3 hours, and we had such fun just going over the crazy events of the morning. Everyone was so excited and happy for us, and we were overwhelmed and in awe. We had a baby, at home… A girl… Just so amazing.
The rest of our babies will be PLANNED homebirths!