Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bethany's Birth Story

Bethany's Birth Story

We got pregnant with baby number 3 in November 2011. I remember taking the pregnancy test and then reading a magazine on my bed while I waited for the results. Mike came upstairs and asked me what the results were and I honestly hadn't even been thinking about it. He went into the bathroom and I heard “Oh man”. I thought he was just being a smart-ass so I went in there ready to smack him when I saw the “pregnant” on the test. Wow. We were about to become parents of 3.

Pregnancy was pretty easy. Not really any morning sickness. Slow weight gain. Lots of baby movement. Lots of heartburn. I ate tums every day and guzzled milk out of the jug. I knew I wanted to have a different birthing experience than the last one and since Mercy's was so quick, I decided I wanted to try a natural birth. My friend Nicole had 2 of her kids naturally and after talking to her and doing some research online, I found a HypnoBirthing instructor and signed Mike and myself up for classes.

It was a 5 week course, one night a week for 3 hours. We got a book, a CD with the “Rainbow Relaxation” and a binder that had some scripts to help us get into a relaxed state. Taking the classes encouraged me to stick with it and I listened to the Rainbow Relaxation every night to fall asleep. I don't know what the script said after 5 minutes because I was always asleep. I was told this was ok, that I was still getting the benefits of the script even if I was asleep. I found music at the library and burned it onto my computer and Mike's old iPod. I was “ready” to have a baby naturally.

My original due date was August 3, 2012. We had 2 possible dates of conception, and I guess the 4 days in between but I was positive that my charting was accurate and we were going to have a baby on the 3rd. When we went in for the first appointment, Dr. Kirkman said baby was measuring about a week bigger to they changed my due date to July 30th. In my heart, I knew the baby was coming in August.

When we went for the 20 week ultrasound the tech asked us what our guesses were. Mike said “It's a girl” and he was right. We were going to have THREE GIRLS! Mike claims I owe him a new gun. Originally we had planned on naming our baby Justice so we'd have Grace, Mercy and Justice. A few weeks after we found out it was a girl, Mike said he didn't like that name. He didn't want to be trapped in a theme with our kid's names. So we spend the day thinking of new names. He like Imogen. I liked Adelaide. Grace like Rockface and Post Office. That night at Palm Sunday Mass, during the reading, the mentioned the town of Bethany. I pointed it out to Mike and he looked at me and nodded. We had picked our baby's name.

The rest of the pregnancy went fine. I was working as a manager at Beehive Grill and got busted a few times hauling kegs around. I didn't slow down, just like I didn't with the other pregnancies. I had Braxton Hicks contractions basically the whole time, but nothing that worried me. My last day of work was July 21st. My boss was afraid I'd go early, so I used up my vacation time so I could rest and nest the week before I was due. This time around I didn't try to induce myself at all. I did mow the lawn a few times, but that didn't do anything.

I was positive my water was going to break at home. I kept waiting and waiting. On the 30th I stuck around the house with the girls waiting for signs of labor, but I barely had any contractions. I had my next appointment on the 31st with Dr. Blackett. Dr. Kirkman was out of town (AGAIN!) and if the baby came that week then I was told either Norda or Blackett would deliver. She looked over our birth plan and approved it (it was already signed by Dr. Kirkman so I'm glad we had a second approval). At that appointment I was dilated to 3 cm and 90% effaced. She asked if I wanted my membranes stripped but I declined and decided to wait it out. My next appointment was on Monday with Kirkman if baby hadn't come sooner.

At home I lounged around. Had a few mild contractions but nothing too worrysome. Around 5:30 I started having some painful contractions. I didn't remember contractions hurting like that. I laid on the couch and would breathe through them (about 20-30 min apart). Mike asked if he should take the girls to Jamie's but I was certain the baby wasn't coming until Friday so I said no. Then he went to the store for dinner for the kids. Around 7:00 I asked him to start writing down the times of my contractions so we could have a better judgement. They were about 15-20 min apart. I had some bloody show which I figured was from being checked earlier that day. I went upstairs to listen to my relaxation stuff and relax in a warm bath. It helped a little. Contractions were staying about 10-20 min apart.

At 10:00 I told Mike I thought he should take the girls to Jamie's. That way we weren't taking them in the middle of the night if something happened and if nothing happened then they would have fun with a sleepover. I got back in the bath while he took them. When he got back, I wandered around the living room, rocking out the contractions while leaning over the couch. My water hadn't broken yet so I didn't think I was in actual labor. Mike asked if I wanted to go upstairs and do some scripts and relax. We went through a few and it was around 11:30. My contractions has slowed to every 20 min so I suggested we just get some sleep and see what happens. He downloaded an app on his phone and would press the start button every time I told him. I fell asleep between each contraction but they were staying pretty steady at 15-20 minutes.

At 1:00 I got up to pee and had a contraction. Then 5 minutes later another one. I went downstairs to rock it out on the couch again and had another one. The 5 minutes in between lasted for about 30 minutes before I yelled up to Mike that it was time to go. We grabbed the stuff and headed into hospital. I only had 1 or 2 contractions in the car and I didn't even swear :)

Got to the hospital and to our room around 1:45. I explained I didn't want to be hooked up to monitors or an IV and they were ok with that. I got a hep-lock (IV Port with no IV) incase of an emergency and changed into my gown. They took a base monitor of my contractions and baby's heartbeat. Laying on the bed while being monitored sucked. The contractions were extremely intense and not being able to move made it worse. When they were done, they checked me (4 cm) and let me move around. The birthing ball was great. I do remember telling myself I couldn't do it. I was going to wuss out.

The nurse left us alone for about 45 minutes and I listened to my iPod and rocked on the ball. When she came back, I got hooked up to monitor again and I was checked again and at a 5.

When I got back on the ball, Mike read a script and did light touch massage on my back. This was the most relaxed I had been. The contractions were do-able and I felt like I had more control over this. Then I had to get back on the monitor. That interruption made it hard to get back in the zone and I elected to stay on the monitor for a bit. The next contraction she checked me again and I was at 7 cm. Contractions were steady between 10-15 minutes apart. It was a little before 4:00 am. I broke down and started crying. I didn't know how I was going to make it and I told Mike I needed drugs. I know he was disappointed in me but the pain was the most intense thing I had ever been through. Those who say kidney stones are worse than birth (and I used to say that) are wrong. I'd rather have 15 kidney stones than a contraction.

The nurse came back and I told her I wanted an epidural. She called the doctor. While I waited, she gave me fentinal for some immediate relief. It helped a little. The doc gave me the epidural while I was laying down on my side, in the fetal position. Both previous epidurals were done while I was sitting up and hunched over. I started feeling slight numbness on my legs. The next contraction came and the nurse broke my water (didn't happen at home, go figure). It had meconium in it which meant no baby to chest. They'd have to suction her and check her vitals. I was sad, but wanted to make sure she was healthy. Next contraction still hurt. I hit the button for more drugs. Next contraction came and it still hurt. Doc came back in and gave me more drugs. Something wasn't right. My legs weren't as numb as they had been with the previous deliveries. Basically I got an epidural for nothing since it didn't work. When she came back in to check on me, she had called the doc. It wasn't Norda. It was Dr. Fowers. This scared me since he had delivered Grace and I felt like we got pressured into things because we didn't know the options. I was also nervous about getting an episiotomy since he gave me one with Grace without asking me. I'd rather tear naturally than be cut. He came in with the nurse and when I had the next contraction, it didn't stop hurting. The baby had dropped and was crowning. I was ready to push. Well, my body was. I wasn't numb enough and scared out of my mind.

I remember the most intense pressure and pain I had ever had in my life. They told me to grab my legs and push, but I guess I grabbed Mike and was freaking out. I screamed “Get this baby out of me!” My nurse told me to breathe and Mike told me to breathe. When I finally did, and pushed, the baby came right away. One push and she was there at 4:59 am. The relief I felt at that moment was incredible. I can only imagine how amazing it would have been to have Bethany put right to my chest but they had to suction her and clean her. Her umbilical cord was also tied in a knot. Thankfully it was a loose knot and probably happened during the drop into the birth canal or late in the 3rd trimester. The doctor was in my way of seeing the baby, and I guess I said “Give me my baby” at some point. I had so much adrenaline coursing through me, I was shaking. I had to wait about 15 minutes to hold her. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life.

I was expecting a 10 lb baby but she surprised us and was only 5 lbs 15 oz and 19” long. Such a tiny thing! Thankfully the meconium got cleaned out and she was perfectly healthy. From the point of “intense” contractions until delivery was about 12 hours. I only spent 4 of those laboring in the hospital. Not the birth plan we had envisioned, but I couldn't have asked for a healthier or more perfect baby. Bethany Lynn arrived August 1st, 2012 (I was right...she came in August!) She is definitely my baby.

USU Mini Cheer Camp

A few of my hosts are cheerleaders at USU and they hosted a mini cheer camp a few weeks ago. I was going to have Grace do one last year but the timing was off, so I was excited that she'd be able to go this year.


She's such a ham anyways, but she had a blast. The routine was cute and she even saw some girls that go to school with her so she had some friends. The performed at halftime at a USU basketball game and I thought she'd be nervous but she was so excited.

Here's a few shots of the practice:

Bethany and I just hung out:

Participation was only $15 and it included a ticket to the game for her, plus a T-shirt and the 3 hour mini camp. Not too bad for a morning of fun. They colored and had cookies for a snack. And then they played some games. Lastly the cheerleaders and Aggiettes performed for the kids before they practiced their routines. Here's some shots during the dress rehearsal:

And my camera does have a video option but it only got about 30 seconds. Here's a little bit of the routine:

So we were indecisive about which kids to take with us to the game, if any. I figured the baby would be easy because I could Moby her but Mercy's being...well 2. I was going to have someone watch her, but then never really set anything up and then I figured in a worse case scenario we'd just walk around the upper walk until halftime was over and then go. 

We get to the stadium and it's raining. We get inside and we're soaked. I take Grace to where she's supposed to meet. Thankfully I knew cheerleaders or I probably wouldn't have done this. I know we're in Cache Valley and it's pretty safe, but there are still some creepers out there. But I knew the girls would watch out for her. I met Mike back at our seats which were on the other side of the stadium. The parent section was pretty empty and luckily no one sat near us so Mercy got her own seat even though she didn't have a ticket. Bethany wasn't really feeling the Moby so I just held her. 

Mercy loved clapping along and she was even semi-doing the Scottsman. It was cute.

I snuck a granola bar in for her. Not sure if that was allowed but oh well. Bethany was fairly good. I did get up and change and feed her cause there was no way I'd be able to figure out how to nurse her discretely in the stands. Those seats are packed in there.

Halftime started and I wish we would have known they were performing to the students. So Grace was super far away and we didn't have good visual. But thankfully, at the mini camp one of the mom's told me to put a bright colored flower or bow in Grace's hair so she'd be easy to spot. We did! Can you see her? Her flower was bright pink :)

In the end, she had a blast. When the kids laid down and kicked their feet, the crowd let out the biggest "awww". I have video on my facebook page. It's from far away, but you get the point right?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee

BzzAgent sure knows how to treat a mom right. Free coffee samples? Yes please! Tell everyone how awesome Green Mountain Coffee is? Sure thing. Let people know about Fair Trade? Ummmm. Huh?

This campaign is for Green Mountain Coffee. I had heard of them, but never tried them before and was excited to try it out. This campaign is also about Fair Trade which I had heard of but never really looked into. When I think "Fair Trade" I think hippies and granola and greenies and not me. So I decided to do some research (while drinking my free coffee samples, of course. More on that later).

So Fair Trade is pretty basic: Make sure the workers are paid a "fair" price for their products to help their sustainability. So no buying things from sweatshops in China and stuff. It helps producers in developing countries have better trading conditions. This is pretty awesome. This also means it's pretty pricey. I wish I could give you a cost for a bag of Green Mountain coffee, but SMP only had "k-cups" and alas, I'm still without a Keurig. I don't shop much anywhere else, so not sure where else in the valley you could find some. I love the idea, but for a family of 5 on a tight budget, I'm not sure if I could justify paying more for coffee. We're not really coffee snobs per say, we just like name brand stuff that's on sale (think Folgers, Maxwell House, Yuban usually). But..... there are some way awesome things about the Fair Trade movement and it's affect on coffee. In order to be qualified as Fair Trade coffee, the commodities must stick to strict sustainable agro-ecological practices, which in English means less chemical fertilization, ways to protect the forests and ways to prevent erosion. That's pretty cool. So not just anyone can claim to be "Fair Trade" because they have decent wages. Also, this means that FT coffee is more often than not organic.

So let's talk Green Mountain Fair trade. You MUST check them out. Here's a link to their Facebook page so start there. Then check out this video of Grace Porter. Love her name (ok so I'm biased) and the video is pretty interesting too. Helps you learn more about Fair Trade. And her music is pretty awesome too. There's also this video of Michael Franti. And on November 13th Green Mountain is going to replay his concert on thier FB page so tune in!!

Ok let's talk coffee.

I'm not going to lie, we drank this coffee up fast. So fast in fact that I didn't get a chance to get some pics. And I gave Mike's dad a sample pack to take home and try. I was going to buy some more but like I said before, Smith's only had k-cups. Then I happened to get another free sample in the mail! I forgot that I signed up for one a few weeks ago. Win! So time for a photo-op.

Mercy was smelling it. She's like her mom and likes to smell coffee :)
And apparently she thinks she can read. Checking out the back and all about the Fair Trade and Organic-ness of it.

So I brewed a pot (aka 8 cups). DELICIOUS. I'm not a coffee snob, but this is some good coffee. I had tried it before and didn't really notice a difference from what we usually buy, but this time I put less sugar and cream in it so I could really taste the coffee. 
My favorite coffee cup. Gotta love the floating head so you know how full to fill the cup. 
Mercy needed another smell. She wanted to sip it and if I thought she wouldn't like it, I'd let her. However, all my luck I'll have a 2 year old addicted to coffee and I don't need that!

Anyway, the coffee is great, but probably pricey so who knows if we'll buy it and like I said before....only k-cups. Man, I need a Keurig. BzzAgent should have a campaign for those :)

I get free samples to try and share because I'm a BzzAgent.