Galations 2:20-21

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." Galations 2:20-21

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Logan James Birth Story

I have had quite a few friends and family have babies in past few months and now a sister and cousin and other family members who are currently expecting, so of course, it gets me thinking about my own four little nuggets and when they arrived into the world.  Then I realized, I never wrote a birth story for Logan.  Even though it has been 21 months, I remember it as it was yesterday.

Before I get right into it, I want to note that number four's pregnancy came as a surprise because we made our decision that we were content with our three little munkins.  Emotionally, I came to terms with that, and mentally, I was looking forward to not being pregnant again.  My pregnancies always start off with terrible "morning sickness".  Lasting all day and night and didn't end until well into my second trimesters.  Every smell, good and bad, takes me straight to the bathroom.  When you have three other children to care for (diaper changes, meals, cleaning messes, etc.) it is close to living a nightmare.  Not only was I sick, but getting pregnant with number four, was emotionally hard on me.  I struggled with depression most of my pregnancy.  Not for one moment did I not want this baby, but every single part me didn't want to be pregnant again.  I hated every moment of being pregnant.  Even after morning sickness passed, I struggled with sciatic nerve pain and back pain.  I never felt well.  And then the thought of going through another labor and delivery was just daunting to me.  I didn't want to do it.  I wanted my baby, but I didn't want to do all the work again.  This was my fourth pregnancy in 5 years and my body was so tired.  I have been pregnant or nursing for the past 6 years and, selfishly, I just wanted my body back.  Not to mention the extreme sleep deprivation.

I was very blessed and fortunate to have my first three babies with no interventions and ALL natural, despite having them all at a hospital.  I never even had an IV in my arm.  My husband is such a good support and I am so thankful to have him on my team.  Of course, I was going into this labor wanting the same thing.  After laboring at home for a few hours (I normally stay home as long as possible and am used to laboring for 8-10 hours at home), my contractions got to 3 minutes apart very quickly and I panicked.  Thankfully, my mother was already here helping me with kids and my husband was on his way home from work.  I shoveled in some dinner (that my wonderful mama made) as fast as I could and took off to the hospital.  I was really hoping to just have this baby quickly.  Per usual, my contractions slowed a little on the way to the hospital. When we got there I was convinced we would be having the baby soon, but they admitted us at only 4 cm.  I was devastated.  I always got to the hospital much further along than that. I came back to a consistent 5 minutes apart.  So we did what we normally did, walked and walked.  Leaning on my sweet hubby during contractions.  After a few hours I just got so tired.  I just didn't want to do it anymore.  I was continuing to progress, but not as fast I was anticipating.  Then I called in my midwife and I just had a breakdown.  I just mentally wasn't in the game.  I couldn't get in it.  My husband tried his hardest to convince me that we could do this naturally again.  We did it three times before.  But I just didn't want to keep going.  I was mentally and emotionally weak. I was the one who had to do all the work in the end, I had enough.  I was at 7cm when they gave me the epideral.  I did have a little scare where I almost passed out, but the nurse quickly got me back on track.  Thankfully, the best case scenario happened.  I continued to progress the entire time.  No need for PIT or any added interventions.  I was able to rest on and off.  I did have the urge to get up and move around several times, because that is so naturally a part of every labor of mine.  After a few hours of  "resting" I was ready to push (according to the nurse and midwife).  When you have your babies naturally, you feel everything.  You just know what to do.  You know how to push and where to push from.  When you can't feel anything, you have to relearn how to push.  You do still feel some pressure, but you don't really know what you are doing.  So, after some practice pushes, I figured it out and pushed that baby out in just a few pushes.  My husband was able to "catch" L and deliver him, just as he was with some of other children.  Logan latched on immediately and breastfeeding went smoothly.  The Labor was just around 12 hours, just like most of my others.

At my 6 week check up my midwife asked me if I could go back, would change the way I did anything.  I was honest when I told her 'no'.  But that doesn't mean I didn't wish I was in a better mental and emotional state to handle a natural birth.  I desperately wish I was.  I do think,  maybe if I was taking better steps to prepare, I could have done it.  I have also been asked, that now that I have experienced a natural birth and an epidural, would I ever go back?  My answer is ABSOLUTELY.  I don't think anyone really believes me, but it is the honest truth.  If somehow I got pregnant again, I would do everything I could to have another natural birth.  I didn't like that I couldn't move around, or that I couldn't feel what was going on.  That I didn't know when to push or how to push.  When I have a natural birth, I feel so much more connected to my baby.  Like we are in sync.  I don't really know how else to explain it.  Bottom line, when I have a natural birth, I feel so empowered.  Like, if I could just do that, I can do ANYTHING!

Unfortunately, natural birth is not common in our culture.  Hospitals and nurses are not trained to help a women through a natural birth with all the tools that they would need to help a woman be successful.  If you want a natural birth, you need to be extremely proactive to get proper support and knowledge before you go into it.  You can't just go to the hospital and hope for a natural birth.  9 times out of 10, you won't end up with one in the end.  That is my honest opinion.

I was afraid that after I had L I would fall into a deeper depression because of my struggles during the pregnancy.  But I was actually lifted right out of it.  He has been the sweetest, most easy going baby of them all.  He is a comforter and sympathetic (even at this young age).  He lights up my day,  a gift from the Lord, THERAPY FOR MY SOUL, and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

Enjoy these sweet photos:


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

I haven't posted anything in...well...forever...

I am going to come back with a few DIY projects I have been working on.

So, for some reason, whenever I get pregnant I have to get involved in some crazy project.  My "nesting phase" hits hard at the Gehrig home.  When I was pregnant with Gideon I tore up the kitchen floor in our old home.  It took days for my to scrape up all the old glue between the vinyl floor and the original hardwood.  When I was pregnant with Evelyn, we were in the middle of moving, living between my parents' house and my in-laws home for a total of about 6 months.  We painted the interior of our entire home, including painting all the wood trim and all doors white, which took FOR EVER!  

This pregnancy, it is our dated oak kitchen cabinets.  When we bought our home, we purchased Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation Kits for our kitchen cabinets.  Well, we ran out of time with getting the house ready and moving in before little Miss Evelyn arrived....and here we are, 18 months later, and the cabinets are the same.  And I am pregnant, AGAIN!  Which means, I get crazy.  I mentioned that already, didn't I?  Since I had the kits already in my basement, and my husband just got a new job after being unemployed for a few months, which we had 3 weeks before he was going to start, my nesting instinct kicked into high gear.  I thought, "It's now or never.  I am going to have another baby.  When will I EVER get to this project?  I have the kits in the basement.  Lets do this".   So, my husband, being the supportive guy he is, watches the children for endless hours over the period of about 3 weeks so I can work on this HUGE project.  It didn't seem huge at first, but let me tell you, I was going CRAZY towards the end there.  Just CRAZY.  My husband also helped me by hiding some cabinets damage from the previous owner's dogs.  He put up some beautiful bead board and trim around the peninsula.  Sooo, excited about that part.  
Below are a few pictures of the process along the way.  Overall, I am very pleased with the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation Kits.  The instructions were clear and the process what just as they said.  BUT IT IS STILL WORK!  We have a lot of cabinets, so it took many kits and many weeks for me to complete.  I am sure a smaller kitchen would go much quicker.

Before.  The old oak.

See where the old owner's dogs scratched things up.

My handy husband fixed that with some bead board and trim :)
The madness begins.
Things are getting whiter. 

Time to glaze.

Gives it an antique type look.

More white! (I guess my pics are a little out of order)

Everything put back together. 

I hated the green color in the kitchen, and now I love it!  Although I know all the imperfections of my work, I am very pleased!  It was no weekend project, but I think my weeks of work were sooo worth it! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Evelyn Marie: Birth Story

As most of you know, our life has been a little crazy lately.  Through this pregnancy, We have purchased a new home and have lived with both of our parents' for months at a time during the purchasing and "fixing up" of our new home.  As much as appreciated all the support from our families, it was so nice to finally be in our new home about six weeks ago.

I have been a little anxious of things this time around, since we had to switch midwife practices and hospitals due to our insurance.  The prenatal care we were getting has been great, but I was nervous about delivering in a regular hospital room with nurses that may or may not be supportive of a natural birth.  My due date was March 3rd.  March 5th was that big snow storm, so I was just praying the baby would hold off until after that!   Early Wednesday, 1:30am-ish I started to get contractions.  They got to be 4 in an hour right away...then a couple hours into it, they averaged about 10 minutes apart.  I decided the best chance I had of having this baby naturally was staying at home to labor as long as possible.  Byron was a great contraction timer with the help of the contraction timer app on his phone-ha.  They stayed at 10 minutes apart all through the night-pretty exhausting!  At this point we knew the baby was coming, so we called in the troops to watch the kids at about 6am.  We stayed home and labored for a couple more hours, when all of sudden they changed to 5 minutes to 2 minutes very quickly.  The contractions were so intense, I knew it was time to go.  We got to the hospital by 8:30am.  They totally skipped us out of triage and put us right into the delivery room.  My midwife met us and checked me and I was already at 9cm!  I was excited and scared at the same time.  Could I really do this again?  Never once did it cross my mind to take drugs for the pain, but it was so intense and I was tired, I really just wanted to quit at that point.  My water didn't break yet and the nurses and midwife said they could break it for me.  I asked them if that needed to be done to continue and they said 'no', so I decided to not have them do it.  They broke my water with William and everything came on so much more intensely, and I lost my groove for a bit.  I felt like I was in control (to an extent)and wanted to maintain that.   When it was time to push my water still had not broken.  There are very few instances where babies are born in a "caul" (with the bag still in tact).  It is actually a sign of greatness.   As I pushed, my water had still not broken and they could see the babies head with the bag still not broken.  My midwife was there with her phone out for a picture, because that is something they see once in a lifetime I suppose (don't worry, she asked for my permission!)  Just as the baby was pushed out, my water did end up breaking!  It was almost a little disappointing, but I am glad it happened the way it did.  Byron was really excited because he actually got to deliver our little girl this time!  The midwives verbally assisted him and he did great.  I couldn't have asked for a better experience.  

Evelyn Marie was born at 10:23am, March 6th.   7lbs 12 oz, 20 1/2inches (my smallest baby yet).  Apparently the nurses voted that we were their favorite labor ever.  I was skeptical, but they were insistent.  They don't see many natural births....and I guess my attitude was great-ha!  If you know me well, you know that is humorous!  God was so good to us and kept baby and mama safe.  Thanks for all the prayers and support.

Many special thanks to our families who took shifts watching the boys while we were gone.  It was great to come home to warm meal, stocked fridge and pantry, bathed children (one with a new haircut) and smiles on every one's faces.  I am blessed beyond words.

The boys are absolutely in love with their sister and just can't get enough of her.  Gideon loves to hold her and is instant on calling her "silly sally".  She says she just doesn't look like an Evelyn...who is this kid?  I wonder how long this will last!  William loves to kiss her, but needs extreme supervision-ha!  All I know is that they both are great big brothers already!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lots of Changes

Here are some pictures before I get started: !It sure has been a while since I last updated my blog. Here is a little update of what we have been up to. Both of my boys just had there birthdays. Well, my little guy just turned ONE today. Gideon turned THREE last week. Baby number 3 will be here by early March. We just found out the gender over the weekend. We didn't find out for the first too, but thought because of how crazy our life has been it would be nice to know and be a little prepared. We are proud to announce we will be having a little girl. Gideon has been wanting a little sister, so he was very excited. He insists we name her Spiderman Girl. We shall see about that. Haha. As for me, I am extremely excited. Can't wait to braid and put bows in her hair. Hopefully she will have as much hair as my boys do :). In other news, we have a pending contract on house. We have our current house all rented out and have been living with my parents for the past several months. There have been ups and downs during this house hunt, but God was faithful in finding one for us that suits our needs. Closing date is November 30th. It needs a few things done before we can move in. We will be entering into my third trimester when we close, so I am sure I will have many crazy nesting posts after we move in. I already have a list of projects lined up :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011 and Beyond

I admit, I haven't been a great blogger lately. Taking care of an active toddler and a newborn is more work than you can ever anticipate.

I thuroughly enjoyed our Christmas this year. My sister and brother-in-law came up from Georgia for a nice long (but never long enough) visit.

We started Christmas week with a girls baking night. Wish I actually got pictures of all the yummy creations. I made Oreo Truffles, Rice Crispy Treat Snow Balls, and chocolate dipped pretzles. My sisters made various cookies and mom made some homemade fudge.

We also had our very first annual craft night. We made homemade yarn wreaths. They all turned out great....well, we have yet to see Michele's finished product, but knowing her it will blow the rest of us out of the water :) Maybe next year I will be a little more organized!

My finished product w/ homemade felt rosettes.

We spent Christmas Eve and Day with my family. The in-laws came to my parents' house to join in on the festivities on Christmas Eve. It's wonderful that we are able to celebrate with both of our families. We are so blessed.

Christmas Day we got up and went off to church, then we all gathered at my parents' house for out traditional gift exchange. I have to note that I felt my family did a great job with gifts this year and thought there were some very thoughtful gifts given. Makes me want to do better next year.

Unfortunately, a flu bug ran through not only me and the boys, but also my poor sister Michele and mother. Not a great way to end Christmas and bring in the New Year, but thankfully it seems to have passed now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birth Story: William Richard Gehrig


*Warning: May be too much information for some. Read only if you are interested in this sort of thing. This is written mostly for my own memories sake*

It is hard to know where to start with this one. I started having painful contractions 3 weeks before William was born. They would range from a couple an hour to every 15 minutes for a couple hours. Then, they would just die out completely. After a week of that, I woke up one Saturday to contractions that got from 15 to 10 to 5 very quickly. We thought it was time to go to the hospital. They monitored me and I had contractions every 3 minutes in Triag. They addmited me being at 5cm and then after a few hours the contractions completely stopped again! I never thought that I would be one of "those people." Going to the hospital too early or having multiple "false alarms." I thought I knew my body well enough to know when I was going to into labor. I will never judge again! Little did I know it would be another 2 weeks of on and off contractions before the baby would arrive!

The day before I went into "real labor" I had an appointment with my midwife and I was still at 5 cm. We thought it was reasonable to sweep the membranes to try and help things along. I also went to the Chiropractor that afternoon to see if an adjustment would move things along as well. We bought some Castor Oil and that evening we walked the mall. At 3:30 in the morning I started getting intense contractions every 15 minutes apart. Didn't think to wake Byron since I have been going through that for the past 3 weeks. After I woke up around 7:30am and started moving around for the day contractions got closer together and were about every 5minutes. We decided to have my mom come to get Gideon and head to the hospital. After monitoring me at the hospital I was still at 5cm, but 100% efaced. Contractions slowed down to every 7minutes, but once I got in our room and got settled they increased to every 5minutes with increasing intensity. Unfortunately, after hours of this, I had not progressed in dialation. I was completely exhausted at this point and extremely frustrated. We had a talk with our midwife about our options and thought it would be a reasonable thing to break my water bag. This was not our ideal, but being an hour from home and 100% with regular contractions we felt it the best decision for our situation. After she broke my water, contractions got increasingly stronger and closer together. My poor husband's arms may have gotten bruised a little, but he was a trooper and huge support. I eventually started using the birth ball and that helped a little. I started feeling the need to push. I was SO happy to finally be at that point. I was terrified, but excited at the same time. I pushed for maybe 20 minutes and then our baby was born! Another boy! It was about an hour and a half after our midwife broke my water that the baby was in my arms!

I feel so blessed to have been able to have another natural birth (or as natural as it could have been with a minor intervention). The Good Lord has blessed us with two beautiful boys! We are just so happy and having fun figuring out how life works as a family of four.

William is such a relaxed baby compared to Gideon. He totally goes with the flow and tollerates all the hugs and kisses his brother loves to give him. Gideon is doing so well adjusting to the new baby and their our no big signs of jealousy-yet. He helps me throw away diapers, gets me burp cloths, and the like. I also wasn't sure how he would take to me nursing the baby, but he is just fine with it-and doesn't even seem to remember nursing himself just about 5 months ago.

Praising God daily for these two beautiful blessings in our lives.