Welcome to the World, Silas!

I am a terrible blogger. Our newest addition joined our family 2 weeks ago and I’m just now telling you! Oh well, better late than never…. so without further ado….introducing….

Our Sweet Silas Robert! 

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He was born 6 days late, on August 26. He weighed 8lbs and was 21 inches long. Our midwives were expecting a 10lb baby…so we were all surprised when he came out as “skinny” as he was; until I birthed the placenta. His cord was 54.5″ long! Y’all- a normal cord is 24″ and more often than not, they’re a bit on the short side. His was over double the length of a normal cord. I literally had a 2lb cord, and that’s why they were measuring him so big. Who would have thought!

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Today he had his 2 week check-up with our pediatricians. They were SO impressed with how happy, healthy & big he was! Ha….they should have seen my first one! 😉 He’s gained 1lb 9oz and has grown 1.5 inches in length- weighing 9lbs9oz and 22.5in long now. So thankful he’s growing and is healthy!

Stay tuned for his birth story! It was super crazy and about as opposite from my first birth as you can get!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Easy Ways to Prepare Your Body for Labor

I’m one of those really crazy, weirdo, crunchy mamas who actually likes giving birth. Sorry, sue me. 😉 Birth is a very natural (obviously) thing to have happen, and I know it’s different for everyone, but I really believe there are some things you can do to have a faster, easier labor.

(And I’m not naive, I know there are instances where nothing like these tips will help- but it’s worth it to try!)

Preparing for Labor

#1- Walking, walking, walking! Walking is one of the best things to do to help your body get ready for labor. After 37 weeks, I incorporated lots of hill/incline walking to help encourage labor.

#2- lots of squats! “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly.” – Ina May Gaskin. There are lots of different kinds of squats to do- normal, wide, deep. Do what feels good and mix it up! I definitely believe squats get your body ready for labor.

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#3- red raspberry tea/third trimester tea! I didn’t do this with my first birth, and even though I had a very fast labor, I’ve been drinking tea religiously this pregnancy to see if it will help.

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#4- stretching! Stretching feels good on a growing, stretching body, but also helps open up your hips in preparation of your upcoming birth. Check out all the awesome hip opener stretches online!

#5- read & watch positive births! When people want to tell you their “horror birth stories”, just tell them you want to have a positive experience. I watched lots of good homebirths to get my mind ready and to be confidant in my body’s ability of giving birth.

What did you do to help prepare your body for labor?
Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Surviving the First Month Postpartum

And just like that, Caleb is a month old.  Sometimes it feels like he was just born, and sometimes it feels like we’ve had him forever. Crazy, huh?

Having a newborn is amazing. It’s really, really hard, but amazing. I am so thankful the Lord chose us to be parents before we ever thought we would.

There were quite a few things I did every day to help keep my sanity during the first month after Caleb was born. Most days I did it by myself, and no one was around to help me. But sometimes my mom, mother in law, or grandma were around to give me time to myself, and for that, I am very grateful! My grandmother warned me about Postpartum Depression (or Baby Blues, as she calls them), and since I’ve had a history of anxiety problems, I really didn’t want to get PPD. (I wasn’t worried, but I believe doing these “normal” things helped keep my sanity!)

Postpartum

#1- Shower every day! No, seriously. I’m not kidding. All these people warned me that I would go days, even weeks, without showering. I know they were kidding, kind of, but I was determined not to do that. Something about getting clean just makes you feel better about yourself and more person-like. Yes, I even showered the day Caleb was born.

#2- Change out of your pajamas. Even if it’s into yoga pants or lounge pants, get out of the clothes you slept in. It’ll make you feel better, I promise.

#3- Stretch & lightly exercise. I started this after about three days PP. Just start with light stretches, then add walking, or easy floor exercises to help those muscles go back into place.

#4- Chose one chore (or two) to get done. Okay, so I’m a neat freak. I h-a-t-e seeing my house dirty and a mess. By the third week PP I was keeping the house like normal, but the first two weeks I just focused on one or two things to get done the whole day. Like, wash the dishes or sweep the floor.

#5- Eat & drink lots. Seriously, eat tons of healthy food. That’s why I love the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, because if I felt like I needed carbs, I ate healthy carbs, and if I needed both fats and carbs, I did that too! But really, you need to eat and DRINK lots to keep your body healthy and your milk supply up.

#6- Rest. Don’t overdo it. I have a problem with that. Because Postpartum Depression is a very real thing, and I didn’t want to get it, I didn’t rest unless I felt like I needed it. Making me be in bed/on the couch for 6 weeks resting would have sent me straight into a bad case of PPD. Just saying. Definitely rest, but only when you need it.

#7- Get outside (if the weather’s nice). With the baby or without the baby. Doesn’t matter. Although, the sun would do Baby good, too. Some days we both spent time outside, and sometimes I just sat on the back porch during nap time, enjoying the quiet.

#8- Play music. I love music, so during Caleb’s “awake and happy” times, we listened to hymns the whole time. I sang along, and he enjoyed the music and me being silly (although, that probably won’t last long! Ha).

#9- Use Young Living Oils. Seriously. They are so versatile! And perfectly safe for my little one’s skin. We loved using them for all kinds of normal PP & newborn issues, and diffusing them for uplifting spirits. So thankful for them!

What would you add to the list? What helped you through the first month Postpartum?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Caleb’s Birth Story

I can’t believe how time flies. Caleb is three weeks old now! The past three weeks have been full of sleepless nights, tons of dirty diapers, and lots of nursing…but I’m loving every minute of it!

Today I want to share with y’all Caleb’s birth story. 

Home Birth

On Sunday, Sept 13, I was officially 2 weeks late. My belly was huge and I was just ready to have this baby. Since he measured big the whole pregnancy, we were sure he would come early. The Lord obviously had other plans….

That Sunday morning I woke up to lots of contractions. Painful contractions. Stronger than I had ever had before. Luke and I walked tons before church, hoping that would help the labor progress. After church, we went walking again and starting timing them….5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute and a half. Okay, this has to be it! I kept having them the whole day, but they never got stronger or closer together. So frustrating!

That night, I lost my mucus plug/had bloody show. I was still having contractions, so Luke decided to stay home from work, even though I wasn’t in active labor yet. Halfway through Monday, the contractions just stop. Not a single one. We decided to drive to my midwife to get checked. I was 3 centimeters and she wouldn’t strip me yet. Lovely. This was a waste… I think to myself. We go back home a little frustrated, but trusting in the Lord’s timing.

Well. No contractions after Monday. None! On Thursday night, I had a breakdown. I was so tired of being pregnant and just wanted that baby o-u-t!

I woke up around 12:30am on Friday to go pee, and had some contractions. They were about five and a half minutes apart, lasting only 50 seconds. I was pretty sure they would go away. I went back to sleep wondering when in the world I would have this baby. I slept until I got woken up to very painful contractions at 2am. I got up to go pee, only to have three contractions on the way to the bathroom. The contractions hurt so much, I was shaking through them and feeling nauseated. I woke Luke up to help me time them because they were coming so quickly and were so painful. They were two minutes apart, lasting about a minute and a half. Considering we had an hour’s drive to the house out of state where we were planning on the birth, we had to get going.

Luke called the midwife, and she didn’t believe that the contractions were that strong and close together. I got on the phone, and she quickly believed me. At 3am, we were on our way to the house out of state. All I could say on the drive was “dear God, keep this baby in until we get there”. I had never felt so much pressure in my life!

We got to the house at 4am, where I threw up for about five minutes before even getting into the house. I felt like…well, like crap. The midwife got there and wanted to check me. I told her if I laid on my back, I would throw up. She won out, though, and  she checked me. I was then more than 8cm dilated. She really believed me then! Ha! I spent the next few minutes throwing up (I tried to warn her!).

My plan was to labor and birth in the water, and I could tell I didn’t have much longer to labor. I just kept saying “can I get in the water now? Can I please get in the water now?”. After what seemed to be an eternity (it was really 20 minutes), I was allowed to get into the tub. What relief I felt! I was so thankful to be in the water. Luke supported my upper body and I just tried to relax into each contraction. It surprised me how much the midwives just left us alone, and let me labor how I wanted. Every so often they would pop in and see how it was progressing, but told me to tell them when I felt the urge to push.

At 6am, I felt the urge to push. I was honestly a little scared to push, so I tried to just ignore the urge for a few contractions. Around 6:15, I started to push, so both midwives stayed in the room. I kept pushing and pushing, and he was slowing making his way out. I could finally feel his head (with my hand), but I couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long. The midwives just kept saying I was doing well, and wasn’t tearing. Around 7am he started crowning (like, for real, painful)….and crowning….and crowning, but he wasn’t coming out, no matter how hard I was pushing.

The midwives had me stand up, and before I realized what was happening, my main midwife was in the water with me, helping my baby out. His cord had gotten across his shoulder like a seat belt, and that’s why I couldn’t get him out. In a few more pushes, he was out, but he wasn’t crying. Within a few seconds, he was crying and moving around, thank the Lord! He was born at 7:30am.

Within a minute, I was sitting in the tub, holding my sweet boy. I was so exhausted, I just held him, not really thinking much. Luke said “he looks like your mom!”, but I thought he looked exactly like my grandpa. Ha!

They clamped and cut the cord, then had to pull the placenta out (OUCH), but it looked perfectly healthy and normal. After a few minutes, they got me out of the tub and let me shower, while they dried off Caleb. By 7:45 I was in bed, skin on skin with my baby. He latched well within a few minutes. The midwives gave us some alone time, then came back in an hour to do his “check up” and message my uterus. Due to the placenta being pulled out, I had a lot more “afterpains” than the typical first time mom.

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Caleb weighed 9lbs 5oz, and was 21.5 inches long. I just gave birth to a 9.5lb baby in 5.5hrs without tearing. Nope, I didn’t tear a single bit. Thank the Lord!

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The three of us chilled at the house with one of the midwives for a little while longer, just to make sure we were all ok. We were back on the road to our house at 11am. We got home at noon and I was so thankful I was home, and it was all over with!

All in all, I had a wonderful first-time birth experience. I am so thankful we chose to do it at a home, with midwives, where I could labor in the water. I had no drugs, and everything was natural. I am so thankful to the Lord for keeping us safe and healthy, and so thankful for my amazing husband who was a big support and help. I couldn’t have made it through without him! He likes to say now, “that wasn’t at all as dramatic as a lot of people say it is. Not as scary as those books you had me read about birth!” Ha! That’s why I love him. 😉

What was your birth experience like? Thanks for reading Caleb’s story!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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