Sunday, December 26, 2010

My new present..

Nope.. not my daughter..

I got a new camera!

I am loving it. If only I could upload the instructions to my brain, directly. But i will have fun figuring it out along the way..

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We are nuts. NUTS.

Certifiable.  And based on our love of "Photo Booth," it's obvious.  Enjoy (at our expense). 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Im supposed to learn something, right??

I've turned another year older.  

I'm now 33 years young.  

And every year I gain, I get more and more introspective about my life.  Not surprising.  I know that as you get older you start to gain perspective that you don't always have when you are younger.  So, just because I know you absolutely will NOT be complete until you know, here are some things I've been chewing on: (that was sarcasm, btw). 

*people want to know what you think, but with the freedom to not have to think the same thing. 

*It may be best to keep your mouth shut. 

*It may be best to speak up. 

*Knowing the difference of when to speak up and when to be quiet is governed by a very thin line.  And you will spend the rest of your life trying to figure out that line. 

*I do not need to try and control my kids and their emotions.  But I can give consequences for their lack of control with them. 

*teaching your kids that it okay to be angry at mommy or daddy, is very freeing.  (but no, you can't call me names like "meany.").  

*a lot of the things that I learned about my parenting style were legalistic, controlling behaviors that I myself was enslaved too.  God's grace gives some great instruction in parenting. (and no, that doesn't mean my kids "run wild in rebellion."). 

*It's okay to not be okay.  It's okay to let others "not be okay."  It's GREAT to admit, out loud, that you are not okay.  

*life is a precious gift and no matter how difficult the day, the next one is typically a little bit easier.  

that's all for now. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Shameless Plug! JUST DO IT!

Time to put in a shameless plug.

My sister Mishka makes an adorable Origami Christmas ornament from the Christmas cards and photos that friends and family members send to you EVERY year. She does the work for you. You just send her your cards and she mails it back to you. And for a great price.

check out her Etsy page..

also, check out her blog here!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My life just got way easier..

It's been documented that I love my Moby wrap.. but my Isaac is quite the porker and i need a little extra support. To my rescue: The Ergo Baby Carrier.

He loves it!!

and so does she!!

In fact it holds up to 40 lbs so technically Jorge and Alex can get in it too.

It does a hip hold and a front hold. I seriously love it! I think every one should have one. it made cooking dinner so much easier tonight. I look forward to a long life with this thing!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My NEW Birth Blog!!

"Sweet Birth" Doula Services is my new home for all things birth/doula!!

I will keep this blog for personal family life "stuff" and have the other blog for everything birth related! So be sure to hop on over and become a follower of that one too!

Rachel G.

Monday, December 6, 2010

SAHM meets BPWNET...

Stay at home mom meets Big Passion With Not Enough Time..

Original, I know.

I have a huge passion for being a doula. A door that opened in ways and in a time in my life that is hard to comprehend sometimes.

I also have a major passion for being a stay at home mom.

I am having to learn it's okay to love both. But only one trumps the other. (thankfully, God is working out the kinks). And I know there will always be births. But there will not always be these years with my kids.

Not trying to compare the two. Just trying to allow myself the freedom to enjoy the doula work, but to also not let it consume me right now.

Make sense? No?

Didn't expect it to.. just thinking out loud.

Night. ;-P

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feeling the urge again..

Well blog friends (if you are still out there..).. i am beginning to get the "blog" urge again.

I have been disconnected (intentionally) for a few months now and am starting to feel the pendulum swinging back toward the center. A balance is presenting itself (rather, has been in the works) and I can feel the desire to actually start writing again.

Things here in our world are "life as usual." Busy. But in a good way. In a way that means "I'd miss too much if I were spending as much time on the Net as I had in the past."

Today I took the kids to our church "drop in" nursery (you pay by the hour) and I went on an errand spree. I did three things in an hour and a half that would've taken me double that time if I'd had all four kiddo's with me. And in the process got my Christmas cards w/family letter stamped and mailed out and also got some Christmas gifts ordered. I also went to return something at the Galleria. I am just so thankful for the drop in nursery at our church. It has been such a blessing for me.

I have a few blog posts floating in my head so i look forward to typing them out. So stay tuned.. that is, if you are still there. ;-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You might be a Pharisee if...

You might be a Pharisee if:

A great list.

As of late, I have been trying to evaluate the messages I have received most of my life. A lot of which "outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (Matthew 23:28).

I am a recovering Pharisee. Someone who, while thinking I was doing good, was actually distorting what God "actually" said. How does this happen? When you (in general) take something simple from God's word and add, expound and reinterpret for everyone else. It applies to many things. And it applies not just to holding others to that standard, but it exists when you are holding yourself to this standard.

There are too many examples to list. In fact, I'd rather not list them because it WILL step on toes and I do not want to get hate mail. But ask yourself: is there something in your life that you so cling to, a practice, conviction, or "rule of life" that, by it's definition, as you have defined it, is NOT found explicitly in the Word of God? Then please, dear friend, consider that it may be your truth, but not Gods.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guilt Ridden Momma?

* I am the one who wanted: all these kids, them so close, to stay home, to home school (etc.). Therefore, I need to "deal."

*Me time is selfish.

*My husband is too tired for me to ask for help.

*This is "my" job.

*I need to find the joy and not focus on the facts: *I am tired, I am overwhelmed, I feel like I'm drowning (etc.).

*Other mommas have: more kids than me, a smaller house, a harder time than me, an absent husband (etc).. so I need to buck up and "deal."

*My kids need me. All the time.

*My husband needs me. All the time.

*My house needs me. All the time.

If you've hand ONE of those thoughts (or are like me and had all of then guess what? you are a guilt ridden momma. And guess what: Guilt, is not from God. It's lies. All lies. And sadly, it's there to bring you to a slow, painful destruction.

Here is what I am learning. the TRUTH IS:

*I need to ask for help. God is the one who gave me *all these kids* and their spacing. but that does not mean that I can not take breaks. "Oh but the women of the Bible had 13 kids.." Yeah, and they also had servants. YOU do NOT have to be all, do all and serve all... TO THE DETRIMENT of yourself. I do not have to "buck up" and "suffer through." God's goal is not for coping. It's for healing. If you feel tired, overwhelmed and like you are drowning take that as a cue, RED FLAG that you need some "(insert name your here) Time." Not dropping your kids off at a friends so you can clean your house time, fold the laundry time, grocery shopping time.. some YOU TIME. The enemy (and even the Church, at times, or those in it) have sold a bag of lies that you are selfish to ask for time away. Time to have no responsibility but to sit/walk/fall asleep or whatever suits your fancy.

Your family will survive. Better yet, they will thrive because you are taking that time to regroup, recharge, re-energize. Coping means distraction: facebook, my friends, is coping. that is not YOU time. You time is defined as something that re-energizes you. Re-fuels you. What is that thing (apart from serving others) that you enjoy? That isn't part of a job. Part of a "responsibility," that you get excited about? If you are like me, it may take a while to think of what excites you.

You need to give yourself permission to WANT a break. Then you need to give yourself permission to MAKE it happen. Your family needs you to be at your best. And if you are hitting a brick wall.. that's not your best. You have to pray and ask God to show you what breaks you need. How many. Once a week for an hour or four hours. I don't know. That's between you and God.

Please know that God's plan is for you to get rest, comfort and peace EVEN NOW when you are in your season. NOT suffer through it. He came to give you life, and life abundantly. If you aren't feeling too abundant.. it's time to re-evaluate. And friends.. please do this before it's too late.


Monday, September 27, 2010

You are special..

Hey blog friends.

you are probably wondering where i disappeared to. I guess it's been a bit of an internet sabbatical. I've had a lot of things on my plate and needed to unplug to be able to process my "stuff" and to hear that "still small voice."

I wanted to share a little bit of what I have been treading through.. if you watch the video below.. its a reading of the book "You Are Special" by Max Lucado.

I promise it's worth the 8 minutes. And gives an beautiful picture of what I am having to learn, have been learning and will constantly need to remember.

I will update again soon.



Friday, September 10, 2010

"I always feel like...somebody's watching me"

Remember that song.. with the catchy tune??

Well I was thinking about it yesterday when I got curious about my blog followers.

Supposedly there are quite a bit of people (that I don't even know about) that have partaken of my blog.. and well.. I would love to know who you are.

So here is your chance to introduce yourself. If you have stumbled onto this post or "always" read my blog, please leave me a comment on this post.

And if you have a blog of your own.. leave me a link for it. (you can even tell me if there is something you'd like for me to talk about or share).

Aaaand whilst you are here.. please enjoy the pure freakyness of the video for that beloved 80's song..

(i wonder if the director/creator of this video ever worked in hollywood again).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

If I've told you ONCE..I've told you 1,000 times..

Listen up mommies.

Have those days, nay, years where you think, "seriously, how many times do we have to go over this??"

Well, take heart. Eventually it (apparently) sinks in.

With my boys I am constantly saying, "Open the door for girls (for mommy), and then let them go first." Our practical application is attempted every time I open the van door to let the kids in. Eva will be attempting to climb up (she's 2, so that can be a slow process) and the boys will trample her trying to bypass her. INSTEAD of waiting patiently. So generally, in my best ladylike voice I gently say (ehem.. read here YELL), "LADIES FIRST!"

I don't know how many times we go over this in a day.

We are already trying to master gentleness with the female species while playing, with, "boys, God made you strong to protect girls. NOT hurt them."

So today, while eating at CFA, the Sprite had gotten low. So Jorge (5) volunteered to go get the refill. You know, he's a half grown man now, right?

So off he goes, chest pushed out, head held high.

Then he returns. With Alex and Eva waiting at the playroom door ready for a giant gulp. As soon as Jorge opens the door Alex, being faster and stronger than Eva, gets the first spot in front of the cup. And with a very manly voice you hear Jorge bellow, very kindly, "No No, LADIES FIRST." And he walks over to Eva and lets her have the first gulp.

Well everyone. It seems my job is done.

haha. I wish. But I sure am proud of that there gentleman.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I know better.. and for that, I feel badly..

Ever have one of those times where you said something "helpful" with the full intent of it being perceived as loving, nurturing concern?

only it probably didn't come across that way?

Let me set the stage for you.

My precious family of six were at the park. I was watching Eva play with another little girl her age and noticed that the little girls' mom was sitting down next to a baby car seat. Assuming there was a "new" baby in it (I saw little bity toes peeking out from under a blanket) I asked "how old is your baby?"

The mother, very sheepishly said, "ehem.. 4 days old."

"Four days??!!" I asked. "Four days? Well, you don't know the rule do you?"

"What rule?" she asked. I'm sure very excited to hear my OPINION. (I know, right?? geez).

"Queen for a week. Princess for two weeks. A queen dictates from the bed. A princess, from the couch." I replied.

"Well I've just been in the bed for so long I had to get out," she said.

Okay friends.. I wish I could, at that point, or should have, gone on and on about how cute her baby was. That's what I (the RANDOM stranger) should've done. But my "momma bear/psycho doula" persona came out instead. She then said, "well, it's just that I had to have a c-section and I'm not allowed to do as much so i needed to get out. But I actually feel much better than I did after my daughter was born."

Okay here is where I stepped over the line completely. Poor momma, I said "C-section. You are out 4 days post-partum after major abdominal surgery?? well, you feel fine. . while medicated??"

GASP! did you just suck all the air out of the room? Or did your mouth just fly open? Mine did just typing it.

What I was trying to say was.. if you are on pain meds it can mask what is actually happening to your body. If you want to know how well you're healing.. stop taking them and see what happens. But here is the kicker.. she didn't ASK for my opinion.

I had become, in that moment, the annoying know-it-all that fails to understand "unasked for advice is the same as criticism."

So, dear sweet new momma that I unintentionally bulldozed at the park.. I should know your name, but i was more concerned with being your mommy/conscience that I didn't ask, please forgive me. If I could go back, I would just say how precious your baby was and wish you a speedy recovery...

not at the park.
(look, I'm a slow learner).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Look, It's not like Im a neat FREAK or anything...

Okay friends. I need to clarify.

You guys had some pretty funny comments on my last post. And then after I enjoyed that you guys thought I was a neat freak.. I decided to "come clean."

I enjoy having a "neat" house. But it is not like that all the time.

Here take a look:

this is my dresser in my room. It has been like that for.. hmmm.. three days? Okay.. four.

the clothes on the left are folded clothes for Isaac that should go in the bottom left drawer. But because the boy is growing so fast, I need to take the "too small" clothes out of that drawer and put the new ones in. But that involves organizing. Which I don't want to do right now. So for now, I go in and grab what he needs. Done.

The clothes on the right are mine. Folded. And yes, they need to be put away. ehem.. in the drawer that is open. And yes.. that is a baby scale and a bag of trash on there too.

I could take other pictures of the non-neatness of my house. but I'd rather not make me depressed so that you can feel better about yourself. LOL.

I jest.

My point is this: I am the LAST person that would ever "judge" another person for the appearance of their house. I know first hand, that unless I walk in that persons shoes.. I have no right. Besides, if i do that then I have to put that same standard on myself. And folks.. I'm legalistic enough (on myself) I don't need any more yoke to bear.

But I will say.. once I start cleaning.. watch out. Stay out of my way. Or invite me over to help you. ;-)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apparently, I stress you out.

So I went to walmart to do a map.

Yes, a map. Of what was on each aisle, by number. This isn't what my post is about. But I thought it would be interesting to tell you. I did the map so that when I go grocery shopping with all four of my wild ones, I will know which aisle my items are on and not forget things (that are even on my list) because I don't want to go ALL the way on the other side of the store to get it.


As I was exiting the store I was getting quite the chuckle from the kids. I was wearing Isaac and holding Eva's hand. She was supposed to hold Alex's hand who was holding Jorge's hand. Got the mental picture??

Well, Eva thought it was fun to keep snatching her hand away from Alex. And every time he would "scold" her, she would just get more and more tickled. It made for a fun walk to the car. Seriously, I loved seeing Alex try to "help" Eva. I wanted to see how he would solve the problem. (which he was gaining no ground on, btw).

So when we got to the van I just said, "Alex, we are here now. Go ahead and get in the van. I have her hand." He was saying something to me when a woman, parked across from me (who had apparently watched us from the time we left the store) came up to me and said, "ma'am, can I help you please?"

That sounds nice enough when I type it, but let me give you an idea of her tone (which says everything). You know when you are so tired of seeing your kids do something that is irritating the fire out of you and you just want them to hurry up already? You then look frustratingly at them and say, "Can I help you PLEASE?"

that was her tone. I seriously think she thought I was in over my head. But we were just laughing it up. Well, all but Alex.

The rest of us were seeing the humor in the situation and this lady, I assume, had had enough. Of what? Im not exactly sure. But it came across in her tone. To which I replied, "Oh no, we are great here. Just having fun. thank you though."

I think she wasn't happy with that response. Because, apparently, we stress people out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Overwhelmed by 2!

My sweet girl, Eva Isabel, you are 2 years old today.

You share this day with another of my favorite girls, your Aunt Mishka. I love that you both have the same birthday.

Eva you are such a joy to me in so many ways. While you are insanely mischievous (just like your oldest brother Jorge was) you are just too cute to be "mad" at. Already by 2 you have.. had me call Poison control twice, you had a stint of taking off your diaper at every turn, hid my cell phone many times (after you manage to turn it off), played happily in my laundry detergent and dumped it all over the laundry room floor, climbed up onto the top bunk of the boys bed (and demand that I come get you, every.single.time) and tormented your brothers in special ways that only you can.

But oh sweet girl, you have way more sweetness in that little petite body than you could ever have "trouble." When your brothers come out of the bathroom from getting discipline, you are standing at the door and open your arms and say, "uh huuug."

You love to sing songs. Your favorites include:
-itsy bitsy spider, Jesus loves Me, God is so good, and "Happy" as you say (If you are happy and you know it).

You light up every room you walk in to. You say "Hey" with a big smile to anyone you come in contact with. You give orders better than anyone. You are talking way earlier than your smart brothers did. Every day you amaze me with what you know. In fact, just yesterday you got upset when I said you couldn't have any more "candy." And you said, "Mommy. Meeean." That, you got from your brothers ("You being mean").

Your brothers adore you. They share their toys better with you than they do with each other. And your little brother already adores you too. You love your "Ikick" and give him tons of slobbery kisses.

Well as we joke that we have 3 boys and a family idol.. we do know that you are so special to have. You bring so much to our family and we are thankful that God gave you to us. I love you sweet girl.

Kisses and squeeze hugs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cause and Effect..

This product:

successfully STOPS this behavior:

But because he is no longer able to lull himself to sleep with his thumb, he may do this when he is supposed to be napping:

but I will venture to say that NOT moving bone structure in his mouth (per the dentist) is better than not napping.

I haven't fully decided on that one yet. ;-)

(Do NOT leave this product in your house with a 2 year old little girl. Said girl can, to your surprise take off the top, put the little brush thingy in her mouth, drool profusely, vomit her breakfast, make you dial Poison Control, stuff ice cream down her mouth, which she will gladly take, gag a few times and tell you at least 100 times, "mommy, yuckies" as she claws at her tongue. but otherwise be just fine.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

If trying to lose weight, don't......

eat the whole bag in three days.

Just sayin'.

(these are the generic brand and they taste just as good as the "other" kind).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cooking dinner: good night vs. bad night..

Having four kids is a blessing. Lots of blessing. Multi-tasking is the name of the game. And what you are able to accomplish in a day can vary from day to day.

Take for example, cooking dinner.

Most days my hubby is home by 4 p.m (he leaves at 5:30 a.m). So he is typically available to help entertain the kids (or at least re-direct their energy) so that I can cook dinner. However, there are some days where he is not home in time for the dinner preparations and I have to occupy four children while trying not to burn something.

thus we have cooking good days and bad days.


Jorge and Alex: Arguing, complaining, asking for items I am NOT cooking for dinner, tormenting their sister, running around the house nekked (yes, you read that correctly), "drinking water from the bathroom sink" (aka making a huge mess while laughing hysterically at the way water can splash all over the place). Generally, destroying the house.

Eva: crying, wandering around without her diaper since she took off her clothes and the diaper (and thus, typically pees on my floor), running around nekked with her brothers, getting water dumped on her in the bathroom while her brothers are "getting a drink of water," getting knocked down by brothers running around the house.

Isaac: crying. period.

But then, alas, there are good days. Days where I have my wits about me and can redirect all the energy into some productive things they can do while I cook our dinner.

A Good day looks like this:

Jorge and Alex: happily playing with their cuisenaire rods, (as they are in this pic while listening to classical music), coloring, building spaceships, happily playing together with their clothes on.

Eva: sitting contentedly in a high chair playing with playdoh (while occasionally tasting it, of course), singing, talking sweetly to Isaac, and NOT pulling her diaper off and peeing on my floor.

Isaac: NOT crying. (for the moment).

So there you have it. Dinner is served.. just a little toasty.

(it is important to note that my children do much better while playing outside, which is generally where they are when it doesn't feel like 115 degrees outside. Fall, please come quickly. Besides, "nekked" is so much more fun outside).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blast from the past..

my hubby downloaded old photos from his phone.. thus the poor quality. but still fun to remember:

Eva with her daddy.

'wook at us mommy." I can remember that.. look how young they are!

Eva and her bald head!

Believe it or not.. they were sitting this way while watching a movie. too adorable.

me and my wittle girl.

Jorge about to pour dirt on Alex's head while "camping" at Maranatha.

One of daddy's favorite places to go with the kids.

Always bff's. I love this!

I love looking at old pictures.. Reminds me that no matter how hard that season was.. God got us through and WOW what precious babies I have. ;-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the vanishing mom

Im really here, promise.

I can't tell you how many times I have come to my blog, wanting to write but unable. Mentally.

I am not going to whine about having four kids. Not at all. But I just can't get my game on at the end of the day when I am sitting at the computer. I am done. Stick a fork in me, done. I am pretty sure people have stopped checking my blog anyway. But in the event that anyone is interested..

*I have ordered our first homeschool curriculum. It should be coming in the mail soon. I have organized (again) our schoolroom in anticipation for all the "stuff" that is coming. I love it.

*My almost 2 year old daughter, Eva (Aug. 26th) wants to potty train, but alas, I am not ready. Yes, you read that correctly. I can not do it at this moment. Ok, I can, but I don't want to. Pretty sad.

*Isaac is 10 weeks old today and is 16 lbs and is doing a 7 hour stretch at night from 7 pm to 2 a.m. Granted, if he eats at 6, 7 or 8pm he will still wake up at 2 a.m and then again at 5a.m. Here's hoping he keeps this run. Because no, i will not be doing any Ezzo on that one should he wake up at 12 a.m and want to eat. ;-P

*Jorge and Alex. The boys are keeping me busy and insane. They have started with bad attitudes and phrases that we do not like. We are praying through it and trying to help them make better choices. It's exhausting. mainly because discipline for behaviors is a lot easier than it is for heart issues. I can't make them have a kind heart towards their family. I can make them pick up toys. yeah, so it's hard right now.. because the one is influencing the other therefore i have the problem X2.

Obviously I am behind on picture postings but here are some recent fun ones.

notice the bad attitude in the middle.. lol.

the new cart at walmart.. love it. isaac was in the moby wrap.

I like my van fully loaded..

the kiddos that are absolutely precious and I am blessed to have.

well, that's it for now.. see ya next month (haha.. hopefully sooner).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Whats up? come and see..

Crazy. I tell ya. Crazy. That's what's up.

Life with four is no different than life with three. It's the "having a newborn" that is the adjustment.

I've gotten thrush from Isaac (my first child to ever have this, btw) so since my ninnies are raw and bleeding I am pumping and giving the boy a bottle until they recover. Fun times. He likes the bottle so thats a good thing. But I can't wait to be nursing again.

Still don't have a new van since mine died two weeks ago. However, I am thankful for my friend that is letting me use her minivan while she drives her suv.

Our house is off the market. We are good with that. We love the house, we were just hoping for something bigger (than 1300 sq ft). But God has us in the cozy house for His purposes and our sanctification (tight spaces cause that to happen at accelerated rates, btw) and I know there will be many more fun memories made here for however long the Lord has us here.

Here is my "man child" .. before his makeover..

and here he is after..

He loves the Moby Wrap.. and I do too..

Eva liked having him "play" in her bed (really we put him in there and then woke her up from her nap. She didn't know what to do).. "what? Wait, why is he in my bed?"

Okay i gotta go, again.. so more pictures later.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh yeah, I have a blog.

Sorry my blog friends.. blogging is not up on the list for me right now. But I'm sure that's understandable.

It's not for lack of material to write about. In fact, just the opposite. At least once a day I think, "wow, I would really like to blog about that." Mainly things that I am thinking, chewing on, pondering and would like to "hash out." But alas, the time escapes me. Or better yet, is better spent reading a book on the couch with one of my kiddos.

But since I had every intention of going to bed early tonight (i.e between feedings) and my little bambino is unsettled, I decided to crack open the computer (not literally, of course). but no worries about Isaac, he is happily swinging in his swing, not sleeping deeply mind you.

It's funny, actually, that I really do wish I could blog more. I always seem to get very reflective when I have a newborn. I slow down long enough, from the recouping from delivery and the taking care of a baby, to really have some time to think on things. Also, being given another little life to be accountable for is quite humbling and makes me long to do things better. Therefore, I take a good bit of time taking "inventory."

That inventory list is the material that I would like to "hash out" in blog. God is showing me a lot right now. Teaching me alot about Himself and His desire for my life and for our family. Lots of good stuff. So hopefully I can get it to you (if you care to read about it) soon.

Until then, my little guy is now grunting and protesting the swing. So it's time to cuddle and I need my hands for that. ;-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Birth Story: My sweet Evan "Isaac" Garcia, 05/12/10

So I've written a few birth stories for other moms, but writing my own is always difficult for me. I don't know why. There are so many different ways to process my birth and Im sure that not everyone cares for all the details, but at the end of the day, I write it out for me. For my own personal reading. I just invite the world to read it if they want to.

With that in mind.. Here is my best attempt at the details.

Isaac, my fourth baby, was new territory for me. My first pregnancy/delivery w/o the plan for an induction. As long as my blood sugar levels were in control, no matter how much insulin I was on (which turned out to be about 200 units a day there at the end), and the baby looked great (on the NST) then we would just wait for him to come on his own. **I will have to do a separate post about the process of waiting.**

At 39 weeks I lost my mucus plug. Well it was a gradual process, actually. On my last dr's appt when I was 39. 4 (monday) I was 5 cm's (same thing I did with Eva). I had been 4 cm's for almost 2 weeks. I had been contracting off and on for weeks at this point. Prodromal labor. Stronger than braxton's but not what you could classify as "active labor" contractions. HOWEVER, there was obvious cervical change. These ctx's would come 10 min apart or 20 min apart for a few hours and then stop completely. And then not show up for two more days. On Wednesday the 12th (39.6 weeks), I woke up and felt different. Couldn't say for sure what it was. I just felt, hopeful. Different. ***GROSS ALERT*** I had lost a big part of my plug, when I got up that morning.

So I decided to take the kids to the church drop in nursery service and go get a pedicure.. ya know, to keep my mind off of wondering when labor would start. I got to the church about 8:45 and headed to the nail place. I got there and in a chair about 9:30. As soon as I put my feet in the warm water I noticed the ctx's. They weren't "painful" but definitely noticeable. I could talk thru them, but would probably just be a little uncomfortable. So they kept coming. I'm a doula... so I refused to time them. What I mean is, Im so used too telling people not to time ctx's until they are more intense and notice a strong need to concentrate, that I didn't want to time my own. But for some reason, I kept glancing at my watch. I noticed they were coming every 5 minutes then one at 8, one at 5, one at 8. and so on. then it went to 4 and 7. After an hour of that.. and my toes were freshly painted, I called my friend Natalie (also my photog for the birth). She is preggers with her sixth baby and knows a thing or two about birth.
Let me say here.. the reason i was in denial about whether this could be labor is because up until this point I had never experienced a ctx without a synthetic hormone surging through my body. I've never had a spontaneous labor before. I thought for sure it would have to "hurt" worse for it to be "active." (don't worry.. I wasn't disappointed).

I told Natalie what was going on but that it had only been happening for an hour and a half, yet these were the most consistent and close ctx's I'd had up until that point. She told me about one of her births that followed the same pattern (the woman has had 5 there is bound to be variety she can share from). She encouraged me to go get checked. I kinda felt the same need.

The dilemma then became what to do with my other kids. They were still at the church nursery, which you have to get your kids by 12 p.m. It was 11 a.m. I would only have one hour and I would have to drive to my doc's office (which is the same location as the hospital). I called the nursery director, Alison, and told her what was going on and they were so excited and more than willing too take care of the kids past the time of normal hours. And even go get my kids some lunch. I told them that it was likely nothing and that I may only be about 30 minutes late.

I got to my doc and say "Alright, Ross (that's dr. ross), just be warned: I don't think this is labor. I'm sure you are going to check me and there won't be any change from monday."

He checks and says, "Weeelll, I think 8 cm's is some good change."

WHAT? No stinkin' way. I was in complete shock. he suggested I go ahead and go downstairs to L&D, but not to get too ahead of ourselves because Isaac was still very high (-3 station). yeah.. exactly. That's high. But he, Ross, was convinced that once my water broke, it would go quickly.

So within the hour I was admitted, had my heplock and was getting a strip on the baby. My hubby had arrived, so did Natalie, Christina, Jennifer, Martha (MIL), Darcy (mom), Rachel (little sister) and my sister Mishka and Livia (neice) were on their way from Montgomery. You could say there were quite a few people there.

and that's Courtney, my nurse. She couldn't stay for the whole time.. but I was thankful to have her. She was with me for Eva's birth.

So we began the process of waiting.. My ctx's had gone to about 5 minutes apart and were still not super strong. Everyone kept saying how easy it looked, but I kept reminding them that my water was still intact. Knowing Isaac was still so high, I decided to walk the halls.

and sit on the ball.
But after two hours there was no change. Dr. Ross asked me if I wanted him to break my water and I declined. The dilemma was that I did NOT want any reason for them to have a "timeline" on me and if I didn't have change fast enough, the Pit talks begin. The other issue was that Ross was on call for me even though he wasn't officially on call. He mentioned that he did have an event at church that night but that he thought I'd have the baby before then. But I said I would try to do some nipple stimulation with the breast pump and walk more. The pump helped get the ctx's to about 3 minutes apart. But once I got off the pump, they slowed down again. After another two hours the only cervical change I had was Isaac came down to a -2 station.

At this point, Dr. Ross came back in and said he cancelled his teaching gig at the church and would be "all ours" for as long as it took to have the baby. But he also suggested breaking the BOW. I didn't mind doing that if Dr. Ross promised not to even mention the "P" word (pitocin) and that there would be no timeline/deadline. His exact words were, "Nope. No pit. I got your back. No Pit. Absolutely not." So at that point (4 hours with no huge change) I opted for AROM. I was 8/90/-2. and of course after that happened. The ctx's definitely picked up in intensity.

I got in the shower 30 minutes after my water was ruptured and really enjoyed the distraction of the water. And within another 30 minutes I was 8.5/100/-1 I got back on the birthing ball and another 3o minutes I later I was 9/100/0. Back to the shower I went, but this time the ctx's were so intense that even the shower wasn't "doing it" for me anymore. I got out, went to the bed and had the hardest hour of the entire labor. I was on my hands and knees over the head of the bed and had a fan blowing right on me. The hard part was i would have a short ctx of about 90 seconds and then it was followed a minute later by a 3 minute double-peak ctx.
The double peak contractions were the hardest part. And because I had figured out the pattern of the "two different" ctx's I was having, I would get through the shorter one ok, but then I would beat myself up mentally about the double-peak one coming next. I was so surprised that it hurt just as much as a pitocin ctx. I really thought it would be easier than the pit. But my friends, it turns out that transition is transition, no matter if you have Pit or not. In fact, my second nurse (shift change) Katie (also a friend), had an unmedicated pit birth with one of her babies and said she is convinced that the Pit isn't really so bad in way of "pain" like we make it out to be, but rather, it's transition that is the kicker. And that is difficult either way. I have to agree. Having done it both ways, I feel like I can have that solid opinion. haha.

So after that hour I was 10/100/0 at 7:18 (seven hours after admission to the hospital. 5 hours with no pain/or change. and 2 hours of real work). I normally am not a proponant of pushing at a zero station.. but Isaac was so big that the pressure to push was there immediately and I HAD to PUSH. So that's what I did. I started at 0. And can I say here that the ctx's were painful... but pushing was not. Even when that big boy was crowning.. it was such sweet relief to push. I was, once again, motivated and (oddly) convinced that he really was going to come out! LOL.

Yeah, lets discuss this position (below). I started out in a squat. And after one of the pushes I decided I wanted to recline. Weeell, at that point, there was no convincing me to move back up to that bar. I was staying put. It's funny to look at this picture because it looks like such an awkward position to push in.. but it worked just fine. I was kind of on my left side leaning into Jorge, and sitting up.. yeah.. interesting.

And at 7:40 (22 minutes later) my sweet, big, Evan "Isaac" was born!

this is the moment (below) that I got my first real "look" at him. Katie was picking him up to weigh him and I said, "holy COW, he is huge!!"

Umm.. yeah he is!
All 9 lbs 7 oz of him. What a little butterball. No wonder he took his time engaging.

the best Doc in all of Brookwood saying a prayer for our sweet baby and family! I really do love Dr. Ross. He did something for me that most doc's would never do: be on call for their patient even when they aren't the ones on call. He went above and beyond for us an is so patient and a great advocate for a mom's birth plan. We love you Dr. Ross (not that I think he even reads my blog).

We are so blessed to have our fourth baby and third little man of the family. God has, as always, amazed us and our hearts are full to the brim.

I am so thankful for everyone that was there. I know it was a zoo. But I loved it and I certainly couldn't have done it without you!