Another Birth Story

December 20: We celebrate Christmas with the kids just in case we are in the hospital on Christmas morning.

December 21: I post this to Instagram. The day passes without any sign of labor and I spend the afternoon at a baby shower.

Time's up, kid. #duedate

Time’s up, kid. #duedate

December 22 & 23: Acupuncture worked last time so I get two treatments before the holidays and fully expect to have a Christmas baby. Acupuncture is super, super relaxing (but also the only place I get to be alone so maybe it is just that).

December 24: I’m probably the crankiest I’ve ever been at a Christmas Eve service. This whole pregnancy has made me think I need to write a book about being pregnant for introverts. It is not easy getting a ton of attention that is well-meaning but that you really don’t want. I’m tired of talking about being pregnant with everyone I see. We celebrate Christmas with my parents as planned.

December 25: Still pregnant and no sign of a Christmas baby. I’m attending all the family events I had assumed I’d be missing this year. At least the kids are happy and it is a nice distraction from being overdue.

December 27: I quickly use the pedicure gift certificate my mom gave me. The women at the salon are terrified that I’m going to go into labor there. I’m running out of tricks to induce labor and getting really close to the 41 week mark.

December 29 (AM): I’m 41 weeks and a day pregnant and that means I have to have an ultrasound. I was really hoping to not make it to this appointment but no such luck. Thankfully, the baby looks great but the ultrasound tech declares the baby is “10 pounds 4 ounces.” I laugh and say, “Are you sure?” She is sure. I am not but I’m doubting myself now. I don’t feel like I’m have a 10 pound baby. We call the midwife when we leave and she says ultrasounds are off all the time “give or take two pounds” and not to worry about it. But then later she calls and says she wants me to come into the birth center to talk about my options before the OB who oversees her does an official report on my ultrasound.

December 29 (PM): I nap and then we go into the birth center. We are too late. The OB has seen my ultrasound and says that baby could be 10.5 pounds and I’m officially “risked out” of the birth center. This is pretty disappointing. The midwife does an exam on me. She thinks my baby is more in the 8.5 to 9 pound range but cannot talk the OB out of her decision. She gives me a few options of what to do: 1) Elective c-section 2) Castor oil or 3) Just keep waiting. The c-section sounds really tempting (this could all be over with so quickly and we’d have our little girl). But, overall, I want to minimize my time in the hospital as much as possible because I have three other kids at home. Dan and I decide to eat dinner, get a good nights rest and I’ll take castor oil in the morning.

December 30 (AM): Dan goes to Target to get me castor oil and raspberry sorbet (the midwife says this will lessen the grossness of the castor oil). As usual, the midwife is totally right. Castor oil is not that bad. I take it at 9:00am and am told to wait four to six hours for it to go into effect. I have some very mild contractions. But six hours later nothing is happening. We call the birth center and they say I can come in to discuss my options. My parents come to watch the kids and we head back to the hospital. This time we are going to labor and delivery since the birth center is officially off the table for me and my very content baby.

December 30 (PM): We arrive at labor and delivery. Dan is super awesome and starts making sure they know I want to see a midwife and reminding them that I would like to avoid interventions if possible (again, being a great doula). My FAVORITE midwife is there (I like them all but this one has also adopted a child through foster care and we have bonded). She gives me my options (there are many) and tells me what she would do (which I really appreciate). We decide that I will get Cytotec to try get my cervix to dilate. I also get an Ambien and a good night’s rest. I have some super mild and unimpressive contractions through the night. I wake up very much not in labor.

December 31 (AM): Nurse and midwives change and it is time to start Pitocin. We are basically out of options are this point. This is what I’ve feared all along but it is where we are at. At 9:00 am they start the Pitocin and slowly crank it up throughout the day. I’m not getting what the big deal is about Pitocin. I’m having contractions but they are totally manageable. I have the best nurse ever though who has promised to help give me a birth as much like the birth center as possible. She keeps coming in and turning up the drugs and saying she wants to see me in more pain. We basically hang out all morning and I feel mostly fine. At noon, the best nurse ever says, “Okay, we need to break your water to get this going.” I’m cool with that. In the meantime, another woman has arrived and given birth (of course) so my midwife is wrapping things up with her. Once she is done, she comes in to break my water.

December 31 @ 1pm: I decide to use the restroom before they break my water. I’m sitting on a birthing ball and when I stand up my water breaks with a pop. Such great timing (finally!) Contractions immediately get super intense. Way more intense than they ever were with my last birth. I go into a zone and sit on the bed cross-legged and breath through each contraction. In my head, I decide, “I can do this for one-hour and then I’m getting an epidural.” My stomach feels like it is blowing up to the size of a beach ball with each contraction. I think I actually asked Dan if it was (he said it was not). I ask the midwife to set up the portable birthing tub so I can labor in the water. She is flustered and it appears has not used the portable tub before but goes off to get the supplies.

December 31 @ 2pm: Contractions are still crazy and I still have no tub. No one seems to know how to set it up. Even Dan is working on it. I’m annoyed but also just focusing on breathing. With each contraction in my head, I’m saying, “Up, up, up, down, down, down.” Knowing the contractions would go down is what got me through even though they were super close together. At this point, I think, “I just need to get in the tub. If that doesn’t work, I’m getting an epidural.” (Also, at some point Dan asks me if he packed his Excedrin Migraine. I’m thoroughly annoyed by this question and I’m pretty sure he immediately regretted asking me).

December 31 @ 3pm: The tub still isn’t set up. At this point, they are filling it with water but it is the slowest process ever. The nurse checks me and I am about 5/6 centimeters dilated. This sucks! I’m really starting to think I can’t do this. I’m pretty sure I said that. I’m still just chanting, “Up, up, up, down, down, down” in my head. The tub is finally set up and I get in.

December 31 @ 3:40pm: The tub is awesome. I enjoy it for all of five minutes (maybe) and then I am 100% sure I have to push. And just like that, I’m out of the tub and back on the bed. They call in an extra nurse because we are supposedly having a big baby and they want to be prepared for any complications. I’m expecting this to take awhile based on my last birth but at 4:00 pm our little girl arrives. They put her on my chest and all is well. She looks like her sister and she is very much NOT 10.5 pounds. About a hour later, we find out she is a nice 8 pounds 10 ounces (only slightly bigger than her sister at birth).



A few things…

  • Do not underestimate the awesomeness of sleep. I was so exhausted in my last labor. Having been able to get a proper nights sleep this time made all the difference. I love sleep.
  • I really don’t like being hooked up to stuff in the hospital. I was super claustrophobic throughout this pregnancy (and even still now). The most irritating thing about this labor is that I had to be hooked up to an IV and the Pitocin. I obsessively asked the nurses to remove the port as soon as the baby was born (but they couldn’t). It drove me crazy until they finally removed it the next day. I’m sure this is a minor detail for most people in their labor but it really, really irritated me.
  • The really nice staff at the birth center let me recover there and it was nice to have some of the same nurses we had for my first birth.
  • I don’t really know what to say when asked how long my labor was. I was in the hospital for a lot longer than I was actually in labor. The hard part was three hours. The rest was just hanging out with my great doula/husband.




How’s this for a random blog post? (Idea stolen from here).

Reading: A few things – The Gospel Centered Woman (I love this!), The Explosive Child (enough said), Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (The boys are loving this and it makes me soooo happy)

Searching for online: Christmas decorations (mostly on Pinterest). I unpacked my stuff this year and was underwhelmed. In reality, I think I’m going to have to pick up some stuff after the holidays on clearance so I don’t find myself in this spot again next year.

Eating: Poorly. I was great in September and October. I don’t know what happened. January is a good time to start this.

Watching: My favorite shows this fall has by far been The Good Wife (even over my beloved Parenthood) and Parks & Recreation. I really don’t think enough people are watching TGW. D and I love it and this season has not disappointed me a bit. And P&R just keeps getting better and better each season. I had no hope for that show when it started but I think it is amazing now. Oooo and The Sing-Off. The Sing-Off just makes me happy!

Wearing: The Sweetheart Skinny Jeans in Black. I cannot believe I like a pair of Old Navy jeans this much but they are a perfect fit.

Wishing: I didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning my kitchen. Not a real problem, I know.

Drinking: Trader Joe’s Wake Up Blend made with my Aeropress

Cooking: We’re in eat down mode. Money seems to be flying out the window. I’m not into grocery shopping right now. So, we’re eating what is currently in the pantry and fridge.

Making: Rainbow Loom bracelets. A is obsessed with this thing and, I must admit, it is strangely addictive. I’m mostly starting and finishing bracelets that he is making for friends.

Smiling: At my funny kids. Best line recently from A: “I never see my butt.” Said with genuine disappointment

Hoping: To get some time to pull together a special gift we are planning for the boys.

Enjoying: The fact that the Spartans are headed to the Rose Bowl and that, in a house of Go Blue fans, my team is victorious.

Listening: Lord, I Need You and All the Poor and Powerless on repeat.

Doing: Advent readings with the kids from The Jesus Storybook Bible. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of this book.

Planning: Mostly just in my mind right now, but a going-away party for friends moving out of state :(

Obsessing: Aztec print. I can’t get enough of it. Really wishing I would have snagged this sweater before it disappeared.

Gluten-Free Cheesy Spinach Muffin

I saw these on Pinterest and they were two pretty to pass up. I decided to try them while the little one slept today and I had to use what I had on hand to make them gluten-free. Here is what I did…




3.5 oz fresh spinach

2.5 oz feta (crumbled)

3.5 oz. sharp cheddar (shredded)

2 roma tomatoes

.75 cup Gluten-Free Bisquick

1.25 cups Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp. sea salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

.25 cup olive oil

1 cup 2% milk

1 tsp. Herbs de Provence

A few shakes of black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop up the spinach a bit. Put it in the blender along with eggs, olive oil and milk. Blend to the point where the spinach is in small bits.

3. In my mixer, I combined the GF Bisquick, GF All-Purpose Flour, seal salt, baking powder, eggs, Herbs de Provence, pepper and shredded sharp cheddar.

4. Pour in spinach/egg/milk/oil mixture and combine well. Fold in feta.

5. Spray muffin pan with olive oil spray. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, I filled each muffin pan spot.

6. Slice two roma tomatoes in 12 slices and put on dop of each muffin.

7. Bake for 25 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.



I wrote this last week and intended to post it promptly. Then I was faced with a few things that caused me to be anxious and worry and I felt hypocritical. But I’m posting it now all with the understanding that I am still being sanctified and there is much progress to be had.

Thursday was my thirtieth birthday. I’m not having any sense of crisis or feeling old. In fact, I’m feeling amazed and thankful.

Ten years ago, when I turned 20 I was in the middle of a very dark time. I was very depressed and did not have a lot of hope for my future. I was away at college and did not have any really good friendships at the time. My family was far away and I don’t think any of us really understood what I was going through. By the grace of God, the darkness eventually lifted (I don’t have an answer for why or how) but I lived most of my early twenties in fear of it returning. For me depression felt like someone sitting on your chest all the time. I didn’t function well that way and I didn’t want to have to do life like that. In the past ten years, I’ve dealt with anxiety and worry but never the darkness of depression the same way I had in 2002/2003 and, for that, I am very grateful. I also know that God has used a lot of things in the past ten years to help me deal with my tendency to be anxious.

In a lot of ways, these birthdays that end in zeros can be scary. They are markers of what is coming to an end and what may be to come. I’ve been studying Genesis since September and Abraham’s example of faith has made it much easier to approach this birthday. Hope and thankfulness are much better lenses to view life through than anxiety and worry.

I could go on and on about all the amazing things God has done in my life in the last several years. In that time, I started dating D, got married and became a mom over and over and over again. I’ve changed jobs several times and seen the Lord provide for our family in ways I could not imagine. We have had loss and blessings and overwhelming peace from the only One who can provide it. I am thankful  for what I have learned in the past ten years and for what is to come.


My friends Ross & Heather were kind enough to walk me through the process of getting a real URL for the blog. I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about turning 30 and hope to write more in the future in this new space.

Parenthood (the rest of the season)

Let’s hear it for random blogging.

The Braverman’s have really been through a lot this season, amiright? 

We watched Tuesday’s nights episode a day late and I’m sad to see Mark Cyr seems to be back in the picture. I really have a hard time with this guy. Maybe it is the mustache-like thing on his face. Oh well, I have a feeling those two are destined to be together.


I’m mostly invested in the story-line with Julia, Joel, Victor and Sydney this season. I think Crosby may have saved the day in this past episode. Each week, I find myself wanting to recommend so many books and methods and therapies to this family. I think Julia’s had unrealistic expectations for Victor. It is hurtful when our kids don’t fall in love with us immediately (in foster care/adoption) and it is hard when the feelings we expect to have ourselves don’t show up the way we thought they would. I empathize with her so much. I want to grab coffee and tell her, “It will get better. Just hang in there!” I’ve long-learned that it is wrong to expect realistic situations out of TV shows but I think they have done a pretty good job with this issue.

I don’t really know what to say about Drew & Amy except that it made me very sad. I was sad that Drew didn’t really get a choice. I was sad that Amy felt she had no other option. I was sad that their parents were so unaware of what was happening with their kids.

This season is ending up being a very short one and I think that is doing a lot of disservice to Kristina’s story-line. I don’t think they are doing justice to the reality of cancer.

Final quick thoughts…

  • Loved the hilarious dialogue about puberty with Zeke, Camille, Max and Kristina a few weeks ago
  • Loving Amber’s hair recently (and I love her and Ryan together – hope that all resolves)
  • Will we ever see Haddie again?

Parenthood (Season 4, Episodes 2, 3 & 4)

Don’t read yet if you haven’t seen Parenthood from this past Tuesday. Know what I loved about this past week’s episode? No Mark Cyr.

But, seriously though, the plot line I loved more than anything this week was Jasmine and Crosby explaining the racism and the N-word to Jabar.


 Jabar reminds me so much of our boys. I know a day will come when we have to explain this to our kids. I related so much with Crosby as he sat there as an “outsider” in a way, not knowing what is like to have someone think less of you because of the color of your skin. I have had the same heart-breaking feeling imaging that happening to our kids some day. I thought Jasmine’s message was so honest and hopeful. Can I just play that scene someday for our kids? (Also, who knew the guy from Punk’d would turn out to be a pretty decent actor?)

I also think the writers are doing a great job with the struggle of adopting an older child. It is a two-steps forward, one-step back process and they are showing that well. Joel continues to be perfect. (But did anyone else wonder where Sydney was this past episode?)

I don’t have a lot to say about Adam and Kristina’s plot line. I don’t really understand why they have not told people yet (although, it looks like that is what next week’s episode is about).

A few random thoughts…

  • I still like Hank a lot. And I still think Sarah needs to be by herself for a while (but that doesn’t make for an interesting story, I guess).
  • What happened to Bob Little? Did he lose the election? I liked him and Amber together.

Kid Update

DIB is in first grade this year. Starting back to school was tough for him. His teacher reports that he is doing well and we know he has several friends in class. But he would gladly stay home each day and play. He loves Star Wars (although he has never seen any of the movies). And he loves television (a kid after my own heart). However, the new school year comes with a new rule – no television from Sunday evening until Friday afternoon. They boys do not get home from school until 4:00 pm and they still have a 7:30 pm bedtime (they need their 12 hours). There is just too little time in the afternoons after school to spend it watching TV. DIB plans to do running club again and might just join Cub Scouts. Why does he want to do Cub Scouts? He reports, “Because you get to shoot a bow and arrow, like in Brave.”

AIB is in kindergarten and is loving it. This kid loves assignments and projects. He is making new friends at school quickly and, I think, really likes the routine of everything. At home, he likes to have a job (like vacuuming or cleaning a window). He is also quite funny and is currently without two front teeth, making his cuteness factor skyrocket. His current goals are to work on being polite to adults (he gets a bit shy) and to work on trying new foods (he is pretty anti-vegetable).

MNB is nine months old and rocking 12-18 month size clothing. People constantly comment on her cheeks. She just started waving this week. She is not crawling but scoots around quite well in the sitting position. He brothers often say, “How did she get over there?!?” She is sweet and a pretty easy going baby. She is just started to like food (not baby food but anything she can feed herself). She is pretty social. In the past few weeks, she has started putting herself to sleep better for naps and at night. With the exception of a few nights, she has been a pretty great sleeper and for that we are very thankful.

Parenthood (Season 4, Episode 1)

I’m not going to even try to hide the fact that I love TV. Today, I went through my calendar and noted the fall start dates for each of my favorite shows (and new shows that have potential to become favorite shows).

Parenthood started last week. I love this show even when it frustrates me. That is probably why the Bravermans feel like family.

I was worried that Ray Ramono’s addition to the cast would be a bit annoying but I actually really liked him. Last season, I was 100% sold-out on Team Seth. I love a good redemption story – a recovering drug-addict and the re-kindling of what Sarah called “the love of her life.” I so wanted that to happen but for some reason Sarah still loves the mustached Mark Cyr (ick). I’d be more than happy if Ray Ramono’s character, Hank, stole Sarah’s affections. Gosh, I would even be happy if Sarah was just on her own for a bit. Am I right, ladies?

Last year’s adoption plot-line was PAINFUL to watch. I had so much frustration over how it was handled and then at the last minute Joel (who I refer to as “The Man Who Can Do No Wrong”) and Julia take in a seven-year old boy. I’m still nervous over how it will play out but I thought Julia’s realization in the season opener was pretty realistic when she said, “I feel like I’m waiting to fall in love with our son.” I hope that is what we get to see happen as the season continues.


The show closed with Haddie getting on a plane to leave for college. She was full of attitude the whole episode. It was too relate-able. I remember being such a brat as I got ready to leave for college and being super embarrassed as my mom asked some other students for directions when we got to campus. I sat there watching that scene with my baby girl in my arms and decided that we would home-school our kids through college. That is possible, right?

And two quick and parting thoughts…

  • Oh, Drew. Poor Drew. Does he even see it coming?
  • Joel’s Hair. I have mixed-feelings.

Feel free to call me over-invested in the lives fictional characters. I’m okay with that and I know plenty of you who are with me on this.

Back to Blogging (Maybe)

The other day, I found myself leaving a comment on Obviously, this is not a good sign. It is not an place of reason. I had an opinion and I needed to get it out of my head. Sometimes I just need to write.

I changed the header and title of this blog (not the URL because, well, I don’t know how to do that). I stole the new title from a Rosie Thomas song that makes me cry. It is about all that can happen in just a year. For us, it was about 14 months. It has been amazing and crazy and some days it does not seem like there is much left of my brain.

But, whatever is left, may just end up here from now on. I’m realizing I need to a place to remember what life is like right now as we raise these three young children. If I don’t write it down, I’ll soon forget. So, I’m officially back to inconsistent, random blogging.