Category Archives: pregnancy

A quick update…

A quick update…

I haven’t been very active on here lately. I wanted to do better with blogging, but it just hasn’t been in my bandwidth. There’s been a lot going on, and with my energetic toddler, I don’t know how anyone has ever had the time and energy to get anything done with these crazy little cuties around.

But other than that, if I were to be completely honest with you all, I would have to say that I’ve been struggling with a big resurgence of my anxiety/depression issues, and just being able to take care of my family’s immediate needs has become a main priority. A lot of the remedies I would usually turn to aren’t as viable an option right now, especially being pregnant. And I know the pregnancy has it’s own share of contributing to the problem with hormone changes and pain issues. I’ve felt fairly isolated lately, and it’s been a really difficult time for me in those regards. However, I do apologize for not keeping up with this as well as in the past.

Things with BabyB v2.0 have been moving along fairly smoothly. In fact, a few weeks ago we found out that “it” is a HE. I felt pretty strongly all along that this little guy was indeed a guy, so it was pretty much what I expected. We were really fine with whatever the result would be, as there are benefits to having both another girl, or having a boy, so really it is just planning ahead now that is the fun part.

SAMSUNGThe “REVEAL” picture I shot the day we found out.


One of my favorite pictures from the ultrasound- he’s waving hi!

Anyways, that’s been fun. I enjoy being able to plan. The pregnancy has gotten a little more painful the past week with some lower back pain issues that we are working on resolving, but it’s hard to not tweak your back when you have an energetic toddler, right? So being able to sit and rest and dream up ideas on Pinterest of how we can decorate BBv2.0’s room has been a saving grace for my attention during this lonely time, and I am glad for the distraction.

I’ve also been working on a small crochet blanket for him the past few days. I am really excited about this project, especially because it’s the colors I’ve wanted for his nursery from early on, even before I knew for sure he was a boy. I was trying to think of ways to make them work if BBv2.0 had been a girl, so I am glad I don’t have to try as hard now!


The colors (in cotton yarn, as he’s going to be a summer baby!)


The project so far, based on this Tiramisu blanket pattern.


I haven’t gotten too far yet, since thanks to the cutie pictured above, it took about 5-6 hours to untangle a yarn mess she created, putting me a day behind. (Bonus, it motivated my husband and me to FINALLY get a yarn swift to go with our winder so we can wind hanks/skeins here at home… yay!) I tried to get a stand alone picture of the project all morning since the light has been good, but SOMEBODY would not leave the blanket alone. She sees it and immediately wants to snuggle it. I may be making a second blanket here soon just for her since she has been so obsessed with this project.

So that’s what has mostly been up in our lives. Incubating baby #2, surviving Toddler #1, and fighting a battle with housework that if you came over, probably would look like we’re losing. 😉


Baby Boothe v2.0

Baby Boothe v2.0

It’s been overall quiet on the blog front the past few months. Not a lot of brave new attempts at yarn projects or recipes or overall random musings from my brain. But there was a very valid reason!

I know I put this on Facebook already last week, but there’s SOMETHING about this blog that always seems more official. It’s a good place to put more details compared to just a short, “Hey, there’s a baby on board!”

We let Evelyn break the news.


It seemed appropriate, don’t you think?

As of now, I am about 15 weeks. Due date hovers around the second week of July, though honestly I have no clue what to expect, since I was not allowed to go into labor on my own last time. So, if I am being honest, I am equally anxious about what that might mean for this round.

Those of you who have read about Evelyn’s birth story (which starts here, if you want a refresher. I don’t!) know that I lost a lot of confidence in the hospital and doctor experience, so this time we are going a little more “natural.” Jared couldn’t be convinced to consider a home birth, so a middle ground for both of us was a birthing center with midwives that is also close to a hospital in case there is an actual need for additional interference. And we actually “shopped around” with a few midwives and doctors to find a group that seemed like a better match for us.

I’d post a picture of the one ultrasound we got, but it is from week 8 or 9, and it wasn’t the most high quality, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that the slight belly bulge is now more from growing another small human and not from over-indulging on goodies during the holiday.

I’m pretty sure I meant to say more during this post, but several interruptions and a walk to the mailbox later, I’ve grown sleepy and lost my train of thought. So, Baby Boothe v2.0, here’s the Elisablog welcome to the family post!

A Labor Story, Part III

A Labor Story, Part III

Not so long a gap between parts II and III. I must be getting used to the sleep deprivation!

To read/review Part 1, click here.

To read/review Part 2, click here.

(Disclaimer: this is the part where things start getting a little…messy. And, you know, even though birth is an awesome process, it doesn’t always look and sound pretty!)

When we were told that we had reached 5 cm, we were pretty happy. My mother loves to tell me the horror story that was my own birth, and how I tormented her for twenty-nine hours of labor, so progressing 2 cm in two and a half hours seemed pretty promising. While I was definitely feeling pain and discomfort, I figured I could manage this pain for several more hours if needed be, though I knew I definitely wouldn’t sleep through it.

(The calm before the storm!)

Shortly after this 8:00 PM measurement, I decided to try and go to the bathroom again, to help me walk around, and Cary, our doula, encouraged me to see how the contractions felt as I was in a sitting position. They (the contractions) were definitely getting stronger.

When I came back out, we decided to have me stand. As the contractions hit, I had my arms around Jared’s neck and he helped hold me up through the strongest parts. Cary helped hold the monitors on my belly (remember, the stupid things were having a hard time registering my contractions and the baby’s heart rate, so we had to be diligent about position and pressure so they didn’t think the baby was freaking out!).

After about two standing contractions, it hit me like a wave: first, a bout of nausea, and second, an astoundingly intense contraction. And then the next contraction was just as intense. I hesitate to say painful; it definitely hurt, but it was because of the intensity that my whole body felt with the contractions. And then the next one was the same, but with an almost tingly sensation down below. And then again. They were less than two minutes apart; and I felt like I couldn’t get a break in between them!

This is where I wavered. I looked into Jared’s face, and I think I said something along the lines of, “I don’t know if I can do this for too much longer. I think I need to lie down again because this hurts so much.” (Meaning, pain-wise, I was doubting my ability to go the distance.)

Like a great partner/coach, he looked me in the eyes and said, “Of course you can. You’re doing great!”  Cary followed up with more encouraging words, and we decided to try one more standing contraction before lying down.

After another intense contraction, they helped me onto the bed. This time though, the position change didn’t help the contractions; they continued to be extremely intense. And then a completely new sensation took over. I looked at Cary, who was sitting almost at eye level next to the bed, and I am sure I sounded confused and surprised when I said, “I think I want to push!”

Remember, this was roughly a half hour or so after being told I was 5 cm out of 10 cm dilated, so I think we were both a little worried that I might be having the pushing urge too early, which could definitely be a complication in the birth plan. She asked me to try out one more contraction to see if it went away.

It didn’t.

Cary went to go get the nurse, explaining that I felt the need to push. The nurse came in and checked me again, and even she sounded a little surprised when she said, “Well, I can tell you one thing. You’re about to have this baby!”

I believe I uttered a very intelligent sounding, “What?” to which she repeated, “You’re about to have this baby!” Then, she rushed out to call the doctor and ready the birth reinforcements.

I think all three of us, Jared, Cary, and I, had a classic “WTF” moment. I was so shocked that the next contraction almost didn’t faze me. I’m sure the look on my face said it all. We were all amazed that labor had progressed so quickly in so short a time. I was even a little disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to finish “Shrek”.

This is the part that is a little rushed for me, because it both felt like an eternity and mere seconds at the same time. We quickly were pulled back into the moment when the nurse returned and informed us that I had to try and wait because the doctor had gone home, and was heading back now. (Later, we learned that she had called the doctor ten minutes before this to let her know I was a 5 and that it would probably be a while, so to stay at home. I imagine the call back ten minutes later was a fun one to listen to.)

This meant that I had to do the classic, hyperventilating panting, to avoid pushing. I am saying this now–putting this in print–that I will never, ever, do that again unless it is a life-or-death situation. My exact words will be, “I’m sorry, but you can’t stop me from having this baby, and somebody better stand guard to be ready to catch her/him.” Because of ALL the pain and contractions was nothing next to the misery of panting for a half hour.

It was wave after wave of feeling the need to push and trying not to. My whole body was fighting me. Gross comparison: Imagine having violent diarrhea, but being told you can’t go to the bathroom right now and need to hold it. Then times that by about 100, and that was closer to what I felt. As the birth entourage (what I liked to call all the nurses and attendants for baby and me) piled into the room, I was only vaguely aware of them getting everything ready, because I was in my own little world that only Jared managed to make bearable.

Poor, poor Jared. As each contraction and need to push hit, he was there telling me that I could do this, that I was amazing, to keep panting, even though I was groaning and hyperventilating as I said with each little breath, “I don’t think I can do this.” From what I could see of his face, he was absolutely miserable. I think it was just as hard for him to watch me going through that wretchedness and not be able to do anything about it, as it was to be the one in it.

I lost track of all time. I had no clue how long I had been going through this. Finally, after what was again an eternity, I heard somebody tell me that I could start pushing because the doctor was almost ready.

Heavenly. That’s the only word I can think of to describe the change of being able to go with the waves of contractions my body was putting me through. It felt wonderful to be able to push. While it was hard, and it was uncomfortable, it was not painful (especially after being told not to push for what I learned later was about a half hour!).  Where holding back had felt like infinity of punishment and misery, time seemed to fly with pushing. And the whole way, Jared and the doula were by my side, encouraging me.

It seemed like only a few pushes later (again, another half hour had gone by without me realizing it) when they asked me if I wanted to look and see the baby’s head crowning. I was in the zone, though. I didn’t need to look to know she was almost here.

Shortly afterwards, I could tell the exact moment that she came out. I pushed harder than ever, knowing she was so close, and I could feel as her head came through, and then as the doctor pulled the rest of her little body through. At 9:47PPM, less than 6 hours after starting the pitocin, the culmination of 9 months arrived. I was tired and exhausted, but again, it wasn’t painful (though later I learned I had second degree tears). I just felt relief and happiness.

They lay her crying little body on my stomach, and I remember saying to her, “You’re finally here! I can’t believe you’re here!”

To know my body COULD do this process with little medical intervention, and to know that I was able to have full control and knowledge of this process as my daughter came into this world… Ahh. To say it was incredible, empowering, doesn’t seem to fully do this experience justice.

The joy I felt was slightly interrupted when I noticed the doctor started to cut the cord. We had put in our plan that we wanted to delay the cord clamping just for a few minutes, and that Jared wanted the option to cut the cord, but the doctor completely ignored those again. By the time I could get Jared and Cary to notice, the doctor was almost done, so Jared said just to finish it. (He wasn’t that disappointed; he was more irritated by the fact he hadn’t been offered the option!) The placenta came out with no problems, and I got stitched up.

And for quite a while, we snuggled with our new addition. We marveled at her tiny, perfect hands and feet, and I was completely enamored with her full head of hair. And when Jared turned to me and said, “What about Evelyn Quinn?” which had been our “secondary” name, I agreed, even though most of the pregnancy I was certain she would be Sophia.

In that moment, it all just felt right. And even though the hard work remaining in our hospital stay was just getting started, for that moment in time, everything in the world was as it should be.

A Labor Story, Part II

A Labor Story, Part II

I know it’s been a while, but when it comes to getting some sleep or writing done, sleep wins hands down. Sleep also beats shower, unless it’s been too too long. To read/review Part 1, click here.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in at 2:00 PM. I had heard that checking in and registering, even when you have “pre-registered” at the hospital, can take forever. And I had heard right.

First, we did paperwork. Then, we did more paperwork. Then, we were asked a zillion questions about my medical history. I was slightly annoyed by all of this, since we had gone through all those questions before when we had our emergency hospital pit-stop back in March … you’d think that they’d save that information somewhere. Because unless you and your extended family have some drastic lifestyle changes or suddenly were showing symptoms of some serious genetic diseases in the span of a few months, then most of the answers would remain the same… yes?

You could tell the nurse that we had did not like the fact that I had taken “so long” to arrive at the hospital, along with the fact that we had a doula. We had let the person at the registration desk know that our doula would be coming soon, and that she could come right in.  We wanted her there as they told us the options for how they wanted to induce us.

However, the nurse was a bit tricky. She first reminded us to think about what we wanted to do for the inducing; the doctor wanted to do an anmiotomy (break the water) but pitocin was another option. (When I had spoken to my doula earlier in the day, she had actually recommended trying to start with the pitocin so that we didn’t have to be on the 24 hour timeline that the hospital puts you on when your water breaks.) Then the nurse said, “Oh, by the way, I think your doula might be here, but I just need to ask you a few questions before she can come into the room.” Then she proceeded to ask me the zillions of questions about my medical history and family history, occasionally punctuated with “By the way, have you decided what you’re going to do, yet?” Both Jared and I were getting a little frustrated because this was definitely more than “a few” questions, and it was clear she was trying to get us to decide before we could have better input from our doula.

Fortunately, our doula, Cary, wasn’t a pushover, and after about 15 minutes of this, she came into our room anyways. (I didn’t mind- I don’t have anything to hide about my medical history!) Once again, the nurse gave us a look of disapproval, but since it was my privacy at stake, and I was allowed to have two “support persons” in the room with me, there wasn’t much she could do. We finished answering the menial questions and then decided that we’d try starting with Pitocin and see how labor progressed from there, that way we wouldn’t start the 24 hour time limit. Of course, if the baby didn’t “tolerate labor” well, then we’d have an emergency c-section and the time limit wouldn’t matter anyways, but we were willing to try it.

Finally, around 4:00 PM, I was hooked up to the IVs and started on the Pitocin. (See what I mean about how long just getting in the hospital took?). I had donned my nightgown from home, which would be more comfortable for me than the hospital gowns, especially if I ended up walking/moving around like we planned on doing as labor progressed.

Once again, we had a few hiccups with what we wanted on our birth plans. We knew the hospital had wireless fetal monitoring, but the nurse we had didn’t want to let us use it because it wasn’t “as reliable” as the normal monitors if we were to walk the halls (which we hadn’t been sure we would even want to do!) Despite asking multiple times, she essentially refused to let us use them, so I was fairly stuck to the bed.

For a while, Jared, Cary, and I just chatted about various things. I know that I mentioned it was a big day for my parents: their first grandchild was coming into the world, and my youngest brother, Jacob, was coming home from his two year mission in Fiji for the LDS church. Every fifteen minutes or so, the nurse would come in and slightly increase the amount of Pitocin dripping into my IV.

By 5:00, I could definitely tell that I was having contractions, and they were fairly painful and close together. I would have contractions that were 60-90 seconds long with about 2-3 minutes in between. I was surprised by how frequent they were so soon after starting the medication (and from being on so little of the medication), since the “textbook” labor generally says go to the hospital when contractions are every 5 minutes. Because I knew they would tell me soon that I wouldn’t be allowed more food, I snuck a granola bar in.

It turned out to be a wise time to sneak the granola bar, because at 5:30, our doctor came in (she was the doctor “on call” that night at the hospital, too) and measured me. She said something about me being at “A loose 3” dilated (from my “tight 3” that morning?!). I guess you could just say 3 ½ or something, but again, I’m not the professional. She also quickly decided to break my water and told me explicitly that I was to have no food from here on out.  Honestly, I don’t think it would have been much longer for the water to have happened on it’s own, with how quickly the contractions had already intensified, but so it goes. Jared marked the time so that we would know our twenty-four hour time limit, as long as the baby was tolerating labor well, so they didn’t rush us into a C-section if it wasn’t needed.

I know this will sound totally “hippie”, but I had opted to have as natural a birth as possible. Since I was essentially forced into being induced, this plan was slightly altered, but I strongly wanted to go the entire birth without pain medication. I wanted to have full control of pushing and my body. I’m not a glutton for punishment, however; I had been reading several books on ways to manage my pain without medication. In case you wanted to know, the three books I focused on were Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth , Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition , and HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition) . (If you are interested in doing it “natural”, all these books were helpful; I started with the Ina May book and went on from there. I will say my least favorite was the Bradley book just because its tone was a little condescending towards anyone who might have a differing opinion than the author’s, but it still had some good tidbits. Maybe some day when I have time to myself again, I’ll review the books on here individually for you all.)

Anyways, I digress. I was determined that I wouldn’t become some sort of wacko in the delivery room—I wanted to stay calm and cope well with the labor process. To help cope with not having pain medication, I had studied a few methods, and Jared and Cary brought various items to help. We started with an old friend: watching “Shrek” on Jared’s laptop. (Awesome, I know, right?) As the contractions quickly got more intense, I used an exercise ball and breathing methods to help me cope.

Unfortunately, because the nurse wouldn’t allow us to use the wireless monitors, I was tethered pretty close to the bed. Even then, the monitors weren’t working great. First, they weren’t even catching most of my contractions (and trust me, they WERE happening!) Additionally, as the contractions intensified, I would want to curl up or bend a little more, and then the monitors couldn’t catch the baby’s heart rate as well, and they would think that she wasn’t tolerating the labor well. We were able to convince them that it was the monitors that had the issue, but still, I had to keep them on. Eventually, I gave up and mainly just stayed on the bed, laying on my left side as that seemed to be the best position for the monitors while being remotely comfortable.

Because of my struggles with anxiety, I have had a lot of practice with using deep breathing to remain calm. Being able to focus on counting the seconds of breathing in and out have always been a great way to clear my mind. In this case, I just added in the “rainbow balloon” method. As you breath in, you imagine you are filling up a balloon, and as you breath out, you imagine you are pushing it down and out. You start with red, and go through all the colors. By the time you reach green or blue, the contractions were usually close to ending, but boy, did I really hate the colors orange and yellow!

For some reason, though, this really worked for me. Both Jared and the doula had a hard time telling when I was having contractions unless I told them I was because I would just close my eyes and focus on the breathing and images. At one point, Jared stepped out to warm up and make a few phone calls to family (he claimed the room was freezing… I was perfectly fine, except for random moments were I would have a 60 second hot or cold flash!), and Cary, the doula, stayed with me and thought I had been sleeping because I was so still and calm.

Trust me, though; it was more pain than I could ever sleep through at that point. It wasn’t to be ignored, but it hadn’t reached unbearable proportions by any means.

So it went for a while. 7:00 PM brought the changing of the guards: we met our new nurse. Incidentally, we liked her much more because she almost immediately offered to let us use the wireless monitor if we stayed in the room. Freedom! Somewhat limited, but I would take it. We paused “Shrek” just about halfway through, since we figured there would be plenty of time to watch it later.

So it went some more. It was less of a hassle to go to the bathroom, at least, though the wireless monitoring didn’t do any better than being tethered when it came to picking up the contractions or baby’s heart rate if I moved.

Around 8:00 PM, our new, more likable nurse checked me and had the good news that I was already gone from my “loose” three to a five and that everything was progressing well.

Soon after that, things got a little crazy.

A labor story, Part 1

A labor story, Part 1

I thought my 9:15 am appointment Thursday morning was going to be fairly similar to the week before: Go in, get checked, maybe be 3-4 centimeters dilated instead of a 1 ½- 2. I even joked with Jared that he should come to the appointment with me, in case we had exciting news, and that way he didn’t have to get to work and immediately turn around and come home again. Little did I suspect that in just 12 hours from that time, I would be minutes away from holding my baby girl in my arms.

I arrived to the OB’s office, and it was a fairly slow wait (again). I finally got put in a room and soon enough, Dr. Rush came in to check me. I was mildly disappointed to hear that I was barely 3 cm dilated, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The real shocker was when she measured my belly and found that size-wise, I hadn’t changed from last week, when I should have grown another centimeter or so.  I wasn’t too alarmed at first, since I knew that I had been a small baby, and MY baby had been consistently on the smaller side through the later part of the pregnancy.

However, that was when the doctor started throwing out terms like the baby might be “failing to thrive” in the womb and the “I” word: Induce.

After having me move into a room that had an ultrasound machine, we looked at the baby. Everything was healthy and working- heart was fine, she had been moving around all morning, etc.

But… BUT.  What an awful word.

But Baby was not growing as much as she should be. At the 39 week mark, she was now measuring in the 10th percentile for size. There was enough amniotic fluid, but it was still a little low. And the blood flow of the cord was right at a borderline number as well. All these factors had my doctor convinced that we should try to have this baby immediately. In fact, she wanted me to walk out the door, down the hallway to the hospital portion of the building and get checked in so we could induce me immediately.

Several emotions washed over me. Shock. Terror. Confusion.

I was completely overwhelmed.

You see, I was planning on having a completely natural birth. For me, this meant that I would start contractions at some part of the day or night at home. I would labor at home for awhile, using the tub, walking around the comfort of my own home in my own clothes, then eventually would switch over to the hospital for the remaining few hours of labor. I would manage my pain by using my breathing methods and visualizations that I practiced from the Bradley and Hypnobirthing books I had read, and would manage to push my baby out with no pain medicine.

Everything I had read on inducing labor meant that it was possible for all my plans to go awry. Even more “natural” methods, like breaking the bag of waters, would be putting me on an unnatural timeline and could lead to a higher risk of a C-Section.

At the same time, if my baby was potentially starting to struggle in the uterus and would do better growing outside of me than in, then wasn’t that more important than any of the plans I had previously drawn up for us?

I needed to go home. I was too upset and conflicted to go straight over to the hospital. I told my doctor I would go in after getting some things in order at home and picking up my mostly-packed overnight bag. The doctor wasn’t happy, but she wasn’t going to strap me down into a wheelchair and forcibly push me over to the hospital wing herself.  So I left.

I made it to my car and dialed Jared’s number into the phone before breaking down into tears. Trying to explain the situation to him knocked the air out of me, like being smashed in the face by a ton bricks. I think I was able to get out, “You need to come home now,” before losing the ability to speak for a full minute.

It took several minutes, me sitting in the car, not being able to drive, to explain to Jared the basics of the situation. I’m sure I wasn’t very coherent, but he got enough of it that he was going to head home immediately, telling me he’d call the kennel and get things organized so our dogs would have a place to stay over the course of our hospital visit (one less thing to worry about, right?).

Somehow, I made it home safely despite the tears that seemed intent on flowing nonstop from my eyes. I made a few more phone calls; my doula, my mother, a friend who I had been planning on doing something with later on in the day, to let them know how the plans had changed. Everyone was encouraging and helpful with getting me to slowly calm down with the situation. The doula was particularly helpful with recommendations for the situation, and said that she could come as soon as we wanted her there to help us at the hospital.

I worked around the house, getting last minute things together for Jared and me and snuggling with my dogs for comfort, until Jared got home. (Here’s the part where we look back with irony on the statements from before the morning got underway.) He started frantically packing his bag (because he had been holding off packing… part of his denial that this baby would actually come, perhaps?) and getting things in order. We then took the dogs to the kennel and dropped them off.

As we were driving away, Jared got a call from the doctor’s office, upset that we hadn’t shown up to the hospital yet. This angered me even more, because I had told the doctor previously that I needed some time, especially since this wasn’t a “critical” emergency, and a couple of hours was not going to make or break the situation. (If the baby was really in that much danger and needed to be out that immediately, I would have done it, but since that wasn’t the case, I felt like I was almost being bullied into having the baby in the way the doctor wanted.)

Once we got home to grab our bags, we had a quick bite to eat (since we knew once I was at the hospital, they weren’t going to let me have anything!). We were also able to have one of the great leaders from church drop by and give me a blessing that everything would go as well as possible for this labor experience. We got into the car and called the doula to let her know we were going to the hospital and would like her to be there for most of the process, since we were getting some curve balls thrown our way.

By this time, I felt more calm and collected, and ready to face the changes in my birth plan. I was ready to head to the hospital and start the official process of bringing my baby into this world.


You can jump to Part 2 here!