Category Archives: Making & Baking

Brody’s Birth Story

I was supposed to go in for my 37 week visit on Tuesday, but knowing that if I was more progressed they’d be sending me to the hospital, I called Monday morning to see who was on-call Monday and Tuesday. As it turned out, my doctor was on-call Monday, so I asked if I could switch my appointment to one day earlier- I could! So, I rushed to grab a shower and get my stuff together before heading over to the doctor’s office. Knowing I *may* be having a baby that day, it was so hard for me to say good-bye to Knox! I could barely give him a quick hug and kiss before I started to tear up, but luckily I made it outside before I really cried! Trevor had been planning on going to my Tuesday appointment with me, but since this was a last-minute change, he stayed behind with Knox, knowing I would call him with any news. All along, we had hoped Brody would be born on February 13th because it was Trevor’s Pop’s birthday. Brody’s middle name, Howell, comes from his grandparents, so we thought that would be so special. We were excited to know that it may be a very real possibility!

I got to the doctor’s office at about 10:30 and waited for almost an hour before being taken back because they were so busy. My doctor had to run next door to the hospital for a delivery, so their P.A. saw me. She knew the gist- I had been 4cm/ 80% effaced/ -2 station just one week prior, and if I had progressed, Dr. L was not comfortable with sending me home, seeing as how fast I was progressing with no real contractions to speak of and was worried I’d labor extremely fast. The P.A. checked me and said she’d call me a “loose 4, but could be easily stretched.” Knowing that everyone’s scale of dilation varies slightly, we still wanted to know what Dr. L thought, and it turned out, she had just gotten back and wanted to check me herself.

She explained that there was still a possibility for some respiratory issues for babies born between 37 and 38 weeks, so we needed to be sure I was really ready before just deciding to go ahead and deliver- we needed concrete proof of progression! Well, I started to have a contraction as she checked me, and she was surprised at how strong it was, especially considering that was a “normal” one that didn’t even phase me. She said that with the contraction, my bag of water was bulging and trying to funnel out through the dilated cervix. She said that I wouldn’t be able to last long at all without my water breaking on it’s own at that rate, that I was definitely 5cm and ready to have a baby! She called for a wheelchair, so I went ahead and called Trevor to let him know what was going on. They wouldn’t let me go back to the car for my hospital bag so I had to give Trevor instructions on where to find the car when he arrived.

A medical assistant wheeled me over to Labor and Delivery, we actually beat my nurse’s phone call over there, so they weren’t even expecting me yet- luckily she called as soon as we finished explaining the situation. By this time, it was around noon. They went ahead and got me set up in a L&D room, I put on the super sexy backless gown, they started my IV and I met my nurses. I had two at first, but I think I must have set a record for amount of nurses in the shortest period of time! They all kept getting called into surgeries and leaving me with someone new! Luckily, they were all very nice. Trevor arrived soon after I got set-up, probably around 12:30. My mom got there around 1 with lunch for Trevor since he rushed out the door without eating breakfast or lunch and hung out with us until my doctor arrived.

Dr. L arrived around 1:30 pm to break my water. She used the small point they attach to their finger instead of that crazy long crochet needle. It started a slow leak, then it gushed and gushed and gushed what felt like hot jucuzzi water all over the place. I soaked through so many pads and towels, it was ridiculous! When I was in labor with Knox, I was in instantaneous agony the second they broke my water because his head was so low, but Brody was higher up, so thankfully that wasn’t the case this time. However, knowing that it only took hours from the time my water was broken with Knox to delivery, they were already talking epidural. I felt odd ordering an epidural before I was in pain, but “luckily” for me, my contractions got painful as the anesthesiologist got there to administer the epi. Trevor had to leave for that part, but my sweet doula, Joan, who had arrived around 2:00 had me hug her and talked me through it. This was at 2:20 p.m. Epidurals definitely hurt, but I’d rather feel that than the baby coming out! I could feel the numbing shot, and I could feel the novocaine filling the space around my spine which was an extremely odd and off-putting sensation. Luckily, it numbed up after that. After the epidural was in, my doctor came back to check me at 2:47 (my doula wrote all this down!) and I had not changed at all. She then went to go to a c-section and said she’d check on me when she got finished.

At this point, my contractions were very regular and coming at every minute to minute and a half. I just closed my eyes and relaxed for this period of time. At first, I could feel all of my contractions in my lower abdomen, but they upped the dose on the epidural and had me roll around a bit and it evened out. I was so relaxed, it felt like I had spent the day at the spa or something (granted receiving an epidural isn’t as pleasant as a massage, but still). I could still move my legs around, my whole lower body just felt kind of foggy. I lay there with my eyes closed listening to Food Network and eating ice chips randomly. Not quite two hours passed and Dr. L came back in at 4:33 pm to check me again. She said “Well, my friend, you’re complete and baby is at +2 station. You’re ready!” Wow, that was fast! They got the room ready to deliver and Trevor went to go tell my mom and siblings what was going on (his parents were at our house with Knox). Dr. L was going to run to security for a new ID tag before delivery, but she came back in about one minute because she was scared I’d deliver before she got back! So, once everything was set-up, I waited for a contraction and started pushing. After two pushes, Brody’s head was visible and staying put- she said that he had a lot of hair and asked Trevor if he wanted to look. He did and said “Whoa!” I don’t know why, but they way he said it struck me as so funny, I bursted out laughing in the middle of my push. I couldn’t get it together and laughed through another push. Dr. L said “Well, this is a new one for me. I’ve never seen a baby laughed out before!” Just a couple more pushes and Brody’s head was out and I felt the doctor pull the rest of him along.

Brody Howell was born at 4:48 pm after four and a half hours of labor (from the time I arrived to the hospital… only three since my water was broken) and not even seven minutes of pushing!

The second I saw that wet little vernix-covered baby, I lost it. I just sobbed and wondered why cutting the cord was taking so long- I wanted my hands on this boy! Apparently my cord was “textbook” and beautiful-nice and long and very thick- it squirted when Trevor cut it, which he thought was quite disgusting, ha ha! Finally, they put Brody on my chest and I was immediately smitten with my newest boy.

He let out a short cry after birth, but then the nurse kept having to force him to cry by messing with his feet- he was so content! After cuddling with him for a few minutes, they carried him to the warmer to check his vitals and weigh him.

He weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces and we later found out that he was 19.25 inches long.

They brought him back over to me and I was able to nurse him right away while the doctor repaired a small “not quite first degree repair.” This was much easier to deal with than the 2nd degree tear I sported after Knox! I think it only required one stitch. Brody did a great job breast feeding right away, and we got to keep him for about an hour to ourselves. Trevor held him, too, and was loving being the father of two boys immediately. My family came in for a few minutes to see him before he and Trevor went to the nursery for all of that typical newborn “stuff.” Brody didn’t even cry in the nursery, other than when they gave him the Vitamin K shot.

Some of the best news for us was that he needed ZERO NICU time! It was like a whole new world having our sweet boy be able to room-in with us in the hospital. I definitely didn’t get any sleep to speak of between constant feedings and the endless stream of nurses into our room at all hours to draw blood, mash on my stomach (my gosh, that is by far the worst and most painful part of the entire process!!), take vitals on Brody and I and to dole out fabulous pain medication. I think I got about two hours of sleep (maybe) the first day and four hours the second, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

We checked out today after a two-night stay, and are thrilled to be at home with both of our boys! I’ll update soon on Knox and Brody’s first meeting. Until then, I’m going to try to get some sleep and enjoy this sweet baby! I feel so incredibly blessed- God has done amazing things for us, and I am beyond grateful!

Here are some pictures of Brody’s birthday:

Trevor holding Brody for the first time:

My doula, Joan, and I (and Brody breast feeding)

He’s here!!!

Brody Howell was born on Monday, February 13 at 4:48 pm! He weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 19.25 inches long. He is just perfect and totally healthy, and we actually just got back home from the hospital this afternoon. It was a whole different world this time around, not having to stay in the NICU! He roomed-in with us the whole time and is already doing an amazing job breast-feeding. I will be back with Brody’s birth story, soon, hopefully tomorrow, but I have got to get some sleep first! Until then, here are a few pictures of our newest, sweet little guy! And did I mention the kid has some serious cheeks?? :)

Waiting 4 Baby

I just got back from my 36/37 week appointment (I’m 36w2d), and it looks like I’m making some more progress! I’m now at 4 cm and still 80%/ -2 station. I haven’t had too many contractions, granted I get way more in the evening than I do during the day. Still, I’ve progressed one centimeter in about four days, so I’m guessing things will really start moving now that bed rest is behind me. After checking me, my doctor and I chatted for a bit. She told me call for pretty much anything because I am so far progressed and just with my history, they don’t want to take any chances and have me deliver in the car! She did tell me that when I come in next Tuesday (Valentine’s Day), to bring my hospital bag with me because if I’m dilated past 5 cm, they’re checking me into the hospital. So. Unless I just don’t progress between now and then, it looks like we’ll have a baby by Valentine’s Day. Wow.

If you ask me? I think he’ll come before then. Today, I’ve started to get back pain and downward pressure with my contractions, which is how it felt when I started to go into actual labor with Knox, so I really don’t think it will be much longer. I just hope I start to feel better soon because I have a stupid sinus infection and so does Trevor. Knox gave us both his illness which has turned into this fun stuff- we are both on antibiotics, now, though, so at least we won’t be contagious to Brody. Still, I’d rather feel good going into labor and delivery, rather than be all stuffy and congested! I feel better than I did yesterday, though, so at least I’m moving in the right direction!

Here at home, I *think* we’re ready for him! I cleaned the mess (literally) out of this house on Saturday and have been psychotically spot cleaning since then. I sterlized all the pump parts/ bottles/ pacifiers today and my hospital bag (and his) are packed and ready to go. I have thought pretty much nothing about labor and delivery until now, and when I start to get uncomfortable contractions, I think “oh crap.” Ha! It’s too late to turn back now!

So now, we wait. Feel free to venture a guess as to when the little man will arrive, I am guessing the 7th or the 13th… we shall see!

Oh, and apparently, I am giving birth to a full-grown man. Look. At. This. Belly.

36 weeks and 2 days pregnant with Brody

P.S. I’m not taking my laptop to the hospital with me, so if you want to know when labor stuff starts to happen, make sure you’re following me on Facebook or Twitter because I can update those from my phone!

A day in the life: Bed rest edition

I thought I’d give you guys a peek into my riveting life- at least how it’s been for the past several weeks while on bed rest. I think one of the hardest things about being confined to your bed/ couch is the monotony. Luckily, having a cute two year-old helps add some excitement into the picture, but most days are pretty similar. I find myself thinking of my weeks in terms of when I get to leave the house or have someone visit. For example, “okay, it’s only two days until my doctor’s appointment” or “one day until church” or “Trevor’s working tomorrow, so ______ will be coming over to help.” I try to vary my location some, alternating between the living room and the playroom couches- I don’t actually do any resting in bed unless it’s night time and I’m asleep! For the most part, here’s how the day goes.

7:30 or 8:00 am- Wake-up. This time can vary depending on what time Knox wakes up or if it’s a preschool day.

8:00-8:30- Get Knox dressed, brush his teeth, put him in the playroom while he drinks his milk and I get ready. I do try to get dressed and fix my hair/ put on make-up every day. Otherwise, I feel like a total bum, and it makes me depressed! It’s nice to at least not look like crap if I can’t do anything! Of course, I’m only wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt, but wearing pj’s all day makes me feel like I’m sick or something.

9:00 am- Breakfast for Knox and I. I’ve already taken a Procardia and drank at least two glasses of water (or chocolate milk if I had dreams about it… don’t laugh, I totally dream about drinking milk when I’m pregnant!) by this point.

*If it’s a preschool day, this whole schedule is shifted back by about half an hour. We leave the house at 8:30 for school, which is less than five minutes from our house. Trevor always takes him if he’s home, if not, I do it and pray for a close parking spot!

9:30 am- 12 pm: Chill out time. Typically I lay on the living room couch while Knox plays with his toys. Trevor’s home two out of three days, so those days are easiest since he’s here from the time Knox wakes up. He does a good job keeping Knox entertained and keeping him from injuring himself!  I try to lay down as much as I can from this point forward. Though I do get up frequently to pee. By frequently, I mean about 20 times a day. Yes, that is the actual number… I counted the other day because I thought it was getting ridiculous. I also guzzle water like crazy ALL day.

My buddy, the Nalgene bottle.

If Trevor’s working, my mom tries to come over in the mornings around 9:30, which is a big help in watching Knox!

To keep myself entertained during this time of the day, I usually watch the Today show, check my email and surf around Facebook/ twitter for a while. Of course, Knox is super playful at this hour and loves to climb up on the couch with me. He will sit and we’ll practice talking, or he’ll just cuddle for a while. He will go through all of his books, then move on to his toy basket. He’s pretty entertaining to watch, so I don’t watch much TV when he’s around!

*On preschool days, Knox gets picked up at 12:00 pm

12 pm-ish: Lunch. I do eat lunch at the table because Knox needs supervision! He usually eats some form of chicken, fruit and crackers/crunchy item, and I’ll have leftovers or a sandwich or something like that. If my mom’s over, she’ll pick up lunch for us on those days.

12:30 pm: Nap time! Trevor does this if he’s home, or my mom if he’s not. On the rare days I’m alone, I do it. While Knox is asleep, I usually read (currently “Catching Fire”… second in the Hunger Games trilogy), blog or watch something on Netflix. I’ve already gone through all of the seasons of “Parenthood” (which rocks) and am almost finished with “Downton Abbey” (also, quite awesome).

2:30-3:30: Knox wakes up and snuggles with me while he drinks his milk. This kid LOVES milk!

Then, we play, normally in the playroom for a change of scenery. If Trevor’s working, his mom comes over around this time if she’s off, or if she has to work, she’ll arrive just after 5.

I take another Procardia around this time, and am still guzzling water.

This is the longest part of the day for me, for whatever reason. It always seems to drag by!!

5:00 pm: Bath time for Knox. Trevor or his mom do this every day. I really miss giving my little water baby a bath- he loves the bathtub so much!!

6:00 pm: Dinner time! I’m getting super sick of “convenience” food items. Ie: frozen lasagna, frozen pizza, basically if it’s frozen, I’m sick of eating it! Last week I really wanted to cook something homemade, so I sat on a bar stool and made Apple Pancakes! Since I’m not on strict bed rest, I didn’t feel too badly about that!

When we grocery shop (online! Love that convenience!), I try to get things like Rotisserie chickens, Pasta-roni and microwavable veggies, so it tastes like a home-cooked meal, even if I don’t have to do much cooking! If Trevor’s working, his mom will pick us up dinner. I know. Our moms rock!!

6:30-8 pm: More living room play time for Knox. He drinks a third cup of milk around 7:30 and starts to wind down.

8:00 pm: Knox’s bed time. Trevor or his mom do this daily, as well. They brush his teeth, read him some books and lay him down. He puts himself to sleep, generally within 30 minutes or so. I did have to read to him last week because I missed it so much!

8:00 pm- 12 am: More resting. After Knox is in bed, Trevor and I may watch a show together, or just talk for a while. He normally does the dishes or some laundry, and I will get a basket of laundry and fold it on the couch. Somewhere in this time range, I take another Procardia. I also take a shower and do a devotional every night. I’m using the “Jesus Calling” devotional by Sarah Young, and it’s amazing, if you’re looking for one! It really helps me to re-focus and connect with God, which I sorely need in the midst of stress.

I continue to surf the Web, read or watch TV. Trevor usually beats me to bed- all of that laying around doesn’t make me very tired, so it’s typically 12 or 1 before I go to bed.

Then… it starts all over the next day! Super exciting, right?

I’m so, so thankful that our families have been willing to help so much, it’s been such a blessing! I can’t imagine having to do everything alone… that would take the rest out of bed rest, for sure! Plus, it’s nice to have women to talk to!

The best days, like I said earlier, are those where something “different” happens. Saturday, our awesome friends, Cole and Lindsey, came over with their two kiddos to bring us dinner. It was so sweet, and so much fun! Noah, Knox and Sam did lots of playing (and so did their dads!) in Knox’s tunnels while Lindsey and I got to talk.

This week is particularly slow because I am so ready for Saturday to get here! Saturday= 36 weeks and the end of bed rest and all medication! Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend? EVERYTHING. When I went off meds with Knox, he was born five days later, so I am very curious to see how it will be with Brody!


Sunday night I was laying on the couch (shocker, right?) eating a brownie, drinking some milk and reading “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.” I don’t know if it was all of that reading about labor or what, but I was getting a lot more contractions and cramps than I normally do. I just drank some extra water and hoped it would pass. I figured I would go ahead and go to bed since that generally calms things down. When I woke up in the morning, I found a little something extra during my bathroom trip. *TMI alert* There was what seemed to be a small, blood-tinged booger in my underwear. It was not much (we’re talking very small) and had obviously come out during the night. Hmm. I figured there would probably be more of whatever it was later in the day, so I just hoped it was a piece of mucus plug and not the beginnings of a bloody show.

When I was going into labor with Knox, I had the bloody show at about 5 p.m. and Knox was born by 7 a.m. the next morning, so I didn’t want a repeat of that situation!! A few hours later, another bathroom trip revealed a gelatinous whitish blob… mucus plug. I know the mucus plug doesn’t mean much, aside from the fact that you’re probably dilating and effacing, but in my case that’s not exactly news. It doesn’t mean that labor is imminent, and many women lose theirs weeks before they deliver. Still, my doctor told me to call for pretty much anything new, so I let them know, and they echoed my feelings that all was well and not to worry, just to call if contractions picked up or got more severe.

Anyway, in the interest of documenting all things pre-term labor, I’m sharing that gross tidbit with you all. :) Of course if you follow me on FB or twitter, you already know this and are probably bored reading this again!

Today has been pretty calm (hopefully that will continue!) though I have had a good many contractions this afternoon. I think it’s just due to a full bladder, though, because I have to pee every five seconds today!

I leave you with this picture, which is thankfully, totally unrelated to the topic at hand (I may show you pictures of my stretch marks, but I will not be posting pictures of my mucus plug!). Last night, Trevor was doing squats and let Knox (and his tiny giraffe toy) “help” him by sitting on his shoulders, which is possibly Knox’s favorite spot to be on the planet. He laughed and laughed, but of course has a more serious face when I take out the camera phone!

ETA: So, I went back and looked at my old blog entries when I was on bed rest with Knox, and apparently I did lose my mucus plug with him! How I forgot that, I have no idea, but I actually lost it with him around 33 weeks. Interesting.

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