Monday, September 30, 2013


Let's keep this short and sweet, shall we? I've been having lots 'n lots of pressure waves. (That's what we call contractions in hypnobirthing). I've been walking 1 to 2 miles everyday and when last checked, I was 3cm dilated, 75% effaced. I'm praying this will happen soon. If you could toss a prayer up for me and baby that this birth is just round the corner, I would be so grateful! 

I don't have any before pics handy right now, they are on the camera, which is in the baby bag, which has already been put in the car. So maybe this is kinda lame without the "before and after" effect, but, here is the baby's room! 

This wall used to be purple and there was no way we could leave it that way now could we?! 

Decorating the wall is still sort of a work in progress. I will be adding more framed pictures once the baby has his newborn photo shoot. 

The comforter is actually a down comforter from Land's End that I've had since college. It is still in good shape but again, I did NOT want purple in this room! And it just needed a face lift in general. One duvet cover later, and bam! New down comforter! I'm so in love with it. I also love having a twin bed in the baby's room. It allows the room to double as a guest room when grandmother's/aunts/or Luke's boss come to visit and the pack n play and changing table just get pulled into our room. Hailey was asking me today if she could sleep in here with the baby. Cute. But no. 

I am SO in love with his room. I have never really decorated a nursery for any of my babies. Hailey's room in CO had similar colors to this, it wasn't very girly, it was more gender neutral, green and brown. But it was cozy and calm and I would look forward to spending time in there. That is kind of my goal for a nursery for me. I've never done a theme or had matching decor. It just has to be very warm and inviting, and have calming feel to it. My sister painted the most beautiful picture of the Blessed Mother pregnant for my birthday 2 years ago and ever since then it has hung in the baby room.

I would say the room actually is built around that painting. It is hung where I can see it from the lazy boy rocker and the colors in it are the same as the colors in the room. I also always do a pregnancy photo shoot to remember the precious time carrying each child and to show them later when they were in Mommy's tummy. Each life is such a gift and I need these reminders during those very trying moment's of pregnancy! So the room kind of becomes a mother/baby sanctuary of sorts, looking to our Mother Mary for help. The image of her often reminded me to pray a decade of the rosary during those frequent night feedings.

Anyway, I shall continue to sit here on my birthing ball waiting for these pressure waves to get stronger. They have seriously been like 10 minutes apart all day! Thank you again for those prayers!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hopes and Prayers!

I'm starting this week off with very high hopes and lots of prayers. My due date is the 29th and my prayer is that this baby will come on time. I'm going to be praying a novena to St. Therese for this intention, so if you will be praying the novena by chance and could add a little extra prayer for me, I would be so so grateful! :)

I plan on doing a lot of walking and trying other natural means of starting labor. Do you have any tips? I'd love to hear them!

Casey's Birth Story

This boy was so cute in his new (thrifted) cowboy boots today. 

 I didn't have a blog to share Casey's birth story on at the time of his birth. But I looked it up the other day and really enjoyed reading, and remembering his birth. It was difficult but beautiful. If you don't like reading birth stories, please don't feel like you need to read it. 

I use a natural birthing method called hypnobirthing, specifically I use an at home study course called Hypnobabies. If your  preggo and interested, the website is here. It has worked extremely well for me and I'm so excited to use it again for this birth. 

However, please know, I am not one of those people that thinks natural birth is the only way, all women should birth this way, etc, etc. Not at all. Each and every mother who gives birth does so in the way that is best for her. I don't judge at all! 

Casey's Birth Story - 11/19/11

My "guess date" of November 7th came and went and we all waited with growing anticipation for our little son to be born. I was getting increasingly antsy by trying not to think about it. At my doctor's appointment on Monday the 14th, I was 1.5cm dilated, 50% effaced, nothing special and they could even strip my membranes. So all week I did everything  could to get labor going. I walked, (including up a very long steep hill behind our house, it was brutal!) are spicy food, crawled around on all fours and on Thursday at my appointment, no progress whatsoever. The day before, I was even hoping on one foot occasionally (worked for a friend of mine who was 41.5 weeks before she has her son). I felt like I was trying to shake him loose or something!

So at this point I was 41 weeks and 3 days and the doctors and midwives at our practice were saying that they couldn't really let me wait any longer for labor to come on its own. However, they couldn't induce me really because of the risk of uterine rupture and induced contractions can be extra strong and powerful. You can't do induction on a formerly cut open uterus. Yet, they couldn't let me continue and wait it out till her is born on his own, because also letting him continue to grow inside me (stretching the uterus larger) apparently also increases the risk of uterine rupture. So we were in bind.  And it didn't help that at our practice of 6 OBs and 6 midwives, they were all differing in opinion of what to do! Talk about NOT helpful! Some of them were comfortable doing a form of "low dose pitocin" induction, others were not. I just wanted to do what was best! So we decided to go with the midwife and OB who were on call together on Friday, the 18th to do the low dose pit induction. I was 2 cm dilated so I wasn't starting from zero which was good and I had been having contractions off and on for basically the past two weeks so we were all hopeful it would “take” and work! 

I was very positive and excited when I went to bed that night and I listened to a bunch of my hypnobabies scripts on my ipod (Fear Clearing Session, Birthing Day Affirmations and Deepening). We wanted to get up at 7am in order to get to the hospital by 8, but my alarm didn’t go off so I woke up at 7:20. Totally in shock I had overslept. I had thought I would be so nervous, anxious and excited I would be up at 6! I’m glad my body got those few extra minutes as I had no idea what was ahead. Fast forward…got to the hospital, I was still listening to some hypnobabies stuff off and on to help keep me calm. I got to wear my own clothes which was awesome and didn’t have to put on the horrible uncomfortable and ugly hospital gown. They got me all hooked up to the fetal monitoring machine and my IV and then Casey gave everyone a scare. Luke and I were just hanging out in the room and I was kinda of sitting in an uncomfortable position. I felt Casey make a big movement, as if trying to get more comfortable himself, I adjusted myself and then felt better. Well, immediately after this happened, about 4 nurses came rushing into the room, turned me on my side, put an oxygen mask over my face and fussed with the fetal monitoring belt on me to find his heartbeat. They found it and he was fine. I was wondering what the heck was going on. Luke had closed his eyes for a little bit and didn’t even notice what was going on. Then they told me that his heart rate had deceled twice and this was reason for concern so they needed to really watch him. If he did it a third time, it becomes considered a pattern and they need to question why and if there is a need for a different course of action (aka, c-section). The OB also came in and told me that since this happened twice before they had even started the pitocin, she did not want to start pitocin because if he was showing signs of distress with nothing, the “pit” would surely cause more distress, so don’t even attempt it. I asked if we could have a minute to discuss it. She and the nurses left and I cried a bit. I was so discouraged. We literally had been in the hospital only an hour and a half and already they want to cut me open! I told Luke I really really didn’t want a c-section. I felt Casey was fine. He had just moved to get more comfortable…..we agreed that we were going to try the pitocin. They were going to start me off with such a low dose anyway, I knew they could take me off it the second he showed any more distress. The OB came back in and I told her we wanted to try the pit. With raised eyebrows she told me, “ok, but when his heart decels again, we’re taking you off it.” “WHEN his heart decels?”, I thought. Totally assuming it would. Not the positive influence I needed. When she left, I asked once of the nurses if we could see Cynthia, our midwife, just to talk with her. Cynthia came in, reassured me, and was very positive and encouraging. They started the pitocin at a level 1. The nurses did proceed though to ask Luke his size for scrubs for if (not when) we went to the OR. They measured my legs for stockings….all this again kind of irked me, as if they were all expecting this to fail. Well, Casey’s heart never deceled again for the next 22 hours. I knew he was fine!! But since the baby and my body were just not ready for the baby to come out, the pitocin was a slow long process. And it wasn't like they could bump it up to make it go any faster. They had to be very careful that my uterus, and baby were handling it all ok. 

I dilated extremely slowly, like 1 cm every 3 hours and the pressure waves were coming pretty consistently at 5-6 minutes apart. So at midnight, Cynthia broke my water. I used my hypnobirthing techniques and it didn’t hurt at all. Luke then left to get some food as he was starving. Definitely bad timing! As soon as he left the pressure waves started getting stronger. I texted him and told him to hurry back. When he got back, he ate the stuff he got from Taco Bell in our room and the smell was so unbearable. He practically stood in the farthest corner of the room eating it, trying to keep it away from me! From about 12am-5am the pressure waves were getting uncomfortable and Luke was great, using our cue words of “release” and “peace” rubbing my arm, helping me relax. They were strong but manageable, more like 3-4 minutes apart, and I rested in between them. I spent most of my time in the rocking chair. My pressure waves would actually stop on the birthing ball. One of the coolest things was that I was feeling a lot of pressure in my back and we weren’t sure of the baby’s position, we thought he could be posterior. So Luke and I tried a couple different positions to help him turn, which he did! I think we both felt pretty proud and excited at that moment ( Around 6am I started vomiting with every pressure wave. They also became quite intense and probably about every two minutes apart. I wasn’t paying that close attention. I could just tell they were coming much more often. My pit at this point was at a level 9. I figured I must be in transformation (transition). The hardest part of the whole experience was being attached to so many cords. If I tried to change positions the fetal monitor would slip down and nurses would come in to adjust it, and find his heart beat. It got so annoying. It also made it VERY difficult to concentrate and focus on relaxing. I went from 5-10cm in an hour and a half and it was very intense. I feel I did lose focus and could not use hypnobirthing to its fullest at times because of all the distractions and fussing being done with all the monitoring equipment. Another great thing Luke did for me, was tell Cynthia to no longer tell me how far I had progressed when she did a cervical check. He knew it could potentially just discourage me. I did really appreciate that. I didn’t need to know, I just needed to focus. He also put my hypnobabies scripts on in the cd player so that it was playing out loud in the room and everyone could hear it. But again, I was having a hard time focusing and got a little panicky with the intensity of the pressure waves. I started to say I couldn’t do it. I was so tired, hungry, I just wanted to rest. I even did ask for the epidural! He told me I was doing so great and that I didn’t need it. Cynthia agreed and told me I WAS doing it. It was at this point that my body began pushing on its own with each pressure wave. Everything that happened from that point on was so surreal. It was like I entered a zone. It was just me and Casey. I blocked everything out, moved into positions that were comfortable for pushing and just let my body take over completely. I didn’t care, nothing else mattered, my son was coming, and it felt so good to push….Seriously. The nurses and my midwife’s reactions were certainly motivating too. I would push and they were like, “ohmygoodness!! Very good!! Wow! Just like that! Wow! Do that again!” I pushed with pressure waves, in between them, I just did what felt right and what my body felt like doing. No one was counting, it was just mother directed pushing. It was such a powerful feeling when he was crowning and when I pushed him out. It didn’t hurt. I kept visualizing my mental anesthesia down and out my birth canal in front of my baby like my months of hypnobabies practice had trained me to do, imagined my perineum as being soft and open, etc….and it honestly didn’t hurt. Luke was behind me on the bed, supporting my body, with his legs on either side of me. My hips felt uncomfortable with the position I was in (slightly leaning back on Luke, with me pulling my knees back toward me) so Luke would try to apply pressure with his legs against my hips, but it didn’t really help. I actually felt my hips widening to make room for Casey to pass through. It was amazing. I know it sounds crazy, but I enjoyed pushing him out. The whole pushing phase was incredible! I pushed for an hour but didn’t feel like it. He was born (22 total hours later) and immediately put on my chest, at 8:31am, Saturday the 19th. He nursed for an hour on one side before they took him and weighed him. He was 9.6! Apgar scores of 9 and 9. I only had a small tear, not quite a first degree. He came back to me and nursed for another hour on the other side. He is just amazing and we are all in love with him!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baby pigs equal happiness...

...when your three. Apparently. I have no idea why the current obsession with baby pigs but it's all Hailey talks about. I think it started when she and Casey spent the day a few weeks ago watching a tractor across the street from our house harvesting hay. I told her that the hay on the truck was going to a farm to feed the pigs, cows and horses. Of course she then begged me to follow that truck! Everyday she asked to go to the farm to see the baby pigs. Every.Day.All.Day. I was using deflecting tactics like, "I don't know where the farm is." "The farm is far away." Aaannnd it wasn't working. We do live in an extremely rural area so on any typical drive we do pass farms and see cows and horses, and we would excited point them out but none of it was good enough. She wanted those baby pigs.

Then I heard the Frederick County Fair was going on! And they had baby pigs! Hurray! A student had also gotten a handful of free tickets to see the Beach Boys playing for the Friday night concert at the fair. The bummer was that the fairgrounds didn't even open till 6pm, so we were getting a much later start than I would have liked. It ended up being quite a bit of effort with 9months preggo me, and the kids to see baby pigs and hear the Beach Boys for the last 30min of their show, but it was worth it.

First we had to pay our respects to the cows. (We really just came across them first)

All was good, until they started mooing.

Baby pigs at last.

She had this look on her face like, "um yes, these are my baby pigs and you all may look at them too if you want."

Casey was completely into the Beach Boys.

He looked so serious but was so intently and deliberately clapping his hands. He loved it.

It was kind of fun to see them in concert. They are so old! But they still sound good! We got there late, our phones weren't connected with the students trying to let us know they were there and where they were. So that kind of stunk. But it probably was the best length of time for the kids.

I started getting a little nervous too and wanted to leave. I absolutely did NOT want to go into labor at the fair. I was having a few contractions and was feeling quite a bit of pressure. I swear I could tell the baby's head was engaging with every step. I was majorly waddling my way to the car later on.

(I might add, that she has never seen Charlotte's Web and I'm actually planning on getting it from the library when this baby comes as something new and special for her. I can't wait to watch it with her!)

Now when she asks me to see the baby pigs, I tell her they are napping. She says ok.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Family haircuts!

None of this was planned per se, but all of us are sporting some brand new awesome haircuts. Luke and I got our haircut on Thursday, just ended up working out that way....we both had been wanting to go and Luke got home early on that day. He called up the place and they could take both of us right way. I sat with the kids in the car while he went first and then when it was my turn he took the kids down to the park.

Then today, it was Hailey and Casey's turn! Kind of impromptu but often that's just how it happens in our house. Daddy is free now, let's do this!

I didn't get any "after" pics of Hailey, but she is darn cute too. Everyone should be all set for a month or two! This sure wasn't on my list of things to do before the baby comes, haha, but hey it's pretty great all the same.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Sweet Son

Casey was having such a rough morning the other day because of teething. He hadn't gotten a good nights sleep because of it...not to mention a wicked diaper rash he had developed within the previous day. So around 10:15am, I scooped him up to comfort him and stop the endless crying and whining. The team was coming over for breakfast and I was wanting to help in the kitchen but this definitely took priority. 

I was so glad I stopped to just be with him. He fell asleep on my lap as we rocked. The sun was pouring in the window, Hailey was playing and the team was cooking and chatting in the next room, but none of that prevented him from just conking out. 

snuggling with his little brother in utero :)

I ended up missing breakfast with everyone, although they were just in the other room and they did bring me a plate of food. I was fulfilling my vocation and I could have been annoyed but honestly, that would have been kind of difficult because he was just so sweet. This hasn't happened in ages, and I've been so aware lately of how grown up he has become and that he isn't going to be my baby for much longer.

In general, Casey doesn't fight tiredness. He will close his eyes in the car with no fuss whatsoever. At bedtime, when I tell him, "Casey, time for bed, find your blankie, let's go..." he picks up his blanket and heads down the hall. Just yesterday, after I gave him the heads up, I went looking for him and he was already in the rocking chair with his blanket.

Casey, you are such a joy and will always be my special second born, my first son. I love you.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

It's been a while since I've linked up with the ladies over at Fine Linen and Purple, and I figured, today, what the heck. 

I discovered this pregnancy that H&M has a maternity line. The clothes are SO comfortable. This dress was a staple piece I wanted this pregnancy and have loved it and worn it a ton. It is so stretchy and comfortable and has held up beautifully. And it was only like $15.

The wedge heel is from DSW. Again, just what I was looking for and they were on clearance. It might seem crazy that I would willingly wear a 2 and a half inch heel two weeks away from delivery, but they are actually more comfortable for me than flats. I have terrible arches, and my knees and hips are affected too. By wearing heels, my arches can't collapse inward so to speak and so my hips feel so much better! I love them. I felt like everyone in church though was looking at me like, "oh my word, what is she doing in those high heels!?!?"

Sometimes heels do equal comfort. At least in my world.

We should have known better

I've been wanting to share a little episode I had at the fabric store the other day and it turns out my good friend Jenny just had a similar experience recently courtesy of a Target employee. What is people's deal? Seriously.

Anyway, about a week ago at JoAnn Fabrics I received my most bold pregnancy comment yet. I had picked out fabric to make curtains for the baby's room and was asking an employee for help finding a new foot for my singer sewing machine. Turns out they didn't sell them for singer machines. But it went like this....

Lady: So how much longer?

Me: About 3 weeks.

Lady: Really?!? Wow, that much longer huh? (Giving my belly that "oh my you look big and still that much longer" kind of look) 

Me: Yeah, I have big babies, like 9 pounders. (Thinking, "give me a break? 3 weeks is not that much longer to be looking this big. sheesh)

Lady: Oh so you've done this before.

Me: Yes, this is our third.

Lady: Really? You'd think you would know better by now.


Me: umm..did she really just say what I think she said? Is she seriously implying what I think she is? Megan, hurry up and respond! Say something!

Maybe sensing my confusion....

Lady: Unless your one of those people that just loves to have babies.

Me: Yep! Sure do! We love em.

I couldn't believe it. She honestly made a comment directly implying that this all happened by accident, we were on our third because we didn't know better. I'm sorry, I didn't know better that if I had sex with my husband it could in fact produce a child. No mam, these children were wanted, each one of them.

Then, as I'm trying to walk away.....

Lady: Well, I suppose, surprise or not surprise, accident or not, (AGAIN, assuming that we couldn't possibly have wanted three children), you love each one.

Me: Yes, yes you do. Each one is such a miracle and a gift. Have a nice evening.

I walked away not mad exactly, just shocked. And more so at the fact that people feel comfortable making these kinds of comments to us pro-life mamas, rather than shocked that this was her position on life. For that, I felt sad for her and she may have ended up in my evening prayers.

I drove home thinking about all the unwanted babies, all the babies who died that day and who would die the next, and my heart was very heavy and sad. Sure Luke and I laughed when I called him in the parking lot to tell him, "should have know better honey. Should have stayed away from you, what in the world was I thinking?!?" But during that 30 minute drive back, I again thanked God for this little one inside me, and prayed that more couples would be open to the beauty and miracle of life.

Monday, September 9, 2013

37 weeks

 Here we are, 37 weeks! Warning, these might be the worst self pregnancy pictures to ever grace the internet.


straighter. Hello baby!! :)

So I've had a trillion thoughts on pregnancy lately and have been tempted to type them out and share them several times in the last couple of weeks, but I end up restraining myself and not. Because honestly, I'm just a roller coaster of emotions. Why put YOU through all that drama? Let's just say, some days I feel like this baby will be here before I know it. Other days it still feels like forever and how can I sleep one more night (or rather not sleep) with this large human being inside me?? I'm so aware of him as a person at this point of the pregnancy. Let me try to explain. When I can feel a knee or leg or foot, when I change position during the night I have to like "bring" him with me... it's hard to explain. He is there. He is big.

But I'm not ready for him to come yet either. His room has a purple wall we are planning on repainting. I finally bought the can of paint today. I haven't washed the 0-3month clothes yet. But I bought the Dreft. His infant car seat is in the trunk of the car. It will make it into the bucket seat eventually. I bought the fabric to make the curtains for his room, now I just need to get the sewing machine out of box and sew them. Every day it feels like I get so little accomplished on the small projects and loose ends that I'm trying to get done before he comes. And I know it's because I have two small children and a currently swamped with work husband. I pinpointed today that what's making me all antsy to get this stuff done is that I need time to just be, and peacefully await this baby. I don't want to be doing projects till the day he comes. I need to be at peace and feel calm and ready, not stressed.

Not to mention prepare for his birth. Which I love doing and spend time doing almost every evening, reading and listening to the relaxation scripts of my Hypnobabies program, but it means those projects still don't get done.

And they will get done, I know they will. I try to remind myself daily to just live TODAY well. This blog is one of my favorites. I haven't stopped thinking about the wisdom in this post and have been carrying it in my heart all this past week.

I want to love being pregnant as best I can, till the end. We are about to receive the most incredible gift and miracle into our family. And reminding myself of this often helps keep everything else in perspective.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

This is our life

Tuesday night is Luke and my date night. We don't always go out, in fact, we probably go out once a month. But date nights in can still be special and great too, not to mention, easy on the budget :) I love knowing that no matter what the week looks like, no matter how hectic, I can count on some quality time with my husband on Tuesday night. Especially during the first two months of school when Luke's hours are insane and irregular.

This past Tuesday we didn't have anything planned, hadn't talked about it, I actually thought he had something on campus to go to that night. Turns out he didn't, so at 7pm when he got home and was eating dinner, I asked him if he wanted to go to a movie with me. He was shocked and immediately asked who I got to babysit! I told him we were going to a movie in our living room, (silly goose) at 8:30. I had bought a movie off DirectTV. This is something we rarely do, usually we try to find something on Netflix but I didn't like anything they had. And it was soooo my turn to pick a movie so I didn't even run it by him.

Wellll, I wish there had been a 9pm showing to choose, or 9:30.....8:30 was too soon it turned out. We were trying to rush through the kids bedtime routines to get them in bed in time. And they knew it. Casey threw a fit, Hailey threw a fit, there were lots of tears. And whining. But they were in their beds and our movie was starting.

Oh I'm sure you can imagine what happened. Hailey kept coming out, making Casey mad and therefore cry. We kept taking turns going in to tuck them in and missing parts of the movie. Then we'd be filling the other person in and missing out on what was happening at that moment. It was all frustrating. Because we couldn't pause it! grrr!!! Then Luke ended up carrying Casey out, of course Hailey followed and they were laying on our laps on the couch, totally sleepy yet curious as ever.

It was definitely one of those moments where you look at each other, laugh and say, "this is our life. Look at us."

And next time, we'll get a babysitter. Or at least something from Redbox that we can stop if needed! Lesson learned. Buying movies off of cable, not worth it.

(we watched Now You See Me and it was just ok. I'd give it a B. Maybe even B-. But the cast was fun - Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, the guy from Social Network, the girl from Confessions of a Schopaholic, and the old guy from Batman Begins)