Monday, June 9, 2014

The Hippie Hocky Family

I know I haven't posted in a long time.  It's been what?  6 months? ��
There's so much to catch up on. Too much for one single post so I will just start with family photos.   We had our first family photo shoot as a family of four last month.  We used Plumb Photography, who else. ;)  I honestly don't use her just because she's one of my dearest friends. Her talent is amazing.  I just love her work and  creativity.
When I set the date of our shoot, I knew I wanted to have an old vw van as a prop. Naturally I looked to Pinterest for some idea inspiration and my desire to have a van only grew.  Kyle and Ali both posted on Facebook asking if anyone had a van for us to borrow for the shoot.  Sadly, there were no responses.  The week before our shoot, I was trying to think of other ideas and was a little sad that we couldn't get a van.  Then, two nights before the shoot Kyle and I were driving down a street with lots of car shops. In one of the shops I spotted two vw vans!  I told Kyle that he should call the shop and work his magic and see if we can borrow one.  He called and talked to the owner.  One was for sale and the owner said that it didn't have a title or tag and so couldn't be driven off property. He then went on to say that he knew the owner of the the other van and could give Kyle her number.  He called her and asked her the random question if we could use her van for our family pictures. She was delighted!  I was then delighted!  When she drove that beautiful van into our little spot that we were taking the pictures, I fell in love.  The vans owner was so sweet.  She told us the story about how this was her dream van and she was honored to let us use it. She called it the magic bus and she was happy to share the love. True hippie spirit. :)  Loved her. It took self control not to hug her for letting us use it.  The kids did great.  Anna played shy, per usual for any photo shoot and Nolan flashed his infectious smile.  It was truly magical, thanks to that van.  :)

So, without further ado, here are some of the pictures. Hope you enjoy! :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Labor of Love {Birth Story of Nolan Vincent}

I am so excited, thankful, proud to announce that Nolan Vincent is here!  He arrived October 30th, 2013 weighing 8.5 lbs and 21 inches long.  He is the most amazing chill little man.  We are just soaking him up.  As well as the fact that we are a family of 4 now. :)

The Story~

October 29th, I had a last minute scheduled appointment with Cindi, (my midwife), and Larissa, (chiropractor).  I was 39 weeks and  I was having some pelvic pain and I really needed to be adjusted.  The last few weeks were so uncomfortable.  I was trying my best to accept it because it was caused by him being so low and head down.  That was a great thing!  I would take the pain over him being too high or head up, like his sister was. ;)   When I scheduled the appointment with Larissa, Cindi wanted to see me too just to check on how I was doing and the position of baby.  It was a quick check up with Cindi.  She asked how I was and I plastered on a smile and said, "ready".   Oh, how ready I was.  Ready to meet him, ready and anxious for the labor to start and ready to sleep comfortably.  (haha!  I forgot what it was like to have a a newborn apparently).  We talked some and then she checked his position as well as his heart beat.  All was great.  He was low and engaged and I heard "I don't think it will be much longer".  I just smiled and thought "I want to believe you but I feel like he will be in there forever".   Went and got adjusted by Larissa and she too said the same thing and talked about how loose my bones were.   I wanted to be excited but I really heard all these things since 36-37 weeks and he was still in there and not out.  It's funny how slow time is when you're pregnant.  As well as how dramatic you can be....or is that just me? ;)  Anyways, I went on with my day.  Picked Anna up from my moms, went home and we both took a nap.  I woke up from my nap choking from vomit. (eww!).  I ran to the bathroom and threw up just a small bit.  I immediately texted my sister to ask if she ever vomited before going into labor.  She answered that she did with her first right before labor started.  However, it could have been from being adjusted.  I again tried not to get too excited.  I have been having contractions for a few weeks but nothing persistent and worth timing.   I was having slightly stronger ones through out the day and into the evening but again, nothing worth timing.  I told Kyle about the nap and that the contractions were stronger by a little.  I also got in mega clean mode.  I deep cleaned the bathroom and downstairs.  Now looking back, I think I "knew" this really could be it.  As much as I tried to deny it so I would be disappointed incase it wasn't.  In fact, that night, while rocking and praying with Anna before bed, I prayed over the birth, (as I did every night just in more detail), and then told Anna that this could be the last night of her being the only child.  
It was 1030 pm when Kyle and I were watching Sons of Anarchy and the contractions kept coming.  Still wasn't timing them but didn't know if I ever wanted to at this point.  Instead I just moved from the birth ball to squatting.  Trying to get comfortable and I was also feeling a little antsy.  During a commercial I went to the bathroom and that's when I lost some of my mucus plug as well as started having bloody show.  I called for Kyle and told him.  He asked me what that meant and my mind was blank.  I couldn't remember.  I couldn't remember what to do.  I was too nervous to text Cindi.  I don't know why!  I just sat there on the toilet a little frozen.  When I finally came back to my senses, I did text Cindi as well as my sister Kristen, (since she would be coming over once labor started).  They both pretty much just said that this could be it or it could still be a while.  That I needed to rest just incase this was it.  Kyle and I did a few last minute things to get ready for labor such as blow up the pool, make the bed and put up sheets and stuff.  We went upstairs when we were done to get some rest.  However, as soon as I laid down they got really intense.  I was having to breathe and really concentrate on them.  I would grab Kyle's arm when they would come.  After a few of those Kyle wanted to start timing.  I let him.  The contractions were about 6 minutes apart.  He then texted Cindi and let her know.  She advised that I get in the tub and see if that stalls them.  I got in and the contractions became even stronger and closer together.  When Kyle started timing them there they were about 2-3 minutes apart.  Here is when time and events get a little fuzzy.  I was really having to concentrate.  I did tell Kyle while in the tub that this might just be a really fast labor.  I just couldn't believe how fast and sudden the contractions were coming.  
I decided I was ready for my mom and sisters to come on over.  Kyle also told Cindi that we were ready for her.  I labored a little bit more in the tub and then got out.  By the time I was out is when my mom showed.  We went downstairs where my birth space was set up and I automatically got on all fours and labored.  Sometime during this is when Kristen, Cindi and her birth team arrived.   It wasn't until Cindi sat with me and placed her hands on my back and told me to relax my muscles that I even realized there were other people in the room.  I was in my own world and found it amazing how easy it was to block everything out.  I was only aware of the music we had set up, the oils we had burning and my breathing.   It was really serene.  Though the contractions were coming strong and fast, I didn't feel like I was in crazy pain.  Don't get me wrong.  It hurt.  I guess it was just more of a very uncomfortable pain.  I also will add that when I first started feeling those first real contractions I was so excited to feel them.  I welcomed them.  I had waited for this.  I waited since I was pregnant with Anna!  Three years later I was doing it.  I was laboring and birthing my baby.  I really think that mind set is what really helped me with the pain too.  Well, the pain of contractions anyways.  :)
I labored for hours in all different positions.  Hands and knees; hovering over the birthing ball; sitting on the birthing ball; sitting on the toilet; in the birth pool.  It was amazing getting to labor however was most comfortable for me.  
I can't recall how many  hours it's been or what time it was but when I was in the pool, I could feel myself dozing off in between the contractions.  Cindi had asked if she could check me and see where we were.  I was so tired at this point and I just didn't care.  I got out of the pool and she checked me.   Boy, did I regret allowing her to do so.  It hurt like a...well, I don't know what to compare it to.  It just hurt.  She didn't just check my dialation though.  Nolan was so active while I was in labor that she was needing to check his position and feel for his head.   
I was at this point 8-9 cm.  She advised that we try and get some rest so that I am not drained and tired for the pushing.  I couldn't move hardly so I just stayed there on the couch.  Worst decision.  I was so uncomfortable.  This is the time when the contractions really hurt and it was hard for me to relax.  I don't know how long I stayed there.  My sister, Kristen, would rub my arm and encourage me everytime a contraction came.   It was exactly what I needed.  I learned that I hated feeling alone during labor.  I needed someone there touching me.  I needed to see someone when I would open my eyes.  Because of how I was facing, when I opened my eyes I couldn't see anyone.  They were all behind or on the side.  I didn't want to move my head though.  
I finally got the energy to vocalize that I was hot and wanted off the couch.  I also really needed to use the bathroom.  I was drinking so much water during labor and it was going right through me!   
Cindi advised that I still rest.  There was just a few hours left before the sun would rise.  They helped me upstairs and that's where Kyle and I stayed for a while.  Again, I have no recollection of times so I don't know how long I was up there.  I was able to sleep in between contractions.   It was nice even if it was very little rest.    However, I eventually became uncomfortable laying down and was ready to go back downstairs to my birthing space.  I desired the music and water.   
When I made it back downstairs I realized that Kristen and my mom had left.  As well as the birth assistant.  Nikki was now here to take the place of Rachel.  Shortly after coming down stairs is when Anna woke up too.  Kyle got her and called his mom to come pick her up.  We knew she wouldn't be able to handle being there seeing me in pain.  Now, I am so glad we made that call!  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do until the last month of pregnancy.  When Tricia came and got Anna is when my good friend, Ali arrived to take pictures.   She was ever so sweet to offer.  
The pool was ready again for me to get back into.  I labored more in there.  I also was starting to push.  Not exactly because I felt the urge but just to get him to drop more.  This is where the birth began to feel like it was never going to happen.  Eventually being in the water was spacing my contractions out and so I decided to get out.  I labored and pushed on the floor.  Again, in all different positions.   All fours, squatting, leaning over furniture and even laying on my back.   Which of these do you think was most  successful in getting Nolan to come out?  Yep- laying down on my back.  ;)  He would get so close and I would think it was almost over and then he would go back up.  I pushed for hours!   Then, when we thought he was almost out everyone talked me into getting back into the pool since I wanted a water birth so bad.  I did.  I somehow was able to walk, waddle is more like it, back into the pool.  I pushed a while in there.  Again, it slowed down my contractions and his heart rate actually started dropping.  Cindi allowed me to try for as long was safe and then we just decided that he was coming out so much better on the floor.  I somehow was able to climb back out and walk back to the floor.  
I pushed and pushed!  It hurt and he was not coming out.  Cindi told me that I wasn't getting mad enough.  That is when I started getting really vocal.  You hear about how beautiful a woman's "labor song" is.  Well, if there is such a thing as a "pushing song", let me tell you- it's not pretty!  Mine wasn't anyways.  I was scaring myself sometimes by the noises that were coming out.  :)  I didn't care though.  I was ready for this baby to get out!   I was tired and I was in pain.   I wasn't feeling this relief from pushing that I heard and read all about.  It was making me angry.  I wanted to push when I felt the urge but it turned out that I needed to be coached.   I needed Kyle or Nikki to count for me while pushing.  The kind of things that I said were unnecessary  when writing my birth plan.  Well, they were for me.  I kept wanting to give up mid push.  I was just too tired.   
Then I hear everyone cheering.  My mom, Cindi, Nikki, Kyle and Ali.  Telling me that he is coming out.  I was doing it.  His head came out and I was so excited and anxious I actually reached down about to pull him.  Cindi had to remind me that I needed to push the rest of his body out and then told Kyle to come and catch his son.  I pushed one last time and Kyle caught him and laid him on my chest at 12:12 pm on October 30th, 2013.
I dreamed of this moment.  When I became pregnant with Sky and knew that we were going to have a homebirth.   Then after we lost Sky and I became pregnant again with Nolan, I dreamed like you wouldn't believe.  It was a constant dream going on in my head.  During the day; while I slept.  Dreaming of this pregnancy going to full term.  Dreaming of me feeling a contraction.  Me pushing and birthing my baby and holding him on my chest and me just crying because I did it.  I successfully carried this baby full term.  Allowed him to come into this world on his timing and birthing him naturally.   When that actual moment was here and it was no longer a dream, I didn't cry.  I just held him so tight and silently thanked God for blessing me.  He was crying and I would tell him that I was here.  It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life.  Better than I could have dreamed or imagined.  We did do it.  
Kyle was so amazing during the whole thing.  He was my rock.  Telling me that I was doing a great job when I felt like my body wasn't doing a good job pushing this baby out.  He allowed me to grab his hand or arm at each contraction.  He would kiss my head as a silent way to tell me that he was there and he believed in me.  My heart grew so much that afternoon.   Making room for me to love Nolan as I do Anna.  Also, falling deeper in love with Kyle.  
Nolan latched right on and nursed for a good hour.  I ate some food that Kyle cooked and tried getting some energy back.   After Nolan was done nursing, Cindi weighed him and did some vitals.  He weighed in at 8.5 lbs and was 21 inches long.  My perfect little boy.
It was a long labor and a long 4-5 hours of pushing but I wouldn't change any of it.  I feel so blessed to have had a successful home birth after having a c'section with Anna.  It confirmed to me that I can do it.  
So thankful for Cindi and her birth team at Gentle Birth Options.  From when I first made the phone call to schedule an appt after finding out that I was pregnant again, they were excited for us and believed and encouraged me the whole pregnancy and into the birth.  Cindi who would gently remind me that I didn't need to be afraid during the birth and that I could do it.  
Ali who was so generous to come over and take pictures of it all.   She captured some of the most memorable moments for my family.   Her sacrifice and patience during it all is such a blessing.  Being a wife, mama and business owner herself and gifting us with her time of taking  all the photos of this whole experience and then editing them.  There are not enough thank yous. 
My amazing mom and sisters.  Present for the birth or not, they each too were there for me during the whole pregnancy and birth.  It be through prayer, listening to me voice my excitement or concerns.  They were and are the best support team I could ever ask for.  
Kyle who is my amazing partner.  What a great team we make.   He had to listen to me list off our to do lists the whole pregnancy as well as complain about how uncomfortable I was at the end.  He still amazes me as we work as a team with two small kids.  Both of us losing sleep at night with a newborn and a tot who decided doesn't need sleep either, he takes on his daddy and husband role with no complaints.  I am beyond blessed that God chose him to be my husband and the father of my children.  

Here is a LINK to a birth slide show that Plumb Photography made for us.
Hope you enjoy! :)

He even was born with a perfect heart shaped birth mark.  So much love

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finding Joy

A few days ago I was reading Anna's birth story that I posted HERE .  It was 3 months after I had her that I posted it.  After reading it, I was reminiscing about that day and those moments of just having her and us becoming a family of 3 for the first time.  I was getting teary eyed reading it remembering how happy and joyful I was with her birth.  How I had no regrets or anger toward my doctor and that baby high you get.  Ah, that baby high. It was so surreal.  Kyle and I made this sweet being who I got to carry in my body for 10 months and and now holding in my arms.  I love everyone in the world kind of high.  I missed it.  All of it.  I would be lying if I said that soon after posting her birth story I didn't go through a lot of regret.  Being angry at my doctor.  Feeling a pinch of jealousy as others around me had their sweet babies and they were able to do it naturally.  Feeling like I wasn't even given the chance to feel a hint of labor.  My horrible doctor took my baby out before her or my body were ready to let go.
After doing research I was upset that I wasn't told about websites such as "Spinning babies" or wasn't told more information as far as chiropractic care.  All that would have helped Anna flip.  I was so angry that I was told my fluids were low and we needed to get her out when in fact they were NOT dangerously low and there was no consideration that I also hadn't drink anything that morning.   I no longer saw the miracles that God did when it came to my birth with Anna.   I was feeling robbed.  If I only knew that it was myself doing the robbing.   I was robbing myself of the joy that was my testimony.  I went through my time of anger and bitterness at my doctor.  Then one day God really dealt with me regarding it all.  The fact is, He really did answer my prayers.  He really did show Himself through the birth of Anna.  I was able to bond and connect with my baby.  I was able to heal amazingly physically after such a major surgery.  I did in fact have joy!  That was all so genuine and real.   The main fact is- I did give it all to Christ.  I did pray that His will be done.  However He wanted and planned for Anna to come into this world be done.  I might not ever know why His will was for it to be through c'section.  However, who am I to argue with God?   To say that I know more or I know better?  
Here I am over two years later and I can say that my joy in regards to the birth experience with Anna is back. Maybe not in the same shape or form as it was when I first had her for I am still finding joy.  I am still finding joy in all circumstances.  I also have my days where I wish it would have gone differently.  Then I think about how I more than likely wouldn't know what I know now.  I wouldn't have looked into midwifery care.  I possibly wouldn't be planning and preparing for a home birth of this baby.   I am also no longer angry with the doctor I used.  I think I just needed to find someone to blame and who better else than the doctor.  :)  
I also think about how after having Anna I kept thinking "there is always next time".  How so true that is.  For that, I am so incredibly thankful.  Of course, the birth hasn't happened yet but I have no doubts that my prayers for this birth will be answered as well.  This little guy will enter earthside here at home and it will be peaceful and joyful.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Home Learning Time

School year has officially started here in my neck of the woods.  I don't know what it is about the beginning of the school year that gets me all giddy.  Maybe it's the fact that it also means fall is close by, (though you would have no idea living in Florida with all the heat and humidity.  It feels like Fall is a million light-years away).  Or maybe it's the feeling of a new season.  Regardless, I love this time.
Only being 2.5 years old, Anna is not yet "school aged".  However, we have done some home learning activities.  I have tried since last year to combine play with learning and have activities lined up so we weren't stuck watching tv all day or having to deal with "boredom" tantrums.  Over the summer, however, I slacked a lot.  Of course, I allowed myself to but I was pretty excited to start doing more planned activities and feeling a little more organized.  What better time to start than in the beginning of the school year when everyone else is doing the same.  ;)
We are also on the "around 2 months until baby is due" countdown and so I have been wanting to make sure I use as much of this time of having only one fun and memorable for Anna.  I don't want to be so structured and yet I want to be organized.  Especially now before the baby comes when I know my time will be more limited to being able to think of "lesson plans" or a learning schedule.  Thankfully there is pinterest!  What did we do before pinterest??  I don't know.  I have been getting most of my ideas from there and been just storing links to my computer.  That way when I am more busy with a toddler and newborn all I have to do is click and voila.  It's that easy right?  Mamas of more than one tell me it's that easy!  ;)
The first week and a half has been great and fun, (with a feeling of accomplishment).  Again, I am not wanting to be structured.  I plan things but still go with her pace and interest.  After all she is only 2!
We have started KinderMusic again.  We learned about the letter "A".  What it says, scavenger hunting for it while reading, etc.  However, the biggest fun for Anna this past week has been the box.  We bought her a new car seat and the box that it came with has been very popular.  I keep looking at it while it sits in my living room and wanting to throw it out.  However, it has been a life saver at times, (like when she throws a crazy tantrum and she needs her space.  She willingly will sit in that box), that I dread the day to come when it's lived it's life and I really will have to throw it out.

Here's a few moments I was able to capture of our past week of "home learning".  :)
A is for art
I never took a picture of our first class of Kinder Music since I was too busy with Anna.  Here Anna is with daddy doing music time at home.  
Anna with her current favorite thing in the world.  The Box!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dusting off the cobwebs

It's time to dust off the cobwebs of this here old blog and start posting again.  I can't believe it's been since November since I last posted!
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays had passed.  We said goodbye to 2012 and welcomed 2013 with open arms.  I have personally walked into my last year of being in my 20's while Kyle walked into a brand new decade- the 30's.  We took a family vacation to disney world. (I will be sure to write a separate post for that alone.)  Anna turned the big 2.  With that came more talking and her, (as well as us parents), discovering more of her personality.  Let me tell you, it's quite a big personality.  ;)  We said a short hello to spring and then a way too soon hello to Florida's summer.  I guess I should say that it was Florida's humidity that we said a way too soon hello to.
In the middle of all this excitement we have also learned that we are blessed to be expecting again!

It was Valentines Day that we found out.  Personally, I am not one to celebrate this particular holiday.  However, this year we for sure celebrated.  I am now 25 weeks and this little life is kicking and thriving.  He is sure to always let me know that he is just fine and dandy in there with all his movements. :)
He.  It's a boy!  Our sweet friend who is an amazing photographer, did a gender reveal photo shoot for us.  It was so much fun and so exciting.  When I had my NT scan at 20 weeks I asked the ultrasound tech to write down the gender for me.  I then gave to Ali.  She placed blue balloons in a box and we opened it up to find out the gender.  I am so thankful that she captured this moment.  It was so special.  As well as a big surprise!  We were so certain it was a girl.  We are so excited to be welcoming a little boy into our small tribe.  (*You can view other work from Plumb Photographer HERE)

photo credit- Plumb Photography
So, there is a brief catch up.  I really hope to be better about posting more.  
Hope all is lovely in your neck of the woods.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"You are my sunshine"

The sun is slowly, but surely, rising.
After my miscarriage it was so dark that at times I felt I was permanently blind.  However, I was, thankfully, very wrong.  My heart is healing and I see the sunrise.  And it's gloriously beautiful!

When I have my days where the grey clouds roll in on my sunshine, my amazing Anna knows how to light it back up again.  On this particular day, I couldn't sit still for even a few minutes without my mind wandering back to my miscarriage and my eyes filling up with tears.  At one moment when this happened as I was sitting on the floor watching her play, she walked up to me and wrapped her chubby little arms around my neck and gave me the biggest hug.  She brings such a smile to my face and happiness in my heart that there are not enough "thank yous" I could offer to God.  I am extremely grateful for the Holy Spirit leading my daughter to love on me when I need it.

My sweet Anna,
I have always called you my sunshine and what truth that nickname holds for you.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Date Night

Kyle and I went on our first real, no worries about time, date since Anna arrived.  We have snuck away here and there a few times  for a quick bite to eat or run a fast errand or attend a meeting while Anna played with Lolli, (grandma).  However, this was a drive in no hurry, sit and talk even after plates have been cleared off table and waitress continues to ask us if we need anything else, drinks, dessert, "what time is it?" kind of date.  I would be lying if I said that I never checked my phone once...or 20 times.  I did also text my sister, (the amazing babysitter), to make sure all was well.  However, it was just about us two for the few hours.
It did my heart and soul so good.  I have the best of times with this man.