A Birth Story

Friday, December 27, 2013




The long awaited day has finally come and gone! I was starting to think I would be pregnant forever but I knew he eventually had to come out, no matter how comfortable he was in there! I love hearing other women's birth stories so I am excited to share with you all the details of mine(well maybe not all) Every birth is a miracle and I never want to take them for granted.

This Christmas time has reminded me of the humble birth story of our Savior. He came to earth as a helpless little baby.  He could have  came any way he wanted but he chose to come as we do into the world and experience all of our weakness', temptations and pains.  He was God yet at the mercy of men. Eventually he grew into a man and was killed for our sins at the hands of men but in the ultimate will of God.  He defeated death and was raised up into heaven where he now sits at the right hand of God. We wait now for him to make all things new!

This is my hope in bringing a new life into the world!

 I have looked with much anticipation to the birth of my fifth child but I have also been dreading it.

I have been extremely blessed to have had all natural births with no complications but I don't pretend to like the pain that comes along with it. So at the end of my pregnancy I just wanted to get it over with.

My due day came and went; which was nothing new for me since all of my children have been late. It actually gave me some extra time to get everything ready but I was driving everyone and myself crazy trying to keep everything perfect, so I was ready to finally bring my baby home to his perfect abode...whether he realized it or not!

At my last appointment with my midwife I wad 3 cm, so I knew it had to be soon. I have been 3centimeters with all my pregnancies before going into labor.

I was very thankful to make it past Thanksgiving( who wants to eat  hospital food on Thanksgiving?) but my birthday was coming up and truth be told...I didn't want to share it. What can I say? I like having a day all about me.

                          

On my eighth day overdue I worked out in the morning(hoping to get things moving), went for a long walk that night and even ran into target for some necessities. I couldn't fall asleep until 12:00 and then at 3:00, I started getting some regular contractions.  I didn't want to get my hopes up and tried to rest but they started getting stronger. I woke my husband up and he started timing them and we knew this was it! 

Yes, it was my birthday but I didn't care! I was so excited to finally hold my baby in my arms! I was happy to let him steal the show!

The contractions weren't really painful, just uncomfortable. We called my  mother in law to come over and watch the kids( thankfully she lives only a block away) and got ready. I was hesitant to go to the hospital right away but my husband was insistent since I have always gone very quickly.

We arrived at the hospital at 4:30. My contractions weren't that consistent but  they were getting stronger and more uncomfortable, but still not painful.  The nurse checked me and I was already 6 centimeters!! By the time they got me hooked up to the monitor and filled up the birthing tub it was 6:00. Yay! I was almost there! I was starting to get anxious the tub wouldn't be ready in time but thankfully it was. The midwife finally got there and asked me if I wanted my water broken, which I declined since my last 2 births my water didn't break and they both came out in their sack. Those were also my easier births, slower and not so intense in between contractions.

At 6:30 my water broke and my contractions started getting harder, where I was starting to really moan and groan.Transition was upon me! I think I only had about 5 really hard contractions and then he was there, ready to come out! I couldn't believe it! My Pandora was playing "Revelation Song" and boy was he ready to be revealed!!

At the point where the baby is crowning I pretty much black out and just want that baby out. I don't know how some mothers actually pull their babies out themselves! My midwife's only big job is getting the baby out and I am happy to let her do it!

Yes, I pushed but not that hard... I was focused on not tearing and I knew the baby would eventually come out. His shoulders got a little stuck, so she had me stand up and my husband held me up. I gave one strong push and he was out!!!

I couldn't believe it!! That was it??

God totally answered my prayers above and beyond what I imagined! Wow! I think I could do this again! After my last birth I said, I never wanted to do that again, of course my husband said don't think about that right now. I am glad I changed my mind and was able to have this beautiful experience. No, it wasn't completely free of pain, but like I prayed, it was as painless as possible.

There he was on my chest!!!

 Brand new and so full of life!!!

I have to say the moment I push that baby out relief  and joy fills my being!!! It is such an amazing experience! I always thought I would cry when I saw my babies for the first time but with each one I am just in awe and excitement. All I can do is  gasp with joy," Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus!!!" I think I am pretty much in shock. That extra weight I have been carrying around this whole time is actually a precious little person! It is such a miracle!!

The best birthday present ever!!


Little Luke! You have to admit he is a looker!


The best Daddy ever!


At that moment when I am holding my precious baby, only minutes old...I  am reminded why my husband and I keep doing this... its all worth it!!...all the pregnancy hormones, the extra weight, the looks from strangers, the tighter living space, the sleepless nights...bringing a new life into the world is one of the most rewarding and joyful experiences!

When my husband and I are in our home together with our children around us, we are filled with love for each other, our children and thanksgiving to God for all He has blessed us with! God gives the best gifts... far better then we could ever plan or imagine!!


                              

"Every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17






Sweets to Make and Give for Christmas

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I know its only 3 days till Christmas but I couldn't let it pass without sharing my favorite sweets to make and eat  give for gifts. I have to confess I usually have to make 2 batches because I we usually devour the first batch before it even gets in the gift bags.

Trust me these recipes are just too good to keep all to myself.  They will astound your taste buds and you might find yourself with an addiction problem. ( Good thing I only make them once a year!) If you decide to take my word for it and make some yourself, you will find that everyone you give them to will ask for the recipe.

Its so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas and forget that we should actually have a happy heart that wants to give. We shouldn't give just because we feel its expected of us and its just what everyone does this time of year.  It's not how much money we spend or even the time put in that counts, but the thought. The best gifts are the gifts that you find joy in giving and know the recipeient will enjoy and want. These are those kind of gifts!:)

I first discovered these amazing Peppermint Bark treats over at soulemama and she got the recipe from Orangette
Ok , you can wipe the drool off your chin now







The only thing I changed is that I used almond bark instead of white chocolate( its cheaper and my inexperienced palate still loved it) But you are welcome to use real white chocolate if you wish, I am sure it does taste better. Also make sure you do not heat the bittersweet chocolate and cream to fast or it will thicken and be hard to spread.




I put them in the fridge in plastic containers until I am ready to package them. I gift them in Ziploc bags  and then place in paper bags with this pretty printable from biblicalhomemaking.

So please check out this recipe! You will thank me later!

I also have to share this Carmel Almond Popcorn from Martha Stewart. It is also a Christmas staple in our home and makes great gifts! I adapted it a bit.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheets


  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil/ I use olive oil     
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup / I use honey 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Directions

    1. Step 1

      Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter 2 rimmed baking sheets; set aside. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl. Add almonds; toss.
    2. Step 2

      Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer drizzle some of the mixture into a cup of water, if it forms into individual shapes you are good to go. Its called the softball stage.
    1. Step 3

      Remove from heat. Stir in extracts, salt, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Line sheets  with aluminum foil and butter, this will save you a lot of clean up later!  Divide between prepared sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.


    Merry Christmas!.. and remember you don't have to make these treats or give the perfect gifts to have a great Christmas(God already gave us the most perfect gift of his son Jesus!!)...but they sure do make it sweeter!






    Last Minute Christmas Gifts to Make for and with Kids

    Friday, December 20, 2013

    This Christmas I had envisioned having all my presents  bought, made, wrapped and  under the tree while enjoying all the festivities before the big day,(read more here) but somehow time got away from me( or maybe I procrastinated). It might have had something to do with just having a brand new baby! (who is snuggled up on me now:)

    We have a really big extended family, which I love! But buying presents for them is not in our budget so I try to get creative and make as much as I can. Being that my time is limited I have opted for things that do not require a lot of it and that the kids can help with.

    We usually give family gifts which  include something the whole family can use and our honey that my husband harvest from our own bees. But the kids really wanted to give their cousins presents, so I found this easy and inexpensive recipe for flubber that the kids had fun making.

     


    The kids had fun making and playing with this
    flexible dough.
    store in airtight containers

    we added the food coloring too late so the color is very muddled. Make sure you add it before you put the borax in!

    They have been so excited about receiving presents that I was thrilled to help them in giving.

    Our Charlie Brown tree, we cut off of our property. I have no idea what is in most of those presents.


    I have been surprised how many gifts there were under the tree since Daddy and I only wrapped a few so far. I found out they have been going around the house looking for things they could wrap up and give to each other. I think they just like wrapping and opening things. Maybe next year I will just wrap some of their toys they have forgotten about...they would probably be just as excited.


    Homemade Belly Balm

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013



    I don't know about you but I really don't like stretch marks! They just don't compliment my skin. Unfortunately I do have some and have learned to embrace them as my earned beauty marks of being a mother,  but I wouldn't miss them if they were gone. So when its that time again for me I try to lather my belly up to help resist those little marks from popping up. Though there is no magic lotion to guarantee that you won't get them, I say do what you can to prevent them.

    I had planned to make some belly lotion in the beginning of my pregnancy but just never got around to it,(hmm.. I wonder why?) so I just used coconut oil. I love coconut oil and it works great but I wanted to incorporate a powerhouse of natural skin repairing ingredients into my very stretched abdomen.   So... the day before I finally had my baby I found some time to make it. Well at least I got to use it on my baby belly for one day!

    It really doesn't take long to make and is so easy!

    Though my little guy is on the outside now I still use the lotion on my post partum tummy, face and body. It works great!

    It is so moisturizing and healing!

    Here's how you make it:


    Ingredients:

    1/2 c .Coconut oil- great at repairing injured and damaged skin tissue
    1/4c. Shea Butter- helps beautify, heal and protect skin
    1/8c. Cocoa Butter- very moisturizing and loaded with skin protective properties
    2 Tbs. Beeswax-
    1 Tbs. Vitamin E oil blend- heals, nourishes and protects skin

    I doubled the recipe for myself but this should make enough to fill a baby jar.

    I used coconut oil from mountain rose herbs
    I purchased the shea butter from amazon
    The Cocoa butter I bought from a local herb store but you could buy it on amazon also
    The beeswax is from our own bees, but if you don't happen to have your own apiary then you could also buy some from amazon
    I used  Jason vitamin E oil bend, you can purchase it at your local health store or online







    1) Simmer some water in a pot and put a glass bowl on top to melt your ingredients in.

    2) Add first 4 ingredients and when melted add vitamin E oil

    3) Pour into container

    4) Let cool and harden

    It should look like lip balm, disappear into your skin and have a nice soft consistency.  You can add an essential oil if you like but I love the smell of the coconut oil and shea butter. I am not to big a fan of the smell of the cocoa butter but its effects on diminishing and preventing stretch marks are worth it.


    That's it!!

    Enjoy your baby bump and body with this softening and healing balm! ( minus the stretch marks!)
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