Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alright, I need help from all my army brat friends that lived in Germany. Have any of you had ANY luck in finding a recipe for fries that mimic the Raja Imbiss fries? Or doner kabobs? It's really funny to me that those were so popular in Germany and neither of them are german at all. I think the doner kabobs were turkish and the raja imbiss stand was greek? indian? Can't remember...

Anyway, I'd love to try to recreate those flavors.

It's fun to search for knock-offs that are yummy enough to satisfy cravings like that. We've made a Cafe Rio/Bajio's salad three times in the last month and a half now and it is YUM-MEE!

I also have a couple of fun books that have recipes for things like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Twinkies, Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, and stuff like that. Someday I'll remember to share the recipes we've tried....

Anyone else have yummy knockoffs they can share?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My girls are growing up. Last year Josh (my nephew) said that eating the crust on your bread doesn't grow you up -- birthdays do! Well, I would add that new siblings "grow you up" too.

Autumn is as gracious and willing as ever in her role as the oldest. She is very helpful. On several occasions now she has changed Esther's diapers for me (if they're just wet...), thrown away diapers, checked on siblings when they were out of sight and I needed to know what they were up to, read stories to her sisters, started cartoons and movies for them, and just been a wonderful helper.

Heidi loves to hold Becca. Having a new baby sister has also seemed to make her feel like more of a "big" sister. I think she sees herself more as one of the "older" ones and from that has come a new sense of confidence and importance. She is also more helpful than in past months. She is also the one who comes up to me and says, "Mom?" Yes? "I love you!" just out of the blue. Makes me smile every time.

Of all the girls, the changes are most noticeable in Esther. Her speech has exploded and I can trace it back to the day we brought Becca home. Where before if she dropped something on the floor she would have said something like, "Uh-oh! Help please?" - now she would say something like, "Uh-oh! Mom, I dropped my banana on the floor. Can you get it for me?" Seriously. Tonight she was sitting on my step-stool with her legs crossed. Autumn & Heidi were sitting across from her and she was their teacher. She said, "Now, what do you like?" Autumn & Heidi gave answers and she said looked at them very prim & proper like, sort of with the all-knowing glance of someone older, and said, "Oh. That's nice." And then she pointed behind her and said, "Now, you go play on the TV for awhile." I know -- the TV? That was weird...but it has been fascinating to watch her develop these past weeks. Her speech has grown and her playtime is also different. She didn't play like that with her sisters pre-Becca.

I have also seen Esther mimicking all sorts of motherly behavior. She has a few baby dolls. Heidi's doll has been her favorite for several days now. She walks around with the baby doll wrapped up in a blanket. I have seen her with the baby doll tucked under her shirt feeding the baby from her "belly" (her words!) as well as burping her baby. She asks to bring her baby to the store and on errands as well. And one day I found the baby doll buckled into Becca's carseat. Does every big sister go through this stage? I remember enjoying this with Autumn & Heidi too.

I have also seen indications that they are all feeling the added stress that comes with a new baby as well.
(melt-downs over rain, stealing food from the kitchen, saying no and running away, not answering until I am right in front of them with a hand on a shoulder, refusing to help, refusing to get out of the bathtub, sneaking outside without permission, lying in the baby swing, extra finger sucking, and that's from all three of them but I refuse to name names at this point...)
Their roles have shifted and they are each working to adjust to that.

Some cute things we've heard in the last couple of days:

  • At lunch today Esther's hot dog was hot and she asked Eric, "Is it done hotting?"
  • At dinner I was asking Esther about what she does in nursery and she said, "I have sumpeeng I can tell you. About nursery..." and then proceeded to talk about the toys they play with. I just love how she says "sumpeeng" and that she said "I have sumpeeng I can tell you."
  • And yesterday at the grocery store with Eric when they ended up in line behind our friend Jamison, she said in confusion, "What are you doing here?"
Oh how I love my girls! (and yet I still consider selling them on eBay every once in awhile...)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am reaching around a sleeping babe in my arms to type this post. It's not worth trying to lay her down...even though I know she just filled her diaper. Trust me, it's not worth waking her up. She might not get another nap for awhile.

I've been musing over how different each of my kids have been. There were definitely similarities, but they were also very clearly their own personalities from the beginning.

I thought since I was having my fourth baby that things would be super easy and I wouldn't have any questions. Hah! "Pride goeth before the fall", right?

Anna Rebecca is doing great. She's a sweet baby and we all adore her. When she's not crying, she's super sweet. And that does happen each day, and for a good chunk of time. I can still describe her as a happy baby.

BUT, she also goes on these big crying stints. It's lovely. (insert sarcasm) At first I thought it was reflux. I ruled that out and then realized I have an oversupply of milk and an overactive let-down (that's a whole other story and pretty funny actually). I also have figured she has a hard time pooing, which I've already written about. And she seems super burpy, also a by-product of the oversupply. All of these things I can deal with. I was changing my diet when I thought it was reflux. If that hadn't worked, I would have moved on to medication. I feed Becca on one side per feeding and sometimes for a few hours at a time (if she's eating more frequently) to help with the overactive let-down. She's getting older and seems to be having an easier time pooing. But when she needs help we bathe her, massage her, and hold her upright so gravity can have a better chance of helping out.

What I'm struggling with is the crying. With each of my previous babes, I knew how to stop the crying. I knew what they needed. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that I was their mother and I had what they needed or I just knew what to do to calm them down.

As I was preparing for Becca's birth, I was so excited and remember thinking, "I do newborns! I love this stage." I wonder if God was thinking, "Heh heh. Just wait."

I'm reading The Happiest Baby on the Block which talks all about colic (and is pretty funny when it comes to his "pro-evolution" thoughts...his theory on colic seems sound, but I don't think it needs to be based on evolution) and how to calm crying babies, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. His techniques calm her down, but they don't help her fall asleep and as soon as we stop the swaddle/side/sh/swinging/sucking she's crying again. Even after extended quiet. And the sucking doesn't seem to be going. She'll suck intermittently on a pacifier, but not with any real consistency and it doesn't seem to send that calming reflex even deeper as The Happiest Baby suggest it does.

Yesterday Eric and I talked about taking her to a chiropractor but I wonder how that would or could help? Her birth was a pretty normal birth -- would all babies benefit from seeing a chiropractor despite the circumstances of their births? Would that really help with this?

I don't really know if it's colic, per se, or if she's just more fussy than her sisters were. I have read that the definition of colic is a baby who cries three hours or more per day for three weeks or longer. I'm not sure I actually want to add up her crying spells to see how much time she cries. I don't think I want to know the answer. And either way, I'm still reading up on crying and colic and trying all the recommended things. I was also sort of under the impression that babies with colic had really rough nights and she does really well at night, especially once we started swaddling her at night.

(I will now need to change MY pants as well as Becca's when this post is over. And get her some new clothes to wear. And a different blanket to wrap her in.)

Well, I don't really have anything else to say about it. I guess I just needed to vent. And I know some of you have been there or are there. And I know one of you is a chiropractor and two of you have had miraculous results by taking a baby TO a I guess I just knew there would be some listening ears if I shared this. Any advice would be welcome too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We are moving to California!!

Eric had an AWESOME audition at USC last month and they were really, really excited at the idea of having him study there for his doctorate degree. In the music performance world, a doctorate is called a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) rather than a PhD, so I tend to just say he'll be getting his "doctorate" degree there, because it's more easily understood. Anyway, they were SO excited at USC that they gave us an absolutely amazing offer. We actually had a friend here who is from L.A. tell us that the offer we received is unheard of. So YIPPEE!

We're moving in August and have already found a place. The church is just so cool that way. The networking and all! Stanford said, "Call the Institute Director and see if there are other young families in school there and where they live."

So we did.

And there are.

And we found a house to rent.

From members.

So cool.

We will be 30 minutes from Eric's aunt & uncle and cousins. EEK!
5 1/2 hours from my sister in St. George. EEK!
6 1/2 hours from my Grandma. EEK!
9 hours from all the family and friends in the Provo area. EEK!

AND, we'll be just 20 minutes from DISNEYLAND! We'll be living on the Disneyland side of L.A., so if you ever want to visit....DO! And we'll go together!

(And if you already knew about this because you frequent facebook, now you know more of the details!)

Friday, April 17, 2009


Today I noticed that my neighbor's 3-month old has her ears pierced. So cute! It made me excited for my girls to have their ears pierced. I even toyed with the idea of piercing Becca's first. Babies with their ears pierced are just adorable.

So...I'm curious. If your ears are pierced:
How old were you when you got them pierced?
Why did you get them at that age?

If your kids ears are pierced:
How old were they?
Why did you choose that age?

If you're planning to pierce your kids ears, what are your thoughts on when?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thank you everyone for your suggestions!! I have a whole list of things we've been trying and I think things are on the up-side now. We've been using Colic-Ease (a blend of herbal oils that are all used for indigestion and flatulance...such a funny word...) and infant massage and holding her upright and things seem to be getting better a little at a time. Night times are also going well and I think it's related.

If we go backward again I'll be taking her to the chiropractor next. We've been recommended a really good one here in the area (Thanks Leah! Sorry Chris! I wish we were close enough for you to be our chiropractor...)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So far having four children is wonderful (sitting on the couch with my four beautiful girls around me) and chaotic (feeding Becca in the bathroom while bathing 3 girls), busy (playing chauffeur to gymnastics, choir, and school) and slow (it's amazing that it could feel slow but there are times where it really does! I love the days where we are home all day with nowhere we need to be and how we can just take things as they come throughout the day. In some ways it's even relaxing! Until it's traded for the chaos and business that we ALSO know so well!), loud (FOUR GIRLS!) and quiet (a sleeping baby, a sleeping toddler, and two kids playing out back), and just plain awesome (again -- FOUR GIRLS!).

Becca was born on St. Patrick's Day and Eric's mom got here the Saturday after to help out. From Tuesday to Saturday I called my sister Rae at least once a day to chat. It was SO good for me to have someone to talk to. Not about anything in particular. About everything really. But just to have someone I could call for moral support. Eric had school and rehearsals so it was pretty chaotic. We have been blessed with wonderful family and friends. We ended up with FIVE meals from friends in the area over the last few weeks.

We are so grateful Mom flew here to help us out!

She was such a huge help. Between juggling the needs of a newborn and three other girls, running errands, playing chauffeur to get Eric to school/rehearsal as well as the girls to gymnastics and choir, and feeding the crew and cleaning, we were both busy.

Autumn looks way too old in this leotard!

I'm starting to see glimpses that show she's closer to 10 than 2 -- eek!

Thank goodness Heidi's still only 5.

Even Heidi noticed the craziness in our schedule and took a nap one afternoon, at the same time as Becca.

But it's been a happy busy. And my mother-in-law is THE best mother-in-law in the world. I love her SO much. I feel sad for anyone whose relationship with their in-laws isn't what they'd like it to be. I have always been close to my in-laws and feel like they are second parents to me.

She went above and beyond in her service here as we adjusted to life with our newest arrival and found a new normal. My house is cleaner and more organized than it was before she came and I am SO grateful for her help! After moving mid-semester LAST semester as well as being 18 weeks pregnant and then four months later moving AGAIN, ALSO mid-semester and being 34 weeks pregnant, it has been a huge challenge to get everything unpacked, organized, and decorated. I was ecstatic when mom said she could help me with the projects and things I've had stacking up.

Eric's dad got here the 25th and they were both able to stay till the 3rd. We are so glad Dad was willing to help around the apartment too!

They were both really asleep!

But it didn't last very long...someone else wanted loves.

Eric has been so busy with school and the opera and we've had odd jobs waiting to be done. They were all things I could do too, but things that one adult could not do with three kids running around! So a huge thanks to Dad for putting up shelves for us, fixing our washer lid, and putting wheels on Esther's trundle bed!

"What? You took a picture in church?!"

I had to be sneaky and take a picture with my cell phone.

We didn't dress Becca in her blessing dress until sacrament meeting (not wanting to tempt fate and have her in it all morning with the possibility she'd spit up...) and I knew this was my only chance to get a picture of her with her daddy.

All four girls have now worn this blessing dress. (Thank you Gigi!)

Autumn, Heidi, and Esther giving their Easter dresses a trial run on Becca's blessing day.

We blessed Becca on the 29th. Eric was able to bless her and then led the choir's musical number and then had to leave to get to school in time for his call time. The Sunday matinee was his last performance of the opera A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is the first baby blessing Opa has been able to be part of. (Thankfully we've always been able to have family involved, but always great-grandparents and some great-uncles. Neat to have one of the girls' grandparents this time around!) It was beautiful. And a sister in the ward took notes in shorthand and will get us a copy after she writes it out. (My mom always does that when she is with us. Why is shorthand a dying art? It's so handy!) Becca did beautifully. She slept through the entire blessing and sacrament meeting. Phew!

And to finish off -- here are some pictures we've taken recently:

Opa taking a break and giving Guitar Hero a try. He had a blast! This man needs a Wii.

Esther doing one of her favorite things -- making a bed. She's lying on the piano bench.

Trying out the new swing. It's a hit.

Chilling with Daddy. She's asleep in this picture.

Watching the rain. I think this kept them occupied for a good hour!

Becca's 2nd bath.


Too cool for words.

Too cute for words.

Three of my duckies in a row.

It’s been interesting to compare Heidi, Esther, and Becca’s births and the pressure I felt. With Heidi I’m pretty sure labor was just as intense as with Esther & Becca – but I was somehow able to separate myself a little more from the pressure. I was there and I felt it, but it was sort of like it wasn’t my body? I’m not explaining this very well. But with Esther & Becca the pressure required every ounce of my attention and I focused on relaxing everything in my body that I could relax so that it wouldn’t work against the pressure from the uterine contractions. I felt with their labors that if I had allowed my mind to drift and dwell on just how intense the pressure was, it WOULD be painful. Does that make sense? I knew that if I just let it be and do its thing and work hard to relax, it was much better for me. It’s also been interesting that the KINDS of things that relaxed me in each labor were different.

Yes, I think labor is more pressure than pain. But, I think a lot of people think when I say that, that I mean it's fun and not hard. I'm not.

It's more pressure than anyone would reasonably expect.

More pressure than you think humanly possible.

Did I like the pressure? NO. Was it fun? NO.

Was it hard? YES.

But it was also amazing. I was giving birth! My body was serving a divine purpose. And my body knew what to do all on its own! I was doing something huge and working toward the delivery of a new baby. What an awesome thing that is.

It just seems like pain is the wrong way for me to describe it. I know that some of us differ on this and I think that’s great. We all experience things differently and we each know how things felt to us. I’m not telling you what you felt wasn’t pain. If it felt painful to you, I’m sure it WAS painful. I guess I’m just wanting to share my own experience of labor vs pain and also a philosophy on pain. So…take it for what it’s worth – but know that it’s just that – my experience and a philosophy.

I love all the comments I've gotten on my birth story and on the subject of pain. Thank you everyone! You guys are awesome! Some of your comments have reminded me of things I didn't mention. Here are my comments on your comments…there are just too many to reply in the comments section!

Liz, I LOVE how you said "pain is meant to communicate something. If you're able to eliminate fear and tension, and you still feel pain, that's your body telling you to find a different position or try something new so that your body can birth your baby." I have read that as well and definitely believe that pain is meant to communicate something. Usually it means something is WRONG and I love how you've pointed out that pain in labor can be your body sending a message to you to try something different!

Qait (that's Kate for anyone wondering...) mentioned induced labor and the pain that accompanies that. I think that the pain of labor that comes with induced labor doesn't fit into the "try something different" category. I felt like induced labor was so unnatural-feeling compared to the contractions that start up on their own. I'm glad I had both though and can compare. I think induced just stinks. Hopefully not too many of you have had to experience or will need to experience that. I think anyone who DOESN’T get an epidural with induced labor is crazy or nothing short of amazing – or a little bit of both!

Abbie, I have NOT read Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants but am requesting it at my library. Thanks for the recommendation! Hopefully it won’t take too long to come in. Our library doesn’t own it, but they can get it for me through interlibrary loan.

Chris asked if I noticed a difference in labor having had chiropractic care versus not. I’m not sure. I DEFINITELY noticed a difference in the pregnancy itself, but labor seemed about the same.

Heather, I think your comment deserves a longer answer than I’ll write here so I’ll be emailing you soon! Remind me of your due date so I can try to get back to you before your baby comes!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Okay, I need your help guys. I've been reading and know that for newborns it can be hard for them to poo (yep, I said poo on my blog...sorry...). Babies are actually very rarely constipated. When they seem like they are, it's because they have two contradictory jobs to do at the same time and are having a hard time doing that! They have to contract the colon and relax the bum at the same time. Instead, a lot of babies will contract both...

That leads us to my problem. Our poor little girl seems to be having a hard time figuring it out. We've had several episodes where she has been fussy for roughly 2 hours at a time because she's trying to take care of business and just can't figure it out!

I've tried baths and infant massage to help her relax...but it hasn't been successful. It might have helped a couple of days ago, but none of it helped last night. That's when it's worst -- when it hits her in the middle of the night!

Any suggestions? Any magic tricks?

Now I'm going to go back to sleep while I wait for your replies. :)

I might even snore. As Esther would say, I might "honk-shoo".

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If you're interested in using a free typing game for kids ages 7-11, go here! I think five-year olds and six-year olds might able to play it as well depending on their temperament and patience level!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I've been reflecting a lot over the sensations of labor, trying to decide if it was pain I was feeling or not.

I've mulled over the idea of "pressure, not pain" and I think that really is accurate. Labor involves amounts of pressure that we REALLY don't experience on a day to day basis. I mean, goodness, one of the uterus's MAIN jobs is to SQUEEZE your baby out! It's a muscle!

My labor with Heidi was different for whatever reasons. People say every labor is different anyway. Maybe it's my age, time of day, food eaten, music played, things I thought about...who knows! And maybe those reasons really don't matter. I think that labor with Esther was more like this time around. With Esther, because the pressure and intensity was so huge, I wasn't prepared for it. I was expecting a repeat of Heidi's birth. I really like that when labor started this time, I stayed up and found things to busy myself with. At that point it wasn't at all intense enough to require all my attention, but I think I would not have been able to sleep -- just as I wasn't able to sleep with Esther. And with Esther I was frustrated that I couldn't sleep. I really just wanted to sleep. Of course, I had just lain down to go to bed. With Becca I at least had slept two hours. But I think I would have handled things better with Esther if I had stayed awake and tried to find things to do. Oh well, right? She's a healthy two-almost-three-year-old now and she was born safe & sound! That's what really counts!

So anyway...I still find myself holding to the philosophy that labor does not have to hurt. And the biggest part of that is coming to a point where you can step back and avoid the "fear-tension-pain" cycle. Addressing any birthing issues early on and figuring out how to see things in a positive light and discard any concerns makes such a difference. And embracing and accepting the pressure that does accompany laboring. I'm not saying that labor is "enjoyable" the way watching a movie or reading a book is enjoyable. Labor is certainly intense and uncomfortable with a whole myriad of huge sensations, but I think pain is not a word to describe it. I realize that other people will differ in their opinions. Some of you will probably even outright disagree -- and that's okay! We're allowed to. :)

* And if you've noticed that I don't reference my labor with Autumn in any of these comments, that's because she was a 3-week-early-placental-abruption-water-broke-purely-pitocin-induced-threatening-c-section-ending-in-forceps-delivery. Thoughts on her delivery don't really fit what I'm talking about here. I'll save those for another day. Maybe.

The Story

If you are not interested in reading about a birth and all the accompanying details…don't read this. If you enjoy birthing stories and have been waiting for all the details, read on! I am sharing only what I feel comfortable sharing on my blog. Which is actually a lot. But having said that, there are STILL things I cut out of the story. Also, I have NO idea why the font keeps changing in this post...I've tried everything I could think of but can't fix it. You'll just have to deal with it.

And on with the show!

Monday night we went to bed at midnight. I woke up at 2am and realized I was having contractions. I decided to see if I could sleep through them. About 2:30am I called the midwives to let them know that the contractions were 5 minutes apart and that I couldn't really sleep through them. I loved Layla's response. "Well, do you want to come in? We'll be there whenever you need us to be, but it's up to you. Do you feel like you need to be here?" And I didn't feel like I needed to be there! I knew it was likely that things were beginning, but I didn't want to go in until I was a four or more. I figured I had time (and I did).

Because it wasn't easy to sleep through the contractions and I didn't want to sleep in between them only to be jolted awake by the pressure, and because I was feeling excited at the prospect of having this baby, I decided to putter around the house. I let Eric sleep because I didn't need him yet. I made granola. I played Tetris. :D And I washed all my dishes! It felt good to be productive and it felt good to be doing something. At 3am I lost my mucus plug -- I was so excited because I knew it was even more likely that I'd be having a baby that day.

After puttering around and going to the bathroom a lot, I was on my way to the bathroom when Eric said, "You should try to get some rest." He was so sweet. He knew things were cool and that I would wake him when I needed him, but every time I'd go into our room he'd say, "How's it going?" or "You okay?". He was asleep, but also on edge and aware, knowing we were probably about to have a baby. So I realized he was right and figured I'd try sleeping around the contractions. I slept like that for two hours, from 6am to 8am. Then at 8am I got up and we started our regular morning routines. I wanted to wait a bit to see how the contractions were doing so that we could see about babysitters and letting people know Eric wouldn't be at school. I think I called the midwives again around 8:45. Layla was really cute. "I was wondering what happened to you!" She again said we could come whenever and now that we were into the daytime hours, to just call first so they knew we were on our way.

Oh, and I should have prefaced this with a this time we also had no transportation. :D The transmission on our van died Sunday afternoon on the way home from church. We made it up to the gate of our complex and were about to go through it when the van started to roll backward. Yikes! But after shifting in/out of gear a couple of times, we were able to make it up the slope and through the gate. It went out a couple more times on the way to our parking spot, but we made it. Monday morning we called for a tow to the transmission shop. And thanks to Tyler & Valerie, who live near us and are also in the opera with Eric, Eric was able to get to school and rehearsal.

But, that meant here we were Tuesday morning (my due date!) without transportation. But we were blessed. On Monday I had called our Relief Society President to see if she knew anyone that might have an extra car we could borrow for a few days. She did. And they live right here in our complex. And they were more than willing. I had told them we'd swing by sometime on Monday to get it, but the day slipped by too quickly.

So now we're back on track with the story. I called Janet to see when we could pick up the car and said we were probably going to have the baby that day. She was so excited for us. :) We walked over to her place and picked up the car. Then on the way back, I stopped at another friend's (also in our ward) to see if she could watch the girls. That took care of a sitter from 9-11am. I then called my other friend (also in our ward...our complex is like the Wymount of Tallahassee, or close) and she agreed to watch them from 11am till whenever.

On the way to the birthing center the contractions slowed considerably. That made both Eric and me laugh. So typical. It's happened that way with the last three labors. We got there around 9:45 and went to the back to pick our room and get settled. Layla was already there for regular appointments but Diana was on call for deliveries and on her way in. Diana arrived around 10am and checked me. I was a 4/5, so she said 4 1/2. That was exciting to me and what I was expecting. After about 6 hours of early labor where I could do other things while laboring, I was a 4 1/2 with both Heidi & Esther. I had hoped I would be more, but knew I would be disappointed if I was less. So that worked. We talked about using the tub for labor and birth and Diana suggested we take a walk around the lake (right next door), go get a smoothie, and/or walk around the mall (down the street). She also suggested we save the tub for when I got to about a 7 and was ready to hunker down.

Sidenote: Here we are in Tallahassee, where it feels more "southern" than most Florida cities and we ended up with an LDS birth team! Diana is in our stake and in the same ward as Stanford, Eric's voice teacher and bishop of that ward. Mariah, our birth assistant and midwife student who's almost done, lives in Thomasville Georgia but commutes 45 minutes to us. She has six kids and is pregnant with her seventh. They were awesome.

We walked around the lake once, went back to the birthing center to pee (again!) and get the car to go for smoothies. We got smoothies from the mall and then went back to the birthing center. Diana checked me again and I was a 5/6. That was cool! Eric and I had both wondered how much the walking would do. When Heidi was 6 days late, we had tried walking but it hadn't seemed to help. Of course, we didn't try walking when I was actually IN labor with her, just when we were trying to hurry her along. It was very cool to be walking around and going places while in labor.

We left with our half-gone smoothies for few more walks around the lake but didn't make it very far. I had to pee. And I couldn't walk during the contractions because I had to pee! So we headed back...

And within minutes of walking back in I had three contractions that definitely required my attention. Squatting helped. We decided it was time for the tub. I don't think Diana checked me again at this point, but I can't remember. It was enough to know that the contractions were requiring more attention. She did say that sometimes the exam at that 5/6 point helps move things along.

I got in the tub around noon.

I threw up my strawberry smoothie. In two bowls.

My water broke in the tub. It seemed to me that it made a popping noise but all anyone else noticed was a swirl in the water. (I think it's similar to how we "hear" a crack when we break a bone.)

Every 10-15 minutes they checked Becca's heartrate and at this point she dropped from her usual 130-140 of the day to a 110. Diana very calmly explained that she wanted me to get out of the tub and deliver the baby on the bed so that if we needed oxygen we would already be there. I wasn't really worried, but I appreciated her calmness. I was more worried about getting out of the tub really. I just didn't want to. I knew the water being around my belly was helping me cope with the tremendous pressure from the contractions.

But everyone helped me out of the tub and Eric steered me to the bed. At that point Mariah (the birthing attendant) started applying warm compresses. Warm compresses are awesome! They felt really good and they also gave me a focal point to push toward. I don't know how many contractions or how many pushes it took.

Diana said she knew as soon as she saw the shoulder that it was NOT a small baby. :)

I was amazed at the umbilical cord this time! I hadn't really had much opportunity to notice it with other births. But it was so thick! And just really cool. And Becca was of course, beautiful. She didn't look big to me though. She just looked like my newborn. And just right. I held her in my arms and the midwives covered us with blankets as we sat on the bed. And I nursed her. And she nursed like a champ. Right off the bat. In fact, she got mad every time I tried to take her off. I think she may have nursed for the first 20 minutes. And then she pooped all over me. :) Then Eric cut the cord and got to hold her. And she peed all over him. :)

After that Diana weighed her and said she was 8 lbs 15 oz, but that at birth she had probably been 9 lbs!! (Before all the pooping!) So she said she was cool with 9 lbs. And Eric thought that was awesome. (Not that I didn't. I really didn't notice a difference delivering a 9 lb baby versus a 6 lb 10 or 7 lb 10 or 7 lb 13 baby.)

I am so happy with how my labor went. It was very similar to my others as far as total time. Less actually. But I am SO grateful I could deliver in a place where intervention was not the first course of action! I keep hearing friends talk about their recent births and am amazed at how commonplace it has become to have an IV right off the bat and to add pitocin when things aren't moving along fast enough. I love how there was no rush. I know that I felt some urgency myself, but that was just because I wanted to have my baby already! I know there are times where it is necessary to have intervention. I've been on that side of things. I'm grateful for modern-day medicine and all that it gives us. But I am also grateful that I did not need to make use of it this time around.