Friday, August 31, 2012


I am so grateful for the wonderful comments on Holland's birth story {Part One, Part Two}. So many comments made me tear up as I read words of love and support and congratulations. There are so many things I am grateful for right now and I just thought I should take some time to write them down.
  • As mentioned above I am grateful for my wonderful blog readers, and friends and family who have taken the time to read Holland's birth story and send words of love and encouragement. Those words mean so much to me. 
  • I am grateful for my sweet husband who loves Miss Holland so much and takes care of her often so I can get some sleep. I love to watch him with his daughter as he sings to her, swaddles her, rocks her, changes her diapers, gives her kisses, etc. He is the best dad ever. I think being a dad was his main calling in life. He does it so incredibly well! I am also grateful Race is willing to do things like drive to Fry's in the middle of the night to satisfy my ice cream cravings even though I'm not pregnant anymore!
  • I am so grateful to my parents. I don't know how we would have survived these first couple of weeks without them. My mom has called me at 5am multiple times when she has heard Holland crying just to see if we need her to take our little one for a couple hours so we can get some sleep. I just can't say no to that offer! My dad is so cute with Holland and has definitely spent a good amount of time rocking her to sleep in the mornings when she is convinced she doesn't need to sleep. My parents are the best!
  • I am grateful to have won a free photo shoot from ten22 studio with our baby girl. We couldn't really afford newborn photos so when this opportunity arrived we were so excited! And we are so grateful to Rennai for taking photos for us! {Hopefully we will have them soon to show off to everyone! Until then you can check out the wall photos on her Facebook page for a sneak peek. And you should like her page while you're at it!}
  • This may be silly but I am grateful for my iPhone and Instagram as these two things are the source of many adorable pictures of Holland Sailor! 
  • I am grateful my body is healing quickly and I have not been in much pain at all since having my c-section. 
  • I am grateful my body is doing what it needs to in order to feed my sweet baby girl. {Pregnancy, child birth, and all things related really do show you just how incredible our bodies are!}
  • And last but not least, I am incredibly grateful for my beautiful daughter. I love being a mom. I love to hold my daughter close while I feed and comfort her, I love to look at her perfect little body that I was able to be a part of creating, and I love to watch as she experiences new things every day. Having a baby really is like having a little piece of Heaven. 
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week and I hope that your weekend is wonderful as well! We are looking forward to seeing lots of family and blessing our daughter on Sunday! It should be quite the weekend! Thank you all for your love and support! And now for some pictures of our cute baby girl! 

Race and his Holland girl! 

Adorable outfit from Aunt Jasmine!

The cutest collage anyone ever did see! {Dress also from Aunt Jasmine!}

Holland's cute feet. And we love nursing! 

Our Little Goose with her Little Goose from her Aunt Nikki! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Holland's Birth Story {Part Two}

Miss Holland's birth story was pretty long. I spent a few hours over the past couple of days getting it all written out to go into her baby book. I wrote it in letter form to Holland and that's how I am going to post it on here as well. It just makes things a bit easier on me. Anyway, since it is written to Holland there are some things you might need to know to make sense of who people are and such. "Dad", "your dad", "Daddy", etc. refer to Race, "Mimo" is the name my mother has chosen instead of Grandma, "Grandpa" refers to my dad, and "Aunt Helena" is my sister Helena. I hope it's not too confusing!

I want to post this on my blog and share my experience with others but I would appreciate it if people were kind in their comments. I know that people are often very opinionated about things surrounding birth and I love to hear people's opinions as long as they are not rude. So thank you in advance for being kind!

I mentioned above that this is a pretty long story so I am going to split it up into a couple of different parts. Here is part two! {Read part one here!}

Continuing on...

Tuesday, August 14th I woke up at 3:47 am to my first real contraction. Dad was still awake playing video games and I explained to him that this felt like a real contraction. I then sent him to bed so he could get some sleep before we headed into the hospital. I walked around the house while breathing through contractions and measured them on an app on my phone. They were anywhere from two to seven minutes apart {averaging about three minutes apart} and they were lasting anywhere from thirty seconds to just over one minute. I put everything we had packed for the hospital lined up by the door and I gathered up some final things. I wrote you a quick note in your journal to tell you how excited I was to finally meet you. I then woke up my parents to let them know that things were finally starting! I continued to focus on breathing through my contractions and I continued to time them on my phone. Just before 8 am we got things loaded up in the car to head to the hospital. Your dad also gave me a beautiful blessing just before we headed out. 

We got to the hospital just after 8 and got signed in. We headed up to Triage where I changed into a hospital gown and was put on the monitors. You were doing great through the contractions and I was dilated to 3 cm and 90% effaced. This was progress from the last time I had been checked {the Friday of the non-stress test} and I was only dilated to 1.5 cm and 70% effaced. I was admitted to the hospital and had my first round of antibiotics for Group B Strep. After finishing up the antibiotics and getting off the monitors I was able to walk around while they got my room ready. I walked the halls stopping to hold onto the handrails and focus on my breathing when contractions came. Once they got my room ready we headed in there and it was nice to have some space to ourselves. As the day progressed my contractions got closer together and they were lasting longer. Mimo and Dad helped me through the contractions by putting pressure on my lower back, tickling my feet and legs, holding my hands, and helping me change positions. I tried lying on my side, sitting on the laboring ball, showering, using the laboring tub, and a few other things to help manage the pain. I felt like I was handling the contractions well but nothing seemed to be happening.

Your dad and I in Triage
My IV for Group B Strep
The printout from the monitor

Around 5:30pm I finally broke down and asked the nurses to check me to see if I had progressed at all. They checked and I was now 3.5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I was so discouraged. There was barely any change and I was to the point where I was having almost no break between contractions and they were much longer. But, I continued on. I kept switching from the bed to the shower to the tub to the laboring ball and continued to manage the pain. I don’t feel like I ever reached a ten on the pain scale but I was physically and mentally exhausted. After four more hours of this we asked them to check me again because the contractions were even more intense. This time there was good news! I was 7.5 cm dilated! This helped boost up my spirits and I was able to continue on.

Breathing through contractions and timing them on my phone with Dad by my side.

Dad reading and putting pressure on my back while Mimo tickled my feet and legs.
One of my wonderful nurses {Jamie} checking up on you.
{She actually came back the next day to check up on us and came to the c-section with us even though I was no longer one of her patients!}

Mimo kept track of my contractions throughout the day.

During the next few hours of contractions Dad and Grandpa gave me a blessing while I was in the laboring tub. I do not remember much of what was said but I am so grateful for the priesthood and the comfort it brings. I am also grateful I was able to have two worthy priesthood holders with me through my entire labor. After approximately four more hours of intense contractions {since the last time I had been checked} I asked to be checked and again, there was disappointment. I was still at 7.5 cm dilated. {The nurse did say you were at a +1 station which means your head was starting to move down but later they said you were back at a 0 station so I don’t know if there were just different interpretations or if you really did move back up.} Mentally this is about where I broke. Things were not progressing and I was exhausted. I had not slept in hours and I had not eaten anything in quite a while either. {I did sneak in half of a PB&J sandwich while I was in labor earlier in the day even though you’re not supposed to eat at the hospital.} At this point I asked to try some kind of a pain killer that would help me sleep so I could reboot. They gave me an opioid that {we are pretty sure} is called fentanyl. I don’t remember it helping much but it may have given me a little bit of a mental break through a couple of contractions. I don’t remember being able to sleep at all though which is what I really felt I needed.

At some point after the fentanyl I remember using the bathroom and seeing meconium in the toilet. I knew that this was possibly a sign of you being in distress so we let the nurses know. I think they monitored you a little bit more but you still seemed to be doing fine through the contractions.

Around 2:30am I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was so ready to meet you and I could not see when that would happen. There seemed to be no end in sight. I was physically and mentally finished. All I wanted at this point were two things: to sleep and to have you in my arms. I finally asked for an epidural. This was the hardest thing for me to ask for. You can ask your dad. I did not want to say the words. I just kept saying that I was so tired and that I couldn’t do it anymore. It was so hard to ask for because I did not want to feel like I was a failure in my desire to have a natural childbirth. Your daddy and Mimo made sure that I knew I was not a failure. I got the epidural around 3am. Getting the epidural was no fun. I didn’t feel any pain {from the epidural}, but bending over a pillow with a huge belly while you are having contractions is not enjoyable. Dad stayed with me and held my hand while they gave me the epidural. The anesthesiologist finished quickly and afterwards I was able to relax for the first time in hours. {Almost 24 hours exactly since my first contraction.} The nurse made sure to do all that she could to keep labor going despite the epidural {which can sometimes slow things down}. She had me put a peanut ball between my legs to help you move down and she had me put an icepack on my back in hopes that you would turn your dear sweet face around since you were sunny side up {or posterior--which was also the cause of extra intense back labor}.  Once I was all situated I slept for the next two and a half to three hours.

Around 6:15am I was checked again and I had progressed to 9.5 cm dilated. Three hours later at 9:15am I was checked and I was FINALLY 10cm dilated and was told that you were at a 0 station. At 9:22am I began to push. I pushed for the next two and a half{ish} hours but I wasn’t able to feel much and I was having a hard time pushing correctly. At some point they turned the epidural off in hopes that I would start feeling things again and be able to push more effectively. I also tried a couple of different pushing techniques but nothing was really happening. 

Your dad and I just before pushing.

Around 11:30am my CNM, Tiffany {the one I trusted more out of the two I had} came in and had me push a couple of times and then explained to me that I probably needed to think about having a c-section. She explained that your position {posterior}, the presence of meconium, and a few other things were cause for concern and reasons that I might want to consider having a c-section. It was not an emergency yet but at some point it could turn into an emergency. As she explained this I was not nearly as upset as I thought I would be. I think at this point I knew that things were just not going to go the way I had desired and I was just so ready to meet you, my sweet {stubborn!} little girl. We had the nurse and Tiffany leave the room so we could talk about what we wanted to do. Tiffany had told us that we could try some different pushing techniques and other things before resorting to the c-section as she really knew that this was NOT what I wanted. After talking we decided to just go with the c-section as I was not feeling like things were going to change and progress. This decision was much easier to make than I had thought it would be and I started getting excited knowing that I was finally going to meet you! We let the nurse and Tiffany back into the room and let them know our decision. Tiffany then called Dr. Kells to have him come to the hospital to do the surgery. She let me know that he was the best one to do the surgery as he does all that he can to make sure women can go back to vaginal births after their c-sections. It was encouraging to hear all of this. At this point I had not even thought about the possibility of never being able to have a baby naturally if things went badly so it was nice to hear that I had an extra cautious doctor. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me a different medicine in my epidural to prepare me for the c-section and then Dr. Kells came in and talked to me. He let me know that I could try pushing some more if I wanted and he said he could try the forceps but there would probably be a lot of tearing. Dr. Kells also knew that a natural childbirth is what I had desired and he did not want to take that away from me so he wanted to make sure that a c-section was a decision I was okay with and was not feeling forced into. I really did feel okay about the decision. I know that there were other things I could have tried but your dad and I were so ready to meet you, our sweet little Holland girl.

Just before heading into the c-section with our wonderful nurse Angie. 
{The epidural made me feel really cold. That's why I'm completely covered up.}

At 12:01pm they rolled me out of my room and into the operating room. You were born at 12:16pm. Being behind a curtain when I heard your first cries was not the way I had imagined things happening but it was still the most wonderful experience of my life. My baby girl was finally here! They brought you around the curtain and showed you to Dad and I. Let me tell you little lady, you had the LONGEST conehead I have ever seen! But don’t worry, we were still so in love with and happy to meet you! Oh, and your conehead did go away! After they initially showed you to us they took you a little ways away to clean you up a bit more and they had Daddy cut your cord. They brought you back over and we got our first family picture together. You were just perfect! You and Daddy then left for you to get your first bath and have you weighed and show you off to Mimo, Grandpa, Aunt Helena, Uncle Knowlton, Aunt Jasmine, and cousin Edmond {Egg} who were waiting at the nursery. I stayed in the operating room where they quickly and carefully stitched and glued me back up. It was only 20-30 minutes before I was wheeled into the recovery area and you and Daddy met me there where I was able to nurse you for the first time. You latched right on and I was overjoyed to have my baby girl in my arms! I got to hold you close and admire your beautiful, perfect little body. And that’s what I’ve been doing every day since then!

Our very first meeting.

Our first family picture!

I want you to know that I am so grateful to your dad, Mimo, Grandpa and your Aunt Helena. They stayed with me through all of this {although Aunt Helena did go home to get some sleep at some point} and helped keep me motivated. Your wonderful daddy helped me through my contractions all day and night, he let me know that I could do this, he supported me when I decided to get an epidural and made sure I knew I was not a failure. He stayed with me while I got the epidural, held my legs while I pushed, and was with me when I had the c-section. He was by my side the entire time we were at the hospital. Mimo helped me get through every single contraction, she constantly tickled my legs and feet and was by my side the entire time. She also held my legs while I pushed and coached me through the entire laboring experience.  Grandpa was there the whole time and helped us communicate with the doctors and nurses as well as helped us be calm and think of what to do before making decisions. Aunt Helena was a constant support and also helped hold my legs while pushing. They all let me know while I was going through this that I was not a failure and they continue to remind me that I am not a failure when I have days that I feel otherwise. I am so grateful for my “laboring team” and I could not have done any of this without them.

Finally, I want to end this by saying that I am learning to be grateful for every single part of my experience. I do not regret laboring for 24 hours before having an epidural, I do not regret having an epidural, and I do not regret ending up with a c-section. It is so hard to be grateful for this experience because it is not at all what I wanted or imagined. In fact, it is pretty much exactly what I did not want. There have been days where I have mourned the loss of the birthing experience I desired but as I said before, I do not regret the decisions I made and I am so incredibly happy to be a mother to you, my sweet, beautiful, little girl. I pray that as the years go on I will learn more and more from the experiences I had in bringing you into the world and I pray that I will recognize the reasons things happened the way  they did. I hope that I can have more empathy and understanding when I come across others who have similar experiences and I hope that this experience can help you and other future daughters or daughters-in-law that I have as you all bring children into the world.

August 15th, 2012, 12:16pm was the most wonderful moment of my life and I look forward to many more wonderful moments with you as my daughter. I love you Holland girl.

Love always,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Holland's Birth Story {Part One}

Miss Holland's birth story is pretty long. I spent a few hours over the past couple of days getting it all written out to go into her baby book. I wrote it in letter form to Holland and that's how I am going to post it on here as well. It just makes things a bit easier on me. Anyway, since it is written to Holland there are some things you might need to know to make sense of who people are and such. "Dad", "your dad", "Daddy", etc. refer to Race, "Mimo" is the name my mother has chosen instead of Grandma, "Grandpa" refers to my dad, and "Aunt Helena" is my sister Helena. I hope it's not too confusing!

I want to post this on my blog and share my experience with others but I would appreciate it if people were kind in their comments. I know that people are often very opinionated about things surrounding birth and I love to hear people's opinions as long as they are not rude. So thank you in advance for being kind!

I mentioned above that this is a pretty long story so I am going to split it up into a couple of different parts. Here is part one! 

August 25th, 2012

Dear Holland,

It’s been ten days since you {FINALLY} made your arrival into our family. Your Dad and I are absolutely enamored by you. I want to write your birth story out before I forget all the details so that is what I am going to {try} to do today. It is a long story so it will take some time to get it all written out. Growing up I always loved to read the story of my birth and to recount the tale to anyone who would listen. I hope that you also enjoy knowing what it was like for your mother to bring you into the world. And I hope that someday my experiences will be able to help you through things that you experience as a mother.

Well, here goes! I want to preface this story by telling you what my birth plan was. I wanted to have an all natural childbirth experience. I planned by reading Hypnobirthing, I went to Heavenly Father in prayer to ask for this experience, I wrote down my wants and desires for your birth in the journal I’ve been writing in for you, and I told my Certified Nurse Midwives {CNMs} and Doctor what my desires were. I felt prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to bring you into this world with as little medical intervention as possible. I felt prepared on your due date, August 1st and then each day after but you were not ready to come just yet. 

Two days after your due date, Friday, August 3rd, your dad and I went in for a non-stress test to make sure that you were still healthy and thriving in your little water world. I felt that you were fine but you were not very wiggly during the non-stress test {because it was in the morning--your nap time} so our CNM recommended that we go into the hospital for another non-stress test and a biophysical profile ultrasound. Mimo told me that they would probably try to make me stay in the hospital and be induced but I did not think they would do something so ridiculous since I was sure you were fine. Your dad had things going on for the day so Mimo and I went to the hospital. We were there for a long time but everything was looking fine. You wiggled lots for us and the ultrasound looked great! I was all ready to go home when they hooked me up to the monitors again. When we asked the nurses why they told us they were just waiting on my doctor’s approval to send me home. A couple of minutes later the nurse came back and asked me if I was opposed to being induced. I could not believe my ears! They were really going to try to keep me there! I told them that I was opposed to being induced and we asked if we could leave against medical advice. We were then told that if we did leave against medical advice our insurance would not pay for the visit to the hospital that day {we later found out this is a myth}. I was upset and crying and we did not know what to do. We called your dad and he immediately came to the hospital to be with me. We also requested that the nurses contact my CNM and/or doctor so that we could speak to them and try to figure out why we were being kept at the hospital. I talked to my midwife and just felt like she was trying to scare me into having you that day. As ready as I was to meet you, being induced was not a part of the plan I had in mind. I had wanted my body to start things when the time was right. And, I trusted that my body would start things when it was the right time. Finally we got Dr. Kells to come into the hospital and look at the records of the non-stress test. He talked to us some and then gave us the OK to go home. We were just told to make sure you were wiggling a good amount each day and that had never been a problem so I wasn’t concerned. We were incredibly grateful to be able to go home. 

The next week and a half was very hard. Every day I was so ready to meet you and yet my body, and you, were just not saying it was time. So I waited. Your dad took me on dates, Mimo had gifts for me to open every day, and I made lots of bows and hair things for you to pass the time. I walked with Mimo and Aunt Gelsey to school every day in hopes that things would get started. I started a list on my phone of all the suggestions people gave me on how to get labor started {That list is a whole story for another time}, I tried these suggestions, nothing seemed to work. 

Date with Daddy at The Melting Pot

The gifts from Mimo.

Just some of the many suggestions to induce labor.

Sunday, August 12th Sister Pittam, from the ward, came over and taught Mimo how to do reflexology on my feet to get things started. It was basically one AMAZING foot massage for a LONG time that put me to sleep. It was WONDERFUL! I don’t know if that is what got things started but Monday, August 13th around 5:15 am my water broke! I was having a funny dream where Aunt Jackie and Uncle EB lived in the master bedroom at our house {where your dad and I are living now} and Mimo, Aunt Helena and I were working on something in their room when we saw a scorpion. Mimo told me to call 911 because apparently we had previously had a bad experience with scorpions so she wanted the fire department to come and get rid of it. I was on the phone with the dispatcher who was telling me that I had to look and see if the scorpion had two prongs on its back. I was trying to carefully approach the scorpion to look for the prongs when it jumped at me and bit me once on the hand and twice just above the knee. I went crying to my mom to tell her I had been bit when I all of a sudden started peeing and couldn’t stop. So I sat on a little tin antique children’s training potty that Aunt Jackie had decorated the room with and just let myself pee while I waited for my mom. I was pregnant in the dream but for some reason I was not convinced that the constant, uncontrollable peeing was my water breaking. Just after this all happened I woke up to a soaking wet bed. I excitedly woke your dad up to tell him that things were finally starting--ALL ON THEIR OWN! I headed to the bathroom to clean up and then went downstairs to tell my parents. We were all so excited but I had yet to feel any contractions. Mimo, Dad and I decided to go on a walk to try and get the contractions to kick in. We walked to Walgreens and back and viewed a beautiful sunrise. Your dad and I were giddy the whole walk. After getting home I decided to walk around in the pool for awhile, also in hopes that things would get started. I was feeling some very light contractions but not enough to feel like things were really starting. Mostly I could just touch my stomach and feel it hardening. We decided to wait somewhere between 24 and 48 hours to go in after talking to my aunt who is a midwife and researching about the risk of infection after your water breaks. This was the time period I felt comfortable with. We walked around the mall that day and continued to try to kickstart things. I went to bed a bit disappointed but still trusted that my body would kick in and get things going when it was supposed to.

The beautiful sunrise on the day my water broke.

To be continued...Part Two

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Meet Our Baby Girl {Previously Known as 'Le Bump'}!

Holland Sailor Ashby

12:16 PM
8 lbs. 8 oz.
20.5 inches long
She made us wait a whole two extra weeks to meet her 
but it was so worth it. We are in love! :)

Hopefully soon I will find the time {and energy} to write all about our crazy, exciting birth experience. It was not at all what we had planned or expected but we have our baby girl and that's what's most important! We love being parents! {And Race is seriously the best. dad. ever. I love watching him with his baby girl!}

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Today my due date. And as of right now it looks like it will be coming and going with no sign of this little lady coming. I'm going a little bit crazy with this waiting game but still trying to be positive. I mean, I'm still closer than I was a month ago, right?? It sure doesn't seem like it though! Every day seems to pass soooo slow! Luckily my mom is awesome and has a bunch of presents for me to unwrap each day so that I have a little something to look forward to every day instead of just being sad that I don't have my little lady in my arms yet. Also it is wonderful to have Race home all day every Tuesday through Friday {although when he's at work for twelve hours Saturday through Monday I don't like it quite so much}. He is being so sweet to me. He is tickling my legs, putting my shoes on for me, cuddling me when I have multiple break downs throughout the day, and feeding me lots of yummy food. I am being spoiled and yet somehow I am still going a little crazy. I'm guessing that's pretty normal though.

So here's the update: I went into the doctor's today and at my office they don't check for dilation or effacement or anything. {No making fun if I'm not using all these words correctly...I still don't really understand what all that junk means. Haha.} I am working with Certified Nurse Midwives and they are not very invasive which I love. I do kind of want to know if anything is happening but I think I would be really sad to find out nothing was progressing so I'm okay with just waiting it out for now. I really do not want to be induced so I am planning on walking lots more with my mom. And my midwife said to have lots of sex so I guess we'll be trying that too! {Sorry if that's TMI!} Hopefully something works! This Friday I go in again to do a Non-Stress Test just to make sure things are okay and then next Thursday {41 weeks and 1 day} I have to go in again for my weekly check up and for an ultrasound to make sure there is still plenty of fluid in there for my little girl. I am really really hoping that I don't make it to that appointment though! I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Well, there's my little life update. I'm just waiting around and trying to get things going. I'm so ready to meet my baby girl and while I'm sure there are things I have forgotten to do I'm really not too worried about it. I'm more just looking forward to meeting my little lady. I think I have all the basics covered so I'm not going to stress too much about all the little things. Race and I can't wait to be parents and to be a part of such an amazing thing as bringing life into the world.

I'll leave you all with a quick bump update from today. I am still managing to get dressed occasionally. {Mostly just for my appointments and I throw sweats on as soon as I make it back home!}

Shirt- Shade $8 
Pants- Shade Maternity $19ish
Headband- Made by my sister-in-law

And here is a picture of my belly and Race putting my shoes on for me. I can not even close to reach my feet these days. I love him for doing this for me! :]