a little girl was born in the middle of last night. i CAN’T wait to share my newest niece’s story. 🙂

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedcheck back soon! peace, aunt melanie!

Luci - May 24, 2011 - 12:54 pm

She is just as beautiful as the other other girlies!! Aahhh… so precious!

Sarah Q - May 24, 2011 - 2:17 am

SOOOOO cute! I love that 4th one down with her hands behind her head. Just born and already chillin’ 🙂 Adorable!

sarah a - May 24, 2011 - 2:13 am

I could just DIE of the cuteness!! especially that last pic of the 4 ladies 🙂

nori jo’s birth story

wouldn’t it be amazing if we could plan every detail of our children’s birth? YES! unfortunately, not being the case, Nori

remained breech. after adam and i attended 12 weeks of Bradley Natural Birthing Classes, “scheduled csection” wasn’t

exactly what i wanted to hear. 🙁 we remain very passionate about natural birthing and hope to experience the next go

around! At 30 wks we found out little nori was laying transverse and she should have already been head down by that point.

i wasn’t worried cause she had plenty of time, but that day started the wild goose chase to fix the situation. i researched the

heck out of ‘breech’ presentations online and began doing EVERY technique/procedure that seemed to work for everyone

else. as the weeks went by and the doc’s started using that dreaded term “c section,” I started becoming a little bit crazy.

we took it up a notch and instead of “laying on a 30 degree slant”, adam would put my legs over his shoulders and hang

me completely upside down! nothing. i paid hundreds of dollars to every sort of therapist/chiropractor who swore of 97%

success rates for flipping breech babies. nothing. the last option was at 37 weeks, we checked into the hospital (bags

packed in case of emergency), and the doctor performed an ECV on me.  while it was very painful and left

me bruised and sore, it wasn’t successful.  at that point, many offered to help us find a doctor who would deliver

a frank breech baby. but with much meditation, prayer and finally acceptance, we decided everything DOES happen

for a reason. we THOUGHT the baby and i were healthy and wanted to keep it that way…


my last belly shot, just before they gave me my heplock to prep for surgery. 39 weeks.

my BFF emily was able to be with us to support me and take cool pics that my husband was too afraid to take. he’s a wimp.

i wish the roles were reversed, i would have loved to take shots of that!

as if i wasn’t swollen enough…they had to pump me full of THREE fluid bags in the hour leading up to surgery! aghhh!!

thankfully adam hid my dbl chin 🙂

i couldn’t believe adam didn’t pass out. i was even more impressed he was able to stand up and get this!! he did it so fast,

he must not have realized what he did!

remember how i said she was breech? for the last 9 weeks in the womb her feet were touching her face 🙁 when they inked

her little feet, she got black on her ears and nose!! she stayed like this the first few days unless we swaddled her legs down!

think she will be a gymnast when she grows up?

she was so wittle! as you could see her color was VERY white. when babies come out the nurses quickly assess a number of

things, and give them an apgar score out of 10. nori’s was 4. that is dangerously low.

the transfer from the operating room to recovery. it was about a 30 second ride. this was the first and only time i got to

hold her for the first 36 hours of her life.  soon after this, adam and the nurses took her to the NICU. and thank God emily

was with me and able to go get our parents. i needed support IMMEDIATELY!!

in recovery, the nurses were all crowded around nori getting ready to take her. i wasn’t even able to see her from my bed.

since i was able to use my upper half (ha!) just fine… i snapped some proud daddy shots. for fathers day i bought adam a

plain tshirt so they could stamp her feet on him 🙂

in the NICU they knew something was wrong but couldn’t figure it out exactly. without the oxygen she’d lose her color

but her heart and lungs were fully developed so it wasn’t making sense. her hemoglobin count was 16 and should have

been around or above 40. they knew she didn’t have enough blood in her, which is why she wasn’t receiving enough

oxygen to keep her color.

here she is all ‘hooked up’. 🙁 they took my blood after they took hers and found i had ‘baby blood’ in me. which meant

my placenta had been leaking blood and they didn’t know it.  my body was absorbing the blood she should have been

receiving! once they established this, they knew blood transfusions would solve her problem. the red tube leading into her

hand was blood. after receiving blood for about 10 hrs, she then became jaundice :-/ thankfully it stayed at an ok count

that she didn’t have to be under the lights.

once i was able to feel my lower half (about dinner time), erin was allowed to wheel me to the NICU. Daddy had literally been

standing there by her side like this the entire time.  by almost midnight i had to beg him to come back to the room with

me and go to bed.

about 48 hours later they finally released her to be with us! the walk out of the NICU was very exciting but at the same time,

it was the saddest moment. as they wheeled her incubator past all the other sickly TEENY tiny babies in the NICU, my heart

sunk wondering if and when they will ever be released. we were so blessed to be walking out with a beautiful healthy baby

who practically looked like a giant next to them. this picture was just after the first time i was able to breastfeed her. i was

very VERY happy she was able to feed since they were supplementing her in the NICU with bottles.

they later told me the tear/detachment/leak/?? was most likely,(w/o taking full responsibility) caused by the ECV

procedure.  you know, that procedure i was VERY unsure about and wanted to avoid at all costs because it could

damage my placenta…yah, that one. they sent my placenta to the lab to see what happened. i was never given direct

answer, which is a WHOLE other story, but it does clearly explain why she was so small in weight and length.  she

was smaller than they estimated her to be at the ECV, which means, last two weeks she wasn’t receiving the full amount of

blood and nutrients to continue growing. 🙁 after all the drama she was finally discharged only one day late! yippee! the

hospital team told us to act as if none of it ever happened?! they said she was healthy now and that the transfusions will

never be an issue again. THANK YOU GOD!! we knew she was going to be an excellent christmas present…

we didn’t know she was going to be our christmas miracle!!  she’s perfect. -written in jan 2010.

corbin’s birth story

Even though everything about my labor and delivery was totally different than what I was expecting, I couldn’t have asked for a better birth experience…

For the full story, I have to backtrack to when I was about 30 weeks pregnant because that is when I first started complaining about the swelling in my legs and ankles. As the weeks went on, my swelling got progressively worse, but my doctor was not concerned about it because my blood pressure and urine samples were excellent. Well…that lasted until my 37 week appointment when my blood pressure spiked and I had traces of protein in my urine. Those two symptoms combined with my severe edema were cause for concern because I was on my way to developing pre-eclampsia. I was told that if it was determined that I did have it, induction was the only option. I was immediately scared when I heard the word “induce” because I thought that if my labor was induced, I would not be able to have the natural birth I had been planning.

Also at my 37 week appointment, I was already 2cm dilated and 90% effaced, so I prayed that I would keep progressing and go into labor naturally. During the next 2 weeks, I had to go through a couple different tests as well as have an ultrasound to check on the baby. The ultrasound looked great and that made me a little more at ease because if I was induced, I knew the baby would be ready. I did keep progressing and was 4cm at my 39 week appointment, but I was definitely not in active labor. I was thankful that I got that far with essentially no pain, though! My mom took me to my 39 week appointment and suggested I bring my hospital bag with us because she was certain my doctor would send me straight to the hospital to be induced after the appointment. I honestly thought she was crazy, but I packed my bag anyway and we were on our way.

Donny met us at the appointment and we discussed options with my doctor. Although he did not pressure me, my doctor said that he thought the best option was to go ahead and induce me. My mom (who used to be a nurse and midwife) agreed and although I was still super nervous, I felt ok with this decision because I really trust my doctor and my mom. I did express that I did not want to be induced with pitocin or any other medications, and since I was 4cm dilated, my doctor thought that if he just broke my water that would probably be enough to launch me into active labor. So, sure enough, I was sent straight to the hospital just like my mom suspected. Donny went home to pack his bag and get the car seat and made it back to the hospital before my doctor arrived.

The drive from the doctor’s office to the hospital was so surreal. I could not believe that I was going to have my baby that day or the day after! I was not mentally or emotionally prepared because throughout my pregnancy, I expected that Donny and I would be home when my labor started. I thought that we would be creating a relaxing atmosphere with music and candles and maybe even a bath until it was time to go to the hospital. I thought that I would bake cookies until my contractions got too intense that I couldn’t concentrate anymore. I thought it would be just like all the natural birth videos we watched…but God obviously had other plans.

My mom and I arrived to the hospital around 3:30pm. I got checked in and we played cards while we waited for my doctor to get there. I made phone calls to our family to tell them the news, but I told them not to rush up to the hospital because at that point my water wasn’t even broken yet and we thought it would still be awhile even after that happened. Well, the family was too excited to wait and Donny’s parents along with Jenny and Dan made it to the hospital before my doctor did! My doctor finally arrived and broke my water at 6:15pm and I started having contractions within 15 minutes, but they were not very strong. I continued to play cards, but by about 7:15pm, my contractions grew too strong for me to concentrate on the game. Donny and I walked the halls for a few minutes, but walking wasn’t very comfortable, so we went back to the room and I sat on the birthing ball for the next couple of hours. Donny stayed by my side the entire time and massaged my back. He was so encouraging and calm and I couldn’t even imagine going through this experience without him.

The time between when my contractions first started until I started pushing is somewhat of a blur. My contractions progressed so fast and I got really overwhelmed and a little scared. I was expecting my labor to take at least 12 hours and I thought my contractions would start at 10 minutes apart and gradually grow closer together. Well, my contractions started at about 5 minutes apart and within an hour or two, they were less than 1 minute apart. I was not getting a break to re-group between my contractions and I got scared that I was not going to have any energy left to push when that time came. About 1/2 hour before I started pushing, I reached my breaking point and thought I needed an epidural. My mom suggested that the nurse check me and I was 8cm at that point, so I was told it was too late for an epidural. I was actually glad to hear that because 1) I never planned on getting an epidural and really didn’t want one, and 2) I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would meet my son.

I honestly don’t even know when my doctor got there, but it wasn’t very long after I got checked that I transitioned and felt the urge to push. Once I started pushing, I felt so relieved! Pushing was SO much better than the contractions for me because with each push, I was getting closer to bringing our son into the world and I wasn’t as concentrated on the pain as I was during my contractions. Don’t get me wrong, pushing was hard work – but I had Donny, my mom, my mother-in-law, Jenny, and my friend Weina there encouraging me to get one more push in with each contraction. My mom also played the role of my doula and it was so special to go through this experience with her by my side. She had both my brother and I naturally (my brother was even born at home), so she was a huge advocate for natural birth and such a great encouragement for me. My doctor was absolutely great and pretty much sat back and relaxed until it was time to catch Corbin as he came out. Donny was actually able to stand next to my doctor and video tape the whole birth and I am so thankful that we have a record of the birth. I did have a mirror, but it was still hard to see what was actually going on, so it was really cool to watch the video the next day.

After only 5 hours of labor and 1 hour of pushing, little Corbin Jacob was born at 12:04am on April 15 and the minute he was placed in my arms was the most amazing feeling in the world! I couldn’t believe that the wait was over and he was really truly in my arms. I was instantly in love and didn’t want to do anything other than hold him and stare at him. I was able to breastfeed right away and I cherished those precious moments of bonding that we had before he was taken to be weighed and cleaned up. Our little man weighed in at 7 lbs, 14 oz and was 20.5″ long.

I [surprisingly] felt so great and was on such an emotional high immediately after he was born. It was so great to have our families there to celebrate with us and so fun to see everyone’s reactions to the newest family member.

I am truly thankful that I had a great pregnancy, that I was able to have the natural birth we desired, and that we now have a healthy baby boy as a result 🙂 We are so incredibly blessed! ~ written April 2010

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