Baby Chick || A Birth Story

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I don't know what it is about birth stories, but I just love to read them. Something about each experience being so unique. So many emotions are tied into childbirth- the anticipation, the anxiety and worry, the what-ifs, the excitement- all present at the same time- and somehow we mama's manage to focus and keep it together long enough to see that sweet baby laid on our chests, even though we're on the edge of completely losing it. If you don't want to read any of the backstory, and just want to get to the birth story- scroll down until you see BIRTH STORY :)

A little history about this pregnancy- we started trying to have baby #3 around the summer of 2016. Unexpectedly, it didn't happen quickly. I struggled to get pregnant with Big Chick for 2 years, and Little Chick was easy- for some reason I thought my third pregnancy would follow suite, but seeing negative after negative I decided to reach out for help. To make a long story just a touch shorter I went through 6 months of Clomid treatment before almost losing my mind from the hormones and deciding to move on to a more specialized treatment. I contacted a clinic in Clovis and after multiple appointments, blood tests, dye tests, and ultrasounds we had a plan for a different fertility drug with injection for December 2017. We moved forward hopeful but cautious as we'd been at this for almost a year and half at this point. I asked my fertility Dr. when to test, she looked at the calendar and said Christmas morning. She told me I could wait a day if I didn't want to be disappointed on Christmas, but I knew I wouldn't be able to wait. I had some spotting a few days before, so I was pretty sure it would be negative. Christmas morning I woke up around 3am and needed to use the restroom, I decided to go ahead and test, just to get it over with. To my complete surprise that little test popped up with the word Pregnant. I was in shock, and my husband was even more in shock to be woken at 3am! That was it, baby #3, the finale to our family was finally a reality.


Baby Chick was due September 3rd, 2018, but that day came and went along with the entire week after it. At my appt. on the 5th my OB decided to schedule an induction for the 10th. She was going to be working through the night, and she knew I had a history of long drawn out labors and hemorrhaging, so she wanted to keep an eye on me.

Sunday evening we dropped the girls off at my parents house to spend the night, they were going to go to school Monday morning since we knew it would be mostly waiting for the first part of the day. Monday at 5am Ben and I walked into the delivery room and got settled in. I got all my IV lines in, I have to have an extra in case of hemorrhage, had all my stats done, got hooked up to all the monitors, and then we waited. Around 7:30 my OB made her way in to check me, I had not progressed at all since my last appt the Wednesday before, so she decided to start with a medication on the cervix to help it ripen further- we were then told that was a 4 hour process! We did not expect that, I don't know why I thought it would be a quicker process, but I was wrong. We turned on the TV, took some photos, nurses checked in with us, my parents came to visit after dropping the girls off, my dad took Ben to go get some was very slow.

My nurses came back in to check me around noon, the first nurse (in training for the delivery unit) thought I was at a 4-5, the head nurse thought I was still at a 2, so they called my OB back to decide the next step. They let me know it would probably be another dose of the medication on the cervix, and another 4 hour wait, which I was not excited about. I was having contractions during this time, but they were very minimal and not very consistent. My OB came in around 12:30pm and told me she was just going to break my water, and get the process started! She checked me again, I was about 3cm dilated, then proceeded to break my water. They let me know to call when I was ready for an epidural, they were going to get Pitocin ready to start if I didn't progress after my next check.

Around 3pm they came back in to check me again, I was 5cm so they held off on the Pitocin. At this time I decided to request the epidural. I was having consistent contractions every 3-5 minutes, and I could watch the intensity on the monitor increasing. I was handling the pain ok, still able to breath though them, but I know my body, and when I hit 5-6cm dilated, it usually goes really fast and I didn't want to miss the window. I also knew it would take 30 minutes to an hour for that to be in. Around 3:30-4 to epidural was administered.

This was the first time I had an epidural when I wasn't already in pretty severe pain- with the big girls I was in so much pain from contractions I don't remember feeling the epidural. It was also the first time I really felt the epidural and the first time I cried during this labor. I felt the needle, the catheter, her repositioning it to try and get it in the right place, I also felt the pressure of the medication going in, all while my nurse was trying to reposition the TOCO monitor, everyone asking me to hold very still- which is easier said that done with a needle going in your spine. When it was over I had to try really hard to stop crying, it was the first time I let emotion escape that morning, and being 41 weeks pregnant and having that bottled up, trying to get it to stop was not easy. I got myself together, they let my husband and mom come back in and I finally calmed down and was able to relax a bit. We FaceTimed the girls and let them know baby probably wouldn't be here in time for them to visit that night, but definitely the next morning. They were VERY excited. They each packed a hospital bag to bring when visiting, packing with all the things they wanted to show baby. It was about the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

After the epidural they started Pitocin. From 4:30-6pm I was monitored and flipped from side to side to keep the epidural from pooling on one side, I enjoyed watching the monitor as contractions increased in severity and frequency. I could still feel my legs which was also new, with the big girls I was completely numb. I could also still feel some of the tightening of the contractions. They did  let me know that I would probably feel some pressure when it was time to push- some pressure...the understatement of the year.

The nurse shift change happened and my night nurse came in to check on me and get stats around 6:15pm. I had been on my left side for about an hour at that point, so she decided to roll me to my right. She checked me and I was 7cm and baby's head had not dropped yet, she finished her stats then increased the Pitocin. At 6:30pm she rolled me to my right side and left the room. I had one contraction that all of sudden felt very intense. I had a ton of pressure, so my husband pushed the button to increase the epidural dosage, but little did I know it was too late. Another contract came shortly after with more pressure and more intensity- the pain was severe at this point and I felt like I needed to push. I called my nurse back in and let her know I was all of sudden in a lot of pain and having a extreme amount of pressure. She mentioned it was most likely just from flipping but that she would check me again just in case. In those 5 minutes, I had gone from 7cm to 9cm, baby had dropped completely and I was ready to deliver.

It all happened very quick, but it felt like forever to me. At this point I am sure the epidural was helping, but I couldn't tell. The pressure was so intense that I had to will every part of me not to push as contractions rolled on top of each other and then finally never let up at all. My body started shaking uncontrollably from the pain and pressure and I was trying to breath and relax as best I could because my OB was not there yet. She was called in while another 4 or 5 nurses came in to prep, I couldn't really tell who who was in the room, I had my eyes closed trying to focus on something other than pushing as my body shook more forcefully. My husband and my mom were by my side, encouraging me to breath, I could hear the sobs of my husband in my ear as he realized we would meet our sweet girl in just a few shorts minutes. The tears streamed down my cheeks, both from hearing him and the same realization, but also from pain. I had to block out all that excitement and emotion to get through the last few minutes of waiting for my OB to arrive.

Literally minutes before delivery, Ben thought it would be a good time to take a picture. This is my attempt to smile, mid contraction and cry.

My OB walked in the room and got suited up, I could hear her voice. I remember seeing her getting ready and the stirrups being added to the bed in one of the few moments I blinked and opened my eyes. I doubt it took her longer than a few minutes to be ready. She walked over to me, my legs were lifted, and I heard her say, "Ok we can probably push on this next one". Sweet relief was coming! I heard her say push, and I don't even know that I pushed, but I know I let my body go, I let it do what it had wanted to do for the last 30 minutes. I saw Baby Chicks head immediately come out about halfway through the first push, I took a quick breath and saw her body follow. Her cord was wrapped around her neck twice, she was quickly freed and placed on my chest and we all started sobbing. She cried and cried and cried! She had the sweetest little raspy cry, and she was perfect in every way. She was beautiful and whole, she was healthy. We were complete.

Ben cut the cord, she continued to cry, and immediately latched on to nurse. We FaceTimed the girls again, and let everyone know her name. We were transferred pretty quickly to Mother/Baby and spent some time getting settled in. My husband left to take my mom home, picked up some treats on his way back, and we called in a night. Baby Chick slept all night, waking only a few times to eat and get stats from the nurses.

The big sisters came first thing the next morning and spent a few hours holding her, reading to her, and showing her all the goodies from their hospital bag. We spent the rest of the afternoon with a few more visitors, waiting for a discharge time. Around 7pm we were finally let go, and we made our way home with our sweet girl.

Look at this sweet little crown that Little Chick brought for her to wear! 

She has been the perfect addition to our family! She is sweet and happy, she smiles constantly, and loves watching her big sister. We know we are blessed and are so thankful to have a healthy baby and safe delivery.

Near the end of my pregnancy with baby chick I was in quite a bit of pain. I had hip, pelvic, and sciatic pain like I'd never experienced before, it made it nearly impossible to do so many daily activities- on more than one occasion I found myself stuck on the floor waiting for my husband to come in and rescue me because my pelvis didn't allow me to move my legs. My sweet 7 year old watched me carefully throughout this time- she knew I was in pain, she heard me scream out anytime my pelvis unexpectedly failed me and she worried about me. One night while I was slowly getting into the bathtub for a soak, she let me know that she felt so bad for me, and would probably decide to adopt kids because it just looked too painful to be pregnant. I let her know that she can make that decision if she chooses (our lives have been blessed by adoption so many times over!), but I also reassured her that I was ok, that this is what happens as we get closer and closer to welcoming our sweet girl. I also reassured her that it was worth it. It was and is worth every ache, pain, and tear was worth it to become a momma in anyway possible. It's worth the heartache of trying to conceive unsuccessfully, worth the pain of the fertility needles, the worry of the 2 week wait, the nausea, the fatigue, your body slowly failing you...worth it to see those beautiful eyes look at your for the first time, worth it to love with your whole body and soul in a way you didn't even know possible- 3 times over in my case. Worth it.

Essential Oils :: My favorite single oils

Monday, February 12, 2018

A few years ago I started dabbling in essential oils. A friend had purchased some, and I was already curious, so I decided to do some research on brands and what oils would be best for our family. I'll try and keep this short and sweet.

There are quite a few different EO brands, my favorite is Eden's Garden. I did look through a lot of articles and comparisons, and I still felt like this was the best choice for us, but do some research for yourself.

(Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional and am not responsible if my views or likes or dislikes of a product differ from your own. Please do your own research and contact your healthcare professional before using any oils. This post contains affiliate links.)

Here is why I chose Eden's Garden:

  1. They are 100% pure therapeutic grade oil.
  2. They are not a MLM company, so I don't have to buy into anything or get my product from someone else.
  3. Because they are not an MLM company, and I am not paying someone's commission, they are very affordable.
  4. They have blends just for kids. With little ones you have to be very careful with EO's or you could negatively effect their health. See a little more here, or read this.
  5. They have a huge selection of oils, with descriptions and reviews.
  6. They have fast and free shipping.

Here are my favorite single oils: (this is how we've used them, there are SO many uses for each oil!)

  1. Lavender- this is an all around great oil. We use it for any skin issues, and often diffuse it for a calm house. This oil is safe for little ones as well.
  2. Clove- A great oil for muscle aches and skin ailments. When my family was struck with Moluscum a few years ago, my husband used clove every day to help dry up the spots.
  3. Tea Tree- A great anti-septic oil we keep around for first-aid, bug bites, cleaning supplies, and diffusing. (Not for topical use under 2)
  4. Manuka- Another great oil for skin ailments, and many other things. My husband and daughters seem to be plagued with skin issues, so I have researched and tried a lot of these oils for that reason.
  5. Birch- We use this with a carrier oil for sore muscles, it smells so good as well!
  6. Peppermint- When my husband and I can't seem to get rid of headaches, we try this oil. It will also curb your appetite and uplift your mood. (Avoid use on children under 6)
If you'd like to learn more, here are a few resources. Eden's Garden also has a lot of articles and information on their site, as I'm sure most legit EO companies do. I also have two of these diffusers, one in the kitchen, and another I move throughout the house and it's been great!

What oils do you like?

Pin for later reference!

Home Sweet Here :: Behind the name

Friday, February 24, 2017

Happy Friday! This post shouldn't be too long, but I wanted to share a bit about how the name came to be. It's funny how your blog name changes to fit your current stage of life. And if you're not a blogger that sentence probably sounds ridiculous 😄

At first my blog was named The Gimlin Family. Ha! Pretty straight to the point and BORING! I'll be the first (and second, and third) to tell you creativity with words is not my thing. I feel like I can write ok, but titles are tough. I've always struggled with it for blog names, posts titles, and now even article titles for a local magazine I design for. I'm not punny and often sit starting at the screen running words through my head until something sticks. 

When blogging kind of became a thing, I changed it to How Sweet it is! I no longer wanted my last name in the title since I was sharing with a bigger, sometimes unknown audience. It's a fine balance to share and protect at the same time. "How Sweet it is to be loved by you" by James Taylor is the song Ben and I walked back down the aisle to after getting married so it felt like it fit.

After a few years that was changed to How Sweet This Is! Not much change, just a little more direction. It remained that and still does today, but like I mentioned in my last post that blog got a bit of exposure with a few posts about my Whole 30 experience, and it no longer feels like mine. It's more of an archive now. I'll leave it since there are some pretty creative things we've shared (myself and Candace with Citrus and Cream), but I don't want to write there.

When trying to think of a new name for this space I tried a few different things and it all felt too generic. I decided to try and keep 'sweet' in the name since it's been around for so long. Home Sweet Home was the first thing that came to mind, but again, too generic. So I thought of Home Sweet Here and it felt right. Here, where you'll find our story. Here, where it's crazy and chaotic at times and my thoughts might not make sense. Here, where I feel like I might lose my mind on a daily basis. Here, where I struggle to be enough. But also Here, where contentment can be found. Here, where there is enough. Here, where He is enough. Here, where life is busy and hard but still sweet and full. Here.

I am at a time in my life where I've lost a bit of myself (more on that in another post) and I find myself often thinking about how it would be easier if things we're different. If only my house was bigger, if I had more time, if I was more organized, if I could lose weight, if we saved more, on and on. Being present is hard! It's hard to focus only on today, I am a planner, but those things may or may not change, and in the meantime, in the chaos, there is contentment and happiness to be found, to be sought. Home Sweet Here, finding contentment in the chaos.

Home Sweet Here :: My next chapter in blogging.

Friday, February 17, 2017

It's been such a long time since I sat down simply with the task of pouring thoughts out on the page. My blogging journey has been full and exhausting at times, but it always served a purpose, and when it didn't I stepped away.

Recently, I've been feeling this desire to write again. I first started blogging in 2008. Ben and I were just starting to plan our family and I wanted to share that with friends and extended family. I naively thought we would have news to share quickly, but it didn't quite work out like that. My blog was my personal space and when we dealt with a small bout of infertility it became a community. I look back on my early days of blogging with such affection. I still follow a few friends on Facebook and IG that I met though my blog. I had a blogging friend just an hour away build our dining room table, we had never met in person until we drove to her house to pick it up. It's kind of a fascinating relationship, to share your life with strangers and feel like you know them. I've followed along with pregnancies, and loss, life, and growing kiddos- but life got busy and time for blogging became sparse.

In 2012, I started my own business built around the blogging industry (which it's turned into!). When I first started designing, everything was very personal, mostly family blogs, now it's mostly business. My business has changed, molded, and when I wasn't able to keep my part time position after Little Chick was born, I decide to make design my full-time gig. It's worked out incredibly well, and I'm so thankful that I have had that opportunity. I truly love what I do. But as I took on everyone else's blog/site mine took a backseat and eventually I just kind of stopped writing- too exhausted to share, too many thoughts to organize.

A good friend and I started a Local Lifestyle blog for about a year, which was so much fun, but so much work, and again as life changed we weren't able to keep up. I transferred all of my archives to more of a business site and took down my personal posts, but I find myself still wanting to write. That space isn't really the place to do it, it's too big, too exposed. So, after a bit of thought I decided to start again...back to the basics with a simple Blogger blog, shared only with friends and family. So here you are!

Home Sweet Here, a place for me to share my life. Thoughts about parenting and my girls (which will be referred to as Big Chick and Little Chick in this space), marriage, a place to share my favorite beauty finds, design ideas, recipes, thoughts on faith and anything else that comes pouring out. I'm glad you're here. I hope you enjoy!

Next up, behind the name Home Sweet Here and why it fits this time in our lives so well.
Have a wonderful Friday, friends! Are you doing anything fun!?

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