Friday, November 29, 2013

Talene’s Birth Story

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On Thursday, October 3rd, I went to my midwife appointment in the morning.  They checked me and I was still 80% effaced and dilated to a 3.  I was 3 days past my due date and like any pregnant woman, I was done.  My hips were out of joint and achy.  I couldn’t lift my right leg off the ground to get dressed without shooting pain from my inner hip sockets.  I couldn’t get comfortable sitting or lying down.  I kept peeing my pants on my way to the bathroom.  I couldn’t stand to cook dinner, wash dishes, or go grocery shopping for my family.  It was like this for weeks!  I wasn’t doing anything but incubating a baby and I felt useless to my family.

My step-dad had just passed away 2 days prior and because I was about to have a baby, I couldn’t go down to be with my family and comfort my mom and siblings during this time of grief or attend the funeral.  I was upset and frustrated that I couldn’t go.  So when my midwife asked if I wanted her to strip my membrane, my previous determination to have no intervention to start labor switched to “yes please!”  I was excited thinking this was finally it, I was going to finally have this baby soon!  After my appointment, I went to the store to walk around in hopes of helping start labor.  Hours passed and nothing.  By dinner time, with no contractions to speak of, I started bawling to Trevor.  I was frustrated that nothing was happening and I was still pregnant.

We did the bedtime routine and while I was reading a story to the girls, I started having to pause to breathe through some contractions.  But I didn’t want to falsely get my hopes up again, because I’ve been living with contractions since 22 weeks.  At 9:44PM, I started timing them.  I was excited because they were 4 minutes apart.  We called the midwife and she suggested I take a bath for 30 minutes and see how they do.  The bath was great and my intensity went down, but they didn’t stop.  We were thrilled that it was finally go time!  Thinking this would be another fast 4 hour labor like the last time, we were instructed to go to the hospital at first signs of labor so that I could have enough time to get my antibiotics administered for being Group B Strep positive.

I was feeling pretty crampy and uncomfortable, but still excited that this was finally happening.  I was thrilled when I found out that the midwife I wanted to deliver my baby was the one on-call for the night!  Leanne checked me and I was at a 5.  I was a little surprised since my pain level was about the same as it was with Ambree when I was at an 8.  I thought I would continue to progress quickly and concentrated on relaxing and breathing, using my hypnobirthing techniques.  I reminded Trevor of the things I needed him to say and how I needed him to help me relax.  He helped me the best he could.

While taking another bath at the hospital, I couldn’t get comfortable and it was taking a great deal of effort to relax and breathe through each contraction.  They were so intense and close and I kept feeling the need to pee.  Every time I peed, it would bring on another contraction.  By this time I still hadn’t gotten dressed from the bath and my contractions were getting out of control.  I was losing control and couldn’t relax enough to bear through the pain anymore.  I told Trevor that I wanted an epidural.  He looked at me and wasn’t sure if he should listen to his wife at this moment or help her with her previous wishes of a natural birth with no epidural.  I saw his hesitation, and told him that I’ve done the natural thing before, that I don’t need to prove anything doing it again, and that this is what I really wanted.  Get me the epidural now!

Then my teeth started chattering and I knew I was in transition.  My midwife had stepped out of the room momentarily and when she came back in, Trevor told her I wanted an epidural.  She said that was fine but wanted to check me first.  She confirmed that I was in transition and at a 9.  She asked me again if I wanted the epidural.  I begged her to tell me that it wasn’t going to be much longer.  She couldn’t tell me for sure, because it just depends on my body.  I decided to just go ahead and continue without the epidural, thinking I only had 15 minutes left.

This is where Leanne became vital to my labor.  She is what kept me together and calm enough to continue when I wanted to give up.  She would suggest a position change whenever I was laboring for a while and then started to become panicky again.  I swayed a lot in the bathroom, leaning over the counter, while she was at my side, massaging my back and belly as I swayed.  Her words were just like my hypnobirthing CD affirmations and she was so soothing to listen to.  Trevor tried to help but mostly was at my side while Leanne was working her magic to help me.  When a strong contraction would come, she would apply counter pressure to my lower back or my hips.  I remember just having an inclination to start a motion of hip movement that I needed to do and would just start doing it, like deep down my inner body was telling my conscience mind what to do.

I felt nauseous around this time and kept feeling like I was about to throw up.  Then I was tingly and lightheaded from all the breathing through the contractions and felt like fainting too.

It felt like it was forever and yet time was going fast at the same time.  I remember looking at the clock and said, “it’s already 4 o’clock?  I’ve been laboring this long and still haven’t had the baby?  (I had checked in at 11PM)How much longer is this going to be?”  I was in so much pain.  Leanne covered the clock with a towel so I wouldn’t let time bother me.  Smart woman.

I kept waiting for the physical urge to push but didn’t feel it, yet I knew that I needed to start pushing because otherwise I was going to be in labor forever.  I tried doing my hypnobirthing breaths to breathe the baby down while pushing.  I did that for awhile and it wasn’t very effective.  I started pushing harder and ended up screaming more.  Yes, I was THAT screaming lady.  I felt bad for anyone else in the maternity floor having to listen to me screaming.  I only screamed during pushes, but I sure was loud and scared of each contraction because it just brought more pain.  My mouth was dry from all the breathing and Trevor kept giving me ice chips in between contractions to help me.

Finally, Leanne gently suggested that although she knew my preference was to do the hynobirthing breaths for pushing,  that my pushing would be more effective if I held my breath in the traditional pushing way.  I decided to try it and push the way I had with all my other labors.  It didn’t feel anymore effective to me, but everyone else started cheering because the baby’s head was finally in the pelvis.  Holding my breath to push made me feel claustrophobic, nauseous and I couldn’t get enough air in between pushes.  I just didn’t want to hold my breath because it felt awful to feel like I was suffocating and couldn’t breathe.

Finally Leanne told me that I would feel like I need to push through a wall and to push as hard as I can past that wall.  She was right.  It felt like I was pushing and couldn’t push any further because of that wall, but I kept pushing anyway.  Then the best feeling came, a gush, release and a body slipping out into the midwife’s arms.  And I could breathe again!  I could finally stop shaking!  In those first few moments, I felt like I was in shock from all that pain and to finally have it start receding.  My eyes were still closed and I was hoping that they would give me a minute to recover before putting the baby on me because I was just trying to breathe, recover from feeling like I was suffocating, survive and come back to life.  They suctioned her out and wiped her down minimally.  By the time they were done, probably 1 minute later, I opened my eyes and was ready to see what I had worked so hard, waited so long for and loved so much.  They placed my baby on my chest and I kept saying,”I did it! I did it!  I’m done!  My baby!  My baby!”

Nothing compares to the moment you meet and see your baby for the first time.  It is beyond words or description.  I looked up to see Trevor by my side, hand on the baby’s back, with tears streaming down his face.  His face, so emotional, I will never ever forget that face.  It was a powerful moment seeing my man so overcome, tears flowing, with love and sympathy emitting from his gaze.  I could see in his eyes, the love and gratitude he had for me going through all that agony to bring the baby into the world.  I could also see the relief he felt to see me no longer in pain, pain that he wished he could take away from me or rescue me from.  It was unforgettable.  Never had I seen him so emotional at any of our other baby’s births.  My love for him increased immensely in that moment.

When I was ready, Trevor held the baby skin to skin while they stitched me up.  Talene came face up and that was why it was a bit harder to push her out.  I kept saying, “I did it!  I pushed her out!”

I was able to hold her and nurse her for as long as I wanted.  Then they weighed and measured her.  She was born at 5:18AM on October 4th.  She was 8lbs 9oz and 20.5 inches long, my heaviest baby.  She had a headful of dark hair and chubby cheeks.  I kept thinking how gorgeous she was!  Oh and her smell!  That sweet nectar of newborn baby.

The rest of the hospital stay was pretty routine.  Nurses coming in to check our vitals a million times, waking us up night and day to do so.  I didn’t get any rest in the hospital because of this and couldn’t wait to go home so I could sleep.  Instead, I just held my baby and stared at her, soaking it all in.  My heart was bursting with joy to have another sweet baby.  I felt so much gratitude to my Heavenly Father with blessing us with another healthy baby girl, Talene Karen Whiting.

Her first bath.
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Sisters wanting to watch her bath.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

She’s Singing Again

Ah, never a dull moment.  Love her crazy singing.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

This one of Ambree’s favorite songs.  She will randomly burst out this tune, even long after Christmas.  My favorite is when I can hear her start singing it when she’s using the potty!  Haha.

Wheels on the Bus

Oh this girl.  Always entertaining and bringing laughter into our home.  She’s 3.5 yrs old in this video.

Family Mealtime

 I felt such joy this evening as I took a mental snapshot into my memory of the scene around me.  We were all gathered at the dinner table.  Trevor was home in time for dinner.  Raelyn was having her usual difficulty and complaining about the meal, even one that she has enjoyed previously.  She asked me to tell her something funny about when I was little.  I told her I would tell her something after she took a bite.  With each little tidbit of childhood memories shared, she took a bite.  We all giggled and the girls kept begging for more stories or special things about them when they were a baby.

I looked around the table, realizing there wasn’t a more perfect place I wanted to be than right there with them.  Looking at these creations that Trevor and I have brought to life and have raised, gave me such joy.  It was amazing.  Story after story was told and Rae ended up eating half her meal without anymore difficulty.

During a pause in the conversation, I pointed out to the girls that this is the type of feeling and conversation Trevor and I have been wanting to share with them at each family meal.  That’s why family mealtimes are so special and can be so enjoyable.  I wanted to have them recognize this, that this is possible.  At least, it’s possible when the meal isn’t filled with complaints and tears about the food.

The next moment Rae said,”Oh!  If you would have just told me about this before, then I wouldn’t complain about dinner.”

We smiled and said,”We have, many times.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt with Friends

Our friend, Tia Webster, hosted an Easter egg hunt in her yard.  We all brought filled eggs to share and hide.  It was a nice and simple activity on a beautiful day, with lots of time to chat amongst the moms while kids played and snacked on candy.

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Ambree, with two of her church buddies, Easton and Marcus.

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My gorgeous friend Leah, with her beautiful little girl, Brynlee.

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Adorable little Lucy Ryerse.

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Brynlee, Emma Ryerse, Rae and Ambree, sharing and swapping candy.

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Maverick being silly with his cousin and friend.

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And another shot of the adorable baby Brynlee.

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I just realized that I never got a picture of the hostess, Tia.  Thanks again Tia for hosting a fun day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brynlee’s 3rd Grade Concert

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Look!  Brynlee has glasses now!  I was the same age when I started wearing glasses.  We picked up her glasses the day before her concert, just in time for her to see us in the audience.  She’s standing next to Spencer Voigtlaender, a boy from both her church and school class.
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She’s a great performer, really gets into the song and sings with all that is in her.  Trevor and I think she’d be great in theater.  She really hates performing solo or getting up in front of people when she’s herself.  She’s fabulous, however, when she’s pretending to be/do something else.

This past year in Primary, has been the first time that she started raising her hand to participate or answer a question when called upon.  Let me clarify, she’s not shy.  She’s full of information to share to anyone that will listen, anytime.  For some reason, she would just close up in certain environments, like Primary.  She won’t give a talk or say a prayer in Primary yet, but I think she will  have the desire to do so by the end the year.

She will not participate in the yearly Primary Program during sacrament meeting.  She’s usually in tears and won’t leave the pew.  This past October, however, she surprised us by getting up to sing with the children and almost got up when her part was next.  We considered it a success!  No amount of talking/reasoning/negotiating that we offered would alter her mind.  She changed and tried when she wanted to.

Can you imagine our utter shock when she asked Trevor to join her on the stand during testimony meeting two months ago?!  He bore his testimony first, while she hid behind his back.  After he finished, she took her turn at the microphone, while holding onto Daddy’s hand.  She bore her testimony for the first time and my tears could not be stopped.  The part of her testimony that I remember the most was that she said,”I know that anyone who wants to, can be baptized and become a member of the church.”

We weren’t the only ones in shock over her valiant effort to bear her testimony in front of the congregation that Sunday.  Her Activity Day Leader and her Primary teacher both cried happy tears, knowing how much this meant to see Brynlee up on the stand.  They both have had to work through Brynlee’s certain shyness and unwillingness to participate in group settings.  They triumphed with her.  They excitedly approached me after the meeting to ask what had come over Brynlee to do that!  Brynlee surprised us again by bearing her testimony the following month too.

As we’ve watch her struggle these past years, our joy and pride in Brynlee is even more exquisite and deep with each and every effort or performance she is now willing to participate in.  She’s going to continue to do great things, in her own time.

Video from Brynlee’s 3rd Grade Concert

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Daddy Daughter Valentine Dance

Trevor took the oldest girls on a date.  He bought each of his dates, a pretty rose displayed in a delicate swan vase.  They were thrilled.  I was having a pretty sick night (morning sickness), but I managed to get their hair done.

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They had a wonderful time and came home with some prizes that Brynlee had received from winning the raffle drawing!  She got a lotion/perfume set and a restaurant gift certificate.

I was most in awe that Trevor found out about this local community dance from a patient of his.  He then took the initiative to find out where and buy the tickets for it.  Even after a long and tiring week, he still wanted to go when the night came.

Now, this is not common for him.  He’s a pretty chill guy who likes to just be at home.  He doesn’t like crowds or busy, noisy places.  He doesn’t normally go out of his way to plan activities or dates because he really is just happy to be home with his family.  It’s his favorite place.  He will go and do fun things/dates but I am the one that usually sets it up, finds out the info and plans the date.  I’m the one that most often says,“let’s go somewhere and do something fun.”  Thus, he really surprised me with this evening.  He loves his girls so much and wanted to create a great evening with them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Talking with Daddy

Pretend cell phones make for silly conversations between little girls and their Daddies.